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WonkeyDonkey's Steambox Pro - Z87E-ITX - Core i7 4770S - GTX 760 Gaming ITX

WonkeyDonkey

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Motherboard
Asrock Z87E-ITX
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i7-4770S
Graphics
GTX 760
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WonkeyDonkey's Steambox Pro : Asrock Z87E-ITX - Core i7-4770S - 16GB RAM - MSI GTX 760 Gaming ITX


Components

Asrock Z87E-ITX LGA1150 Mini-ITX Motherboard
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DPOHIK8

Intel Haswell Core i7-4770S LGA1150 65W 3.1Ghz Processor
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CO8T9VM

G.Skill Ripjaws Series (2x8GB) F3-2133C9D-16GXH 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM PC3-17066 (2133)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007CZDS64

MSI GTX760 Gaming ITX 2GB Graphics Card
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HPS4B00

Noctua NH-L9i Low Profile Cooler
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009VY1PMI

Antec ISK600 Mini-ITX Chassis
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H47PFXY

Sony Optiarc AD-7690H Slot Loading Slimline Optical DVD+/-RW
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0046YENWM

Samsung 1 Tb EVO Series 2.5" SATA3 SSD Drive
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E3W16OU

Gmyle Ultra-Mini USB Low Energy Wireless Bluetooth 4.0 Dongle
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007MKMJGO


Already Owned

Corsair Professional Series AX 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B003PJ6QWE

Apple 27" LED Cinema Display (DisplayPort Version)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0043GCBU4

Dell DW1510 Wireless Network Adapter AGN (Broadcom 4322 Chipset)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009VX418E

Logitech K750 Wireless Solar Keyboard
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005L38VRU

Logitech MX518 High Performance Optical Gaming Mouse
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0007Z1M50


Comments

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 :thumbup:

Other Settings









After further tweaking :


 
Last edited by a moderator:

Stork

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Congratulations, WonkeyDonkey, on a well written build description. :clap::clap::clap:

I'm looking forward to your tales on Stream as it comes to fruition. :thumbup:
 
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Looks like a great build :thumbup: I did a build over a year ago, have since got my first MacBook, and now want to build an OS X ITX desktop. I like the recommended Gigabyte boards on the buyers guide here except for the fact they only have 1 hi-res display output; I have 1600p and 1440p monitors that I want to drive from a mITX board, and have been looking around for OS X-friendly boards that'll do it (this has DVI & DisplayPort, which is perfect).

I know you've got a graphics card, but I assume getting HD4600 to work is the same for any other board?

It sounds reassuring what you said about the BIOS. Despite being technical, this kinda stuff scares me a little :p

Thanks again :)
 
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Great build! Have you run into any issues as far as cooling goes?
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
381
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI
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i7-4770
Graphics
MSI GTX 760 ITX
Mac
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Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
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Have to agree, the little MSI GTX 760 Gaming card is a sweet card! Nice build!
 

WonkeyDonkey

Moderator
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
4,558
Motherboard
Asrock Z87E-ITX
CPU
i7-4770S
Graphics
GTX 760
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
Congratulations, WonkeyDonkey, on a well written build description. :clap::clap::clap:

I'm looking forward to your tales on Stream as it comes to fruition. :thumbup:
Thankyou Stork! I'm not an avid gamer here by any measure, it was more about the concept that caught my eye. And the original Valve hardware, I'd kill to get my hands on one of those, at least the chassis anyway :)
 

WonkeyDonkey

Moderator
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
4,558
Motherboard
Asrock Z87E-ITX
CPU
i7-4770S
Graphics
GTX 760
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
Looks like a great build :thumbup: I did a build over a year ago, have since got my first MacBook, and now want to build an OS X ITX desktop. I like the recommended Gigabyte boards on the buyers guide here except for the fact they only have 1 hi-res display output; I have 1600p and 1440p monitors that I want to drive from a mITX board, and have been looking around for OS X-friendly boards that'll do it (this has DVI & DisplayPort, which is perfect).

I know you've got a graphics card, but I assume getting HD4600 to work is the same for any other board?

It sounds reassuring what you said about the BIOS. Despite being technical, this kinda stuff scares me a little :p

Thanks again :)
The in-built graphics work ok, but on a 2560x1440 display the performance isn't that great, even for a desktop setup. Its a straight forward setup though yes.

And don't worry about the bios, the hard work has already been done now :thumbup:
 

WonkeyDonkey

Moderator
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
4,558
Motherboard
Asrock Z87E-ITX
CPU
i7-4770S
Graphics
GTX 760
Mac
iMac, Mac mini
Mobile Phone
iOS
Great build! Have you run into any issues as far as cooling goes?
No cooling issues at all really. The CPU cooler is a great piece of kit; the GPU has a fan that you can just about hear, but its not loud or annoying by any measure. It has this new-fangled radax fan. What it sounds like to me is that the little sound you do get from it is not from the fan itself, but from the air it is shifting.

I think a 760 is a good solid choice right now and should last for some time to come.
 
Joined
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Wow! Just realised I've been promoted to a Golden Build.

Thankyou guys :p

If anybody wants an install guide, I will put one together with my config files. It really is very straight forward with this board now.
Hell of a guide, here!
Just a quick cosmetic tip: to make better screenshots, you could press cmd+shift+4, then press the bar space and you can select any of the open windows on desktop ;)
Congrats!
 
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