- Dec 18, 2011
- Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming
- RX 580
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- Classic Mac
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- Mobile Phone
BoomR's “Power UP” for 360/VR Production Build:Components
Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming - i7 8700K - Gigabyte AORUS RX580
Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming - i7 8700K - Gigabyte AORUS RX580
Gigabyte GA-Z370 AORUS Ultra Gaming (rev 1.0) ATX Motherboard
Intel Core i7-8700K CPU
UPDATE: Sapphire Radeon NITRO+ RX580 8GB Special Edition GPU
G.SKILL TridentZ RGB Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4 SDRAM DDR4 3600 (PC4 28800)
Gigabyte Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 AIC
Samsung 960 PRO Series - 512GB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD
NZXT S340 Mid Tower Computer Case (matte black/blue)
Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac
Corsair Hydro Series h115i Extreme Performance Liquid CPU Cooler
Logitech Wireless Marathon Mouse M705
Corsair RM Series, RM650, 650 Watt (650W), Fully Modular Power Supply, 80+ Gold Certified
Samsung U28E590D 28-Inch UHD LED-Lit Monitor
Samsung 840 EVO - 120GB (for Windows 10)
(Looking for Mojave info? Check here)
The Build: Preface
Several weeks ago, I stumbled across a few threads/posts & learned that Final Cut Pro X is optimized for use with AMD cards. While my NVIDIA GTX970 Founders Edition card was “ok,” I would prefer the recommended hardware for optimal performance. About the same time, I also read a few threads about Coffee Lake & how relatively easy a build would be (since it’s natively supported in High Sierra). So I decided it was time to give my existing video editing machine @ home a “Power Up.”
I wanted the biggest/baddest AMD GPU I could find. Problem is, GPU shelves at both Fry’s close to my house, as well as MicroCenter are bare as bones (thank you, crypto miners! #$%&). Online is pretty much same issue. Ultimately found one on Craigslist here in Dallas (at a premium price, I might add).
An important part of this build was also having Thunderbolt 3. My Z170-Designare had two TB3 ports on-board, but for some reason the new Z370 boards for my 2 favorite suppliers (Gigabyte and ASUS) don’t follow this trend. They both require the Alpine Ridge or ThunderboltEX 3 AIC (respectively). Fortunately for me, two of the Fry’s Electronics stores here in the DFW area have quite a bit of stock & they are closing them out at a really good price. BTW, I chose Gigabyte over ASUS because TB3 AIC (add-in card) on ASUS is only single-port, where Gigabyte card is dual port.
Motherboard + CPU + RAM
Finally, I ended up at my guilty pleasure store, MicroCenter, where the CPU was on sale (and in stock). Again, I want this to be a powerhouse workstation, so went for the new 6-core i7-8700K. I also chose the Gigabyte AORUS Z370 Ultra Gaming because of features and price point. I don’t need onboard WiFi as I will use a GigE connection. Also don’t need onboard DP, as I’m using dedicated GPU. BUT, I did need a mobo that has the TB3 header connection & supports the Alpine Ridge card. This board does. I got an additional $30 off because I bought CPU/mobo combo.
Later that night, I also went surfing & found some high-performance DDR4 from G.Skill with cool LEDs, and decided to also upgrade RAM to 32GB. Now that you’ve endured the back-story behind this build, let's start by installing Windows in order to activate the Alpine Ridge Thunderbolt 3 card. Once that's done, we'll dig into the UniBeast install of macOS 10.13.3.
Basically the only thing I’m keeping from the original video editing build is the case, water cooler, power supply, and m.2 SSD (OK, and keyboard/mouse + SSD for Windows to activate the TB3 card). Pulled out the old hardware & assembled everything into the old case.
(UPDATE) Pre-work: Update to latest UEFI/BIOS
My new motherboard UEFI/BIOS version was F6 out of the box. I checked the Gigabyte Web site & learned that there was an updated BIOS (F7h). I downloaded this & updated mobo before I did anything else.
Pre-work: Gigabyte Alpine Ridge AIC for Thunderbolt 3
I did the activation of my Thunderbolt AIC before I did anything with macOS. For those new to TB in CustoMac-land (either integrated into mobo or via AIC), you first must “wake it up” or “activate” the the TB card/chipset in Windows before it will work in macOS.
I have a spare Samsung 840 EVO 120GB SSD that I used for this. Also grabbed a spare 16GB USB3 flash drive and the closest machine already running Windows (I run VMWare Fusion). You’ll use Microsoft Media Creation Tool to create a bootable USB flash drive with Win10 installer. You won’t have to activate Win10 (you have 30 day trial). Regardless if you do this first or last, please disconnect your macOS boot drive & any other drives you have connected before installing Win10.
