[Success] ClarkM’s GA-Z170-HD3P | i7-6700 | Quadro k420 | 24GB ddr4 | High Sierra 10.13.6

ClarkM’s Build:
Core i7-6700 – GA-Z170-HD3P – 24GB RAM – Quadro k420


Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P Motherboard

Already Owned

Intel i7-6700 Processor

Prolimatech Megahalems Rev.B CPU Cooler

RAM: Crucial 2x8GB ddr4

RAM: Crucial 2x4GB ddr4

NVIDIA Quadro K420 Graphics Card

SanDisk Ultra II 960GB SATA III SSD

Seagate 1TB Desktop HDD (for time machine)

ICY DOCK Dual 2.5 SSD 1 x 3.5 HDD Device Bay to 5.25 Drive Bay Converter/Mounting / Kit/Adapter – Flex-FIT Trio

Rosewill – BRONZE Series – 1000-Watt Active PFC Power Supply

Coolermaster CM690 Mid Tower Computer Case

Rosewill card reader

Optiarc DVD-RW optical drive

IOGEAR Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter, GBU521


I was tasked with fixing a family member’s ‘broken’ Dell Precision T3240 SFF pc. After going back and forth with them, and still encountering freezing issues, it was donated to me. I couldn’t quite diagnose the problem but knew it was either a problem with cpu or motherboard. I ended up extracting a i7-6700, 2x8GB ddr4 ram, 2x4GB ddr4 ram, and a quadro k420 low-profile gpu from it.

The cpu cooler, case, psu, card reader, and optical drive came from my first hack build I did back in 2010 (//clarkm.com/budget-mac-snow-leopard-hackintosh-recipe).

The ssd came from an impulse buy I did a year or so ago.

I realized I had all the parts necessary to make a fairly powerful hack with the exception of a motherboard. I did some quick research and found the GA-Z170-HD3P board works well. I picked one up for $60 on ebay.

I took a vacation day from work and did the hardware build.

My favorite thing about the build is how quiet it runs – it’s completely fanless due to the giant heatsink cooler.


Bios (hold delete key on boot):

Set the BIOS to Optimized Defaults. Then set Sata Mode to ACHI.

Disable VT-d, CFG-Lock , secure boot mode. Set XHCI Handoff to Enabled.

Create Unibeast: //www.tonymacx86.com/threads/…ierra-on-any-supported-intel-based-pc.235474/

Boot from High Sierra unibeast usb (hold f12), and go through the installation process. For what it’s worth, I chose to format my drive as APFS.

After MacOS installation, run Multibeast for High Sierra.

Choose UEFI Boot Mode, then drivers:

Audio -> ALC887

Network -> 811H

Then ‘build’ and restart.

I did the initial install with the integrated intel graphics, then for dual monitors added K420 graphics card & installed latest nvidia drivers. This is basically the reason why I’m still running High Sierra.

What Works:

iMessage – done per iDiot’s Guide to iMessage
All other icloud services.
Gigabit network,
Video – full acceleration thanks to nvidia web drivers. (//www.macvidcards.com/drivers.html)

Doesn’t work/untested:

USB 3.1 Type C port on back hasn’t been tested as I don’t have any type c devices.


2018 Hack Pro hackintosh rebuild beginning

8 years, a marriage, and 2 kids later, I figure it’s time to rebuild the dusty old hackintosh (and update the blog!). I really only actively used it for a couple years. It’s collected dust in my office, donated to my wife’s workplace, came back into my possession — and sat in my garage. Now it’s time to resurrect it!

Going into the new build:

  • i7-6700 skylake cpu
  • 24GB (2x8gb + 2x4gb) ddr4 ram
  • 960gb windows ssd (preserve existing win10 install)
  • 500gb hack ssd
  • 1TB storage drive for time machine
  • Cooler master CM690 case
  • Rosewill 1000w power supply

I’ve learned a lot about repairing/building pcs (cable management!), and the hackintosh community since my first build. Although I honestly haven’t done a full personal build since 2011.

The parts (part) cost me a grand total of $60 on ebay since I had everything but the motherboard either lying around or donated/salvaged.

