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Video editing Kaby Lake : Asus Z270A - i7-7700 - GTX1060

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Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
i7 7700
Graphics
EVGA GTX 1060
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Video editing Kaby Lake: Asus Z270A - i7-7700 - GTX1060

540web.jpg


Components

ASUS Prime Z270-A ATX USB 3.1 Motherboard
Amazon France, Amazon UK

Intel i7-7700 Kaby Lake Processor
Amazon France, Amazon UK

Ballistix Sport LT 16GB RAM DDR4
Amazon France, Amazon UK

EVGA GTX 1060 SSC (Nvidia) 6GB GDDR5
Amazon France, Amazon UK

Corsair CX650M Modulaire, 650W, 80 Plus Bronze
Amazon France, Amazon UK

Corsair Carbide 540 case
Amazon France, Amazon UK


Already owned

SSD Samsung 850 EVO 1TB
Amazon France, Amazon UK

HDD Seagate Barracuda 2TB
Amazon France, Amazon UK


Comments

The Build

In General
It's been five years since I made my first build with a Sandy Lake processor and a mATX motherboard. The build has done very well, I've managed to update it twice : from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion, then to Yosemite. But as most of my work is with video - editing and color grading - it's begun to show it's age. I decided not to replace it - there are far too many stable apps and configurations in the machine that I don't want to lose - but to add a second, more powerful and contemporary build.

My objectives were fairly simple : the last version of Sierra possible, to be sure problems with the OS had been ironed out, but recent enough to give me a couple of years before updating ; a graphics card capable of handling 4K video and intensive color grading ; a future-proof motherboard (USB 3.1 type C, M2).

Motherboard
The Asus Z270-A looked like a solid, capable 200 series board with the connections I needed (USB 3.0, USB 3.1 Type A and Type C) without the gaming extras that I didn't need. I didn't notice there are no USB 2.0 ports, which complicated installation (more on that below).

Processor
I have no intention of overclocking so I went for the i7-7700 rather than the i7-7700K

GPU
The GPU on my first build is a GTX 660 with 2GB of RAM. Fine for HD video on multiple screens, but the interface starts to break up when I incorporate 4K video or large photos into video edits, especially with Adobe software. I needed more RAM, a bigger raster, and my decision to make this new build came when Nvidia's Pascal architecture was integrated into Apple OS just before this summer.

Case
I chose the Corsair 540 because it fits neatly under my desk, most ATX towers are too tall. However, to ensure air-flow the case is pretty much open to the four winds. The grid at the top is perfect for spilt coffee to fall directly on the graphics card, so I'm working on a cover.


The Installation
For much of the installation I followed the margate's build and his link to jktaurus8. Many thanks to both of you !

Installation versions
UniBeast 7.1.1, MultiBeast Sierra 9.2.0, macOS Sierra 10.12.6

Bios
To access "Delete" during boot, Advanced settings = F7
- Load Defaults F5 + F10 to save
- Advanced\Onboard Devices Configuration\Serial Port Configuration
Serial Port=off
- Advanced\USB Configuration
XHCI Hand-off=Enabled
- Boot
boot logo display=Disabled
- Boot\Secure Boot
Secure boot state disabled
OS Type=Other OS
Note : To disable secure boot, I did the following : Changed the OS Type to Windows UEFI mode, then Key Management, then Delete Security Key/Database, then returned to Secure Boot. Secure Boot had been disabled and the OS Type reset to Other OS. I did not make a backup of the Security Keys before deleting and may regret this in future, but for the moment everything is working fine. For the more cautious, this is the link provided by Margate : (How to Disable or Enable Secure Boot for ASUS Motherboard)

- Advanced\/System Agent (SA) Configuration\Graphics Configuration
Primary Display=PEG
Note : I in fact added this later when the graphics card was installed. Before that, it just defaulted to auto.

Installing
There are no USB 2.0 ports on the motherboard so I initially tried installing with the UniBeast USB drive in a USB 3.0 port. Fairly quickly into the install I got a "prohibited" sign. Apparently there's a work around for this (see jktaurus8 post, in "Preparing USB") but my solution was to connect the USB 2 cables from the case of my old computer to the internal USB 2 connections on the motherboard of the new one.

