How to build hackintosh? Needs Intel CPU?

Shephard

Senior member
Nov 3, 2012
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My uncle just pre-ordered a Mac for like $2300. Total rip off. He doesn't game, doesn't do rendering etc, etc. He does family tree stuff (Mac only program) and some photowork.

My understanding that a 'Hackintosh' is just a custom built computer with OSX?

The cpu must be Intel though?

I can build him something better with a nice monitor for like $800.

Moved from CPUs to ATA. The CPU guys won't be of much help with a Mac
-ViRGE
 
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Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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My uncle just pre-ordered a Mac for like $2300. Total rip off. He doesn't game, doesn't do rendering etc, etc. He does family tree stuff (Mac only program) and some photowork.

My understanding that a 'Hackintosh' is just a custom built computer with OSX?

The cpu must be Intel though?

I can build him something better with a nice monitor for like $800.

I'll tell you what I tell everyone else: Hackintoshes are research projects. Don't expect to magically get a cheap Mac that works 100% with no issues out of the box. Properly setup and with the right hardware selection, they CAN run great, but it can be a very involved process. So be aware that it's not necessarily a plug & play thing. I'd recommend buying supported equipment off this hardware list: (all Intel-based)

http://www.tonymacx86.com/325-building-customac-buyer-s-guide-january-2013.html

There's also a new motherboard coming out that holds some promise for making a DIY Mac easier:

http://quocomputer.com/projectq/

So basically - buy supported equipment, use Tonymac's Unibeast & Multibeast to install, and go from there. Makes for a more cost-effective, customized machine. But you have to be careful about running system updates, using supported hardware that actually works, etc.
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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Sep 15, 2004
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My uncle just pre-ordered a Mac for like $2300. Total rip off. He doesn't game, doesn't do rendering etc, etc. He does family tree stuff (Mac only program) and some photowork.

My understanding that a 'Hackintosh' is just a custom built computer with OSX?

The cpu must be Intel though?

I can build him something better with a nice monitor for like $800.

Moved from CPUs to ATA. The CPU guys won't be of much help with a Mac
-ViRGE

Assuming you are fully prepared to be his tech support for any and all issues, and you know that he won't ever update the OS potentially breaking items, then sure, a hackintosh can save money, and can at the very least allow for you the put together a system with different priorities than an Apple made Mac.

Also, without knowing what Mac he ordered, we can't say if it was a ripoff or not. If it was the 27" iMac, then know that the screen itself costs $800-1000. This isn't in Apple prices, that's how much it costs from whomever you buy it from. You can get a not as good version for half that cost, but it won't be color calibrated or pixel perfect.

If you are interested first and foremost in saving him money, then I recommend the following:
1: Check the refurb section. It's a good place to get good savings, and the warranty is EXACTLY the same.
2: Buy the Mac Mini, and a separate monitor. The Mini is plenty powerful and starts at $600. Yes, you could still build a compatible system for less, but not at that form factor, and you would still have to contend with updates breaking it.
3: If you or he are a student, or a federal employee/contractor, you can get decent discounts on new systems, it will save you a couple hundred bucks overall.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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My uncle just pre-ordered a Mac for like $2300. Total rip off. He doesn't game, doesn't do rendering etc, etc. He does family tree stuff (Mac only program) and some photowork.

My understanding that a 'Hackintosh' is just a custom built computer with OSX?

The cpu must be Intel though?

I can build him something better with a nice monitor for like $800.

Moved from CPUs to ATA. The CPU guys won't be of much help with a Mac
-ViRGE

If you're not even sure what a Hackintosh is and what the hardware requirements are how are you so sure you can build him a better PC for $800 that will run OS X just fine?
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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Sep 15, 2004
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If you're not even sure what a Hackintosh is and what the hardware requirements are how are you so sure you can build him a better PC for $800 that will run OS X just fine?

Especially since if the system costs $2300 then it either has the 27" 1440p display, or is an rMBP. Either way, OP isn't building something better with an equivalent monitor for $800. A good 1440p monitor is going to eat most of the cost right there.
 

dawks

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
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Yea, a hackintosh just isn't the best idea in this case. The thing that bugs me the most is you can run an update, and it breaks the whole system. Then what?

A Mac mini and an external display is probably the lowest cost, easiest option. Plenty of horse power in the base mini for day to day tasks. I think you can even pop 16gigs in there for like $100more on your own.
 

Nothinman

Elite Member
Sep 14, 2001
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Especially since if the system costs $2300 then it either has the 27" 1440p display, or is an rMBP. Either way, OP isn't building something better with an equivalent monitor for $800. A good 1440p monitor is going to eat most of the cost right there.

Yea, the OP's uncle may have ordered a machine that's more powerful and expensive than he needs but that doesn't necessarily mean he got ripped off or that the OP can create an equivalent experience for 1/3 the price. I'm sure his Uncle will love his Hackintosh the first time an update from Apple breaks his setup too.
 

Murloc

Diamond Member
Jun 24, 2008
5,382
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My tip is: let him waste his money and don't get involved.
You will be responsible forever for something that doesn't have any support: you're gonna be his warranty.
The fact that he spends 2300$ is not hurting you directly so just let it go. Not everyone understands nerd impulses.
You can be sure he's gonna autoupdate too.

Just get him to order something less powerful if it's really unnecessary. If he wants dat screen though, there's nothing you can do.
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,586
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Hackintosh's are an extremely bad idea for non-geeks. Even for geeks like me, it's not usually a good idea.

