Cost of building a Hackintosh vs. buying a new MP

akadmon

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Original poster
Aug 30, 2006
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Ignoring the fact that you could build a Hackintosh with a newer processor and a faster video card, what would it cost to build one that is using the same 6-core 3.33GHz Westmere Xeon? Looking at the current price for this processor ($1649 on Newegg), I can't see you would be ablte to put together a Hackintosh for much less than what Apple is selling the 6-core MP for. Add a case (good luck finding anything nearly as durable and goodlooking as a MP case!), mobo, fans, optical drive, USB/FW controllers, etc. etc., and I'm sure you'll be bumping against $2.5K. Is your time, the hassle of it all, the lack of warranty and the constant fear of the next OS update breaking something really worth $500 to you (actually, more like $200 if you're able to but the MP with a corporate discount)? Sure, the difference was more like $1000 before yesterday, but with a $700 price drop on this machine I don't see how building something yourself makes any sense (again, ignoring the two things I mentioned at the outset). Not that I would ever build my own computer (I don't have the skills) -- just sayin'...
 

ugru

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2002
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Caput Mundi
Why you'd need a Xeon if you are going to build a single processor machine?

A Sandy Bridge i7 with a nVidia 580 GPU will have higher performance for half the price...

If you need a multiple processor machine with ECC memory, well...that's another story...
 

akadmon

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Aug 30, 2006
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Why you'd need a Xeon if you are going to build a single processor machine?

A Sandy Bridge i7 with a nVidia 580 GPU will have higher performance for half the price...

If you need a multiple processor machine with ECC memory, well...that's another story...
The whole point of this exercise is to hack something with the same processor and same grade components as a MP.
 

ugru

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2002
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495
Caput Mundi
The whole point of this exercise is to hack something with the same processor and same grade components as a MP.
Yes but the whole hackintosh point is to build a system with comparable or better performance for less money...not with the same hardware.
 

akadmon

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Aug 30, 2006
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Yes but the whole hackintosh point is to build a system with comparable or better performance for less money...not with the same hardware.
Yes, but I'm trying to show that the price Apple is charging isn't at all unreasonable, all things considered.
 

ugru

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2002
477
495
Caput Mundi
Yes, but I'm trying to show that the price Apple is charging isn't at all unreasonable, all things considered.
In fact it is....

In the Mac Pro Apple is selling you obsolete hardware at the price of current hardware:

You are buying:

Processor------> Westmere Xeon 1 generation old.
GPU--------> Radeon 5770 2 generations old.
SATA II -------> 1 generation old.
USB II ---------> 1 generation old.
no THUNDERBOLT


Performance could surely suit your needs, but that does not mean it is a good deal....
 

handsome pete

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2008
1,720
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Yes, but I'm trying to show that the price Apple is charging isn't at all unreasonable, all things considered.
I don't think it's the price that's ultimately the issue. From what I gather, most of the disappointment is from still using "outdated" hardware on their flagship system. This is more evident when comparing competitor's current workstation offerings.
 

flatfoot

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2009
1,010
3
@OP:

To answer (part of) your first question: If you want to build a single-CPU Xeon Machine, you only need the Xeon W3680 CPU, which is $599.99 at newegg. The one you picked is for dual-CPU configurations.

A board that supports that CPU is between 200 and 400 bucks, and their practically all hackintoshable.

If you add a decent case (with more HDD bays etc. than the Mac Pro BTW), RAM, fans, graphics card, power supply etc. you'll probably end up just under 2,000 bucks or quite a bit lower if you don't go for the highest end graphics and don't go crazy on the amount of RAM.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
I am not sure what cpu you're looking at, but that 6 core 3.33 w3680 costs less than half of what you quoted. I can get it for £462 including vat and that's retail pricing. You should be able to find it for less in the us than an exchange rate conversion. Apple does not pay retail prices.
 

akadmon

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Aug 30, 2006
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I am not sure what cpu you're looking at, but that 6 core 3.33 w3680 costs less than half of what you quoted. I can get it for £462 including vat and that's retail pricing. You should be able to find it for less in the us than an exchange rate conversion. Apple does not pay retail prices.
Ok ok - I was looking at the wrong processor.
 

