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Archive for November, 2012

Adding an SSD to a hackintosh HD installation

November 3, 2012 4 comments

There is much interest in Apple’s new Fusion Drive for Macs, where an SSD and conventional Hard Drive are paired into one drive. Files are automatically moved between the SSD and HD depending on usage, so the most frequently accessed files reside on the faster SSD and the HD provides greater capacity for infrequently used files. The feature sounds like a step forward for users with more files than a reasonably priced SSD can store, but there are still many answers and reliability tests needed before it’s something to recommend for use on a hackintosh.

After recently buying a 128Gb OCZ Vertex Plus SSD from Aria, for the bargain price of £40, I have been looking at ways to use this with my 2Gb hard drive. I recently added a Seagate 2Gb 7200.14 drive, using my previous 2Gb drive as a backup. The new Seagate gave a big boost to read/write performance, going from around 50Mb/s read/write on the old HD to 140Mb/s read/write on the Seagate 7200.14. This testing was done using the free Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app for the Mac appstore, so while in no way comprehensive does show a big speed increase for sequential access.

The OCZ Vertex Plus SSD is an older generation device that gives around 160Mb/s write and 200Mb/s read speeds. This is way below the 500MB/s+ speeds that newer SSD’s can offer, but this was intended as a cheap test before committing to a more expensive SSD. The next decision is how to use the two drives, with three main options available: Read more…

Switching from BIOS to UEFI

November 3, 2012 1 comment

For the past few generations of OSX on generic Intel hardware there has been a choice between using a DSDT matched to your motherboard and BIOS, or a selection of additional files to provide full hardware support. My own machines have used the DSDT approach, where a well edited DSDT file provided the best compatibility and smoothest experience. Many of these DSDT files are available with all the hard work done for you at tonymacx86, whose selection of files cover seven motherboard manufacturers including my favourite Gigabyte.

Earlier this year there was much excitement at Gigabyte’s release of the Z77 motherboards which used a new UEFI rather than the traditional BIOS. The biggest surprise here was that Gigabyte boards with the new UEFI did not need a DSDT file for all hardware to work, simplifying the job of getting a hackintosh running well. My own board, a GA-Z68XP-UD3 had a beta UEFI available, soon followed by release U1g. I followed a couple of great guides at TonyMacX86 for upgrading my motherboard from BIOS to UEFI, then configuring the UEFI settings (this is for 7 series motherboards but worked well for me). Read more…

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