I personally use a high dollar iMac for my primary machine. The only way I'd consider a hackintosh is just for "fun" perhaps to be used in a guest room or something, although currently what I'm using in a guest room is a Win 7 nettop (dual-core Atom with SSD). Sometimes I've used old G4 Macs running 10.4.

BTW, for the same reason I haven't bothered installing Linux on my old G4 Macs. It can be done, it can make the machine feel faster, but it's a major PITA according to just about everyone due to software incompatibilities, missing drivers, etc.

What I tell people wanting to save money on a Mac is just to buy an older refurbished model. Or if you're absolutely set on buying non-Apple hardware, then just buy a Windows PC.

As someone who likes Macs a lot, I'd say in that context: Mac > Windows 7 PC >>> Hackintosh.
For someone who isn't a Mac fan, then: Windows 7 PC > Mac >>> Hackintosh.
 
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Shephard

Senior member
Nov 3, 2012
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after I posted topic I read on it some more.

Hackintosh I guess would be good for someone like me to play around with. I see an update can break the system.

Yes he did get ripped off Macs are beyond overpriced for the hardware. You can always build your own computer that smokes it.

OSX is such a lame operating system too.

ok rant over.

Thanks for your help everyone.
 

Zaap

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2008
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Also read the tonymac site and forums if someone is really interested in making a Hackintosh and having it be reliable. It's not rocket science, it does work (with the right hardware and following a guide) and it can be used as your main system that you count on every day. Worst of all, don't listen to someone's FUD who hasn't actually done it.

That said:

In this case, the OP should leave his uncle to use whatever the heck system he wants to get his work done. As others have pointed out, depending on the Mac model, it may not be that easy to duplicate in Hackintosh form. IE: the screen of the iMac, and Hackintosh laptops are almost always a terrible idea. (Typing this response on an i3 HP ProBook running Mountain Lion flawlessly, but still... most laptops don't work) and the quality of a MacBook Pro is pretty much impossible to get unless you spend just as much on whatever comes closest in the PC world.
 

TheStu

Moderator<br>Mobile Devices & Gadgets
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Sep 15, 2004
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after I posted topic I read on it some more.

Hackintosh I guess would be good for someone like me to play around with. I see an update can break the system.

Yes he did get ripped off Macs are beyond overpriced for the hardware. You can always build your own computer that smokes it.

OSX is such a lame operating system too.

ok rant over.

Thanks for your help everyone.

What system did he order?
 

Eug

Lifer
Mar 11, 2000
23,586
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Most of the time when I've spec'd out a PC, it's ended up being in the same ballpark price-wise if you get similar hardware, at least for a higher end consumer Mac.

Most of the savings for a PC is leaving out features like I/O (eg. Firewire, 802.11n) and using a crappier monitor. Plus for the PC I find the colour calibration is often non-existent, so you may as well throw in colour calibration software too.
 

john3850

Golden Member
Oct 19, 2002
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There most be a good reason why so many photo related companies I seen in 20 years in nyc use mostly apple.
 

Centauri

Golden Member
Dec 10, 2002
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I can build him something better with a nice monitor for like $800.

rollbarf1.gif
 

MrX8503

Diamond Member
Oct 23, 2005
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after I posted topic I read on it some more.

Hackintosh I guess would be good for someone like me to play around with. I see an update can break the system.

Yes he did get ripped off Macs are beyond overpriced for the hardware. You can always build your own computer that smokes it.

OSX is such a lame operating system too.

ok rant over.

Thanks for your help everyone.

You can't build an iMac. Lol.

The best/cheap option for him would be a Mac mini.
 

silverpig

Lifer
Jul 29, 2001
27,709
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It doesn't HAVE to be an Intel CPU, but it should be for sure.

If you build him one, give yourself at least 3-4 days with it to work out the kinks. Then tell him to never ever apply any system updates because chances are the sound/video will stop working and you'll have to go over and mess around with it for 6-8 hours to get it working again.

If he's willing to pay you $8/hr (and you're willing to take it), in order to build him one, then go for it.
 

Zaap

Diamond Member
Jun 12, 2008
7,162
424
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You don't have to jump through hoops for updates if you simply use a little prior planning.

For an absolute noob, you should simply have a system backup of everything before you try and update, and/or only try backups on backup partitions first.

10 minutes with Carbon Copy Cloner and an extra drive or partition anywhere on the system will save you all the noobish- hassle of a misapplied system update. (Which should only happen to noobs or stubborn people that like problems). You just have to think ahead, or only build a system for someone that's able to think ahead.
 

Kaido

Elite Member & Kitchen Overlord
Feb 14, 2004
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You don't have to jump through hoops for updates if you simply use a little prior planning.

For an absolute noob, you should simply have a system backup of everything before you try and update, and/or only try backups on backup partitions first.

10 minutes with Carbon Copy Cloner and an extra drive or partition anywhere on the system will save you all the noobish- hassle of a misapplied system update. (Which should only happen to noobs or stubborn people that like problems). You just have to think ahead, or only build a system for someone that's able to think ahead.

I've been running the Vanilla method for a long time now with great results:

1. Natively-supported USB sound card (stereo only, unfortunately, but it's all I use anyway)
2. Natively-supported PCI Gigabit Ethernet card
3. Natively-supported Video card
4. Bootloader on either a USB stick or boot drive partition (for the bootloader & Extras folder)

This way the OSX install partition is 100% stock OSX, no mods required! I prefer the USB stick bootloader method because I can swap sticks and tinker easily, without screwing up my original boot system (not that that's as big of a deal now these days, haha). It's also nice because you can swap drives between real Macs easily, if you need to for whatever reason. I also keep a backup drive running Time Machine for file backup and SuperDuper for image backups ;)