Buffsteria

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2012
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Like I posted on the other thread:

CPU: Intel Core i7-2700K 3.5 GHz LGA 1155 Processor BX80623I72700K
MB: Gigabyte GA-Z68XP-UD3
Video Card: AMD Radeon HD 6870 (http://www.amazon.com/XFX-Radeon-HD6.../dp/B005FPT37Q)
SSD: 120GB OCZ Nocti Series SATA 3Gb/s
Case: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0055Q7BR4 (cheap)
RAM: 16GB Corsair 1600Mhz DDR3 (the blue one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...nymacx86com-20 )
PSU: Corsair 750watt

I think I spent $1100. There were some good deals that week! The video card is fully supported, I paid a little bit extra for the 2GB. I just checked yesterday and that i7 processor went down $30 from when I bought it so I'm guessing it would be even cheaper now.

I'm not sure how it would compare to the Mac Pro 12-core but it's definitely better than the quad-core. The SSD is mSata and plugs directly into the motherboard. The result is stunning, you click on ZBrush and it opens in the blink of an eye, same with any Adobe CS5.5 product (I haven't yet upgraded to CS6).

What my original post was missing was the 2TB Seagate ST2000DM001 Barracuda 7200RPM HDD.

Total is $1144 without the case. I had the Corsair 400R which is $100.

But if I build another one I have a Corsair 600T I want to use.

You'd have a Hackintosh with a 3.5Ghz i7, 16GB RAM, 120GB System and Apps SSD, 2TB storage HDD and a 2GB ATI Radeon 6870 in a USB3.0 compatible case for $1244.

As opposed to a Mac Pro with One 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon processor, 6GB RAM, 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s hard drive, ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB for $2499.
 

tamvly

macrumors 6502a
Nov 11, 2007
567
3
Interesting.

One aspect of this debate is ECC vs. non-ECC memory. The i7 doesn't support it, the Zeon does. I am wondering how much of a difference this makes to folks.
 

Buffsteria

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2012
227
0
I'll toss my post in here from another thread:


12-core Xeon Mac Pro: $4,999

Buying parts separately:

2x 6-core Xeons - $1599

ATI Radeon 5770 - $71

8GB 1333MHz ECC DDR3 Ram - $84

Motherboard - $439

1 TB hard drive + Power Unit + Case = ~$400


12-core Xeon Hackintosh: ~$2700.

Time and effort needed to get these parts up and running 100% stable as a hackintosh: 1-10 days.

Warranty: 1-3 years for individual parts.
I hope things have changed since I last looked into this but I seem to remember there were no working dual-cpu motherboards for Hackintosh a while back.

On the other hand, with yesterday's announcement, ivy bridge support will be native very shortly.
 

Tutor

macrumors 65816
Ignoring the fact that you could build a Hackintosh with a newer processor and a faster video card, what would it cost to build one that is using the same 6-core 3.33GHz Westmere Xeon? Looking at the current price for this processor ($1649 on Newegg), I can't see you would be ablte to put together a Hackintosh for much less than what Apple is selling the 6-core MP for. Add a case (good luck finding anything nearly as durable and goodlooking as a MP case!), mobo, fans, optical drive, USB/FW controllers, etc. etc., and I'm sure you'll be bumping against $2.5K. Is your time, the hassle of it all, the lack of warranty and the constant fear of the next OS update breaking something really worth $500 to you (actually, more like $200 if you're able to but the MP with a corporate discount)? Sure, the difference was more like $1000 before yesterday, but with a $700 price drop on this machine I don't see how building something yourself makes any sense (again, ignoring the two things I mentioned at the outset). Not that I would ever build my own computer (I don't have the skills) -- just sayin'...
I could put together a quad-core hackintosh for less than would blow the six core away and make the other specs of the 6-core shameful. For instance, for about $2600, I could purchase the following and build a 3.5 GHz base - all cores (minimum) / turbo 3.9 GHz (minimum) - quad core. clock tweakable IvyBee in a tower case with self-contained H20 cooling, powered by a 1200 Watt PSU, displaying video thru an ultra fast Radeon 7970, moving data between 32 gigs of 1866 MHz ram and Blu-Ray and/or an ultra fast (700+ MB/sec read and write) 240 gig OWC PCI SSD card.