Insert your newly minted Win10 USB install flash drive into one of the USB3 ports. Boot up your computer & enter UEFI/BIOS. On the BIOS screen, you need to reactivate the CSM Support option. Also set your Boot Option #1 to the Windows USB drive. Save & restart. After POST, the system should auto-detect USB drive boot sector and start the Windows install wizard. Follow the instructions to complete Win10 install.
Next, I popped in the driver CD-ROM that came with the mobo into a portable USB CD drive I have. Run setup.exe to install all Gigabyte software, drivers, and resources. Now that I have a fully-functional Win10 install, I powered back down & inserted the Thunderbolt AIC. Follow the printed QS guide that came with the Alpine Ridge card. Card goes into the slot furthest away from the CPU. Use the jumper cable to connect the card to the TBH header on the motherboard.
Restart your computer & press DEL to get back into UEFI/BIOS. On the Peripherals page, scroll down & select your new Thunderbolt (™) Configuration option. Set Security Level option to No Security - that’s the only change you need to make here. Press ESC and you’ll be prompted to save & exit. Do so - you’ll reboot back into Windows.
The AIC comes with an install CD, but just to be on the safe side, I’d go to the card support page & download the latest TB driver. The driver on my CD was old, but the firmware in the device was current. Before you can check & make any firmware updates, you need to install the TB driver software (which also installs a TB management utility that runs in the tray when a TB device is detected).
Note that the firmware updater is “a program within a program” - You first unzip what you downloaded, then run the firmware updater app’s .exe file: it’s an installer for the firmware updater application! Once you run the firmware updater installer you downloaded, you then need to find the app that it installed & run it. NOW you’re able to check the firmware version &, if it needs updating, to do so. I was lucky in that my AIC was already on the latest version.
Finally, once all that is done, time to plug in a TB device to verify that everything is working. Within a second or 2 of plugging in something (I started with the Apple TB > Ethernet adapter), you’ll hear a chime & there should be a pop-up message in the lower right corner. You’ll also see a little square blue/white TB tray icon - this is for the Windows TB Manager app. You can get a feel for what happens in Windows when you plug in TB devices by reviewing this post (albeit the screenshots are Win8).
Once all is well with TB in Windows, you need to return your system to the condition for running macOS. Eject the Win7 installer USB, and power down your system. Remove the Win10 boot drive, and reconnect your macOS boot drive. Reboot into UEFI, and disable CSM Support. Finally, make sure that Boot Option #1 is back to your macOS boot drive’s EFI partition. Save & exit.
Final TB notes:
- Hot-swapping Thunderbolt in macOS has never worked for CustoMac since GA-Z77 days (first mobo with onboard TB). Hot-swapping TB devices in Windows works fine.
- For best success (in my experience), connect your TB devices at the Clover boot screen. I have a CalDigit TB3 docking station that I leave connected & powered on all the time. About 25% of the time when I boot machine from powered-off state, I’ll get white “ghostbuster” symbol after white Apple logo. Having TB devices connected on power-off state through POST on occasion confuses the machine. I set my Clover boot to 10 seconds delay - that gives me time to connect any TB devices before the system boots. YMMV...
Making the UniBeast USB flash drive
I wanted this to be a classic UniBeast/MultiBeast build, even though the research I did for other successful Z370 builds would say, “create your UniBeast USB, and then delete the UB-installed EFI folder & replace it with the folder I found from another user.” While that method does work, it’s not what we’re all about at Tonymacx86.com. [/deactivate soapbox].
I simply followed the instructions here to install macOS 10.13.3 - first, by building my USB key. In my situation, I used a Kingston Traveler 16GB USB3.0 flash drive. Once UniBeast installer is complete, I always do one last thing as a matter of convenience. I create a new folder on the USB key called, “Tidbits.” I then download & park copies of the following so that I have easy access immediately following macOS installation:
- Latest MultiBeast for High Sierra
- Clover Configurator app (fine tuning @ the end)
- Latest Clover Bootloader installation package
- MacMan’s patcher for unsupported audio (200/300 mobos)
- Kext Wizard (or Kext Beast, etc) - I like KW because you can also use to rebuild caches if needed.
- RehabMan’s CodecCommander kext
- (optional) - I’m using AMD GPU, so no additional drivers are needed. If you’re doing a build using NVIDIA, you’re going to need the latest Web drivers & some other goodies/fixes. Check the Graphics forum for info & resources you need.
I’m not sure what (if any) difference this might make as it relates to the UniBeast key, but I just know that this configuration worked for me. Now time to turn on power and set UEFI/BIOS.
- After POST beep, press/hold DEL key to enter UEFI/BIOS
- Save & Exit menu - choose Load Optimized Defaults.
