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New Build, First Time Builder.

Joined
Mar 10, 2013
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Hey guys, I'll start off by saying I appreciate any, and all help. I am new to building computers, and I know that starting with a hackintosh can be complicated. I am looking to build a version of the Customac Pro, as outlined in the February guide. I plan on having 2 SSD's, one to run windows and to game on (WOW); and one to load OSX Mountain Lion for everyday use. My hope is that this build will excel in both areas and I wont have to upgrade for some time. Here is what I have planned.


Case:
Corsair Carbide Series 500R White Steel structure with molded ABS plastic accent pieces ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

Motherboard:
GIGABYTE GA-Z77X-UD5H LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard

Video Card:
EVGA 02G-P4-2670-KR GeForce GTX 670 2GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card

Power Supply:
CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V v2.92 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Semi Modular High Performance ...

Processor:
Intel Core i7-3770K Ivy Bridge 3.5GHz (3.9GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4000 BX80637I73770K

Storage:
SanDisk Extreme SDSSDX-120G-G25 2.5" 120GB SATA III Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) (x2)

RAM:
CORSAIR Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CML16GX3M2A1600C10

Wireless:
TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter, 2.4GHz 450Mbps/5GHz 450Mbps, IEEE 802.1a/b/g/n, WEP/WPA/WPA2

Drive:
Newegg

So long story short, that is exactly what my cart looks like.This should put the build at about $1500. Im hoping for few problems with the build as far as compatibility, and superior performance all the way around. Is there anything else I need? I was wondering if I need and further cooling systems specifically. I have done some research but am certainly no expert on any of this. So please dumb down any advice as much as necessary. Thanks in advance for any help.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
347
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android
Great build. Good choice of parts. Pretty much you should have a very smooth build. I've built two systems myself for friends using the same motherboard and graphics card- which are the key components for Hackintosh.

As for a cooling system- if you plan to overclock, you might consider a third party heatsink, or even a basic watercooling kit. (The newer ones are much easier to install than the old do-it-yourself watercooling setups of old.)

If not overclocking then you'll be fine with the stock Intel heatsink that comes with the 3770k.

I have one very minor suggestion (so minor that feel free to ignore it if it's not a big deal to you): I would suggest rather than 2 of the exact same SSD, you consider getting one SSD of a different brand. Obviously considering similar price/performance. This is only because it can sometimes be annoying when doing certain drive maintenance tasks (formatting, choosing default boot order in the BIOS, physically swapping drives etc.) that identical drives show up looking exactly alike, and you sometimes need to double-check that you're choosing the right one.

I once opened up a friend's machine because we had to swap out one of his installed drives and was greeted to 5 of the exact same make/model hard drive. Which one was which? He had no idea, and he hadn't physically labeled them. So we wasted quite a bit of time figuring out which was the right drive. (So if you go with identical drives, I recommend physically label them so down the road you'll know which is Windows and which is OSX.

Like I say, that's a very, very minor thing.

My other advice:

1. consider a large capacity standard hard drive for file storage, IE: say a 1TB or larger drive. You could format it for either OSX or Windows, and/or use NTFS for Mac or MacDrive for PC for cross-platform read/write. (Or format it MS-DOS so both systems can read it natively.) I would also highly recommend a backup partition for OSX, that is, a backup of your working installed OS using a tool like Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper. The nature of Hackintosh being completely DIY, it's always a good idea to have your OS backed up so that you don't have to worry about system updates or anything rendering the OSX half of your machine unbootable.

2. Remember not to waste a 6GB/s SATA port on your optical drive, keep those for SSDs and main hard drives only. Use the 3GB/s ports for the optical drive.

4. When you install Windows, always do it where the drive for Windows is the ONLY drive that's attached. (You can-temp unhook your SATA cable to the OSX drive). Windows has a tendancy to mess with other drives in the system when installing, and can wreck the Chimera bootloader.

3. If you're new to building computers, don't sweat it, it's actually pretty easy. I recommend looking up system building videos on YouTube to familiarize yourself with the process.

4. I always recommend people assemble the CPU/heatsink and RAM (not graphics card) BEFORE putting the motherboard in the case, especially if new to building. I usually set the board on top of the foam pad and the box it came in to build. The reason is; you can take greater care of what you're doing. You can make sure your heatsink pins go all the way through the board properly (huge overheating issues can happen if even one doesn't) and you can really tell that your RAM is seated properly. Familiarize yourself with the case panel connectors while the board is out of the case too. A lot of rookie mistakes are made when people are trying to do these things for the first time reaching down awkwardly into a case. When you put the board in the case, you can actually hold it by the CPU heatsink, which allows you to be steadier with it, and won't bend/warp the board in any way.

5. Test the case-risers and screws that hold the board in FIRST before you're to the stage of actually screwing the motherboard in place. Seems like a no-duh, but I've seen people strip the wrong screw in a case riser because they simply didn't check which screw type was for the risers first, and you can't see this when the board is in place over the risers. A stripped screw of the wrong type can annoyingly 'lock' your board into the case and/or cause the riser to lift up under the board if you try and remove it. Also- always double check that you don't accidentally put a riser in the wrong place under a board where there isn't actually a hole for it in the motherboard. A misplaced one can contact the board in the wrong spot and even cause a short.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents! The build itself looks great.
 
