- Jul 11, 2014
- Core i7-4790K
- GTX 760 2GB
- Classic Mac
- Mobile Phone
GA-Z97X-UD5H / i7 4790K / 32GB / GTX 760 / 10.9.4
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H Motherboard
Intel Core i7-4790K Haswell Quad-Core 4.0GHz Desktop CPU w/fan
32GB Crucial Ballistix DDR3L 1.35V 1600Mhz DRAM - Quantity two of these kits:
PNY Brand nVidia GTX 760 Card - This is not what I started with. More below.
I had the following stuff around already, and they were involved in my ultimate build in some capacity:
Ancient Gigabyte GTX 570 card
Old Intel 510 series 256GB SSD
Corsair CX750M Modular PSU
Seagate 7200rpm 3TB SATA drive
A shockingly cheap Thermaltake mid-tower case
Build and testing was performed with the display connected to a 1920x1200 monitor in the form of a Dell U2412M. Eventually this setup will be connected to an old 30" monitor I have.
I decided to post this in the hopes it'll be useful to others. I drew heavily on the contents of these forums during my build and troubleshooting. I built this system to accelerate some video rendering functions in Final Cut Pro X. My rMBP is speedy, but it takes quite a while to perform final transcoding of footage. Everything I am doing in FCPX is for a hobby rather than work or something that makes money, so I certainly could not justify spending $4k on a Mac Pro to make things faster. Cheaper hardware and a little bit of time is a different story.
- My first installation (10.9.1) was performed at BIOS F5
- Prior to my final install (10.9.4) I updated the BIOS to F8
- In the BIOS, I followed the instructions from elsewhere in the forums of "load optimized defaults", then "disable VT-d"
- I additionally disabled the onboard graphics altogether, having no reason to use it
- My original build used a Gigabyte 570 GTX video card
- This necessitated the use of GraphicsEnabler=Yes for both the installer and the full OS
- I used a MacBook Air with 10.8 installed to build an 8GB USB stick installation for 10.9.1 using UniBeast 4.0.1.
- Installation required npci=0x2000 and maxmem=4096 to perform reliably
- The installation process was consistently reliable
After successfully completing the 10.9.1 installation I never had issues using the USB stick to boot into the installed OS, again still using the maxmem=4096 parameter to limit my potential difficulties.
Using MultiBeast (6.3.1 used throughout this process) to install the loader and drivers onto the SSD consistently broke the system making it unbootable. I had this happen a large number of times. Interestingly enough, once I attempted to use MultiBeast to prep the installed OS it was no longer bootable even from the USB stick--which defied my expectations for how Chameleon worked. I could boot into the installer from USB, but not the installed operating system.
Because I was using a processor outside the range of "normal Mac CPUs" I was worried that was the source of my pain and that I needed the CPU updates included in 10.9.2, so I used the same MacBook Air and UniBeast 4.0.1 to build a new installation stick for 10.9.4. I also did not have confidence in Time Machine backing up my semi-working Hackintosh, so I started snapshotting the filesystem over the network using PXE-booted Knoppix to save from constant re-installs.
After a lot of frustration I discovered that GenerateCStates and GeneratePStates being set is what was breaking boot on this particular combination of chipset/CPU. Subsequent runs of MultiBeast to prep the installed system without that option selected created no issues for me. I also followed the "quick workaround for 9-series chipset audio" steps and have audio working, with the caveat that others have noted that the sound is coming from the pink port rather than the green one. Otherwise the audio works great, and I left audio enabled when running the Unreal engine benchmarks requested as part of the forum template.
Why nVidia GTX 570?
As indicated, I did this whole installation process using a GTX 570 card I already had, GraphicsEnabler=Yes, and npci=0x2000. Once I had the OS stable enough to actually start using it it became clear that while some things were working fine (basic translucence, overlays, most CI functions, etc.) things were not working exactly right. Chrome for example with GPU support enabled would not play videos without pausing, and during the pauses I would have the spinning color wheel cursor. Attempts to run trivial 3D games also broke, so it was evident that something was amiss. I wanted something fast, stable, and reliable, so I opted to get a GTX 760 as recommended in the current buyer's guide. I swapped the cards, booted once using GraphicsEnabler=No entered by hand at the command prompt and once in the OS edited the Chameleon boot plist to make that change permanent. Since then all graphics functions (games, benchmarks, etc.) seem to be working completely and correctly.
- 32GB of RAM, seems fine
- Audio working great via 9-series work-around
- GTX 760 seems to be working great so far
- Core i7 4790K is absurdly fast
- Onboard i217 works fine. The other NIC is not supported
- Graphics sleep and system sleep both work fine
- System boots to desktop extremely fast
Here is a screenshot of my final MultiBeast 6.3.1 configuration:
Additional Screenshots / Benchmarks
System info screenshots:
If anyone has questions about anything I had to deal with to make this work reply to the thread and I will see if I have something useful to contribute.
Edit 14 July 2014: Deleted references to my failures with a socket 2011 build. Nobody cares. Also fixed UniBeast reference error.
Edit 15 July 2014: Updated GeekBench screenshot after buying the 64-bit benchmark.