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HP 8300 Complete Overhaul: PSU and GPU upgrades

Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
15
Motherboard
Q77
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX-480 8GB
UPDATE: Check below for updates on this configuration

Hey all! So a while back, I ditched my Mac Mini and decided to try my hand at Hackintoshing.
I went for an HP-8300 with the i7-3770 that I found on eBay for $75.

I used a GTX 1050 Ti, 16GB of RAM, and a pair of Samsung 850 Pro SSD's; one with macOS High Sierra (soon to be Mojave) and one with Windows 10.

I had been using the computer in that configuration for many months now, and it had served me very well. It works great in macOS, especially in FCPX, and even better in Windows, where I like to play some light games (CoD4, Minecraft, GTA San Andreas, etc.). But lately, I've had my eye on an Oculus Rift, and, if I were to try and run it, my system needed some beefing up. I haven't heard of anyone using the Oculus Rift with my configuration before, and I think the i7-3770 might give me a bit of a bottleneck, but only the future knows.

Now the main problem is the proprietary 300-something watt PSU that comes with these systems, and more specifically, the annoying 6-pin connector that supplies power to the motherboard. The PSU also provides no extra PCIe power connectors for the heavier graphics cards and such.

However, I found an adapter on eBay/Amazon that (link) takes the 24-pin ATX harness and adds in a 6-pin connector for the tricky motherboard! The only problem with this solution is that you will need to re-pin the end of the connector (pic below). Also, you will get a boot error for "No power supply fan detected", but you just press f1 and the system will work just fine.

I found a video on Youtube by a user (o0FUZ0o) who had the same issue as me. His pinout worked the best for me! To re-pin the connector, just use a small flathead screwdriver and insert it into the little slots on the broad side of the connector, pushing down GENTLY. Then, gently slide the pins out from the bottom. You'll see a little barb on the pin. Be sure to bend it outwards again before re-inserting.


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What's important to note is that your adapter may have the wires on the 6-pin connector in a different configuration, and they might be different colors as well. but if you look at the big 24-pin connector, you'll see that 3 of the 4 wires that branch off to the 6-pin connector are all in line, with the last wire being diagonally across from the others. When you are re-pinning, pay no attention to the colors of the wires, nor to the configuration of the wires on the 6-pin connector, as these will likely be different with every batch sold. as long as you follow this pin out, you should be OK.

I bought this adapter, re-pinned the connector, and slapped in my brand new EVGA 650W PSU. After checking to make sure it powered on normally, I was able to drill a hole or two in the sheet metal of the rear I/O panel to mount the PSU as the mounting holes are in a different spot than the factory one.

Now, if I was going to attempt to try VR gaming for this computer, I was going to need a GPU that could keep up.

My choice was the AMD RX 480 8GB. I chose this card because of Apple's refusal to release Nvidia drivers for Mojave, and because its a ridiculously powerful upgrade over my GTX 1050 Ti. This card works natively within macOS, so you don't need any drivers. However, you will need to install drivers for Windows 10 of course.

After I ordered it, I had concerns that the XFX version of the card would be too long to fit in the PC case, even though I have CMT (convertible mini tower). It's over 11" long, which is almost twice as long as my GTX 1050 Ti was. But, after receiving it and testing, it fits tightly, but securely.

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(Yeah, I know my case is dusty...blah, blah...)

I just got the card in the mail a few hours ago, so I haven't done any extensive testing. However, running Cinebench on MacOS brought the GPU die temperature up to almost 80*c (according to HW monitor), and when playing a simulation style game, the temps started really creeping up. Might have to invest in a better case fan.

Like I said, I have more testing to do, but, wow! So far, this upgrade has been well worth it!
I'm buying the Oculus Rift tomorrow. So I'll keep you guys up to date with how well the system works in full VR.


Hope this helps someone out there!
Wish me luck!





UPDATE #1:

As I type this, I have been using the computer without any issues for over 48 hours. I found that the card was overheating immensely (over 90*C) after a very short period of use (less than 2 mins). I removed the card, and decided to replace the Thermal Paste, which I later found was the culprit.


The factory paste was very dry and cracked, as well as thin and uneven. I used alcohol and a paper towel to remove the old stuff, then applied some Arctic Silver 5 thermal paste. After re-assembling the card, I popped it back in and booted into windows to play some games. To my immense relief, the card never came above 70*C, and performed flawlessly. so if you find your card starts heating up significantly, it might be worth it to crack the card open and replace the thermal paste.



Since first doing the PSU upgrade, I have also picked up an Oculus Rift CV1 to try with my setup. I was nervous when I first got everything going, but I've played over 10 hours so far, and let me tell you, this setup is golden for VR. The CPU never goes above 65*C and the GPU peaks at 80*C, which is a little warm, but definitely stable.

If anyone is considering doing this setup for VR, I highly recommend it!
Best of luck.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
369
Motherboard
HP 8300 CMT
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
MacBook Pro
Thanks for this. I have been wanting to do this for a while and I got as far as buying the adaptor and taking the old PSU out, but the new PSU did not fit. I didn't get the drill out. Would you be able to put any pictures up of the modifications to the case - or just the back of the case with the PSU installed. I was trying to install a 100% passive PSU but my needs have changed so I might do a bigger PSU and a decent graphics card.
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
15
Motherboard
Q77
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX-480 8GB
Thanks for this. I have been wanting to do this for a while and I got as far as buying the adaptor and taking the old PSU out, but the new PSU did not fit. I didn't get the drill out. Would you be able to put any pictures up of the modifications to the case - or just the back of the case with the PSU installed. I was trying to install a 100% passive PSU but my needs have changed so I might do a bigger PSU and a decent graphics card.
Glad I could be of help!
The only modifications I did to the case was drill two holes so I could secure the PSU in the case. It fit in the case just fine, except for the bolt holes not lining up. I’ll see if I can snap some pics tonight!
 
