Stork's Gene Build > ASUS MAXIMUS VIII GENE Z170 - i5-6600K - MSI Vega 56

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Stork's Gene Build: ASUS Maximus VIII GENE Z170 - i5-6600K - Vega 56



Intel i5-6600K Skylake Processor

Arctic Freezer 7 Pro Rev. 2 (Air) CPU Cooler

Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB (2 x 8GB) 2666 (PC4 21300) Desktop Memory (CMK16GX4M2A2666C16R)

MSI Radeon RX Vega 56 Air Boost 8G OC

Samsung 950 PRO -Series 512GB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD 2-Inch MZ-V5P512BW

Samsung 850 EVO 500GB SSD - Original Installation/Boot Drive

Fenvi FV-T919 WiFi/Bluetooth 4 PCIe Card - Handoff and Continuity
Note: if the Fenvi FV-T919 is out of stock, the Amazon link will show another Fenvi card. So, make sure you are ordering the FV-T919 model. It takes 7-10 days to return to in stock.

SeaSonic X Series X650 Gold 650W 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Full Modular Active PFC Power Supply New 4th Gen CPU Certified Haswell

SilverStone SST-PS07B Black MicroATX Mini Tower Computer Case

Other World Computing USB-C Dock

Already Owned

Logitech Solar Bluetooth K760 for Mac Keyboard

Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac - works boot up & in the BIOS

Apple Magic Bluetooth Mouse (1st edition)


The Build

The Motherboard
The core component of a build is the motherboard followed by the processor, memory and graphics card. My previous build, Hector (I name my builds), is a H97N WIFI ITX format motherboard which I build to be an entry level enthusiast computer system. However, I found the ITX motherboard didn't have enough PCI slots for my needs. I am a wannabe guitar player who wants to record my practice sessions for later review to determine areas for improvement (usually all areas). But, I found I missed the expansion capability that a PCIe x4 slot provides for a Firewire interface since my external recording adapters use Firewire connectors. So, I decided to return to the mATX motherboard format to get the PCIe x4 slot for my Firewire card.

Since Hector was an "entry level" system, this time, I decided to treat myself and get a top of the line mATX. I've never had a ASUS motherboard, and I've heard good things about them from tonymacx86, MacMan, beelzebozo and Gordo74, especially the ASUS MAXIMUS series. Thus, I chose the ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII GENE mATX motherboard for my Z170 Skylake build. In addition to the PCIe x4 slot, the GENE has a M.2 slot for either a AHCI (assigned to two SATA ports) or NVMe SSD blade located between the two PCI x 16 slots; hopefully, Apple will support NVMe in the near future.
A unique feature of the GENE is the ability to run the system without putting it in a case. The big red button (bottom of the motherboard picture) is the on/off button switch with the Reset button next to it. This feature came in handy when I was bench testing the system before installing the components into the Silverstone case.
The GENE also has support for the new USB 3.1, using the ASMedia controller. It has one Rear Panel port in the standard type USB port configuration and one port in the new USB 3.1 Type 3 configuration. The rest of the real panel USB ports are Intel chipset supported USB 3.0 ports.

Another feature is the ability to update the BIOS from within the BIOS using the Internet to grab the updated BIOS and install it. Nice. However, the feature I used to update the BIOS is called the USB BIOS Flashback (page 2-12 of the GENE User's Guide) which allows updating "the BIOS without entering the existing BIOS or operating system." Here's the simple instructions from the User's Guide:
GENE BIOS Real Panel.png
To use USB BIOS Flashback:​
  1. Download the latest BIOS from the ASUS website.
  2. Extract and rename the BIOS image le to M8G.CAP.
  3. Copy M8G.CAP to the root directory of your USB storage device.
  4. Turn off the system and connect the USB storage device to the USB BIOS Flashback port.
  5. Press the USB BIOS Flashback button.

Oh!...and another subtle, but extremely nice piece in the motherboard set of accessories is the Front Panel "ASUS Q-Connector which is a removable Front Panel plug that lets you connect the case's Front Panel connectors (wires) without all the inconvenience of trying it directly on the motherboard itself. Once all the wires are connected, then it's only a single plug to orient on the motherboard's Front Panel header.
Finally, the GENE is just good looking with red lighting even when the computer has been shutdown. If I've piqued your interest, then I recommend you go to the GENE web page for a description in great detail.

