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How reliable is the CustoMac buyer's guide?

Joined
Jul 9, 2016
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As the question suggests, I'm curious to know whether the buyer's guide (http://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersguide/june/2016#Motherboards) can be trusted completely.
Can any component on the guide be used to assemble a hackintosh? I'm planning to build a PC (from scratch) which will dual boot Windows and OSX. The build is as follows:
Motherboard : Gigabyte GA-Z170-D3H
GPU : ASUS Strix GTX 970
RAM : Crucial 8GB DDR4x2
Storage : Samsung 750 EVO 120 GB + a cheap hdd
Case : Corsair Carbide 300R Series
PSU : Corsair CX 500
CPU : Intel i5 6600k
Cooler : Cooler Master Hyper 212x
Monitor : LG 24MP88HM
All the above components are on the buyer's list (link above). Will I run into any issues? I'd welcome any (constructive) criticism of my build and any tips in general (this is my first time building a PC). Thank you.
 
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Going Bald

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A few of things you should always doublecheck when putting together a hardware list, keeping in mind that the main items are the board/CPU/GPU.
Is the RAM chosen on the board OEM QVL list or is the board on the RAM OEM QVL tested list?
Is the PSU large enough to supply the system with room for expansion?
Will the GPU physically fit in the case you have chosen?
Given the physical size of the PSU you choose - will it fit in the case you have chosen?
If using the stock CPU cooler you know it will fit, but if you want/need a 3rd party cooler - given its physical size, will it fit in the case you have chosen? Does it interfere with the RAM heat sinks you have chosen, blocking RAM slots? Does it interfere with the GPU slot where you intend to mount your GPU?

The RAM in the Buyer's Guide has been used in enough builds by now to know it will probably work with any board.
The PSU size can be verified with any PSU load calculator - google for PSU size calculator and try as many as you want and see how they compare in their recommendations.

These questions are typical for any computer build and not restricted to a PC-Mac.
 
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
5
A few of things you should always doublecheck when putting together a hardware list, keeping in mind that the main items are the board/CPU/GPU.
Is the RAM chosen on the board OEM QVL list or is the board on the RAM OEM QVL tested list?
Is the PSU large enough to supply the system with room for expansion?
Will the GPU physically fit in the case you have chosen?
Given the physical size of the PSU you choose - will it fit in the case you have chosen?
If using the stock CPU cooler you know it will fit, but if you want/need a 3rd party cooler - given its physical size, will it fit in the case you have chosen? Does it interfere with the RAM heat sinks you have chosen, blocking RAM slots? Does it interfere with the GPU slot where you intend to mount your GPU?

The RAM in the Buyer's Guide has been used in enough builds by now to know it will probably work with any board.
The PSU size can be verified with any PSU load calculator - google for PSU size calculator and try as many as you want and see how they compare in their recommendations.

These questions are typical for any computer build and not restricted to a PC-Mac.

I have done some research, everything in my build should work. My question is: will it work as a hackintosh? (given that all the components are featured in the buyer's list). I cannot find a hackintosh build with the motherboard I plan to use, but it is the cheapest one on the list and I'd rather not buy a more expensive one unless I know that it won't work. Are all parts on the buyer's list confirmed to work in a hackintosh?
 
Last edited:

Going Bald

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Joined
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23,246
Motherboard
GA-X58A-UD7-F7
CPU
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Graphics
RX 580
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  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I have done some research, everything in my build should work. My question is: will it work as a hackintosh? (given that all the components are featured in the buyer's list). I cannot find a hackintosh build with the motherboard I plan to use, but it is the cheapest one on the list and I'd rather not buy a more expensive one unless I know that it won't work. Are all parts on the buyer's list confirmed to work in a hackintosh?
If it is in the Buyer's Guide list it is compatible with installing OS X and you should have little to no trouble with it.
 
