Dreamt of this moment for years! – ASRock Phantom mITX Z390 | i9-9900k | OpenCore | Catalina

Pictures: https://imgur.com/a/3nFGmwg

After dreaming about building a Hackintosh for quite literally almost a decade, I finally got the time (and money) to do it. There were a few hiccups but overall, it was so much easier than I anticipated and saved me thousands! This baby screams compared to my old 13-inch MacBook.

Install Info

  • Bootloader: OpenCore 0.5.5
  • Initial macOS version: macOS Catalina 10.15.2
  • BIOS ver.: v4.20 – I saw some guides for this motherboard that said to try to downgrade to a different BIOS version, but I had no problems on this version. All OpenCore Vanilla guide recommended BIOS settings were applied except disabling CSM made my build not POST, so I just reset the BIOS with the reset button and installed without disabling CSM and it's been fine.
  • SMBios: Macmini8,1 – initially tried iMac18,1 then ended up switching to this one and sticking with it. Didn't really notice a difference.

Build Details:

  • Case: Thermaltake Core V1 (Snow Edition)
  • Motherboard: ASRock Z390 Phantom Gaming-TX/ac
  • CPU: Intel i9-9900k 3.6GHz
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-C14S w/ inc. thermal paste (almost had a breakdown trying to screw this in, but I got there!)
  • GPU: iGPU
  • RAM: Corsair Vengeance 3000MHz 16GB (2x8GB)
  • PSU: Seasonic 550w Focus Gold
  • SSD: Samsung EVO Pro 500GB
  • HDD: 3TB external Seagate Expansion drive that I cracked open to make internal
  • WiFi/Bluetooth Card: Dell DW1560 (Broadcom BCM94352Z)
  • Monitor: HP Envy 27" 4K

What's working:

  • Updates – Updated successfully from 10.15.2 to 10.15.3 using the System Preferences updater without any problems.
  • Sleep/Wake – Haven't tested extensively, but the computer sleeps and wakes up without issue. I did turn off Power Nap because I think it was messing with sleep.
  • Graphics – Struggled with this a lot. The iGPU was recognized from the start by macOS but absolutely would NOT output 4K to my monitor (maxed at 2560x1440p). I read every post about this motherboard/CPU, and nothing worked. I even tried doing bus ID patching in case that was the problem, but it wasn't. What finally worked for me was simply not applying Framebuffer patches at all. I copied the OpenCore guide's settings for Coffee Lake, but what worked was just disabling the patch and letting macOS recognize it and sort it out!
  • WiFi – slow (more below) but otherwise working fine. The installation of the card was fairly easy although I did it after the build was already completed, so I had to unplug/unscrew everything to get into the shield to replace it.
  • Bluetooth – Bluetooth works great, no problems. (Needed BrcmBluetoothInjector kext to work though this seems to be not recommended?)
  • AirDrop
  • iMessage/iCloud – no problems here, using serial generated from GenSMBios that returns "Purchase data not validated" from Apple Coverage checker
  • Audio (from front jack on case) – audio works perfect from the case jack, but won't seem to work from the back ports (see below)
  • Anything else I can't think of that isn't specified below

What isn't working:

  • Thunderbolt – users on other forums have reportedly got this working, but I haven't seemed to. Probably won't bother because the USB-C port still functions without Thunderbolt and I have no Thunderbolt devices.
  • DRM – I believe DRM never works with integrated graphics, but correct me if I'm wrong. Not a big deal to me as I have Apple TVs if I ever want to watch something.
  • Continuity/Handoff – Haven't tested extensively, but apps aren't appearing in the dock when I open them on my iPhone even with the BT4LEContinuityFixup kext.
  • Audio (from motherboard ports) – I tried to use headphones in the green jack on the motherboard and got nothing out. Not sure what the problem is, since the case jack works.
  • WiFi is very slow, but I think this might be because I didn't attach the internal antenna wires properly/securely enough. I don't feel like going back in and unscrewing things so maybe I will just update this post whenever I do.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this was a very easy build! It's the first computer I have ever built and I'm very surprised I didn't muck anything up too bad. I'm excited to have a Mac whose components I can actually upgrade when I want to – and for much cheaper than Apple.

I'm very happy I went with mini-ITX even though it was more expensive. I prefer the look of a smaller case/build immensely. I love my Core V1 case and can't recommend it enough.

Next stop, perhaps venture into overclocking?

OpenCore: OpenCore was a lot of information to grasp, after poring over the guide for a few days I feel like it actually isn't that difficult and I understand most of what is happening with my config. If I had done Clover, I probably would have just copied someones config and wondered why something wasn't working when something went wrong. I've never used Clover but I have a lot of confidence in OpenCore – it feels more native and future proof (and I've heard it boots a lot faster than Clover too).

Thank you to /r/hackintosh, the incredible OpenCore Vanilla Guide, the InsanelyMac forums, and the tonymacx86 forums for making this possible!

submitted by /u/Enhante
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