HackPro [case mod] Asus Maximus Gene VIII

Discussion in 'Mac Pro Mods' started by Jiojimbo, Nov 9, 2016.

  1. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:27 AM #1
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS

    Overview:

    I had a Mac Pro 2008 for many years as my faithfull companion , but as it began to grew older, i saw the need to upgrade the system, back in 2013 i was decided to make a change so i faced my choices: 1) get the rubber expensive trash can macpro with almost no internal expansion capability (as you can see im running 7 drives on this build) 2) get the max ram amount posable, and maybe a new gpu and ssd trying to extend the lifespan of my Mac Pro a few moe years or 3) for that same amount of money build my own computer
    I took the last option and i came out with this build : [Almost] Out Of The Box
    Everything was new to me, from building a Pc to get it running OSX. Thanks to to This lovely community i was able to get it up an running. (special thanks to stork, wolfie8, dawsman, and a few others that show interest on helping me fine tune my build)
    Then again when I felt the need for an upgrade, the trash can came to mind again, but im not really interested on a machine that ask for a lot of (expensive) external attachments to achieve what i already had both in my mac pro and my hackistosh. I have some mixed feelings about apple: I do love their devices and mostly their OS (well at least until mavericks an those phone-like OS’s) but im pretty disappointed on how they seem to have forgotten they “prosumer” line of customers that trusted their hardware/software for completing work tasks fro so many years. Also I cannot help to feel annoyed about the “programmed obsolescence “ that appears to be on the top of their production policies.

    Finally, the strongest motivation was to recover a little bit of what i used to love form my Mac Pro: a computer that I could take components in and out, thus recovering some of the ownership of our machines that we have lost to soldered memories, glued displays and proprietary screws on apple hardware. To Mod that case and make a CustoMac out of it seemed like the “ultimate hack “ to me.
    This machine will be used mostly for graphic design and general tasks associated with the art department for movie making
    Procedure:
    As with my former build I tried to pick as most of already tested component as possible (except for the kingston m.2 ssd, more on that later) that way I could use the resources and experience collected from other members of the community.
    For the case mod i also made profit from all the people that had success in the past on this mod, especially Aquamac, Neilhart and Mooner’s.

    Hardware Choices :
    Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K. As fast as possible, unlocked for overclock
    Memory : 2x DDR4 GSKILL TRIDENT Z 2X16GB 3000MHZ. The fastest i could get at the build time… killer looks!
    Mobo: ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII GENE . Needed an mATX, to fit it in he case more easily. Full of features, killer looks and most important i wanted a decent fan control to fine tune my airflow for overclocking.
    GPU: Evga GeForce 970 ssc Acx 2.0 .I’m Also on the wait list for Pascal Drivers ,I decided not to go for the appealing 1080 , and i got a somehow cheap 970 while we wait for NVDIA to release mac drivers. I didn’t realise the lack of a backplate on it, but i solved the issue making one myself.
    Cpu Cooler Thermaltake Water 2.0 PRO . No air cooling for a traveling machine. More on this Bellow
    PSU: Thermaltake Smart Standard 650W needed a non-modular PSU in order to gut it and fit it on the original enclosure
    WIFI/ Bluetooh: Apple Broadcom BCM94360CD with premade adapter
    Storage
    Boot Drive: Kingston Digital HyperX Predator 480 GB . M.2 flavor. This was a tuff one. I really wanted to go with samsung pro 950, bunt wasn’t available on my country and fate wanted me to get two kingston 480 ssd’s almost for free. I saw the specs and they’re AHCI so i supposed I was fine… maybe was a mistake I’m not yet sure on this one
    Scratch Drive:Kingston Digital HyperX Predator 480 GB PCIE Flavor
    Boot Dirve Backup Disk: Crucial M4 512gb
    Time Machine drive: WD Green 6TB
    Files Drive: Western Digital Caviar Green 2 TB
    Proyects dirve: 3tb Seagate
    Windows drive: Corsair Neutron Series 128GB
    Optical Drive: Asus Blue ray burner
    Newer Technology AdaptaDrive 2.5 to 3.5 Inch Drive Converter Bracket
    Transport: Pelican Storm Case iM2875
    Case Fans: Noctua NF-F12 insudtrial 2000 pwm
    CPU cooler fans: Enermax TwisterPressure UCTP12P
    Firewire card: Startech PEX1394B3
    Displays: 2x Dell UP2716D 27"
    Sound: Dell AC511 USB Wired SoundBar
    Apple Wireless Magic Trackpad
    Apple Wireless Keyboard with Bluetooth
    Wacom Intuos Pro Pen M

