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[Guide] El Capitan onto Skylake mini-ITX ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming w i7-6700T (35w) GTX 760 SM951 AHCI

neilhart

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Edit 01/22/2017 - Please note that this thread is over a year old. I have moved on to 10.12.2 and I suggest that you do too.

ITX - ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming - i7-6700T - SM 951 AHCI - GTX 760 ITX - Clover - El Capitan




BOM:

ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming (source Amazon)
Intel i7-6700T (source EBay - Italy)
Dynatron K129 Copper Heatsink (source Amazon)
Prolimatech Ultra Sleek Vortex 140mm z 15mm PMW fan (source Amazon)
Samsung SM951 AHCI 256GB (source Central Computers)
HGST Travelstar iTB 7K1000 (2.5” 7200 RPM) (source Central Computers)
MSI GTX 760 ITX (owned - original source Amazon)
Gskill F4-2133C15D 16GB DDR4 (2x8GB) (source Amazon)
PSU SFF 300W POWER MAN IP-P300BN1-0
Case - custom scratch build.


Intro:
Initially I was frustrated with OS X 10.11 as almost nothing worked in late October of last year. However much has changed and now OS X 10.11.3 runs well when installed using TonymacX86.com UniBeast and MultiBeast along with Skylake specific tweaks.

My view of the world is that desktop workstations do not need “Sleep” nor do they need Messages so I do not work to test/install either.

The following is a short guide to installing El Capitan 10.11.3 onto the ASUS Mini-ITX motherboard. This guide was developed using 10.11.2 which works as well.

Downloads: (get these files to a folder on the desktop)

Goto http://www.tonymacx86.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=3 and get MultiBeast - El Capitan 8.0.1
and UniBeast 6.1.1

Goto this download area: http://www.tonymacx86.com/downloads.php?do=cat&id=11 and get IntelMausiEthernet and FakeSMC kexts.

Goto this download area: https://github.com/RehabMan/OS-X-USB-Inject-All and get RehabMan’s USBinjectAll kext.

Goto ammulder’s [Guide] El Capitan on Skylake H170N-Wifi: http://www.tonymacx86.com/el-capitan-desktop-guides/178197-guide-el-capitan-skylake-h170n-wifi.html and download the SSDT-Realtech-Audio.aml

Copy the attachment config.plist to your desktop folder.

OS X Installation:

The intent here is to install 10.11.3 and not re-invent any guides, so I will point to the guide and section as we install.

The primary guide is Tony’s located here: http://www.tonymacx86.com/el-capita...-el-capitan-any-supported-intel-based-pc.html

Follow the “Before You Begin” as needed. I assume that you do not have OS X running on the ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming but you may have a Window installation. Backup that installation (or remove that drive and sit it aside); either way make sure that you can recover should the installation go bad for some reason.

Follow Step 1: Download OS X El Capitan
Note at the end of the download, close the open installer window (assumes that it is open which was not the case when downloading 10.11.3 just now).

Using a 16 GB USB flash drive, follow STEP 2: Create a Bootable USB Drive with UniBeast

Follow the instructions to partition the USB (sub steps 1 through 10)

Follow the instructions for UniBeast. (sub steps 11 through 17.
Here we select the UBS device.
Then select El Capitan.
Then UEFI Boot Mode.

Sub step 16 - There is a choice for “Intel HD 3000, Inject ATI, and Inject NVIDIA”, leave these uh-checked unless you are using an ATI card or Nvidia GPU that matches the descriptive paragraphs. The GTX 760 that I am using does not need the “Inject NVIDIA”.

The UniBeast process takes a long time on my machines… I go have a cup of coffee.

Then once completed, copy MultiBeast onto the USB.

Note at this point you also have a USB EFI partition on your desktop.

We do need to mod the contents of the EFI folder. So open the folder, click on EFI and then click on Clover. Move the config.plist to the trash (delete it). Copy the attached config.plist to the Clover folder (this config.plist has the patches needed for Skylake to boot and no GPU injection).

Then still in the Clover folder, click on the Kexts folder and delete all of the numbers folders leaving only the “Other” folder. Click on the “Other” folder and drag the FakeSMC.kext, USBinjectAll.kext and IntelMausiEthernet.kext from your desktop folder.

Close the Kext folder and open the “patched” folder found in the “ACPI” folder. Drag the SSDT-Realtech-Audio.aml file from the desktop folder to the patched folder.

And this is what your open EFI folder should look like now:



Eject the USB device.

Okay you now have your OS X 10.11.3 USB Installer ready to use on the ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming.

Step 3: Recommended BIOS Settings;

BIOS: Note the BIOS version that I am using is # 0604 dated 10/23/2105.

