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Dec 21, 2015
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4
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3
CPU
Core i7-4790K
Graphics
integrated intel hd graphics
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
MY BACKGROUND
I'm getting ready to do my first computer build from scratch, I have some experience with hardware upgrades (memory, storage, optical drives, usb ports), but I have always been able to find a pre-built system that suited my needs until now. I have not dealt much directly with the motherboard or the CPU, but they both seem fairly straightforward.

NEEDS/USES
Triple boot machine Windows 7/Mac OSX El Capitan 10.11.2 (or latest version supported on hackintosh)/linux(ubuntu)

In Windows I will be primarily using the following programs:

Solidworks
Matlab
GIM
Maple
Microsoft Office
some light gaming

In Linux
a couple robotics programs none that are very resource intensive

In Mac
Matlab
Maple
Microsoft Office

The most resource intensive things I will be doing will be 3D modeling in Solidworks, and some calculations in Maple that have taken up to 10 minutes on my MacBook Pro before I upgraded my RAM from 4GB to 16 GB.

Other things I will be doing with the build

In home networking for streaming movies to different devices
remote desktop connection to access it from my Macbook Pro while I am at school.

Hardware I am thinking of using
All of the parts are off of the Buyer's Guide section. I’m not sure how to get them linked here.

CPU
Core i7-4790K

Hard Drives
2 - Samsung 850 EVO 120GB
1 for Mac OS, 1 for Windows and linux OS
1 - Seagate Barracuda 3 TB (formatted to exFAT so I can share files between all 3 OS’s)

Mother board
Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3

RAM
Crucial Ballistix Tactical (32GB)

Graphics card
None for now

Optical drive
None for now

Power Supply
TBD
I will be looking at the power needed for what I have listed as well as possible future add-ons like the graphics card and optical drive before determining which power supply to get.

Wi-Fi Card
TP-Link PCI Express Wifi Adapter

Case
Build my own? I’ve done a decent amount of manufacturing in the past and have a great sheet metal company in town that does excellent work as far as making parts. I believe I should be able to make something that I like the way it looks better as well as having it dissipate heat better and be more impact resistant than a traditional box case that I see for sale. Resulting in a quieter machine that will last longer when moving it around.

A couple questions that I have:

1. Can anyone recommend a motherboard that might be better suited for what tasks I am planning on doing?
I picked this one kind of by default. There are 58 ATX boards on the Buyer’s Guide page, and after
putting in hours building spread sheets comparing specs I was getting no where as far as deciding
which I wanted. So I decided to narrow it down to the 4 listed in in the CustoMac Budget ATX and
CustoMac Pro. then Doing a side by side comparison I found most of the features from the 3 CustoMac
Pro listing were not something I would need. But I still left out comparing 54 other ATX boards.

2. Is there any critical reason not to build my own case?
A little of my personal background I am another 1.5 years until I graduate with my BS in Mechanical
Engineering. I do have a handle on what I am looking for as far as heat dissipation, I have designed
and manufactured prototypes for 2 different prosthetics that were made from stainless steel. I don’t
foresee any issues arising that I can’t handle. But I would love to hear from anyone who has tried this
before, or anyone that can think of any other potential problems with doing this.

3. This may not be the right forum for this question, but I'll throw it out there. I mentioned I will be using a remote desktop connection to access this machine while I am at school or work, Is it possible to switch boots (going from Mac to Windows or Linux and vice versa) using a remote desktop connection?

Thank you in advance for any input and advice
 

Going Bald

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Joined
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Messages
22,453
Motherboard
GA-X58A-UD7-F7
CPU
W3670
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
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The most resource intensive things I will be doing will be 3D modeling in Solidworks, and some calculations in Maple that have taken up to 10 minutes on my MacBook Pro before I upgraded my RAM from 4GB to 16 GB.
Mind linking the RAM you used? I have 8GB in the last MBP you could replace RAM and SSD and the specs say this is maxed out.
Wi-Fi Card
TP-Link PCI Express Wifi Adapter
Suggest http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00P0QAU36/?tag=tonymacx86com-20 wifi card instead - it uses the same Broadcom card the iMac uses and is 100% compatible.
Case
Build my own? I’ve done a decent amount of manufacturing in the past and have a great sheet metal company in town that does excellent work as far as making parts. I believe I should be able to make something that I like the way it looks better as well as having it dissipate heat better and be more impact resistant than a traditional box case that I see for sale. Resulting in a quieter machine that will last longer when moving it around.
Build it. Make sure you take a lot of pics and post it in the http://www.tonymacx86.com/case-mods/ forum. I have seen cases built from plastic Lego blocks, wooden shipping crates and cardboard shoe boxes, so a home built case is always a welcome site.

