Efix Hack & Logic

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by dryjoy, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. dryjoy macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009

    I desperately need to move on from my G4 Powermac & Logic 4.7 which I've had since new. I am constantly on the verge of pulling the trigger on a new iMac & audio interface, but the limitations of the iMacfor musicians keep me hanging back. I can't stretch to a Mac Pro unfortunately.
    There's at least one user on the forum (Myca?) who has stated their intention to build an Efix based Hackintosh to run Logic.
    This option is very appealing to me, to get a better spec'd and more expandable machine than an iMac at a price I can afford. I even find myself looking forward to the process of choosing the parts and putting it together.
    I've read a few reports of good, stable Efix systems running Logic and audio interfaces with no problems.
    Has anyone on here built one and been using it for Logic?
    Myca - I've read some of your previous posts. Have you started your build yet, and how is it going?
    If I go the Efix route and I'm left with a machine that is unuseable for proper audio work or takes too much time to maintain, I can't afford to sack it off and get a real Mac.
    Perhaps I should just resign myself to the Imac, get it and move on, but the possibilities of the Efix route are just a bit too tempting...
  2. Dr Sound macrumors member

    Dr Sound

    Apr 5, 2009
    Roxborough Park Colorado
    Wait so let me get this Right... Your Computer isn't capable of handling Logic 4.7?

    And you want to build a custom Computer so Logic runs smoother?

    Why not just buy the New Mac mini if all your running is Logic?

    Or better yet keep yoru old computer and get the Mac Mini to use as a (node)? Whatever the process is where you can have a seperate computer run your processing in Logic..
  3. dryjoy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009
    No, that's not it, I want to upgrade to Logic 8 and get with the times, use lots of virtual instruments, ESX instruments etc.
    My 400MHz G4 is not up to the task of running Logic 8, and cannot be used as a logic node.
    I need a more powerful machine, and preferably as powerful as possible, as I want to do much more in software than I can at the moment.
    Thanks for the ideas though, but I don't think that is the answer.
  4. myca macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2005
    Well I haven't finished my build yet, been too busy at work, got the case and PSU and motherboard, I'm just doing it slowly in my spare time when I get a break from work.

    It's really worth digging around the efix forums, they even have an audio forum with some good info,


    that way you should know about any problems you may come across, there have been good reports on there with Logic and Pro Tools. One thing is though, as I've stated in some threads, the Efix machine I'm building is intended to be a gaming rig, and a windows machine to run SoundForge on too, so for me at least it's less of a risk if installing OSX goes horribly wrong.

    If you've got the money I'd consider getting a refurbed Mac Pro, I've looked around and haven't had any joy, that's why I've started the build, I'm just waiting and hoping for the 4870 to be put on the compatible hardware list.

    If you do plan your own build, make sure you keep to the supported hardware, otherwise the admins on the forum won't help if you run into any problems.

    Whatever you choose, good luck, and have fun with Logic 8, it's gotta few changes since 4.7 :)
  5. nplima macrumors 6502a

    Apr 26, 2006
    crazy idea: if you can't afford the hardware, why don't you change the software you use?
  6. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    He CAN afford the hardware. Quad core mainboards are only a few hundred bucks.

    Read the Leopard EULA carefully and I think I can built a legal Hackintosh. It says you may install the software on any Apple labled computers. Some have interpeted this to mean that all you need to do is tape an apple logo on any one PC. That's not what they mean even if that is what they say. But I think there is zero doubt at all that one of those old Powermac tower computers with the plastic handles is what Apple intended.

    So... Get one of those old Powermacs. You can buy them for $50, cheaper if they are broken. Then "upgrade" the old Power Mac. Apple allows this. Get a new Intel mainboard, a new power supply and replace the internal disk(s) Buy a new graphic card. As it turns out the screw holes (almost) line up and the new parts fit. The old Power Mac has almost an industry standard form factor

    When you are done you will have a nice looking Apple designed case with new parts inside that almost meet Mac Pro specs. It could cost as little as $500.

    I can't find anything where this is disallowed by Apple's terms. Even when I try an look for conservative interpretations, unless Apple says that you can only use Apple branded repair and upgrade parts. But they don't say that or even hint at it.

    This project is NOT for anyone how does not understand the boot process, boot sectore EFI and so on.
  7. myca macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2005
    I'm just gonna stick one of those apple stickers on the tower, I've got enough of them, that should get around the EULA :)

    Also to the OP, if you do go the EFIX route, I'd suggest you just get it to run in a stable manor then leave it be, that's my plan, but my hands will be tied by what OS Digidesign say i can use.

