- Mar 6, 2016
- Asus Maximus VIII Gene Z170
- Mobile Phone
Efficient Semi-Passive Gaming Build: Asus Maximus VIII Gene / i6700k / EVGA 1070 FTW
Caselabs - Bullet BH4 mATX Case
DEMCiflex filter set for the case
Intel - Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor
Noctua - NH-C14S 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler
Asus - MAXIMUS VIII GENE Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
G.Skill - Trident Z 64GB (4 x 16GB) DDR4-3400 Memory (F4-3400C16Q-64GTZ)
Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Samsung - SM951 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive (AHCI Version)
Western Digital Red 4TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive (WD40EFRX)
EVGA - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card
Silverstone - 700W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply
Microsoft - Windows 10 Home - Full Version (32 & 64-bit) / USB Flash Drive
Acer - XB271HU bmiprz 27.0" 2560x1440 165Hz Monitor (Gsync, IPS)
PC/HACKINTOSH - APPLE BROADCOM BCM94360CD - 802.11 A/B/G/N/AC + BLUETOOTH 4.0
Already OwnedNEC Multisync LCD2690WUXi2 Color Critical Monitor with SpectraView
Apple wireless keyboard and trackpad
CommentsI wanted to build a small machine for coding, photography, audio creation, and gaming. I wanted a machine that had an aesthetic and build quality at least on par with the metal Apple machines, so I picked out the Caselabs bullet case in all white. I went with the mATX because its only barely bigger than the ITX version and allowed me to double the system RAM while giving me an option to sacrifice the Broadcom card for a second GPU. The ASUS board was a logical choice because of pci slot layout. While there are only two pci 8/16 slots, they are positioned so that a double wide GPU in the x16 slot doesn't block the other x8 or x1 slots. Seems obvious huh? The build quality is superb and the system is still dust free due to the filters. I put the filters on the inside of the case where possible for aesthetics.
I wanted the system to be dead silent under normal usage but be able to handle games all the way turned up. I picked the Noctua cooler because it was the biggest one I could fit in the case. The case has venting above so a good amount of heat radiates up and out. When the CPU fan turns on its also set to exhaust out the top of the case. The PSU is OK. This case uses the SFX size so choices are limited to basically Silverstone and Corsair. The Silverstone had a better rating and a 120mm fan. While the system is capable of a 4.7 or 4.8 GHz overclock, doing so kept cranking up my fans in earlier test builds, blowing the whole silent part. I used some sorbothane bumpers and sheets to isolate the computer from the hollow cabinet its sitting on and to isolate the PSU vibrations when the fan is on. Currently, when the fans are off, the CPU sits around 55 C. I have further tweaking to do because when the system fans are off sometimes the GPU fans turn on, which doesn't happen when the system fans are on. The loudest noise in the system comes from the PSU fan when it turns on.
Energy efficiency is important to me. I want the system to be sleeping when its not in use, and I want it to use its power efficiently. That's why I held out for the 1070 instead of picking up a Maxwell card. Unfortunately, thats also why I can't use the HD 530 graphics to drive my second monitor. I picked the EVGA 1070 FTW card because Gigabyte and ASUS cards were a little too long to fit in the case. Plus I've never had leds in a system and wanted to see what they were like With the exception of a couple of bugs the system is working excellently. Moving to the 17,1 definition would also theoretically give me improvements in power management.
Gaining the ability to set the fans to 0 took a little research. Some versions of ASUS Fan Xpert allow setting fans to zero. Mine did not. However, I found this link, which details a way to hack around the issue by editing an xml file that Fan Xpert uses to determine minimums. Note that the actual location of FanCalibrationData.xml was different for me. I don't have the path right now but can get it on request. Once that was done, I found a program called Macs Fan Control. It allows tying the fans to different sensors and setting them to "0" which is really a minimum value. After doing the xml hack in windows, the fan control program in MacOS was able to use true zero for its fan speeds.
I'm really glad I followed forum advice and skipped the NVMe SSD. The AHCI version just works, and there are plenty of other things I need to actually pay attention to.
I decided to buy the Broadcom card from OSXWifi rather than building my own because in the past I've had tons of problems with bluetooth disconnecting on genuine apple hardware, even across multiple laptops. I paid a little extra as insurance so if I had any issues I could just deal with one business to resolve them. Thankfully I'm not having those bluetooth issues anymore. I first built this rig with 10.12.0 and at the time I was having range issues connecting to the Apple Watch so I replaced the antennas with 6dbi antennas.
