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Silverstone FT03 (NoFan CS-70) Hackintosh - Node 2.0

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#1
AT0MAC

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I have had three different Mac Mini computers the past 8 years, lastly a 2011 Mac Mini with the dual core i7 and AMD graphics.
Lately it has started to annoy me, mostly because of the summer heat where the fan goes bananas if I try to game.
 
Something has to be done, and as I don´t trust the new Mac Mini is much of an improvement, the Mac Pro is too expensive and I already have an awesome screen so an iMac is not an option - I have to build a Hackintosh!
 
 
Took me about 1 week of research and then about 1 month of assembly (see more in the thread I link to) to get everything to work - except one minor detail, it can´t wake up from sleep (it freezes until I physically push the reset button).
Anyway, when I leave m computer it is either because I am not doing anything so it´s off - or I am doing something that takes an endless amount of time and just turns the screen off. Who needs sleep then anyways (btw it´s 2:00am here now).
 
 
 
Node 2.0


Parts list:

  • MSI Z77-MA-G45 motherboard (easy to hack and love the colour scheme)
  • Intel i3 3225 3.3GHz IvyBridge CPU (low TDP with plenty of power)
  • Cooled by a NoiseBlocker modified Noctua (with two M12-S1 8dB fans)
  • Corsair DDR 1600 CL9 16GB low profile RAM (3225 native supports DDR 1600)
  • ASUS GTX660 TOP 2GB graphics card (nVidia is easiest to get working in OSX)
  • LyCOM PE-107 FireWire 800/400 PCIe card (should be OSX compatible)
  • IOGear GBU521 bluetooth adapter (should work natively in OSX)
  • Silverstone SST-SOB02 Blu-Ray burner (slot in type and perfect match for the case)
  • Two Intel 520 series 240GB SSDs in RAID0 (FAST! and reliable)
  • Two NoiseBlocker M8-S1 (8dB fans to blow in a little fresh air)
  • One NoiseBlocker M12-S1 (8db fan in the top of the case above CPU cooler)
  • Seasonic X400 fanless PSU (plenty powerful and build to last)
  • Lastly, the NoFAN CS-70 case (it´s very unusual and easily could be something Apple had thought up + perfect for true noiseless build without killing your hardware)

One more thing... Why Node 2.0?  Because most of the parts come from a friends server that is now retired, it was called the Node.
 
 
Notes:

It runs OS X 10.8.4 perfectly, have delayed the startup process with 5 seconds to give me time to punch in any boot parameters if needed, but after the countdown has passed it can boot in about 14 seconds due to it´s SSD RAID0 setup!
 
Took me half of the building time just to get the installation right, but now it runs smooth as butter!
I can play any of my games in highest possible resolution and detail, like Call of Duty 4, Grid, Batman Arkham City and so on... Very demanding Mac games! Looks stunning... 
 
Best part though, the machine is extremely silent!
I am placed about 1.5 meters away and can´t hear when it´s on unless I turn my screen off and the fridge in the kitchen next door is not running... The buzz from my IPS screens backlight (Dell 2209WA) make more noise than the computer!
 
If you take the time and go trough the work log I linked to earlier you will find and immense amount of software hacks to make this the perfect setup, everything from the dock to the menubar, Geektool, log in procedures and About This Mac have been tweaked!
Even the placement of some of the default system folders is rerouted to external drives to not tear up the SSDs.
 
 
Enough talk, go check out the work log if curious. 
 
 
Pictures:


9325167880_a5959ed5f1_o.png
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9322864988_2121125721_o.jpg
 
9240956417_e8614364be_o.jpg
 
9320179895_8189a7f23d_o.jpg
 
9322869182_2f6942b23e_o.jpg
 
9320191727_e9f72580e5_o.jpg
 
9320202009_2117948769_o.jpg

 
 
All pictures can be found on my Flickr in full resolution



#2
3.14r2

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Very nice build! Clean and stylish! :thumbsup_anim:

BTW, what is the RAID card you are using?

It's software RAID (the pics tells it all :) )



#3
AT0MAC

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Very nice build! Clean and stylish! :thumbsup_anim:

BTW, what is the RAID card you are using?

