Sorry for my English (meaning: you have been warned...)
Goal: Apple LCD Cinema Display 24 + Nvidia GT 120 (sold by Apple) + Q9550-based hackintosh = absolutely iMac-24-like front-end (except DVD slot:) + Mac-Pro-like speed and upgradability ... all that for the price of iMac-24.
Target system: Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3P + Q9550.
Test system: Intel DG31PR + some old Core 2 stone.
Installation methods tried:
two-disk installation plus UD3P package ("forum" method, links needed)
EFi-X from expresshd.com ("EFi-X" method)
Call of Duty 4
World of Warcraft
I had absolutely no problems with Nvidia GT 120 card (need it because of mini DisplayPort that monitor has - have not found any DVI_card->MDP_display adapters anywhere). Strike that: ALMOST no problems. GT 120 is like GT 9500, both general Nvidia drivers and EFI-x provided drivers give you CI/QE on. So both CoD4 and WoW work - graphics part, through miniDisplay port - perfectly on both tested motherboards.
Exception is Dock app that cycles 100% of one CPU in "forum" installation on UD3P when LCD display is connected. Snapshot shows some spinlock waiting while trying to draw some rectangle. That most probably means some nasty timer-dependent bug in general Nvidia drivers. Recycling Dock helps immediately. (Boot, kill Dock - you are OK. Until next boot). Again, only "forum" install, only on UD3P, only with LCD connected...
Problems are in USB audio.
GA-EP45-UD3P has USB audio problems both with "forum" and "EFi-X" methods. Nasty, regular (each 2-4 seconds) drops in audio, (especially in World of Warcraft:) happen. Display's audio and mike are visible but not selectable in Sound pref tab in "forum" method, OK in EFi-X method (they became visible after clean install of 10.5.1 under EFi-X with USB plug connected and remain working after upgrade to 10.5.7, may not be visible if you plug it in an already completed installation). So, Display's audio devices work in "EFi-X" method, but they are prone to the same USB audio problems as other USB audio devices.
iSight is OK and works in both methods.
DG31PR does not boot past initial BIOS screen if USB cable from Display is in. Does not see Display's USB devices after dispaly's USB plug is in after the boot (does not crash though:). Other USB devices are Ok - no sound problems here.
I could have probably lived with USB problems on GA-EP45-UD3P (built-in Audio was OK) while trying to fix them, but this board burned when connected from board's 1394 port to real iMac's FireWire 400 port... twice After the second burn the project was abandoned. I have saved some pictures though Here is CoD4 on DG31PR box:
Hope here is some useful info for somebody. Good luck!
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