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Success: Mini-ITX Build (Haswell)

Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
967
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I AORUS PRO WIFI
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
With tonymacx86.com's essential help, my first DIY computer is a Haswell-based Mini-ITX Hackintosh. Project ran from early March through middle April 2014.

Hardware

Computer case: Thermaltake SD101 Mini-ITX (10.3" wide, 10.4" deep, 4.7" tall)
Built-in 180 watt power supply; provisions for one 3.5" HDD or two 2.5" SSDs, optical drive. 80 mm system exhaust fan, room for one PCIe graphics card, two front panel USB 3.0 ports, power and reset switches, power and activity LEDs, wire harnesses for ATX power motherboard slot, optical disc drive, front panel audio.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI: Mini ITX motherboard with built-in WI-FI and Bluetooth, LGA 1150 socket fits intel 4th-gen "Haswell" CPU, many features (see Amazon site).

CPU
Intel Quad-Core i7 4770K: not overclocked... as received.

CPU Cooler
Noctua NH-L9I: 95mm x 95 mm, 37 mm high with fan.

RAM
Kingston HyperX Blue: 16 GB RAM kit.

Storage
Samsung 840 EVO SSD: Two 2.5" 250 GB SSDs and tray adapter to 3.5" HDD slot.

Graphics Card
EVGA nVidia GeForce GT610: Low-power card provides HDMI, DVI, and VGA ports with low-profile option. (Edit: Replaced with EVGA nVidia GeForce GT740 low Profile version)

Optical Drive
Pioneer BDXL (BDR-208BDK): Blu-ray/DVD/CD-ROM writer.

USB Flash Drive: Needed to make OS X installation drive using UniBeast.


Software

Initial requirement was for Snow Leopard 10.6.8 to gain access to free-download Mac OS X 10.9.2 via the Apple App Store. Purchased a DVD of Snow Leopard 10.6.3 and downloaded the combo update to 10.6.8. Used an "iBoot Haswell" CD-ROM from the tonymacx86.com website to get this far.

Accessed the Apple App Store and downloaded Mavericks installer to the USB drive using UniBeast from tonymacx86.com. Used UniBeast to install Mac OS 10.9.2 on one of the two SSDs.

Currently running 10.9.2 on the new machine; Geekbench reports multi-core test result of 15,800 in 64-bit mode. No stability problems so far; the Apple apps supplied with Mavericks such as Mail and Safari work fine. Audio is good, unless a Blu-ray is played with volume over 1/2 in which case distortion occurs. Using external volume to make up the difference allows loud, clear audio.

21 Mobo in Chassis.jpg27 Top View RAM and Video Card.jpg

30 Top Rear Angle View.jpg36 Top Front with Scale.jpg33 Rear Angle with Top.jpg
 
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Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
8
Motherboard
Gigabyte H170M-D3H
CPU
Intel Skylake i7-6700
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Nice build

I would like to go for my first hack with something similar in mini-itx format.

I'd only rather use a Bitfenix case like Mini-itx or Prodigy and maybe use a more powerful video card to play some games.
Do you think there is a more powerful graphic card that would fit in this system?

cheers
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2014
Messages
967
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 I AORUS PRO WIFI
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Thanks, and yes, I trashed the GT610, whose performance was considerably less than the Intel HD4600 integrated graphics, and replaced it with the low-profile version of the EVGA nVidia GeForce GT740. A comparison of the HD4600, GT610, and low-profile GT740 performances is below. Frame rates are from the Unigine "Heaven" benchmark as run on my "Hackintosh."

HD4600: 12.2 fps
GT610: 4.5 fps
GT740: 32.1 fps

Configuration of "Heaven" was as opened by the app, namely "medium" quality, 2x anti-aliasing, full screen. If you run "Heaven" using the HD4600 (or lesser graphics) you will see that some of the pine trees instead of being green are blue and "wispy." With the GT740 they are fully rendered and correctly green.

I wrote a review of the GT740 on the Amazon page I linked... it's the 2nd one down, dated May 2015. If you build with the Thermaltake SD101 case, and use this graphics card, to install it you will have to disconnect the larger half-height card bracket because of the card's 6-7/8" length, and "shoehorn" the card and its connector into the bracket after putting the bracket in place at the rear of the case. It will fit, but just barely clear the 180-watt built-in power supply. I have never had a problem with this computer's operation due to the wimpy power supply... it is really great. Presently running Mac OS 10.10.5 per tonymax86.com's installation process, and no problems.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2015
Messages
8
Motherboard
Gigabyte H170M-D3H
CPU
Intel Skylake i7-6700
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Nice, I am used to play games with my Mac Mini or Macbook retina that have the Iris integrated card so this would be a great improvement.
Also I usually play RTS or Dota 2 so I don't need much power. Just the thrill to add some filters will be enough :)

Your build is one of my 2/3 favourite so far, looks easy to replicate and the price range is good too.
 
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