It's software RAID (the pics tells it all :) )

Sorry to disappoint but yes, it is software RAID.

Would love to do hardware RAID one day but maybe not in this case, already have all the PCI slots filled (dual GPU backplate, firewire card and controller card for the blue lights).

 

Actually tried using the build in Z77 RAID controller in the BIOS, but could not be recognised by the OSX installer :(



#4
v3nom

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Nice build!

 

I am a little bit worried about the PSU, because Seasonic says to place it with the grid facing up.

Maybe it's not that bad because you are just drawing 250W max, but keep that in mind!



#5
AT0MAC

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Nice build!

 

I am a little bit worried about the PSU, because Seasonic says to place it with the grid facing up.

Maybe it's not that bad because you are just drawing 250W max, but keep that in mind!

I got it practically free from my friends 1 year old build, so could not let it pass, its an awesome PSU!

But sure thing,, when ever I upgrade the graphics or to a more heavy lifting cpu, then the psu will also be changed - to something with a fan, just in case.



#6
v3nom

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I am using the Seasonic X-560.

 

Most of the X (gold) and Platinum PSUs are working under low load fanless and the fan is only kicking in @ 20-30% load or over (I think) 25°C.

By that the PSU is working fanless and only working if I am starting powerfull software. Even than the fan is just starting with under 500rpm and never audible.



#7
AT0MAC

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I am using the Seasonic X-560.

 

Most of the X (gold) and Platinum PSUs are working under low load fanless and the fan is only kicking in @ 20-30% load or over (I think) 25°C.

By that the PSU is working fanless and only working if I am starting powerfull software. Even than the fan is just starting with under 500rpm and never audible.

 

I know and that is why I will buy a Platinum SeaSonic next time I upgrade.

They are the kind of no nonsense brand I really like!



#8
Scatology

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O yeah! Nice build! i love the color scheme! 



#9
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O yeah! Nice build! i love the color scheme! 

Thanks m8 :)



#10
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Totally forgot to benchmark!
But now I did a little testing and here are the results (do remember though that the SSDs are 55% full and a lot of tools like antivirus, geektool and other essentials running, so its the complete working results):
 
 
GeekBench:
 
2pmc.png
 
As GeekBench only test RAM and CPU it is not a big surprise my result is kind of low.
My RAM is only DDR1600 and my CPU a low-end i3.
 
vrm9.png
 
My 8K GeekBench score for my hackintosh is right in the sweet spot where most Mac Pro 3.1´s fit in - but most of them might actually be very close to identical hackintosh systems so not a big surprise...
 
 
NovaBench:
 
w1by.png
 
Pretty OK score, specially when you do a little digging and find out its similar to what a genuine Mac Pro 4.1 scored!
 
rrhh.png
 
Both the Pro 3.1 and 4.1 had very powerfull CPUs compared to what I use, but my rig scores better in benchmarks. Neat.
 
 
CineBench:
 
a0jt.png
 
skuh.png
 
 
XBench:
 
lge0.png
 
Very suprising to see that my XBench score is lower than my old Mac Mini (scored 415)...
A big potion of it seems to be due to the fact my RAM are now "only" DDR1600 where my Mac Mini was upgraded with DDR1866 (even that multiple sources say that the Mac Mini of that time could not benefit from the higher speed it looks like it worked here). 
 
 
Disk Speed Test:
 
sqtn.png
 
My two Intel 240GB 520 Series SSDs really shine in RAID0!
Even so that it might only be software raid they do put on a good show... :D
I have never used this much space on them before (55% full out of 480GB - two 240GB in RAID0), so maybe that is why the speed seems a little off compared to what I usually got in scores on my Mac Mini (or the fact that the SATA controller is totally different) idk...?!
 
 
 
Any other benchmarks I can run on mac??


#11
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Sweeeeeet!

You can run GPU benchmarks like

UnigineValley or

Unigine Heaven.



#12
Mr.D.

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Very nice build - you should put it in for Mac Mod of the Month - Hell, I'd vote for it for Mac Mod of the Year!

 

What is the mixing board you have pictured on your desktop? Obviously a high quality studio board, but I cant see the brand. Curious because I have done studio mixing before...

