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Omega's PC Build


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#1 MysticalOS

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 08:48 PM

Parts Used:
Cooling:
1 x Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm Case Fans
1 x Noctua NH-D14 140mm and 120mm SSO CPU Cooler
1 x Noctua NF-A15 PWM 140mm SSO2-Bearing (Self-stabilising oil-presure bearing) Premium Quiet Quality Fan...
1 x Cooler Master MegaFlow 200 - Sleeve Bearing 200mm Silent Fan for Computer Cases (Black)
2 x Noctua NF-F12 PWM 120mm Case Fan
 
Storage:
1 x SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD256BW 2.5" 256GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
1 x SAMSUNG 840 Pro Series MZ-7PD512BW 2.5" 512GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)
1 x HDD 1T|WD WD1000DHTZ 10K
 
Memory:
1 x CORSAIR Vengeance Pro 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2133 Desktop Memory Model CMY32GX3M4A2133C11 (Silver)
 
Motherboard:
1 x GIGABYTE GA-Z87X-OC Force LGA 1150 Intel Z87 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS
 
GPU:
1 x EVGA 03G-P4-3784-KR GeForce GTX 780 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 SLI Support Dual FTW w/ EVGA ACX Cooler ...
 
CPU:
1 x Intel Core i7-4770K Haswell 3.5GHz LGA 1150 84W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80646I74770K
 
Power:
1 x Thermaltake Toughpower Grand TPG-1200M 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 & EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Certified CrossFire Certified 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply
 
Case:
1 x Cooler Master Cosmos II - Ultra Tower Computer Case with Metal Body and Hinged Side Panels

#2 MysticalOS

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:27 PM

Build:
I, unfortunately, did not take pictures along the way or what my kitchen table looked like that week while waiting for all parts to arrive in mail.
 
1. To start out, I tied all the cables I would not be using as neat as I could to a corner of the case (all the extra fan LED power cables and fan cables that came with case). I also removed the additional 3.5 drive bays that are normally in front of front intake fan to improve airflow and work space since I had no intention of installing more than 6 3.5 inch drives.
You can kind of see this in finished product here: http://mysticalos.co...ast/cabling.JPG
 
2. Second, I installed the power supply into case and pulled out what cables I knew I'd be needing to power everything (but I did not yet install any of them).
 
3. Next, I installed the full size ATX motherboard pins into the case. Then I seated the motherboard and mounted to case. I then added power cables I needed to run for board (3 cables total).
 
4. Then, I removed cpu socket cover and gently put the Haswell CPU into socket and secured it, ensuring there was no hair or dust or oils from fingers ever making content with the exposed sockets. Once cpu was secure, I added the 32 gigs of memory to the slots right next to cpu since I knew that memory becomes inaccessible after cpu cooler is installed.
 
5. Because the cpu cooler is a beast and makes getting around case much harder, I elected to install all the case fans next. I installed the megaflow 200 into top of case to pull rising heat out of the case. I removed the built in rear fan and replaced it with superior Noctua NF-A15 PWM as a rear exhaust fan. I mounted the two Noctua NF-F12 to side panel but did not yet hook them up since during build I popped that side panel off to move around easier. The case came with the 2 hard disk bay fans already installed. I'm also using the cases stock front intake fan as well (although I may swap it out with something a little more powerful as I'm not quite satisfied with it's air intake volume.
 
6. I cabled all the fans to the most appropriate FAN ports on motherboard in neatest way possible. You can see most of that here: http://mysticalos.co...usb_hookups.JPG . The only fans that are ugly right now in my setup are the two side panel fans since I did't have enough cabling to run it along door to hinge and then into case. They are direct wired and dangling when case door is open as you can see in final picture here: http://mysticalos.co...access_side.JPG
 
7. I installed my two SSDs plus the 1 HDD I got in lower bays. I installed the LG Blu-Ray drive I already had into optical bays. I ran SATA cable and power to all the drives plus i ran additional cables to the 2 3.5 hot swap bays in front of case because I knew I would use them to transfer files from old system. You can sort of see that here: http://mysticalos.co...rive_access.JPG and here: http://mysticalos.co..._drive_bays.JPG
 
8. Now was the fun part. Now that cabling was pretty much done, I put the rear case back on and then turned case over to it's side. I applied thermal paste to cpu and then mounted the beast of a cooler on. Then, hooked the two supplied fans into the CPU_FAN ports on motherboard and tucked cables to make sure they did not lean against heat sink or get caught in the upper 200mm fan. You can sort of see it here: http://mysticalos.co...s/Beast/cpu.JPG

9. Next, it was time to put the GPU in. I choose to put it in PCI-E slot 3 to put space between it and cpu cooler. On my board, There are 3 PCI express 16x slots so I'm given choice to not be forced to use PCI-1 like some older boards. You can see that here: http://mysticalos.co...rd_overview.JPG and a closer view of GPU here: http://mysticalos.co...s/Beast/gpu.JPG

10. After that, I just put the other door back on, hooked in my ugly dangling side door fan cables, tuck them neatly as I close door and start hooking up all the things in the back.

Full picture album here:
http://mysticalos.com/images/Beast/

#3 MysticalOS

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Posted 05 December 2013 - 09:57 PM

Installation/Setup:

1. Number one, ALWAYS update the BIOS. I updated BIOS to latest stable revision to ensure best compatibility and system stability.