- MIT > Advanced Frequency Settings > Extreme Memory Profile (X.M.P) - choose Profile 1
- Full Screen LOGO Show - I disable this, but not really required
- Boot Option Priorities - set this to the UEFI option for your UB flash drive. Disable all other choices. Once we run MultiBeast, we’ll come back in here and set to your new boot drive (in my case, the UEFI partition of Samsung 960PRO).
- CSM Support - Disable. Note that the Storage Boot Option Control option which is set to UEFI (desired setting) disappears along with the other 3 options under CSM Support when you set to Disable. Don’t worry, as Storage Boot Option Control apparently stays set to UEFI “under the hood.”
- Initial Display Output - mobo should auto-detect your GPU card, so this should already show PCIe 1 Slot. You shouldn’t have to do installation using internal GPU, then switch to your GPU card.
- Peripherals > LEDs in sleep, Hibernation, and Soft Off States: OFF [this is optional if you don't want LEDs on 24/7, even in power-off state).
- USB Configuration > XHCI Hand-off - set to Enable
- Note: Once Thunderbolt3 AIC is connected, a new dynamic menu option for configuring the Alpine Ridge card appears below the USB DAC option (which lets you set options for USB charging on the appropriate ports).
- VT-D - Disabled
- Internal Graphics - Disabled (this also turns off the DVMT menu options).
- Wake on LAN Enable - Disable
- ErP - Enabled [UPDATE 25Mar2018] - This is now required to help fix issue where mobo on-board LEDs do not power off when in sleep/shutdown mode.
- Soft-Off by PWR-BTTN - (optional) I set this to Delay 4 Sec.
- Save & Exit - Choose Save & Exit Setup - this saves your changes and reboots your system.
Once your system reboots, you should soon see the Clover boot screen with several icons displayed. The first menu option should be highlighted: Install macOS High Sierra from <your_USB_name>. At this point, wait for the progress indicator and then follow the first phase of the Setup wizard:
- I need to wipe out the data files from the old Z170 build - I want a clean slate for the new hardware. From the setup menu, I chose the Disk Utility option. Then I select my Samsung 960PRO m.2 drive from list of available drives, and then choose Erase. Name your drive & verify that GUID and Mac OS Extended (Journaled) options are selected. Finally exit Disk Utility & back to the main menu.
- Now select option to Install macOS High Sierra.
MultiBeast for this system (step 5)
You should now be at macOS desktop and ready for Step 5. Time to dig into your Tidbits folder (or whatever you called it) to find MultiBeast. Drag the MB folder to your Desktop (or somewhere handy), and then launch the app. Use the following options for this configuration (or adjust accordingly if you use a different GPU option):
- Quick Start - UEFI Boot Mode
- Audio - 100/200/300 Series Audio (do not select Drivers > Audio > Realtek ALC1220 at this time - it’s coming later)
- FakeSMC Plugins (Opt)
- FakeSMC HWMonitor Application (Opt)
- Network - Intel - Choose latest IntelMausiEthernet
- USB - Increase Max Port Limit 200 Series
- Bootloaders - Clover v2.4k r4063 UEFI Boot Mode + Emulated NVRAM
- Graphics Configuration - AMD Graphics Fixup (required for AMD card!)
- System Definitions > iMac - iMac18,3
Click Save to save configuration (ex. To your USB flash drive)
Click Install & wait for installation to complete.
With this hardware configuration, once MB has completed installation, close the app. It’s now time to reboot & startup from our main drive. Again, after POST beep, press/hold DEL key and enter UEFI/BIOS. From BIOS menu, change the Boot Option #1 priority to your boot drive (ex. my Samsung 960PRO). Save & exit.
MultiBeast Post-Install Tasks
Audio fix #1
Even though we’ve selected the ACLXXX > 100/200/300 audio option in MB, we’re not done yet. We need to follow MacMan’s instructions on the next steps. You should already have downloaded his install package from this post & it should be in Tidbits folder on USB. Pay careful attention to the process steps he identifies here in post #4:
- Install Clover and Drivers -> Audio -> Realtek ALCxxx -> 100 / 200 Series Audio in MultiBeast and reboot (Already completed - we did those steps when we first ran MultiBeast).
- Now, run MultiBeast again, selecting ONLY Drivers -> Audio -> Realtek ALCxxx -> ALC1220. Click Build, and then Install. When finished, do not reboot.
- Finally, run MacMan’s install package, selecting the first/top option of the 2 options displayed. When this is complete, reboot. You should now have all the supported audio device options visible in the Audio System Preferences.
Audio Fix #2
To fix the issue where you lose audio after system goes to sleep, we need to install RehabMan’s CodecCommander.kext. I like using Kext Wizard, but you can use Kextbeast to achieve the same goal. Drag the kext to your desktop, then launch Kext Wizard. Click the Install tab, and drag/drop the kext into the app window. Install to Sys/Lib/Ext. You should be set once you reboot.
