Configuring a dual boot Ryzentosh

priceless

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Recently I was live streaming my work (software development) on my 2019 MacBook Pro 2.4ghz. It was really struggling to keep up and sounded like it was about to take off. I felt it was a little sluggish before but this time it was really noticeable. So I decided to take the plunge and go Hackintosh for the first time. I'm hoping to get some advice here.

I was already configuring a new gaming PC so I'm planning to make it a dual boot setup. Unfortunately with Mac OS the options are limited, although I'm happy to see Ryzen CPUs are apparently an option nowadays, while 10th gen Intel Comet Lake-S isn't yet, am I right? I want the best single core performance I can get, because I run a lot of Node.js which is single threaded.

As for graphics I would've preferred an Nvidia card but it looks like AMD Radeon is the way to go here. Since I intend to use this for VR I need the fastest card available which I think is the RX 5700 XT.

As for the motherboard I would love to get some advice on that, specifically regarding WiFi and Thunderbolt 3. One major limitation is that it must be a mini ITX board because I'll be building this inside a Dan A4 SFF case. I heard for dual boot it's best to have separate drives because of the MBR location, so I think I'll be looking at 2x 500gb M.2 SSDs. Or is a partitioned 1TB drive going to work just fine? With two M.2 slots it looks like I need an X570 board? Or maybe a B550?

This brings me back to WiFi. ITX boards don't usually have a PCI-E 1x slot, and I'll be using two M.2 slots for storage already. So what's the best solution to get WiFi going? Maybe use a SATA SSD for Windows (disk performance doesn't really matter in games)?

Here's what I've configured thus far:
  • Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT Pulse 8GB
  • AMD Ryzen 7 3700X (or an upcoming Matisse refresh)
  • Kingston HyperX Fury Black 32GB DDR4-3200 CL16 kit (2x 16GB)
  • 2x Kingston A2000 SSD 500GB (M.2 2280)
My most important questions:
  • Is this setup going to reliably work?
  • What motherboard would you recommend? (must be mini-ITX)
  • What's the recommended approach to enabling WiFi?
  • Is sleep / wake from sleep still an issue or can that be fixed somehow?
  • Is it true that I can't safely have two OSes on the same (partitioned) SSD?
 
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Shaneee

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  • Is this setup going to reliably work?
    • Should do just fine.
  • What motherboard would you recommend? (must be mini-ITX)
  • What's the recommended approach to enabling WiFi?
    • See above.
  • Is sleep / wake from sleep still an issue or can that be fixed somehow?
    • Sleep either works or doesn't. It's a hit or a miss.
  • Is it true that I can't safely have two OSes on the same (partitioned) SSD?
    • It's much safer to run them on different drives.
 

agent2

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May 3, 2020
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Somewhere over the Rainbow
  • Is this setup going to reliably work?
    • See @Shaneee's answer. That's a solid setup.
  • What motherboard would you recommend? (must be mini-ITX)
    • The best one is the ASUS ROG STRIX X570I (best VRM and feature-set), but if you're after Thunderbolt, you'll need to take the ASRock X570 Phantom Gaming ITX/TB3 even though it has a rather lacklustre feature-set.
  • What's the recommended approach to enabling WiFi?
  • Is sleep / wake from sleep still an issue or can that be fixed somehow?
  • Is it true that I can't safely have two OSes on the same (partitioned) SSD?
    • It's fine to run them on different drives, but if you want the maximum speed, I'd go with just one 1TB NVMe drive because that one would be wired directly to the CPU. The other option would be that the other one would have to run through the chipset and that speed gets reduced to PCIe 3.0 on B550 instead of Gen. 4 on X570. The single drive would still get you maximum performance for both OSes.
 

priceless

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  • Sleep either works or doesn't. It's a hit or a miss.
Is that random regardless of board/chipset/whatever, or are there certain boards proven to be more reliable?

  • It's fine to run them on different drives, but if you want the maximum speed, I'd go with just one 1TB NVMe drive because that one would be wired directly to the CPU. The other option would be that the other one would have to run through the chipset and that speed gets reduced to PCIe 3.0 on B550 instead of Gen. 4 on X570. The single drive would still get you maximum performance for both OSes.
I'm not concerned with the SSD performance for Windows that much, because it doesn't matter that much in games. However I wouldn't want it to reduce graphics performance by taking bandwidth away from the GPU. Not sure if that would be the case? I'd expect the GPU slot to have a dedicated PCIe link? In that case I think I'd be fine going through the chipset for the Windows SSD.
 

priceless

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Looks like the X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX/TB3 has only one M.2 slot, which rules it out for me.