    Mod Specific Hardware:
    Laser Hive Macpro matx 120 kit. No time or resources to make my own
    MaxConnect SAS/SATA Link with MiniSAS- 4x SATA Cable for Mac Pro 2006/ 2007/ 2008. Proven solution for connecting the original data harness
    Front I/O Panel: Lian Li PW-IS20AV65AT0
    Custom made aluminium plates. For from I/O, GPU backplate, ssd heatsink, and cable management

    Software Installation
    I decided to stick with El Capitan until i got all my issues solved and a fully working machine. No need for unknown bugs and fixes until I get this one right.
    I follow pretty much Tony’s guide for el Capitan aswell as Storks gene build but mostly Pastrychef’s build as we run almost the same hardware Refer to their post for settings , the only thing i skipped was the NVMe ssd patch, as im running on an AHCI m.2 drive
    Bios Settings
    Extreme Tweeker
    AI Overclocker Tuner > X.M.P.
    Extreme Tweeking > Enable
    Advanced Items
    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
    Graphics Configuration > Primary Display PEG (did dis once the system was up, installed with igfx)
    Boot Menu
    Fast Boot > Disabled
    Boot Logo Display > Disabled
    Secure Boot > OS Type > Other OS
    Installed Nvida web drivers
    Used Clover Configurator to set “nvda_drv=1”
    Then as per Stork I Installed Rehab Man’s Codec Commander
    I updated to Ox 10.11.6 via App Store
    Post Installation
    as Pastrychef did, i used the Asus AI Suite and it overclocked my CPU to 4.7GHz Wow! that was easy!
    I generate a ssdt for better power management following Tony’s Guide and Piker-Alpha’s directly from github I used ./ssdtPRGen.sh -turbo 4700 to customise it for my overclock. I have not HW Monitor Working, but Intel Power Gadget Is showing states going from 9 to 4.7 Ghz according to the workload , so i assume power management is working properly.
    [note: when using Imac 14,2 Sys Def I got an error stating that (obviously) that machine does not support skylake CPU, for the moment im ignoring that fact]
    I followed this guide to fix iMessage and worked
    I have been switching SMBIOS from Imac 17,1 as it matches my hardware and the recommended Imac 14, 2 in an effort to get HW sensors and sleep working. I found 14,2 to more stable and no need for the black screen patch
    But so far my hw sensors aswell as my sleep are not working. I describe the situation of the HW here.
    Issues:
    I need further test to see if i can solve the sleep issue. Have been playing with the pmset settings, graphics injection and BIOS settings and no luck so far.
    Edit:
    I followed pastrycheff's suggestion to fix my sleep by removing my broadcom card and didn't work. I stumbled upon this thread, and following Yoga's suggestions I enabled Erp on BIOS and fixshutdown in clover configurator and now my sleep works perfect! except when i'm running google chrome (apparently a common issue) solved by switching back to firefox.

    Really worried about the HW sensors / monitor not working, as its crucial to a healthy overclock (even more on a case mod!)
    I'm experiencing random failure on my front USB3 ports , sometimes they work sometimes just if the device (i.e usb flash memory) are connected from boot. Im using USBInjectAll and GenericUSBXHCI from multibeast.

    What works
    USB 3 (mostly )
    Audio
    Wifi
    Bluetooth
    Messages
    Discrete GPU
    power management
    Stable overclock 4.7 ghz.
    Sleep!
    What don't work
    HW sensors/monitor
    Random USB problems (maybe is the 15-limit and the inject usb kext bug)




     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
  2. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:27 AM #2
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    PSU
    I wanted to put a sfx factor PSU to avoid modding a propablly dangereous PCB so i got a Silverstone SX-700 but he position of hte power outlet made not possible to retain the original aple connector,so I mastered my fear for electric shocks and decided to go with the “full mod way” taking the original apple enclousre and fitting a new one in there. The donor was a Thermaltake Smart Standard 650W for 3 reason: i dint want to mess with a modular PSU PCB, It has a lot of space in the back to rig the power intake and has flat wires, that i wanted for cable management.
    So i gutted both PSU's, y cutted the thermaltake casing leaving just the botttom plate with the standoffs, then i made some holes on it to match the apple standoffs. I solder the filters and original apple connector to it. My original try result on having no cleareance between the psu components and the apple power outlet, so y remade the holes until y got it right. As per my paranoia I cover all possible touching part with kapton tape, just in case. I replaced the Dalta fan with a Noctua PWM controlled by the mobo.At the end I got everything in place on the apple enclousure and retained the ability to take it in and out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  3. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:28 AM #3
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    CPU COOLER
    Cpu Cooler: As I work a lot with Illustrator, i wanted to have the faster clock speed possible , thus involving a heavy overclock. As the speed increases , so does the cpu temperature, which called for a proper aftermarket CPU cooler. From the beginning I decided against an air cooler just because this machine will travel a lot and to have a kilo of aluminium and copper hanging from my mobo wich its attached to a makeshift backplate doesn’t sound like a good idea. So water it is.
    This case was intended to have some enormous heatsinks to cool the processors, and most of the case mods succeed on have both function and looks by using nocutas or similar air coolers, so to place a big end water cooler was a challenge.No room for pumps or big loops so i decided for an AIO water cooler . My first choice was alpha cool’s eisberg system but i was affraid of not having enough space to fit the radiator. I wanted to use it as intake to supply as much fresh air as possible, and take advantage of the airflow design of the case to separate the hot air coming out of the radiator from the cpu and other components .
    I had a thermaltake water pro 2.0 120 that i removed from my previous build twhen I upgraded to a 240 cooler master nepton. Despite being a 120 radiator its 46 thickens makes to a very good cooler, so i fitted it into the lower front fan assembly. It was a very tight fit: in order to have clearance from the fan assembly, and to gain some pressure i used and old fan frame as a shroud in the following configuration from the front of the case: push fan—>Rubber gasket—>Fan assembly—>Rubber Gasket—>empty fan frame(shroud)—>rubber gasket—>Radiator—>Rubber Gasket—>pull fan. At the end i came up with a pretty solid rig. It was very hard to get into the case, sliding the fan a assembly into the speaker assembly i even chipped a corner a little bit. The fact is that i could ft a larger radiator, but then i cannot put it into the case if I want to retain the speaker assembly.
    For fans i went with Enermax Hig Pressure,as i had read some reviews on good airflow with low noise. So far they’re working well but i may revert to my trusted noctuas to gain 200 rpm as i can’t notice a real noise difference and im sure of the high static pressure of my industrial ppm nocutas.
    So long its doing good, im seeing temps of 26-30 idle and hitting mid 70`s with load on a 4.7 overclock. I consider this as beta stage , and haven’t abandoned the alphacool idea, because when i run prime 95 i have seen temps getting into 90 degrees and i really don’t like that, but for everyday use it seems right for now.
    I modified the processor cage/memory cage in order to make a "wind tunnel" dragging hot air from the radiator to the exhaust fan on the back of the case, in the hope of keeping hot air away of the gpu. Apparently it a succes.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  4. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:29 AM #4
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    CABLE MANAGEMENT
    Being a somehow small case and with a specific cable routing scheme, management its a challenge. Not been able to remove both side panels was also difficult. For starters I had to enlarge the holes connecting the PSU section with the optical drive bay in order the get the 24.pin atx conector thru. I added some u-trim, because the sharpen edges where making some damages on the cables.I tryied some different layouts and I attached an unused sata power cable to the back pf the PSU befor putting it in place in order to educe the bulk inside the case. I had to put extensions on the ATX 24 pin, 8 pin and PCIE cables (wich i attached to my custom gpu backlate). I routed the front I/O cables thru the bottom of the case and underneath the mobo.
    To finish the look an restrain the large amount of cables I had laser-cut two aluminium plates to cover them up, keep them in place and out of the way of my airflow.I made them to align into the existing standoff, leaving the top right free for the fan assembly mount screw



