Contribute
Register

neilhart's Scratch Build # 3 - Mini-ITX Tower

Joined
Oct 3, 2013
Messages
2
Motherboard
Gigabyte B85n
CPU
i3-4330
Graphics
HD4600
Mac
iMac
It's really a awesome mod project, by reading your posts, i'm enjoying the whole process. I'm also building up my ITX Hackintosh using GA-B85n Pheonix, it's almost done. But no mod fun like yours.
 
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
2,420
Motherboard
Dell Optiplex 9030 All in One
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
Mac mini
Classic Mac
iMac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Love what you have done Neil.

Any firm ideas yet on the eventual spec?

I am in two minds about my next ITX build. One question I have not seen addressed anywhere is what is the comparative performance difference between Z87 and the their "new" Z97 replacements when both are using the same Devils Canyon processor.

Maybe the reason I have not seen a comparison is that reviewers are in the business of getting people to buy the latest and greatest.

My specific dilemma is wondering how a Maximus VI Impact with Devils Canyon would stack up against the (soon to be released) Maximus VII Impact with the same processor. The older boards are now being significantly discounted and the new ones will on release very likely be the most expensive ITX boards ever!! The price differential between out going and incoming could be a significant proportion of cash to go towards a good GPU....

Of course I would miss out on M2, but really, what else is there likely to be that I would lose from buying a cheaper 8 series board with a new processor? Do you have any thoughts on this Neil?
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,740
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Love what you have done Neil.

Any firm ideas yet on the eventual spec?

I am in two minds about my next ITX build. One question I have not seen addressed anywhere is what is the comparative performance difference between Z87 and the their "new" Z97 replacements when both are using the same Devils Canyon processor.

Maybe the reason I have not seen a comparison is that reviewers are in the business of getting people to buy the latest and greatest.

My specific dilemma is wondering how a Maximus VI Impact with Devils Canyon would stack up against the (soon to be released) Maximus VII Impact with the same processor. The older boards are now being significantly discounted and the new ones will on release very likely be the most expensive ITX boards ever!! The price differential between out going and incoming could be a significant proportion of cash to go towards a good GPU....

Of course I would miss out on M2, but really, what else is there likely to be that I would lose from buying a cheaper 8 series board with a new processor? Do you have any thoughts on this Neil?
Caught between a rock and a hard place... quandary. Anyway I am short of funds and would like to play the game but just cannot at this time. The current Mini-ITX that I was tempted to purchase was the ASUS Z97I-Plus, mainly because of the M.2 socket. However after looking at the costs of the current M.2 devices I decided that I would take a back seat and let things settle down.

So I decided that I would go for a Gigabyte Z87N-WiFi but found that the prices have flipped where the Z97N-WiFi is selling for less (so that is what I have just taken delivery of today). When I can get my head into it I will swap the motherboard into the my mini-ITX tower and see what there is to see. I am looking to run an OC of about 4.2 GHz with everything cool and stable. The OC is a "yet to be seen" project with the i7-4770K that I have.

More to follow as I am currently on a tangent project doing a quick case for my MSI MicroAXT board. My head is into bending aluminum at the moment.

Good modding,
neil
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,740
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Another update;

As indicated in the prior posting, I have purchased a Gigabyte GA-Z97N-WIFI motherboard for this project after ruling out the ASUS and ASRock options.

So after completing my MicroATX case (seen on the right in the photo) I gathered my wits and set out to swap motherboards retaining the CPU, memory and CPU cooler.



I removed the front/left cover and the clear left cover. Then I removed the GPU card and cables. I used the blue painters tape to hold the cables back out the way. The CPU cooler/pump unit was swung aside.

This left the installed GA-B85N motherboard exposed for removal.



The component locations are almost identical on the two motherboards which minimizes the task of reassembly because the cables will for the most part fit right back into place.





Here is the new motherboard in place as viewed from the rear.



Anyway I was pleased that the swap was fairly simple. And even more pleased that I was able to boot into the existing system partition with -v -x boot arguments.

Using Stork’s Z/H97N-WIFI guide and toledo’s patches (graphics and audio) I was soon up and running. The system appears stable with the default clocks. I won’t try over clocking until I am sure the system is stable and I can base line the performance at the defaults.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Apr 28, 2011
Messages
189
Motherboard
Asus Z170 VIII Maximus Gene
CPU
i7-6700K
Graphics
GTX 1070
Mobile Phone
iOS
OMG it looks beautiful! As always, you continue to be a source of inspiration to us fellow modders :). Wish I had half the skill (and maybe the tools, lol) you have!

Keep up the awesomeness!!
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2010
Messages
1
Motherboard
asus P5W
CPU
dual core duo
Graphics
Nvidia 8600GT
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Hi Neil, nice work indeed!
I've just bought that mobo and saw you stated mavericks came up flawlessly.
just wondering if you followed a specific guide, our if you can advise the best setting to do the same

my setup:
mobo: GA-B85N
Proc: I5-4670s
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 8GB 1600Mhz (2x4GB)
HD1: Samsung Evo 128GB SSD
HD2: Seagate 1TB
CPU cooler: Corsair H60
Case: Cooler Master Elite 110
FAN: Noctua NF-F12PWM (to substitute both Case and H60 fans)

Thanks a lot for your advises and for your inspirational projects.
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,740
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hi Neil, nice work indeed!
I've just bought that mobo and saw you stated mavericks came up flawlessly.
just wondering if you followed a specific guide, our if you can advise the best setting to do the same

my setup:
mobo: GA-B85N
Proc: I5-4670s
RAM: Corsair Vengeance Pro 8GB 1600Mhz (2x4GB)
HD1: Samsung Evo 128GB SSD
HD2: Seagate 1TB
CPU cooler: Corsair H60
Case: Cooler Master Elite 110
FAN: Noctua NF-F12PWM (to substitute both Case and H60 fans)

Thanks a lot for your advises and for your inspirational projects.
My good experience with the B85N motherboard was with a GPU card installed. Meaning that I did not use the internal graphics. And as I recall I did update the BIOS to version f4 before installing OS X.

This motherboard was initially identified by dj_aris in his project: http://www.tonymacx86.com/others/128425-building-haswellrise-mod.html and towards the end of his thread he as information relating to the on board graphics.

I would think installing the latest Mavericks using the UniBeast and MultiBeast process steps would be the way to go.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
112
Motherboard
X99-Deluxe II ASUS
CPU
6950X
Graphics
ASUS GTX-960
Mac
iMac, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
Android
Neil,
Beautiful outcome and I am supremely jealous of your casework/bending. Reminds me of when I was a 'ham' back in the 70's and built everything (including cases) from scratch.
Thanks for this and I should also say thanks for your posts on RAID0 setups which I have successfully followed.
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,740
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
Bradish,

Thank you for the remarks. As you know by following my threads, I am a huge fan of OS X and find great satisfaction in building these systems. I am always pleased to hear that others appreciate my projects and guides.

I see in your profile that you have a Geekbench of 19198! which is a very nice accomplishment. I am going to try for that type of OC on my ASUS Maximus VII Impact system (my current project: http://www.tonymacx86.com/retail-ca...-w-m-2-xp941-booting-os-x-via-clover-xw1.html ).

Good modding,
neil
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,740
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
MacBook, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
iOS
I have been cleaning up around my house and trying to down size my collection of project systems. We are getting ready to move and in this case "less is more" (good).

To that end, I have been trying to sell this mini tower system without success. That got me to thinking that selling does not make much sense as I could do a major mod on this system.

My hackintosh projects are my main entertainment and modding this box would keep me busy for a while.

Comments?

neil
 
Top