Update Clover bootloader to latest
I like to use Clover Configurator for lots of things, including making any necessary tweaks to config.plist. You can also use it as a tool to check & update your version of Clover. Copy Clover Configurator from your install USB flash drive to Applications. Now run CC. In the nav pane on the left, select Install/Update Clover and click Check Now. It will show current version installed + latest version available. Simply use CC to download & launch the Cover installer. I check the box to add the Clover Prefs Pane so you can check Clover Version from System Preferences (always good to have options!).
Memory fix via Clover Configurator [UPDATE 25Mar2018]
After a while, I started getting the dreaded "prohibited" symbol when booting up. I thought this may have been related to Thunderbolt devices, but in this hardware configuration, it turned out to be the dreaded memory allocation issue. When searching the forums for a solution, adding slide=0 to config.plist using Clover Configurator seemed to be the first fix option that popped up. But upon further study, what seems to work a bit better (a noticeable speed bump in boot time) is using Clover Configurator > Tools > Install Drivers to remove/uninstall OsxAptioFix2drv-64, and install AptioMemoryFix. It's really as simple as clicking the correct driver "button" to remove or install. I also removed the slide=0 boot flag, too.
Onboard LEDs stuck "always on" fix [UPDATE 25Mar2018]
Some of you who have been doing this a while may be tempted (like me) to enable FixShutdown in config.plist (ACPI tab in Clover Configurator). This contributes to the mobo's onboard LEDs to stay on - even though you have this feature set to "Off" in UEFI/BIOS. Make sure that FixShutdown is not checked. Now when you set UEFI/BIOS > Peripherals > LEDs in sleep, Hibernation, and Soft Off States: OFF, the LEDs do shut off. I've updated instructions here to reflect this optional configuration. See post #111 here for consolidated log of fixes. Props to @yellocab and @LeleTuratti for their hard work!
I’m pretty sure Samsung 960PRO m.2 drive (and I think all Samsung SSDs) support TRIM, which helps improve SSD performance. This is a simple Terminal command: sudo trimforce enable … Once I did this, I noticed a modest improvement when running both Blackmagicdesign & AJA disk tests. I’ll take it…
I love this new machine - it’s screaming-banshee fast! OK, and I like the pretty colors, too. I’m still in the process of getting all my apps reloaded so I can give it a good trial-run with an existing 360VR video editing project. I’ll continue to update this thread as I get more info.
Pretty much everything so far (audio, LAN, m.2, Thunderbolt devices, video via AMD GPU) although still testing… Still need to verify sleep/wake, but this is not a priority for me as I don’t require this for my music & video builds.
What Doesn’t Work (or not tested yet)
iMessage - not tested (but I don’t use this)
Video rendering: I need to verify h.264 and h.265 (HEVC) rendering. I’ve read a couple threads where there may be some artifacts or issues with Coffee Lake + AMD + HS. The person who reports this also supplied instructions on how to fix this. Stay tuned.
Fake ID for RX580: Right now, my video card appears as AMD R9 xxx 8GB in About This Mac. I need to follow these instructions from byzyn4ik to get fake ID for my card. While I’m not so bothered by the cosmetics, but having the fake ID may give me a bit better GPU performance.
Create SSDT for OC
While I can easily OC this build using Gigabyte’s easy-to-use menu option (M.I.T. > CPU Upgrade), I haven’t completely figured out yet if I have a handle on power management. So soon will try out Piker Alpha's ssdtPRGen script to generate a SSDT to achieve the maximum amount of power states.
I ran GeekBench 4 twice - once with stock settings for clock, and one using the CPU upgrade menu set to 4.8GHz:
Ran both Blackmagicdesigns and AJA disk speed test apps:
I'll have to run some GPU benchmark programs and post some of those results.
Gallery - a few more pics:
UPDATE 24Feb2018: Added a note near the beginning about checking your UEFI/BIOS version & to update to latest.
UPDATE 25Mar2918: Updated to reflect new settings/options to get mobo onboard LEDs to turn off in sleep/shutdown when LED sleep is set to OFF in UEFI/BIOS. Special thanks to @yellocab and @LeleTuratti in this post for sharing the fix! Also revised some EFI driver options to provide better fix to memory issues.
UPDATE 2Dec2018: Please check out my most recent post where I detail how to get my build upgraded to Mojave 10.4.1
UPDATE 13Jan2019: Moved the AORUS RX580 card over to a new GA-X299 build I'm working on. Replaced with [URL='https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073BKYBC5/?tag=tonymacx86com-20'][U]SAPPHIRE Radeon NITRO+ RX580, 8GB, Special Edition GPU[/U][/URL].