Installing then proceeded further, but at a certain point the screen blanked out and went into power save. The problem turned out to be that I hadn't installed the graphics card, on the assumption that fewer components mean fewer possible problems, but I think I set the optional graphics option when making the UniBeast USB, so I in fact needed the card. In any case, once the GPU was installed, things went smoothly to the install screen, reboot, finish installing etc. And a working Sierra !

MultiBeast
These were my MultiBeast settings :
initial setup Multibeast.jpg

After this, the system booted fine, but there was no audio, and, more surprisingly, no video - web videos didn't start, I couldn't read a video files on my hard disks. Initially there was no recognition of audio input or output devices either, then for some reason - I have no idea why, I didn't do anything except perhaps reboot - inputs and outputs did appear in System Preferences for audio. But still no audio or video. The problem was solved by applying RehabMan's OS-X-Fake-PCI-ID via the Quick Fix : 200 Series/Kaby Lake audio post.

Audio and video had returned but the graphics were jerky. I downloaded and installed Nvidia's web drivers, 378.05.0525f01 on the Solving Nvidia Driver post, and set these to default - the app asked me if I wanted to do this and I later discovered you can also set this as default via the icon in the bar at the top of the screen to the right.

Reboot and I had a fully working build with Sierra.


What works and doesn't

What works
- USB 3.0 ports (I haven't tried the 3.1) Update - see below
- Ethernet/Internet
- Audio through the Green back panel port
- Video !
- No issues so far with sleep Update - sleep no longer works, both screen breakup and audio loss. No fix yet.

I haven't checked anything else. I will update later if need be.


Bootable clone

I made this initial installation on a spare disk so I could tinker with it before cloning it to a partition on my main SSD that has a lot of valuable files on other partitions. So once I had a fully working OS, I checked if I could make a bootable clone on another spare disk. And that, surprisingly, is where I ran into trouble and spent considerably more time than the installation itself.

Making a bootable clone used to be fairly simple with Chimera. I cloned with Carbon Copy Cloner, added in the appropriate Chimera bootloader, and the copy booted. Not so with this installation and Clover.

After cloning with Carbon Copy Cloner 5 and adding the MultiBeast bootloader (see settings above), the clone got half way through booting, then the screen went off and into save mode. This was resolved by booting in verbose mode (press space bar when you see the Clover boot screen), but once it reached the desktop, there was no audio (neither devices in Preferences nor sound) and no Nvidia web drivers for the GPU (the GPU wasn't even recognized in the tabs for the Nvidia drivers in System Preferences, as if there was no card installed).

To cut a (frustratingly) long story short, the problem is that Clover creates an EFI partition, created after cloning, when you add the bootloader, and for some reason the contents of that partition are not the same as the original disk. What I did - this may not be orthodox, but it worked - was to boot with the original disk that worked correctly, mount the EFI partition on it (see this page), and copy all the contents onto a USB drive. Then remove the original disk, replace with the clone, reboot and once you get to the desktop, mount its EFI partition, move all contents to the trash and replace with those on the USB drive. Unmount the EFI partition (same app), reboot, and voila, a fully working clone with audio and Nvidia web drivers (I had to chose these and reboot for them to become active).

Hope this helps !


Updates

Update sept 30 2017

USB 3

I thought USB 3 was working correctly because my keyboard, mouse and usb drives worked on all ports. However, when I connected a USB 3 hard disk it didn't light up or mount on any port except for the single USB 3.1 (type A). I installed the RehabMan's XHCI-200-series-injector.kext (no result) and then USBInjectAll.kext with no results either (both kexts available on this page). Both of these were installed in my working clone, so had no effect on my main disk. Returning to my main disk, I tried connecting a powered hub, assuming that this was really a power management problem, and that worked, the hard disk lit up and mounted. Adding a second disk on the same hub mounted as well. A non-powered hub on the USB 3.1 port also worked with an external hard drive.

So my current configuration is this : mouse, keyboard and pen tablet all on the mainframe USB 3 ports as well as a powered hub ; everything else on the powered hub including external dock ; non-powered hub on the USB 3.1 port to connect external disks as needed. All of this works fine. It's not perfect, but it answers my needs, so I'll leave things there.

