- Feb 13, 2012
- Gigabyte Z490i Aorus Ultra - OC 0.6.8
- GT710 - 1920x1080
- Classic Mac
- Mobile Phone
UtterDisbelief's Build: GA-Z170MX-Gaming 5 - i3-6320 - GT 740
Motherboard: Gigabyte Z170MX-Gaming 5 1151 MATX DDR4
CPU: Intel Core i3 6320 Dual Core CPU Retail Socket 1151, 3.90GHz, 4MB cache
Graphics card: Gigabyte GT740 OC 2GB GDDR5 DVI VGA HDMI PCI-E Graphics Card
SSD: Crucial MX100 128GB SSD - Main O/S Drive
HDD: Western Digital 500GB SATA III Black Data Drive
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB kit (8GBx2) 3000mhz DIMM, DDR4
Wireless: ABWB 802.11AC WI-FI With Bluetooth 4.0 PCI-Express (PCI-E) BCM943602CS Combo Card For Hackintosh (MAC OS X) Airport Computers, Supports Hands-off
Optical Drive: Pioneer DVD-RW SATA optical drive
Case: Lian LI PC-A04FNA PC Case Mini-Tower / Micro-ATX / USB 3.0 / Silver
PSU: Corsair CX500M ATX Power Supply Semi-Modular
Zalman CNPS11X CPU Cooler
Noctua 120mm PWM fan
After good results from my last build based on an H170 chipset I decided that when I made the move up to Sierra I'd upgrade my hardware too. This gives me more overclocking options, faster memory usage, USB 3.1 ports and better audio.
Only the Lian-Li case and O/S SSD were carried forward from UtterDisbelief 11.
There are plenty of guides - official and from other builders - but here is my two-penny worth.
These are all to be found in the Tonymacx86 Downloads section -
EFI Mounter v3
Clover Configurator 4.33
Show All Files
And in other locations -
Rehabman’s USBInjectAll kext
Rehabman’s CodecCommander kext
The official Nvidia graphics web drivers for Sierra 10.12.0 :
Ammulder's vital article with patches:
10.11.0-10.11.3 Skylake Starter Guide
Ammulder's article with the CPU SSDT configurations:
So to The Build
First up, check the BIOS settings
Using Gigabyte BIOS F4 so:
Peripherals: XHCI Hand-off = Enabled
Peripherals: Super IO Configuration = Disabled (Serial port)
Peripherals: Initial Display Output = PCIe 1 Slot
Chipset: VT-d = Disabled
Chipset: Internal Graphics = Auto
These BIOS settings are very easy to spot.
Initially I tried the:
Direct Update to macOS Sierra using Clover -
Remember I was re-using my old El Capitan SSD. All seemed to go swimmingly but after one successful boot into a fully working desktop, subsequent boots failed. The Clover boot menu would appear and I'd select my boot drive, the Apple logo and progress bar would appear and then slow down, stop and the machine would power-off.
Long story short, DiskUtil showed an unrepairable partition/file system (incidentally Windows 10 couldn't fix the drive either. I use a Windows HFS file-system driver and I thought it worth a look). I tried more Terminal magic than I care to remember and would probably scare the reader - it didn't do my nerves any good - but nothing worked so in the end I decided to erase the drive and reformat. Luckily I was able to boot into a Windows PC and using a SATA to USB caddy, copy all my documents and photos, apps and data over to a temporary location. I did have a full backup of the El Capitan installation but data and documents had changed since the previous backup. My fault for not backing-up data more often and externally. Some of the apps are large ones and to save the time downloading them again, backed-up them too.
Once the SSD was reformatted and thorough checks showed it was healthy, I was ready to go with a fresh install.
Most of what you need to get going is already on this site. I recommend the excellent:
UniBeast: Install macOS Sierra on Any Supported Intel-based PC
For my project I did run into a couple of problems not covered in the guide and I don't know if they were just specific to me and my components or are more widespread. I suspect the former. Several things didn't go as planned.
Firstly, installation using UniBeast went as smoothly as usual but when I began using MultiBeast to install Clover and drivers I encountered problems.
After the Clover install, for example, the EFI partition, EFI folder looked very odd ...
Mounting the EFI partition to view this was a done manually via Terminal because at this point Apple's built in security forbid me to run any non-app store programs. In Sierra there isn't even the System Preferences option to enable it anymore.
Handily you can get around this with a Terminal command:
sudo spctl --master-disable
(See here for an explanation)
Once done you can now use all those helpful utilities such as EFI Mounter v3 and Clover Configurator.
Back to the EFI folder problem. To cure it I had to delete the erroneous folder and copy over the working one from my UniBeast stick. Foolishly I did this before disabling security so used Terminal commands for the job. With hindsight it's plain to see how it would have been easier to use EFI Mounter v3 to mount the two partitions on both USB and SSD - after first checking which is which. The SSD EFI should show on your desktop as a hard-drive icon, whereas the UniBeast EFI should show as a removable drive icon. Once mounted you could just delete/drag-and-drop instead. A lot simpler.
Second problem: Audio. The ALC1150 kext installation in MultiBeast exited with a "Failed" message. To solve this I opened-up MB to "Show Contents" then drilled down to the Resources folder and copied the Clover-ACL1150.pkg out onto my desktop and ran it from there. Not sure why this worked, but it did. MultiBeast's option to rename HDAS to HDEF did work however, and once I'd installed both, audio was finally present. I am using Audio ID:1 and you can set this manually or using Clover Configurator.
