A few people have asked me about the detailed hardware specs of my X99 system so that they can create a similar system.
Special thank you to Peter K. for the donation related to this, and helping support this post.
If you're looking for raw horsepower, X99 is a great platform to build on. Apple hardware is looking pretty dated at the moment and hackintosh can outperform any Mac you can buy.
After really honing in my X99 hackintosh I can tell you that macOS Sierra is a true joy to use. I have 3 monitors, one running at 3840x2160 @ 60hz and two 1600x1200 monitors in portrait mode.
It's quite difficult to slow it down. And after honing in the settings it is rock-solid stable too.
Without pushing it I'm getting about the same Geekbench results as the top iMac for single core and the top 12-core Mac Pro for multicore.. with a 2 year old CPU with half the cores and a minor overclock.
I haven't built a Z170 system so I can't give you a direct comparison, but I can tell you that my X99 system basically never freezes.
Since you can get more clock speed out of a Z170 system with 4 cores it could potentially feel a bit faster for day to day stuff like web browsing. But I love that the X99 system gives you 40 PCIe lanes to work with, so you can have more hardware without slowing it down.
If I were starting from scratch I might consider going with the Z170 system but since I've already built the X99 system and no the proper settings it would be hard to convince me to start there.
- Intel i7 - 5930k CPU @ 4.2ghz
- 32GB DDR4 @ 1866Mhz (no overclock)
- 3x 512gb 950 Pro NVMe drives in raid 0 - I get about 5700MB/s read and 3800MB/s write, photoshop opens in about 1.5 seconds.
- Asus X99-E WS - This board is highly highly recommended. It is tremendously more stable than my Gigabyte X99-UD5 was. Running Version 3302 BIOS. Version 3402 would not allow the machine to boot and is not recommended.
- NVIDIA GTX 980 GPU - This is adequate but not quite as fast as I would prefer for my 3 monitors. Occasionally I notice slight graphics lag when switching spaces. Once the NVIDIA web driver / macOS supports the Pascal video cards I will probably upgrade to a GTX 1080 instead. If you're buying now, I would recommend getting the GTX 980 Ti.
- Broadcom BCM94360CD - 802.11ac WiFi card+Bluetooth 4.0 and PCI x1 adapter - This provides native Wifi and bluetooth support without drivers. easy to set up. very reliable and fast. Only the PCIe x1 adapters work, x2 and x4 adapters do not. Also, the bluetooth plugs into USB via the extra port on the card.
Let me know any questions you have.