Got my EFi-X Chip....

Discussion in 'macOS' started by technocoy, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. technocoy macrumors 6502a

    technocoy

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2002
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #1
    I had a box I had built previously to run zBrush, but now that it's on the mac I was trying to figure out what to do with the PC...

    I'm pretty tight on money these days but had been wanting another mac pro for home as well as at work.

    I figured what the hell and ordered a new motherboard (all my other components were recommended) and the EFiX chip.

    Man, I can't believe it, but it works AMAZING. I'll report back after a week of intense use with CS4, zBrush, Office, iApps, aperture, etc.

    I'm running a recommended Gigabyte motherboard with an 8800GTS, SATA hard drives and a bluray/HDDVD drive (SATA).

    PM me if you want exact product IDs.

    It's pretty amazing. I bought a retails copy of 10.5 (won't work with the discs that came with my mac pro and mac book pro) plugged in the chip. initialized the drive and booted from the EFiX chip... select DVD drive and boom. installed just like on my mac pro. Had to update to 10.5.5 for the 8800 to work proper and freaking EVERYTHING else is working perfect so far...

    Oh and I overclocked the Q6600 quad core from 2.4 to 3.6 and it's working flawless and beats the dickens out of my quad 2.6 mac pro in benchmark.

    Let me know if you want to know more.

    I'd still recommend apple hardware for your only mac. But man, if you REALLY want to get started with a mac and don't have the 2800 bucks... there you go!

    Cheers,
    technocoy
     
  2. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #2
    Do the FW, USB and ethernet ports work fine?

    Does Profiler show everything fine?

    Thanks for the update on your progress!
     
  3. technocoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    technocoy

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    #3
    you know, I haven't tested firewire yet, but USB, Networking, Sound and everything work perfect so far.

    Profiler shows everything perfect.
     
  4. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #4
    what mb are you using?

    does it offer anything over say the boot-132 method? i ask as thats what im using at the moment
     
  5. technocoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    technocoy

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    Raleigh, NC
    #5
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128346

    That's the MB that has had nearly no issues with other users as well.

    As far as other methods I can't speak to anything other that I had tried to do a hackintosh before hand and for me (I don't build many PC's, so and kext hacking and stuff) it was just way too time intensive and needed too much maintenance everytime there was an update or piece of kit i wanted to add...

    This is so easy I can't even tell you.

    I ran vista and made sure the EFiX chip was the most recent update (updates are automatic through a wizard). I plugged it into the internal jUSB port and booted with 10.5 retail in the drive.

    It went to the EFiX bootscreen (similar to the bootcamp screen) and i selected DVD drive. Formated to journaled and installed OS X.

    It really is just as simple as installing it on all my other machines.

    At first I freaked cause video was only 1024 but then i realized that the 8800 update came in a later 10.5 software update... Ran software update to 10.5.5 and restarted. boom. perfect. It's a freaking non-server-spec mac pro man. It's the fabled headless mac. only better.

    Just make sure you are using approved components from the tested list and you are golden.

    All SATA drives, the recommended motherboard, invidia graphics (preferably 8800GT or GTS) and intel core2 or quad core...

    Man, this is amazing so far. I'll keep you posted. I haven't had one single crash in hours so far.

    Cheers
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    how much is it? i cant seem to find the price on the website
     
  7. technocoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    technocoy

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    Raleigh, NC
    #7
    the motherboard is 179 (there are cheaper ones, but since I was overclocking and this one has been tested thoroughly I got the more expensive)

    and the EFiX chip was 159 when I bought it... I think they are up to 179 now. They were backordered for a whole and they have been selling out fast. YOu can sometimes find em on ebay for like 150.
     
  8. technocoy thread starter macrumors 6502a

    technocoy

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    Raleigh, NC
    #8
    looks like they are going up in price pretty quick... here's the best deal i saw on ebay:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/New-EFI-x-V1-US...14&_trkparms=72:1234|66:2|65:12|39:1|240:1318

    the site is now selling them for 199...

    But I mean you gotta figure... Had I been doing this from scratch and not had to buy the new motherboard I'd be under 1100.00 for a 3.6Ghz quad core mac pro essentially... Not to mention how much cheaper 8-16 gigs of RAM is.

    I will definitely post back as I run it for a while though. I know I have seen people saying they have been running theirs for 2 months now though with now problems.. Nice thing with this is if somethign breaks or goes bad I can replace it simply and without costing an arm and a leg.

    As stable as it has been so far, I really think this approach would be a great way to start to put OS X to the masses. I mean, as an apple design lover I will always buy apple hardware, but if they would put out recommended setups and let people build their own headless, man that would be sweet... OR even sell a special version of OS X tha runs on built hardware...
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    I'll have to look in to one of those P45 boards from Gigabyte for Christmas.

    Edit: The GIGABYTE GA-EP45-DS3L looks like it's the cheapest right now but it's not listed.

    The Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3 and Gigabyte GA-EP45-DS3R are though. Has anyone tried the 'L' variant yet? Not that I can't afford the 'R'.
     
