Considering a hackintosh and selling my mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by roxics, Apr 28, 2014.

  1. roxics macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    #1
    Bought my i7 2012 model mini in August of 2013. So I've had it for nine months now and it's been a good machine. I bought it mostly for video editing but it has become my daily desktop at home. I also have a late 2008 macbook I use for casual stuff and at work I use a PC for editing. The company I work for is PC only, unfortunately.

    I've recently realized some of the limitation of a mini. The inability to drive 4K displays (whcih I would like to purchase) and the inability to use da Vinci Resolve. Both because of the intel GPU.
    I can't afford a Mac Pro so I was thinking of selling the mini and using the money to build a hackintosh with a better GPU.


    I'm wondering if anyone else here as jumped ship from a mini to a hackintosh or also built a hackintosh to go along with their mini (for whatever reason) and if so, what has been your experience?

    I had considered building a hackintosh before buying the mini but went with the mini instead because for the price it's a great setup and it's a true Apple product. I knew the GPU was less than desirable but didn't think it would be that big of a deal for me. But I'm learnng maybe I was wrong.
     
  2. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #2
    I can't directly relate to your experience as I did it the other way round - I went from a Hackintosh to a Mac(book Air).

    I deliberately bought a motherboard that I knew was very compatible and worked well, and followed various guides for setting it up and did run it for about 8 months. It worked fine most of the time, but every time I needed to do a point release update I gritted my teeth and hoped for the best. I also hated that if some mysterious problem occurred, it'd be a question of trawling forums hoping for someone having the exact same hardware setup as you.

    I don't regret dumping my Hackintosh for an actual Mac. It's definitely less hassle, though in all fairness, because I bought a well supported motherboard, I didn't exactly run into a lot of problems - just some mysterious freezes once every so often.
     
  3. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #3
    What about one of these instead ? http://www.sonnettech.com/product/echoexpressse2.html
    AFAIK adding a PCIe display card into this should solve your display driving problems, but I have no experience of actually doing this.
     
  4. MH01 macrumors G4

    MH01

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2008
    #4
    Damn $500.

    Also, I don't believe the enclosure allows your to run GPUs in it as your main display adapter. It seems you allow you to run capture cards etc to go along with the GPU u currently have.

    ----------

    If you buy the right hardware, its relatively easy project.

    Just be prepared to tinker with it when updates roll out, the community is quite well supported though. Its never going to be as hassle free as owning a Mac.
     
  5. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #5
    Looks interesting but when I followed the "buy direct" link it said it's $499 and out of stock. Perhaps some resellers have them in stock. I 2 Macs capable of running Mavericks. One is a 15" hires antiglare MBP that could probably drive 4K if I wanted it to and the other is a 2010 Mac mini and I run a 1080p display from it over displayport->DVI. I've no interest in 4K displays right now. I figure I can wait until they come down a bit in cost. By then, hopefully I won't have to consider an expansion chassis just to drive the thing.

    There is no way I'd consider a Hackintosh just to drive a 4K display. Based on my experience with Apple hardware, I'd rather give my money to Apple than deal with half a dozen vendors selling me everything from cases to motherboards. If the OP is doubting the value of Apple hardware while simultaneously considering expensive cutting edge displays, it really doesn't make sense to me.
     
  6. mizzouxc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    #6
    4k is still really immature. See this article: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7847/improving-the-state-of-4k-display-support-under-os-x

    While a hackintosh works, it's a real pain to keep up to date and keep running. I wouldn't expect great 4k support on unsupported hardware in OSX. You'll have to work out all the kinks yourself. In the end, you'll be frustrated spending more time fixing your computer than using it.

    If you like your mini, you might be a little patient and wait for a new one to be released. Given you can't afford a Mac Pro, I'm not sure why a $3600 monitor is in your budget.

    It sounds like your current setup still works, you just won't be able to upgrade to a 4k display and use Da Vinci software costing somewhere between $1000 and $30,000.

    It sounds like you have champagne tastes on a beer budget.
     