The rest of the components
Speaking of red, I chose the Corsair Vengeance LPX because of my great experience with the Corsair Vengeance LP White memory kits in my Z68 based systems. Well, low & behold, the LPX comes in colors including red. Well, I couldn't pass up red memory sticks for a motherboard with red accents. However, most important, the Vengeance LPX is on the GENE's Memory Qualified Vendors List. :thumbup:

I chose the Samsung 950 Pro M.2 NVMe SSD for two reasons: first, the motherboard had an M.2 NVMe slot and, second, since I determined the M.2 NVMe SSDs were the wave of the future, I wanted to test it. It works with RehabMans's patch which is needed (see below) because Apple is using a modified version of the NVMe standard, go figure. Update: The Samsung 950 Pro has been superseded by the 960 Pro which is faster. The 950 Pro is $60 USD more expensive than the 960 Pro on Amazon. So, go for the 960 Pro.

Originally, this build used a Gigabyte GTX 950. However, in early April 2018, when all the miners had driven the current AMD and Nvidia graphics cards to almost twice their recommended manufacturer's retail prices, I came across the Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition on Nivida's web store for ~$550 USD plus shipping and local tax. This price was almost half of what the retail sites (Amazon and Newegg) were selling this card for ($735+ USB). So, on a whim, I ordered it. :thumbup: Now, I don't need it for my use as I don't game or mine whatever. It drives my two monitors, one of which is a Dell 27" 4K monitor, without a problem. It just works fine with the latest Nividia drivers.

One of the best kept secrets in the Mac world is the Logitech Solar K760 Bluetooth keyboard for the Mac. It uses normal light to charge it's internal batteries and has 3 separate Bluetooth "assignment" keys. This later feature means you can assign the keyboard to three separate Bluetooth devices including computer(s), iPad and/or iPhone. Nice. I also really like this keyboard because I'm a touch typist and I like the typing feel of this board. But, the real beauty of the K760 is that it works from the start of boot up to get you into and around in the BIOS. However, you have to have the right WiF/BT4 PCIe card like the one I have that uses an iMac BCM94360CD chipset. You do have to "wake up" the K760 as you boot up by tapping the fn-delete key if you want to get into the BIOS or use the keyboard in the Clover boot screen. Get an Apple Bluetooth Magic Mouse, too; you won't regret it.

Now for the SilverStone SST-PS07B mATX case. I like it very much now that the system is assembled. But, it was a pain to get the components into the case. Step 1, take off the side panels. Step 2, unscrew the top of the case and remove (!). Step 3, remove the motherboard tray(!). Three hours later, after installing the SSD, then the PSU, next the motherboard scans the graphics card... Oh, I had to remove the HDD removal tray because the case's USB 3 header cable interfered with motherboard's header location and the HDD tray. (I finally got the HDD tray back in but I hope I didn't stress the motherboard header plug too much.) Once the graphics card was installed and the cables routed to maximize good airflow, the case looked like everything fit as if it was designed to contain my components. For such a highly praised case (in all the reviews I read), I'm not too impressed. It is light, and it fits on a desk without taking over the desk. But, I've been spoiled by the Fractcal Design Define series and Lian Li mATX cases. (Think I'm going to look into the Bitfenix Phenom M case about which tonymacx86 raves. Of course, the Phenom M costs twice as much as the SilverStone - hope for a sale soon.)

Just recently, I acquired a Other World Computing USB-C Dock in anticipation of getting a Skylake MacBook Pro this year. So, I decided to try out the Dock on the GENE using the Rear Panel's USB 3.1 Type-C port. It works using Rehabman's USB kexts and the Clover config.plist modifications description in the Installation section of the post. However, it only works at USB 3.0 speeds. The true be told, I only have a USB 3.0 thumb drive, so that's the speed limit that I can report. However, I am getting connectivity and USB 3.0 speeds using the USB 3.1 Type C port. :clap::thumbup: See post #117 for the AJA benchmark.