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Thank you very much for the advice. I will change those minor things up, and definitely take the rest of your tips into consideration. I haven't really even gotten into reading about how to set up and install the dual boot, I'm sure more questions will follow once I do. I will add a 1TB SATA drive to the build though. Other than changing out one of the SSD's, and adding a large SATA, my cart should be good then? Just hit the purchase button, and in a couple days everything should show up at my door thats necessary to get up and running?
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
347
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android
Yep, I'd say if you're happy with it, you should be good to go.

I recommend bookmarking for yourself a few guides using the same hardware so you can read up and be familiar with how setup will go.

For example: http://www.tonymacx86.com/user-builds/86862-brazilmacs-g5-hackintosh-ga-z77x-ud5h-i7-3770k-4-2ghz-32gb-ram-gigabyte-geforce-gtx-660-ti.html


Ordering from newegg, you'll get the case as its own package, then another box with all your other parts in it.

Occasionally, I've had my CPU arrive later than everything else because it shipped from New Jersey whereas everything else came from California where I am already, but that hasn't happened for a while now. And if by chance you live anywhere near City of Industry, CA, you can use newegg's will-call service and go pick up the stuff yourself the day after you order it and pay no shipping costs.

Keep us posted with how everything goes and for further help.
 
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When you say if youre happy, go for it, are you implying that there could be better options? Im looking for something fairly top end, so if i should make some adjustments I'm open to suggestions. I will certainly keep providing updates and let everyone know how it goes. I plan on ordering today, and building this week. Hopefully this time next week ill be typing this on my new build.
 
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Any last minute advice? I'm ready to hit the buy button!
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
347
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android
When you say if youre happy, go for it, are you implying that there could be better options? Im looking for something fairly top end, so if i should make some adjustments I'm open to suggestions.
What I mean is, what you've chosen will certainly make a great Hackintosh. If I were building a machine for myself as an upgrade to my current system (which I couldn't be happier with, it's the best computer I've ever owned), your picks would suit me fine.

But only you can know what meets your own needs.

I've built several machines for other people nearly identical to what you'll be building- but some people I've built for insisted on the GA-Z77X-UP5-TH board because they want Thunderbolt support- either now, or in the future. Others here choose certain ASUS boards that offer more of what they want. etc. Everything else is is more arbitrary, but really be certain the motherboard you choose has everything you want, and that the procedures for hacking it are clearly documented. (That's why I say look up other's builds with the same board and see how it goes for them).

Also some people choose to add a bigger third party CPU heatskink so they can overclock. Do you plan to overclock your 3770k? Then you might want to consider that option. The stock heatsink that comes with the CPU is actually a very good unit and will keep things very cool and runs fairly quiet, but it's not well-suited to a really large overclock. For example, I've taken the 3770K from 3.5Ghz to 4.3Ghz using a third party heatsink. Geekbench benchmarks go from the 13,000 rage to the 17,000 range with an overclock like that. The only downside is it uses more energy and can possibly shorten the overall life of the CPU. Remember, you can always choose to swap out a larger heatsink later if you choose. I just did a heatsink upgrade on a friend's machine today- it took all of 5 minutes.

Overall, I wouldn't worry- that's going to make for a very high-end machine, and you have plenty of options for future expansion and upgrades.
 
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Awesome well thanks for all the advice. The parts have been ordered and should hopefully all be here by Wednesday. Maybe I'll get lucky and get them all tomorrow. So i know I'm in the build section, if i need to redirect my question elsewhere I will do so but i"ll give this a shot. I feel pretty comfortable with the assembly. After assembly I plan to only put one of my SSD's in and install windows 7 on it. Once that is up and running, i will disconnect that hard drive, and put the OSX drive in and try to get that working. Once its working I can re connect the windows hard drive and hopefully chimera will pick it up the windows drive assuming I have the OSX drive set as the primary boot drive. Does that all sound roughly accurate? Thanks again, this community has already been great. I have looked at several other similar hardware builds and feel pretty good about getting OSX set up, just wanted to clarify the best way to do it with adding a second HD with windows 7.
 
Joined
Feb 10, 2011
Messages
347
Motherboard
Z68X-UD3H-B3
CPU
i7 2600k
Graphics
Radeon 6870 1GB
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Android
Exactly right about Windows and OSX setup.

One detail with dual boot is there's usually a minor time sync problem that happens with OSX and Windows on the same machine. Not a big deal, but it can be annoying and is easy to fix.

I recommend the Registry Edit method outlined here:

http://prasys.info/2010/01/fixing-time-sync-issue-with-osxwindows/

I wouldn't recommend the bootcamp method as I think it's very outdated. Everything that's a registry fix always makes it sound scary, but I've never had the slightest issue with the time fix edit, and in reality -in this case- it's no riskier than any other system setting. Others swear by other methods of doing this, but the regedit method has never failed for me and afterwards my clocks are always back in sync perfectly.

Good luck with the build!
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2013
Messages
4
Motherboard
Z77X-UD5H
CPU
i5-3570k
Graphics
Gigabyte GTX 660 Ti
Mac
iMac, MacBook, MacBook Air
Classic Mac
eMac, iMac, Lisa, Power Mac, Xserve
Mobile Phone
iOS
My build was almost exactly like yours save the CPU. You will encounter almost zero problems with it as long as you keep GraphicsEnabler=no. One thing you may want to invest a bit in is the sound. I find the Realtek 898 to be a bit lacking when it is on OSX. Not too sure why, but there is quite a bit of channel interference when you have music on. That is one thing I'm going to focus on next is finding one that is compatible with it.
 
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