Cindori Custom: Building an i7 Hackintosh

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
It was on the tip of everyone's tounge.
Tyler and I just gave it a name.





After running my Mac Pro for 4 years, I felt it was time to move on.

Being stuck with EFI 32 and no way to upgrade the system, I was itching for a new rig.

But buying the next-gen Mac Pro releasing Q1 2010 would cost me like 3200$ where I would get the same specs as a cheap PC. I also feared to be stuck yet again with a non-upgradeable machine.

So I took the plunge:


Intel Core i7 920 2.66 GHz 2575kr
ATI Radeon 4890 1800kr
Gigabyte EX58-UD5 2295kr
Corsair 850w 1517kr
1TB Seagate Barracuda 793kr
Fractal Design Define R2, Silver 795kr
Corsair Dominator DHX+ DDR3 1600MHz 6GB 2048kr
Samsung 22x DVD RW 282kr


Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm, 4x 492kr
Corsair H50 Hydro Series CPU Cooler 714kr
Akasa Intern Memory Card Reader 3.5 95kr
Deltaco Bluetooth Adapter Mini 219kr


Total of 13 525 Swedish KR
In dollar = $ 1323 without the Swedish Taxes.
(Shipping not included in price)

$1323 for a watercooled Quad i7, overclocked at 3.6 GHz
with a built in Memory Card Reader, and more USB and Audio ports then the Mac Pro.


But, the big question:

Is it stable?

After installation it works just like my Mac Pro.
(and I've been one of those who would say Hackintosh is crap and will crash all the time...)

The bluetooth and memory card reader works perfectly. Sleep works.
Sound, internet works.
The Water cooling is efficient, but the fans are not as silent as my Mac Pro. However, they are not noisy.

I've been running WoW for days and I'm getting sweet framerates.

No apps have crashed. System has had Kernel Panics, but they were because of a Logitech App. I had copied the app straight off my Mac Pro, so maybe some support file did not follow. When I reinstalled the app, I have had no more crashes.

So, 0 crasches, no hangups, everything just works.
I would not be able to tell the difference to a real Mac unless this Hackintosh wouldn't run so damn fast.


Xbench score: (My Mac Pro 2x 2.66GHz 8GB Ram got 5100)

(stock settings @ 2.66GHz, overclock will come later)







The Fractal Design case looks great. I'd take the Mac Pro case anyday, but I can't be arsed to mod it to fit the components.
The case is great in terms of cable management, and it looks really simple and stylish, for a PC case.












The concept of Hackintosh is to modify software, like drivers, usually only with a device-id, to work with OSX. Many people thinks a Hackintosh needs to run a hacked version of OSX. This rig is running Retail Snow Leopard, aka bought in a Apple Store.
Many of you are already running "hacked drivers" to get 3D accelleration on your 4890 cards.
My setup consists of 10 extra kexts.
A link to my installation guide can be found three posts down.


This is how it looks while booting:




ah, yes, some bios jibberish, not really clean, but the bootloader gets better



This is the bootloader from which you choose OS to boot. Only the default is visible, and its recognized as OSX. If I would press an arrow key, it would show me my Windows disk too. So it kinda works like Boot Camp.
It can also be themed to look the way you want. Boot camp themes are available.





Next up is the boot screen. On a Mac you would see the grey apple.
I made my own picture from a wallpaper I found at deviantart.




Aaaand, we're at the desktop.




Here you can see Time Machine backing up, and also the Memory Card from my D90 inserted in the card reader.




My current desktop


Upgrades and updates?

As for upgrades, you're in heaven. Not only is more hardware supported in the Hackintosh scene, but more hardware will be.

When gulftown comes out in 2010, I can just buy one and slap it right in there. The socket match. But for 2009 Mac Pro users, even though the socket matches, they are stuck with their Nehalems because the Xeon Gulftown has some kind of tiny difference I don't remember right now.

About updates, some people fear Apple will shut out Hackintosh. That's a fantasy. They can't shut out Hackintosh because the hardware is basically the same.

There was an update where support for Intel Atom was dropped, but this was rather a disposal of unused code.

