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[SUCCESS] Asus X58 + GTX650Ti + GeForce 210 = 5 displays

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Ah well, since I didn't find a most appropiate thread to post this in, I opened a new one.

Before anything, please note, that the following work has been done on hardware, which already has been made into a Hackintosh (with myH*ck I think), but can easily adapted by experienced users to a fresh installation, as it "only" depends on the right BIOS setup, extensions and bootloader flags.

Just wanted to confirm, that a 5 display setup with the Asus X58 Motherboard, a 'new' GTX 650Ti and the totally outdated GeForce 210, which is in service already for 2 years in this machine, is possible and working more-or-less out-of-the box, assuming you do a sane post-installation as shown in this post.

The Hardware specs:

Tested with:

  • 1 x 32" Panasonic TV (HDMI)
  • 2 x 19" Medion (DVI)
  • 1 x Samsung SyncMaster (DVI)
  • 1 x Dell (VGA)

Final Variant:

  • 3 x 24" Samsung SyncMaster (DVI, 1920x1200) (on the desktop table)
  • 2 x 19" Medion (DVI, 1600x900) (above the three displays)

(5 x DVI with 2 HDMI<->DVI adapters of course)


The Software specs

Mac OS X 10.8.4

Chameleon r2286



SMBIOS.plist: SMproductname = MacPro3,1

Setup of the BIOS

Storage/HDD: AHCI
Sleep: S3
Video repost on resume: Yes

Optional: set the cpu and chassis fans to manual and then to a sane rpm value (about 900 - 1,000 for example) for a slient machine

and the other usual stuff for this board, found on the insanelymac forum or somewhere else; boot order is set to the mac disk first.


The tests of the Hardware

This is a machine only for serious work (programming and stuff) and NOT for gaming, so the 1GB RAM on each card is totally enough. Since the Mac OS X does NOT support "old" analog video outputs, you may only use the (in total) 2 HDMI and 3 DVI connectors.

Furthermore, Kubuntu 13 had no problem at all to use also the analog outputs together with the digital ones (so, I assume, it would even work with 6 displays, using the vga output on the gtx 650ti) and Win XP (SP3) gets stuck with only 2 displays per adapter (in total 4, but ok). Windows 7 SP1 is installed too, and I think it will be as capable as Kubuntu, so up to 6 in total, but I did not test this; right now it works with the three connected displays.

When the new/final displays arrive, I will make some nice photo for 'the proof' and attach it. Right now, to be able to work again until they arrive, it's 1 x Panasonic and 2 x Medion. I do not expect any different behaviour with 3 x 1920x1080 and 2 x 1600x900 displays, but we will see.

The Software installation (Mac):

To determine the correct configuration of Extensions and "/Extra" content, so everything is working (Network, Audio, etc.), I had some painful time, mainly consisting of booting into Safe Mode to correct things, which always took extra long, until I decided to throw all away (from the previous installtion, based on myH*ck/M*ltiB**st), and start clean again as possible, since some extensions from previous installations of M*ltiB**ast/myHack/whatever may still reside in the Extensions directory?!

I removed all extensions I certainly knew they were connected with some Hackintosh-stuff AND by the way moved some others to "/System/Library/Extensions.disabled" (yep, you would have to create that one first), such as the drivers for ATI cards, ATTO hardware, Apple iSight, AppleIntel Framebuffer, Apple Thunderbolt, etc., as they are not necessary for this machine and the test runs with the "-v" or "-f" flags for the bootloader are now a little bit faster.