I'm not sure I need Thunderbolt really. I use USB-C all the time (e.g. display) but I don't think I've ever used any Thunderbolt specific features. What would I need it for?
 

Aluveitie

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@priceless The PCIe lanes of the GPU are directly connected to the CPU (as are those of the first NVMe drive). So a second NVMe drive will not cut into that (also, with PCIe gen 4 you would have the same bandwidth with x8 as PCIe gen 3 has with 16x).

As far as USB-C goes, you'd need a DisplayPort input on the mainboard to loop the video signal through as far as I'm aware. From the X570 ITX boards only the ASRock has one. Maybe check may answer to your question in the other thread.
 

Aluveitie

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Also, sleep is not hit or miss, there is quite a lot you can do to get it to work.
 

priceless

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I did some more research and it looks like the Asus RoG Strix B450-I Gaming is the only logical choice available right now. It's the only B450 ITX board that has two M.2 slots. I don't need the extra features of X570 (PCIe 4.0, 64GB memory, WiFi 6). The only thing I'd be missing is USB type C, which is a real bummer, especially since the case has a front USB-C connector. That might actually make me hold out for the B550 offerings that are popping up right now. Those all come with USB-C, both on the rear I/O and on the board.

I discovered the M.2 WiFi module can actually replace the existing module on the board rather than take up an additional M.2 slot on the board. That means I'll have both M.2 slots available for the SSDs 👍
 
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agent2

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I did some more research and it looks like the Asus RoG Strix B450-I Gaming is the only logical choice available right now. It's the only B450 ITX board that has two M.2 slots. I don't need the extra features of X570 (PCIe 4.0, 64GB memory, WiFi 6). The only thing I'd be missing is USB type C, which is a real bummer, especially since the case has a front USB-C connector. That might actually make me hold out for the B550 offerings that are popping up right now. Those all come with USB-C, both on the rear I/O and on the board.

I discovered the M.2 WiFi module can actually replace the existing module on the board rather than take up an additional M.2 slot on the board. That means I'll have both M.2 slots available for the SSDs 👍
If that‘s all you‘re after then wait for the B550 reviews to be out. All of the B550 ITX boards also have front USB-C too.
Just a FYI the STRIX X570I does have two M.2 slots, the other one is on the back of the board.
 

priceless

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So the first B550 ITX motherboards are appearing right now. The MSI MPG B550I Gaming Edge WiFi looks most interesting to me because it has an optical audio output, which none of the other ITX boards have. I'm still rocking a Logitech Z-5500.

I ordered a Louqe Ghost S1 case instead of a Dan A1. I also bought a PowerColor RX 5700 XT 3DH which is the smallest 2 slot 5700 XT card I could find, a requirement for the case.

I read somewhere that the wireless AX chips on some of these new boards can't be replaced for a Broadcom one because they only support CNVi. Not sure which boards this applies to though, the thread was about the latest Intel boards. Does anyone know if it also applies to B550 boards, and if so, which ones?

Meanwhile I revived my ~7 years old gaming rig, which has an ASRock Z77 ITX board and an Intel Core i5 3570K. If I replace the GeForce 660ti with the Radeon card I should be able to experiment with Hackintosh on that before I go for the real deal.
 
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priceless

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So I finally pulled the trigger on the dual boot Ryzentosh. I ordered the following:

  • MSI B550I Gaming Edge WiFi
  • AMD Ryzen 3900X
  • 2x16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200MHz
  • 512GB Sabrent Rocket M.2 SSD (for Mac OS)
  • 500GB Kingston A2000 M.2 SSD (for Windows)
  • Corsair SF600 Platinum

Plus the PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT I already got. Should be pretty good :)
 
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fermento

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So I finally pulled the trigger on the dual boot Ryzentosh. I ordered the following:

  • MSI B550I Gaming Edge WiFi
  • AMD Ryzen 3900X
  • 2x16GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 3200MHz
  • 512GB Sabrent Rocket M.2 SSD (for Mac OS)
  • 500GB Kingston A2000 M.2 SSD (for Windows)
  • Corsair SF600 Platinum

Plus the PowerColor Radeon RX 5700 XT I already got. Should be pretty good :)
Tell us how did you go with that!