Hackintosh Part 1
It doesn’t look like the mac 10.5.2 update is landing anytime soon (i’m hoping that saying that triggers a quick release), with macrumors reporting that a new 9C30 seed was released to developers on Monday.
Rather than sit around waiting I have started planning my hardware purchase. First on the list is a motherboard, and the model I have settled on is the Gigabyte GA-P35C-DS3R. The whole GA-P35 family looks to be fairly popular with the hackintosh community, and most models are listed on the 10.5.1 hardware compatibility list here. The GA-P35C-DS3R supports the latest Intel 45nm processors, DDR2/DDR3 memory, 8 Sata ports and only needs a patch for the built in audio. I’m quite keen to use a Gigabyte motherboard with the Dual Bios feature, having used them for many of my computers. I only once killed a motherboard with a Bios update back in the days of floppy disk updates, and that was one time too many. Everything on this motherboard apart from the built in audio appears to work with no modification. The board is available for £72.56 from Aria, though I will of course shop around before ordering.
My Macbook has a Core Duo 1.83Ghz, which is a decent Cpu that I feel is limited only by the slow 2.5 inch hard drive and integrated graphics. Since I am looking for some serious photo and video editing muscle the choice is either a Core 2 Duo with a much higher clock speed or a Core 2 Quad. The Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz at £129.19 looks like a big improvement, but the best choice has to be the Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.4Ghz for £154.34. This four core beast can be overclocked well above 3Ghz using a decent heatsink and fan, and some users have reported stable 3.5Ghz running. This is a 65nm CPU, and while the newer 45nm Q9xxx series use a faster 1333MHz FSB and have more or less cache, they also cost more with the Core 2 Quad Q9300 2.5GHz starting at £193.80. The Core 2 Quad Q9550 2.83GHz is a whopping £359.49, so given that the Q6600 is so overclockable anyway it doesn’t seem worth paying that much extra.
The Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 PRO is a very well reviewed cooler for a reasonable £14.04 that would be an ideal partner for the Core 2 Quad 6600. Add in a couple of gigabytes of DDR2 800 memory and the motherboards’s done. Memory is Kingston, again due to having used it for years after having suffered big problems with the cheap major on 3rd boards. The Motherboard supports 8Gb of DDR2 in four slots, so I have the option of adding more very easily.
In part 2 I will look at storage and optical drives.