As I said earlier, these may just be rare problems with my own particular set of components.
I then installed Rehabman's USBInjectAll.kext and his version of CodecCommander.kext (see below). The first in the EFI/CLOVER/kexts/other folder and the second in S/L/E using Kextbeast.
I followed Ammulder's guide to create a USB port definition .aml file to place in the CLOVER/ACPI/patched folder so I could dispense with the port limit increase patch. The Z170MX Gaming 5 motherboard has USB 2, 3 and 3.1 ports and I managed to define 15 by leaving out unused motherboard headers. At this point I am not aware there is any way to get the USB 3.1 ports running at their full speed. They currently work as USB 3.
Ammulder also has a very handy set of CPU SSDT definitions for power management and the i3-6320 is one of them (link above) That also went in the ACPI/patched folder
Finally the Nvidia Web Drivers were installed. There is a new procedure for enabling these which involves a config.plist edit rather than a command-line argument.
Rebooting gave me a Sierra desktop at last.
Then I tidied-up, populating the gaps in the SMBIOS section of my config.plist using Clover Configurator. I am using system definition 14,2 and filled-in everything else as per P1lgrim's Idiot's Guide to iMessage. Although this isn't strictly necessary it does help continuity and hand-off which was the reason I used a genuine Apple wifi/bt card in the first place.
Check Trim is working in the SATA section of System Report for your SSD, if using one. If it is holding as "No" then enter the following code in Terminal:
sudo trimforce enable
There are a couple of extra Clover Configurator settings you can use too. Tick the FixShutdown box in the ACPI section and set darkwake=8 in the Boot section. These will help the machine actually shutdown rather than bounce awake again, and wake from sleep with audio. Incidentally for some reason I had to use an older version of CodecCommander with a file-date of the 11th August 2015 and 83k in size as later ones didn't return the audio on wake.
What doesn't work:
Only iTunes DRM video playback.
I've tried the commonly suggested Shiki kext and had mixed results. It certainly allows playback but for me the video becomes pixelated, eventually breaking-up and freezing. In the end I decided to remove it and do without DRM video. Loading too many third-party kexts worries me given the disk problems I've had and if I can reasonably do without any, I prefer to.
Update - February 2017:
I've tried again with shiki.kext version 1.9.0, the latest available. The imac.kext is still the Oct 2014 version. I haven't been able to find a newer one. The results are pretty much the same as before. DRM video starts playing but after a few seconds starts freezing. It keeps going but with further, frequent, freezes.
I installed them both into EFI/Clover/kexts/Other because that's where FakeSMC.kext is loaded from and my thinking is that this is as early in the boot process as I can get.
This all seems too much hassle for something I rarely use and I still worry about loading kexts when I don't really understand what they are doing.
Work to do:
Not much. Maybe USB 3.1. Although these ports are working as USB 3.0 I haven't found a guide to enable full 3.1 speeds.
So how does the new system feel?
Well Intel's i3-6320 is a superb CPU. Not only is it very frugal with power consumption, it's running at 3.9ghz which, make no mistake, means you get great performance. True, an i7 with four cores running at 4.0ghz with a bigger on-chip cache might perform better in benchmark tests, but in day-to-day use I find the two cores the i3 has very capable. Using less power to feed it means cooling isn't such a hard task either.
For cooling you'll see I used a big Zalman air cooler. I had to choose carefully because the case limits the height available above the CPU socket. The Zalman CNPS11X fits with a couple of millimetres to spare. The stock fan is fine but not as quiet as I was hoping for so I changed it for a Noctua 120mm item which is virtually silent in normal use.
To get the memory working at its full speed and potential I had to tweak the BIOS settings. Initially it was recognised as 2133mhz. This isn't a fault, to take it up to the designated 3000ghz you have to manually change the frequency settings. Obviously the memory is designed for the higher speeds and runs perfectly once done. Though, in truth, I'm hard-pressed to notice the difference day-to-day so I've taken it back down to 2133ghz. My thinking being it removes any possibility of stress.
The new motherboard's audio is a treat. Not only does the Z170MX Gaming 5 get a healthy bunch of high-quality audio capacitors, it is also fitted with a replaceable Burr-Brown op-amp. Not that you'd want to replace such a well-respected item, but the option is there. The sound is much better than I've been used to with previous motherboards. And I mainly use headphones these days.
You might notice the GPU has been a step back from my previous GTX750i and to be honest I can't really tell the difference here either, in daily use. The GDDR5 version of Gigabyte's GT740 I used is overclocked as standard but still runs very coolly and quietly. Reviews don't seem to recommend it these days, and it is a slightly older technology, but it is reliable, very well-built, runs very quietly and does the job.
So far I have had no kernel-panics and zero crashes with this system.
** As a footnote.
I decided to try cnrd's Native USB 2.0 / USB 3.0 on Skylake configuration technique which creates an *.aml patch file that does away with the 15-30 port limit hack AND the need for the USBInjectAll kext. You still need to do your homework and test each port you wish to use. SlimJim gives a summary of how to do Ammulder's port-check in the same thread. Once done, the script run to generate your *.aml file, the port-limit patch deleted (if you have it in place) USBInjectAll kext removed and the system rebooted, everything works as it should.