- Aug 31, 2010
- Asrock Z87E-ITX
- GTX 760
- Mobile Phone
WonkeyDonkey's Steambox Pro : Asrock Z87E-ITX - Core i7-4770S - 16GB RAM - MSI GTX 760 Gaming ITX
Asrock Z87E-ITX LGA1150 Mini-ITX Motherboard
Intel Haswell Core i7-4770S LGA1150 65W 3.1Ghz Processor
G.Skill Ripjaws Series (2x8GB) F3-2133C9D-16GXH 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM PC3-17066 (2133)
MSI GTX760 Gaming ITX 2GB Graphics Card
Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Cooler
Antec ISK600 Mini-ITX Chassis
Sony Optiarc AD-7690H Slot Loading Slimline Optical DVD+/-RW
Samsung 1 Tb EVO Series 2.5" SATA3 SSD Drive
Gmyle Ultra-Mini USB Low Energy Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle
Corsair Professional Series AX 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply
Apple 27" LED Cinema Display (DisplayPort Version)
Dell DW1510 Wireless Network Adapter AGN (Broadcom 4322 Chipset)
Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard
Logitech MX518 High Performance Optical Gaming Mouse
Ever since it was first announced, I have loved the whole concept of the Steambox; this build is my take on it. Aside from the case, everything in this build is absolutely perfect for me. I would have liked to have built this in the Steambox case that Valve sent out with their test systems, but that case is not in production yet, and may never be. With the exception of the power supply, everything in this build would fit quite nicely in that Steambox case and I will buy one if they become available.
Even though I've called it Steambox Pro, I know I could have built an even faster system, but this build is just right for me.
I've been quietly buying these components over time and a little while after I bought the motherboard, I saw the teardown of the Steambox over on iFixit; I didn't know when I bought it but it is exactly the same motherboard as used in the Steamboxes sent out by Valve. That was a real result!
The ram was a little more expensive than standard desktop memory; but it is very fast and low latency.
The graphics card is a quite new model from MSI; it is very small, quiet and has 2 x mini-displayport inputs which means I can plug in my cinema display without using more adapter cables. I consider it mid to high end and the performance is super.
The power supply is an older Corsair model, made by Seasonic for Corsair and is totally quiet. The fans never spin up, even under load.
The CPU cooler comes highly recommended from a number of review sites and is very very quiet in operation, even when the CPU is under load.
My Gmyle Bluetooth Adapter is working 100% OOB. It pairs with the apple bluetooth keyboard and mouse, requires no additional kexts or kext editing and will sleep/wake with no issues whatsoever. It has the broadcom chipset.
The wireless card is working 100% and reports as native Airport Extreme since I rebranded it. I bought a bunch of these some time ago, they never fail and always work OOB. They are very stable cards with good throughput.
My overall choices for the main components were that they should have a decent amount of power whilst remaining very quiet - I hate noise when it comes to my computers - this build satisfies that very well. The processor has 4 cores/8 threads but is only 65W TDP so it doesn't generate a lot of heat and at 3.1Ghz stock speed is more than enough for a fast but quiet system. It is also used by Apple in one of their latest iMac models, so I matched up the system definition to that exact model in my smbios.plist.
Everything in this build works 100% in OSX, WIndows and Linux.
I will be using it as my main desktop production system, although I haven't yet decided whether to dual / triple boot or just stick with OSX and use VirtualBox for Windows & Linux.
MultiBeast Configuration for OSX Mavericks
Installation is straight forward using the standard Unibeast + Multibeast methods. Note that after installation I changed my System Definition from iMac14,2 to iMac14,3 - which has exactly the same CPU.
Originally the bios had to be PMPatch'ed to make it work; since then I have spent a lot of time working with the bios engineers at Asrock to make this board more OSX friendly. It no longer needs the bios patching and everything now works under OSX. You can see my efforts and progress here.
I have a fully patched and clean DSDT that enables HDMI audio, and full power for external USB hard drives.
As you will see below, performance isn't too shabby
After further tweaking :
After further tweaking :
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