Birth Of Orion – My 5 GHz Hexacore Hackintosh

When I was younger, I loved spending time at my dad’s office during summer break. He worked for a software company on a floor filled with cubicles, but in one corner was a large data room with the processing mainframes, storage servers, switchboards, and of course, professional cooling with power redundancy. 🙂

I walked around that room amazed by the computing power contained within those cold chassis. It captivated me and spurred my interest in learning the inner workings of these incredible machines.

Each of those mainframes was labeled with an alphanumeric ID, but one in particular had a “real” name – Orion. Fast forward 20 years later, and I’m calling my 4th workstation (after a series of Starcraft characters – Overmind, Tassadar, Zeratul) the name of the workstation that initially inspired me to understand the limits of computing. And go figure, it’s also the name of my favorite constellation. 😉

With Orion, I wanted to push my Hackintosh experience to a new level – the 5 GHz range. With that also comes additional specification bumps.

Here’s an example of the startup drive speed comparison from Zeratul (M.2 SATA) to Orion (M.2 PCIe). This benchmark was performed with Blackmagicdesign’s Disk Speed Test 3.1.

Zeratul’s startup drive – Samsung 850 EVO SATA M.2
Orion’s startup drive – Samsung 970 EVO PCIe M.

Unlike my previous workstation, Orion’s motherboard permits overclocking. I’ve increased the Vcore to 1.35 volts and run the Intel Core i7-8086k at 5 GHz with stability which has passed many tests thus far. I also decided to upgrade the power supply unit (PSU) and graphics processing unit (GPU) to be more compatible with upcoming iterations of MacOS.

To put things in comparison, here’s a rundown of some GeekBench 4.2.3 benchmarks on MacOS 10.13.6.

Zeratul: 5244 (single-core), 15977 (multi-core), 136822 (Metal), 133073 (OpenCL)
Orion: 6496 (single-core), 30955 (multi-core), 147346 (Metal), 144954 (OpenCL)

Here’s a rundown of the specifications and some pictures of the assembly process. 🙂

Name Orion
OS MacOS Mojave
Motherboard Gigabyte H370N-WiFi
CPU Intel Core i7-8086k (limited edition hexacore) at 5 GHz
Memory Patriot Viper 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4
GPU Sapphire PULSE Radeon RX 580 w/ 8 GB GDDR5
Storage Samsung 970 EVO 250 GB NVMe PCIe M.2 (startup)
Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SATA M.2 (startup backup)
Samsung 850 EVO 250 GB SATA (development drive)
WD Green 2 TB SATA (storage)
PSU Corsair RM 750x watts
CPU Cooler Corsair H80i
Case Fractal Design Define Nano S ITX
Monitors Dual LG 27″ E2742V LED monitors
Mouse SteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse
Keyboard Apple Keyboard
Webcam Logitech HD Pro
External Media Seagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB USB 3
Chair Merax Gaming Chair
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