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Quiet Hackintosh for Music Production (First computer build)

Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
8
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
Intel i7 7700k
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 630
Hi there all,

Preparing for my first ever computer build and would really appreciate a quick look over these parts. I've been doing my best to research the components/process, but was hoping to get your advice or recommendations in regards to any foreseeable challenges (physical or otherwise) that I may encounter as a newcomer.

I’m aiming for a quiet yet powerful Hackintosh that will be able to handle my music production & recording (Ableton & Pro Tools – potentially many simultaneous channels / plugins (64 bit) / CPU intensive software instruments). I’ll be using an external audio interface for sound (Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ), and am wanting my system to be a reliable workstation for hopefully the next several years, with the ability to upgrade where necessary.

I’ve tried to select parts that would cause the least number of headaches and would minimize extensive work with kexts/patching – although happy to dive in and give it a go if necessary.

After researching for months now I’m hoping to pull the trigger on these parts rather soon, so any help at all would be much appreciated! Thanks!

These are the components I’m looking at (taken largely from the October Buyer’s Guide):


Intel - Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor
Asus - PRIME Z270-A ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
Onboard/Integrated Graphics - Intel HD Graphics 630

be quiet! - Dark Rock 3 CPU Cooler
Corsair - Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-3000 Memory
Wifi/Bluetooth Broadcom BCM94360CD & PCI-e Mini/PCI Express adapter set with antennas.

Samsung - 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive (for OS & Software)
Seagate - Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive (for audio files & sample libraries, etc.)
ractal Design - Define R5 (Titanium) ATX Mid Tower Case
Corsair - RMx 650W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply

Peripherals: Kanex multi sync aluminium full-sized keyboard
Monitor: Waiting to find something suitable, but initially Sony KDL-32EX400 (TV)​


Already own:
Apple Magic Mouse
Native Instruments Audio 8 DJ

Total: Roughly $1,670 AUD​



A few questions:

BCM94360CD & Mini PCI-e/PCI-e adapter
- Supposed to work natively/OOB. Does the choice of adapter make much of a difference? Has anyone had experience with this particular adapter/card?

Kanex multi sync aluminium full-sized keyboard / Magic Mouse
- These should work in the UEFI/BIOS, right? (in combination with the BCM94360CD)

Asus Prime Z270-A
- Has anyone had experience with this model?

OS: Sierra
- I’m assuming that there’s probably a little more support for Sierra at this stage than High Sierra. Any reason why I might choose differently? As far as I can tell, my software will be compatible.
Keen to get stuck into the build, thanks in advance!


MORE DETAIL:


Intel i7 7700K
Not looking at overclocking straight away, but would be good to have the option later down the track if necessary - I understand choosing to OC would likely lead to a noisier system anyway.
be quiet! Dark Rock 3
Have opted for fans over AIO liquid cooling (personal choice – trying to minimize further complications should the worst occur, even if extremely unlikely). I understand the Dark Rock 3 is very large, covering some of the available DIMM slots, but that this can be overcome with low profile RAM and by raising the fan clips on the DR3. As far as I can tell, it will be slightly quieter (if not marginally warmer) than the similar Dark Rock Pro 3.
Asus Prime Z270-A
Was originally looking for a Gigabyte model since most info I found suggested that these were the best option for Hackintoshes, however I’ve heard that the newer Asus models are easier to work with than they once were. There seem to be a handful of success stories with this motherboard, which I feel is important for a newbie like myself.

Lack of USB 2.0, but I understand that there’s a workaround when it comes to installation (in Unibeast?) as read in Hover/jktaurus8's posts. Chosen for the multiple monitoring, Thunderbolt header (may be useful in the future), and PCI-e/USB options.
Corsair Vengeance LPX – 16GB 3000MHz
Low profile to fit under the cooler fan. I understand the chosen mobo can be overclocked to make use of the 3000MHz RAM.