  7. venom600 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #7
    The problem is that Apple doesn't make a machine for him. What he needs is a headless iMac, not a Mac Mini or a Mac Pro. Since he wants 4k, an iMac is a waste of money since he won't use the display at all. What he is asking for isn't much, but Apple has neglected these customers pretty badly since the G5 was cancelled.
     
  8. phositadc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #8
    For what it's worth, for the longest time I was also considering a mini-ITX hackintosh. Then, I decided to just abandon Apple for the time being, and I built a mini-ITX Windows 8.1 PC.

    For about $850, I built a unit that's about 25-35% faster than the fastest late-2012 Mac Mini currently available (using Geekbench scores as a proxy). Everything works fine. Having to deal with hardware driver installation is a bit of an annoyance, but it's really no big deal.

    I used an Antec ISK110 case, so it's a bit larger than a Mac Mini, but still plenty sleek and small for the vast majority of people. And I used a Noctua NH-L9i CPU cooler, which runs at an extremely low RPM at low loads and is nearly silent. At high loads though, it is louder than my old Mac Mini, but not annoyingly so.

    Will I get a new Mac Mini when it is finally released (if ever)? Quite possibly. But for now, I wanted a fast computer, I didn't want to feel ripped off paying full price for hardware that's 2 years old, and I personally don't really have any problem with Windows (I use it at work, after all).

    To each his own, but if the new Mini doesn't come out soon, I think more people should start pursuing alternatives such as this. It makes no sense to be tied at the hip to Apple and OSX. If you are... you end up buying 2012 hardware in mid-2014 and not even getting a discount!
     
  9. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #9
    I wouldn't be surprised if the next iMac refresh is 4k or at least Retina of some sort. Perhaps a recent (not new) Mac Pro with a 4k capable video card would be a better solution than dealing with a Hackintosh.
     
  10. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #10
    I had a similar problem to you and after months of flipping between the mini I use as my desktop and the PC I use for VMware and games I went for a Mac Pro. I can understand that not everyone can afford this however.

    I think you should either build a PC and run Windows or Linux on it, it's likely to break less than a Hackintosh and you have more flexibility over the components you use. Or sell the mini buy and older Mac Pro. I can understand the appeal of the Hackintosh but in this case I don't think you can have your cake and eat it. I'd be happy for you to prove me wrong though. :)
     
  11. roxics thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2013
    #11
    Dell has a new 28" 4K display that is $699. I hear it's beautiful and also has a mini displayport input along with HDMI. So these things are coming down in price pretty quickly.

    Also Resolve is free unless you need 3D support. $1000 gets you the full version with 3D support, $30k gets you the version with all the hardware contollers. Neither of which I need. Technically I don't "need" Resolve at all, but I would like the option to play around with it and learn it. Especially now that they have turned it into a full-on editing system and not just for color.

    I have my hesitations about a hackintosh. I do use Windows at work, so I am used to both systems on a daily basis. I don't hate Windows. Well maybe 8.1. But overall I did want to stick with OS X if I can. But if it makes more sense to build a powerful home editing system that is Windows 7 based, I'm not entirely against it. Even if I go this route, I will probably stilll make sure all my hardware is hackintosh compatible, incase I do decide to try OS X on it.

    I'm thinking about this now because if I do decide to go this route, I want to sell my mini while it is still the current model. So I can get the most for it.
     
  12. phositadc macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2012
    #12
    Why the hate for Win 8.1? I thought long and hard about getting Win 7 for my recent build, but to the best of my googling skills, it appears that Win 8.1 is actually superior in terms of resources, performance, and stability. So I bit the bullet, went with Win 8.1 despite my personal preference for Win 7, and guess what? With a Start Menu substitute like StartIsBack installed, I honestly can hardly tell the difference from Win 7.

    Maybe power users have legit reasons for sticking with Win 7. And if you already own a copy of Win 7, then by all means, don't waste the $100 on Win 8.1. But if starting fresh, I'd go Win 8.1 and just install something like StartIsBack, and you will hardly know you aren't using Win 7.
     
