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—Trinity CustoMac Mini: Core i3-2105 • GA-H67N-USB3-B3 (1st)

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Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
—Trinity CustoMac Mini: Core i3-2105 • GA-H67N-USB3-B3 • ATI

6872144427_49004c9c5a_z.jpg



• • •

"Trinity"

Components

CPU: Intel Core i3-2105 w/ Intel HD 3000 Integrated Graphics
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051YS85O

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H67N-USB3-B3 (discontinued)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128484R

RAM: CORSAIR XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820145315

Graphics: MSI ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB (discontinued)
http://www.amazon.com/MSI-Radeon-5570-PCI-Express-Graphics/dp/B00376LLO8

Case & Power Supply Unit: APEX MI-100 Mini-ITX w/ 250w PSU
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811154084

Optical Drive: Sony Optiarc w/ LightScribe (dead)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827118040

Hard Drives: Seagate Barracuda 1TB SATA 6Gb/s (2)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148697

Case Fans (2, green): SilenX iXtrema Pro LED – 120mm (IXP-74-14G) • 80mm (IXP-54-14G)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835226010
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000W3O2CC

Fan Controller: Sunbeam PL-RS-PCI Rheosmart PCI 20W
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811995073

Bluetooth Dongle: Belkin Mini Bluetooth Adapter (F8T016)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833314046

SD Card Reader/USB 2.0 Hub (for built-in mod): Cosmos ® - (ChipsBnk?)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007YD76J4

Internal USB Header Adapter Cable (for built-in mod): 2 ports
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002IWEDSS

4-Pin Molex to Serial ATA Power Adapter Cable
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16812200061

Thumb Screws: 4 - Anodized (for ease of entry)
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0002EXGUU

Keyboard: Dell QuietKey D/PN L30U
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055OJQRY

SSD: OCZ Agility 4 256GB SSDRMA (failed after 4 months) :thumbdown:
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-Technology-2-5-Inch-Max-IOPS-AGT4-25SAT3-256G/dp/B007ZWVDH0

*SSDs (2): Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB Samsung 830 Series 128GB
http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Electronics-MZ-7PD128BW-Series-2-5-Inch/dp/B009NB8WR0
http://www.amazon.com/SAMSUNG-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-7PC128B-WW/dp/B0077CR60Q

*Dell Professional P2211H 21.5" Widescreen LED Monitor Dell AX510 Sound Bar Speaker
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Professional-P2211H-Widescreen-Monitor/dp/B00M4JQWFM/
http://www.amazon.com/Dell-Genuine-AX510-Stereo-1908FP/dp/B008D2IHES

OS: Apple OS X Lion @ Mac Apps Store
http://store.apple.com/us/product/D6106Z/A/os-x-lion

Already Owned

Samsung SyncMaster P2770HD 27" monitor/HDTV
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032ANC00

Logitech VX Nano Wireless Mouse
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826104080



Comments

Main thoughts

It’s been 6 months since I breathed life into the machine I’ve come to know as Trinity and I’m immensely pleased with this project. It's also my first computer build. For me it represents the culmination of several skills I’ve picked up over the years, and there’s still much to learn (can’t wait). There’s something really gratifying about turning a stack of parts and instructions into something that actually works. I guess anything one builds with their own two hands takes on special sentiment.

This is probably the easiest hackintosh project for beginners like me, all due of course to the good work of people like tonymacx86, MacMan, toleda, notshy, and a host of others. The price is low and the rewards are many. Sure I’ve had a few hiccups, but nothing catastrophic (yet).

My main motivation for this build was a general curiosity about Macs, and upgrading from a 9 year old Dell laptop (Inspiron 600m) that's well past it's best days and can't handle many of the programs I want to learn about. Price was also a factor, as I was eyeing the hackintosh scene for some time but just didn't have the funds to get all the parts in one swoop.

I'm triple-booting OS X Lion 10.7.4 10.7.5, Windows 7, and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS all on one drive. I know it's risky but so far no problems, mainly because I created a separate FAT32 partition for my files plus I make external backups. Hope to get an SSD at some point.

I made my own 3.5 inch card reader/USB hub out of some parts I cobbled together. It's only about 1 inch in depth and fits right in front of the HD in the void between the 3.5 inch bay drive and the plastic front panel. Connected internally to one of the USB headers on the motherboard. Adds 3 USB ports, SD, and microSD card readers for camera & phone memory cards. Very proud of that.

Managing heat's been a challenge as I'm currently using it as an HTPC inside an entertainment stand, even with the 2 original fans I started with. CPU temps of 55°C on idle, 65°C under load. I've since added an exhaust fan at the back of the cabinet. That seems to be keeping things much cooler. Now looking at 49°C idle, 56-60°C under load.

I'm researching water-cooling this case. I know it's a *very* tight space, but I think I can pull it off and still make it look presentable. Haven't seen it done with this particular Apex line of cases (MI-008/100) so I'm looking forward to it.

Currently trying to decide on a graphics card for HDCP compliance. My two candidates are: ATI Radeon HD5570 (which seems to be almost sold out everywhere) and the Nvidia Geforce GT 430. I'm open to suggestions, but I'm focusing on low profile single slot cards so I can use the leftover space to route some fan wires/controls.