Cheers
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus H97M-Plus LGA 1150
CPU
Haswell Intel Core i3 4160 @ 3.6 GHz Dual-Core (4 Thread)
Graphics
Intel HD 4400 Integrated Graphics
Mac
iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
BCM94360CD & Mini PCI-e/PCI-e adapter
- Supposed to work natively/OOB. Does the choice of adapter make much of a difference? Has anyone had experience with this particular adapter/card?
I have the BCM94360CD card for handoff (which is probably why you want it), handoff does work from macOS > iOS but for some reason, I'm assuming my motherboard, I can't ever get iOS > macOS handoff to work (This could vary with your hardware). Although AirDrop, BT, and 5 GHz WiFi work when you install FakePCIID.kexts and the BrcmBluetoothInjector.kext. Another thing to keep in mind, some motherboards don't allow BT + WiFi cards on PCI x16, x8, x4 or x2 slots, so make sure your motherboard has an x1 slot for this.
OS: Sierra
- I’m assuming that there’s probably a little more support for Sierra at this stage than High Sierra. Any reason why I might choose differently? As far as I can tell, my software will be compatible.
YES. 10.13 is very unstable right now. It has gotten much better however there are still a ton of issues. Such as, iTunes crashing, weird/slow periodic glitches, APFS is still buggy, etc. For right now, I'd stick with 10.12
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
8
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
Intel i7 7700k
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 630
I have the BCM94360CD card for handoff (which is probably why you want it), handoff does work from macOS > iOS but for some reason, I'm assuming my motherboard, I can't ever get iOS > macOS handoff to work (This could vary with your hardware). Although AirDrop, BT, and 5 GHz WiFi work when you install FakePCIID.kexts and the BrcmBluetoothInjector.kext. Another thing to keep in mind, some motherboards don't allow BT + WiFi cards on PCI x16, x8, x4 or x2 slots, so make sure your motherboard has an x1 slot for this.

YES. 10.13 is very unstable right now. It has gotten much better however there are still a ton of issues. Such as, iTunes crashing, weird/slow periodic glitches, APFS is still buggy, etc. For right now, I'd stick with 10.12
Hi thanks for your message,

I'm fairly sure my motherboard has a PCI x1 slot, but I'll be sure to check. I'm actually considering downgrading to Asus Prime H270-Pro since I won't be overclocking at all. Any thoughts about this?

Not too concerned about handoff actually, I mainly chose it for the native support and the fact it should work straight away without much tinkering. I'll use it mostly for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi & Airdrop. Would like to be able to use a Bluetooth keyboard in the BIOS as well, which I understand it should allow.

And thanks for the insight, I'll be sure to stick to Sierra 10.12! Cheers!
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus H97M-Plus LGA 1150
CPU
Haswell Intel Core i3 4160 @ 3.6 GHz Dual-Core (4 Thread)
Graphics
Intel HD 4400 Integrated Graphics
Mac
iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Hi thanks for your message,

I'm fairly sure my motherboard has a PCI x1 slot, but I'll be sure to check. I'm actually considering downgrading to Asus Prime H270-Pro since I won't be overclocking at all. Any thoughts about this?

Not too concerned about handoff actually, I mainly chose it for the native support and the fact it should work straight away without much tinkering. I'll use it mostly for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi & Airdrop. Would like to be able to use a Bluetooth keyboard in the BIOS as well, which I understand it should allow.

And thanks for the insight, I'll be sure to stick to Sierra 10.12! Cheers!
That motherboard looks okay... there has been a guide for Sierra posted for it as well.

I need to research the BT Keyboard in BIOS because I've been trying to do that for awhile.

However, if you are going to buy the 4360CD WiFi+ BT Combo, just keep in mind you have to buy the right pci x1 adapter. If you don't, it may not work properly. If you look in the comments of this guide, you can find links to known working adapters. I just clicked the official link in the guide and found a good one. When in doubt, just look at the ratings/how many people have purchased it
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus H97M-Plus LGA 1150
CPU
Haswell Intel Core i3 4160 @ 3.6 GHz Dual-Core (4 Thread)
Graphics
Intel HD 4400 Integrated Graphics
Mac
iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Just out of curiosity, do you use Ableton or Logic Pro for production
 
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
8
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
Intel i7 7700k
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 630
That motherboard looks okay... there has been a guide for Sierra posted for it as well.