  13. foobarbazqux, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

    foobarbazqux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    #13
    I've done the hackintosh thing several times over the past 5 years or so on hardware ranging from quite incompatible (e.g Dell laptop) to very compatible (e.g. hardware from tonymacx86.com builds). Every time I've done it, I'd use it for a bit and then give up. It's always the same. It's easy to get it to boot up and run pretty well, especially if you pick hardware from tonymacx86. The problem is getting it to 100% working and making it as reliable as the real thing. It would be things like getting it to wake from sleep properly or some software update breaking something like audio. Last time, using known good hardware from tonymacx86, my issue was getting dual monitors to work (which I did after several hours of digging through forums and trying things out). In short, it was always the little things that drove me to just stay booted in Windows permanently. Even when I did manage to get it to 100% working, I didn't want to be bothered with having to fix some random problem that could be introduced during a software upgrade. The older I get, the less interested I am in having to deal with stuff like that.

    That's just my experience. Others might say they've never had an issue ever and that might indeed be the case.

    I'd only recommend going the hackintosh route if you're interested in it as a hobby. That is, you enjoy tinkering and don't mind having to spend time digging through forums to get some bell or whistle working. If you're going to do it, go to tonymacx86.com and pick hardware from a known good build. Read the forums to know what you're getting into. By far the most important components are the motherboard and GPU.

    In the end, I finally gave up on the dream of having a headless, upgradeable Mac that's good for gaming. Now, I use a gaming PC for games and a 13" MBP for everything else. That combination works well for me.
     
  14. Count Blah macrumors 68030

    Count Blah

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Location:
    US of A
    #14
    I hope you don't mind, but whenever I tell folks that the updated mini is not here yet, because apple wants to maximize every single Mac Pro sale, they ridicule me - saying no such person exists. So I am going to point them in your direction. To them, you are like Bigfoot And Nessie rolled up in one.

    At some point, when I need another computer, I think I'm going to try the hackintosh route. It's the only way to get expand ability and osx these days.
     
  15. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    #15
    You were probably like me - always wanting what I always envisaged would be a sort of Mac Pro Junior.. upgradeable storage, memory, GPU but probably single processor in a chassis about half the size of the old Mac Pro. Always knew in my heart Apple would never deliver that though.
     
  16. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #16
    Your logic failure here is that even a refreshed mini STILL would not have been a gaming rig. Even Iris Pro is not a diffident gaming GPU. My wife has a 2013 Base 15" MBP and whole it is by far the best Intel GPU yet, it still pails in comparison to a couple of D300s or D700s. he bought a Mac Pro to replace his Minu AND his PC gaming Rig.
     
  17. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #17
    I'm still using my HomeBrew Win7 PC for all this but I would love to get the Mini to do this instead. I looked at converting the HBPC into a Hackintosh but the perennial kernel etc problems put me off.
     
  18. foobarbazqux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    #18
    Exactly. Although, my last hackintosh (which is now my current gaming PC) stayed booted in Windows most of the time by far since that's where most of my gaming was done. So, it would be hard for my to justify the cost of an Apple desktop computer when I know I'll always need a laptop for work.
     
  19. asiga macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #19
    I do have a Hackintosh (done for extending the lifetime of an Acer laptop which I didn't use anymore), and it works "almost" 100% ("almost" means the mic doesn't work, sleep doesn't work, and of course automatic OSX updates don't work, but everything else works fine).

    In my experience, a Hackintosh isn't a substitute for a real Mac. First of all, it's very difficult to build a really _silent_ box, while Macs are really quiet. Second, being unable to update OSX in a comfortable way is a real annoyance.

    So, after using mine for almost a year now, I can only tell I enjoy my real Macs more than my Hackintosh, and I only see it interesting as a way of giving a second life to an old PC, or waiting until Apple releases the Mac you wish to buy. But if Apple has the Mac I want, I wouldn't choose a Hackintosh instead, for sure.
     