2. Next, I prepped two USB drives for my install process using old computer. One Mac OS X install USB which I created with Unibeast to facilitate making one of SSDs a Hackintosh boot volume. Another, which was a Windows 7 Ultimate install for the other SSD. Skipping the step by step, I installed both OSes and right off had a sweet dual boot PC/Mac setup. Multibeast used to finalize OS X hack to get sound and self sustained booting working.

2. Once Both OSes were fully updated and working, I downloaded all the tools I would need to begin next phase, over-clocking. I used many programs to test over-clocks but the best one that helped me identify stability issues that others didn't was good ole linx. I also made a USB boot of memtest

3. Now the OC settings. Most of the stuff is handled by BIOS automatically. However, the BIOS almost always over volts VCore well beyond what's needed and runs Cpu hotter than necessary. Heck, it was over volting by a full .2 in all configurations. That's a lot of extra pointless heat. First thing I did was raised multiplier from 35x to 43x. On air cooling I have, I could probably go higher. Unfortunately, the OS X install destabilizes in it's hacked boot loader above that. I set VCore to 1.2 to start based on tables for Haswell chips at 4.3ghz. This passed in several programs initially and looked to be stable. However, this is when I learned that all stability tests are created equal. it was linx with a massive problem size that identified that VCore of 1.20 was too low. I could blue screen in under 5 minutes. I raised Vcore to 1.22 as I wanted to do small increments. This time it took 20 minutes to BSOD. I raised to 1.222 and reran test again. After 2.5 hours it was still going and stable. I ended test, raised to 1.225 for good measure and set that as my VCore. Everything else is still pretty much auto.

4. Memory, is already OC in it's XMP setting since I bought 2133 memory. I could have gone higher but there is a point where you need additional ram cooling and I didn't want to set that up so 2133 was middle ground I took.

5. GPU is already superclocked by EVGA, but I ran extra tests with nvidia Precision tool anyways just to see how it fairs on temps and if it could be pushed further. Ultimately I discovered that my GPU was pretty much at it's highest clock without enhancing the cooling further so I did not change anything there.

I guess breaking the above into 5 steps seems simple, but I spent a lot of time poking around BIOS and messing up settings to figure stuff out. I even accidentally under volted VCore in one test and could not even POSt or get to bios anymore until I reset the CMOS and started again. Oops. :)

I have some OS X stability issues to work out still but it's 100% stable in windows, which is what counts for the hardware/build. The OS X stability issues are the result of the fact it's called a HACKintosh for a reason. The nvidia drivers are not yet fully supportive of the new GK110B revision of 780 and crashes any program that uses OpenCL. From time to time I am getting a kernel panic or system freeze that seems related to the hacked 3rd party audio drivers needed to make audio work in OS X on hardware official macs do not possess. Etc. For most part, it's quite stable and I hope that the nvidia drivers can get some love soon and I can figure out that KP issue with OS X 10.9 when 10.9 is a little more stable and not a .0 release and community has done more work with it as well. Hackintosh are generally as stable as any other, except when you are as cutting edge as me on hardware and are pioneering experimentation. :)

#4 MysticalOS

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 06:52 PM

I decided to reformat and redo Hackintosh part again. Only this time using Official Chameleon instead of the chimera branch from tony mac. I'm hoping to see some better stability and results since Chameleon gets more regular updates, and that's what I need for cutting edge. Boot time shaved off 5 seconds right off.



#5 MysticalOS

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:12 PM

I found that the ram running 2133 profile was causing instability that the memory test apps couldn't identify since it was a once every 1-2 days error. Clocking memory down to 1600 has completely eliminated instability. From research I did, the memory I got has instability with some boards using the XMP profile1 settings and require custom adjustments and lots of trial and error. When I'm feeling more experimental I will try bringing it back up above 1600 when I can figure out what settings in the XMP have the instabilities.



#6 MysticalOS

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 07:16 PM

Just adding that I was able to get memory back up to 1866 with custom timing, custom IO and system agent voltages. I basically screwed up though with the fact that the memory I got isn't on the compat sheet for board. The vendor is, and almost all of their ram is compatible except for the modules i got, figures. In fact, the vendor discontinued the 2133 ram i bought and released a newer revision of 2133 that IS on my motherboard compat sheet. Goes to show, when building, buy memory off the spreadsheet for your motherboard.

 

I'm investigating some other stuff now. I think the custom IO voltage I did was messing with video card power management some and causing it to hang applications at random with an IO channel timeout. Although it only started with a newer driver that changed power management a little. It was working with the .225 IO voltage gain previously. I'm testing if the vid card stabilizes on new driver with the factory IO voltages and if so, see if i can keep memory stable without it, or maybe find a medium between .225 and factory that both agree with.

 

Eventually I should just buy better memory, but it's not just the price that annoys me so much as the fact I have to completely remove the cpu cooler to access the ram. So I am being bullheaded in changing the memory until I absolutely have to.



#7 MysticalOS

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 09:15 PM

I actually got the memory AND GPU stable now at 0.2 IO. amazing what 0.025 change can do. No IO timeouts on GPU nor crashes from ram. Yay.

 

To top it off, nvidia finally released updated R331 drivers for the hacked OS X install that fixed the OpenCl crash making the OS X side now 100% functional and error free. Beast is very happy.






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