Coming from Late 2009 iMac running Pro Audio - Need advice

Aug 22, 2017
Z390 Designare
RX 580
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
First and foremost, I want to sincerely apologize for the long post and if I'm breaking any rules here. I've spent about a month reading through many posts on this forum and it's all becoming a blur, so maybe you can help.

In 2010 I went with a 27" i7 2.8 iMac because it was quiet compared to a Mac Pro at the time, but as plugin requirements grew I began to push it to its limits and fans were running all the time until about 2 weeks ago when my graphics card said "no more."

I've built many computers over the last 18 years and have done a fair share of data recovery using Linux, so I like to tinker, which brings me to your fantastic forum. I want to build a Hackintosh. I'm also building a FreeNAS server, but that's another forum ;)

My must have requirements are (in this order):

1. Great Single Core performance - I regularly use 50+ virtual instruments which are all very demanding on the CPU in real-time. As a sidenote at the recommendation of a friend I looked into Ryzen, but it appears that while it's a capable processor, it's not quite up to the task as much as intel is when it comes to being able to handle real-time tasks. A helpful video along these lines would be:

2. Silent - I want this thing quiet. I don't care if it's liquid cooling or fans, I want it as close to an iMac as possible (except when the iMac is under load).

3. Cool - I want those fans quiet and keeping it cool is key.

4. Connectivity.

Firewire - I have an existing Apogee Duet Firewire audio interface that I love because of its onboard converters. I don't want to let it go.

Thunderbolt 3 - it would be stupid to build a Hackintosh for audio production and not include this.

10Gbps NIC - the key seems to be finding one that would work on a Hackintosh. I need this because I will have nightly backups of my projects and photos offloaded to a FreeNAS box, and the backups cannot take longer than overnight (if that).

5. Dual 4K monitors - I don't do any video production, so you may ask why I need a GPU card. Because I want to take the load off of the CPU and let it focus on my Logic Pro X and Audio needs. But I hear these things can contribute to noise, so I prefer a fanless GPU card or powerful enough that fans don't kick up.

6. Storage - I did already buy a 500gb 960 EVO for my OS and programs so an M.2 Sata slot would be nice. I am also considering buying a bunch of cheap(er) SSD's and putting them in a RAID-5 to store my samples and projects on. RAID5 isn't exactly my cup of tea, but for SSD it should be fine. Several years ago I tested 3 SSD's in a RAID5 (soft raid) and got speeds around 1 GB/s. So if I have a project with 60+ orchestra samples and modeling synths loading up, I want it to be up on my screen pronto.

I know there's someone here who's considered a resident DAW expert, but with my SSD RAID5 attempt, my Firewire/TB3 need and my 10Gbps NIC requirement, that may be more than he's had to deal with. Any help would be very greatly appreciated!!