  20. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #20
    Feel free to point them in my direction. I agree with you. 10 years ago I would have built a Hackintosh because I like to play, but I have less time now (2 kids tends to do that) so I'm happy with the Mac. Don't get me wrong I would love a product that sits between the Mini and the nMP but I understand that Apple absolutely want to maximise their investment in the nMP before bringing out anything else. There's not enough of a performance gap between the nMP and the iMac for most people so a core i7 headless Mac with a gaming GPU (a full GTX 780 or similar not a laptop GPU) would decimate nMP sales and no matter how much I want one Apple are not going to build it. It took me a while to accept that, but now I have I can get a nMP and consolidate to get some space back in my house.
     
  21. kelub macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #21
    I could have written that. Glad I'm not the only one. The older I get, the less I want to tinker with the computer itself and the more I want the computer to just do the thing I'm trying to do.

    I've never done a hackintosh but considered it before I officially made the plunge. I went to a couple of friends who had done it - both expressed the same sentiment: do it just to say you did it, but don't do it to build a daily, functional computer. It's too much of a hassle and you'll spend more time maintaining it than you will using it.

    Why not get a beefy MBP and attach an external monitor? Personally I have an iMac 27" and it does all the desktop computing I need, but if I wanted to go with an external monitor setup, knowing I can't afford a nMP, I'd go MBP and just keep it closed. At my last work we were able to choose MBP's as our work laptops even though we were a Windows shop, and that's exactly how I used it for 2 years. You get the upgraded GPU, a solid CPU, RAM configuration options, run OSX and Windows, use external monitors (I'd imagine that includes 4k ones), and it's mobile on top of that.

    Anyway, just a suggestion.
     
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2009
    #22
    I built a Hackintosh a few months ago. Super powerful, butttttt lots of little things are kind of annoying:

    1. Messages (iMessage) won't work and I've tried several "remedies"
    2. Ethernet is less stable than any other macs especially when doing large file transfers
    3. No VT-d which causes my virtual machines to run slower (you have to turn if off or else you can't get past the boot screens)
    4. Takes longer than my other macs to boot due to the BIOS + chimera.
    5. Will not come out of sleep so I had to turn off that feature.


    Overall it is a transcoding and gaming beast but it is certainly not without a few nuances.

    Would I do it again? I don't know. It cost me half of a New Mac Pro but is as fast (actually faster), but with a few caveats....
     
  23. foobarbazqux macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2014
    #23
    Performance and upgradability. When it comes to gaming, I greatly prefer a desktop PC. Plus, it's cheaper for me to just use separate computers than it is to try to get one that does it all.
     
  24. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #24
    I think your comments are really on the money here.

    What a lot of people fail to realize is that not only is 4K in its infancy, but the cost is far more than the computer itself -- massive "fast" storage, proper monitors that can be consistently calibrated, software etc. With this being said, Apple has yet to really make a consumer capable machine and only the "Mac Pro" has potential for this type of work. The catch is, Apple limits functionality by only having the ATI based graphics and this leads to a bunch of Open GL capable programs not being exploited. I can only give opinion that Apple wants to "shape" our needs to match their market plan.

    I have had older Mac Pros, iMacs and continue to use now only Mac Minis. The way Apple is going, I may end up in the other camp as they continue to make pro-sumer level customers (and I guess gamers as well) wait and wait and wait. Good will will only go so far.

    As for the original poster - given the tasks that are to be accomplished, a PC at this time would be of greater advantage if the Mac Pro is too expensive.
     
  25. mizzouxc macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2010
    #25
    Read the anandtech article. Not all 4k monitors are equal like you're used to with the current range of lcd's. That dell is also a tn panel. The imac 2560x1600 ips display is really hard to beat! It sounds like you want to have something for the spec sheet though. 4k is way overhyped currently, just like the 3d gimmick. I'm not saying 4k won't be great. It's just a rushed to market product and isn't ready for anyone but early adopters. Once apple produces a 4k monitor, you'll know the market is ready for them. Apple would rather do it right than be first.
     

Share This Page