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Dual purpose Mac Dev and Windows Game machine
by noHassleTheHoff
Permalink:   (31 comments)
Description

My first PC was an IBM XT. I think my first build was a 386. I've been building PCs for a long time but a while ago I switched to Macs because they had (and still have) the best laptops anywhere.

With the announcement of the Mac Pro I've been waiting for, I decided the trash can wasn't for me. I built a hackintosh instead.

My original GPU purchase was an R9 280x but it arrived with only one working DVI port. The day I returned it, the 780s dropped $150 in price so I picked those up instead. Everything went in fairly well and I'm amazed each time I load it up and look at the new screens. Previously my Macbook Air was driving two 24" on its own but with one over USB.

QUESTIONS and ANSWERS:

Q: How fast does it go?

A: I haven't been able to bog it down yet. I play Skyrim and racing games like Grid 2 at 5760 x 1200 and it is smooth as butta.

Q: Why so much SSD?

A: I like fast drives. The 1TB is OS X Mavericks and the Intel is Win 8.1.

Q: Where is all your **** storage?

A: 16TB of ZFS sitting next to it in the Mediasonic box.

Q: Why not socket 2011?

A: This machine spends 90% of its time as a Mac and the 1150 motherboards are better supported. I might change to 2011 when the Mac Pro comes out but probably not.

Q: Can you hear it when it runs?

A: No. Under load I'll turn the fans up and then it is slightly audible.

Q: Why so much RAM?

A: Because VMs.

Details
Intel Core i7-4771 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Clock Rate3.9GHz
CPU Temperature While Idle35.0° C
CPU Temperature Under Load70.0° C
Asus GeForce GTX 780 3GB DirectCU II Video Card
GPU Core Clock Rate889MHz
GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate6.01Ghz
GPU Temperature While Idle30.0° C
GPU Temperature Under Load60.0° C
Comments
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ImElkay [1 Build] 3 points 12 months ago

I have heard those headphones are phenomenal. Is that a DAC in the 3rd picture and that is why you don't have a soundcard? I really don't know I am new to the whole sound scene. I am trying to learn though! Really nice build. +1

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

Cheers -- The headphones are amazing. I don't have the room for a nice speaker setup any more and I couldn't afford one that would sound as good as these headphones anyway. To be fair, I haven't compared them to the new Audeze LCD-3 but the HE-500s were so much better than anything else in the price range.

That is a DAC next to the amp and yes, no sound card. The DAC takes in optical (or USB) from the motherboard. I've read that the Asus sound cards are as good as an external DAC so I'd go with one of those if I didn't already have the DAC. (I'm not a big believer that DACs sound very different from each other once you isolate their electronics from the PC.)

 
 
ImElkay [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

I am going to go with the Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard. It is supposedly the absolute best thing to get in the price range. Hopefully it wiil be awesome.

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

Sounds good and should last you a while from PC to PC but you should spend the most on headphones. Less on an amp and even less on the DAC. At $200 for the DAC I hope you have headphones worth at least twice that for it to matter! I'd suggest checking out the HiFi HE-400s as a good match.

 
 
Mediciu5 [2 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

How do the hifimans compare to grados at similar price points?

My first experience with HP amplification came in a little plastic square with an attached 30 pin connector. It really does make a difference. Those of us not used to amplification outside of that provided by our mobile music devices, are in for a world of difference.

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Really different sound signatures between the two. I don't listen to a lot of "rock" so I never paid much attention to Grados since that is what they were known for. When I finally auditioned them in store (the same one where I bought the 500s) I couldn't stand them. They seemed so sibilant, so focused on the treble. I forget what model it was but this shop had the full range and after trying them I knew they weren't for me. Other people love them so I won't judge.

I originally went to the shop to listen to the high end Beyers since I love my DT 1350 portables but the HiFiMans blew away the T1 and anything else from the DT line.

 
 
Mediciu5 [2 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

Nice. I appreciate the opinion and response.

Also, the hifimans website makes me somewhat dizzy with everything not in the right place...

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

Haha, very true. I hadn't even seen the website before I bought them. Hearing them sold me. I think the design is pretty lackluster and that the Audeze look better... but I have zero complaints once they are on my head.

 
 
Mediciu5 [2 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

How do the hifimans compare to grados at similar price points?

My first experience with HP amplification came in a little plastic square with an attached 30 pin connector. It really does make a difference. Those of us not used to amplification outside of that provided by our mobile music devices, are in for a world of difference.

 
 
Jack_Burton 3 points 12 months ago

nice view. the computer's nice too

 
 
ImElkay [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

What is the difference between the 4770 and the 4771?

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

$10 and 100 MHz. It isn't a "k" version though so it is multiplier locked (and has more virtualization features).

 
 
canders [6 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

Nice build. Had to look up the Woo Audio piece; it's cool looking.

 
 
Swish2000 2 points 12 months ago

Those monitors are thick as hell! Sick build!

 
 
xSachira 2 points 12 months ago

Thats a sexy build and a sexy view.

 
 
JakeyU72 [3 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

Could someone please enlighten me on what the differences are on the 4771 vs the 4770?

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

$10 and 100 MHz. It is the typical Intel speed bump increase.

 
 
chopper4 [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

Macbooks are far from "the best laptops"

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 4 points 12 months ago

We define "best" differently, no big deal.

 
 
Starlana [2 Builds] 2 points 12 months ago

Wow. Sexy. :)

 
 
Matryoshka [2 Builds] 1 point 12 months ago

What about these monitors justify the price tag?

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 2 points 12 months ago

100% sRGB gamut coverage, nearly side to side viewing angle accuracy so colours don't shift as you move or at an angle, and the best anti-glare I've seen.

Justify the tag? Not sure but they are NEC and hold their re-sale value very well, too.

 
 
Matryoshka [2 Builds] 3 points 12 months ago

Fair enough. The only time I even see this brand is at the movie theaters and in stores as commercial displays.

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 1 point 12 months ago

They are pretty much geared toward photographers and broadcasters like Eizo. I was a photographer so I like accuracy when photo editing... My current job doesn't require it, but it is nice to have.

Asus has a $450 monitor that is probably just as good of a panel but it doesn't have the same anti-glare, the same stand, or hold its value as well.

 
 
ladyjdoga 1 point 12 months ago

Apple Best laptops anywhere You clearly have never seen a ThinkPad before have you? Also, why use a Mac OS? Props on the awesome headphones as well

 
 
noHassleTheHoff [Submitter] [1 Build] 3 points 12 months ago

Cheers

Windows 8 is an abomination. I'm annoyed by it every time I go to play a game :) I like OS X now though I started with DOS and Windows 3.1.

My first time unzipping something it said "Hey I can install a WinZip App for you!"

OK I said, sounds easy.

Then it installed some Metro WinZip **** that can't even handle multi-part zips. I have no idea why that would ever be useful to me. Now it is my default unzipper, hooray!

Annoying.

 
 
ladyjdoga 1 point 12 months ago

I haven't had anything like that happen with my system, but I can see why that would annoy you

 
 
scorza 1 point 8 months ago

+1, I'd love to see more pictures in general, of the case in situ in particular

 
 
Valkyriexx 1 point 4 months ago

Mind telling where you got that desk:)?

 
 
LemingSweaty 1 point 9 days ago

What dac is that? What model