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Gobias’s Comet Lake Build: Prime Z490-A - i7-10700K - RX 6600 - macOS Monterey & Windows 11 Pro

Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
262
Motherboard
ASUS Prime Z490-A
CPU
i7-10070K
Graphics
RX 6600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Color Classic
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS

Update 10: OpenCore 0.8.2


I followed the OpenCore Post-Install guide for Updating OpenCore to update OpenCore from 0.8.1 to 0.8.2.
  • I replaced these OpenCore files with the latest versions:
    • BOOT/BOOTx64.efi
    • OC/OpenCore.efi
    • OC/Drivers/OpenCanopy.efi
    • OC/Drivers/OpenRuntime.efi
    • OC/Drivers/ResetNvramEntry.efi
  • I didn't need to make any changes to my config.plist.

I also updated kexts to the latest versions:
  • AppleALC.kext: 1.7.2 -> 1.7.3
  • Lilu.kext: 1.6.0 -> 1.6.1
  • VirtualSMC.kext (including SMCProcessor.kext and SMCSuperIO.kext): 1.2.9 -> 1.3.0
  • WhateverGreen.kext: 1.5.9 -> 1.6.0

My latest EFI folder is attached for reference.
 

Attachments

  • Update 10 EFI.zip
    5.4 MB · Views: 44
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
262
Motherboard
ASUS Prime Z490-A
CPU
i7-10070K
Graphics
RX 6600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Color Classic
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS

Update 11: NVMe SSD Upgrade for macOS

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Background

I’ve been planning to upgrade both of my Samsung EVO 860 SATA SSDs to NVMe SSDs since my original build. I recently upgraded to a WD_BLACK SN750 1TB NVMe SSD with Heatsink for Windows.

I had planned to get an SN750 or SN770 2TB without a heatsink for macOS (the M.2_1 slot on my motherboard has a heatsink), but I ended up getting an SN850 2TB SSD without a Heatsink (Amazon | Newegg) on sale for cheaper than those lower-end models. Note that the full speeds advertised for this drive are not achievable with a Comet Lake CPU and motherboard, which only support PCIe 3.0, not PCIe 4.0.

These are the steps I followed to get everything set up on the new drive (they’re very similar to the steps I followed when I upgraded my Windows SSD):

NVMeFix Kext

  1. Download NVMeFix.kext v1.0.8 (v1.1.0 and v1.0.9 caused kernel panics for me).
  2. Add NVMeFix.kext to EFI/OC/Kexts.
  3. Open config.plist in ProperTree.
    1. Go to File/OC Snapshot.
    2. Select your EFI/OC folder and click Choose.
    3. Save and close config.plist.
  4. Reboot to make sure there are no issues.

Installation & Cloning

Installation

  1. Shut down and unplug the computer.
  2. Remove the graphics card because it was covering the M.2_1 slot (I had to use a spudger to press the release lever for the PCIe slot because I couldn’t reach my hand between the graphics card and the CPU cooler to press it).
  3. Follow the motherboard manual’s instructions to remove the M.2 heatsink and install the SN850 SSD into the M.2_1 slot with the M.2 standoff and screw included with the motherboard (see section 2.1.4 M.2 Installation in the manual).

Configure BIOS M.2 settings

  1. Plug in and turn on the computer again.
  2. Press Delete or F2 to enter BIOS.
  3. Press F7 or click Advanced in the bottom right corner to enter Advanced Mode.
  4. Go to the Advanced\Onboard Devices Configuration menu.
  5. Set M.2_1 Configuration to PCIE.
  6. Go to the Exit menu.
  7. Select Save Changes & Reset and press Enter.
BIOS M.2_1.png


Format the SSD

I created two volumes on the disk. One was a clone of my old macOS SDD that I will keep under 500GB so that I can keep a backup clone of it on a 500GB external drive. The second volume was for the data I stored on my old HDD.
  1. Open Disk Utility.
  2. Select the SN850 in the left column.
  3. Click the Erase button.
  4. Give the disk a name.
  5. For Format, choose APFS.
  6. For Scheme, choose GUID Partition Map.
  7. Click Erase and then Done.
  8. (Optional) Add a second volume to the disk for additional storage separate from macOS
    1. Select the Container disk in the left column.
    2. Click the Add (+) Volume button.
    3. Give the volume a name.
    4. For Format, choose APFS.
    5. Click Add.

