[SUCCESS] Spballer's Build: GA-Z97X-GAMING-GT / i7-4790k / Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 SC

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Oct 14, 2014
i7-4790k 4.4ghz
Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 SC
  1. Mac Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Spballer's Build: GA-Z97X-GAMING-GT / i7-4790k / Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 SC


Important 10.10.2 Update Information at bottom of post!

**NEW (3/19/2015)** 10.10.2 Security Update / Web Driver information included


Case: In Win 904

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-GAMING-GT

CPU: i7-4790K

GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 SC

Memory: Kingston HyperX Savage - 32GB 1866MHz

Storage: Samsung 850 PRO - 1TB

PSU: Silverstone Tek Strider Gold S Series 850W Fully Modular 80+ Gold

Optical Disk Drive: LG Internal BD-ROM UH12NS30

CPU Cooler: Corsair Hydro Series H75

Rear Case Fan: Cooler Master Blade Master 92

Wifi Card: TP-Link TL-WDN4800

Bluetooth: GMYLE Micro USB 4.0 Dongle


Keyboard (Wired): Apple Full Wired Keyboard

Keyboard (Wireless): Logitech Bluetooth Easy-Switch K811

Mouse: Logitech Performance Mouse MX

Mic: HDE Plug and Play Home Studio USB Desktop Microphone

Already Owned

Trackpad: Apple Magic Trackpad

Speakers: Logitech Z-4 2.1 Speakers *not readily available

Monitor: I-Inc iH-282HPB 28" LCD *not readily available


When I somehow stumbled upon the subject of Hackintosh's about a year ago I knew that was the route I wanted to go when it came time to upgrade from my MacBook Pro (17" late 2008, its been awesome, and still is but I'd like to retire it from gaming and entertainment and prolong its life). But I was worried since I have never built a computer and, while I can use them without much error, the language behind them was unknown to me.

I found this site and became addicted to the idea of building one. So I tried to learn as much as I could, reading through guides of all sorts, checking out what kind of problems people were having, reading the wiki, learning what abbreviations meant, etc etc. After some considerable time I felt comfortable enough to turn the idea into a reality and started procuring my parts, using the buyers guide as my primary resource for components.

I wanted to build a really nice looking machine that was powerful and quiet. I don't do super intensive productivity things on my computer, but I enjoy gaming and entertainment and wanted to have plenty of horsepower for any of that, as well as be able to upgrade in the future. When I compiled my list of wanted parts I double checked it in the Buyers Advice forum for peace of mind.

This was my first build, and if anyone else is reading this who also wants to build their own machine but hasn't done so before, I'd like to put my experience in a nutshell for you:

This project was probably the most fun and rewarding project I've done in a decade, it was not without its frustrations, but believe me its all worth it! My biggest piece of advice to anyone else looking to get their feet wet with a computer build is to TAKE YOUR TIME!!!! If there is something you don't understand, research it, if something isn't going together smoothly, don't force it - take a break and come back to it in a little while and try again. Don't let anyone else dictate your pace, I read so often how "once you have everything laid out infront of you you'll have your computer together and running in 30 minutes", that was not the case for me, it took me a FULL day of just assembling the machine (I am a bit of a perfectionist, and wanted to do my best with cable management and component clearances as I could, so that added A LOT of time), let alone dealing with installation and post installation.

All that looked like this :confused:

This is what I ended up with :thumbup:



Nvidia Web Drivers link updated (1/24/2015)
The following installation section has been updated using corrected methods and explained in a little more depth with some visual aids, I hope it helps others who were as lost as I was when I began. I owe a debt of gratitude to Stork for bringing an installation error to my attention and helping me through it, which is discussed in the first couple pages of this thread. What follows is the updated and correct method to make this build stable, efficient, and fully functional (minus iMessage, this method boots via Chimera. I hope to add a Clover guide soon).​

First thing you will need to do is assemble your machine, I can't stress patience enough! Even if your case is easy to take apart, getting cable management and component installation correct the first time is a great start! **The following methods assume a fresh install AND that your Nvidia GeForce 9X0 card is installed**

I recommend flashing your Motherboard to the latest BIOS version before doing anything else, this can be done later as well, but its a good idea to get it out of the way and get the most out of your motherboard.

