- Sep 21, 2013
- Classic Mac
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Chikorita157’s x99 Haswell-E Mac Pro Replacement (Tedeza Rize): Asus Sabertooth X99 – i7 5820k – RX Vega 56 - 32 GB Ram – Dual Boot Samsung Evo 850 256 GB SDDComponents
Intel Core i7-5820K 3.3 GHz Hex Core Processor
Noctua NH-D15 with Dual NF-A15 140mm fans
Asus X99 Sabertooth Motherboard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 4x4GB DDR4 2666 MHZ Memory
Corsair Vengeance LED Red 2x8GB DDR4 3000 MHZ Memory
eVGA Supernova 750W B2 80+ Bronze Certified Modular Power Supply
Fractal Define R6 TG Mid Tower Case Black
PowerColor AMD Radeon RX Vega 56 8 GB HBM Graphics Card (Reference Cooler)
No Longer Available, see Ebay
Apple BCM94331CD Wireless/Bluetooth Card - works out of the box
BCM94360CD / BCM94331CD to PCI-E PCI Express x1 Adapter
HD: 3 TB Western Digital Red Hard Drive x 2
SSD: 250 GB Samsung EVO 850 SSD
SSD: Crucial MX300 275GB SSD (Windows)
Apple Wired Keyboard and Mouse
USB: Inatek Cord-free Power Supply, 2 Port USB 3.0 Express Card
Elgato Game Capture HD60 Pro - Not compatible
8 GB USB 2.0 Sandisk Cruiser Thumb Drive
Noctua NH-D9L Dual Tower Processor Cooler
EVGA nVidia GeForce GTX 1070 8GB GDDR Hybrid Gaming Video Card
ZOTAC GeForce GTX 980Ti 6GB ZT-90501-10P Reference Card
eVGA nVidia Geforce GTX 970 ACX 2.0+ 4 GB Graphics Card (Replaced) - No Longer Available, see eBay
1 TB Western Digital RE3 Hard Drive - No Longer Available)
About This Build
After the disappointing keynote in October of last year and still no announcement for a new Mac Pro, I thought of building a hackintosh, mainly on an Intel X99 platform. After looking on eBay, I found a used combo with a Core i7 5820k, an ASUS Sabertooth motherboard and 16 GB of DDR4 memory for $512. Considering that x99 motherboards, 16 GB DDR4 memory and a 6800k processor will cost more than the price the seller is selling for and a Skylake combo will cost a bit more, it’s hard to pass up this deal.
However, X99 builds are difficult to set up since Apple never made a Mac Pro using the X99 platform. The iMac Pro opted for a platform very similar to the X299 platform, but instead use Xeon WS series CPUs. An X299 build is slightly easier to set up, although I haven’t done it. Thanks to kgp’s work, High Sierra and eventually Mojave runs smoothly on a X99 Sabertooth.
I have since upgrade to a Macbook Pro 2018, which almost have the processing power of a 5820k. However, I still maintain this Hackintosh for more intensive tasks.
Building the System
While I have worked with PC hardware such as upgrading RAM, adding a new HD, upgrading processors, it was easy. The Fractal Design S case is easy to work with. I simply installed the power supply, mounted the hard drives and SSDs, install the standoffs for the mother board and installing it, cleaning existing compound. Afterwards, I connected all the power connectors, PCIe cards including graphics cards, hard drives and fans together. I got the front panel connectors right on the first try as well.
Installing the heatsink was easy. I went with the Noctua NH-D15 dual tower cooler since I like how quiet the fans are despite the ugly coloring and it performs almost like a 2 radiator all in one water cooler. Installing it is easy. Simply install the bolts around the processor, place the brackets, screw them down, apply compound and install the heatsink.
As for wireless, I decided to order an official Apple BCM94331CD since I don't necessarily need Wireless AC and the computer will be hooked to the Ethernet eventually.
I eventually opted for a Vega 56. Any Vega card is supported under macOS Mojave, including the new AMD Radeon VII under 10.4.5 and work well with encoding and decoding H264 video files. NVidia cards and RX 4xx/5xx cards are not recommended.