Clone macOS drive to the first volume on the new drive

I used SuperDuper! for cloning my old macOS boot drive to the first volume on the SN850, but you can also use Carbon Copy Cloner.

Copy data from HDD to the second volume

I couldn’t clone the old HDD to the second volume on the SN850 because the formats were different. The HDD was Mac OS Extended (Journaled), and the volume on the SN850 was APFS. I had to manually copy the contents of the HDD to the SN850 volume in Finder.

Disconnect the old SSD

  1. Shut down and unplug the computer.
  2. Disconnect the SATA and power cables from the old Windows SSD. I left the SSD mounted in the case to potentially use for additional storage in the future. You can rem
  3. Plug in and turn on the computer again.

Fixing Boot Order, OpenCore GUI, and Startup Disk

I had the same issues with boot order, the OpenCore GUI, and the default startup disk that I had when I upgraded to an NVMe SSD for Windows.

Fix boot order in BIOS

After turning on my computer, it was defaulting to booting from my new Windows drive instead of my macOS drive, so I changed it to my macOS drive.
  1. Turn on the computer and press Delete or F2 to enter BIOS.
  2. Press F7 or click Advanced in the bottom right corner to enter Advanced Mode.
  3. Go to the Boot menu.
  4. Set Boot Option #1 to the macOS drive.
  5. Go to the Exit menu.
  6. Select Save Changes & Reset and press Enter.

Reset NVRAM to fix OpenCore GUI issue

After restarting, when I got to the OpenCore Picker, the GUI did not load, and the resolution was so low that the list of drives barely fit on the screen. I’m not sure what happened, but remembering that an NVRAM reset is required to apply changes to the OC UI Scale, I thought (correctly) that an NVRAM reset might fix the issue.
  1. At the OC Picker, press Space and then select Reset NVRAM. The computer will reboot.

Fix boot order (again)

After resetting NVRAM, my computer defaulted to booting from my Windows drive again, so I had to change it to my macOS drive again.
  1. Go to the BIOS and set Boot Option #1 to the macOS drive again (see Fix boot order in BIOS above for detailed steps).

Set startup disk in macOS

At this point, the OC Picker was also defaulting to my Windows drive.
  1. If this happens to you, select your macOS drive and log in.
  2. Open System Preferences and select Startup Disk.
  3. Select your macOS disk and click Restart.
  4. The OC Picker should now default to your macOS drive.

Enable FileVault

Once I had copied all my data to the new drive and sorted out those issues, I could enable FileVault for the new drive.
  1. Open System Preferences.
  2. Click on Security & Privacy.
  3. Click on the FileVault tab.
  4. Click Turn On FileVault.

Impressions and Benchmarking

Impressions

I knew I couldn’t get the full advertised speeds for this drive, but I thought the speeds would be closer to 3,400 MB/s like my SN750 for Windows. That said, the difference between 3,000 and 3,400 MB/s probably isn’t noticeable in everyday use.

For what it’s worth, the startup time from the motherboard logo to the macOS login screen is only 17 seconds (it was 23 seconds with the old SSD). Logging in and launching all my apps is also much, much faster (I didn’t time it).


Blackmagic Disk Speed Test Benchmarks


WD_BLACK SN850
Blackmagic SN850 5GB.png


OLD Samsung 860 EVO
Blackmagic EVO 860 5GB TRIM Enabled.png



My latest EFI folder is attached for reference.
 

Attachments

  • Update 11 EFI - NVMe macOS.zip
    5.4 MB · Views: 24
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
4
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z490 - A
CPU
i7 10700k
Graphics
Intel UHD 630
Hi, I followed this build almost to a tee, while referencing shilohs as well as cross referencing the Dortania guide and I've found myself at an impasse! The biggest difference is I do not have a dGPU yet. For storage, I do not have an HDD just both Nvme drives. and I am using HDMI to connect to my monitor.

I was able to install straight to Monterey. However I had to cheese the GPU settings by adding -igfxvesa to the boot_args.

Without this boot arg config I can't boot the MacOS

Do you know why this could be?

I followed the settings for using iGPU instead of dGPU.