I. The Stuff
1) Most Tweakable Fast Quad Ivy - Intel Core i7 Processor i7-3770K 3.5GHz (Turbo 3.9 GHz) 5.0GT/s 8MB LGA1155 CPU, Retail - BX80637I73770K - $347.99 3 yr. warranty ( http://www.superbiiz.com/detail.php?name=I7-3770KBX )
2) CORSAIR H80 (CWCH80) High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler - $104.99 2 yr. warranty ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...&N=100008008 50001459&IsNodeId=1&name=Corsair )
3) ASUS SABERTOOTH Z77 LGA 1155 Intel Z77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard - $229.99 - 3 yr. warranty ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...eId=1&name=Core+i7+/+i5+/+i3+(LGA1155)&Page=2 )
4) Antec Twelve Hundred V3 Black Steel ATX Full Tower - $159.99 3 yr. warranty ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811129100 )
5) COOLER MASTER Silent Pro Gold Series RSC00-80GAD3-US 1200W ATX 12V v2.3 / EPS 12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply - $229.99 w/rebate 5 yr. warranty
( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817171055 )
6) DIAMOND 7970PE53G Radeon HD 7970 3GB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card - $449.99 5 yr. warranty ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103201
7) G.SKILL Ripjaws Z Series 32GB (4 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1866 (PC3 14900) Desktop Memory Model F3-14900CL10Q-32GBZL - $299.99 Lifetime warranty ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231529 )
8) 240GB OWC Mercury Accelsior PCI Express SSD $507.99 3 yr. warranty ( http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHW2R240/ )
9) Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 64-bit - OEM - $189.99 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832116997 ).

See review @ http://www.techspot.com/review/523-i...core-i7-3770k/ and http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Core_i7/Intel-Core i7-3770K.html ..


II. Performance metrics:
(A) Sandy Bridge compared to Nehalems and others ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandy_Bridge )
The average performance increase, according to IXBT Labs and Semi Accurate as well as many other benchmarking sites, at clock to clock is 11.3%. Average compared to the Nehalem Generation, which includes Bloomfield, Clarkdale, and Lynnfield processors.
Around twice the integrated graphics performance compared to Clarkdale's (12 EUs comparison).
(B) Ivy Bridge compared to Sandy Bridge ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_Bridge_(microarchitecture) ): IvyBee possess 5% to 15% increase in CPU performance and 25% to 68% increase in integrated GPU performance.
Therefore, a 3.5 GHz Ivy Bridge core per core would compare to a Nehalem 3.5 GHz (if one existed) as follows: 3.5 x 1.113 (Sandy edge) x 1.05 (a minimum - Ivy edge) = 4.090275 GHz Nehalem without any clock tweaking.

3.33 GHz x 6-cores = 19.98
4.09 GHz x 4 = 16.36 (x 1.25 clocktweak advantage minimum) = 20.45

BUT if you really wanted a 6-core, get this Sandy Bridge chip: i7 3930k http://www.cpu-world.com/CPUs/Core_i7/Intel-Core i7-3930K.html and this 2011 motherboard ASRock X79 Extreme6/GB LGA 2011 Intel X79 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157290 , spending $40 more for the motherboard and $235 more for the 6-core Sandy that Geekbenches like this when tweaked by an overclockerhttp://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench2/590733 . A score of 28,321 ain't bad for a single 6-core. In fact, it's world's better than the 6-cores Apple just announced - all for about $2,900. But by underclocking, I can squeeze, at a minimum, another 16% performance increase leading to a geekbench score of about 32,852.36 or more. So, lets sum this up, longer warranties, less comparable cost for a whole lot more in terms of more and faster ram, a CPU that will out perform the new 2012 dual 6-cores, a kickbutt SSD and video card. Oh, and don't forget three PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots, five SATA-600 ports and six USB 3.0 ports, plus more! Go ahead and splurge - drop another $300 and take it to 64 GB, knowing that the motherborad can house Sandy and Ivy Bridge Extremes and even Sandy and Ivy Bridge Xeons. It's no brainer time, unless you don't want to tinker and lack about 4 hours of free time.
 
