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…
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…
One of the problems I encountered with my original Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R motherboard based hackintosh was the network interface. The Realtek 8111B chip on the motherboard didn’t work very well with OSX’s drivers, and a workaround was required. With Snow Leopard I used a modified version of ifconfig and a script to get the network interface working correctly with bonjour, so the useful auto discovery features would work (iTunes, Finder etc.)
This worked well but wasn’t very elegant, so I was happy to discover Lnx2Mac’s port of the Realtek Linux RTL81xx driver. I disabled the ifconfig script and dropped Lnx2Mac’s driver into /Extra/Extensions, and after running a few terminal commands to set permissions/owners and rebuilt caches (see step 6 here) it’s working great.
Thanks to Lnx2Mac for the work that went into porting this driver, and if it helps you out you can make a donation from the project page.
I’ve been working on my latest hackintosh for a while now, with the last finishing touches taking much longer than anticipated. They’re all in place now so it’s time to reveal the hackinfireplace. That’s it in the video above, showing a couple of the HD videos that are launched using the function keys of a small wireless keyboard/trackpad. There’s a kitchen plinth heater hidden behind a removable piece of skirting under the display for those rare occasions when a bit of extra heating is needed.
The birth of this project was a visit to a DIY superstore as part of gutting and decorating the Lounge/Living Room. The choice of wall colours was easy, Oak floor agreed on and a new Leather Sofa and chairs a given. The choice of fireplace was more problematic. The existing fireplace was old, but not in a good antique way. Modern hang on the wall electric fires can look tacky with their fake flame effects, and the more expensive electric and gas wall mounted fires can get very costly. Most of those I saw with relatively easy fitting hung on the wall, protruding anywhere from four to six inches. They look fine from the front, but not so good from the side. What I really wanted was a fire flush with the wall, but that’s the point the cost starts rocketing. While in the DIY store myself and Mrs Basshead saw an LCD wall hung fire. A 19 inch screen played video’s of various fire’s, and there were also a few other scenes available. A remote control selected the video’s and also operated the 2kw heaters . A nice idea, but still wall hung not flush. The available video’s were also not great quality and the screen was not very high resolution. Read more…