About:

After a few days of testing the Dual CPU Hackintosh is complete. So lets talk about the system! I am not a professional reviewer but here we go.

The Build:

2 x XEON E5-2670 8 CORE @2.60GHz
SUPERMICRO MBD-X9DAi-O
CORSAIR Hydro Series H60
CORSAIR 850 WATT PSU
WD 1TB Sata III HDD
GTX 780 (From Main System)
64GB (8GBx8) DDR3 Ram (From Main System)
4GB (2GBx2) DDR3 RAM (When using Main System)
Generic Rack Mount Case

First I was able to achieve everything that I wanted to do. Creating a stable platform for users to use the system as a editing/production system. Obtain a Geek Bench Score over 35000. Use the latest version of Mac OS X.

IMG_4883

A good friend of mine worked with me on editing a AICPM.Kext to enable Power Management for the CPUs. Assuming that if I had used v2 CPUS I would not have had to do with. I then discovered that this board has a locked MSR so I used Clover to address this issue. A few more Clover tweaks and I was able to boot without NullCPU installed.

Some of the challenges that I faced was enabling Onboard LAN. The Dual Intel i350 Ethernet ports are based on the Intel i210 Ethernet Chipset. Knowing this I used are Ethernet guide found here to obtain the supported Device ID for the i210 and injected the Device ID for both ports in the SSDT for the board. I then moved to Onboard Audio which is ALC889. A simple edit to the SSDT and I was able to enable and then patch Onboard Audio. We only tested Green Output on the back of the board which worked and assume the rest of the ports work.

Obtaining a stable Geekbench and Cinebench score. In the end I discovered by using MacPro 6,1 SMBIOS was not stable for the system. Something running in the background was causing my system to be held back. Switching to iMac 14,2 resolved my issues with the CPU and a quick AGPM.Kext edit allowed me to obtain a solid Cinebench score.

IMG_4882

The hardest challenge was creating a SSDT-1 for Power Management. This proved very difficult as simple changes to the file would either make the system not boot or drop 10000 points in Geek bench. For someone considering this build with different CPUS we strongly recommend that you contact us prior to building the system.

I then spent several hours trying to brake the installation I identified some open issues and was able to easily correct them. Last I was not able to enable the USB 3.0 ports to detect USB 3.0 devices. The ports do work however with USB 2.0 devices. The ports are NEC based and have a known issue under Mac OS X 10.11.

IMG_4881

With dual XEON E5-2670 cpus I was able to achieve a final Geek Bench score of 35051 which can be viewed here. A score over 35000 was my original goal. under Windows I have only been able to achieve a final Geek Bench score of 33000.

I you would like to know more about the system ask below in the comments! A DMG for this board is in the works but we would like to try to bridging the gap to cover the cost of the system. We still need your help!

Goal: $585/$850

To Donate please click here and thank you for your support!

40 Comments on "Dual CPU Hackintosh Review"

  1. Looks really nice. Machine seems practical for people who rely on multithreaded tasks (32 threads!). The single core benchmarks are a little disappointing. Does it properly turbo up to 3.3ghz as in the spec? How do the single-threaded benchmarks compare to Win/Linux where PM is totally native?

    But it exceeds expectations for multi-threaded loads. Plus it’s pretty damn cheap now so it’s hard to complain.

    Pretty cool. I’m thinking about trying this out for fun. If I did I might splurge a little and try some of the fancier chips still compatible with board. If I do I’ll donate some more and send an email. Good work.

    Reply
    • It does get up to 3.3 GHz. I will re-run GB once my 128GB DDR3 ECC comes in but I think Single Core on Windows was par for Mac OS X. I think that my SSDT-1 for Speed Step was a bit more optimized then what the board uses. I could use Clover to load it for windows and could test the results.

      As for the cost aspect you could almost build 3 of these for the cost of a similar Dual LGA 2011 V3 CPU system and with network rendering…

      Reply
  2. It is possible to expand Thunderbolt, thank you.

    Reply
    • Asked and answered before. This is LGA 2011 not LGA 2011-R3. Which means there is only one system that has TB and that is the HP Z820 and then intel changed there spec due to not liking what HP did.

      Reply
  3. Is there a chance you could see if two GPU’s will work ok in this build?

    Reply
  4. Any chance you guys could do a test on RED playback in DaVinci Resolve with the 980 Ti’s or the 780? I would be happy to provide some footage and guidance on what to check (if you need it). And I can toss another donation in.