The most costly/important component, the i7-6700 was removed from a flakey, refurbished Dell precision that I had been tasked to repair. I could not properly diagnose the problem so it was donated to me. In my testing, I could say it’s either the cpu or motherboard. Memtest86 RAM test passed after hours & hours of testing. Prime95 was used to stress the cpu to the max – no problems.

So I assume it’s something on the motherboard, although I can’t conclusively say it’s *not* the cpu going into the new build. I guess I’ll have to wait & find out.

Anyway, here are some teaser pics:

Stay tuned for progress!


Bitfenix Prodigy

From Bitfenix Prodigy, posted by clark on 7/25/2012 (6 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher

A Former Skeptic’s Review of the iPhone 4

After many weeks of debating between the iPhone 4 and the HTC Evo I made the decision last weekend; I (somewhat hesitantly) went for a new Iphone 4. I consider myself a seasoned smartphone user and didn’t want to decide on the iphone based on its cool and trendy factor. Instead I wanted to focus on the hardware and the mobile operating system. So after owning the phone for a couple days I am now writing a review.

Let’s start with the bad news. When I got to work today, I plugged in my iphone hoping to manually manage and add music to the phone. Unfortunately, when I tried to click on manage manually in itunes I got a message prompting me to “erase and sync” before I could even activate manual manage! The iphone did not show a disk in my finder window either! Turns out the iphone can only be managed by one computer. Unlike my old ipods of the past, this was a big let down.

My other gripe would be multitasking, I would have to disagree with Steve Jobs idea of “waiting and doing it right.” First, I have to click a button to see my running tasks, which are usually much more than expected. Next, I have to press and hold on an app to bring up a screen to close an app. Last, I have to physically press the little minus sign next to the app to close it. And you will get used to pressing little minus signs too – this is the only way to close an app. That’s right, after you are finished using an app you must click the home button and the app remains running in the background. Yes this can be good for performance of frequently used apps, but I will find more than a dozen apps running in the background when I start task manager sometimes; not good for performance!

Another thing that bugs me is the data monitoring. This problem mostly lies on At&t’s lame network and 2gb data cap, but I do feel that Apple could have done a better job integrating with the wireless provider. Being a heavy Pandora listener and Youtube viewer, I know I will easily surpass the 2gb limit if I do not monitor my data. Apple needs to have a better way of monitoring this! Since I have a brand new iphone, the ‘usage’ menu will work for now, but how will I always remember to reset it at the end of my billing cycle?! For now I have the ‘At&t myWireless’ app that actively monitors everyone on my account’s data. But should I really need an app for this? I think the answer is no. So I guess I’ll have to get used to switching back and forth from WiFi to 3g fairly often. While Apple does make this relatively simple, it does get to be a bit of a pain.

There are a few other things about the iphone being such a closed system that kind of tick me off, but I won’t go in to that now knowing that a jailbreak is just around the corner. This should solve my problems of getting in to the file system and running whichever apps I want. Well that does it with the bickering, let’s get to the good parts.
Continue reading “A Former Skeptic’s Review of the iPhone 4”

Hackintosh is Alive!! Update

So the magic has happened! I successfully booted my Core I7-920, Msi x86 Pro-E, gts 250 10.6.3 snow leopard hackintosh; i am actually writing this blog post on it.

