ASUS ROG Maximus IX Hero – Intel i7-7700K – 32GB RAM – EVGA GTX 1070 SC2
ASUS ROG MAXIMUS IX HERO LGA1151 DDR4 DP HDMI M.2 USB 3.1 ATX MOTHERBOARD
CORSAIR VENGEANCE LPX DDR4-3200 32GB RAM
INTEL i7-7700K CPU
COOLER MASTER MASTERLIQUID PRO 240
EVGA GEFORCE GTX 1070 SC2 8 GB GDDR5 PCI EXPRESS 3 GRAPHICS CARD
CORSAIR 330R SILENT TITANIUM EDITION CASE
CORSAIR CX750M ATX SEMI-MODULAR 80 PLUS BRONZE PSU
HITACHI (HGS) ULTRASTAR 7K6000 4TB SATAIII HDD
ASUS INTERNAL CD/DVD WRITER DRW-24D5MT
DYNAMODE USB 2.0 6-SLOT 3.5 INCH INTERNAL ALL-IN-ONE CARD READER
STARTECH 3.5 TO 5.25 DRIVE BAY ADAPTER
SUBANG 6GBPS SATA III W/ LOCKING LATCH CABLES
NOTE: The Amazon listings are not identical (10-pack at Amazon UK). You could use pretty much any SATA cables though – I chose non-right-angle connectors though, and I’m glad I did, as they would have been tricky to fit in some of the drive bays.
Cherry Initial Mac Keyboard
Logitech LS-1 Wired Mouse
Dell UP2716D Monitor
I’d been toying with the idea of building a Hackintosh for about 3 years. If Apple had released a more powerful Mac mini with discreet GPU I may have stuck with them, but at the time of writing (June 2017) no such viable machine has been released, and their Mac Pro offerings were prohibitively expensive and not upgradeable. A new one is on the horizon, but if the new iMac Pro pricing is anything to go by, I think it might also be ridiculously overpriced. So, I took the plunge.
The inspiration for this build was JCMunsonII’s superb “Heroica” build – so-named in honor of Stork’s “MyHero” build. MyHero uses the 100-series motherboard and a Skylake processor while Heroica the 200-series board and a Kaby Lake processor. Continuing the Hero theme, I’ve named this build “Long Compton” after the small village in Gloucestershire, England, where my Grandad was born. He was my hero, for many reasons. Rather than use his name for the build, I thought a small nod to the location-feel of the Kaby Lake name was appropriate, too.
I’ll directly reference both MyHero and Heroica builds in this guide. There is a wealth of information in both to help you through the install so read them both through before you start. This was my first Hackintosh build, and I won’t lie, it’s been a steep learning curve, but with the help of JCMunsonII and Stork this build went relatively smoothly. As will most people here, I’d also like to heartily thank RehabMan. His tireless work both on the forums and in building kexts is second-to-none. Thank you. This community is one of the best I’ve ever come across, but as ever, search is your friend! I apologize to all for cutting and pasting some of your text, but if it ain’t broke….
Financial reasons meant that in 2012 I had to sell my MacPro 1,1 and buy a Mac mini (Late 2012 2.5GHz i5, integrated HD4000 Graphics). Since then I’ve increased the RAM to 16GB, and fitted a dual drive kit, putting a 250GB boot SSD in it, along with a 1TB HDD. I’m a graphic designer, and use InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator daily. The mini served me well, but was really starting to show its age, particularly with every update of the CC applications, and the OS had become sluggish at best. As intimated above, current Apple hardware options just didn’t appeal to me. Building something with up-to-date tech with a powerful GPU was essential for my work. 10.12.6 will include native support for Kaby Lake, so a CPU Fake ID is needed in the meantime, but it made the choice between that and the older Skylake irrelevant. I know I could have gone for a GTX 1080 instead of the 1070 but reading comparisons made me think I wouldn’t really feel that much benefit for the extra money.
I went for a standard ATX case as I didn’t want the footprint of the Air case that Heroica used. It’s a pretty nice case for the money, and without the Cooler Master 240 mounted on the ceiling, I reckon with the noise-insulating foam panels this would probably be a very quiet case. That’s the only thing that has disappointed me in the build. Great for keeping it cool, but I’m beginning to think it may have been overkill (for my needs – playing a demanding game would probably make use of it!).