 

Again - awesome build, thanks for posting.



#13
AT0MAC

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Sweeeeeet!

You can run GPU benchmarks like

UnigineValley or

Unigine Heaven.

 

Have to look them up...Will report back when I have some results, thanks :)


Very nice build - you should put it in for Mac Mod of the Month - Hell, I'd vote for it for Mac Mod of the Year!

 

What is the mixing board you have pictured on your desktop? Obviously a high quality studio board, but I cant see the brand. Curious because I have done studio mixing before...

 

Again - awesome build, thanks for posting.

 

Nice to hear, thank you :) Have not seen the Mac Mod of the Month category before you mentioned it, but if it runs for full months only that means I should wait till the 1st august before I put it there, right? Not much point in people voting for just a few days before this month ends...

Anyway, thanks for the tip



#14
3.14r2

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Nice to hear, thank you :) Have not seen the Mac Mod of the Month category before you mentioned it, but if it runs for full months only that means I should wait till the 1st august before I put it there, right? Not much point in people voting for just a few days before this month ends...

Anyway, thanks for the tip

You got my vote in advance :)



#15
apple apple

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you can use scenario to run a script that shuts off your computer after a specified idle time if you cant get sleep to work.



#16
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Very nice build - you should put it in for Mac Mod of the Month - Hell, I'd vote for it for Mac Mod of the Year!

 

What is the mixing board you have pictured on your desktop? Obviously a high quality studio board, but I cant see the brand. Curious because I have done studio mixing before...

 

Again - awesome build, thanks for posting.

 

In case you have not seen, now you can make that vote official ;) http://www.insanelym...ni-replacement/


you can use scenario to run a script that shuts off your computer after a specified idle time if you cant get sleep to work.

 

Pretty good idea actually, but I dont need a sleep feature for the moment. Whenever I upgrade to Haswell I might most likely use a Gigabyte board and then the problem should be solved.


You got my vote in advance :)

 

Time for making it official, go and vote here: http://www.insanelym...ni-replacement/



#17
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Just got around and benchmarked in Unigine:
 
Haeven 4.0
 
7x6b.png
 
3fgl.png
 
Tried two different settings, but it refused to do tessellation no matter what (had hoped to compare with these guys).
So on average my score is something like 825 points - better than the GTX 660 score Im linking to :D
 
 
Valley 1.0:
 
7r3i.png
 
Kind of low when you see what these guys are up to...
But as they also prove, the Valley benchmark is full of holes and can´t really be trusted (one even hacked it and got a 9999 point score with 99.9 fps).
 
 
I am still very satisfied with my build, blasts trough any game I have yet played on it with absolute stunning visual details :D

#18
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Update:
 
 
The machine is now dual booting in Windows 8.1 Preview too!
Had a small 64GB Plextor M3 SSD I just threw in for the very same purpose.
 
 
5zvc.jpg
 
 
Benched it a bit in Windows too:
 
 
iz1y.jpg
 
 
u196.jpg
 
t35m.jpg
 
 
uowu.jpg
 
 
t7xx.jpg
 
 
lg74.jpg
 
 
By the way, you can see a comparison GeekBench 3 score here for OS X.
 
 
5yxe.jpg
 
 
Not sure why, but could not get GreenScreen app or Fraps to take screenshots of Unigine benches... So they are taken with my iPhone.
On another note, the programs refused to run in 1920x1080, might be because that is not my native resolution...
 
 
9xpj.jpg
 
 
Also benched the M3 SSD because sooner or later it will be updated as 64GB is kind of small... So wanted to know in numbers how well it performs currently:
 
 
u0et.jpg
 
 
vood.jpg
 
 
tg5p.jpg
 
 
9jxz.jpg
 
 
 
 
Why did it make it run Windows when I despise the layout of the OS so much?
 
 
To run my good ol' Windows only games like Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun!!! :D
 
 
pgqk.jpg
 
 
 
 
//Thanks for looking.
 
 
Next up is a new keyboard and mouse as my current Logitech EasySwitch dont want to connect in Windows and im therefor now using my good old Apple Wired Alu Keyboard which dont have any backlighting :(






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