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NickHeavy

LTT: It's ALIVE and MacOS is RUNNING - Hack Pro pt 4

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Posted · Original PosterOP

In part 4 of this series, we put together everything we have, throw water at it and pray it boots up.

Why? Because the Mac Pro showed up and we need to show it who's boss around these parts. Or try to if everything goes as planned.

 

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@NickHeavy I just came here to say that you've done an incredible job at this whole project! I'm super happy to see you in videos now. Looking forward to seeing more of your projects. :)

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AMD threadripper hack pro. common just swap the board+ CPU get us that sweet 64 cores.

Folding at home on mac wouldn't run both GPUs thats weird


Good luck, Have fun, Build PC, and have a last gen console for use once a year. I should answer most of the time between 9 to 3 PST

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No offense but absolutely terrible mod… It's even worse if you consider what sort of tools and the budget they've got available…

Janky, ugly, cluttered, a nightmare to work on and as the video says it's even 'louder' than the Apple machine.

 

Anyway on the RAID thing: as far as I know it's an APFS limitation. You can't RAID with APFS and you can't install Catalina (or Mojave for that matter) on HFS+

My solution (tested): Carbon Copy Clone the OS to any external drive, reboot into that particular drive, RAID the internal drives with HFS+ then Carbon Copy Clone the system back to the RAID array.

A bit of a hassle but it works and considering the lengths this (terrible) mod went it should be a breeze…

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19 minutes ago, caincha said:

No offense but absolutely terrible mod… It's even worse if you consider what sort of tools and the budget they've got available…

Janky, ugly, cluttered, a nightmare to work on and as the video says it's even 'louder' than the Apple machine.

It's not the final version of the build.

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2 hours ago, lewdicrous said:

It's not the final version of the build.

Fair enough but… Won't look much better specially considering that the cluttering can't be changed much.

The PSU solution and the VRM block do look clever and well done but that's about it I'm afraid.

 

For that system they should've gone for 2 separate loops and smaller radiators maybe without reservoirs or small ones. But realistically they should've gone for different hardware and I think that's when things went wrong - right at the conception. 

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They could connect the Apple Pro Display XDR and get 6K if they had a Navi card because Navi supports Display Stream Compression (DSC). The W5700 has a USB-C port so they can also get the USB functions of the display (USB 2.0 ports, brightness control, presets, rotate?). Even if you have a Navi GPU that doesn't have a USB-C port, you might be able to get the USB functions using a Sunix UPD2018, Huawei VR 2 Computer Connection Cable, or Wacom Link Plus since only HBR2 link rate is required with DSC for 6K (I have all the above but don't have a Navi GPU or an XDR display to test).

 

GPUs like the Radeon VII that don't support DSC need a Thunderbolt connection to get 6K using a dual HBR3 connection. For this you would use a GC-TITAN RIDGE, but something would need to be changed to make it allow dual HBR3. macOS does this for Thunderbolt 3 Titan Ridge controllers of Macs, and Blackmagic eGPUs recently got a firmware update to allow this with its Titan Ridge Thunderbolt 3 controller (it's the only eGPU that wires the GPU into the Thunderbolt 3 controller). The problem is that dual HBR3 would normally exceed the 40 Gbps bandwidth of Thunderbolt 3 but Apple can allow dual HBR3 because 6K doesn't require the entire bandwidth of dual HBR3 and Thunderbolt does not transmit the stuffing symbols of the DisplayPort streams. The bandwidth allocation method for DisplayPort out adapters is described in the USB4 spec and I think it also applies to Thunderbolt. Normally, if you connect a DisplayPort 1.4 display, the Thunderbolt controller gives it a HBR3 connection even if you use a resolution that doesn't require HBR3. The next connected display to the same Thunderbolt port can only get a HBR connection. In macOS, the AppleThunderboltDPOutAdapter.kext has a string "Thunderbolt DP - bandwidth to be derived from local and remote caps instead of common cap" which might be applicable.

