Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A Whole New Dimension

So, the build is done, and I am actually quite happy with it!

Parts that made it into my new workstation so far:
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87-HD3
  • Intel Xeon E3-1240v3
  • Noctua NH-D14
  • 2 x 8GB Mushkin Stealth DDR3 (1600MHz)
  • Crucial M500 240GB SSD
  • Asus GT640 silent
  • Fractal Design Define R4
  • BeQuiet Pure Power L8 630W
  • Seagate Barracuda 1TB
  • TP-LINK WDN-4800
  • Logitech K400r
The board allows me to add 2 more modules of RAM, with 16GB, I got plenty for the time being.
This is my first ever build using an SSD as a boot drive. And yes, this adds a new dimension, however, I expected a shorter boot time. When the system is up, starting applications from the SSD is quick and deserves 5 stars.

Home directories are on a regular hard drive. For convenience and the low price, I went for an SG Barracuda 1TB, nothing special though. I consider adding a Western Digital black drive to replace the SG 1TB, so that the SG will be available for internal backups/mirroring.

If it is not speed, what is the new dimension, you may want to ask... It is noise, in particular the lack thereof!
The entire build was focused on the lowest noise parts possible, not compromising at performance too much.
And so far, the result is very pleasing. A really silent system showing good performance.

Although I am happy with the performance of the passively cooled Asus GT640, I regret to not have invested additional €10 for getting the Intel Xeon E3-1245v3 with internal graphics.

OS-X 10.9.1 runs like a charm. The system boots right away, using "GraphicsEnabler=No".

Wanna build a Hackintosh yourself? I can only recommend the components mentioned above, with the consideration of the alternative CPU having the iGPU enabled.

Update May 9th 2015:
The system runs on Yosemite for quite a while now. Up to 10.10.2, the GT640 did a great job. No problems fooling 10.10.2 the computer was a MacPro6,1.

However, the card failed when I tried to update to 10.10.3.
So, I took the plunge and got myself a new graphics card, actively cooled actually:
  • MSI GT740 (2GB)
To my surprise, this card is actually really quiet, something I was not expecting.
However, under 10.10.3, is seems that the MacPro6,1 identity does not work any longer. I changed the definition to iMac13,1, which works fine so far.

Update May 10th 2015:
Although the MSI was not as noisy as I feared, I gave the ASUS GT640 quiet another go. And, fair enough, with the right identity, i.e. iMac 13,1, it works perfectly.

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