Description

After a couple of years enjoying a Mac laptop at work, I decided to build a Hackintosh. Of course, it would also need to dual boot into the Steam bootloader Windows.

Thus, The Beast was born. Much of the inspiration for parts came from tonymac86.com, but I also wanted a quiet machine that was resilient to dust. The Asus Sabertooth motherboard seemed to fit the bill, plus it looks really cool! The 35 and 40mm fans are loud, but they can be managed in the BIOS or the Asus software. I like the idea of de-dusting the motherboard on boot for 30 seconds and again every couple of hours; the rest of the time they are silent. The motherboard placeholders provided for unused inputs is really nice, too.

Even though I haven't overclocked this machine, I like the freedom of being able to do so in the future. For years, I've wanted a giant brown Noctua fan. I considered a closed-loop water cooling solution, but decided to go with air cooling. It's just as cool and quiet (if not quieter) as most economic closed-loop solutions. This case has plenty of room and I have no intention of moving this machine around a lot. Even if I did, this motherboard can handle the weight of that beastly fan. I replaced the stock case fans with Noctuas as well to lower the noise and provide positive static pressure to help avoid dust buildup.

The Phanteks Enthoo Pro case is wonderful -- and only $99. I've never really tried to do proper cable management, but this case makes it easy to have a front view without knots of cords. The case features dust filters everywhere and plenty of room for a large graphics card, which I recently upgraded from a GTX 770 to a GTX 980 to support the 1440p 27" monitor. The monitor is also nice, with height and angle adjustments. For disk space, I have Windows on one SSD, OSX on another, and a terabyte HDD for shared data. I've enjoyed the Razer peripherals, and my old Bose speakers are still going strong.

The loudest thing on the computer is the hard disk when reading a lot of data. The machine is not completely silent, but I can't hear it over a heavy breath.

I learned a lot about OSX and this motherboard's BIOS while getting the Hackintosh running. I did run into a few problems:

  • Sound didn't work out of the green output. I had to compile a kext.
  • OSX was slow to reboot and shutdown. Removing the Multibeast USB 3.0 kext resolved the issue. Not sure if USB 3.0 works from the Mac side or not, and I don't really mind. The inputs still work fine, even if they may be using USB 2.0.
  • DVI output (to VGA) didn't work on the Asus Strix GTX 980 in OSX Yosemite 10.10.2. Display port works fine with the NVIDIA Web Drivers. I haven't tried HDMI.
  • OSX doesn't automatically write to NTFS disks, but enabling it was simple.
  • OSX doesn't recognize the RAM speed at 1866MHz, and instead reports 1333MHz. (Windows recognizes the RAM speed properly.) I could probably fiddle with the BIOS to make that work, but at this point, I'm so content that I don't mind and probably wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Now I have a beastly, quiet, and dust-free machine that smoothly dual boots in seconds. My stepson also learned a lot about computer hardware, and even helped me change out the fans. Although, admittedly, he is more excited about Far Cry 4.

Comments

  • 59 months ago
  • 4 points

And the most original name goes to eldanimal!

jk, nice build tho :)

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd be ok if it was called beastly "insert noun here"

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Beastly Burrito? lol

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

done

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Seriously, why does everyone think their (admittedly great) PC is a "Beast"?

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

It doesn't matter as long as you're content with your build. If it's a beast to you its good enough.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, my new PC was a beast compared to what I was used to (Pentium G640) but at least I didn't use an overused name for something that simply is not the best.

[comment deleted]
  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

It's nothing personal, it's just that almost every day there's a completed build that has the word "beast" in it. It gets tiresome.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

No offense taken. I'm open to suggestions! Got any names that you think would fit the bill?

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

El Macho? :P

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

Grande beef burrito!

  • 59 months ago
  • 2 points

I don't get the hate on people naming their computer "Beast". Yes, it is an overused name and I have to agree on that, but as long as the components match to the name, then it is a pass. Also, it's a computer meant for some workload like gaming, not an entry for a naming contest for crying out loud. ;)

And speaking of computers, sleek build! The Noctuas really look sharp in this setting despite their 'poopy' color scheme. One thing that I want so suggest is to put the GPU on the top PCI-E 16X slot. I mean, there's no performance hit if you put it at the second bottom slot, but I prefer the look of it that way. Just my OCD. :P

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, Geometry123. I do like the Noctuas a lot.

I left the GPU on the lower slot so it would catch more air from the front intake fans, although I'm not sure how much a difference it would make if I moved it.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

There won't be that much of a difference in temperatures even if you put the GPU on the top slot. The Enthoo Pro has excellent airflow, especially with your use of Noctuas. :D

  • 57 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice build, you actually managed to make noctuas look good! Great brand, but they normally look pretty fugly on anything.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Did your gpu get recognize 'out-of-the-box' in Hackintosh Yosemite? I can boot to it (also no sound from green output) but the display is 720p/not detecting the gpu.

  • 59 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes, with the NVIDIA web drivers, running 10.10.2 and using display port. Make sure to set the nvda_drv=1 kernel flag.

Here's a walkthrough on getting the audio codec kext built and installed.

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

What steps did you take to get the ASUS STRIX 980 to work with Hackintosh?

  • 58 months ago
  • 1 point

You'll need the NVIDIA Web Drivers.

Going with the ASUS STRIX 980 was a little risky. I hadn't seen many builds with the ASUS 980. While I was waiting for an RMA on my new monitor, I had a little 20" VGA monitor that I plugged into the 980 using a VGA-DVI adapter -- and that didn't work at all. When the new monitor came, though, plugging into the DisplayPort worked. However, HDMI does not seem to work, and I'm not sure about multi-monitor setups or DVI. One thread specifically mentioned that if you want a 9xx card, having one with 3 display ports such as the reference-based GTX 980s (i.e. not the Asus Strix) or the Gigabyte GTX 970s is crucial if you want to use multiple displays.

At any rate, it's working great with one monitor via DisplayPort. There was a also a recent update to the NVIDIA Web Drivers that may improve things. Let me know if you have any luck with it!