For the GA-Z97X-GAMING-GT used in this build it is currently version F5, which can be found here.
I did not have the foresight to take pictures of this process when I did it last week, but it is fairly straight forward.

Download the file from the link provided (if using a different motherboard please visit its' specific web page and go to support/downloads, then select BIOS from the Download Type options list, find the most recent version, and download that). Once downloaded put the folder on either a drive, a disc, or a USB. USB is quick and easy and what I chose. Next boot into your BIOS by turning your machine on and pressing the "delete" key on your keyboard. Once in the BIOS enter the Q-Flash utility, select update BIOS from drive, find the folder with the new BIOS version, and start the process. It takes a little time and can't be interrupted. When done load optimized settings and restart. More detail can be found at this link.

Once your motherboard is up to date we can start in on the installation of Yosemite.

To set up your installation USB follow Tonymacx86's Yosemite UniBeast/MultiBeast installation guide, found here. After you have your USB set up you can continue with the following methods.

Double check your machine is ready to go. Everything is connected, powered, and your machine is ready to boot. If you are ready to go insert your installation USB into a USB port and proceed.

First thing you will want to do is prepare the BIOS settings. Boot into BIOS by turning the machine on and pressing "delete" on your keyboard.

Load Optimized Settings
Load Opt BIOS.jpg

Set the Initial Display Output to IGFX

Set VT-d to Disabled
VT-d OFF.jpg

Set Extreme Memory Profile to Profile 1

Save and Exit BIOS

You will be greeted by the screen shown in the next picture and will need to enter the following boot args: -v -x nv_disable=1
To do this simply start typing
USB BOOT.jpg Hit enter once ready.

You will arrive at the language selection screen, choose your language and proceed

At the next screen you will open Disk Utility and format the destination drive. Select 1-partition, name the drive "Yosemite" (no quotes), click options and select GUID, select Mac OS Extended (Journaled), then hit apply then partition.
After you have partitioned your destination drive, close disk utility and proceed.

When you are asked where to install, select your newly partitioned Yosemite hard drive, and select continue

The install process will begin. You can bring up a log to watch the progress by pressing "command" and "L" at the same time. This will give you some piece of mind that things aren't freezing if the bar stops moving for a while at any given point

Once the install is complete the computer will restart. At which point you will be brought to the next pictured screen. At this screen you will select "Yosemite" and use the following boot args: -v nv_disable=1
You will enter the setup screens. This is personal to you so I chose not to picture each screen.

Alright! You should pat yourself on the back, you're in! Next step is to open MultiBeast! If you can't open MultiBeast go into System Preferences, then Security & Privacy, click the lock, enter your password, and under Allow apps downloaded from: select "Anywhere".

Once MultiBeast is open you will want to select the following options as pictured. Please note that many of these are optional such as TRIM (for ssd's) and fakesmc plugins and hwmonitor, the ones you will want to pay special attention to are your audio codec (ALC1150 for this motherboard) and to leave GenerateCPU States UNCHECKED!

Press install and let MultiBeast work its magic. When done you can close MultiBeast.

If MultiBeast did not have a proper kext for your ethernet like this motherboards Qualcom Atheros Killer E2201 find the proper kext and place it in System/Library/Extensions as well as in the plugins folder inside IONetworkingFamily.kext. A working kext for the Killer E2200 (E2201 on this motherboard, it works fine) can be found here. Thanks to gamester3333 on this! You may get a notice that the kext was not installed properly, open disk utility, verify and repair permissions on your hard drive and go ahead and restart BUT remember, we are still on the Internal Graphics at this point, so you will have to use the boot arg nv_disable=1 again to continue ignoring the graphics card (we will fix this very soon!) Everything should be functional, ethernet will be set to en0 and you will have access to the App Store, FaceTime, iTunes, etc. Everything except iMessage.

