This works pretty much Out-Of-the-Box and includes graphics acceleration by using NVidia's NE210 Silence PCIE card. Knowledge of computer systems is a must to understand this short guide and to be able to help yourself in the case of minor issues. The CPU's are both XEON E5440 SLANS. SLANS is a sub identification that among other things defines the processor's stepping. When you plan to purchase it is advised to pay attention to this code when the motherboard will be occupied with 2 processor chips. OS X is picky and demands the 2 processors to be equal in stepping. Period.
The OS X version used here is Snow Leopard.
To start with use one quad-core E5440 Xeon processor. It was no problem to have 4GB or 8GB of ram in the slots during the OSX installation process provided I used the correct booting arguments. Put only 4GB in the slots in case of trouble.
SATA settings in BIOS is Legacy with Secondary SATA or Primary SATA. Avoid using USB connected hard drives. DISABLE the onboard ATI100 graphics (PCI settings). All other BIOS settings are default. Installing the latest BIOS of the this Intel SR1530CLR server is recommended.
You will work as follows:
- Remove any PCI card. Use a USB keyboard and mouse, disconnect all harddisks except the one you will use. You may try a PS/2 keyboard and PS/2 mouse. The use of a PCI card is discussed later.
- Only use ONE harddisk of not less than 40GB. It MUST BE formated in GPT table format with the all partitions in HFS+.
- Use an ASUS EN210 graphics card by cutting free the motherboard's PCIe slot at its end so the graphic card fits; this way PCIe x8 is achieved instead of PCIe x16 but that's not bad at all; we miss only one lane and the difference in speed is hardly noticable.
- Disconnect all harddrives except the one on which you will install OSX 10.6.3. Use the HD0 SATA connector.
- Use the ModBin X86 boot CD to boot the system but you might try other boot CD's specially made for hackintosh.. Get the iso by looking for Nawcom and ModBinX86 boot CD.
- At the menu prompt replace the boot CD with the commercial OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.3 DVD, press F5 and wait till the Install DVD appears in the menu.
- Select the OSX Install DVD with your keyboard arrow keys and then type the following without the quotes: 'cpus=4 maxmem=4096' and press the enter key.
- Wait until the DVD OSX asks you to enter the working language, then enter your language of choice and then go ahead.
- Go to the Utilities in the above bar and choose Disk Utility.
- Select your harddisk and choose to partition in GPT partition table format via 'option' below. Choose the amount of partitions you want. The top one will be where OS X will be installed. Name the partitions in single words without special characters. Apply the partitioning HFS+ Journaled. Apply.
- Exit the Disk Utility.
- The Installer reappears automatically upon which you must engage the installation process.
- The installation should be successfull showing a green check at the end of the installation.
- Put back the ModBin-X86 boot CD and restart the system. Remember: 'cpus=4 maxmem=4096' are the boot arguments, use them only when using the ModBin-X86 boot CD.
Now we put a booter on de harddisk where just now OS X has been installed. This way we can get rid of having to boot via a boot CD. That is done using for example: M-ultiBeast 3.9.0 via tonymacx86.com. Use the checks shown further below. After that you're done you have a single E5440 4-core 2.83GHz Xeon OSX 10.6.3 stable system.
Once your OS X works use update ComboUpdate 10.6.7.
Other than keyboard and mouse/trackball: For audio use dedicated external audio interfaces and avoid the PC type PCI audio cards unless you know the manufacturer provides OS X drivers that fit in Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or 10.6.7 in case you updated to that level. I use the Alessis io2 with success, OS X recognises it without any driver hassle. External hard disks via USB 2 work without issues. Bluetooth USB sticks and USB flash work (Celect, Conceptronic, Lexmark, Sony, TDK), both LAN Network connections work at speed 1 Gigabit per second. Set the network speed of the server to manual (master) and set the speed of the connected computers to automatic (slave).
** The M-ultiBeast 3.9.0 checks:
- System Utilities (all)
- Drivers and Bootloaders, Kexts & Enablers, Disk (IOHCIBlockStorageInjector)
- Miscellaneous (FakeSMC, NullCPUPowermanagement)
- Drivers and Bootloaders, Bootloaders (Chimera v1.5.4 r1394)
- Customization, Boot Options (64-bit Apple Boot Screen, Instant Menu, PCI Configuration Fix)
- Customization, System Definitions, iMac (iMac 12,2)
- Customization, Themes (Chameleon RC5 Default)
Implementing the 2nd CPU (CPU2 on the motherboard) and second 4GB Ram (minimum 8GB ram for dual quad-core E5440 Xeon system)
The second E5440 Xeon processor chip must have its stepping match that of the first one. Here the configuration is as follows:
cpu1 = Xeon E5440 SLANS (stepping 06)
cpu2 = Xeon E5440 SLANS (stepping 06)
(previously cpu2 was SLJJB but that caused the frequent boot mishaps)
The stepping of both Xeon chips MUST match! in stepping otherwise the booting will be unstable and miss more than hit. Take my word, there is absolutely NO other way to get around this. The stepping of both Xeons MUST match. After 2 years of research and trials this is the final conclusion.
Well there's only one PCI slot on the Intel SR1530CLR's motherboard S5000VCL (Callahan) and it is paired with the PCIe x8 slot via a riser. It's not really a PCI but a PCI-X slot. An ordinary USB card in the PCI slot wil work but all firewire cards I had didn't work. The Conceptronic dual USB 3 PCIe x1 card does work provided it has a PCI->PCIe converter between the card and the PCI slot, however we have then a powerbutton issue and a system which always starts itself up when shut down. Anyway, it's a server system so bulk data are transfered via networks instead of USB3.
There's no on-board audio on this motherboard. Concerning audio PCI there's an Envy-24 driver for Snow Leopard with which you can drive a number of audio I/O boards who use the Envy-24 chip. External audio works using the Alesis io2 via USB. note: Digital Audio production Workstation software Reaper for OSX makes streaming multitrack audio possible from one system to another of whatever OS platform.
Setting up a 3rd display
The Eclipse USB 2 VGA adapter that comes with its own OS X driver on the included CD (Leopard and Snow Leopard) did work on this hackintosh.
A problem with this Eclipsetouch SEE2 UV150 is that it ignores color profiles. This means that if you have bad luck with the brand or model of monitor you connect to it you may have loss of detail in the highlight regions and this cannot be fixed with color profiling.
You won't be able to close the casing once the graphics card is installed. The factory installed cooling ventilators are loud. This is normal for a server system. You can replace the cooling with a more silent LGA771 tower type cooling sink. A cooler for any other type of socket may work provided the parts of the sink allow minor repositioning to allign with the LGA771 hole positions on the motherboard. MAKE SURE you then provide extra cooling on the chipset and RAM sinks since the airflow has lost effectiveness with an open case.
I got rid of the server case and jammed the server's motherboard in a 15 year old however solid state free of rust upright ELEPHANT tower case. ELEPHANT because it weighs a ton and that's darn good anti-theft ;) All ventilators run at a minimum as possible speed without BIOS feedback: power management is set to open loop in the BIOS settings. The hottest items are the memory DDR2 so extra cooling was provided for them.
DISCLAIMER: I don't recommend to do as I did and described here because I do not want to be held responsible for your exposure to fire, electrocution or any other hazard by making a hackintosh to my example. You do that at your own risk.