I need to research the BT Keyboard in BIOS because I've been trying to do that for awhile.

However, if you are going to buy the 4360CD WiFi+ BT Combo, just keep in mind you have to buy the right pci x1 adapter. If you don't, it may not work properly. If you look in the comments of this guide, you can find links to known working adapters. I just clicked the official link in the guide and found a good one. When in doubt, just look at the ratings/how many people have purchased it
Thanks for sending through those links. I'm seeing a lot of suitable adapters out there, just looking at ones that will ship out to Australia which is narrowing things down a bit. But I've been looking at the seller/ratings/units sold, so will probably order one of those and cross my fingers!

As far as I've read, the BCM94360CD should allow Bluetooth keyboard to work in the BIOS, but I wouldn't take anything as fact until I've tried it myself.

Oh yeah, I'd seen that Sierra guide for the motherboard a little earlier which instilled me with a bit more confidence. I like the fact that the h270 mobo has some USB 2.0 ports for the boot drive (which the previous z270 didn't).

And I work primarily in Ableton, with some occasional projects in Pro Tools. Have you had experience running either on a Hackintosh?
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus H97M-Plus LGA 1150
CPU
Haswell Intel Core i3 4160 @ 3.6 GHz Dual-Core (4 Thread)
Graphics
Intel HD 4400 Integrated Graphics
Mac
iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
I just mess around in Logic once in awhile. I usually like to mix tracks on my controller, beat matching and stuff. It's kinda fun. What genre do you work in (guessing like EDM or something)? and what makes you choose Ableton?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 7, 2017
Messages
8
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
Intel i7 7700k
Graphics
Intel HD Graphics 630
I just mess around in Logic once in awhile. I usually like to mix tracks on my controller, beat matching and stuff. It's kinda fun. What genre do you work in (guessing like EDM or something)? and what makes you choose Ableton?
Hi, sorry been away for a little bit.
Ah nice. I'm working in all sorts of genres - anything from EDM, R&B & Pop, to jazz, ballads and soul - so I'm needing a system that will handle both in the box mixing & live recording. Personally, I like Ableton for it's layout and fluent workflow - works great for my needs.

Quick question, can you see any problem with pairing an unlocked i7 7700k with an H270 chipset (Asus Prime H270-Pro)?
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2015
Messages
94
Motherboard
Asus H97M-Plus LGA 1150
CPU
Haswell Intel Core i3 4160 @ 3.6 GHz Dual-Core (4 Thread)
Graphics
Intel HD 4400 Integrated Graphics
Mac
iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Hi, sorry been away for a little bit.
Ah nice. I'm working in all sorts of genres - anything from EDM, R&B & Pop, to jazz, ballads and soul - so I'm needing a system that will handle both in the box mixing & live recording. Personally, I like Ableton for it's layout and fluent workflow - works great for my needs.

Quick question, can you see any problem with pairing an unlocked i7 7700k with an H270 chipset (Asus Prime H270-Pro)?
Ah... Compatibility wise, its fine. However, I have heard overclocking on macOS is not so easy. The main thing I think causes people issues is the fact that Apple doesn't make overclocked Macs, so you are in a hole by yourself. I would recommend checking the Build Guide to see configurations that are known to work well.
The beautiful thing about macOS is that it is UNIX and very lightweight. In fact, I would say that a Hackintosh, even being unsupported by macOS, runs at least 10x better with the proper configurations. In that matter, I'd say overclocking isn't that necessary to get a full experience. However, I can understand why you would want a super Mac - that would be pretty cool. Just know that by adding overclocking, you also add a potential headache to your installation

Bottom line, if you want to overclock, do NOT cheap out on the motherboard
 
Joined
Oct 26, 2017
Messages
8
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z370 HD3P
CPU
i7-8700K
Graphics
UHD 630
Mobile Phone
Android
Hi, i'm going to build same pc for same purposes with audio 8 dj by Native Instruments, do you test his compatibility?
This device seems not to be in the certified list on this forum.
Is ableton fluid well working when with MIDI controllers?
Thanx1k
 
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