Node 2.0 - a Hackintosh build

Discussion in 'General Hardware Discussion' started by at0mac, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 7, 2013 at 1:55 AM #1
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    (FINISHED) Node 2.0 - a Hackintosh build

    I am a proud Mac user that has hit a wall - Apple refuses to build a mac with Bluray, I don´t like the screen on their iMacs, Mac Pro is too expensive and laptops is not for me.
    Therefore I am using a Mac Mini as my daily machine, but it´s a little underpowered now when I have started more and more gaming and picture/video editing.


    Solution - build a Hackintosh!

    A few requirements:

    • Better performance than my 2011 dual core i7 Mac Mini (the Node)
    • More quiet
    • Blu-ray
    • Legacy bluetooth and firewire 400/800 support


    After an almost endless parts search I have just ordered this:

    MSI Z77-MA-G45 motherboard (easy to hack and love the colour scheme)

    Intel i3 3225 3.3GHz IvyBridge CPU (low TDP with plenty of power)

    Cooled by a NoiseBlocker modified Noctua (with two M12-S1 8dB fans)

    Corsair DDR 1600 CL9 16GB low profile RAM (3225 native supports DDR 1600)

    ASUS GTX660 TOP 2GB graphics card (nVidia is easiest to get working in OSX)

    LyCOM PE-107 FireWire 800/400 PCIe card (should be OSX compatible)

    IOGear GBU521 bluetooth adapter (should work natively in OSX)

    Silverstone SST-SOB02 Blu-Ray burner (slot in type and perfect match for the case)

    Two Intel 520 series 240GB SSDs in RAID0 (FAST! and reliable)

    Two NoiseBlocker M8-S1 (8dB fans to blow in a little fresh air)

    One NoiseBlocker M12-S1 (8db fan in the top of the case above CPU cooler)

    Seasonic X400 fanless PSU (plenty powerful and build to last)

    Lastly, the NoFAN CS-70 case (it´s very unusual and easily could be something Apple had thought up + perfect for true noiseless build without killing your hardware)

    There is also a bunch of adapters and other non-important stuff.

    Maybe not the most impressive list, but sure gives bang for the buck and can run very very very quiet.

    Before I end this first post I want to show you a quick render of how it will end up looking:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    Yes, I will mod it here and there, starting with the front logo :dremel:

    //stay tuned!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Yes, NOW I am done!

    Final pictures have ended up on my Flickr which will be updated with full blog in native resolution for those who are curious.

    Here you have a few of them:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    See more at my flickr here.

    Btw, the quick will notice the new geeklets on my wallpaper and the mods I have done to the menubar and dock - check out my modified geeklets, DockMod, how I have hidden Synkron apps dock icon, hidden a few rarely used menubar icons and in the end fixed the last strange hiccup.


    This machine runs smooth as butter now!
    Could be slightly faster in terms of CPU, but im waiting for the 3770T or S to go down in price - I have reached well beyond all my requirements already.


    Thank you for following my little diary :)
    Hope I inspired a few.


    //Enjoy!

    :rock:
     
  2. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 7, 2013 at 9:14 PM #2
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    Today I received most of the stuff, except the actual hardware...
    I am absolutely loving the case, it looks stunning!


    I love the lack of plastic on the sides, it´s just pure anodised aluminium.
    It looks like a FT03 case and then not really, it will be awesome when done modding.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    //Stay tuned
     
  3. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 9, 2013 at 6:57 PM #3
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    Had a little fun discovery when I unpacked the Silverstone BluRay drive...


    [​IMG]


    It is actually a Panasonic! And a very nice one...


    [​IMG]


    I already knew it came with the funny little adapter included for this type of drive, but was not sure how it looked so if you ever wondered here it is.


    [​IMG]


    Stripped down the case to start working


    [​IMG]


    Have to get creative right away because those yellow rubber discs are not pretty, I know you can´t see them when the thing is closed but still...


    [​IMG]


    A little later and it looked like this instead when I had mounted my two SSDs


    [​IMG]


    They are sure pretty (and pretty fast too)!


    [​IMG]
     
  4. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM #4
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    Gave the bluray drive the carbon fiber treatment so it matches better the black interior


    [​IMG]


    And mounted the drive...


    [​IMG]


    Installed my two 80mm bottom fans, but as you can see they are not bought at the same time (different designs, same fans)


    [​IMG]


    As I kind of have to install the PSU backwards, ignoring all the warning stickers (because the PSU only have exhaust holes in one side, the top side - and i´m pretty sure it´s better to have them point towards an exit instead directly in to a metal plate...), I then installed a 6kW heat transfer pad to move some of the heat towards the mentioned metal plate. If it dies too bad, but then I have a reason to upgrade...
    And yes, I know heat moves up, that´s why this might be a stupid idea...