    Would love to see how well the multicore performance improves playback, as I have both a 780 and a 980 ti that I’ve used in an i7 has well build, but my fps at half res. premium hovers around 14fps due to the CPU bottleneck. Quarter Res. gives me real-time.

    Reply
  5. Hello Andrew,

    Nice work.
    Will you maybe expand Dual CPU support if this is successful? I do have the Z9PE-D8 WS with the same processors.
    I managed to make a PM SSDT for it after some puzzling wich I could share. And look forward to trying yours.
    My geekbench 3 was 2845 single 36583 multi even with awful 2383 single and 2908 multi memory performance but it could just be the board. This was under 10.11.3. And 4 modules in total 32GB 1600 ram used at 1333 for stability. And a GTX 750. All this fanless 🙂 I did try a stripped version from your P9X79-E WS SSDT to combine with it but it got unstable unfortunately. My problem is 10.11.4 wont work for now with the same setup and boot is not allways successful. But 100% solid when booted.

    Reply
    • That board is not worth working on. The plan is to only support this board due to to many issues to discuss here. Are recommendation would be to sell your board and switch the to board we are currently using. Once we complete testing in 2 weeks we will have a DMG.

      Reply
      • Sounds good. I am looking to get something a lot more powerful then this current build. Look forward to that DMG.

        I have a GTX 760 and 560, could I still run dual cards on this set up? I use 3 Monitors and not giving them up LOL

        Also what about sleep and WOL ? I know you said sleep was never supported but this hackintosh you help me build; using this site and guides. Runs rather well using sleep all the time. Cant live with out it.

        Gigabyte X79-UD5, 10.10.4

        Reply
        • Lol. You clearly mis understand what we always say about sleep. We don’t not support sleep however was add all the code to enable it. So on a basic system with no addon cards or exotic mouse/keyboard sleep will always work. 😉 it’s when you start adding odd things is when sleep stops working and there are billions of combinations we choose not to debug such things since every case will be special to that system and potentially brake sleep on someone’s else’s system

        • As for the GPUs you will have to use SSDT injection for the 560. That is not optional.

  6. Hello Andrew,

    Ok sad to hear.
    I think my case does not support e-atx.
    So what am I missing out on?
    I did skip audio and just used usb-audio and added inateck 4006 usb 3 pic card to have some 3.0 ports….
    Are those the problems you refer to?
    Changing my memory to some ecc solved my irregular booting it is solid now…
    And with baseclock at 105 I now have 2977 single and 38494 multi geekbench 3 scores in 10.11.3 with the same processors as your build.
    Board might never be elegant but basics are now pretty workable. Still not tempted to try if some donations are thrown in 😉

    Reply
    • The board requires a lot of roll backs to work properly where as this board and BIOS works great. Augustine (who helps manage the technical side of the site, see About Page) can tell you more why that board sucks. Also I have 128 GB of ram installed and could add more if needed. $200 for the ram is not bad. I short we have high standards here and if something does not meet them we won’t recommend them and when there are physical limitations such as broken bios that can’t be fix or need of use of old files we can’t support something like that.

      Reply
  7. As a contributor I am very interested in this build.

    Would you say at this point you are recommending this combo, MB and Processor? I know you will have more info post testing but are the results so far overall positive?

    Anything encountered that would give someone pause in moving fwd. with this setup?

    Note – I have a Radeon HD 7950 card that I would be bringing over that currently works out of the box with no tweaks in my current hack (outside of some boot flags). Could I expect the same with this board?

    Thanks!
    Mike

    Reply
  8. Which version of the processor are you using the SR0H8 or SR0KX. Will it make any difference?

    Reply
  9. Do you think your efforts here would make something like the X10DAi a possibility? I’m not looking to do a build immediately but if I were to build a multi-processor OS X workstation I’d really want Thunderbolt.

    Reply
    • Nope. We tried last summer and Apple black listed a lot of things. What do you use that you need TB for if I may ask?

      Reply
      • Need is a strong word, but I absolutely love my Caldigit Thunderbolt Station 2. (http://www.caldigit.com/thunderboltstation2/)

        I don’t use it for video (still slumming it with an Apple 30″ Cinema Display via dual DVI), but I do like having the ability to interoperate Thunderbolt JBOD devices with my Macs on my Hac without resorting to cluster-F USB 3 enclosures. eSATA on the box is awfully nice too.

