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This is my 4th revision of my project (after research) so I think I  am ready to submit it for your consideration/comments ...

 

My goal is to make a mini-tower on par with Apple's iMac with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX 2GB GDDR5  but with an replacable GPU

 

Objectives:

 

Performance on par with iMac 27"

Must work as much as the real thing (Wake-on-LAN, Wake on WLAN, Wake on Bluetooth, Target Disk mode, etc ...)

Must not sound like a Boeing 747 taking off

If possible, OS X will report WiFi as Airport

FireWire 400 and 800 required

Max Budget $1500

 

 

Use :

 

Music recording (amateur) , talking GarageBand from 8 to 24 tracks 

Games (native and thru Wine)

Dabbling in XCode (hobby)

 

 

 

MyBuild V4
Mobo Z77-MX-QUO-AOS (mATX)
CPU Core i5 3570K (intend to overclock it moderatly )
RAM Corsair Pro 16GB
PSU Corsair TX650M (is it enough to power a GTX 760 ?? )
GPU EVGA GTX660 (considering going to GTX 760 ...) 
Cooler Corsair H60 Liquid cooler 
SSD SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD250BW 250G
Chassis BitFenix Prodigy M (unavailable yet, but good looking mATX chassis are rare, suggestions are welcomed)
WiFi Rosewill N900PCE 
BT IOGEAR GBU521
 
Already Owned
23" monitor
Apple BT mouse & keyboard
External FW800/USB2 external drive
External FW400 audio interface M-Audio FireWire 410, Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56
 
Fire away ..

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You are a brave man to use the QUO motherboard... do you actually have one or are you waitlisted or are you just hoping that they'll have one for you?

 

All the other components are solid. Plenty of resources for nVidia cards here. I am unsure of the roswell wifi adaptor. I'm not saying it wont work, I'm just suggesting you go thru the hardware forums above and look for that adaptor before you buy it.

 

Also, why water cooling? Are you doing it for the looks? I know you said you want as silent an operation as possible but there are very very good air cooled options available that are pretty quiet. I, personally, have never seen the facination with waterblocks, other than for EXTREME overclockers or for looks.

 

I like M-Audio stuff - have an old 24/96 just cant use it because my new rig doesnt have legacy PCI slots...

 

Good luck with the build - keep us updated on what you decide to do!

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I would opt for the pro version of the Samsung ssd.

I have the Z77MX-QUO-AOS, so far so good. The rosewill card should work, although I don't own one. The PSU I'd think will be fine. I want the prodigy m also, good looking case. I have yet to hear of a hack with target disk mode, but not going to say its not possible. Especially with this new Z77MX-QUO-AOS motherboard. Again I'd urge you to go pro on the Samsung ssd. I have one and it works flawlessly. I've heard there has been issues on the non pro version

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QUO Board : It is ordered, should ship by the end of the week ...

SSD : Pro version  ... Thanks for the tip .. I think that apple Actually uses the Samsung Pro in the latest iMac when you order it with Fusion Drive

RoseWill Wireless : According to Stork on T's board Golden Build ... it works as great as the TP-Link and Wake-on-WLAN works OOB

Liquid Cooling :  Was thinking mostly for silent operation ...surely not for looks

 

@flipit23 : Did you used the stock BIOS that came with it or  ...you know ?

Hopefully there will be reviews poping up for the Prodigy-M soon ... just to make sure what the gotcha are ..

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I used the H3A BIOS developed by HermitCrab Labs.  I didn't even try anything with the BIOS version that shipped on the board.


The rosewill wifi card you want is a shell shocker deal today from newegg for $22.99.  Deal starts @ 3:00PM (PDT)

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@IronMan - Are you in the kickstarter or did you buy it off the website?

 

In terms of chassis I've been looking at the Fractal Designs Arc Mini R2 but outside of the USA only the original Arc Mini (which is missing the two additional SSD brackets) seems available at the moment.

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I've emailed Fractal Design about availability of the Arc Mini R2 in North America , here is the answer from FD :

 

Thank you for contacting us here at Fractal Design. The Arc Mini R2 is not yet available for purchase in North America. They should be available by the end of September. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter pages as we will make an announcement there as soon as they are available for purchase.