A couple questions that I have:

1. Can anyone recommend a motherboard that might be better suited for what tasks I am planning on doing?.
If the board has everything you need and has a matching CPU that will do what you want it is suitable.
2. Is there any critical reason not to build my own case?
No reason at all. If you are handy with tools and are motivated, go for it.
3. This may not be the right forum for this question, but I'll throw it out there. I mentioned I will be using a remote desktop connection to access this machine while I am at school or work, Is it possible to switch boots (going from Mac to Windows or Linux and vice versa) using a remote desktop connection?

If you can boot it from network/reboot it from network, you can boot into any OS from Clover.
If it must be running to connect to it, and you lose the connection on reboot and cannot reconnect until an OS has booted, then booting between OSs from remote station will not work. You might, using the OS X pref pane, set the next default boot device and try a reboot from that and it might work.
I don't do remote, so you really need someone with experience at it to say for sure.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2014
Messages
117
Motherboard
Z97MX-Gaming-5
CPU
i7 4790K
Graphics
RX 5700
Mac
  1. iMac
Hi,
Might sound like my mantra these days, but get a cooler for that CPU, an air one will do (especially since you're building your own case, you'll have good airflow already), it's cheap and silent. Just keep in mind in your blueprints that those things are big (and prefer a low profile RAM if you're not sure how close your RAM slots are from the CPU).
For your case, make sure to put everything on bumpers to avoid mechanical noise notably from the hard drives trays.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
4
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3
CPU
Core i7-4790K
Graphics
integrated intel hd graphics
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Messages
77
Motherboard
GA-Z97N-WiFi
CPU
i5 4690K
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Air
  4. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
  2. iMac
  3. Performa
  4. Plus
  5. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
It sounds like you have a lot of sound insights that will surely enable you to successfully complete this project but I question the goal of triple-bootable machine, unless you're doing it just for fun.

With 16-32GB of RAM, SSD storage, and an i7 you really should consider running OS X full time and running Linux and Windows as Virtual Machines. Rebooting to change OS's is a hassle and 90% of an i7 is still really fast. I run compilers, multi-tasking analytics software, and even video rendering this way. The only things that I run into that don't work well in a VM are digital audio workstation tasks and games. I'm just suggesting you give it a try if you haven't already.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
4
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3
CPU
Core i7-4790K
Graphics
integrated intel hd graphics
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi,
Might sound like my mantra these days, but get a cooler for that CPU, an air one will do (especially since you're building your own case, you'll have good airflow already), it's cheap and silent. Just keep in mind in your blueprints that those things are big (and prefer a low profile RAM if you're not sure how close your RAM slots are from the CPU).

Yes I will definitely be getting a cooler for my CPU, I was going to wait until I got the rest of the parts and started a rough design for my case.

For your case, make sure to put everything on bumpers to avoid mechanical noise notably from the hard drives trays.

Thank You for the tips for the case
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2015
Messages
4
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3
CPU
Core i7-4790K
Graphics
integrated intel hd graphics
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
It sounds like you have a lot of sound insights that will surely enable you to successfully complete this project but I question the goal of triple-bootable machine, unless you're doing it just for fun.

With 16-32GB of RAM, SSD storage, and an i7 you really should consider running OS X full time and running Linux and Windows as Virtual Machines. Rebooting to change OS's is a hassle and 90% of an i7 is still really fast. I run compilers, multi-tasking analytics software, and even video rendering this way. The only things that I run into that don't work well in a VM are digital audio workstation tasks and games. I'm just suggesting you give it a try if you haven't already.


Giving Virtualbox another try is a good idea. Linux will be fine on a VM I was just going to give it it's own boot because I don't use it very much and I didn't want to put a VM on just for that. Solidworks was to slow even with 16 Gb RAM, but that was with Intel core i5-3210M Processor and HDD Drive. It would be nice if this new set up will run Solidworks smoothly on a VM. That will also save me a little cash only needing to buy 1 SSD.

Thank you for your input
 
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