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
369
Motherboard
HP 8300 CMT
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
MacBook Pro
Just an update. I re-pinned the PSU adaptor cable I had previously bought out of China, following your instructions, and it fires up straight away :) Pressing F1 on boot is no issue for me as I already get an error as I removed the rear case fan, and I reboot so rarely it is no problem! But from further research if you connect the two outer pins on the white connector, the computer thinks a fan is connected and there are no warnings.

I am now considering what to do before drilling holes in my case:
1/ use an entirely passive PSU (that I have) alongside current setup to reduce noise
2/ get a new PSU and a new graphics card (RX570?) for a better graphics expereince - and maybe an upgrade to 4K monitor

What software/kexts are you using to monitor temps?

Thanks again for the confidence to change my PSU without blowing my machine up :)
 
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
15
Motherboard
Q77
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX-480 8GB
Just an update. I re-pinned the PSU adaptor cable I had previously bought out of China, following your instructions, and it fires up straight away :) Pressing F1 on boot is no issue for me as I already get an error as I removed the rear case fan, and I reboot so rarely it is no problem! But from further research if you connect the two outer pins on the white connector, the computer thinks a fan is connected and there are no warnings.

I am now considering what to do before drilling holes in my case:
1/ use an entirely passive PSU (that I have) alongside current setup to reduce noise
2/ get a new PSU and a new graphics card (RX570?) for a better graphics expereince - and maybe an upgrade to 4K monitor

What software/kexts are you using to monitor temps?

Thanks again for the confidence to change my PSU without blowing my machine up :)
Great to hear from you!
Glad it all went well. I’m using HWmonitor to check my temps and voltages and such.

As for the PSU, I don’t really find PSU fans to be particularly loud, so I went with an actively cooled PSU. However it is up to you! Be sure to post pictures if you decide to modify your case!

Best of luck!
 
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
369
Motherboard
HP 8300 CMT
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
MacBook Pro
I decided not to modify my case. I replaced the stock PSU fan with a quiet PWM fan and left everything else stock. Working fine, no errors on boot, and I sourced a graphics card which is slot powered and enough for my needs. So no driver for bigger PSU, and the silent one was more hassle than it was worth. Will keep it for a standard ATX build at some point...
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
Q77
CPU
i5-3570 3.4GHz
Hi Loaf31. Thanks for your guide.
I've just received HP Elite 8300 CMT with i5-3570 3.4GHz. I'm trying to figure out what is the best solution for me.
My monitor is a Samsung curved FullHD screen.

What was the exact model of TI 1050 that you've used? It has to be a LP for a CMT?
What is the faster graphical card that I can use in it without changing the power supply?
 
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
369
Motherboard
HP 8300 CMT
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
MacBook Pro
Hi Loaf31. Thanks for your guide.
I've just received HP Elite 8300 CMT with i5-3570 3.4GHz. I'm trying to figure out what is the best solution for me.
My monitor is a Samsung curved FullHD screen.

What was the exact model of TI 1050 that you've used? It has to be a LP for a CMT?
What is the faster graphical card that I can use in it without changing the power supply?
I'm not an expert but I don't think the Ti 1050 works under Mojave any more due to no Nvidia drivers.
You can use a Radeon RX560, as long as you get one that is slot powered (no external PSU cables needed). Why do you need "the fastest" as FullHD should be fine with something more basic e.g. GT710.
 
Joined
Jul 12, 2019
Messages
6
Motherboard
Q77
CPU
i5-3570 3.4GHz
I'd like to use the PC mainly for playing video games. So far this is the only forum that I found where people do much experiment with this PC. I've found interesting the possibility to transform the PC in a Mac but it's not my priority. Maybe I could install an AMD graphics card but I've always prefered NVIDIA.

Much people says that they've installed the GTX 1050 TI Low Profile. This is becouse they have the SFF version? In the CMT version like yours and mine it is possible to install any version of card?
The slot powered I think is not a big problem. If I don't need to much power I can take the power from the sata lines.
It is possible to power the card from an another external power suply? I have only have to close the power button circuit to start the external PSU before power on the PC ore close it in parallel with the PC's PSU.
At the HP support forum there was a user that was asking info about the compatibility with the new GTX 1650 lower profile one fan, but she didn't report if it have done it (https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Deskt...ite-8300-cmt-card-upgrade/m-p/7170864#M176727)

For your guide I suggest you to link at this adapter cable https://www.moddiy.com/products/HP-...-Power-24%2dPin-to-6%2dPin-Adapter-Cable.html
I think it is right form HP 8300. For the HP Z230 they sell a different cable (the price and picture it's different).
 
Joined
May 5, 2017
Messages
369
Motherboard
HP 8300 CMT
CPU
i7-3770
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
MacBook Pro
I can't help with video gaming advice or with multi booting systems. If you want to run MacOS you need to decide what version and then that will drive your hardware decisions. For me, I only run MacOS, so I am only interested on what is supported well and reliably under MacOS - which is AMD graphics.

The 1050 used to be a good pick on a previous MacOS (High Sierra) install. Yes most people (anecdotally) seem to have the SFF so need the LP version; you should be fine with a normal card in a CMT - I'm not sure the length restriction, but you have a decent amount of space to play with.

Good luck with your adventure.
 
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