computer/hackintosh updates



So for the one or two people that read this blog and remember my posts regarding my laptop dying last fall, thanks to “Black Friday” sales, some well timed newegg coupons/discounts, and deciding to sell my Ncase M1 and my Panasonic GF1 camera, I did manage to put together a replacement desktop, though it should be considered “minimally functional” at best until I can ever afford a GPU.

EDIT – August 15, 2014: Over the past few weeks I’ve decided to re-structure some parts of this blog, and one of those changes was creating a dedicated page with my hackintosh setup. I’ve also included a minimal walkthrough (more like rough guidelines really) for how to set everything up in case other people using the same hardware are having problems. You can find the new page here.

As is the case with my luck (if I didn’t have bad luck I wouldn’t have any) I should have waited on the SSD’s, since they’re like $120 now instead of $175. And like I mentioned above, I still need a GPU (hence why it doesn’t say “purchased” in that list) though I doubt I’ll ever actually be able to afford a 780 Ti like I’d prefer, and I similarly doubt that any card lower than a regular 780 would be able to drive my 2560×1440 monitor. Of course the AMD R9 290 and 290X aren’t even an option since there’s no OSX drivers for either card.

So I’m just back to waiting really. Maybe once the 8XX “Maxwell” variant/series is finally released I’ll be able to buy a used 780/Ti. Until then, it’s Intel HD4600 only, which is ok for most daily desktop use, but painful for anything that relies on the GPU.

Well, and I would one day love a mechanical keyboard too, this 5 year old dell rubber-dome keyboard is flat out awful:

And of course, my being a Mac nerd I had to set it up to dual-boot OSX 10.9.3 and Windows 8.1 Pro. I’d really love to be able to move to linux, but productivity on OSX is just too polished; e.g. Sourcetree is such an amazing Git app, Textmate a phenomenal editor, Airmail a great mail client, etc.

6 thoughts on “computer/hackintosh updates

  1. Cides 19 May, 2014 / 20:02

    Oh yay, You are back.
    What a lovely build. Where did you acquire that Case? I would say that is a 10/10 mackintosh(h). Meanwhile I am cursing at the top of my lungs toward my MBP Retina while staring at a near-5k Water Cooled PC with Windows 8.1 refusing to boot, CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED. Refusing and as stubborn as I am not to have to reinstall all my Steam Apps and other utilities, Feeling like I’ve just wasted the entire weekend. How did this happen? Overclocking. It killed my install, Normally if this was Windows XP or Mac I would be able to repair the installation quite easily and retain my User Profile but seemingly windows 8.1 does not allow for this. What a piece of shit product, I must add Microsoft in their infinite wisdom or lack-thereof, Has decided to “Copy” MAC By releasing unfinished products as quickly as possible on a cycle of 1-2 years. We will soon see an even more crippled Windows 9 I am sure. What happened to “Repair Install” All I have are noob options such as Reset my Computer and Refresh My Computer. Command prompt/Bootrec/Bootsect/SFC/Chkdsk all failing to do anything for me. (And SFC failing to start the repair service) makes me want to turn this rig into a Hackintosh. However, I don’t think my Dual Radeon 290X would agree.

    Speaking of Radeon 290X. Would you like a no-strings-attached MSI Lightning R290X card. I would like to give you one, Since my mentioning of 4770k is useless. and my own rig I only have a PCIe 4x slot for it to go into due to…*Points finger at your Dear Motherboard Manufacturer’s article* Cheap fucking motherboards.
    Prolific. The new ASUS Z97 Deluxe is a Piece of Crap without a PLX chip. It would have been perfect hard it had a few more PCI-E lanes and a few LESS ASMedia components. Why do they bother putting these on high end motherboards? Any enthusiast is already going to have a LSI MegaRAID Card or a Thunderbolt 18TB External PCIe unit such as I do, So +1 and YAY for having to disable about 4-6 lanes worth of USELESS, utterly bad components with countless firmware bugs, and terrible latencies.

    Amen dear girl Introverted,
    You are beautiful.
    Thanks for letting me rant abit. We will have to get in touch so I can ship you some lovely GPUism.

    • jocelynmallon 24 May, 2014 / 10:21


      Sorry for not replying sooner, my mom had surgery this week and I’ve been at the hospital with her almost 24/7.

      The case is a Silverstone FT03-Mini and I bought it on ebay, though you can find them around $120 USD brand new.

      I totally agree on the motherboard issue, it seems that manufacturers keep adding more and more features that aren’t really necessary. I have an Asus Maximus 6 Impact ITX board, and I can’t understand why Asus even bothered with an eSata port when the board has native USB 3.0 from the Z87 chipset. They really should have dumped the eSata and routed another pcie lane to the M.2/NGFF slot. Otherwise the board is actually pretty decent, it doesn’t have any added ASMedia or Marvel controllers, so it worked basically right out of the box with OSX. I’d lover thunderbolt of course, but so far nobody has released an ITX board with thunderbolt, so I can’t really hold that against Asus.