In the end, it was much easier, than I feared:

  1. Install the extension FakeSMC.kext into "/System/Library/Extensions" ("S/L/E").
  2. Install a patched AppleACPIPlatform.kext (by ErmaC), which is only for this MoBo, into "S/L/E". This can be done with M*ltiB**st 5.5.5 (Drivers & Bootloaders > Drivers > System > AppleACPIPlatform Rollback > 10.6.8 Rollback) or manually
  3. Install a patched AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement.kext. This can be done with M*ltiB**st 5.5.5 (Drivers & Bootloaders > Drivers > System > Patched AppleIntelCPUPowerManagement > OS X 10.8.0 - 10.8.4) or manually
  4. Install the DSDT.aml file by ErmaC for the Asus X58 MoBo in "/Extra" and perform a small edit (with MaciASL) of the "HDEF" device: change the "layout-id" to "0x01, 0x00, 0x00, 0x00". This enables the internal audio speakers.
  5. Adjust the smbios.plist file to "SMproductname=MacPro3,1" (you can do that with Chameleon Wizard); if you should have issues with AppStore, try changing the "SMserial" or "SMboardproduct" values (search for them on the web)
  6. Optional, but maybe handy: Install the "lspcidrv.kext" (if this is necessary nowadays anyway?!) in "/Extra/Extensions" and some nice theme (with Cham. Wizard)
  7. As always after installation of Kernel extensions, run "Kext Utility 2.5.1" to re-generate the Kernel Cache and maybe use the Apple Disk Utility to repair permissions on your boot volume.
  8. Set the above mentioned settings (with Chameleon Wizard) within the org.chameleon.Boot.plist file. I think someone mentioned somewhere, that "darkwake=0" is not necessary anymore. Well, it certainly doesn't make any problems.

Maybe I forgot some detail (such as installing/patching the AppleHDA.kext with M*ltiB**ast, but this is the essential way.

Maybe steps 2.) and 3.) are not really necessary, as the DSDT.aml file may fix it all, but I'm not sure.
Someone else would have to test that. =)


OK  Video
OK  Audio
OK  Network
OK  USB 2.0
??   USB 3.0 (have no hardware to test, I think; maybe I can confirm this some time later)
OK  Sleep
OK  Restart
OK  App Store
OK  Boot from Chameleon into Win XP or Win 7 on other disks

In the end quite a powerful and silent machine (due to two extra chassis fans I also got recently) for programming.

What now needs to be done is some fine-tuning within Mac OS.

For example, I installed OSXFUSE and NTFS-3G, to be able to read AND write to the Win volumes from Mac OS and so I want to mount them at startup time with commands such as:

mkdir /Volumes/WinXP && sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/disk1s1 /Volumes/WinXP/
mkdir /Volumes/Win7 && sudo mount -t ntfs-3g /dev/disk2s1 /Volumes/Win7/

This would enable me to work with them as built-in HDD icons on the desktop with their correct names. Just have to figure out, how to do that exactly, since editing the "/etc/fstab" file doesn't seem to work in ML.

In Kubuntu 13 and Windows XP/7 there was no further special treatment necessary, as they would see all hardware out-of-the-box.

Happy hacking people!

A small side note: If anyone knows how to enable more than 16 Spaces in Mac OS X 10.8.4, it would be nice to tell me.

I did some digging into the private APIs of Apple's frameworks and the Dock, but in the little time i had to test this, it was not possible to program a tool to have more than 16 and I would like to have about 64 - don't ask why. But may be this will become obsolete with 5 displays and 16 spaces.

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  • 1 month later...

So, after 50 days of actual work with the system, I can say, that it's totally awesome and very handy. There was only once a total freeze of the system, when some bug (I guess) occurred in Blizzard's game Hearthstone. The attached JPEG shows, how I arranged the monitors and, with 5 instances of VLC (on Mac OS X you have to copy the program four times), displaying 5 different Full HD episodes of Sword Art Online. All of them were running smoothly.


Sidenote: As always, the performance of games in Mac OS X is not as good as in Win 7, so I switch sometimes to Win 7 to play Diablo 3 or Path of Exile. I guess with a GTX 760 there would not be that much of a peformance impact in Mac OS X.


With some further helper utilities (TotalSpaces, SizeUp and SimpleKeys), I can now manage the total 80 screens very comfortable and move windows between them. 



In Win 7, there are no problems, except that I cannot (without extra software to buy) set a different background image for each monitor, as I did in Mac OS X (duh!).



Kubuntu 13 has no problems at all, everything is working fine.




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