The Installation

Since a build description is more about the build component selection than an installation guide, I'm going to only hit the essentials of the installation which are only peculiar to the GENE. The following assumes you've got all your components installed in the computer system's case.

The following installation procedures are written for Mojave 10.14. Note, however, for those of you who have a Nvidia graphics card system Nvidia has stopped releasing drivers for Mojave and later versions of macOS.

Making the UniBeast USB Installation Thumb Drive

Use the tonymacx86 guide UniBeast: Install OS X Mojave on Any Supported Intel-based PC. Note: your USB Thumb drive needs to have 7.63 GB of free space to build the UniBeast installation thumb drive. Otherwise, you'll need a 16GB USB thumb drive which is a better size so you can load the following applications for use in the post installation phase:
:ch:MultiBeast for Mojave v11.3.0 which you can probably put on a 8GB USB thumb drive, but a 16GB drive is best
:ch:EFI Mounter V3
:ch: For proper processor power management, get the SSDT for your processor from ammulder's Guide and rename it SSDT.aml; I chose the SSDT for my i5-6600K. Note: ammulder's SSDTs are for non overclocking speeds; for overclocking, you'll need to create a SSDT for your processor using PikeRalpha's script located here.
:ch:Clover Configurator for fine tuning.

BIOS Setup

Follow Step 3 in the tonymacx86 guide.
:ch: Update the BIOS to the latest version which is 3801 as of April 26, 2018. This version updates the Intel Processor microcode problem. (See Post #1016 for more information.) Follow the USB BIOS Flashback method on page 2-12 of the GENE User's Guide. Note: BIOS versions greater than 2202 will no longer saves NVRAM (important) between boot ups. This impacts iMessage and Nvidia web drivers. So, if your BIOS version is greater than 2202, you will need to fix this in MultiBeast as I point out below.

:ch: Once the BIOS is updated, boot into the BIOS, use the Advanced Mode and make the following changes:
Extreme Tweeker
:ch: AI Overclocker Tuner > X.M.P.​
:ch: Extreme Tweeking > Enable​

Advanced Items
:ch: System Agent (SA) Configuration > VT-d > Disable​
:ch: PCH Configuration > IOAPIC 24-119 > Disabled​
:ch: USB Configuration > Legacy USB Support > Auto​
:ch: USB Configuration > Keyboard and Mouse Simulation > Disabled <--- See BIOS Note below.​
:ch: APM Configuration > Power on by PCI - E/PCI > Disabled​

Boot Menu
:ch: Fast Boot > Disabled​
:ch: Boot Logo Display > Disabled​
:ch: Secure Boot > OS Type > Other OS​
:ch: Boot Option 1 > USB installer thumb drive (the UEFI choice if there are two entries)​

:ch: Exit > Save Changes​

Note: Starting with BIOS version 3504, the BIOS has eliminated the XHCI Hand Off parameter and added a KeyBoard/Mouse Simulation parameter which must be disabled.

Installation Notes

The following procedures are for a fresh (new) installation of Mojave which is the latest macOS available on the Apple Mac App Store (MAS).

:ch: Follow Steps 4 & 5 in the tonymacx86 guide: UniBeast: Install macOS Mojave on Any Supported Intel-based PC.
:ch: Insert the UniBeast USB Thumb Drive in the USB port in the bottom USB port at the bottom of the stack with the PS/2 port at the top (see Rear Port graphic above);
:ch: Boot into the Mojave Installer with the UniBeast Installer USB thumb drive to begin the installation.
:ch: When the installation is complete, you are prompted to log into iCloud, do not log in - skip it - as it messes up Messages;
:ch: Drag & drop MultiBeast, EFI Mounter V3, KextBeast and Clover Configurator zip files from the thumb drive to your Applications folder, unzip them, run MultiBeast and selection the following:
:ch: Quick Start > UEFI Boot Mode​
:ch: Drivers > Audio > AppleALC​
:ch: Drivers > Audio > 100/200/300 Series Audio Support (HDAS -> HDEF)​
:ch: (Optional) Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC Plugins​
:ch: (Optional) Drivers > Misc > FakeSMC HWMonitor Application​
:ch: Drivers > Network > Intel > IntelMausiEthernet v2.4.0​
:ch: Drivers > USB > USBInjectAll​
:ch: Drivers > USB > Remove XHCI USB Port Limit​
:ch: Customize -> Graphics > Core Graphics Fixup AKA WhateverGreen​
:ch: Customize -> Graphics > Inject ATI​
:ch: Build <--- To see your full configuration​
Note: The default System Definition is the iMac14,2 for Mojave. I recommend you use this SysDef to do your installation and get Mojave up and running. You can change it later if need be.​