First off, you need to flash the BIOS to use xcpm patches with the new method. This is required for future versions of macOS and also increases compatibility. This makes things a lot easier in the long run. Note that all this work is already done and you only need to put the included BIOS image to the flash drive.
1.) Unzip and copy the X99ST.CAP (or it's derivative in case you use a different ASUS mobo) to a FAT-formatted USB2.0 storage device.
2.) Shut-down your hack, connect the USB2.0 storage device to the USB-port assigned to the ASUS BIOS Flashback procedure (see the mobo manual for details). Press the BIOS-Flashback button for three seconds until the flashback-led starts to blink, indicating that the BIOS Flashback is in progress. Release the button. The locations of the BIOS-Flashback button and the USB-port assigned to the BIOS-Flashback procedure on the ASUS Sabertooth X99 are indicated in the figure below:
3.) Wait until the Flashback-led stops blinking and turns off, indicating that the BIOS Flashback process as been successfully completed. You now successfully installed the most actual patched BIOS, compatible with native OSX/MacOS power management.
4.) Boot your system and apply the BIOS settings described below.
The following needs to be set before you can boot into macOS with Unibeast. Enter the UEFI BIOS by pressing the Del key. Then restore the settings to optimized defaults and set the following (Props to kgp) :
The installation setup assumes you have the same basic hardware: SATA SSD, Vega 56, Core i7 5820k.
1. On a real Mac, download the macOS Mojave installer from the Mac App Store.
2. Create the Mojave Installer to an USB flash drive or hard drive:
sudo /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app/Contents/Resources/createinstallmedia --volume /Volumes/USB --applicationpath /Applications/Install\ macOS\ Mojave.app --nointeraction
3. Use the EFI Mounter to mount the EFI partition. Copy Boot and Clover folder from the EFI folder distribution zip file to the EFI folder on the Mojave Installer partition.
4. Copy Copy Clover Configuratorand EFI Mounter v3 to the Mojave installer. We will need these for the post install.
5. Reboot the computer and select the Clover macOS Mojave installer.
6. When the clover menu appears, select the macOS Mojave installer. Follow the install process
7. Once installation is complete, copy Clover Configurator and EFI Mounter V3 to the Applications folder. Use the EFI Mounter V3 to mount both the macOS Mojave installer drive and also the drive you installed Mojave on.
8. Open the Mojave Installer EFI folder and the EFI folder on the drive you installed Mojave on. Copy the Boot and Clover folders to the EFI folder of the EFI partition where you installed Mojave on.
9. Open Clover Configurator. We will generate a serial number to make iMessage work. Go to the Mount EFI section and unmount the Mojave Installer EFI partition.
10. Click Open Partition of the drive that contains your Mojave installation. Open the EFI and then the Clover folder. Drag the config.plist to Clover Configurator.
11. Click the SMBIOS to view the settings for the SMBIOS. This contains information about the computer, including the serial number, board serial number and UUID. First, click Generate New under Serial Number. Then click “Check Coverage” to ensure the serial number is invalid and not taken by an actual iMac Pro. If you get “We’re sorry, but this serial number isn’t valid. Please check your information and try again,” you are good. If you see warranty information, generate a new serial number and repeat the process until you receive this message.
12. Next, generate a new SMUUID by clicking Generate New button under SMUUID.
13. Save the Config.plist by clicking File > Save or CMD+S. Close Clover Configurator.
14. Eject the Mojave installer and unplug it from your system. Reboot the system. If you see the Clover Menu without the installer, you are all set.
Update: January 22, 2017
I got my BCM94360CD / BCM94331CD to PCI-E PCI Express x1 Adapter in the mail and I took the BCM94331CD card from my Mac Pro (another one is coming in the mail, which I will install in that system) and put it on the adapter board. While having bluetooth on prevents the computer from sleeping, it detects it out of the box. Not the Wifi, although this can be fixed by following this guide. I don't know why it doesn't work out the box completely since I didn't need to install anything when I had it in my Mac Pro 2008. Thankfully, this adapter board does not cause the shutdown after awake issue compared to using a Fenvi Wireless Mini PCIe adapter with the Azurewave.