Installation

I followed tonymacx86's extremely easy UniBeast guide for installing OS X, but for the triple-boot set up on one drive I needed some serious help. When I first got all the parts I installed Windows to play around with it. I updated the bios to f7 (using Windows), and got the DSDT for this particular board from the database (GA-H67N-USB3-B3-f7). I used the BIOS settings recommended in tonymacx86's guide: iBoot + MultiBeast: Install Mac OS X on any Intel-based PC (also referenced in the UniBeast guide).

p8RXJAdtxe8


Fine-Tuning Startup

Here's a copy of my boot.plist (as of 7/1/12) with some explanation of what I've added over this course of time to fix resolution quirks and other OCD triggers:

(org.chameleon.Boot.plist)
Code:
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
<dict>

    <key>EthernetBuiltIn</key>
    <string>Yes</string>
    <key>GenerateCStates</key>
    <string>Yes</string>
    <key>GeneratePStates</key>
    <string>Yes</string>
    <key>GraphicsEnabler</key>
    <string>Yes</string>
    <key>Graphics Mode</key>
    <string>"1920x1080x32"</string>
    <key>Boot Banner</key>
    <string>No</string>
    <key>ShowInfo</key>
    <string>No</string>
    <key>Kernel</key>
    <string>mach_kernel</string>
    <key>Kernel Flags</key>
    <string>npci=0x3000 darkwake=0</string>
    <key>Legacy Logo</key>
    <string>No</string>
    <key>Default Partition</key>
    <string>hd(0,3)</string>
    <key>Hide Partition</key>
    <string>hd(0,4) hd(1,2) hd(1,5) "System Reserved"</string>
    <key>Timeout</key>
    <string>1</string>
    <key>UseKernelCache</key>
    <string>Yes</string>
</dict>
</plist>

Graphics Mode>>"1920x1080x32" - sets chimera screen resolution to match supported modes, mine being 1920x1080. It's important to remember the quotation marks. For a list of all supported modes in Chimera, hit the down arrow key during the OS selection screen under OS X and scroll down.

Boot Banner>>No - hides Chimera version text at top left of bootloader screen (superficial)

ShowInfo>>No - hides info top left of bootloader screen (superficial)

Default Partiiton>>hd(0,3) - sets default partition to whatever you specify. In my case, I wanted Windows to load by default until I figured out how to control OS X remotely. Note: 0 = hard disk number (in computer language 0 means first), 3 = partition Windows is installed on. Without this edit (by default) Chimera loads OS X automatically.

Hide Partition>>hd(0,4) hd(1,2) hd(1,5) "System Reserved" - hides unwanted or unbootable partitions from the Chimera bootloader. In my setup, the Windows System Reserved partition would show up in Chimera even though it wasn't bootable. Same thing with my FAT32 storage partitions. These edits hide them from Chimera leaving my bootloader clean and almost Zen-like. Again take note, specify the partition you wish to hide by using its numerical values (eg. hd(1,2)) *or* the name of the partition in quotes. I had to use both methods to hide the "System Reserved" partition for some reason, whose numerical identifier is hd(0,4).

*Bonus tip, to set the correct resolution in the apple logo screen, add these strings (or whatever supported graphics mode you desire) to the theme.plist file located in Extra/Themes/Default.

(theme.plist additions)
Code:
    <key>boot_width</key>
    <string>1920</string>
    <key>boot_height</key>
    <string>1080</string>


Triple-Booting



I did a bunch of research to see how triple-booting would be possible. Here's the method I used: blog post. Later I also found a post here for some fine tuning: [Guide] MultiBooting for the novice. I was having a problem with the internal clock. OS X uses universal time, while Windows uses local time/time zones, so the two operating systems would change it whenever I would boot into one after the other. OS X always showed the correct time, but Windows would always be ahead by like 5 hours. I basically learned I had to add a registry entry in Windows to set the local time to universal. Problem solved.


Bluetooth

Spent some time carefully choosing a bluetooth dongle for this build. I didn't want anything that stuck out too far, so it had to be a mini. After perusing tonymacx86's Bluetooth Adapter Database, I was set on the Belkin F8T016ng as it is fully supported OOB, but couldn't find it anywhere for a decent price. I settled for the F8T016, rolled up my sleeves, and used Not Shy's Guide to enable bluetooth sleep/wake (even though I don't have a bluetooth mouse or keyboard yet). It appears bluetooth sleep/wake is enabled in my System Preferences>>Bluetooth>>Advanced screen, but I haven't been able to try it out yet.
45947d1360299637-trinity-customac-mini-core-i3-2105-ga-h67n-usb3-b3-1st-screen-shot-2013-02-07-8.20.00-pm.png


Graphics Card

Once I got my graphics card installed, I had to do some research and fiddle with the settings a bit to get it working. Success came with disabling onboard graphics in the BIOS and adding the ATIConfig "Eulemur" profile to the Extra/org.chameleon.Boot.plist file, which is the right one for my card. There are several others.