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Motherboard
ASRock Z97 X4
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i5-4690k
Graphics
GTX950
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Classic
  2. SE
The ASRock H170m Pro4 doesn't have stellar reviews at Newegg. Did you read their user reviews, starting from the negative, and working your way up? Even the 5 star reviews are under 40%, and adding up the 4 & 5 star reviews you come up with 53%, so figure that you have a 50/50 chance of getting it working correctly right out of the box. (You have a 50/50 chances of having problems, too.) Have the latest BIOS updates fixed most of the old problems? idk. Just figure that you may experience SSD boot problems, just like any other mobo, but perhaps with a greater chance than other, better, mobos. If you desire to overclock the CPU - forget all about overclocking. If you want to overclock a slower processor to be as fast as the fastest stock processor, save yourself a lot of grief and just buy the faster processor.

What's a "cheap" HDD?, when you're also installing a cheap ($) SSD? Did you read the Newegg reviews on that SSD and see what problems other users have had, or are having? Lots of people have problems booting from SSDs, and once you format it you may need other tools (Linux and even Windows) to undo it (say, from changing from UEFI boot to UEFI-Legacy boot). If you will be dual booting it with Windows it is almost a certainty that you will have problems.

Can any suggestion guide be trusted completely? Probably not. But chances are that it is an all-around/average guide for most users. For example, I would never install a 32MB cached drive when I can install 64MB cached drives; I would never install 5400RPM drives when I can install 7200RPM drives, etc. Lots of times it's a matter of preferences, what the user knows will work better or what the user hopes will work better. You pays your money, you take your chances. If it's guarantees you want then buy a Mac from the Apple store.

Your success rate may be tied to how technically savvy you are. And if you are that technically savvy you should already have an idea of what will and may not work. You say,
Will it work as a Hackintosh? (given that all the components are featured in the buyer's list). I cannot find a Hackintosh build with the motherboard I plan to use, but it is the cheapest one on the list

If it's on the list then it is known to work. Or at least it is known to have worked. That's not to say that you won't have problems. It may have worked with Mavericks, it may have worked with Yosemite, it may even now work with El Capitan. That doesn't mean that it will work with Sierra. Or the OSX after that, or the OSX version after that. Just look at Apple's own record - Power PC CPUs were dropped, 32bit Intel procs were dropped, older MacPro 64bit Xeons were dropped, Sierra is dropping any machine older than 2009.

It's interesting that you can afford a GTX970 and yet you are willing to mate it with a slower processor, with less than the max memory, with slower SSDs and "cheap" HDDs. I'm not saying that you are wrong, mind you, just that it could be a better balanced system. Will you run into any issues? Probably. And your chances are as good as anybody else. Heck, I had problems and I've been a computer tech for over 40 years. But, no, I didn't have any hardware problems.

If you want to maximize your chances of a successful build you can start with the PSU, buy the fastest processor (and that is on the MAC ID list), install the max mem that the mobo can hold, stick with 64MB cached 7200RPM HDDs, use the stock Intel CPU fan, make sure that the computer case provides adequate air flow. Cheap mobos are easy enough to change out... (And at over $80 that isn't exactly a cheap mobo.) But, did you see where one LG 25UM65 reviewer on Amazon said "This is not mac compatible i tired my other split screen also from lg( works great with windows 7), it worked just as well with my mac book pro, it just says it in the description for mac users to buy this."? Is he right? Why did you choose such a wide screen? Have you seen what text looks like on such a screen?, what a video looks like on such a screen?, what a game looks like on such a screen? What is the res on that screen?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 9, 2016
Messages
5
The ASRock H170m Pro4 doesn't have stellar reviews at Newegg. Did you read their user reviews, starting from the negative, and working your way up? Even the 5 star reviews are under 40%, and adding up the 4 & 5 star reviews you come up with 53%, so figure that you have a 50/50 chance of getting it working correctly right out of the box. (You have a 50/50 chances of having problems, too.) Have the latest BIOS updates fixed most of the old problems? idk. Just figure that you may experience SSD boot problems, just like any other mobo, but perhaps with a greater chance than other, better, mobos. If you desire to overclock the CPU - forget all about overclocking. If you want to overclock a slower processor to be as fast as the fastest stock processor, save yourself a lot of grief and just buy the faster processor.