 

To make a GC-ALPINE RIDGE or GC-TITAN RIDGE usable on a motherboard that does not support Thunderbolt (no Thunderbolt header?) they should have their Force Power pin tied to 3.3V (SATA power?) with a pull up resister (8.2kΩ) (I made a breadboard to connect two of each card). For the GC-ALPINE RIDGE, you'll also need to poke some stuff into the PCIe configuration space (0x54C) (this can be done using the EFI Shell). That should allow the USB 3.1 gen 2 controller of the Thunderbolt controller to be usable at least. I suppose some SSDT modifications for Thunderbolt (loaded by Clover) can do that and might allow PCIe tunnelling and even hot plug of Thunderbolt devices. Without SSDT modifications, you can get PCIe tunnelling with the GC-TITAN RIDGE just by connecting Thunderbolt devices in Windows and warm booting to macOS (works with older NVM firmware 23.00 but maybe not with the latest 43.00 firmware). PCIe tunnelling isn't required for DisplayPort to Thunderbolt conversion, but you still have the problem of enabling the ability to connect dual HBR3 for the XDR display.

 

As for the Hack Pro design, I might have tried taking advantage of the fact that the Mac cheese grater tower has 4 cm of clearance underneath and placed the rear radiator at the bottom to leave room at the rear for more PCIe expansion. There are PCIe backplanes now that have PCIe 4.0 slots. One Stop Systems has 8x8 or 5x16 gen 4 backplanes although any gen 3 backplane with at least x4 slots would also be useful. The height of a PCIe backplate is 120mm - the same size as the fans on the radiator but many PCIe cards extend above the PCIe back plate so they might not fit. Are the motherboard standoffs taller than they need to be (I think 11 mm is enough for a PCIe card - I know they need room underneath for cabling - un-sleaved cables might take less space). The power supply and its cables will need adjusting - maybe a smaller reservoir (or no reservoir) would be needed. Things might get too tight. The backplane might be too large. Maybe it can be replaced by an M.2 card with PCIe switch (HighPoint or Amfeltec) to add 4 slots (or 6 with the Amfeltec) using some ADT-Link M.2 to PCIe cables. The slots could be sideways instead of vertical to give the cards more room. U.2 adapters/cables may be more flexible.

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Some SSDT patches may enable TB3 hotplug functionality but won't help with apple exclusive TB devices, since this approach spoofs TB to be something like a PCIe extension thing and macOS still cannot recognize it as a TB device.

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Right. You might get PCIe tunnelling to work, but probably all the Thunderbolt drivers will not load, so you can't see things like the cable connection (link rate and width), firmware versions, ports, etc. and Thunderbolt packets that are not PCIe or DisplayPort will not be usable (Thunderbolt IP (Mac/Windows/Linux), Thunderbolt Target Display Mode (Mac only), and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode (Mac Only)). I don't think there's anything special about Thunderbolt displays like the LG UltraFine 5K or Apple Pro Display XDR - they only use DisplayPort and PCIe if they're being connected with Thunderbolt instead of USB-C with DisplayPort alt mode (but they have no buttons and may be finicky).

 

osy86's work is a little more involved than just an SSDT. He was able to get the Thunderbolt info to show up in System Information.app like you show in your screen shots, so maybe Thunderbolt IP, Thunderbolt Target Display Mode, and Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode also work? I don't know if his changes require Thunderbolt stuff in EFI or a Thunderbolt header on the motherboard. If you can get this far, then maybe the macOS driver will enable dual HBR3 to get 6K from the XDR using the Radeon VIIs and a GC-TITAN RIDGE.

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14 hours ago, bahl33ted said:

At around 4:30 in this video what app was he using to read the sensors?

Did you mean 14:30 with the History Graph window? I don't recognize it either.

 

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16 hours ago, bahl33ted said:

At around 4:30 in this video what app was he using to read the sensors?

10 minutes ago, joevt said:

Did you mean 14:30 with the History Graph window? I don't recognize it either.

Looks like 'power gadget' from intel.

 

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