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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. 🙂

NameOrion
OSMacOS Mojave
MotherboardGigabyte H370N-WiFi
CPUIntel Core i7-8086k (limited edition hexacore) at 5 GHz
MemoryPatriot Viper 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4
GPUSapphire PULSE Radeon RX 580 w/ 8 GB GDDR5
StorageSamsung 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)
PSUCorsair RM 750x watts
CPU CoolerCorsair H80i
CaseFractal Design Define Nano S ITX
MonitorsDual LG 27″ E2742V LED monitors
MouseSteelSeries Rival 700 Gaming Mouse
KeyboardApple Keyboard
WebcamLogitech HD Pro
External MediaSeagate Backup Plus Slim 2 TB USB 3
ChairMerax Gaming Chair
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