Building Hackintosh, help needed on parts

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by eVolcre, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. eVolcre macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    There's really no 'reason' for this, I've ordered the 27" iMac but I've never built a computer before and want to do this project.

    Did a little bit of research and found this site that has instructions for building a custo mac pro ....

    My question is where is the best/cheapest place to buy parts and whether the things listed in the above article are accurate. Holiday season is coming up and I thought some of you could give me hints.

    I was thinking of an internal 512GB SSD for 3 O/Ses - Win 8, OSX and Linux. Why? Why not? And then have an internal 2TB drive for media and files.

    So what say? Any of you want to join this building journey with me and share information and experience?


  2. Sekon macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2014
    I've used the recommended parts on tonymac before and had no problems whatsoever.

    Its possible to get OSX working on a lot of different hardware, but it often requires time messing about to ensure everything works correctly.

    With parts from the recommended list, you know that its definitely going to work, and you won't have to spend too long messing around with things like configs and such. (you can pretty much follow their guide exactly)

    As for the SSD, 170gb per OS seems a bit small to me, but I guess that's just personal preference.

    If you plan on sharing the 2TB drive (rather than partitioning it) you need to consider how you are going to format it.

    For example
    If you use a native mac format, you probably won't be able to read / write to the drive on the other OSes.

    If you use NTFS, then you can read it on your mac, but will require 3rd party drivers in order to write to it.
  3. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    Paragon HFS is free and allows Windows to read/write to Mac drives. So it's not really a hassle to just have the storage device formatted as HFS+.
  4. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    Thanks guys. And how about places to shop? Go with amazon or newegg or is there a better store. Figured holiday sales should drop prices a bit.



    Given that I have an iMac coming, the OSX side of the hackintosh is just there for the heck of it. The cool factor. Maybe I can put OSX on a seperate 500 GB HD and just use the SSD for Win/Linux - does that work?
  5. Sekon macrumors newbie

    Nov 5, 2014
    Free for Windows 8/8.1 but $19.95 if your using Windows 7

    and $19.95 for Windows 10 (Different product)

    Still, this will probably be my go to when I get round to building a NAS.

    Given, that they are going to make you buy another copy of their software just for windows 10 (Win10 is actually looking decent), it might be worth getting the NTFS product for OSX instead.
  6. poi ran macrumors newbie

    Sep 25, 2014
    My experience, using various bootloaders for OSX such as Chameleon, Chimera and now Clover, is that it's sometimes convenient to have OSX on one drive and Windows/Linux on another. It really makes reinstalling, cloning, whatever, easier. For one thing, when using Clover as boot loader and upgrading to Yosemite, OS X changed partition layout to modify install and recovery partition. I'm not sure how that will cooperate with Windows, if Windows is on the same drive.
    I followed Clover setup from Tonymacx86.

    And when installing Windows 10 technical preview it totally mangled my bootup, as expected. It's easier to repair a Windows-Linux boot, than a hackintosh OSX boot.

    It can be very helpful to keep a vmware install of OSX on your Windows setup, to fix trouble/edit startup files on your OSX disk. (Or a bootable OSX install on USB stick)

    So I'd recommend 2 separate SSDs. A bit more expensive than 1, but more secure and easier to work with (IMHO). When installing Windows, it's often best to disable all other drives btw, physically plug the cables, IMHO.

    I currently use 1 intel 80GB SSD for OSX, and 1 intel 120GB SSD for Windows and Linux, and 1 Seagate SSHD 2TB storage drive + various USB drives etc. SSHD is a poor mans fusion drive in a way, I find it really useful, and well worth the few extra $. A pure SSD solution is of course quicker, but the storage drive is mostly for music and films anyway. I experimented with Fusion drive setup (80GB+250GB), and it worked fine for like half a year, but it was a hassle to change boot settings and a bit more error prone (doesn't work well with vmware OSX from Windows in my experience).

    Reading writing HFS+ from Windows works, my experience is that it's better to read/write NTFS from OSX and use NTFS for storage drives. Often Linux support is better for NTFS than for HFS+.

    The number one thing to be careful when chosing is graphics card. One brand 760 might work, another brand 760 not so.
  7. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003
    Superb info. Thanks everyone. Looks like my best bet is to start with tony's and then use the advice in this thread. Where do you normally shop for parts ? The cheapest I mean.

    Is there anything specific I need to do to make this a media server as well ?

  8. RCAFBrat macrumors 6502

    Jul 10, 2013
    Montreal, QC
    Where are you located?

    In Canada, sales tax is pretty hefty for most of us so for expensive parts its NCIX or Direct Canada for me (look for free shipping deals since there is no sense saving a couple bucks on the part only to pay more bucks getting it shipped to you). I save the approx 15% sales tax and NCIX will price match if someone else is selling for less.

    For less expensive parts I usually check the sales at Canada Computers; I pick up at my local store so sales taxes apply but I don't pay for shipping.

    May be similar where you live, or not.

    Black Friday is coming so at least you have a pretty good idea when to buy, if not where!

  9. eVolcre thread starter macrumors 68000


    Jan 7, 2003

    I'm in San Diego so will be buying and shipping from the States.
  10. \-V-/ Suspended


    May 3, 2012
    I know. He said he's going to install Windows 8. So I showed him a free product for Windows 8. ;) I've used it personally and it works well.

    I personally prefer Tuxera NTFS:

    More expensive, but less buggy than Paragon for Mac in my experience with it.

    @ eVolcre: My biggest recommendation to you in regards to dual booting [or even triple booting] is to get separate drives for each OS. It makes things a lot less headachy. For instance, with my last build, I found it much easier to only have the cables connected to the drive I was going to install at the time. So I would install OS X ... then when I was finished ... I would shut down, remove the cables from my OS X drive, and then proceed to install Windows on the second drive with the OS X drive unplugged. After installing Windows successfully, I then plugged both drives in and my boot loader was able to identify and boot into both Operating Systems successfully. I had some weird conflicts when trying to install the OSs with both drives plugged in. I've also had very poor success with trying to dual boot with separate partitions on the same drive. So just to save you a big headache, I would highly recommend just using separate drives.

    Amazon or NewEgg. If you wait for Black Friday, you might get some really nice deals on parts.
  11. pm7300 macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2006
    Cheap Hackintosh

    Another way to get a cheap Hackintosh is buying an used workstation. I bought an used HP Z400 6 cores Xeon W3680 cpu, SSD, Nvidia Quadro 2000, 12Gb DDR3. This machine runs Mac Os X like a charm, it scores about 15200pts Geekbench2! I have a Mac Pro 2,8Ghz 8 cores too, but it scores only 11000pts and still costs twice the Z400. I put another SSD inside, a rotational 500Gb for storage, plus a 250Gb for Windows. Now this HP is triple boot capable: Mac Os X Mavericks - Linux Ubuntu Studio - Windows 7 Pro 64. First class system for a low price (total cost less than 700 Euros) very fast and stable, I never had a crash with Mavericks. If you look at eBay auctions you can find some good 4 cores Z400 for about 250 USD and you can turn it into Hackintosh without extra costs, you'll be pleased to see how fast and stable these macines perform with Mac Os X.

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