    [​IMG]


    It will though get a little help from the two 80mm fans right next to the PSU, so I don´t think it will be a problem, but who knows....


    [​IMG]




    Stay tuned, tomorrow I should receive the actual hardware (and a better camera! This iPhone 5 is terrible!)
     
  5. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 9, 2013 at 7:21 PM #5
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    By the way, is there a size limit of how big pictures in threads can be here?
     
  6. zuzudom

    zuzudom

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    Jun 12, 2013 at 2:33 PM #6
    zuzudom

    zuzudom

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    Following you!!!Is it possible to buy only the case with cpu cooler or do I have to buy the whole system?
     
  7. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 12, 2013 at 9:18 PM #7
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    I´m not sure I understand what you mean, everything I´m using in this build came in separate pieces, just me putting it together for my new personal computer. If you mean if NoFan sells just their case and their cpu cooler, then yes, they do. I bought my chassis in the UK, my cooler is not a NoFan.
     
  8. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 13, 2013 at 9:00 AM #8
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    Update

    Since last update a lot of things have happened, so let´s start the show and tell...


    Monday and a package arrived with a lot of goodies in:


    [​IMG]


    One of them this beauty, the MSI Z77MA-G45. My studies show that this board and the Asus P8Z77-M Pro are actually 99% identical, the MSI is just a good deal cheaper.


    [​IMG]


    Installed my little i3, 3225:


    [​IMG]


    Installed my shinny cooler (btw, some danish dudes say that putting thermal grease in a cross makes for the best spread, so thats what I did):


    [​IMG]


    Cooler installed next to my black/blue Corsair RAM, to match the colour scheme of the motherboard:


    [​IMG]
     
  9. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 13, 2013 at 9:14 AM #9
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    I also received my new graphics card, the most expensive and absolute best graphics card I have ever owned - ASUS GTX660 TOP!
    What I did not expect to see was the size of this thing, it is HUGE!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    This version uses their stunning DirectCUII cooler, which according to a lot of tests I have read should be the coolest and most silent in it´s class.


    [​IMG]


    So let´s take a little break and just look at the thing when everything is pre-fitted inside... Looks pretty to me :D


    [​IMG]


    A big part of why it looks this neat is cable management. I have only started so untill now it´s only fan cables and sata cables, no power cables yet as I have to shorten and resleeve those.
    The SSD brackets on the side seems like a good spot for hiding a real birds nest of cables:


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    :rock:
     
  10. at0mac

    at0mac

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    Jun 13, 2013 at 9:42 AM #10
    at0mac

    at0mac

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    Yesterday morning I tried the machine to see if everything worked and if there was any errors so far in the assembly I had to fix.
    And there was... Machine worked, except that I had to reset CMOS for some odd reason before I could get into BIOS. Also, two of the fans had dislodged themselves so had to plug them back in to get power.
    Except for that I was extremely surprised about how little noise the thing makes, will not even call it noise. I have to stand pretty close to hear a very faint sound of air being pushed trough a fan. No buzz, no hum no nothing! That´s what passive PSU, 800RPM fans, best in class GPU cooler and SSDs do for you!


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    I´m not entirely sure why one of my fans spin a lot slower than it´s rated 800 RPM, but as long as it spins and the temps are good, I don´t really care so much.


    [​IMG]


    EDIT: Now when I think about it, I think the slow spinning one is two 120mm fans on the same fan header, were the two others is one 120mm on it´s own header and two 80mm sharing another header (this mb have three fan outputs).


    Just woke up and got a brilliant idea for yet another little mod:


    [​IMG]


    Pulled off the IO label, as it´s a little too colourful for my taste.


    [​IMG]


    Had some silver and black 3M Di-Noc carbon stickers laying around and ended up with this:


    [​IMG]


    The black carbon is were the USB3 ports are, and also because I did not have enough silver (or black for that matter) to cover the whole piece.


    [​IMG]


    Notice I decided to cover the PS/2 port, as I think the time for that plug have long passed.
    Also, see I have changed all the screws in the top part to black ones, even used finger screws for the PCI cards and a black 120mm fan grill instead of the original chrome ones.


    Looks a whole lot neater now imo...




    I´m sorry if you had expected crazy mods like people who watercool or scratch build, I don´t see the need to reinvent I just want to improve. The finished "product" however will be a big difference to if I did not do anything though.




    //Stay tuned


    #over and out
     

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