  10. thechidz macrumors 68000

    thechidz

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    Location:
    New York City
    #10
    dang... I just sold mine to an mr member for 165 shipped... should have held out for more
     
  11. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #11
    I was thinking of building another computer for home use and multi boot between two or three Windows versions. Now I might try EFI-X since Microsoft has a penchant for taking over the boot process with their obnoxious loader.

    I just remembered, the P45 chip set can handle up to 16GB of RAM if the motherboard manufacturer so chooses to take advantage of it. Newegg lists approved Gigabyte boards with P45 chip sets from $127 to $245.

    Perhaps a Q9650 would work out well. I've heard quite a few people are running at 4Ghz and are stable but that is definitely pushing it. I'd drop it back a little and feel safer, 3.6 Ghz? Could be a very nice and fast set up indeed.

    Please keep us informed about your experience and thanks!
     
  12. iCeQuBe macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    #12
    I am using the GA-EP45-DS3R right now and it is stable and fast. I think the problem with the board you are looking at is tha the audio and or the LAN chipset is different and may not be supported by OS X. You would have to get a sound card and a LAN and/or a NIC. I just went with what was on the approved list to minimize any issues. The EFiX works great! I am very impressed so far I am running with a Q9550 CPU C2Q 2.83Ghz and 4 Gig of RAM. I love Apple hardware but they are just so darn expensive!




     
  13. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #13
    Looks very interesting. Are there any mobo's that have dual sockets for a octo system thats supported?
     
  14. iCeQuBe macrumors regular

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    #14
    Currently no, but they have more boards in test right now. You could always beta test a dual socket board and let us konw if it worked. ;P


     
  15. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #15
    Are you talking about 1366 i7 boards or current Xeon 771 boards? There are plenty of dual socket 771 boards that OSX will boot on. I've mentioned this in several other threads but with a Skulltrail board you can buy the $275 e5410 Xeons and OC them to 2.8GHz on stock cooling. If you do that you can build an 8 core system that'll perform the same as a 2.8GHz 8 core Mac Pro for less than the cost of the quad core Mac Pro.

    @Technocoy, do the Apple system updates work? Were you able to update to 10.5.5 without needing to reinstall kexts?
     
  16. iCeQuBe macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    #16
    They have a very specific HCL which doesn't have any dual socket boards on there right now. The whole point of the device is that there is no hacking so any apple updates should work fine. I updated to 10.5.5 just fine. I used a retail leopard disc to install and ran software updater. Pricier than a hackintosh but much easier to use IMHO.



     
  17. sneezymarble macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #17
    I see. So the EFIX chip just doesn't support dual socket motherboards. That's kindof a bummer. Hopefully they patch it. Especially for the upcoming i7 dual sockets.
     
  18. Mr.Gadget macrumors 6502

    Mr.Gadget

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    #18
    Have you guys updated to 10.5.6 yet? I wrote to EFI-X and they told me it will update with no problems. Just checking. Got my finger on the button... Most likely will order this afternoon.
     
  19. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

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    #19
    If you have the time please reply post again when you have it. Some people are very interested about this.

    If Apple doesn't fill the gaping hole in their lineup I am going to do an EFI-X box.
    :)
     
  20. iCeQuBe macrumors regular

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    May 19, 2005
    Location:
    CT
    #20
    Os X 10.5.6

    I have not updated as of yet, I like to give it a couple of days and see what happens. I would rather let someone else iron out the wrinkles. I did update the EFi-X module to 3.4.5 and everything is working better for me with the exception of Bonjour. They are currently working on a fix though so i may wait till that is out before I do the 10.5.6 update from Apple. Also I hear that 10.5.6 breaks your ability to jailbreak an iPhone 3g so that is a bummer also.
     
  21. Bennyboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #21
    cant wait...

    Great to read all this.

    I took the plunge and bought a bundle of components and am waiting for my efix to put it all together.

    If all goes to plan Ill have an overclocked Mac running a quad core @ 3.5ghz / 8GB ram / 8800GT / Bluetooth and a 24" samsung display for around $1200.00
    :D

    will let you guys know if it works out.
     
  22. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #22
    Yes. Please.
     
  23. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #23
    If it's not genuine Apple then it's not a Mac.
     
  24. millerj123 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    #24
    This is factually correct. What do you recommend we call it?

    Bennyboy, do let us know how it runs. Thanks.
     
  25. Bennyboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    #25
    OK then...I'll call it "my box of PC components thats happens to run Mac OS X"

    anyways...I received the EFIX in the mail yesterday and will be doing the build hopefully on tuesday.

    I ordered the Efix on Wed evening and it arrived Saturday afternoon...pretty good service....

    Will keep you guys posted.

    BTW, over the years and currently I have owend a quadra, G4 Tower (still in use), 12" orig silver Lappie, White 12" G4 lappie, MBP 2.33 (Still in use) and a Black Mac Book (still in use).

    The reason for this build is primarily so I dont have to use my laptop for all my photoshop work and figured it would be a great experiment at the same time (and save some $$$$) ;)

    Cheers,

    B
     

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