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rawdawg

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2009
508
102
Brooklyn
Time and effort needed to get these parts up and running 100% stable as a hackintosh: 1-10 days.
Now THIS is the part that scares me.... 10 days of time and effort!!? I would gladly pay the extra $2300 if it truly takes up to 10 days of trial and error or whatever have you until you're up and running. Not worth it at all to me.

Seriously. Did I misread that? Is it much more likely to only take 2-3 days? I was so close to finally going with a Hackintosh but this is EXACTLY what scares me.

Personally, unless you flip burgers, I think 10 days would be a total waste of time considering if it takes you ten days to get it up, what happens when it goes back down.

I'm not just saying this to be a jerk. Is this really what we should expect?!
 

Buffsteria

macrumors regular
Jun 9, 2012
227
0
Seriously. Did I misread that? Is it much more likely to only take 2-3 days?
Not sure what he's including there, maybe shipping times?

Mine took 5 hours. 1 hour to build 4 to install system and configure stuff.
 

Cindori

macrumors 68040
Jan 17, 2008
3,523
369
Sweden
I did not mean spending 10 hours a day reading/tinkering for ten days, I was accounting for problems that might not arise/be visible until you have used the computer for a while.
 

rawdawg

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2009
508
102
Brooklyn
I did not mean spending 10 hours a day reading/tinkering for ten days, I was accounting for problems that might not arise/be visible until you have used the computer for a while.
Okay... that sounds better but still doesn't make me feel better about jumping on the building a Hackintosh wagon :)

I know there are a ton of folks out there that do this but it makes me nervous as hell! I'm sure there's something I do easily that makes other people nervous. I would GLADLY pay someone an extra $500 to do it for me.

I've looked at the sites that instruct how to build a hackintosh and they don't instil the confidence in me that I can do it. What would you consider to be the best "How to" guide for today's Hack? (including parts)
 

msa6

macrumors newbie
Oct 14, 2007
19
0
Pick one of these builds:

http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/search/label/CustoMac

Install Lion using this:

http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/2011/10/unibeast-install-mac-os-x-lion-using.html

You should be able to easily find Multibeast settings for whatever motherboard you use.

Not hard to get these things working...really. You want to avoid installing any OS X updates until the Hack guys have sorted through it and figured out how to make it work. Tonymacx86 is full of helpful stuff, including the links above.
 

dbit

macrumors regular
May 2, 2006
230
0
Everybody understands that Sandy Bridge E is at the top of the extreme performance range of Intels roadmap well into 2013 right? The early ivy bridge and haswell range bring enhancements for stuff like integrated graphics and better thermal performance and stability, things that have impact for servers and smaller form factors, not necessarily for workstation performance, at least at first.

My i7 3930k system comes in at $3400, but that's with all the latest tech, sata/pcie/usb 3 and five hard drives (1 ssd, 4 x 2tb) and 32 gigs of 1600Mgz memory ($260). There's no point in going with the Xeon vr (1650) as I don't need ECC memory and want to overclock moderately.
 

codymac

macrumors 6502
Jun 12, 2009
449
0
Yeah Lightninhopkins' thread has been one of my favourites for a long time now but unfortunately his build wasn't without problems and I think he ultimately installed Windows 7. Although I'm reading now he might put Lion back on it.

Anyway you look at it, his was an amazing build.
Indeed. I've seen, in passing, where several others have had some success with dual socket boards but have to admit I haven't really paid much attention. Part of the benefit (for me) is commodity hardware and if I was spending Xeon/ECC cash, I'd be at an Apple store.

I'm typing this on an i7 2700K Hackintosh... the other part of the benefit (for me) is USB 3.0, 12 drive bays, and surplus cash.
;)
 
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