I was able to get pretty far quickly with this build though!!! I just seem to be stuck now.
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
262
Motherboard
ASUS Prime Z490-A
CPU
i7-10070K
Graphics
RX 6600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Color Classic
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi, I followed this build almost to a tee, while referencing shilohs as well as cross referencing the Dortania guide and I've found myself at an impasse! The biggest difference is I do not have a dGPU yet. For storage, I do not have an HDD just both Nvme drives. and I am using HDMI to connect to my monitor.

I was able to install straight to Monterey. However I had to cheese the GPU settings by adding -igfxvesa to the boot_args.

Without this boot arg config I can't boot the MacOS

Do you know why this could be?

I followed the settings for using iGPU instead of dGPU.

I was able to get pretty far quickly with this build though!!! I just seem to be stuck now.
Can you upload your EFI folder for me to take a look at?

What versions of macOS and OpenCore are you using?
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
4
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z490 - A
CPU
i7 10700k
Graphics
Intel UHD 630
Of course!
I've attached it.
I'm willing to admit it could be something embarrassing as this is my first hack.

Thank you for taking a look.

macOS Monterey 12.5
Open Core 0.7.6 (I think I just pulled this version from your USB Installer EFI -- I tried to copy this build as much as possible within reason to me.)
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
262
Motherboard
ASUS Prime Z490-A
CPU
i7-10070K
Graphics
RX 6600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Color Classic
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Of course!
I've attached it.
I'm willing to admit it could be something embarrassing as this is my first hack.

Thank you for taking a look.

macOS Monterey 12.5
Open Core 0.7.6 (I think I just pulled this version from your USB Installer EFI -- I tried to copy this build as much as possible within reason to me.)

Things that look good and can probably be ruled out as causes of your issues:​

  • AAPL,ig-platform-id looks like it's set correctly for an iGPU.
  • You're using e1000=0, the correct ethernet boot-arg for Monterey.
  • You're using NVMeFix.kext v1.0.8, which is the latest version that didn't cause kernel panics for me.

Potential Issues​

XhciPortLimit should only be used in combination with USBInjectAll.kext to map your USB ports. However, XhciPortLimit is broken in macOS 11.3+ resulting in boot loops. This is most likely the reason you can't boot. I see that you're using my USBMap.kext, so you can set XhciPortLimit to False. If you want to use different USB ports than me, you can manually edit the USBMap.kext.

DisableIoMapper only needs to be set to True if you haven't disabled VT-d in BIOS. I disabled VT-d in BIOS under Advanced\System Agent (SA) Configuration and set DisableIoMapper in my config.plist to False.

SecureBootModel should be set to Default for Monterey. It's no longer necessary to set it to j185.

You aren't using the latest versions of these kexts, so you can try updating them. That said, I had no issues with the older versions you're using.
  • AppleALC.kext
  • Lilu.kext
  • SMCProcessor.kext
  • SMCSuperIO.kext
  • VirtualSMC.kext
  • WhateverGreen.kext
If you still can't boot without the -igfxvesa boot-arg after making the changes I recommended above, I would check out the Intel iGPU Patching page of the OC Post-Install guide.

Side note on PlatformInfo​

When you upload your EFI folder, it's best to remove your MLB, ROM, SystemSerialNumber, and SystemUUID because you don't want anyone using the same numbers as you.
 
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
4
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z490 - A
CPU
i7 10700k
Graphics
Intel UHD 630
Gobias!
Thank you so much for the thorough evaluation!
Reposting EFI without such platform info in case this example is helpful for anyone ;-/
 

Attachments

  • EFI.zip
    3.8 MB · Views: 22
Joined
Aug 14, 2022
Messages
4
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z490 - A
CPU
i7 10700k
Graphics
Intel UHD 630
If you still can't boot without the -igfxvesa boot-arg after making the changes I recommended above, I would check out the Intel iGPU Patching page of the OC Post-Install guide.
Figured it out. To boot I just needed to add a device-id in the Device-Properties 00009BC8 matched my Intel Graphics UHD 630
 
Joined
Dec 6, 2013
Messages
262
Motherboard
ASUS Prime Z490-A
CPU
i7-10070K
Graphics
RX 6600
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Color Classic
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Figured it out. To boot I just needed to add a device-id in the Device-Properties 00009BC8 matched my Intel Graphics UHD 630
Awesome! I'm glad you figured it out. I'll add a note about this to my guide for others that want to use the iGPU.
 
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