One unexpected benefit was that the MB has an optical audio out that I can use to send audio directly to the NuForce DDA-100 digital amp that is driving my big DefTech speakers without the AirPlay lag. I'm using Audio Hijack to send the different audio sources to different outputs.
This build is based on pastrychef's build and Stork's build.
1. I copied the BIOS settings directly from their builds. I'm currently using BIOS 2202. According to pastrychef, later BIOS versions break NVRAM emulation, so I haven't played with them yet.
BIOS settings from his build:
AI Overclocker Tuner > X.M.P.
Extreme Tweeking > Enable
System Agent (SA) Configuration > VT-d > Disable
PCH Configuration > IOAPIC 24-119 > Disabled
USB Configuration > Legacy USB Support > Auto
USB Configuration > XHCI Hand Off > Enabled
APM Configuration > Power on by PCI - E/PCI > Disabled
Fast Boot > Disabled
Boot Logo Display > Disabled
Secure Boot > OS Type > Other OS
Boot Option 1 > USB installer thumb drive
Exit > Save Changes
2. I put together the installer usb using UniBeast 7.1 and MultiBeast 9.1.
3. Boot from installer usb and install macOS.
4. Run MultiBeast with the following settings:
5. Open up latest version of Clover Configurator (I used 4.42.0) and use it to install the latest version of Clover if newer than the one on the installer usb. (Optional, but when I was getting FileVault working I figured I should have the latest)
6. Open up the new config.plist in a text editor (I used Atom) and paste in SMUUID, etc., from getting iMessage working on a previous installation. Just open up your previous config.plist and the new one from Multibeast and look at the end of the file. Its pretty obvious where the values go, but ask me if you have questions. If you don't have these ids yet, skip this step for now, but don't log into iCloud until you have the ids. See the What Works section for links to the specific posts that helped me get stuff working.
7. Install latest NVidia Web drivers. I also installed the CUDA drivers in case any software I use can leverage them.
What WorksHandoff & Continuity including unlocking with Apple Watch
Clover themes and correct 2560x1440 startup resolution (open your config in clover configurator, choose Install Drivers, then in the Drivers UEFI 64 bit section, select CSMVideoDxe)
DisplayPort audio using the cloverHDMI script
iTunes DRM protected videos play correctly
Better power management with the beta ssdtPRGen.sh script
I got errors on cpu-type, system-type, and board-id in the ssdtPRGen.sh script. cpu-type was easy enough to fix. I just pasted the value suggested by the script into the type field in the CPU section of Clover Configurator. The system-type error was harder to track down. The script said that i was set as desktop not mobile. To set the system-type requires checking the mobile checkbox in the SMBIOS section of Clover Configurator. I chose not to do this, however, since this is a desktop. The last error was about board-id not supported by Skylake. This turned out to be an iMac 14,2 vs 17,1 issue, where 14,2 boards are not compatible with Skylake, hence the error. I chose to proceed anyway and it worked, although theoretically sub optimally. It still brought my CPU idle down to 800mhz from 1000. Update: I realized that after doing this, About my Mac showed an i3 CPU. So I believe that although the script complains about the wrong CPU type, go with it. I removed the value from my config, rebooted, and About my Mac said i7 again. Then I ran the script again and accepted all 3 errors. I think that the 17,1 definition probably doesn't offer any benefit here since the script can already detect that its a desktop skylake and is only complaining that such a Mac shouldn't exist.
What Doesn't WorkOptical audio out cuts out after a few minutes, but works again if I switch the audio input to something else and then back. But, it keeps cutting out. Works fine in Windows. Update: This actually works, I hadn't tested it for months but with the latest install based on the latest Multibeast everything works as one would expect.
Connecting the second monitor results in random lockups. And I can’t use HD530 for the second monitor because sleep doesn’t work.
Something goofy is going on with storage. Erasing a disk in Disk Utility usually fails the first time, and upon boot my data hard drive is never ready in time for auto-opening apps.
Gpu monitoring through HWMonitor doesn't currently support Pascal cards. There are reports of people hacking around this, but for now I'm just waiting for RehabMan's FakeSMC branch to merge in changes from hwsensors.com, which has beta support for Pascal cards.
I'm getting a few random overclocking failures upon wake from sleep that seem to be related to the 3400 RAM. I've been experimenting with turning down the clock. Right now its at 2600 and the failures are rare. I need to figure that part out.
UpdatesUpdate #1, 5/16/2017: Updated to 10.12.5 using the App Store. No issues, everything continues to work including sound and FileVault. The OS update installed, then rebooted using the default video drivers. I was prompted to install the new Nvidia web driver, which I did and rebooted. Then I was prompted to install the latest CUDA driver, which I did and rebooted. Everything just worked