Code:
<key>AtiConfig</key>
<string>Eulemur</string>


Sound

Or more specifically HDMI audio. From what I understand, onboard HDMI audio works with the correct MultiBeast settings, but when you add a graphics card you need to roll up your sleeves and edit your DSDT to get everything recognized. I used Toleda's Guide to get HDMI audio recognized and working for my "new" Radeon HD 5570 card. This was slightly more challenging for me, but once I read through all the steps and started to proceed I was driven by the thought of success. All of the ports now work and are recognized in system preferences. It was well worth the effort. I've noticed that after waking from sleep, the internal speakers (audio out jack) don't automatically switch to headphones when I plug in a pair. A minor detail, but thought I'd mention it.
45948d1360300514-trinity-customac-mini-core-i3-2105-ga-h67n-usb3-b3-1st-screen-shot-2013-02-07-8.22.39-pm.png


Mods


3.5" Bay 3-Port USB 2.0 Hub/Card Reader





Benchmarks

For those of you that care about such things:

• • •

45813d1360213118-trinity-customac-mini-core-i3-2105-ga-h67n-usb3-b3-1st-screen-shot-2013-02-06-11.55.47-pm.jpg






Some other shots…


6872134685_ba1aabbd89_z.jpg


• • •

6774688782_88d1f2bc5f_z.jpg


• • •

6872173169_9d5bff25ca_z.jpg



—More when I have more.​

Edit - 6/24/12
*reduced photo resolution
*added installation & triple-boot section
*MultiBeast screenshot

Edit - 7/1/12
*added "Fine-Tuning" section, boot.plist, & theme.plist

Edit - 7/2/12
*added some "Fine-Tuning" explanations
*added Bluetooth section

Edit - 7/15/12
*added ATI Radeon HD 5570 1GB graphics card
to the build

Edit - 2/6/13
*SSD link
*Geekbenck/Cinebench Scores

Edit - 2/7/13
*updated Bluetooth & added HDMI audio
*more screenshots

Edit - 10/1/13
*Added 2 Samsung SSDs, since the OCZ SSD failed
*Fixed some dead links to the old "legacy" tonymacx86 site

Edit - 8/2/14
*Added Dell monitor & sound bar to build
*more thumbnails
*Added "Mods" section
 

Attachments

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Joined
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Impressive build. I really liked the first photo which introduces "trinity" with the coffee mug reflection. :thumbup:

How did you do the SD card reader mod?
 
Joined
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jester969 said:
Impressive build. I really liked the first photo which introduces "trinity" with the coffee mug reflection. :thumbup:

How did you do the SD card reader mod?

Trinity and a coffee mug. What is common? :mrgreen:
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI
CPU
i3-4360
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
jester969 said:
Impressive build. I really liked the first photo which introduces "trinity" with the coffee mug reflection. :thumbup:

How did you do the SD card reader mod?

—I bought this cheapo combo USB hub/SD card reader, ripped it apart, and attached the guts to the backside of the 3.5 inch bay cover/blank that comes with the case. I had to flip one of the boards over and extend the wires from the SD reader board to the hub, so some soldering was required. The blank is plastic, so I traced and carved out the openings with a Dremel and X-acto knife (carefully). I then used an internal USB header adapter cable to attach original USB cable to the motherboard inside the case (no further soldering).

Here's a grainy photo of the hub and case before:

6548053485_408dc98853.jpg
You can barely see the exposed 3.5 inch bay showing the hard drive, and the 1 inch of depth I had to work with.


Test fit:

6548054599_d56f3d47d2.jpg

And of course a healthy dose of hot glue to "secure" everything:

6548059167_426947283b.jpg


I even kept those blue LEDs for a lighting effect, but I... kinda broke one of them while trying to switch to UV LEDs.

6582811127_0c207f5ec5.jpg


Sorry that's all I have, I really wasn't focused on the documentation at the time (it was also pretty late).
More ramblings on the matter



Mate94 said:
jester969 said:
Impressive build. I really liked the first photo which introduces "trinity" with the coffee mug reflection. :thumbup:

How did you do the SD card reader mod?

Trinity and a coffee mug. What is common? :mrgreen:

—I.. thought it was pretty? :shifty:
 
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-H97N-WIFI
CPU
i3-4360
Graphics
HD 4600
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
SSD Upgrade

New conundrum, as SSD prices have plummeted it now looks like an affordable upgrade for me. I've narrowed my selections down to 2 candidates, both 240GB in capacity:

OCZ Agility 3 AGT3-25SAT3-240G 2.5" 240GB SATA III MLC
http://www.amazon.com/OCZ-Agility-AGT3-25SAT3-240G-240GB-Internal/dp/B005DUNF6S

Corsair Force Series 3 CSSD-F240GB3A-BK 2.5" 240GB SATA III
http://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Force-2-5-Inch-Solid-CSSD-F240GB3-BK/dp/B0051A8TG6

I've used Corsair RAM for pretty much all my computers so it's a brand I know and trust, but the OCZ model is slightly cheaper. Dare I got with a brand I know nothing about? Will the old saying "buy cheap, buy twice" come back to bite me if I do?

Decisions decisions...
 
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