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Hardware Hacking Apple Build

The Hackintosh Guide 453

An anonymous reader writes "A 'Hackintosh' is a computer that runs Apple's OS X operating system on non-Apple hardware. This has been possible since Apple's switch from IBM's PowerPC processors to Intel processors a few years ago. Until recently, building a PC-based Mac was something done only by hard-core hackers and technophiles, but in the last few months, building a Hackintosh PC has become much easier. Benchmark Reviews looks at what it's possible to do with PC hardware and the Mac Snow Leopard OS today, and the pros and cons of building a Hackintosh computer system over purchasing a supported Apple Mac Pro."
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The Hackintosh Guide

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  • Somewhat aside (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 11, 2010 @10:45AM (#33859226)

    From TFA:

    Topower 1.1kW power supply

    People are actually building home rigs with kW rated PSU's? I've been out of the game for too long.

  • Re:Mac vs. PC (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RulerOf ( 975607 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @11:25AM (#33859614)

    While I agree with your point, separating them into Mac and PC labels makes it easy for conversation regarding the two. It's a convenience thing.

    Saying "OS X" and "Windows" works quite well too. See, a "Mac" is a computer made by Apple. "Macs" run Windows (and Linux) quite well.

    The problem is that a massive breakdown occurs in your differentiation when one runs Windows on a Mac instead of running OS X on a Mac.

    • "Hi, I'm a Mac and I'm full of all the same problems I constantly berate the overweight bastard in the suit for. I'm also utterly full of shit an won't give said fat bastard the satisfaction of calling him by his real name."
  • by copponex ( 13876 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @12:02PM (#33860000) Homepage

    What exactly makes Mac hardware nice?

    The industrial design of Apple computers is simply the best in the world. I don't know of anyone who disputes that -- at least someone who can point to a computer manufacturer who has anything better.

    As far as functionality is concerned, their mice are crap, keyboards are great, and their laptops are good for everything except 3d acceleration. Multi-touch trackpads without buttons are the best design out there, along with their island style keyboards which are also without equal. iMacs are the best looking desktop computer, bar none.

    Is everything overpriced? Yes. Is their OS better than Windows 7? Depends on what you use it for. But now, iTunes takes as long to load as Photoshop CS5. Spotlight is broken for all practical purposes, even though I rebuild indexes every couple of weeks. Steve will soon release an iMac that runs iOS as well as OS X, and you can see where it's going from here. In order to improve the user experience, Steve is going to prevent his users from running unsigned processes. He'll lose all of the nerds who switched to OS X, but that's such a small number of people, he's not going to care when the reward is 30% of all software sales.

  • by Kildjean ( 871084 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @12:18PM (#33860196) Homepage

    It doesn't sound like a lament. It sounds like whining.

    Have you even thought that in the time Apple has been pushing their iOS, they have another group of engineers working on OSX 10.x? OSX is a big application, it requires time and creativity to build a competing product that can out sell and out whip the current flagship product of their competition.

    Apple has had to up their take in the mobile market since google announced they were pouring out a new phone, mobile os (android) and "tablet" os (chrome).

    It's not like apple has been sitting on their laurels either, its been roughly less than a month that they seeded the last build to developers for 10.6.5 (MacRumors: Mac OS X 10.6.5 Build 10H542 Seeded to Select Developers (September 14, 2010))

    You describe your discontent with the iPhone and the iPad, but have you thought what was the most advanced phone before the iPhone came out or the expectations the world had based on a smartphone would and should be before they came out? Apple may not have the perfect platform for mobile computing out there, but they sure stirred the honeycomb when it came to what could be done. Now everyone wants to be the next iPhone. The iPad did the same thing for mobile computing, where the best there was, was a laptop with a tiny keyboard and a tiny screen. They as well in that market stirred it up so good, that even Microsoft and HP ditched their original product because they knew it was no match to what is currently out there.