What's a "cheap" HDD?, when you're also installing a cheap ($) SSD? Did you read the Newegg reviews on that SSD and see what problems other users have had, or are having? Lots of people have problems booting from SSDs, and once you format it you may need other tools (Linux and even Windows) to undo it (say, from changing from UEFI boot to UEFI-Legacy boot). If you will be dual booting it with Windows it is almost a certainty that you will have problems.

Can any suggestion guide be trusted completely? Probably not. But chances are that it is an all-around/average guide for most users. For example, I would never install a 32MB cached drive when I can install 64MB cached drives; I would never install 5400RPM drives when I can install 7200RPM drives, etc. Lots of times it's a matter of preferences, what the user knows will work better or what the user hopes will work better. You pays your money, you take your chances. If it's guarantees you want then buy a Mac from the Apple store.

Your success rate may be tied to how technically savvy you are. And if you are that technically savvy you should already have an idea of what will and may not work. You say,


If it's on the list then it is known to work. Or at least it is known to have worked. That's not to say that you won't have problems. It may have worked with Mavericks, it may have worked with Yosemite, it may even now work with El Capitan. That doesn't mean that it will work with Sierra. Or the OSX after that, or the OSX version after that. Just look at Apple's own record - Power PC CPUs were dropped, 32bit Intel procs were dropped, older MacPro 64bit Xeons were dropped, Sierra is dropping any machine older than 2009.

It's interesting that you can afford a GTX970 and yet you are willing to mate it with a slower processor, with less than the max memory, with slower SSDs and "cheap" HDDs. I'm not saying that you are wrong, mind you, just that it could be a better balanced system. Will you run into any issues? Probably. And your chances are as good as anybody else. Heck, I had problems and I've been a computer tech for over 40 years. But, no, I didn't have any hardware problems.

If you want to maximize your chances of a successful build you can start with the PSU, buy the fastest processor (and that is on the MAC ID list), install the max mem that the mobo can hold, stick with 64MB cached 7200RPM HDDs, use the stock Intel CPU fan, make sure that the computer case provides adequate air flow. Cheap mobos are easy enough to change out... (And at over $80 that isn't exactly a cheap mobo.) But, did you see where one LG 25UM65 reviewer on Amazon said "This is not mac compatible i tired my other split screen also from lg( works great with windows 7), it worked just as well with my mac book pro, it just says it in the description for mac users to buy this."? Is he right? Why did you choose such a wide screen? Have you seen what text looks like on such a screen?, what a video looks like on such a screen?, what a game looks like on such a screen? What is the res on that screen?

I decided to switch to the i5 6600k and came here to update my component list when I saw your comment. I don't refer to Newegg because it doesn't sell parts where I live, but the current motherboard on my list (the GA-D3H) has good reviews on Amazon India. Same with my SSD. The Hyper 212x is a reputed cooler (as far as I can tell). The monitor was a typo. I changed it when I decided to go with a hackintosh. I'd love your opinion on the new one. I'm not aware of any problems with dual booting on SSDs. Would you care to elaborate? I'll consider going with a good HDD, but I'm really stretching my budget with the current build. How much of a difference does it make? Any and all suggestions are welcome.
 

Going Bald

Moderator
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
23,246
Motherboard
GA-X58A-UD7-F7
CPU
W3670
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I've updated my build list. Do you have any thoughts?
The parts for the main build look good, but you might want to have a second look at the display.
Small stand, looks like plastic, may be unstable. From the pic of the back, there is limited tilt adjustment and no height adjustment. Also no VESA mount capability, so you cannot canned the stand for a VESA stand with greater stability.
May be a great IPS panel, but only 1920x1080. Whether this is good enough for what you are using it for only you can say.

Personally, I would look for an IPS display with greater adjustability and better resolution, although with only 24" anything over 1080p is probably going to make the fonts hard to read.
 
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