Next up we will tackle the Nvidia Graphics Card! Start by downloading the drivers which can be found at this link. Once downloaded install the drivers and restart your computer, again using the boot arg nv_disable=1!

Once back from the restart double check that your card is recognized by the system by going to "About this Mac" then "System Report" then click on Graphics/Displays, you should see this

Now find the nvidia logo in your menu bar and select NVIDIA Web Driver. This will prompt you for a restart, go ahead and accept the restart, this restart will be the last time you have to use the boot arg nv_disable=1!

Next we have to go back into the BIOS and make the final changes to switch over from internal graphics to the Nvidia card. Shut down and reboot into BIOS by turning on the machine and pressing the "delete" key. Once in BIOS change the Initial Display Output from IGFX to PCIe 1 Slot. Then disable Intel Processor Graphics. Afterwards Save and Exit. At this point you will want to remove your monitors connection from the Motherboard and place it on the graphics card.

Restart your machine with the monitor connected to the graphics card. You should not have to use any boot flags at this point and you will be on the Nvidia Graphics Card :headbang: Your "About This Mac" will look something like this, displaying the graphics card

You should now be up and running, on your Nvidia Graphics Card driven by the web drivers, with no boot flags, fully functionality except for iMessage, and ready to customize and use your computer!

I hope this has been of some help to anyone who was looking for it. Also, I ran into a problem with posting images, I have a lot more but I can't seem to load them in without losing others. If there is a particular spot you would like to see more detail on let me know and I'll post a reply with pictures demonstrating the step by step.

**I've moved my benchmarks to allow room for more installation images. Benchmarks can be found on page 3.

10.10.2 Update Information!

Updating to 10.10.2 is simple and easy, but does require some steps. Here is how I did it:

1.) Download and install the update to 10.10.2 via the AppStore.

2.) After the restart from install you will want to make sure you boot with nv_disable=1 as the update to 10.10.2 will make your current drivers void. You will only have to deal with the poor graphics quality of defualt drivers for a few seconds because...

3.) As soon as you are back to the desktop from your nv_disable=1 boot flag'd restart, you will be prompted to download an update for the Nvidia Web Drivers :thumbup: Download, install, and restart, no boot flags required.

4.) Once back to the desktop you will want to run multibeast and reload your audio drivers and the trim enabler if you are using it.

5.) Enjoy!

3/19/2015 10.10.2 Security Update / Web Driver information!

I had a rough time getting things to work after using the app store to update the new security package. I was getting an error when trying to update my nvidia web drivers that the new drivers were incompatible with my version of OSX. Here is the proper, easy, quick way to do it with this system.

1.) Download the stand alone security update (don't use app store). Located here

2.) Install the above. Restart. ( you can add the boot arg "nv_disable=1" if you want, but the card will be on OSX default drivers regardless, so its not necessary)

3.) Once back to desktop download and install the new Nvidia Web Drivers, located here

4.) After install of the above drivers your machine will restart, you will still be on the default drivers after the restart. Once back to desktop use the Nvidia Driver Manager to switch back to "Web Drivers" and restart once again.

5.) All done.
You dropped some serious money on the case! I think it paid off. :thumbup: I've seen some 940 build photos with a fan or a radiator hanging out side which is not a clean look. I liked what you did with the radiator so everything is contained. But what happened to psu in that photo? It looks as if you don't have one in the chassis.
I decided it isn't every day I build a computer, and only once do I get to build my first... SO I splurged a bit haha. It looks absolutely amazing in person, pictures truly don't do it justice.