Finally, even though I have my Mac mini setup I could have used with a backup etc. I chose to start completely fresh with a clean install of Sierra 10.12.5 for this build.
This guide doesn’t deal with physically building your computer, there are lots of guides out there for that. I’m happy to try and help with anything specific to components of this build though.
The BIOS on this board can be updated via the internet with an Ethernet cable, or you can put the new BIOS file on a USB stick and ‘live’ install it from the BIOS itself (Tool > ASUS EZ Flash 3 Utility). This is exactly what I did and it worked perfectly – definitely worth updating the BIOS first, and there are further instructions in the motherboard manual.
Once updated, in the BIOS I confirmed the following settings:
Ai Overclock Tuner > XMP
Xtreme Tweaking > Enabled
System Agent (SA) Configuration > VT-d > Disabled
PCH Configuration > IOAPIC 24-119 Entries > Disabled
APM Configuration > Power on by PCI-E/PCI > Disabled
USB Configuration > Legacy USB Support > Auto
USB Configuration > XHCI Hand Off > Enabled
CPU Configuration > Intel Virtualization Technology > Enabled*
Fast Boot > Disabled
Secure Boot > OS Type > Other OS
Boot Option 1 > USB installer stick (the UEFI choice if there are two entries)
*I also turned on Intel Virtualization support as I’ll be running VMWare.
I also attempted to change all of the Q-Fan Control settings to ‘Silent’. The interface for this feels clunky, and some fans (such as CPU fan) didn’t seem to be able to have that setting applied. I’d suggest fiddling with them and seeing what works for you!
Finally, Exit > Save Changes
You will need the following software to install and configure macOS:
XCode, PList Editor Pro, TextWrangler etc. for editing. TextEdit is a bad idea!
IO Registry Explorer
I didn’t install RehabMan’s XHCI-200-series-injector.kext until I came to sorting my USB ports out (see later on in the guide) but apparently, with that installed in the ‘Other’ folder on your UniBeast stick, a USB3.0 stick can be used to install Sierra, but the simplest way is to use a USB2.0 stick.
I followed the hackintosh niresh’s guide to setup the installer USB stick, install Sierra, and run MultiBeast, and it went flawlessly. BUT, there are a few things you need to do along the way so follow each step one at a time, referring to this guide or others between steps.
When you’ve booted from the USB stick press the right arrow key to get to the Options menu.
Under the SMBIOS menu, change both the Product Name and Board Version to read iMac14,2.
Until native Kaby Lake support arrives (hopefully with th 10.12.6 update), in the Binaries Patching menu you’ll need to edit the Fake CPUID field to read 0x0506E3 (the Skylake CPU ID). Again, once native support arrives you can delete this.
IMPORTANT: These two changes (and any others you make to the bootloader at this early stage) will not stick upon restart, so you have to make them each time you boot until you have installed and use Clover Configurator, or a PList editor, to make these changes permanent. Clover Configurator’s easy-to-use GUI is, in my opinion, way easier to use than a pure text-based editor. It took me a good bit of head-scratching until I realized I’d skipped over this part of the guide and wondered why I couldn’t boot after the initial OS installation, so I suggest making these the first changes you commit in Clover Configurator.
In UniBeast, choose the UEFI option. This will install the required kexts, most notably the Intel graphics option.
The following are mostly direct copies of Stork’s MyHero, but with a few edits that were relevant for this build:
Choose Boot Mac OS X from USB.
Follow the previously linked tonymacx86 guide for install. However, note the following:
If you have a current nVidia graphics card, or want to install one, Boot with the flag “nv_disable=1” until you have installed the nVidia web drivers and made other necessary config changes (detailed later).
When the installer is finished, it will reboot; at the Clover boot screen, double click on the Sierra installation drive (again, changing the two settings mentioned above). Upon booting into the Desktop, the process will ask you to log into iCloud, do not log in – skip it – as it messes up iMessages (there are separate guides available for getting iCloud and iMessages, etc., working properly).
Copy MultiBeast from the USB stick to your Applications folder, run MultiBeast and selection the following:
Quick Start > UEFI Boot Mode
Drivers > Network > Intel > IntelMausiEthernet
Drivers > USB > Increase Max Port Limit (and adds RehabMan’s USBInjectAll.kext)
(Optional) Bootloaders -> Clover v2.4k r4063 UEFI Boot Mode + Emulated NVRAM
(Optional) Customize -> Graphics Configuration -> NVIDIA Web Drivers Boot Flag <— Required if you’re going to be installing a GeForce Pascal card
Build <— To see your full configuration
Save <— Save your MultiBeast configuration file somewhere convenient
Click on the Install button in the MultiBeast window bottom right hand corner and wait for MultiBeast to finish.
