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 play a 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 kind of 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...
- 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.
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.
All pictures can be found on my Flickr in full resolution
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