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Intel / Shuttle success story! HOWTO build guide


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I just finished building my new SG31G2B and installing OSX, and seeing as i got all my info from this site with my first build i thought it only right to give a little back!!


The most impressive thing about my resulting build is the level of power and noise considering its a tiny little fella costing only £650 (minus the HD which i already had). Heres the components used:


* Shuttle SG31G2B barebones case (Realtek 888 HD audio, ICH7)

* 300w Shuttle PC50 PSU upgrade

* Intel Core2Duo E6850 3GHz (Conroe... running at 3.3GHz)

* 4GB OCZ 800MHz DDR2

* Samsung 1TB SATA2 HD

* XFX NVidia 9600GT 512MB GDDR3 PCIe2 x16 graphics (manually overclocked - see below)

* Old Linksys PCI Wireless G card with Broadcom chipset

* LG DVD RW / Bluray & HD-DVD ROM


I used the iDeneb 10.5.5 OSX distro with only the ICH7 support option, so have the Vanilla kernel. Everything works out of box (though i have yet to try high def formats using the LG), except the Realtek 888 audio and full NVidia card support. Sleep will not resume - i will update this when i have tackled it.



For the Realtek, Taruga's AppleHDA Patcher works great. If i'm honest, i'm not impressed with the onboard chip but then most people with a love for sound buy a proper one (as i will be!). Make sure you have no ALCInject or other realtek kernel extensions installed, and then:


** Boot into a Linux live installer CD/DVD such as Ubuntu


** Open Terminal and run: cat /proc/asound/card0/codec#0


** Copy all the output from the above command and paste neatly into a text file and save it somewhere for later use, such as a USB stick or existing partition


** Boot into OSX, and drag and drop the above text file onto Taruga's patcher app icon, and it will proceed to patch your /system/library/extensions/applehda.kext using the info from the dump file.


** Open Terminal and run: chown -R root:wheel /system/library/extensions/applehda.kext


** Run: chmod -R 755 /system/library/extensions/applehda.kext


** Run: rm /system/library/extensions.mkext (or preferably use OSX86Tools to delete all caches)


** Reboot and your sound should be working. I get line in, line out, headphones, and haven't tried mic.



For the 9600GT card i used the NVidia 9XXX series driver installer from Aquamac which is doing the rounds, and the NVDarwin.kext injector (i had to go back a version or two though i'm not sure why that was... i used 1.2.4 in the end). I am going to look into the EFI strings method, and will post results if i get anywhere. So for the record...:


** Run the installer from Aquamac

** Run the 1.2.4 NVDarwin installer and select your size of video RAM


Both packages should run permissions repair scripts... if you want you can use OSX86Tools to repair all kernel permissions and delete all caches. After a reboot your display should be quite dreamy. OSX86Tools also has a QuartzGL utility (enabling it on my machine did not affect my xbench results at all, though it is very high level benchmarking) - play with it.




Modding the Shuttle


First off, you really do need to get the PC50 power supply even if its only an extra 50w. I picked one up for about £55-60 (nice find) and the stock PC40 i only used for a few days is on eBay now and will probably fetch £40-ish as others are.


The only other mod was using the stock fan supplied with the Intel processor on the ICE heatsink. Simply remove the existing fan, square housing and grille, and clip on the intel one (if you're lucky... my model has a slightly different shape heatsink and its not quite the right size any more, though i solved this easily with some miniature cable ties and it sits flush. It makes less noise than the Shuttle fan, and my temps are absolutely fine.





Before i begin... the disclaimer. Just because my machine didn't blow up and/or im a little bit mad does not mean i am liable for what you do to your machine!! Let me just say this: i did the following and it has been working beautifully for the last week.


Overclocking the Shuttle

I haven't pushed anything all that far, but it seems like a safe and very noticeable performance boost. The CPU already uses the max multiplier of 9X (9x333MHz). To get a boost out of the system i pushed the CPU clock to 366, resulting in 3.29GHz of E6850 pleasure and a 1465MHz FSB. I have not had to play with any voltages to achieve this minor but worthwhile boost, bearing in mind the Shuttle is not exactly power juicy or large for cooling, but the BIOS provides pretty decent voltage control if it is needed. I have set the PCIE clock to Manual - 100MHz as i don't want to get involved in that, and the frequency is independent of CPU/RAM.


