GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD5H ATX Intel Motherboard
EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti SC Graphics Card
Intel Core i7-4790k Haswell 4.0Hz LGA 1150 95W Quad-Core Processor
G.SKILL Trident X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 2400 (PC3 19200) Desktop Memory
CORSAIR CSM Series CS550M 550W ATX12V v2.4 and EPS 2.92 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Power Supply
OCZ Vector 150 Series VTR150-25SAT3-240G 2.5″ 240GB SATA III MLC Internal Solid State Drive
Apple Keyboard With Numeric Keypad
SanDisk Cruzer Fit CZ33 16GB USB 2.0 Low-Profile Flash Drive
The system is VERY quiet. The fan on both the graphics card and the CPU are barely audible, even when I was benchmarking them.
I chose to build the computer without a case for simplicity and to ensure everything worked before I spent more money on it.
The Apple keyboard is an excellent one. Although there is no backlight, the monitor lights it up pretty well under low light conditions. The keys are all very fluid. However some of the keys are in a non-standard layout. For example, the delete key next to the +/= key is really just a backspace key and therefore can not be used to start the BIOS. This got me stuck for a while until I tried another keyboard.
The stock Intel Cooler runs quiet and sufficiently cools the CPU.
Check your system information here to verify that it corresponds with the components you have installed.
- Press the delete key while powering up(On the Apple Keyboard, it is the one between “end” and “fn”)
- Set Optimized Defaults
- Disable vT-d
- Set X.M.P. Memory Profile to Profile 1
I initially attempted to boot with both the graphics card and both sticks of memory attached. I ran in to several errors in the boot process and eventually had a kernel panic about 1/3 through the Yosemite installation screen. The graphics were also scaled improperly on my monitor. To make the process easier, I left only one stick of memory in the RAM slots and removed the graphics card.
The boot flags I used to complete the installation were -x -v maxmem=4096 -no-zp
I had recurring kernel panics with a message like “a freed zone element has been modified … ”, but after adding the -no-zp flag everything has been working perfectly.
At the disk formatting window, I created two partitions, one for Ubuntu (I left around 40GB for it). I formatted it as FAT32, but the Ubuntu Installer asked me to reformat this to ext2 later on.
After the installation, I put both sticks of memory back in and removed the maxmem flag.
There is a helpful file under the Extra folder (in the root directory) called org.chameleon.Boot.plist. This contains some of the settings Multibeast changes and you can edit it on your own. This is also where you can edit boot flags that you want to use every time you boot.
My boot flags are: kext-dev-mode=1 -no-zp nvda_drv=1
I messed up here several times so I had to delete some of the kexts manually. The kexts are all found in the folder Extensions (System -> Library -> Extensions). I found it helpful to hold down the command key while dragging the Extensions folder in to the left toolbar, which creates a short cut.
Installation of the Atheros E2200 Killer Ethernet driver is not necessary since the Intel driver in the Z97 chipset is considered faster and more reliable by most.
Under customize, do not check Generate CPU States and Use KernelCache. These two options caused me trouble while booting up.
A system definition of a Mac Pro 3,1 or better is required in order to install the NVIDIA drivers for Mac.
Ethernet, USB 3.0, Sleep Wake, Audio, and DVI (Motherboard and Graphics Card) are all confirmed to be working well. However, I have not tried HDMI yet.
The graphics card really blew me away here. Despite the intense graphics, the GPU managed to stay below 50 degrees Celsius and the fan was still barely audible.
NVIDIA Driver Installation
The 750 Ti does not actually come with any authentic Mac yet so enabling its full power is not that easy. The steps to install the drivers are here: NVIDIA Releases Alternate Graphics Drivers for 10.10.1 (343.01.02)
Here are the steps I did:
- Install NVIDIA Drivers (without card plugged in)
- Set nvda_drv=1 in org.chameleon.Boot.plist (Extra folder)
- Put in Graphics Card
- Plug video cable in to the Graphics Card.
- Enter Bios (Hold down delete key)
- Disable Intel Graphics
- Boot Up
- Check up “About this Mac” or “System Information” to verify that the card is recognized at the right specs
- To double check, download Unigine Heaven/Valley and benchmark the system.