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[SUCCESS / THOUGHTS] High Sierra on DELL Poweredge R710

Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
36
Motherboard
ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU
i7-4470
Graphics
GTX 770
Mac
Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
I did direct install of High Sierra on DELL R710. It worked stable for 2 weeks then I got to the conclusion of no use of this build so shut id down.

Details:

1. 2x [4x cores Xeon]] showed benchmark matching similar MAC's without any surprises (Geekbench 4)
2. 72 GB RAM looks too much for anything even FCPX.
3. RAID Perc 6i (was working just great with MEGARAID drivers).
4. GPU GTX 750 2Gb. This is the only confirmed compatible one, which does not require external power.
It also requires mechanical modification of the riser card to fit the slot (therefore becomes 8x lanes, which seems to be totally OK).
No other reasonable solution was found to fit GPU inside the chassis (e.g. using 16x riser card will not help since the position
of its PCIe slot does not match the GPU's connector. Using soft riser will not help either - it simply will not fit the space available).
5. Sad to say but embedded Broadcom 1Gb LAN NIC did not work (and there are 4x of them. I tried all drivers/kexts available). Due to this SIRI will not work. iMessage, however, works OK.
6. Only USB 2.0 are built in the motherboard.
7. Extra PCIe M.2x4 lanes adapter (CDN $19) was used to boot MACOS from (older model = cheaper bus same fast) M.2x4 Samsung SSD.
8. R710 was booting Clover from the internal USB 2.0, which is OK for the server (btw my main home build boots same way).
9. HD audio was started working after fix, also my simple AUDIO>USB adapter worked OOB as well as Logitech wireless headset with mic (using its usb adapter).
10. Boots in BIOS mode. I have tried UEFI boot and was even able to see RAID volumes as well as SATA drives but was not able to actually boot at all.

Keeping in mind native R710 hardware boot cycle (with all tests off) is about 2.5 min, the whole testing becomes extremely time consuming.

To overcome #5 and #6 I got the compatible PCIe USB 3.1 card (CDN $27) worked OOB. It has USB 3.0 + TYPE C connectors.

To make this card working I did another surgery and took 12V DC off the multiple DC power wires going to SAS area.

Only needed 2 wires (ground black and +12V DC yellow).

Along with USB 3.1 HUB (3x USB 3.0 + LAN 1Gb) for CDN $26, these 2 cards completely solved initial connectivity issues.

Pros:

Base box with 2x (4x cores CPU) / 72GB Ram / 1x 750W psu / 2x 300GB SAS will cost you only CDN $500.
Same with 2x (6x cores CPU) / 96GB Ram will cost CDN $600.
Robust MAC OS build using industrial server platform.
It has redundant power supply, iDRAC management module, lots of RAM, industrial RAID controller.

Cons:

Extremely noisy.
Draw too much power (you can use 1x 500W PSU but what's the point?). Regular PSU's are 2x 750W with load balancing).
Native power cycle (without any RAM test) including OSX is approximately 3 min.
No LAN NIC support (maybe someone finds the solution for BROADCOM NIC's?).
Requires 2x electro-mechanical surgeries.

Bottom line:

Seems to be great for some production activities. Definitely not to become your desk-mate.

Tip: if using dummy HDMI plug, this machine can be located remotely (next room or basement)
and accessed via Apple Remote Desktop via 1Gb wired LAN providing you the required display
resolution.


Any questions - please ask. I still have all the adapters/components details and screenshots of this monster and surgeries performed.

Serge
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2
Motherboard
Dell 1CTXG
CPU
2x Xeon 5640
Graphics
ATI Radeon (dual DVI, older chipset)
Thanks for the documentation Serge! I have a T710, and am trying to install macOS High Sierra on it.

I'm having issues with the installer not detecting an internal SATA drive, and I don't have the megaraid drivers present to install it onto my PERC array.

Which guide should I follow to install macOS successfully? I've used Unibeast 8.1 so far.

Thanks for your help!
 
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
36
Motherboard
ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU
i7-4470
Graphics
GTX 770
Mac
Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Do you have Perc6i? I see T710 specs are quite different from R710 (http://i.dell.com/sites/doccontent/shared-content/data-sheets/en/Documents/T710-SpecSheet.pdf). Anyways I would suggest to do the following:

1. Go to your iDRAC and reset everything to the default settings (I had to do it at some point because nothing was booting so resetting iDRAC would be the good starting point).

2. Connect any simple external USB HDD/SSD (I can see no specs on USB for T710 but would assume it's USB 2.0) and experiment with that drive to see if you can boot at all.

3. In case you are able to boot OSX try using MEGARAID drivers (I would say industrial RAID is one of the best features to be used along with tons of RAM and redundant PSU, otherwise Lenovo D30 will work almost OOO with MacOS, 2x XEONS and 2x GPU's).

4. In case you are able to see your RAID virtual drives I would really recommend using this PCIe <> M.2x4 adapter (or similar - the simpler the better https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B073W9R98M/?tag=tonymacx86c0c-20). It works OOO for me so you can use older and cheaper non-AHCI M.2x4 SSD for system files.

5. Move all your local user profiles to RAID and CCC-ed the boot SSD to any simple HDD (internal/external). This will make your build very robust.

6. Create 1x spare user admin account located on SSD explicitly for support purposes (in case something happens with other profiles so you will still be able to log in).

7. This PCIe card worked OOO for me ( https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0179UEXOW/?tag=tonymacx86c0c-20 ) provided USB 3.1 + 1Gb USB/LAN, to fix lack of connectivity.

Happy build!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 18, 2013
Messages
36
Motherboard
ASRock Z97 Extreme6
CPU
i7-4470
Graphics
GTX 770
Mac
Mac mini
Mobile Phone
Android, iOS
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
2
Motherboard
Dell 1CTXG
CPU
2x Xeon 5640
Graphics
ATI Radeon (dual DVI, older chipset)
Thanks for your advice Serge! I'll let you know of my progress here :)
 
Joined
Jan 6, 2019
Messages
1
Hi Serge, can you give any indication, which boot options you have been using? I would be interested. Thanks.
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
12
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD7 TH
CPU
i7-4790K
Mac
MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Hi, Serge,

I've been trying to get a Dell R720 to load Mojave and I'm getting into a reboot loop. Right after the Apple icon / progress bar completes, the machine reboots.

Can you provide any thoughts on how to go about debugging this issue?

I've been reluctant to ask questions here without gaining more experience using the tools, but I'm stuck on this one...
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2014
Messages
12
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD7 TH
CPU
i7-4790K
Mac
MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Ooops - I just realized this was a High Sierra thread. (Still, any advice would be appreciated!)
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
86
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H
CPU
Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core
Graphics
GTX 750 TI
I was just looking at the price of a refurbished R710 and was thinking I could use it for a DAW workstation.

I use USB for my audio interface so installation of SSDs is all I would need.

Your thoughts on using the R710 as a Digital Audio Workstation Serge? Please let me know because I will buy it after you post if its up to my needs.
 
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
9
Motherboard
XH6G8
CPU
E5-4620/C602
Graphics
HD 5770
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Mac Pro
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iOS
Hi Serge would you be able to provide your Clover files or show pics of your Clover cfg . I try multiple time with a lot of option and I always stuck at Randomseed . I read Randomseed solutions from forum but it does not help . Any hint ?
 
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