Cooling
I've added a Corsair H55 water cooler. This initially didn't seem to fit a 1151 board, despite Corsair's assertions on their website that it does. On reading that Stork had installed it on a 1151 board, I tried again and there is a working position for the backplate, slightly skewed to the right. I then installed the radiator at the top of the case (to keep, instead of replacing, the back exhaust fan) with the fan direction blowing through the radiator. The installation was fine but noisy, so I changed the connectors round, connecting the fan to the CPU fan and the pump to the Pump connectors (the opposite of the motherboard's user manual) and also changed all the fan settings in the bios to "silent" (main page of Bios, Q-Fan Configuration). The CPU is currently running at a fairly constant 26° - I haven't put it to the test with a heavy charge yet - and the machine is acceptably quiet.

Update march 30 2018

USB3 : All USB3 ports now working, see this thread : https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...er-only-15-xhc-entries-for-usb-not-26.248594/

When making the custom SSDT, the two USB3.1 ports on this board didn't show up in the HXC section of IOreg but in RP05 instead. So I didn't include them in the SSDT, and they're working fine (not sure if they're 3.1 speeds, though).

One other point on the custom SSDT - I couldn't find a template for series 200 boards on this site. The series 100 template worked with one change : the <"8086_a12f", Package()> line had to be changed to <"8086_a2af", Package()>. I made the change following RehabMan's advice on checking the device-ID, about half way down his post on SSDTs : https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/guide-creating-a-custom-ssdt-for-usbinjectall-kext.211311/

Update April 28 2018

Dual boot, Windows 10 : Added Windows 10 on a separate drive using this post to make the usb boot drive https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/make-a-windows-10-uefi-usb-installer.228959/ and this post to install https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/guide-multibooting-uefi-on-separate-drives.198869/.

A couple of additional points :
- To make the USB boot drive, you can prepare most of the work on a Mac - download the Windows iso, obtain the licence number, etc. The only thing you have to do on a windows machine is to use Rufus to create the boot USB.
- I installed after my Mac OS was fully up and running, so there were some tweaks to the install method in Going Bald's post : To prepare the disk, just format it on your Mac as a standard Mac OS extended, this creates an EFI partition by default ; do not disable CSM after installation, if you do your Mac OS will not boot (my build has always run with CSM enabled, the default setting).
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
i7 7700
Graphics
EVGA GTX 1060
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Thanks for the guide. Thinking about doing a similar build. Still running okay? Sounds like the install was pretty straight forward now that kaby lake is natively supported.
I've just updated, if you're interested. It is fairly straight forward, even though it took me three days from start to finish, searching the forums and trying solutions on repeated clones! All the best.
 
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
132
Motherboard
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII GENE LGA 1151 Intel Z170
CPU
Intel i7 6700
Graphics
MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Great build and guide. So you have been using your system professionally? BTW can you check if Safari or anything browers uses your GPU or CPU, check with Activity Monitor and see if the usage for the browser or VDAdecoder is high, like for me a 1080p video shows roughly 30-40% usage.
 
Joined
Oct 28, 2012
Messages
40
Motherboard
Asus Prime Z270-A
CPU
i7 7700
Graphics
EVGA GTX 1060
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Great build and guide. So you have been using your system professionally? BTW can you check if Safari or anything browers uses your GPU or CPU, check with Activity Monitor and see if the usage for the browser or VDAdecoder is high, like for me a 1080p video shows roughly 30-40% usage.
For a 1080p video on Vimeo, the VDAdecoder is running between 25 and 30%, Window server from 10 to 15% and Safari itself at about 0,5%. Does that help ?
Professionally, yes I use it for editing (Premiere) and color grading (Davinci Resolve). I haven't tested how far I can stress the GPU, but HD CinemaDNG raw files play back at 15 to 20 frames per second, where they used to be at 3 or 4 on my previous build. So far so good.

Update : I didn't notice the CinemaDNG raw files I was reading were on a standard HDD drive. On a software Raid most HD raw formats play in real time. 4K raw gets choppy, no surprises there!
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 22, 2011
Messages
132
Motherboard
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS VIII GENE LGA 1151 Intel Z170
CPU
Intel i7 6700
Graphics
MSI GTX 1070 Gaming X
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
HD CinemaDNG raw files play back at 15 to 20 frames per second
Have you tried using Cineform? Nvidia seems to like that codec a lot for CUDA acceleration.
 
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