As JCMunsonII suggested, I didn’t choose any audio drivers, instead I installed the VoodooHDA package separately, downloaded from here.
Important: MultiBeast v9.1.0’s FakeSMC Plugins’ FakeSMC_GPUSensors.kext has not been updated to support Pascal graphics cards. To prevent Kernel Panics and Reboot do this step. We’ll be installing different versions of these in the Power Management section later anyway.
1) Open the installation drive’s /Library/Extensions/ folder
2) Find and trash the FakeSMC_GPUSensors.kext
3) Delete the Trash
If you have a current Nvidia graphics card, or are installing one, copy the Nvidia Web Driver package from the USB stick onto your Desktop, unzip it, and install the driver now. Click on the Restart button in the Nvidia Web Driver window or reboot the computer if you didn’t install the Nvidia drivers.
Reboot into the BIOS. Change your Boot Option 1 to be the newly installed Sierra drive. Exit and save changes.
Not forgetting the two bootloader changes from earlier on, boot to your Desktop.
Now install and run Clover Configurator
Make sure you Mount the EFI for your boot drive (choose Mount EFI from the panel on the left – it will tell you which is the current boot drive), click on Home, and then click on the top left config.plist of the options available to start editing it.
Set the FakeCPUID value (in Kernel and Kext patches) and the SMBIOS information so you don’t have to continually do so at boot time.
Close Clover Configurator.
Fixing On-board Graphics (see the Heroica build guide)
You don’t HAVE to do this part if you’re installing your Nvidia card straight off the bat. However, I did all of this first before I installed my 1070. The main reason was so that I could ensure it was all working as it should be before introducing the GPU to the equation. Some of the changes you make will be superseded by those you make when you install your GPU, but a few are worth doing anyway as if you ever need to use the on-board graphics, you’ll be glad you did. I’d recommend you install the following:
Installing your GPU
We installed NVidia Web Drivers earlier on, so that part is done.
In Clover Configurator, add this change to the ACPI section:
Change PEGP to GFX0
Still in Clover Configurator:
Tick System Parameters > NvidiaWeb
Untick Graphics > Inject Intel (if you did it as part of the on-board graphics fix)
Remove ACPI > Rename GFX0 to IGPU (if you did it as part of the on-board graphics fix)
Remove ACPI > Rename HECI to IMEI (if you did it as part of the on-board graphics fix)
Graphics > ig-platform-id > remove entered value (if you did it as part of the on-board graphics fix)
SSDT-GFX0.aml file should be installed to EFI/Clover/ACPI/Patched/
These kexts should be installed, and the Fake ones removed.
Reboot to the BIOS. Go to: System Agent (SA) Configuration > Graphics Configuration > Primary Display > and set to PEG.
You may need to enter the VoodooHDA Preferences Pane and reconfigure your audio settings.
Fixing Power Management
My system, like Heroica, would not stay shutdown, and had persistent sleep issues. These are not fully resolved, but these seem to have helped:
Fixes a wake issue:
sudo pmset -a autopoweroff 0
Clover Configurator > ACPI > FixShutdown_0004 – helps to keep the system shutdown
Clover Configurator > ACPI > SlpSmiAtWake – could help with sleep issues
Clover Configurator > ACPI > Halt Enabler – could help with sleep issues
Clover Configurator > Boot > Darkwake=8 – could help with sleep issues
Fixing USB Ports
It takes time, and a bit of head-scratching, but you’ll get there! You’ll need to use IO Registry Explorer (that’s a downloadable option from your Developer Account once you have XCode installed).
Once you’ve generated and installed your SSDT for the USB ports, install XHCI-200-series-injector.kext which is part of OS-X-USB-Inject-All.
NOTE: On this board, there are two red USB3.1 sockets. I have no idea if they run at 3.1 speeds, or only 3.0, but these are NOT included in the 15-port-limit you’re working through above, as they’re on a different controller. They showed up as PRT1-PRT4 in IOReg Explorer for me. You can also use the following to enable charging of devices over those two ports:
Change EC0 to EC
Once you’ve confirmed everything is working as it should, disable the port limit patch – Clover Configurator > Kernel and Kext patches > AppleUSBXHCIPCI patch.