    Like you I own several desktops and laptops from Apple, the most recent being a unibody MBP with 8Gb of ram. If you are experiencing memory leaks or poor performance it could be there is something actually wrong with your hardware. Maybe you can build some portable mac development tools and give them to the community or make yourself a buck or two. =)

  • by adisakp ( 705706 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @12:51PM (#33860510) Journal

    FTA: "Full disclosure: I worked for Apple in the late 1980s and am the author of "MacPaint 2.0". I use Macs for all my serious work and consider PCs to be best suited for video games."

    The author shows a bit of seriously incorrect anti-pc attitude in this statement dismissing Windows. That statement might be true for him personally but it's not true for the majority of people out there.

    70-80% of PC's sold today have some sort of integrated display chipset that can sometimes slowdown trying to handle the "enhanced" desktop experience of Vista / Win 7. They are certainly not "game machines" unless you like playing the latest games in low resolution at 8-12 Frames Per Second.

    Nope, many of those systems are sold to do general purpose office work (primarily e-mail) but also Office (with a capital "O" as in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint). And an awful lot of people buy them for basic home use, like browsing the web and looking at flash videos. The cheap little non-video games are ubiquitous because you can buy a full system including a monitor and printer starting at $400 or less where the cheapest all-in-one mac is $1200 and the mac mini - which doesn't even have a keyboard - now starts at $700.

  • by carlhaagen ( 1021273 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:02PM (#33861262)
    "From experience OS/X guzzle memory like no other OS I know. I use two boxes at work, a Linux HP PC with 4GB of RAM that never ever swaps, and a MBP laptop with 4GB of RAM that becomes slow as molasses after a week of use due to memory issues." Complete bullshit. What you are describing is according to every person on the planet and their grandma the exact experience with Windows. First off, OS X (or "OS/X" as you refer to it as) doesn't shit itself up after a few days of uptime on 4GB. Not on 2GB either. Nor on 1GB. I right now have over 19 days of uptime on the very MacBook with 2GB of RAM that I'm typing this rant on, and, lo and behold, the swap file is currently at just 11MB. This machine is my work machine, on which I do a crapload more than just writing "word documents" and watching youtube clips on. Secondly, OS X doesn't "guzzle memory like no other OS"; it makes proper use of the memory YOU HAVE, instead of, like Windows, starting to hit the swap immediately after boot to "conserve valuable RAM for when it's needed" instead of putting it to proper use when it's at your disposal. You can successfully run even the hungrier OS X 10.5 on 512mb of RAM (I'm running it on a G4 iBook with that little memory), and, really, it's not like a snail on holiday even on that amount of RAM.

    On top of your completely off statements, you referring to Mac OS X as "OS/X" kind of tells me you really don't have even the little experience of the OS you claim you do.
  • by MoriT ( 1747802 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:09PM (#33861346)
    For $500 I built a gaming machine that dual-booted nicely with much better hardware than I could get in a Mac Mini, especially the base version, and I've been able to upgrade it piece-meal in the four years since. Why? Well, there are some programs that are Mac-only, but mostly because I like the user interface for general day-to-day use. I can't get the polish yet in Linux. It may be purely aesthetic, but it matters to me.

    I have a licensed copy for the machine, and stuck a mac sticker onto my case. No reason to break the EULA if I don't have to, and it just says "apple-labeled hardware" ;-)
  • by phillymjs ( 234426 ) <slashdot.stango@org> on Monday October 11, 2010 @02:20PM (#33861466) Homepage Journal

    If you're careful, hackintoshing is not that big of a hassle. I have two. The first one I built as an experiment about 2 years ago, just to see it for myself. It worked well enough that I put it into service as a fileserver in my home running OS X Server 10.5, replacing an ancient G4 2x450MHz machine. A couple weeks ago I upgraded it to OS X Server 10.6. It's rock stable and performs very well.

