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Darkthing#1 - Z68XP-UD3 + i7-3770 + EVGA GT 210

Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
Graphics
GT 210
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
In order to prepare my eventual jump to 10.9, I'm running now my 10.8 partition as my main system for a while, updating what's needed. I finally updated to 10.8.5 and noticed a few benefits, compared to 10.6.8 (and 10.8.3):
- better video management (any 10.8.x)
- better USB — my old trackball is acting better and more easily detected by the system
- better Safari and Mail
- my fear was that 10.8.5 could break something with my audio apps, but no problem!

I've noticed that performance gets better after a while (the same in 10.9), I suppose it takes time to build the caches or something...
What I don't like: a loooong white screen before login (10.8 & 10.9)... Looks common for all recent Macs (blue screen was better, if Apple is not capable of something more attractive! ;) ).

I've discovered that Apple dropped Sync Services in 10.9, and that could keep me holding 10.8.5 until I decide which calendar app I'm gonna use (currently I run Outlook (best alarms delay management), Busycal (best interface) and Fantastical (indispensable!) — even if it's no big deal, I have to make a decision about it, as it's a no-return choice... :rolleyes:

But my recent trials for 10.9 shows a better GeekBench score (about 100 points), now that I cleaned and set it up well, so I'm quite sure I'll make the jump, sooner or later! :cool:
I'm just wondering if I wait 10.10 to come out, for the sake of having the ultimate 10.9 updates after everybody has identified the possible glitches... :mrgreen: ;)
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
Graphics
GT 210
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I've transfered all my partitions to another 1 To disk I had, in order to be able to boot on 10.9, 10.8 or 10.6 on the same disk (OSes partitions have to be in that order and not 10.6 first as in my main HD).
All is working ok (Sleep/Wake and sound) with Chimera 2.2.1 and the corresponding MB installs (6.1 for 10.9.3 and 5.5.5 for 10.8.5) — meaning the corresponding AppleHDA and FakeSMC.

I tried Chimera 3.0.1, and all is still fine, after a little tinkering (mainly booting each partition with UseKernelCache=No after install — and -x instead for 10.6, though I'm not sure it was needed).

I tried MB 6.3 on OS 10.9.3: all is still fine except sound gets broken after Sleep/Wake. Hence my return to AppleHDA 2.5.3 from MB 6.1 (I think AppleHDA 2.6.0 was working with Chimera 2.2.1 but I won't swear... :mrgreen: ).
N.B.: I've tried every possible combination of AppleHDA and FakeSMC, just in case, but now all is working, I won't revert to Chimera 2.2.1 just for the sake of science... ;)

I thought I could import my apps and accounts from 10.8.5 into 10.9.3 with Migration Assistant but it's not clear why it's so tricky (even on real Macs) to do it a second time: it's cooler to restore a working 10.9 base backup, import all at once then update to 10.9.3 — which I'll do when I feel I have nothing left to update in my 10.8.5 partition.

For the musicians and mixers out there: Pro Tools 8.0.5 is still running perfectly on OS 10.9.3! :headbang:
(even my Mbox 2 midi interface, despite some error messages in the Console)
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
Graphics
GT 210
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
You're right! I've mentioned myself that post in other threads or posts such as this one. :thumbup:

Hi Tony!
This list of versions is really a must-have, it helped me understand things: I thought that a MB version (say 5.5.5) was ok for all the former versions of the current OSX (say 10.8.x in that case) but that post says clearly that it's bound to ONE version, which I could easily verify trying 5.5.5 on a working 10.8.3 and I lost my sound! ;)
Is there some place where that information comes from?
If not, I think it should be displayed there http://www.tonymacx86.com/basics/104538-learning-basics-tonymacx86-101-a.html or on the download page! :thumbup:
Thank you for everything! :D

But actually, after recent tinkering, I've discovered that Chimera 3.0.1 and FakeSMC 6.8.1307 (and plugins) also work in OS 10.8.5 — though it doesn't bring anything more than the MB 5.5.5 versions. ;)
So that table should be a guideline, with exceptions depending on the board, as I've showed in my former post. :)
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
Graphics
GT 210
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I've made the jump to 10.9.3 sooner than planned: all is working nicely, and the cherry on the cake is that I've discovered the last version of TotalFinder brings back colors in the Finder (sidebar and labels)! Oh yeah! :thumbup:
Now I can't see many reasons for going back to 10.8.5 or 10.6.8, but for the sake of science, I'll eventually update my build's description, now that I've achieved a totally working "triple-boot". :mrgreen: :headbang:
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
Graphics
GT 210
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi everyone! (if there's still anyone interested in old builds :mrgreen: )
A quick note for anyone using AUDIO PRO applications such as ProTools (v10 in my case): this summer I mixed an album on a real 8 core Mac Pro 2.8 GHz and it had a hard time playing those heavy sessions (some of them 40 tracks...). When I came back home I opened the sessions, quite convinced that my 2 core hackintosh wouldn't make it... but it was the exact opposite! :crazy::clap: It reads all those sessions showing a lighter and more constant CPU load. :headbang:

My conclusion is clear: for audio applications, CPU frequency matters more than number of cores!

It might be different if you're using a lot of virtual instruments, but simple mixing doesn't benefit of many cores (I've used also a 4 core Macbook Pro — I believe it was the Late 2011 17" 2.4 GHz — that was strangely slightly better than the 8 core on some session... :eek:).
So, nearly 4 years later, I'm still a happy hackintosh user :D and my only fear is not being able to run my old software if I'd build a new one with Sierra, who knows... I may try and install Sierra on this one for testing purposes, first. I'll let you know. ;)
 

UtterDisbelief

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Joined
Feb 13, 2012
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Motherboard
Gigabyte Z490i Aorus Ultra - OC 0.6.8
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i5-10600K
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GT710 - 1920x1080
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Good to hear the Hackintosh is still performing well! :)

Yes, my biggest problem with Mac, any Mac, is that too often if older software isn't updated for later OS X versions then it won't work. In my case: Extensis Portfolio Standalone and Filemaker Bento. Many others become crippled. Annoyingly, this rarely happens in the Windows world because of the compatibility wizard. :confused:

:)
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
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  2. Mac mini
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Hi Utter! ;)
I see you're still very active on building! :clap: I'm waiting for your Sierra build! (if I understand well you now number your build by the current OS, so next one will be UtterDisbelief 12, I bet?)
As for incompatible apps, I found VMWare Fusion to be perfect, as long as they don't use audio.
 

UtterDisbelief

Moderator
Joined
Feb 13, 2012
Messages
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Motherboard
Gigabyte Z490i Aorus Ultra - OC 0.6.8
CPU
i5-10600K
Graphics
GT710 - 1920x1080
Mac
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Classic Mac
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Hi @nodarkthings :)

Yes, still building. And yes, UtterDisbelief 12 is built, with Sierra running nicely, and I'm typing on it now ;) I will post a write-up soon.

New motherboard has some nice audio components including a Burr-Brown OpAmp. Sounds quite good - for motherboard audio!

I've never tried VMWare, only VirtualBox and Parallels. Your recommendation means I'll take a look!

:)
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2012
Messages
450
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA Z68XP-UD3
CPU
i7 3770
Graphics
GT 210
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
My procedure to flash UEFI on Z68XP-UD3 (Bios F10)
(Thanks for the guide which I took inspiration from! :clap: https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...efi-on-gigabytes-6-series-motherboards.64482/)

- tried Q-Flash integrated software: not working. From what I've read around, looks like it's not working for the first flashing but then it should (which is useless if all goes well ;) )
- So I created a bootable DOS USB key with Rufus (https://rufus.akeo.ie/) using a PC (much easier than MacMan's old guide needing to burn a CD)
- I ran the mb_bios_ga-z68xp-ud3_u1j.exe UEFI downloaded from Gigabyte and put the files on the key (replaces the autoexec.bat already present there)
- rebooted on key (unplugged all HDs before, just in case!)
- upgrade went on auto
- replugged MacOS disk and booted with -F (I'm still on Chimera) — I can't remember if the DSDT was still there, it's probably better to delete it before the update (I think I used a Clover test key booting another disk, as I was testing Clover at the same time...)
- deleted PCIRootUID=1 in org.chameleon.Boot.plist
- after successful reboot, I had to reinstall audio with MB 6.1.0
- deleted HDAEnabler1.kext and added to org.chameleon.Boot.plist :
<key>HDEFLayoutID</key>
<string>01000000</string>
<key>HDAEnabler</key>
<string>Yes</string>
(cf. https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/how-to-use-hdaenabler-module-with-chimera.131926/)
• case of my MacOS 10.6 Snow Leopard partition:
- ditto except for audio
- reinstalled audio with MB 3.10.1 and the corresponding HDAEnabler kext (ALC889) => I used Root user as it didn't work with my normal admin account...)

Benefits, drawbacks and afterword
- boots noticeably faster; all works well including USB3 ports (they worked also with old BIOS, in case you wonder ;) )
- one annoyance is gone: with legacy BIOS, when the room temperature was under 20°C I had a loooooooong beep at boot until the OS was loaded (the time for the mobo to warm, I bet).
- I hoped I could push the overclock a bit but it's the opposite: I couldn't boot at all at 107 MHz base clock, even modifying voltages — but anyway I don't use it. ;) Note that it's totally stable at 104 MHz (giving 3.22 GHz); runs fine at 106 MHz (3.29 GHz) but occasionally crashes on boot from cold in the morning (haven't tried modifying voltages in this case, it might work).
To give you an idea of the actual performance, GeekBench was 5246 on 10.6/BIOS, it rises now to 5514 on 10.9/UEFI at 104 MHz OC.
- Fastboot setting provokes strange behaviours in the OS! A pity cause this setting was eliminating the startup beep wit Legacy BIOS… :confused: So don't use it.
- what's written in the afore mentioned guide about not selecting EFI for boot is only true with Chimera, it works with Clover and is blazing fast! Also, Hot Plug setting is not only mandatory for eSATA drives but for any internal HD: if you attach an internal HD without that setting on it won't show at all.

Conclusion
Would I recommend it? Well, you sure can live with Legacy BIOS and the boot time gain is not that spectacular (sleep/wake and shutdown times are supposed to be shorter too but it's hard to tell…), but if you plan to install El Capitan or Sierra, it will be a lot easier and faster with UEFI/Clover.
Oh, and by the way, I've tried Sierra (thanks to Stork! :thumbup: https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...ild-core-i7-2700k-ga-z68x-ud3h-hd-6850.64951/) and El Capitan, both runs perfectly (except no USB3 despite GenericUSBXHCI.kext), but no way to get my MBox2 drivers recognized and that's a showstopper for me. As one could expect, my old versions of ProTools don't install and don't run despite any tricks I've found to install them (actually PT10 runs but have glitches on some menus).
 
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