14 BIOS capture screens follow which reflect my system setup.
















If you have the same BIOS version great. If not, I would proceed with what is currently on your system. I advise re-flashing the BIOS only for cause, not just to update because a newer one is available.

Step 4: Install OS X El Capitan:

Use the F8 key to bring up the boot device selection screen. Select the UEFI USB installer and press enter.

Follow the guide to install the OS.

At the desktop, before you reboot, go to System Preferences > Security & Privacy and click on the lock icon (lower left corner) and enter your password to un-lock this screen. Select “ Allow apps downloaded from: Anywhere” and enter you password at the prompt. Optional, I un-check “Require password” and “ Disable automatic login” as these are my personal preferences for my hacks.

Step 5: Post Installation with MultiBeast:

Follow the guide…
Select UEFI Boot Mode
Select ALC1150
At this point, you should be okay to skip to sub step 11 and have MultiBeast install the Clover boot loader to your boot drive and install the modded kext for the audio.

If you are using a Maxwell GPU, follow the instructions as needed for your GPU.

Eject the USB installer device and reboot your system.

You should now have a stable system with Ethernet and Audio working. It is up to you to fine tune the system to your tastes (desktop back ground, display preferences, Energy Saver (turn off sleep), Mouse, Sound (select internal speakers)… to name a few.

Please do not use MultiBeast to install FakeSMC with Hardware Monitor and sensor plug-ins. These are not compatible with Skylake and will cause your system to hang during boot.

And as usual, make a clone backup before adding tweaks so that you can recover without having to reinstall. I use SuperDuper! for cloning.

If you want HWMonitor and Intel Power Gadget, then follow this thread: http://www.tonymacx86.com/desktop-c...ead-skylake-platform-os-x-28.html#post1158806 and see post # 273 and # 275.


Enjoy.

AGAIN… Please thank TonyMacX86.com for these great utilities and the support forum; this hack would not have been possible without the TonyMacX86 team.

Note: For this installation description I used a 100 GB 2.5” hard disk and had set aside the Samsung SM951 (m.2 AHCI solid state drive) and the 1TB Travelstar drive. While I installed Window 10 early on to confirm functional hardware, I do not dual boot and I leave it up to the user to find support for dual booting and Windows.


Good modding
neil
 

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Neil, thanks for a really focused and thorough log for installing OSX 10.11.X on a Skylake system.

I generally like the ATX form factor. Is it safe to assume that the install process would be similar on another ASUS 170 board unless it uses a different Ethernet controller, for example?

Best' NZRichard
 

neilhart

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Neil, thanks for a really focused and thorough log for installing OSX 10.11.X on a Skylake system.

I generally like the ATX form factor. Is it safe to assume that the install process would be similar on another ASUS 170 board unless it uses a different Ethernet controller, for example?

Best' NZRichard
Yes I would think the install would be very similar if not identical. My second Skylake system has a Gigabyte motherboard and that install is nearly identical with exception of the Ethernet kext.


Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
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Many thanks for writing that out, I think the ASUS Z170I Pro Gaming will be the choice of a lot of people for smaller builds, who want to "non-k overclock" non-K series Skylake CPUs, and for homemade case designs like your excellent works. Great job. :)
 

neilhart

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Yes this motherboard is attractive and well featured. Of interest is the M.2 socket being on the back side of the MB; much better then being buried down between PCIe slots on the front side IMHO.

The case has a port for access to the M.2 socket.

And I choose the I7-6700T for the low power foot print which greatly lowers the task of system cooling.

Here are a couple captures:





Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
GA-Z77MX-D3H-TH
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i5 3570K
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VTX3D 7870 Tahiti (7950 variant; needs Aji in Clover config.plist or black screen.)
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Thanks! A bit of a preamble and invitation to suggest memory and PSU, then some thoughts about a - hopefully - quiet case design!

Amazon were having a have £10 off thank you code, so I took the plunge on what was already not a bad price. Bit dismayed to find that my Amazon Prime delivery is expedited, seems to be coming from overseas though. I managed to get a good deal on an Intel i5 6600 which I want to overclock. Digitalfoundry got an i5 6500 running stably at 4.5GHz, so hopefully I will be able to reach around that, too. Now I have to figure out what memory to get and what PSU. Faster memory seems to make quite a big difference in games, with Skylake. I am considering Corsair Vengeance 3000 CL15 but am open to suggestions. Apparently much past 3200, you don't see a significant improvement. The PSU, I am not sure about. The graphics card is an MSI GTX 670, one of their Twin Frozr models, so hopefully it's quiet. I need the PSU to be quiet. I very much want this to be a quiet build. In my present computer, I have a Tahiti VTX 7870, which apparently is a crippled 7950 rather than 7870. Under load it is frustratingly load, as is my 2010 27" iMac when using it as a screen when gaming (am wondering if I remove the iMac's optical drive, widen the slit and replace the optical drive with a slot fan to either expel heat or draw cold air onto heat sink above).