Change SAT0 to SATA
Clover Configurator > ACPI > DSDT Patches:
Comment: Rename SAT0 to SATA
Reboot after applying the change. You can verify the change in IO Registry Explorer.
If you changed the name of your startup volume after installation (as I did, changing from SIERRA to my chosen name) then you will need to change this in Clover Configurator > Boot as well, or the default boot device and timeout settings will not work.
iCloud / iMessage (Messages App) etc.
Before you can use iTunes, iMessage, iCloud, etc., you’ll need to set the system IDs. JCMunsonII in his Heroica build highly recommends An iDiot’s Guide to iMessage by @P1LGRIM. And now, so do I! In the guide, there is mention of the “SimpleMLB.sh file that you downloaded”. It took me the longest time to realise that at the very bottom of post number 1 in the guide, that file is linked to along with some other software. Any others that I found online didn’t work, so be sure to download that one. Also, be advised, Apple may lock your account (possibly due to new overzealous security) and I had to unlock it with another device, and change both my AppleID and iCloud passwords.
One of the things that I know a lot of people hate, but I actually like, is having the Apple Startup Chime. This is usually a Post indicator, but that’s not possible (at the moment) with Clover. There’s a really simple hack to get it to play just before the login screen though, and I think it works well enough. The method (and plist file) originally came from @oculto in this post.
A complete set of startup chimes from the ages of Mac can be found here.
My favorite isn’t actually the most recent one, it’s the one from the PowerMac 7300 era, and appropriate for this build since it’s 20 years from release of that Mac. Every copy of that chime I found online seemed to be the same one which had clicking and clipping issues due to high gain. I cleaned up the one from the link above, removing clipping and lowering the volume a little. Renamed that to Chime.aiff, created the plist file, and then followed the instructions:
Copy the Chime.aiff file to /System/Library/Sounds/
In Terminal: sudo chown root:wheel /System/Library/Sounds/Chime.aiff
Copy com.hackintosh.sound.plist to /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/
In Terminal: sudo chown root:wheel /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.hackintosh.sound.plist
You can change the delay interval if you edit that plist. I set mine to 0 so the chime finishes playing just before the login prompt is visible. Your mileage may vary!
To uninstall, just delete the /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.hackintosh.sound.plist and the /System/Library/Sounds/Chime.aiff
To test it is working:
In Terminal: launchctl load /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.hackintosh.sound.plist
launchctl unload /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.hackintosh.sound.plist
Obviously you can make it play any sound you like by renaming it to Chime.aiff (ensuring it’s in a format that can be played).
Customize About This Mac screen
I used the instructions from this post to help me change this screen. I created my own image from a pic of the 330R and my Hackintosh Apple logo emblazoned on it!
Change Clover Theme
There is an Install Manager you can use, but I decided from the outset that I wanted as few ‘applications’ as I could get away with when tweaking the system, so I instead followed this guide and downloaded themes from here..
Almost everything…so far!
Dynamode Multi Card Reader worked with no driver installation required at all. One thing to note though is that it uses two USB ports (connected to one USB2 header on the motherboard) as it has a front facing USB2 socket too.
CD/DVD ReWriter required no drivers. Haven’t tried burning with it yet, but it read and played a DVD just fine.
Dual/Triple monitors – see below for boot problem, though.
What Doesn’t Work
flaky better with the settings I settled on. Various things seem to be waking it up, although I’m not getting Wake Reasons in the logs, so I’m not sure if they’re hardware or software related at the moment. One thing that seems guaranteed to stop it sleeping though is having a client connected to it for File Sharing (so if, for example, I’ve connected to it over smb with my mini, it won’t sleep. Eject the share and it does.).
As mentioned in the guide, I don’t have any USB3.1/Thunderbolt devices to test it, but I believe the USB3.1 ports only run at 3.0 speed. iBooks will not be able to authorize your computer, apparently something to do with the NVidia Web Drivers.
Dual/Triple monitors – they work, but only if just one monitor is connected at boot. More than one results in a black-screen boot. If I plug them in after I’ve reached the desktop, all is well. They remain functional after waking from sleep too. I’ve tried adding BootDisplay and VideoPorts arguments to the config.plist to no avail. Seems to be a common problem with Pascal cards at the moment. Thinking out loud, I wonder if it has anything to do with the iMac14,2 system definition? Some reading suggested that MacPro definitions in earlier builds worked, but we know that those definitions won’t work with this build.