      The bios/firmware did take a few revisions to work properly, I had no video signal from the displayport until the 1402 revision, which was a royal pain, especially when Asus kept trying to tell me it was a CPU problem (and wouldn’t let me RMA the board) then poof, bios update fixed it.

      Also completely agree with the windows comments. After 2 months (and no drive issues of any kind) Windows spontaneously won’t shut down, sleep or reboot anymore. And just last week Windows Update started failing every time now too, so I can’t even update the OS anymore, and I have a legitimate license for Windows 8/8.1 pro. Just awful really, and I hope they turn it around soon.

      And thank you very much for the GPU offer, it’s incredibly kind of you to even offer. Unfortunately the 290 and 290X don’t work with OSX (maybe never?) plus my power supply wouldn’t even support that card (only 1x 8pin and 1x 6pin pcie power connections)

  2. Cides 19 May, 2014 / 20:15

    **is waiting on RetinaCide:~ cide$ sudo dd if=/Users/cide/Downloads/\[_Temp\]/Windows\ 8.1\ Professional\ x64\ Pre-Activated\ UPDATED\ Jan\ 201
    4\ ~SneaKyMK/Windows_8.1_EN-US_x64_Jan2014.iso of=/dev/disk1** to finish. But I think it failed. Disk activity reporting average 500kb/sec write down from 3MB. Could still be going I suppose, the joys of waiting to find out!. I can’t wait to get this sucker going again, and see what my 4770k can do. I would like to ask about yours, do you do any OC’ing on your mackintosh. If so, Is your 4770k a gem or a stone?

    Speaking of stone, I think I know what will help me. I wanted to be playing Marvel Hereos all weekend. Which on Mac I have applied officially to the BETA for many moons and months ago, Which is now Live, and yet to have received an invite. So I continue to try and play it on VMWARE: Which has bad D3D API and does not support Shader 3 very well, so critical error on launch. Parallels however loads and works fine but what will happen is occasionally, I just poof to the Windows Log in screen and everything is terminated. So really all I can do is log in for a few seconds to reap the benefits of the Victoria Day long weekend gifts. And curse as I wait for this DD to finish, and I’m not really sure what to do next. I may just have to bite the dust and reinstall. I can feel that uninspiring sense that I’ll be up until 6AM working on this bullshit before I have any worthwhile success, thus having to miss work tomorrow, which is already not going well for Cides since disclosing desires to attend rehabilitation as my social anxiety and function is at its all time lowest format. /Le sigh.

    I hope you are having a less difficult time IRL. My life has become so utterly empty and useless, H aging – and having completely forgotten everyone I know and everything I was/am. I always aspired for more than this, Why do we run from ourselves?

    • jocelynmallon 25 May, 2014 / 08:58

      Hey again,

      Sorry I missed your question about my CPU before, it’s ok, not a total piece of junk, but not a gem either.

      If I had a dedicated GPU and could disable the HD4600, I’d probably be able to run at 4.6Ghz on my little H75 cooler. If I had gone with a larger case and fancy custom water-cooling it would maybe hit 4.7Ghz. Of course neither of those are possible with the iGPU enabled, lol. The best I can get while using the iGPU is 4.5Ghz, but it’s not 100% stable unless my fans run at 100% constantly. It will boot fine and pass the Asus “Real Bench” suite at 4.5Ghz, but Linpack w/AVX destroys it, like all Haswell CPU’s. The memory controller generally sucks though. I have 16GB (2x 8GB) DDR3 2133Mhz memory, and it will run great at 2400 11-12-12-30-1T, but not if I overclock the CPU at the same time.

      I’m sorry to hear that your social anxiety is so bad, I definitely know that feeling. I spent the better part of the past 4 years basically unable to walk out my front door. I mean, checking the mailbox at the curb would send me into a panic attack, grocery shopping was basically impossible, etc. And yeah, worst of all is that nobody really gets how mental health works. If you’ve never had anxiety or depression, you just can’t relate, you can’t even fathom how bad it is.

      Life has been a little bit better recently. I don’t like to talk about it much because of how we stigmatize mental health, diet, exercise, etc., but cutting out processed foods and sugar/carbs has made a pretty big difference on my anxiety. It kind of normalized my energy levels, no more spiking/crashing, and helped me sleep a lot better too. It’s not perfect (and never will be) but I can function enough that visiting my mom in the hospital was fine, and running all her typical weekly errands while she can’t has been ok, etc.

      I hope something starts looking up for you, and I hope you work out your computer issues. I’m not really familiar with Vmware/Virtualization at all, but if I ever get the money to put together a home server, I’ll have to get your advice on how to set everything up for esxi, pfsense, untangle, freenas, and a media server all on the same box.

      Take care 🙂

  3. Sachin 25 June, 2014 / 12:55

    Very nice build! But do you know the FT03 Mini case only fits a GTX 760 or lower (max. 10 inch). Higher end cards (GTX 770, 780, …) are too long unless you cut out the bottom of the case.

    • jocelynmallon 25 June, 2014 / 13:20

      Hi, yes I have heard of that issue, but I’ve seen quite a few people online that cut out the bottom and it looks pretty simple and straightforward, so that’s my plan if I can ever afford a 780, 780Ti or Titan.

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