:ch: Save <--- Save your MultiBeast configuration file somewhere convenient​
:ch: Click on the Install button in the MultiBeast window bottom right hand corner and wait for MultiBeast to finish​
:ch: Reboot into the BIOS.
:ch: Change BOOT > Boot Options Priorities > Select your installation disk to either the:
UEFI (Samsung 950 Pro...) NVMe M.2 drive​
UEFI setting for the Sierra drive.​
Note: Always pick the UEFI choice if there are two entries for the same drive.​
:ch: EXIT to save the BIOS update and reboot.

To get audio working you'll need to use the Green sound port on the Rear Panel with the System Preference's Sound pane set up as follows:


Finally, since we're using the iMac14,2 system definition, we have to make one more change since Sierra broke wake-up from long (4+hours) sleep. Special thanks to pastrychief for discovering this "fix"; see his Build Description and Post #63 in his Build Description thread for more details. So, in the Terminal, execute the following command:
sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 0
See also my Post #557 in MyHero Build Description thread for a summary of pastrychief's explanation.

One last tip/note, to check to see if your SSDTs are loading, use the following command in the Terminal:
bdmesg|grep -y aml
You can also add this to your .profile in your user folder so that, upon opening the Terminal, it shows the results. :thumbup:

USB Charging
RehabMan has a guide to allow USB 3 ports to charge iDevices. Rather than repeat it here, see Post #963 for the details on adding a DSDT patch in the config.plist.

Welcome to Clover and Sierra! :clap::thumbup:


This hackintosh is fantastic! Enjoy your hackintosh.

What Works
  • USB 3.1 ports work. The USB 3.1 Type C connect must be inserted at the Clover boot screen and disconnected after shutdown or at reboot because, somehow, the BIOS won't boot with it plugged in. :rolleyes:
  • Sleep & Wake-up, both manual (Apple > Sleep) and scheduled (Energy Saver SysPerf pane).
  • USB 3.0 ports charging iDevices.
  • Audio through the Green back panel port. Audio works after sleep/wake-up with the Codec Commander kext.
  • iMessages
  • Continuity/Handoff with the Broadcom iMac WiFi/BT4 PCIe card listed in the Components section at the top of this Build Description
What Doesn't Work
  • Everything works that I've tried.
For El Capitan AJA Benchmarks for both the Samsung 950 M.2 NVMe 512GB and the Samsung 850 480GB SATA SSDs, see Post #137.

Sierra 10.12.3 AJA Benchmark for the Samsung 950 M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD


April 04, 2019. Installed Mojave 10.14.4 update on my Mojave test SSD. See Post #1220.

September 16, 2018. Updated to High Sierra 10.13.6. See Post #1193 if you're updating instead of doing a fresh install. In this update I switch from using the RealTek audio drivers to the AppleALC kext.
August 19, 2018. Updated the MultiBeast procedures reflecting MultiBeast v10.4.0 and using AppleALC kext and the latest PMHeart USB Port Limit patch.
May 04, 2018. Updated the build description to reflect a new Nvidia GTX 1080 Founders Edition.
April 27, 2018. Finally got around to applying the 10.13.4 Security update. See Post #1171.
April 13, 2018. Updated to High Sierra 10.13.4 from 10.12.6. Update when smoothly. See Post #1155.

