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New Build - Media and Time Machine backup Server + Game machine

Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
3
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo Quad
Graphics
Geforce 9400 GT
Hi everyone,

It's been a long time since i last built a hackintosh (as you can see from the machine listed in my profile). That machine is still working aside from the occasional hard drive issues but i've not updated the OS past 10.7.2. I think its time to be replaced, and at the same time I've not built a windows gaming PC in that time either. I'd always presumed i'd have to build two new machines again as i wanted to ensure the server was relatively low power if its online a lot. It turns out that most of the powerful GPUs can run pretty lean when they're idling so I figured I could save time, money and space by building an all in one machine.

For gaming at the moment I'd prefer a NVIDIA GPU, though have been thinking about the ATIs too. My plan is to hold off on GPUs to see if a next gen will be announced in a few months time that would make more sense. My main driver is to enable Half Life Alyx and other PC VR on my Oculus Quest, who's lower frame rate may give me some wiggle room in GPU terms.

My big hope is that I can rely on the intel built-in GPU for the Hackintosh side of things and eventually have either a NVIDIA or AMD GPU for gaming on windows. Crucially to support this I'll need to be able to reliably disable any NVIDIA GPU in the machine for the hackintosh, which I've seen a few posts on here discuss as being a viable option.

At the same time I want to have a large amount of disks for Media and Time Machine backups of my other MacBooks. Ideally I'd like to be able to access these disks within Windows and MacOS, but I think after much digging i think i'll settle on read only access of Windows NTFS drives within MacOS and read only access of HFS+ drives within Windows, not ideal but should be fine and seems safest.

My hardware choices aren't final yet but I've been considering the following

Motherboard: Aorus Z390 Master / Pro
CPU:Intel Core i9 9900 / Intel Core i7 9700
Memory: 16 to 32GB not got to researching actual types to get yet
Case: Fractal Design Define 7 XL
Storage: Separate NVME SSDs for Hackintosh and Windows Boot disks. Legacy WD Media Sata HDDs + some new 6TB WD Hdds
Monitor: Currently 1080p, probably going to move to 1440p. Hackintosh server will likely be headless via Remote Desktop a lot of the time.

Current GPU Choices: AMD 5700XT / NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super
Future GPU Choices: Equivalent next gen models by AMD/NVIDIA

I realise the Motherboard is a bit of an overkill, I'm looking for something that will work well in this kind of hardware setup and with as much compatibility for Hackintosh as possible. I'm not overly concerned about the onboard Wifi or Bluetooth, I realise both are unlikely to ever work in the Hackintosh. I'm open to alternative suggestions if those MBs are obviously inferior for Hackintosh-ing than some other equivalent z390 boards.

My current plan would be to buy the server and get the hackintosh setup and working with just the onboard intel graphics. Then to reassess the GPUs in a month or two as to whether its worth waiting for next gen. The problem I have with this is that I won't know if I can disable any NVIDIA GPU to keep the hackintosh using the onboard intel, I could also consider picking up a cheap ATI card to use for the Hackintosh though I'd probably prefer not to do that, mainly just to keep Windows drivers cleaner.

It'd be good to know if a lot of people have hybrid Hackintosh gaming rigs with NVIDIA cards that are able to play nice with the Intel onboard for Hackintosh as it really does seem an elegant solution if I opt for NVIDIA over ATI. Also knowing how well the Intel GPU generally behaves, I know its pretty terrible for gaming but would hope it'd be fine for desktop.

Thanks for your time

Cheers

Jim
 
Joined
Jan 23, 2011
Messages
814
man why are you complicating it?
if you wiil play game in windows your macs wont be able to backup and use the storage.
get a Synology NAS and keep the data there on allways on storage system not on a gaming machine.
do not use the Nvidia to save a lot of hassle. It is so much easier to use the same GPU when you dual boot. Just use the same monitor input and no need to do the disabling of he unsupported GPU and configuring the anyway shity iGPU.
get the 5700XT and live happy life both in mac os and windows (thhe new AMD drivers are ought to be ok now). Anyway if you are on 1080P then an RX580 would do the job for much less money and for the rest you can buy the NAS
 
Joined
May 10, 2020
Messages
3
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3R
CPU
Intel Core 2 Duo Quad
Graphics
Geforce 9400 GT
Thanks for the reply theruck, and you're right I guess in my desire to reduce space and keep gaming and server together in one box I am making things complicated! :) Even more so by entertaining the idea of NVIDIA and Intel graphics for the hackintosh.

I did consider a NAS for the longest time but at the moment my aging and yet still working Hackintosh server spoils me with the 7 disks and before it got so out dated to not be supported it included a plex server that was able to do the light transcoding needed to push to an Apple TV. I know you can get some NAS that claim to work with Time Machine and also can push to Plex but I just think I prefer to have a normal PC server to admin. I've had problems with TM before and having it at least "officially" supported on a Mac server seems the safest bet at the moment.

The Time Machine target rules out just running plain Windows, but I also do kind of want to have a go with Hackintosh again after so long, I'm sure after wrestling with it for a while if i get stuck i may have a different thought :)

Since my current server got too old to run Plex Server I boot it rarely so I don't mind having Time Machine backups that are irregular, I don't have huge amounts of local work/files that need fast backup. If and when I was running games it wouldn't be a problem that backups weren't happening for that time. Once the server became functional again it would be online a lot more as I Plex Serve off of it instead of off my old 17" MBP like I'm currently doing.

The new machine will be a server 97% of the time, a gaming rig only 3%. I heed your warning about hassles of dual boot though, but honestly I'll probably be content running the Mac part headless, I wouldn't have enough inputs on my monitor for one, which i know is your whole point for trying to run off the same GPU in hackintosh and windows. It's literally just going to be a file server with Plex hosting and TM backups. Obviously the hardware is massively overkill for such things which is why the original plan would be to make a low power hackintosh server. The excessive hardware is just to drive gaming for those rare chances i get chance to, and crucially to do so with VR, which over time i may upgrade to a Valve Index and hence want a bit of excess GPU power for the higher framerate. I am currently only on 1080p monitor, but i may look to move to 1440p for work and gaming.

Sadly the appeal of minimising my PC hardware into fewer boxes has some appeal for making my other half happier as we have to share the same office and apparently 2 laptops and 3 full ATX case servers is too many :)

I hear your warning about the built in GPU, i know its terrible for gaming but was hoping it may be fine on desktop alone, especially for the light use that it would have.

The new AMD cards may win the next generation anyways with their next gen console similarities leading to targetting by developers, its something to consider. It is the tales of bad drivers in Windows that puts me off, and the fact that RTX raytracing has some real appeal with NVIDIA.

Thanks for the tip on the cheaper card for 1080p though, this may be an option whilst waiting out for the next gen AMD/NVIDIA cards which given the state of things at the moment is probably not going to happen atnytime soon. TBH pricing up the whole server and it gets expensive so I'm going to continue researching. The issue is any hackintosh compatibility I can assume from reading these forums to a point but i just wont know until i get something to tinker with.

Anyways, thanks again for taking the time to point out the flaws in my fragile plan. I'll see where things take me. Cheers.
 
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