I also want to try lowering the RAM frequency to 667MHz as that will be dynamically overclocked when you boot (seeing as the FSB:RAM ratio will become 1:1 with the following cpu adjustment...). In theory with the right voltage settings and cooling it should be possible to then hit 9X 400MHz, giving you a 3.6GHz CPU and 800MHz RAM once again (providing this doesn't exceed your CPU's abilities and doesn't cause you to hit the FSB wall of the board - these are some of the reasons why i'm scared to try anything until i see proof it has been done!).


The RAM frequesncy setting in a BIOS that overclocks should really be called the FSB:RAM divider in my opinion, as it can cause confusion.



Overclocking the NVidia


XFX do an XXX edition of the card i have, which is essentially the same card so i matched it. I picked up my stock speed version absolutely dirt cheap at about £65 - thank you www.novatech.co.uk (although they have gone up)!


Speeds before overclock: 670MHz GPU / 1625MHz Shader / 900MHz Memory

Speeds after overclock: 700MHz GPU / 1750MHz Shader / 999MHz Memory


Before you go ahead with the NiBiTor, make sure and test the speeds you plan to use in real time by using the NTune plugin for the Windows NVidia display control panel. There is also a basic stress test - test for artifacts as you go up in MHz towards your target.


I did this using NVFlash for Windows, NVFlash for DOS and NiBiTor (after totally screwing my card and recovering using NVFlash for DOS, a bootable USB stick and a firmware backup... running commands in the dark on a garbled screen in a cold sweat... seeing as you cant get display out of the onboard video with the NVidia plugged in!!! This was by flashing with another XFX 9600GT card's BIOS, hence i went for the BiBiTor method...).


The process is simply to:


* Export your card's BIOS to a .rom file on your hard drive, and a bootable USB stick as a belt n braces!


* Open the BIOS file with NiBiTor and edit the speeds to higher values you have reason to believe will work, as i did. Dont go straight for the jugular, go up a card model at a time or in increments you see fit.


* Cross fingers and reboot, and run a stability test in Windows using the NVidia control panel. The longer the better. If you see any artifacts then my advice is to reboot off the USB stick and restore your original BIOS with NVFlash for DOS.




So there you have it. My overall XBench score is 216. In comparison, a friend's year old macbook pro (same era machine really) gets about 120.




Feel free to message me with any questions =)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for writing this HOWTO, I'm planning to use the SG31G2 too in the near future.


Did you resolve the sleep mode problem?


Are you going to improve the audio with a PCI card? Which one?


What's the big advantage of the PC50 versus the PC40 power supply?


Thanks in advance!


EDIT: Found a solution for the sleep mode. Look at post #12 in this topic here.

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Hope some of it was useful. The other link you posted was a full on retail install guide. I didn't go with it, and was happy to settle for a vanilla kernel using iDeneb distro. Reason being i don't feel any moral highground by using a retail disk seeing as it still completely invalidates apple's licensing!! This was meant to be more of a "bang for buck" build with guaranteed compatibility, and so not everything is covered...


I haven't had a chance to revisit the sleep (though i have noticed my screensaver doesn't kick in too!) but was convinced it would be something in the BIOS relating to ACPI/suspend. The fact that i am convinced i have a flaky BIOS chip (after a bad flash and recovery) will not help with my own testing! I will give it a go and report back here!


Still not decided on a sound card. I use OSX for Garageband so need to make a careful decision.


The PC50 power supply is just 50w more powerful (300w as opposed to stock PC40 250w). I just put one in because i could, and because i have a juicy graphics card in there. If you're not a serious gamer and don't want to fork out on an 8800 model, then a bog standard 9600 makes a fantastic overclocker.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for sharing your success story! I myself have a SG33G5 which is working quite nicely. If you don't mind, I'd like to share my success story here. Maybe we can make this thread the Shuttle Hackintosh Mini Success Story thread. There aren't a lot of threads here with people sharing their Shuttle success stories.


Thanks for sharing your procedure!


Thanks for writing this HOWTO, I'm planning to use the SG31G2 too in the near future.


Did you resolve the sleep mode problem?


Are you going to improve the audio with a PCI card? Which one?


What's the big advantage of the PC50 versus the PC40 power supply?


Thanks in advance!


EDIT: Found a solution for the sleep mode. Look at post #12 in this topic here.



Thanks for sharing the above link! Just so people don't have to open up that thread, the kext file to fix the sleep/restart/shutdown is found here: http://store.psystar.com/opensource/openhaltrestart


I'll try it out on my SG33G5 and post the results. Hopefully this is something that works on most systems.

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