     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  5. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:30 AM #5
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    STORAGE
    For storage I retained the original SATA harness and sled's using the proven MaxConnect SAS/SATA Link as others have done to get the data and i rigged the power connection to two molex connectors following the pinuot as described by Mooner and Neilhart. Was one on my main concerns, but it turned out pretty straight forward. I got a ssd adapter for one of the sleds. I also mounted another ssd on a metal base and sticked it on top of the optical bay , so i could allow a higher amount of airflow to the PSU. So I got 4 drives on the original mount, 1 ssd on the optical bay, 1 m.2 ssd on the mobo connector and another ssd m.2 on the pcie adaptor. pretty happy with the outcome.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  6. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 5:30 AM #6
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    FRONT I/O PANEL AND SD CARD READER
    I had ordered a custom front panel from David at Laser Hive, but due to a misunderstanding the outcome didn't worked for me, so i decided to redo it from scratch, got a lian li panel and made a custom plate on a laser cutter. I stumble upon this thread on an sd card reader and i think i was a great idea given that we download a lot of cards daily, so i decided to give it a try. So I modified my original design and included an Imac 21" internal card reader , soldered the wires to an usb header and plugged into the mobo, working perfect and fully recognized on system profiler.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2016
  7. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 2:45 PM #7
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    GPU BACKLATE AND SSD HEATSINK [coming soon]
     
  8. Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Nov 9, 2016 at 7:37 PM #8
    Jiojimbo

    Jiojimbo

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2013
    Messages:
    106
    Motherboard:
    ASUS MAXIMUS GENE VIII
    CPU:
    Intel i7-6770K
    Graphics:
    EVGA Nvidia Gtx 970 ssc
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Classic Mac:
    PowerBook
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    GPU BACKPLATE AND SSD HEATSINK

    I have a EVGA GTX 770 SSC, while awaiting for the Pascal drivers in order to get a 1080. In the past, I have noticed some bending on the PCIe slots due to the weight of the GPU cards. I wanted to put some kind of stand underneath the card to support it, an to do that i needed a backplate. That and the hope to use it as a heatsink lead me to make my own. After (lots) of trials, I got the template right, and I send it to the laser cutter. While I was tracing it, I decided to add .5 cm at the left with some (tiny) holes to attach the PCIe power cables. It turned to be a good idea, as I can secure all the cables with zipties to the Backplate , achieving good cable management, leaving the card exposed to airflow, with no obstructions to the heat pipes nor the fans. Overall it looks pretty nice, apart from the ugly (and overkill) thermal pads that I added in my short-circuit paranoia. I then cut a piece of hard rubber and stuck it to the top of my "wind tunnel" in order to carry the weight of the card and prevent movement. Also, I use a PCIe of thick foam to fill the gaps and secure the PCIe while moving while transported in the Pellican case. This, plus the Apple designed sevures and latches prevent any component to move. So far, I have transported it 6 times and everything still in place and working. I also got some little plates to use as heatsink on the M.2 SSD, as its buried on the bottom of the motherboard underneath the GPU. I put a layer or isolating Kapton tape and thermal pads, and attached to the SSD (if I had h/w sensors working, I could benchmark the heat exchange improvement).
     

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