    P.S. this is the case I've got, the Coolermaster RC-1000


    It's got sound proofing and the whole caboodle, should look nice next to my G5 Powermac :cool:

    Now here's waiting for the 4870 to be compatible, and the slight smug feeling I'll get knowing that it will cost half the price of the MacPros 4870 GPU!!!
  8. jacktheripper macrumors newbie

    Mar 15, 2009


    do you recommend buying Efi-X?

    i would purchase it immediately, as i too am building a hackintosh :)

    the only issue i have is wasting AU$290 on Efi-X only to have it not be able to run 10.6 SL when it arrives - $290 for less than a years worth of usage is not to my likings.

    would like to know if 10.6 would work :D
    but the fact that it hasnt been released doesnt help :eek:
  9. dryjoy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009

    Thanks for the advice, guys.
    I've been reading the Efix fora, and picked up loads of useful info. I've still got mixed feelings about it, however. I'm not too worried about the technical aspects of getting it all to work, but one of the things that does concern me is the number of Efix units that seem to be spontaneously combusting. A lot of people seem to have to have had to pay shipping for them to be returned, and then have to wait for a replacement. Obviously, that's a big deal when you're a musician, and you have to just get to it when inspiration hits. And it occurs to me that if something does go wrong in terms of the legal side of Efix, or they went bust or something, I could be in trouble if my Efix unit blew out.
    About the idea of using a powermac case - yes, I could do that as I have a sawtooth G4 already, if that case design is suitable.

    Originally Posted by nplima
    crazy idea: if you can't afford the hardware, why don't you change the software you use?

    I don't want to change my software, I like Logic!

    I have been looking at second hand, older mac pros, which although ageing, would offer decent processing power with more expandability than an Imac. Or, I might still get an Imac and a bunch of external drives. The audio interface I plan to use is USB 2.0, and with a drive on firewire I would be OK, but nevertheless, the Imac is not the perfect solution. All things are relative, mind you - bearing in mind I'm on Logic 4.7 on a G4, I'm sure I'd manage! I'm not sure yet, I'll keep mulling it over.
    Myca - keep us posted!
  10. dryjoy thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 19, 2009
    Changed my mind

    OK, I think I've changed my mind, I am not seriously looking at the Efix or Hackintosh route any more. I've decided that as this is a seriously large amount of money for me, I don't want to mess about at all, I just want to make music, so I just want to buy an :apple: machine.
    But... whereas I had previously ruled out a Mac Pro on cost grounds, I am now seriously considering a new quad core 2.66 nehalem.
    I can buy with the HE discount, which means £1,595. I could save a bit of money using internal HDs, rather than plugging in a bunch of external ones to the iMac.
    The only thing is that I would have to go budget on a display, I couldn't strech to an ACD, and that's what I'm weighing up, but as the sole purpose of the machine will be for recording music, I am thinking that the extra power in Logic (which I believe will use all the four cores properly, correct me if I'm wrong) and the longevity of the Mac Pro would outweigh the advantage of having the lovely iMac display.
    I will probably not be able to spend this money again for a long time (9 years since I got the G4!), so I am really taking my time to make the right decision.
  11. julian72 macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2009
    I love my efi-x

    Hi Guys,

    My friend is into video editing so one day called apple and got them to build a $45,000 aud Mac PRO i kid u not. 4x 30 inch screen 32gb ram 8 cores etc....
    anyway besides the point i also wanted a mac pro 90% for logic 8

    got my efix after doing sum research:
    just for time being most parts were spares lying round the house just for testing

    so i threw some parts together
    4gig @800mhz
    800w psu
    9800 gt
    random hardives 120gb, 300,
    m-audio fast track pro interface
    random case
    22" monitor
    zalman cooler

    (Purchased but waiting to come in bought yesterday)

    Intel pcie Giga Nic
    Apple wireless extreme n mini pcie- on an mp2 mini pcie- pci express adaptor
    Bluetooth dongle belkin
    Apple aluminium wirelss keyboard
    Apple mighty wireless mouse
    yamaha hsm80 passive monitors
    samsung 26" lcd monitor
    Raid controller
    2 x 1tb hdd (Time Machine, Storage)
    2 x 76gb raptor 10k (raid,0)

    Now my main worry was performance esp, with multiple samples playing at the same time im not guna lie u cant have the latency to 64 but runs perfect at 256/512 but i believe thats more of an issue with the m-audio fast track pro interface then the rig itself ,
    and i have not yet finished building it but each time i come home from work sit down in fornt of my efi-x mac for about 4 hours and make what i think i listenable music.
    i have another friend who bought a standard mac pro runs fine bought it for logic also and we share saved projects all the time.
    i will uprgraded the interface recent purchase have put me in the negative when i get the money but i want to finish the guts then compare it with the godzilla of mac pro sitting at my friends house .

    so far with everything has cost me :$1900 with another 800 planned (ram,g5 case.etc...

  12. myca macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2005

    Nice, I've just ordered a 4870, so no efix until that GPU is supported, which is annoying me slightly, especially as their forums are down at the moment. But my rig's gonna be sweet for gaming, which is important to me as I work with audio in games, so I need the windows side to play with some of the SDKs to try to get more work :)

    But I can't wait to run Logic on my quad core Q9550, it should scream compared to my dual G5!!!

    You can pick up a decent 24" from BenQ for around £200 off ebuyer or dabs, I do think that ADCs can be very expensive in comparison to other displays, I decided a year ago to get 2 decent 22" screens rather than 1 23" ADC, in fact the 2 22" monitors cost less than a single 23" ADC.

    If you do pick up the MacPro I hope you enjoy, and I'm sure you'll find all that power and the new features in Logic 8 a godsend :)

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