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Update #1 : My external HD (on my MBP) is giving me more trouble, ordered a HD from NewEgg

Update #2: Found an Apple BT module on eBay , getting that instead of BT IOGEAR GBU521

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No room to do that in my MBP (the drive is physically too big).. It is the third time I ressurect this drive in the past 6 months.. it is overdue. I plan on cloning the old to the new on my hack once it is built, then do a low-level format and scan of the old one and keep whatever is left of it as an external off-site backup/emergency drive...

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QUO Board : It is ordered, should ship by the end of the week ...

SSD : Pro version  ... Thanks for the tip .. I think that apple Actually uses the Samsung Pro in the latest iMac when you order it with Fusion Drive

RoseWill Wireless : According to Stork on T's board Golden Build ... it works as great as the TP-Link and Wake-on-WLAN works OOB

Liquid Cooling :  Was thinking mostly for silent operation ...surely not for looks

 

 

Don't get your hopes up. I have been waiting for months just to get the shipping confirmation (which I did not get yet). 

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Thank you for your order from Quo Computer! We wanted to let you know that your order was shipped via DHL, Express Worldwide on 9/10/2013.  You can track your package at any time using the link below...

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Big update : Motherboard has cleared customs and is on its way ...so with mobo incoming and Prodigy-M not yet available  had to make some choices  and update the build so here we are now :

 

MyBuild V5

Mobo Z77-MX-QUO-AOS (mATX)

CPU Core i5 3570K (intend to overclock it moderately )

Chassis BitFenix Prodigy M 

Chassis : Silverstone FT03

PSU Corsair TX650M

PSU: Silverstone Strider STF65-G + short cable kit

RAM Corsair Pro 16GB

RAM Corsair Vengeance Red 16GB

GPU EVGA GTX660 or GTX760 (will start without a dedicated GPU.. waiting for a shellshocker in Canada ...) 

Cooler Corsair H60 Liquid cooler 

SSD SAMSUNG 840 Series MZ-7TD250BW 250G

SSD SAMSUNG 840 PRO 250G

BT IOGEAR GBU521

Genuine Apple Bluetooth 

WiFi Rosewill N900PCE  (will get when it goes shell shocker in Canada as I can simply wire it for now)

 

 

Already Owned

23" monitor

Apple BT mouse & keyboard

External FW800/USB2 external drive

External FW400 audio interface M-Audio FireWire 410, Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56

 

 

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Comp is built-up .. I am on it now ...

Some thign i still have to fix like iMessage, i think my H60 migth not be running properly .. temps r higher that I expected ... makes more noise than I expected

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Status update :

 

H3A.739 on 10.8.4

Sleep, shutdown issue resolved (Parrallels Desktop kext from MBP was preventing power managment to work correctly)

Wake from Bluetooth works

WLAN works, Wake on Bluetooth works

Firewire 400 works (tested with M-Audio FW400 and external FireWire hard drive)

USB 2 device in USB 3 port works (I don't have any USB 3 device)

Don't have a Thunderbolt device to test

Apps that uses AppleID are working (iTunes,Message)

 

Still to come: Overclocking

 

More to come (have to get the hardware first) :

WiFi

Discrete graphics

 

 

HWMonitor & Sensors work ... except ambient temp which is stuck @ 127 Celsius

H60 noisy .. opening a case to Corsair for advice

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Status Update:

 

Updated to 10.8.5 and H3A.816

WiFi -> TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 , recognized as Airport ... Wake on Wireless LAN does not seem to be working or takes too long 

Overclocking : On hold, still waiting for a replacment for the H60 from Corsair

Discrete Graphics : MSI GTX 760 OC, installed and working

 

Issue : Wake ... it works but it takes a really long time until you get to input your password ...

 

Still to come : Overclocking , Windows & Linux (for educationnal purpose only)

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Status Update:

 

WD Blue drive crapped out , second WD drive that fails for me in the last year .. Exit WD

Enter Seagate Barracuda STD2000DM001

Retired M-Audio Firewire 410 (it now live with my old MBP in the music room) in favor of Focusrite iTrack Solo

and out of retirment is my old Apple's iSight connected to the FireWire port

Installed a little system speaker to help with diagnostics

 

Updated BIOS to Osmozis H3C.1479

Updated OS X to 10.9.5

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