        My hardware (4790K on Z97 Gryphon) runs out of lanes if I’m using a GPU + WiFi Card + anything else, so I can’t use my Caldigit USB3/eSATA card in that configuration and the Thunderbolt card lets me get there anyway (it also has extra USB 3 ports on it and a nice audio device but my main output is optical digital to a soundbar or receiver in that room.) I didn’t need the WiFi because I have two NICs but I do wish I could have kept Handoff/Continuity. Haven’t tried to force it with Bluetooth after I got a BT 4 LE adapter for my touchpad.

        Reply
  10. Everything except Thunderbolt itself, yes. I prefer having the break-out box somewhere accessible rather than rummaging around behind the computer all the time though!

    Reply
    • So your point of needed TB is mute then… TB was DOA anyway due to the restrictions Intel put on it. 7 years later and still not generally accepted. Its dead.

      Reply
  11. I’d still be sucking up card slots with eSATA HBAs if I wanted to be limited to 6Gbps disk arrays only for that card slot.

    I wouldn’t say it’s moot but I would agree that it’s six of one/half-a-dozen of another for most people. You can’t expect people to use USB for direct-attached storage pools and most on-board eSATA isn’t capable of negotiating beyond one device per port. So that leaves only 4-8 internal devices for storage or vendor-contrived RAID solutions that aren’t reliable enough for my data.

    My eSATA HBA sucks up the same lanes on the bus too, so if I have to pick between Thunderbolt and through that having extra USB3, audio, eSATA, DP, and the ability to use fast Thunderbolt storage arrays or a couple of USB 3 ports and two eSATA ports, I’d kind of be a fool to pick the HBA at this point.

    Reply
    • External SAS card with HOt Swap support. PCIe riser to use the slot under the GPU for USB 3.0 card and mount the card remotely within the case. Everything you need can be done nearly because I’ve done it before 😉

      We have done 100TB external raids before with live hot swapping. Lol. All on the same card.

      Reply
  12. And like I said before, I never said *need*, this is purely because I want the best option available.

    Reply
    • Yeah I would argue that TB is not dead in the film and video industry. Most of the audio guys in my office use multiple thunderbolt interfaces, and my clients often deliver thunderbolt raids with their production footage. I appreciate TB as a huge timesaver for me to quickly build projects for color and lay off deliveries super fast. There are plenty of drives that don’t take advantage of TB, but the ones that do make a big difference between prepping a project now or an hour from now. On set, TB is the preferred connection for dumping footage.

      Reply
      • DOA. If not accepted within 2 years of being released its DOA.

        My point is due to intels Boris restrictions you can just add a TB card to any system. In theory any board with a PCIe x4 lane can have a TB card added if Intel did not have restrictions. That means a LGA775 system could allow you to add it.

        Reply
      • Are solutions for that is a Mac mini and network sharing of the drive and even 10GB card for huge raids.

        Reply
      • I agree. Among the public it’s pretty much dead, but it’s the de-facto standard among the film industry.

        Reply
  13. I would like to thank you in advance for your work and efforts to make our lifes easier. Since I have the same configuration and can wait to test it fully working.

    Reply
  14. Andrew,

    I’ve been considering the X9DA7 instead of the X9DAi. It has the SAS connections which I would like to use. The board configuration is identical to the X9DAi except for the SAS. Do you see any problems with it?

    Reply
    • Intel SAS does not work but I think that board has a LSI Chip which was used on a card my OWC SAS card. C602/4/6 is actually the same chip with minor changes but is enough that you cant get them to work. If its a risk you want to take go for it. Send me a IOREG from the installation and I can tell you in 1 min if it can be done. As you can tell I did a lot of homework on this one. 😉

      Reply
      • Thanks for your homework Andrew.
        I won’t pull the trigger until after the 19th. The board uses the same 602 chipset and it is an LSI chip for the SAS. As soon as I get the board and put it together I’ll send an IOREG.

        Reply
        • Like I said the LSI Chip and the Intel one are one in the same but the ROM it uses is different. I’m thinking that the drivers I have for the LSI ROM on that board might just work with some SSDT or Kext editing.

  15. Very impressive build!
    Do you got everything worked out?
    Do you think this will work with an Samsung 960 on a PCI adapter instead of the hdd?

    Reply

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About Andrew Kern