Some kexts require updates after an update. Since 10.6.0, only 1 kext has been in need of an update. Of course, if you are using the 4890, you need the QECI packages.



So, as for building a Hackintosh,
Was it hard?

Actually, this is the first computer I've ever built.
Building a computer is pretty straightforward, I've had IKEA furnitures that have been way harder to put together.
There are basically only two big factors when building a Hackintosh, Motherboard and GPU. If you match up those to a guide or a method, you're good to go.
The best motherboard is the one I'm using, the Gigabyte EX58.

It takes a bit of reading and troubleshooting should you encount any problems. If you need a computer now, asap, working, and with warranty and support, then I do not recommend this for you. However, if you would like a computer that can beat the top speced Mac Pro, for about a third the price, and you got some free time, this is great.



Laws?

There are no laws against Hackintosh. There is an agreement (EULA) that has not been proven to have any power anyway.

In Sweden american laws (or EULA's) do not apply, so everything I have described here has been 100% legal for me anyway.

Keep your legal theories to yourselves, I don't want this to be a thread about that stuff. I will ask a mod to remove the posts if that happens.



Update 1

Cindori delivers!








 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,614
58
Nice write up! I know in the 'pointless buying a Mac Pro' thread there's a link to a hackintosh that'd cost about $800, but I'd rather have an i7 processor than whatever it was (think a Core 2 Duo or something).

I've been seriously considering building a hackintosh the past few weeks. It'd be great if you could PM me your installation guide.
 

kez

macrumors newbie
Jun 24, 2008
19
0
sweet, dude!

could you link me up with a copy of your guide? i also think it's about time i upgraded my octocore 1,1 :)
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
The guide is here

I have not tested if it's foolproof, but it covers the vital steps of the installation.

You should also look into the mother thread of the Gigabyte mobo, here

i'm glad you liked it
 

Mackilroy

macrumors 68040
Jun 29, 2006
3,614
58
Did you use your 4890 that you bought for your Mac Pro or a new one? I'm imagining the former, but just curious.
 

gianly1985

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2008
798
0
But buying the next-gen Mac Pro releasing Q1 2010 would cost me like 3200$ where I would get the same specs as a cheap PC.
Yeah....'cause "cheap PCs" nowadays have dual 6-core Gulftown CPUs....a 3200$ 12-core MacPro + Ati 58xx + Lightpeak (?) will rip the ass of your hackintosh......
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
Mackilroy, the former is correct



Gianly1985, I'm sorry if I offended you. Yes, of course hardware that have not yet been released will "rip the ass" of todays technology. Let's agree on that point ;)
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Sweet rig. :D Congrats on the system. One question... does bootcamp work with the Hackintosh... I know in theory there is no need since it starts up from bios but still can bootcamp work on a hackintosh?
 

All Taken

macrumors 6502a
Dec 28, 2009
780
0
UK
It begins... why so defensive of apple and their hardware? The Hackintosh the man has built is glorious, it may or may not be as good as the next mac pro but who the hell cares.

Can we have a non-fanboy centred thread for once?
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
Sweet rig. :D Congrats on the system. One question... does bootcamp work with the Hackintosh... I know in theory there is no need since it starts up from bios but still can bootcamp work on a hackintosh?


Uhm, I have no idea, I dont think so.

In the post you can see I'm using a bootloader that works just like bootcamp, and it can be themed to look like it too.
 

specialbuddy

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2008
81
0
That looks like a very nice case. Too bad they don't sell them in the US. This thread makes me want to build one of these.
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
Nice work, Cindori! :D

Did you use the Darwin Boot Loader + Vanilla Kernel method, or another one?
 

nanofrog

macrumors G4
May 6, 2008
11,718
2
PC EFI 10.5 Bootloader + Retail OS
Its the same thing then: EFI emulation + Vanilla Kernel to get to the point you can load the Retail OS X disk. :)

Rather nice way to go, as I've not heard of any problems, save the lack of kext files for certain board components (depends on specific board used, as mine I can get all but the SAS chip to work). It's not a problem though, as I don't use it. :D
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
114
Vancouver, BC
Nice rig!