February 05, 2018. Updated 10.12.6 with the 2018-001 security update.
January 15, 2018. Updated the BIOS information for v3703 which adds a patch for the Intel CPU microcode problem.
August 15, 2017. Updated the BIOS information for v3504. Thanks to blacktea, for this information. See Post #1043.
August 01, 2017. Removed the Optional MultiBeast configuration item "3rd Party SATA as it is not needed. Thanks to WedgeTail and pastrychef for pointing out that it is not needed for Z170 chipset motherboards. (My excuse is that I've been using that option since 2010 and just assumed that it might be needed. Shame on me. :lol:)
July 02, 2017. Added note to update BIOS to latest version to correct HyperThreading processor microcode problem. See Post #1016 for more information.
May 20, 2017. Corrected the name of the FakeSMC_GPUSensors.kext to delete. Thanks to Maddeen for catching that mistake.
May 19, 2017. Patched the /EFI/EFI/Clover/config.plist for enabling USB 3 power/charging. See Post #963.
May 16, 2017. Updated to Sierra 10.12.5 with no problems. Audio works. See Post #970.
May 15, 2017. Update the MultiBeast v9.1.0 Build screen snapshot.
May 05, 2017. Updated the MulitBeast installation procedures due to MultiBeast v9.1.0 installation changes & problems.
April 03, 2017. Update the above installation for Sierra 10.12.4 fresh installation, and posted a like to my procedure for updating to Sierra 10.12.4.
March 10, 2017. Added the Fenvi WiFi/BT PCIe card that works OOB including Continuity/Handoff.
March 01, 2017. Correct the link in the Components section for the Other World Computing USB-C Dock.
February 28, 2017. Removed the the GenericUSBXHI.kext from the MultiBeast configuration as it is not needed for Sierra. Thanks to pastrychef for this insight.
February 09, 2017. Added RehabMan's check for SSDT & DSDT loading.
January 31, 2017. Added the AJA Benchmark for the Samsung 950 M.2 NVMe 512GB SSD using RehabMan's Spoofing and HackrNVMeFamily-10_12_1.kext.
December 12, 2016. Added pasytrychief's Terminal command to fix wake-up from long (4+hours) sleep with references to his explanation on why it's necessary for using the iMac system definition.
November 19, 2016. Added RehabMan's suggestion to change the name IONVMeFamily.kext to IONVMeFamily.kext.bak as a method of archiving the original kext in /S/L/E/.
November 18, 2016. Updated the Sierra 10.12.1 patch information for NVMe drives.
November 03, 2016. Sierra 10.12.1 introduced a problem with wake-up after sleep. Need to add to Boot Arguments darkwake=0.
October 10, 2016. Updated the installation procedures to reflect installing Sierra 10.12.0.
October 05, 2016. BIOS updated to v2202 (October 04, 2016). Thanks to richtig for calling to my attention. :thumbup:
October 03, 2016. Updated to Sierra. Short installation procedure at Post #649. I'll update here soon.
September 14, 2016. Update the MultiBeast note to recommend iMac14,2 system definition in preparation for installing Sierra.


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Nice Stork, another very sweet build. Can't wait for benchies...
Thank you for this guide! If I may suggest an edit, XHCI Hand-off is found under Advanced>USB Configuration>XHCI Hand-off. I hunted for it a while. :)

Also, did you install a USB 2.0 cable to the motherboard to boot to the installer USB drive? I am getting the "no" symbol error and suspect a USB issue.

Thanks again!
Thank you for this guide! If I may suggest an edit, XHCI Hand-off is found under Advanced>USB Configuration>XHCI Hand-off. I hunted for it a while. :)
Thank you. I've updated the BIOS settings segment in the build description. :thumbup:

BTW, this is a build description, not a guide. If it was a guide, you would not read about why I build this system and why I chose these components.

Also, did you install a USB 2.0 cable to the motherboard to boot to the installer USB drive? I am getting the "no" symbol error and suspect a USB issue.
I didn't use a USB 2 header cable. I use the Real Panel USB 3 (blue) port. Since the header ports are usually in the higher count of USB ports and the El Cappy USB default maximum USB count is 15 ports (USB 3 count as 2 ports), I used the Real Panel USB 3 (blue) port. Worked.
would this build work without the GPU??
Yes, but the Intel on-board HD 530 is flaky as I stated at the end of the build description (What doesn't work). I don't think HD 530 would be usable for you. This may change in the next update.
Hi Stork!

Could you upload your configuration?

It seems that i am missing something:shifty:
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