The PSU is indeed in there, its black and low and kind of stays invisible which I like... here are some more shots.

building.jpgopen components.jpg

The H75 did present some clearance issues with the wiring between the motherboard and the case switches/LEDS. The case has a removable tray with 120 or 140mm fan mounting options above the empty space, but with their stock location I needed about 2mm more outward clearance so as not to stress the connections at the motherboard. So I did this...

clearence fix.jpg

Which gave me JUST enough clearance for the connecters, as you can see in the following picture its very tight, but the connection at the for right sits in the little recess between the radiator and the fan and nothing is stressed.

clearence 2.jpg

All together in a very makeshift desk lol... I need a real desk bad

desk area.jpg
Why are you using EasyBeast instead of DSDT Free? According to the MulitBeast Features document, page 3,
EasyBeast is for Core 2, Core i or Xeon systems with no native CPU Power Management.
Since your processor does have CPU Power Management, you should have used the Quick Start > DSDT Free.
Thanks for mentioning that Stork! I actually did use DSDT Free on my very first attempt, but then somewhere down the line I ran into problems I couldn't fix. I wasn't exactly sure where I went wrong and being new to all this I decided to just go with EasyBeast on the install.

Making some adjustments as we speak, removing nullcpumanagment, evOreboot, and running DSDT Free.

It makes a lot of sense, I did notice last night my screen was dimming out and brightening, especially in full screen applications.
Well that seems to have thoroughly messed things up. Can't boot past fakeSMCkeystore... Going try again without the fakesmc hwmonitor app and plugins. I'll update in a bit

Update: I don't know what the issue is, I tried DSDT Free with the only change to its set up being my audio driver... I keep getting stopped on boot at fakeSMCkeystore, it just stops, can't get past it with -x -f or any others I tried. Going back to what has worked for me until I figure out why I'm getting stuck there. Any ideas Stork?
Why are you using EasyBeast instead of DSDT Free? According to the MulitBeast Features document, page 3, Since your processor does have CPU Power Management, you should have used the Quick Start > DSDT Free.

Stork, at this point with the route I took my system works really well and my attempts to do dsdt free failed, if all that seems wrong with my settings is nullcpupowermanagement, can I just remove that kext and repair permissions? Do I need to do anything else to get the chip to take over again?

I don't know where I'm going wrong, but I know what I have going on right now works well and I don't want to mess it up and have to do yet another fresh install.

I feel so dumb, there must be something very obvious I'm just not seeing, it's like clover all over again, followed the guide exactly, kept getting acpi ioplatformexpert.cpp.1590 panics... Eventually gave up on it even though I'd really prefer to use that since I can get iMessage going that way
Although you have a different motherboard, take a look at my H/Z97N-WIFI system Yosemite Installation Guide as it might give you some insights:

Thanks for the link Stork. Looking over your guide I THINK maybe I found where I went wrong... I still had enable CPU states valid when I was trying a fresh install DSDT Free. You mentioned its important for freezes, and it wasn't really a panic I was getting, it just stopped loading at fakeSMCkeystore, sounds like one of the freezes you were mentioning...

BUT now I'm very wary of going back, I must have 10 different emails from apple saying I've signed in on a new computer and I feel like I'm pushing my luck before I'm tagged... Let me ask you another question.

Do I have to start from a fresh install or can I simply remove the nullCPUpowermanagement.kext and add


the org.chameleon.boot.plist?

It seems to me that if what I'm after is power management from my CPU that is all that would be necessary without further tinkering, less tinkering seems to be a good thing for me lol.

Or do I need to remove the other easy easybeast options that were different from DSDT Free as well, like eVoreboot, and the flip side, add Hibernate Mode - Desktop?

This is what my plist looks like at the moment (this is from the easybeast method)
Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 2.53.00 PM.png

I really really appreciate your comments and help, I'll be tossing a donation to the site here shortly, that digital beer I saw you mention in another post :thumbup:
If I was you, I'd do a fresh install to get the correct drivers/kexts install for stable performance. It could be as simple as changing the 'States to No, but your build description should reflect a good working system that others can follow.
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