The hardware install was fairly straightforward. I was extra cautious as this was the first time i had ever done anything like this. The first thing I did was attach the core i7-920 cpu to the msi x86 pro-e motherboard. This wasn’t too difficult, it was easy to see how everything fit into place. I then attached my 4gb gskill ddr3 ram to the motherboard. Again, very easy. Then it was time to screw the motherboard on to the case. There were 12 screws included with the motherboard and these screws had tops that went into each other. I mistakenly thought at first that you didnt need to double up the screws – this was wrong. It turns out that you put one screw in the case, then put the mobo on it, then put one final screw on top of that. The thing that confused me was that there were 12 screws, but room for 16. I eventually figured this out and got the mobo securely in place. I then installed the PNY 1gb gts 250 video card. I had done something like this before so i easily popped in the card to the PCIe x16 spot. It was now time for connecting the 2 wd 500gb sata hdds and blu-ray the optical drive. My coolmaster 690 case made this very simple. I simply slid the drives into place. I then connected all of the red sata cables to their respective places. I wished I had a little smaller fingers when I was doing this, but i managed to weasel my cables into place. All I had left was the rosewill 1000w power supply unit. Fortunately this finally came in the mail the next day. I was kind of unsure on which way to install this at first. I knew that it was placed on the bottom of the case, but i wasnt sure which way the fan pointed. Through some research, I figure out that the fan should point through the bottom of the case because it sucks air in. I got the screws tightly into place and it was now finally time to connect everything up!
The first thing i conected was the main 24pin connecter from the psu to the mobo, then i also connected the 8pin socket near the cpu. Those were the only two places the psu connected to the motherboard. I also saw a 6pin connecter on the video card so i attached that as well. I had already connected the cpu fan, and the back fan cable easily reached the mobo, but the front fan was challenging. I had to take the fan completely off the casing and detach the cable from the clips pointing it downward. When i re-routed the cable to go upward it just barely reached the connector on the mobo. The cable is on there securely and out of the way of everything else, so i feel this is the way it was designed to be. Next was another confusing part, connecting all the power cables to the sata drives. I mistakenly started from the bottom drive and ended up inverting my connecters 180 degrees to get the placed correctly. A little common sense then told me that I should have started at the top and worked my way down! So that’s what I did, I started with my optical drive and worked my way down to the hdds. Wow, I think it’s just about time to fire her up!
So thats what I did, I worked up my nerves, made sure everything was connected securely, and clicked the power button!

And Viola, I successfully see a bios screen after a few seconds. I did it! I built my first computer!
The first thing I was advised to do was run memtest to check to see if the ram was bad. After 5 hours, I successfully made 6 passes, and confirmed the ram was good. I was in good shape! But it isn’t over yet; I still have to install os x, the goal was to make a hackintosh, wasn’t it?

My $1000 Mac Snow Leopard Hackintosh Recipe – “Hack Pro”

Well I finally made the purchase! My old piece of crap hp pavilion from 2004 has finally been replaced by a new “hackintosh” system!

My goal was to build a Mac desktop with equal or greater power than my 2008 Mac Pro I use at work. I knew there were recipes online and figured that was a good place to start. After massive amounts of googling with no results, I decided to go straight to the source. I contacted the author of old recipes to find out he was actually a very helpful and nice guy. I told him what my needs were (running web production apps) and budget ($1000) and we built the following system:

Part Name Price
Case COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $79.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
CPU Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 $279.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Motherboard MSI X58 Pro-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $189.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Power Supply Rosewill BRONZE series RBR1000-M 1000W [email protected]°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,Active
PFC”Compatible with Core i7, i5″ Power Supply
$139.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBR $159.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Video Card PNY VCGGTS2501XPB GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $139.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Card Reader SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA $12.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Wireless DELL 1505 802.11N Wireless PCIe desktop card antenna $49.99 (EBAY) Ebay Link My Thoughts

Continue reading “My $1000 Mac Snow Leopard Hackintosh Recipe – “Hack Pro””

Greatness is Upon Us!!

The greatness is upon us!! ClarkM.com is finally finished! After 6 weeks of on and off development time I bring to you a constantly updated feed of information in a usable and elegant style.

Tour of the Site

The intent is to make this site clear and easy for the user to navigate. The navigation in the header, footer, and sidebar will stay consistent across all pages. Think of it as a backward C shape. Most of the main content will be delivered remotely by my social networks – Facebook, Twitter, and Delicious. The articles and blog posts will be provided by wordpress and can be seen on the homepage, rss feed, or through an archive page. Three of the four pages in the header are fairly static and will rarely be updated. The exception being the photos page; which will be updated whenever I update whenever I add a new album to facebook. The sidebar gives links twitter, old blog posts, random photos, and the book I am now reading along with a library link to my previously read books. Last, the footer is comprised of links to my social networks, my currently bookmarked links, a repeat of navigation, hatred for ie6, and a vicious copyright notice. Continue reading “Greatness is Upon Us!!”