Update: January 25, 2017
The power supply got replaced with a eVGA Supernova 750w Power Supply as I am planning to upgrade the GTX 970 (and selling it) with a GTX 980 TI since the 1070 is not supported on macOS. Also, the CX series power supplies are low quality from what I read.
Update: March 30, 2017
Everything still works after 10.12.4 update. You need to update Clover to r3994 or newer for kext injection to work.
Update: June 26, 2017
Updated to a GTX 1070 since Pascal drivers are out.
Update: January 15, 2018
Updated to High Sierra
Update: February 8, 2018
Updated the EFI folder with a more supported configuration for future versions of High Sierra. This involves flashing a modded BIOS so Xnu CPU Power Management can be used. SSDT contained in the folder uses overclocked max turbo speed of 4200 MHz. Sound is also fixed in the configuration. Heatsink replaced with NH-D15.
Update: July 28, 2018
I have replaced the GTX 1070 and sold it with an RX 580, but a 580 causes issues since the drivers expect a iGPU, which the x99 platform does not have. The new method kgp used for X99 systems now use the iMac Pro SMBIOS, which causes issues with the RX 580, thus forcing me to use the MacPro5,1 SMBIOS, which is not ideal. I found a used Vega 56 that is lightly mined for only a few weeks and it works flawlessly with the VegaGraphicsFixUp.kext and H264 encoding and decoding also works with Final Cut Pro X. It's highly recommended to use a Vega GPU with an X99 build opposed to an nVidia or an RX 580 GPU. Benchmark scores are coming soon.
Update: May 20, 2019
Updated guide for Mojave. Also changed case, but it doesn't affect the overall setup process.
- Audio including the front panel
- USB 3 (as of High Sierra and the new EFI Clover folder, USB2 devices will work on USB3 devices)
- USB 2.0
- USB 3.1
- Graphics (with Whatevergreen.kext installed for 4 port Vega cards)
- Second Ethernet Port (Install Realtek 8111 Ethernet Drivers)
- Wireless (With Apple BCM94331CD and an adapter. Wireless with this board requires kext to whitelist the card)
- Sleep (Not yet implemented)
Benchmark Results (970):
Unigine Heaven = 83.2 FPS, Score 2097, Min 11 FPS, Max: 173.9 FPS running at high settings, moderate Tessellation and 1920x1080 resolution.
Novabench: 1535, RAM-222, CPU-1072, GPU-176, Disk-65
Civilization 6: Average Frame Time: 41.885ms, 99th Percentile: 77.330ms
For 980 Ti benchmark results with a 4.2 GHz overclock, see the seventh post of this thread. For 1070 results, see this post in this thread. For Vega 56 results, see this post.
- UniBeast: Install macOS Sierra on Any Supported Intel-based PC
- How to extend the iMac Pro to X99 [Successful Build/Extended Guide]
- How to Fix iMessage
- NVIDIA Alternate Graphics Drivers for macOS Sierra
- Airport Mini PCIe Guide
- The Perfect Customac Pro - macOS High Sierra 10.13 on X99 - Full Success
- 1/19/2017 – Initial Release
- 1/22/2017 - Add information about Wifi/BT
- 1/25/2017 - Changed power supply information.
- 1/28/2017 - Final build photos, updated benchmark results.
- 3/30/2017 - Sierra 10.12.4 update and clarification on where to copy files to Unibeast installer drive.
- 6/27/2017 - GTX 980 Ti replaced with a GTX 1070
- 1/16/2018 - Updated to High Sierra, included clover folder without board serials.
- 2/8/2018 - Update clover folder without board serials using the new method. Replaced heat sink.
- 7/28/2018 - Replaced GTX 1070/RX 580 with a Vega 56.
- 5/20/2019 - Update guide for Mojave