    The second one is about a year old, and was built to replace two machines: an aging gaming PC, and an old Power Mac G5 that was my primary desktop. I chose my components carefully and got Mac Pro performance for about half the price, and the machine dual boots OS X 10.6 and Windows 7 Ultimate. I enjoy the occasional PC build, and for $1200 in savings, I didn't mind needing to get my hands a little dirty to get OS X running on it. Already having a functional Mac meant I could keep the hackintosh on my workbench for about a month, testing things risk-free, blowing it up and putting it back together, and generally figuring out every last little detail to make sure it would do what I wanted/needed and give me trouble-free operation.

    It did take a little work to get them up and running, but once you reach that point you're pretty much set. I am pretty careful about updates since sometimes they do break things, but others usually figure out the fixes pretty quickly and post them on the sites where hackintoshers congregate. I also keep very good backups, via Time Machine as a matter of course, and by making bootable clones to secondary hard drives before I install anything major.


  • by gutnor ( 872759 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @03:01PM (#33861900)

    "just trying to understand the rabid fanbois"

    There is nothing to understand in a rabit fanboy of anything. Unless you want irrational reasons.
    If you want actual reason, the GP is spot on. The main difference between Apple and the rest of the world is that they sell a complete package.

    • The package that Apple sell is polished at most levels. That is their selling point - they took care of designing everything so that it all works together - and you feel it when using their product.
    • The price is not bad especially after a refresh. But you get a very limited set of options, that means, overall, it will be more expensive: for example you cannot buy the 17in laptop with a crappy graphic card or a slower CPU to save a buck. Generally, however, Apple does not make unusable machine. If you buy the cheapest one, it will still give good user experience. That means the cheapest Mac is generally way more expensive than PC equivalent. But it is a "safe" buy.
    • Apple makes crazy decision about tech supported (get rid of floppy, ...) and software aswell (walled garden). Since there is only a single Mac provider, people get pissed about that. But well, nobody force you to buy - and you know it in advance - it is not hidden in the fine lines !
    • Apple stuff are available soon after they are announced. You can actually buy the stuff ! Similarly, they do not promise stuff. People that bought the first iPhone knew they wouldnt get the MMS, Copy-Paste, ... You get what's on the box - no surprises or false hopes.
    • Apple is fashion. Something the geek does not care of, but the rest of the world does.

    Remember, the vast majority of people do not buy a Mac. No need to scratch your head for a reason to buy one. No need to feel superior if you don't buy one either - you are just following the majority.

    You can get pissed at people that buy a Mac and try to convince you it is the best thing since sliced bread with ads level arguments - they are annoying - but well they are the same guys that, long ago, were trying to convince you that Win95 was the best thing since sliced bread. Get over it.

  • by rsborg ( 111459 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @03:05PM (#33861928) Homepage

    Thank you for the good answer. BTW my hp has a rather decent keyboard, I prefer to use it for large amounts of typing over my desktop. The only thing I wish it did have was backlit keys.. which I hear MACs have.

    One thing I've yet to find in any Windows/PC laptop is a decent touchpad or trackpoint... I'm not a fan of lugging a mouse with me when I'm running to a meeting or on the couch at home.

    Every single trackpoint (my favorite input device until I got a Macbook) has a "ghost movement" issue (less these days, but still a major issue). Every windows-based touchpad (especially in cheap laptops/netbooks) is close to unusable due to false touches (ie, hand resting on pad). My Macbook (and later MB Pro) had the first really usable touchpad I ever used... I instantly became a convert... I'm pretty sure that Apple took what they did with their iPod clickwheel/pad took it to their laptops touchpads, and then made it into multitouch on their iPhone (which is the gold standard for mobile touch these days).

  • by snuf23 ( 182335 ) on Monday October 11, 2010 @04:14PM (#33862674)

    There is still a large gap in Apple's product line between consumer iMacs and professional Mac Pros. There is no consumer grade Apple computer that is very expandable or upgradeable in the sense an average Windows desktop is.

    I don't think Apple really cares about that market segment. If they did have a decent i7 desktop that handled a large amount of memory it would cut in to their Mac Pro sales. A magazine publisher I used to work for is currently dealing with this now. They don't have the budget to replace their older PPC G5s. The IT department is actually trying to get them to use Mac Minis!

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal