Thursday, December 1, 2011

The KEEX-6100 ROARS!

Nearly Complete
Just a quick update on the Sandy Bridge ECX Board: KEEX - 6100:

Using the Unibeast Method developed by the amazing tonymac, installing Mac OS 10.7.2 is quite easy once you make a few modifications to the bios.

If you have any interest in hackintoshes then there is no better place than Tonymacx86

For this board make sure you:

1) Enable AHCI as per tonymac's instructions

2) Disable the Onboard Audio (it causes a kernel panic every time and drove me crazy until I realized what was causing it).  Even if this can not be fixed, it is not a big loss as the onboard audio is no better than USB audio would be

3) Set either the display port or HDMI (which ever you use) to Display option 1.  If you leave the LVDS as the primary and secondary disabled (default) there is a weird quirk where the image disappears after boot and only returns if you unplug and replug the monitor.

4) I am getting assistance in trying to solve this problem, but for now S3 sleep does not work.  Change BIOS power settings to allow for only S1 sleep, which works fine.

View of iMac G4 and Keex-6100

iMac G4 with TMDS to DVI, DC-DC upconversion

Lion (10.7.2) on the iMac G4's native LCD

The KEEX-6100 identified as a Mac Book Pro
As the KEEX-6100 uses a mobile chipset it was identified as the new MacBook Pro.  The chipset, processor, onboard intel graphics are all supported natively by Lion.

Gigabit Ethernet/LAN Works with simple kext addition.  The PCI-Express Broadcom Wifi Card works great.  Whats more is that you can hook this card up to the native Wifi Antenna (located outside the faraday cage, but inside the plastic dome), this gives a very strong signal.  Preliminary fit testing shows everything fits.  Only wake from S3 remains (wake from S1 sleep works fine as noted above).

I have put a card in the CF slot, which is only recognized when the computer's SATA settings are IDE and not AHCI.  Though this is as easy to change in the bios as boot priority, it is a little cumbersome.  I have put Windows 8 Developer Preview on the CF Drive and will see if dual booting is a possibility.

Over at tonymac x86 forum, a very knowledgable modder, offered to help with sleep and has himself gotten the onboard audio chipset to work (on a different board).  So, onboard audio ay in fact be an option. I am giving some thought to internalizing the internal board of the griffin powerwave adapter.  I have only the area between the bottom of the dome and the optical drive, but the board seems thin based on the size of the case.  I am going to hold off finalizing the rear ports until I choose which audio option to go with.


  1. Aww JBerg I cant beleive you've nearly completed the mod after all this time. Been a long time reader, hoping you would finally get the breakthrough so I could someday follow the mod! Think I speak for all the blog readers when I say well done!

    Hows the onboard graphics on the Keex-6100? Have you stressed the system yet to see what it can handle?

    Looking forward to the post where its all pieced together!

  2. Thank you so much.  It's coming along great, I just set up the wifi card and wired it to the antenna that is in the iMacs casing.  I also just hooked up the power led in the monitor housing and using a similar approach to what I did with the iMac g5 iSight, I hooked up the microphone thats in the LCD housing with a $3 USB adapter.  In a future mod I may cut a hole for an iSight camera, but I really want to keep this one as genuine as possible.  Sleep is still not working, but I haven't even tried to fix it yet.  Unlike wifi and Ethernet, there is no hardware involved, so I can tinker with this once it's put together.

    I've started laying everything out for its placement in the dome.  The LCD cable and up converter will be on top next to the Keex board with sits on top of the back portion of the DVD drive.  The power source is next to drive cage (already been secured).  The bottom will be used for wiing th port extenders as well as the 2.5" SSD.  My goal is to keep the drive accessible by removing the bottom plate (like the airport card and ram were accessible).  That way this can be easily upgraded without any disassembly.

    Sorry to ramble on, but as you know this has been a long time coming.  I honestly, haven't benchmarked or stressed the system yet - I'm going to wait until its fully assembled, but I am anxiously looking forward to comparing this with the base model Mac mini.  Thanks for reading and I appreciate the kind words.  Please let me know if you need any assistance once you begin your project.

  3. i have few questions regarding imac G5 17" inverter pinout and info, please get back to me thanks, i think i commented at wrong place...

  4. arrggghh i want one, this is sooo cool.

    good work dude

  5. What processor and heatsink did you end up using for this build? How is the noise level?

  6. Allen, I am not very familiar with the 17" iMac g5. However the panel is the same as the g4s and the inverters look quite similar. The four wires are likely a power (12v), ground, on/off (3.3v or 5v), and dimmer (left floating on the g4). I know that this mod has been done before by a French modder, so I did a search and here is a guide in French.
    You can run it through google translate, but likely don need to. A few pages in has a picture of the inverter and the voltage connections. I can not confirm this, but it appears to have been reproduced by others and it does make sense. Good luck with your project. - JB

  7. Ollys - thank you and I am ready to answer any questions if you decide to try this

    The processor is te core i5 mobile 2520K and the heatsink is this one:

  8. In terms of noise level - I originally wanted it silent and used a passive heatsink, but temps increased. The board I'm using has a handy smart fan feature. At low/usual levels, the fan is barely audible. However I set a point/temp where this does increase. But the only occurs during heavy loads.

  9. Grand! How did you change the boot priority? The 6100 manual isn't clear on the BIOS setup.

    1. Once in The BIOS you'll see 5 different tabs on top: Main, Advanced, Boot, Security, and Save and Exit. Go to the boot menu there the you'll see a choice for boot priority

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  11. Thanks for sharing, it is really helpful.