Have you much experience of riser cables? I will need to have the graphics card parallel to the back of the motherboard, ideally, I'm just not sure about the reliability of riser cables, re maximum length and whether budget cables, if they exist, are worth the risk. I will need to investigate low profile CPU coolers. Apparently the i5 6500 doesn't run very hot when overclocked, so hopefully it's the same with the 6600 and I won't have to spend too much on the cooler. The case is in the design phase but I want the components mounted vertically, with an intake fan at the bottom and an out fan at the top, both large and slow spinning. Is there a cheap equivalent of Mechano? The parts will be assembled in a frame and the case will slip over it. Airflow wise, I would like to make a smaller variation of this case:-

[video=youtube;vHoqYBZMc_c]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHoqYBZMc_c[/video]​

Though people have been attaching CPU coolers to graphics cards for donkeys years, I like the way he has mounted it to the case and I like what he has done with the PSU. Though I don't plan to incorporate either feature, the vertical mounting and the fans mounted to toweling do appeal.
 

neilhart

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I have played with cable PCIe extenders and have had mixed results. In short, some motherboards and GPU card tolerate using a cable PCIe riser and others just do not. In my experiencee, it makes the system un-reliable and you may encounter all sorts of strange behavior. Some risers have more shielding which may help although again I could not tell much difference.

The best experience with risers that I have had is with the PCB type and I am using one on my current workstation ( see http://www.tonymacx86.com/retail-ca...-w-m-2-xp941-booting-os-x-via-clover-xw1.html ) Also the ASRock M8 system used a riser card and that one was a great hack.

On the subject system, the custom case is seen exploded here:



and another photo showing the light pipes and access window:



Of interest is the Dynatron K129 Copper Heatsink and the Prolimatech 140mm fan. This fan runs very quietly and the system under normal loads is next to silent. I have the fan spaced about 2 inches above the cooler blowing down on it. You can see it here in this photo (where I am re-pinning the 24 pin power connector.



Again, the key in my mind is CPU selection… low power high performance CPUs are much easier to design cases for then high power CPUs… I am rapidly becoming a fan of the Intel “T” version CPUs and I am looking a an i5-4570T for an upcoming mini-ITX thin build.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
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VTX3D 7870 Tahiti (7950 variant; needs Aji in Clover config.plist or black screen.)
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iMac, Mac mini
Disappointing to hear about the riser cables but much as I expected having read other peoples comments about them, over the years, thanks. Thank you for such detailed build logs! I hope it was as much fun to build as to read about it. For the case(s) that I have been trying to design, I was thinking about using a Noctua intake fan at the bottom and one at the top but have to remind myself that there are other brands! It sounds like the 6700T was a great choice, low power draw, fairly quiet/cool running. I am looking forward to future Skylake CPUs with better graphics, not least new NUCs with non U-series CPUs with better graphics, and the long overdue 5 x 5 motherboards! An exciting future!

What did you think of Matt's case design, in the video above? The towel part interested me the most, I'm thinking about lining the inside of a case with it, though if I soaked the toweling in some kind of fireproofing agent, I would be concerned about breathing in chemical dust from it! I have thought about using acoustically dead sheets of plasterboard to make a PC, towel-flocked on the inside and then ironing real wood veneer onto the outer panels, but then someone might mistake it for a weird loudspeaker enclosure! I love the work you put into these builds. It's very inspiring.
 

neilhart

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...

What did you think of Matt's case design,...
Matt's case is a statement and is unique. Rather the wrapping the hard drive, I would just use a larger SSD now that the prices are more reasonable. And I did enjoy his video.

Good modding,
neil
 
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Thanks for the guide, neil! I've been mulling mini-ITX (w/ wireless and m.2 on board) vs. micro-ATX for my next build with the m.2 SSD as one of my primary points of consideration. I've read that some boards withe m.2 slot built in can yield different (slower) speeds than when the stick is used with a PCIe adapter card. e.g., heat throttling due to being on the back of the MB? It looks like you're close to topping out the SM951 there, but was just wondering how those speeds might compare to your other builds where the SM951 might have been in the mix. Noticed any differences in performance?

Yes this motherboard is attractive and well featured. Of interest is the M.2 socket being on the back side of the MB; much better then being buried down between PCIe slots on the front side IMHO.

The case has a port for access to the M.2 socket.

And I choose the I7-6700T for the low power foot print which greatly lowers the task of system cooling.

Here are a couple captures:





Good modding,
neil
 
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