After an initial feeling of ‘what have I just spent all this money on?!’, mainly related to it not shutting down and the sleep issues, I quickly got over it when I ran Geekbench. I’m really pleased I did it, and comparing specs/performance to what I could have bought from Apple, there’s no contest. I’ve not used it in a production capacity yet, so time will tell, but I’m feeling pretty positive.
Here’s a CPU benchmark result for you. Unfortunately, due to a known bug in Geekbench, I couldn’t test the 1070 on the Mac. Once I’ve installed Windows on another drive I might see what it rates at in there.
And Unigine Heaven benchmarks. The one on the left is with the ‘Basic’ setting, the one on the right, ‘Extreme’ (I was pretty blown away with how this looked!).
When I first installed the CoolerMaster 240 I plugged the pump in to the AIO_PUMP header, and the radiator fans into the W_PUMP+ header – the motherboard manual is a bit scant on information about these ports. However, with the CPU Fan header empty I got a BIOS warning and told to set the Lower Limit to ‘Ignore’. I did, but still couldn’t get past that warning screen. I even tried disabling CPU Fan entirely in the BIOS – same problem, so ended up plugging the pump into the CPU Fan port. This, it turns out, was wrong.
With further research I discovered that on this motherboard, both the AIO_PUMP and W_PUMP+ headers are set to default to a constant max. duty cycle of 100%. This explained why the dual radiator fans of the CM240 were running at full pelt all of the time! I’d completely missed the Q-Fan Configuration setting in Monitor in the BIOS, instead always electing to press F6 to get to the Q-Fan Control screen. As per the Heroica build, this is where you can set ‘Silent’ as your profile, which is all well and good for the Chassis Fans, but did nothing for others.
So, I left the pump connected to AIO_PUMP, but put the radiator fans in CPU Fan.
Then, BIOS settings should be confirmed for CPU Fan, and changed to allow the AIO_PUMP to be controlled via PWM:
Monitor > Q-Fan Configuration
CPU Q-Fan Control > PWM Mode
CPU Fan Step Up > 0
CPU Fan Step Down > 0
CPU Fan Speed Lower Limit > 200 RPM
CPU Fan Profile > Silent
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Control > Auto
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Upper Temperature > 70
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Max. Duty Cycle (%) > 100
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Middle Temperature > 45
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Max. Duty Cycle (%) > 100
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Lower Temperature > 40
AIO_PUMP/W_PUMP+ Max. Duty Cycle (%) > 100
You can change the above settings to whatever values you like. And I might trial an alternative if I feel they’re still ramping up a bit too much.
There’s debate as to whether it’s better to have your pump (not fans) running at 100% all of the time or not. With the settings above, it’s not. But I think for me, at the moment, a quiet machine beats any longevity arguments. Effectiveness is another matter, which is why I’ll be monitoring temps carefully over the next few days.
In any case, with those Auto settings enabled, my fans are idling at approximately:
Mainboard Fan 1 – 1500 RPM
Mainboard Fan 2 – 800 RPM
Mainboard Fan 3 – 1000 RPM
and it’s barely audible. I’m much happier now.
Updated the iCloud/iMessage section of the guide to reflect successful implementation of P1LGRIM’s excellent guide.
Removed unnecessary installs of FakePCIID.kext and FakePCIID_Intel_HD_Graphics.kext as they were not relevant to the HD630 iGPU in this build.
Also added initial findings on dual/triple monitors.
Important: There is apparently a problem with Hyperthreading that could cause data corruption or loss. It’s difficult to know which applications could trigger the code that causes problems, so to be on the safe side if you’re running BIOS 0906 or earlier, it might be wise to turn Hyperthreading off. Fixes are due, but we’ll have to wait until the next BIOS update release notes to see if they’ve been implemented.
Added Unigine Heaven benchmark results.
This JUSTOP WiFi/BT card didn’t appear to work. It uses an Apple BCM943602CS module. The card is seen OK, and details in IOReg look correct, but it refused to connect to any of my WiFi networks. I tried b, g and n, with/without security, and nothing. Bluetooth was also similarly recognised, but AirDrop didn’t work. I may have had a duff card, but I’ve sent it back and have a Fenvi FV-T919 on back-order. Will update again once that arrives.
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