My Hackintosh experience wasn't so rosy... I recently tried to convert my Vista HTPC to a Hack. Even though the motherboard was supported, I ran into a number of issues. Getting the rig to reliably come out of sleep was one. I couldn't utilize the HDMI with audio out on the motherboard (obviously Apple has no driver for this since they don't have any similar hardware) and bluetooth keyboard and mouse support was flaky. It also could not boot from a 2TB drive.

In the end, a Hackintosh has all the same problems if not more than a PC.
 

gianly1985

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2008
798
0
Gianly1985, I'm sorry if I offended you. Yes, of course hardware that have not yet been released will "rip the ass" of todays technology. Let's agree on that point ;)
You specifically mentioned the new Q1 2010 MacPro and said it will be priced like 3200$ but have the guts of a "cheap PC". So YOU mentioned hardware "yet to be released" and stated something false ('cause everybody knows it will use Gulftown CPUs) to make your (excellent) setup look smarter. It's smart but for 3200$ the Q1 2010 upcoming MP will be better and surely will not have the guts of a "cheap PC" as you stated, since it seems unlikely that "cheap PCs " in Q1 2010 will sport one or worse TWO Gulftown 6-core CPUs...

It begins... why so defensive of apple and their hardware? The Hackintosh the man has built is glorious, it may or may not be as good as the next mac pro but who the hell cares.

Can we have a non-fanboy centred thread for once?
Read slowly what he wrote and what I wrote and what I was "correcting". I have not criticized his project.
 

lemonade-maker

macrumors 6502
Jun 20, 2009
497
4
You specifically mentioned the new Q1 2010 MacPro and said it will be priced like 3200$ but have the guts of a "cheap PC". So YOU mentioned hardware "yet to be released" and stated something false ('cause everybody knows it will use Gulftown CPUs) to make your (excellent) setup look smarter. It's smart but for 3200$ the Q1 2010 upcoming MP will be better and surely will not have the guts of a "cheap PC" as you stated, since it seems unlikely that "cheap PCs " in Q1 2010 will sport one or worse TWO Gulftown 6-core CPUs...



Read slowly what he wrote and what I wrote and what I was "correcting". I have not criticized his project.
whatever, you say correcting, I say adversarial.
 

BillB50

macrumors member
Dec 7, 2009
67
0
Bucks County, Pennsylvania
Cindori, welcome to the Hackintosh world. I started out building a Hack and liked OSX so much I bought a MP in November. I would recommend Insanely Mac forums, if you haven't been over there yet (sorry, I didn't follow your links..). Stella does some invaluable work as well as the entire Chameleon Community. It's only a matter of time before you can run the 5000 series ATI cards in your Hack!

Best of luck with it. If you get tired of your case, check out a Lian Li all Aluminum case - I have used several for builds and love the look of aluminum.

-bill
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
367
Sweden
You specifically mentioned the new Q1 2010 MacPro and said it will be priced like 3200$ but have the guts of a "cheap PC". So YOU mentioned hardware "yet to be released" and stated something false ('cause everybody knows it will use Gulftown CPUs) to make your (excellent) setup look smarter. It's smart but for 3200$ the Q1 2010 upcoming MP will be better and surely will not have the guts of a "cheap PC" as you stated, since it seems unlikely that "cheap PCs " in Q1 2010 will sport one or worse TWO Gulftown 6-core CPUs...
It will not have the same "guts". It will have Xeon stability.

If I toss in a Gulftown CPU and a 5870 in this rig, yes, it will outperform a 2010 Single CPU Mac Pro. There is nothing with hackintosh that restricts the power Versus a real Mac. The hardware is the same. All it takes is that I overclock so that I am on top of the Mac Pro's speed, and voila, performance is mine. It might even outperform a Dual Gulftown mac, because core clock speed thrashes core quantity any day. No app has been developed to handle all those cores.


eck out a Lian Li all Aluminum case - I have used several for builds and love the look of aluminum.

-bill
I originally ordered a Lian Li A77. But when it arrived, it was big enough to house a small family :O
Well, another good thing about Hackintosh is that I can replace the case whenever I want to.