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Hackintosh part 8

In previous articles I’ve covered the choice of components, build and testing of my new DIY Mac. There’s been very little in the way of problems so far, and I have a machine that measures up pretty well to the current low end Mac Pro. To get some idea of how the hackintosh and Mac Pro compare, here’s a list of components and prices.

Component
Mac Pro
Hackintosh
Price
Motherboard
Unknown
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R
69.31
CPU
2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
2.4 (3.0*) GHz Core 2 Quad 6600
153.86
Heatsink/Fan
Unknown
Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro
14.04
Memory
2GB (2x1GB)
2Gb Kingston PC6400
35.19
Graphics Card
ATI HD2600XT 256MB GDDR3
7300Gt 256Mb DDR2
35
Hard Drive
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
59.86
DVDrw
16x SuperDrive
Existing Plextor PX-755Sa
—-
DVD rom
Not Included
16x SATA
11.10
Firewire
400/800
Existing Firewire 400 card
—-
Case
Standard case
Existing CM stacker
—-
Operating System
Included
Mac OS 10.5 Leopard
85
£1489.00
Total Cost
£463.36

* 3.0Ghz overclocked

If we add on the price of a good quality new case and PSU, DVDrw and firewire card the price ends up at around £545. That’s £944 less than the cheapest Mac Pro, or 63% cheaper. There are some disadvantages of course, so here’s my pro’s and con’s list.

Hackintosh Pro’s

  • Cost – the hackintosh costs 37% of a comparable Mac Pro
  • Options – a large range of components will work with little modification to the OS
  • Compatibility – so far I have not found any software that won’t work perfectly
  • Upgradeability – wide range of cheaper upgrade components available

Hackintosh Con’s

  • OS updates – some software updates will wreck your installation
  • Support – no applecare for this machine, but forums very helpful if you search first
  • Skill level – build and install not for a beginner unless prepared to read and research
  • Legality – installing on non Apple hardware breaches the EULA

The last point is an important one. I built my own Mac to save money, not steal software. Mac OS 10.5 cost £85 for one disk that upgrade’s or install’s, and doesn’t ask for awkward or problematic activation. Even if you download a modified installation disk like Kalyway or iATKOS it doesn’t hurt to help support future development of the Mac OS by buying Leopard. I have a family pack to cover my Macbook, hackintosh and any other builds I decide to do in the future.

Hackintosh Part 1

Hackintosh Part 2

Hackintosh Part 3

Hackintosh part 4

Hackintosh part 5

Hackintosh part 6

Hackintosh part 7

Hackintosh part 9

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  1. Ben Hicks
    February 21, 2008 at 10:11 am

    Thanks. I have enjoyed your series on the hackintosh and like #8 as a summary. I would have used 4 gigs of memory. I have heard some complaints of the recent quality of the Gigabyte boards on the newegg reviewer comments but that may be a small minority. Hopefully, I will put together a hackintosh after paying US taxes in April. Like you cost is a motivation and the lack of flexibility in components. I set up my daughters Mac Book this past summer and was struck by the fact that there were only 2 USB ports. I thought the speakers were poor compared to my wife’s Toshiba. However, the Mac OS was wonderful and that is the attraction. Actually a dual boot with Mac and Windows is what I am hoping for.

  2. basshead
    February 21, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    To be honest the only time I have found memory a bit tight was when running Ubuntu Linux and Windows XP under VMware on top of Mac OS. I gave both virtual machines 512Mb so Leopard only had 1Gb. I was driven by budget so intend to buy another 2Gb after this months pay day. Dual boot is nice, but running both operating systems at the same time is more convenient for me. I just wish VMware had better game support for if I did want to play.
    My next concern is data security so I will probably get another 500Gb hard drive as well and blog about the backup options open to a hackintosh owner, as I suspect some of the better software may not work using the EFI emulation.
    I agree with you that the Macbook’s speakers are lame. I tried watching a film once using the built in speakers and they just aren’t up to the job. I think this is where Apple falls over in its cheaper offerings compared to windows laptops.

  3. Ben
    February 22, 2008 at 8:52 am

    Re the playing games thing …

    I’m sure I’ve read somewhere that you can install windows on bootcamp (although just realised that I’ve not checked that that will work on a hackintosh) and then run the bootcamp install in vmware – advantage of this is that you can normally use the windows install under vmware (with unity!), but if you want to play a game, you can boot it directly.

    And couple of other points/questions:

    My components arrived so I’ve now got a working hackintosh very similar to yours. Had a few problems on the way – the installer wouldn’t complete till i tinkered with the bios, and the first go with NvInject broke the install too. But its getting there now.

    I still haven’t got the sound going – wondering whether I need to adjust some bios options here too (followed the instructions you linked to). And sleep doesn’t work, which seems to be a common issue with hackintoshes – does sleep work on yours?

  4. basshead
    February 23, 2008 at 9:24 am

    I plan at some point to add another hard drive with windows and linux , then select the hard drive to boot via the bios. Makes sense to me to avoid having lots of operating systems on the same drive as mac os. I may be able to use this drive in vmware or parallels, but I would think the different hardware seen would cause an issue.
    There are some good guides to setting the bios on the P35-DS3R so I followed those, mainly setting ACPI and a few other things. I installed using the kalyway disk so nvinject was part of this and I had no problems.
    I got my sound working following instructions like the one shown at

    http://forum.insanelymac.com/lofiversion/index.php/t69627.html

    Sleep is intermittent, it worked perfectly once but not since. Shutdown usually works but sometimes I have to hit the power button myself. There are reports of replacement kernels curing this so I will be trying one of those as soon as I can backup my hard drive.

  5. February 25, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    I’d love to try hackintosh. I’ve even purchased a copy of mac os x 10.5.1 to be legit (somewhat). But I cannot find any way to modify the dvd that was purchased or the recommended torrents of cracked 10.5.1 dvd.

    Any ideas?

    F.

  6. basshead
    February 25, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    All the information you need was covered in the hackintosh articles. Try searching on google for the installation disks mentioned in hackintosh parts 5 and 8. Then visit http://www.osx86project.org, which has all the information you need to build a working hackintosh.

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