Forgive me, for I have sinned. (built Hackintosh)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by GFLPraxis, May 4, 2008.

  1. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Yes, I am aware that I have committed the ultimate PC heresy. Please forgive me. But I went and built a Hackintosh.

    Background you can skip if you don't care:
    I do Windows desktop support for a living and generally know what I'm doing with computers. I actually have *fun* tweaking stuff (my Nintendo DS runs Linux), so I figured I'd have a good time building this PC. I'm a student working a part-time IT internship, so I don't have a ton of money. I bought a MacBook a couple of years back (Core Duo), and I switched my whole family over to Macs and we've purchased numerous Apple laptops over the years. I haven't purchased a new desktop in over five years- still running my old Pentium 4 machine. I hardly have the money to get a low-end iMac, and that thing won't have nearly the level of performance I would want out of it.

    The PC cost me about $900. In total I spent about $950 after some extras.

    2.4 GHz Core 2 Quad Q6600
    4 GB DDR2 800 MHz RAM
    Geforce 8800GT, 256 MB GDDR3 VRAM
    1x 500 GB HDD
    1x 160 GB HDD
    500W power supply
    Antec Sonata III case

    That ran me $900. On top of that, I purchased a HD-DVD drive on clearance for $20 and a webcam for $30. Add in the cost of a Leopard DVD as well (I got mine a while ago).

    I installed Vista on the 160 GB drive, and OS X on the 500 GB drive. Plus, I have a 250 GB external firewire drive. Even then, I'm worried about running out of space, but I think I still have one more internal SATA port available.

    So how'd it go? Well, for starters, I would NEVER recommend this for someone who doesn't know what they're doing. I was unable to install it off of the HD-DVD drive because a controller chip for Parallel ATA in the motherboard was not recognized by the installer. I didn't know this as the error was too generic- I eventually discovered it worked fine if I used the DVD-RW drive (which was SATA). After I got it installed, I've got almost everything working, except Audio and the built-in WiFi. I don't care about the WiFi (PCs running wired), and I know people have gotten audio working on this motherboard so I'll get it going at some point.

    Next problem is that every time I boot, I'm warned I have an unknown processor and About This Mac says I have a 2.4 GHz Unknown. Looks like it's due to an out of date motherboard BIOS that doesn't recognize the Core 2 Quad. I'll have to update it.

    The last problem is an odd one. Every time I click on Desktop & Screen Saver, I get a kernel panic.

    So I can't change my Desktop, have no audio, and it says unknown processor. Those are my current issues, but I'll get them fixed. :) Those are the downsides at the moment.

    But how does it run?

    Incredibly. I was running two 1080p videos while surfing the web and my CPU was idling. I'm currently running iMovie, typing this post and installing Windows XP and Windows 2003 in two separate Parallels VMs. CPU is 70% idle. This is by the snappiest thing i've ever used- the Mac Pros in stores only have 1 GB of RAM.

    I adore this machine.

    For those of you considering building a Hackintosh, carefully research and choose parts that have been tested for maximum compatibility. I highly recommend them. But be prepared for having to deal with a lot of initial problems. Once you get everything running smoothly, it'll be great- but expect to be ironing out bugs that first week.

    If you're not technically savvy and don't enjoy tweaking, don't try, you'll pound your head against the wall and get frustrated. If you want it to "just work", buy an iMac. If you want maximum performance, minimal price, with a great OS in exchange for troubleshooting headaches feel free to build it. I think most will opt for the iMac, as it should be. Hackintoshes will not threaten Apple's market share- I could never have afforded the Mac Pro I wanted, and the iMac wouldn't have done what I needed, so I would have simply gone without.

    Oh yes, and don't buy XFX graphics cards. That Geforce 8800GT I got works fine, but the fan is louder than everything else in the PC put together.

    I should note that dual booting this with Vista x64 was my first experience with that OS. I was amazed to find I hate it more than I ever imagined I would.
  2. flopticalcube macrumors G4


    Sep 7, 2006
    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    Same goes for eVGA cards. That is what Psystar uses.

    Well done on the hackintosh, did you use insanelymac as a guide?
  3. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I did indeed. An extremely good resource, though they've ignored my posts asking for help with the audio not working. *sigh*

    You can find a lot of little fixes going through their archives. I had a few other minor issues I fixed on the first day outside of what I listed here.
  4. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007

    Maybe with the increased ability to clone a Mac, Apple will start shifting down their prices.
  5. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga
    You are forgiven my child. Your penance is 150 Spotlight searches, and 200 create alias's.

    On a lighter side. I did a hackintosh for my kids until we can afford another Mac for them. For now this will work great for what they want it for.

    AMD X2 64 3200
    XFX 7800GT
    4g Ram
    120g SATA
    Linksys WiFi
    Asus MB

    So far it's working good. Only thing is unarchiving large files crashes it, trying to install BF2142 patch crashes it. Photo booth with a USB cam with MacCam works great (what the kids really like) Network File Sharing doesn't work well. Either other Macs can't connect (MB can but iMac can't) and it can't connect with our other 2 Macs. Screensharing works great.

    Beyond that, it'll do until we can get them a legit one. We have made the decision to do it, but at the moment can't afford to do so. Sorry Apple, we will give you our money, WHEN we get it LOL.
  6. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    Since it seems you have working firewire you may want to consider spending an extra $50 and get a Griffin FireWave 5.1 surround sound box it works great. For the kernel panics you mention you may want to search on the maxmem= solution since you have 4gb of ram or if not needed then disable the IDE controller in the BIOS to see if this helps.
  7. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Got the audio working! Although System Profiler still says no built in audio, I hear sounds, so it's all good :)
    Sadly, I need the IDE controller for my HD-DVD drive. I'll look up the maxmem= thing.

    I'm only using two stereo speakers at the moment.

    Is your XFX card anywhere near as loud as my 8800GT?

    Also, the USB cam works great under Photobooth but iMovie tells me no camera connected. Curious.
  8. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    I didn't see if you mentioned if you actually purchased Mac OS X or if you just illegally downloaded a copy :(. If you didn't purchase it then that drives the cost of your Hackintosh higher.
  9. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    what mobo do you have and which audio chipset?
  10. kkat69 macrumors 68020


    Aug 30, 2007
    Atlanta, Ga

    No, Even with Vista/XP and running BOTH 7800 GT's (I have 2 and in Windows I run SLI) and I can barely hear them. Since my machine isn't water cooled anymore the only fan I hear is the CPU Thermaltake fan. That thing is a vortex. But when watercooled I didn't hear my vid card fans at all.

    They're really good. They are the first XFX vid cards I ever bought and I was surprised how quite they were.

    I'll probably go back to Vista 64 but unsure at this point. My kids like the photo booth and for now they aren't hogging up my wife's MB or my iMac.

    We'll see.
  11. GFLPraxis thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    I was just listing the cost of the hardware. I have several legal OS X licenses- we have multiple Macs in the house for different family members (all notebooks). So I didn't have to buy anything this time.

    Even so, the cost is still less than an iMac and performance is far higher. Plus, as a student I can get OS X cheaper, no?

    An Asus P5W DH Deluxe. Actually, I got audio working! Although System Profiler still tells me I have no onboard audio device, I can hear everything fine. :)

    Slap a small hard drive in there and install Vista on it if you want it available. I've got a 160 GB drive with Vista 64-bit, and a 500 GB drive with OS X. No messy partitioning.
  12. MacUser2525 macrumors 68000


    Mar 17, 2007
    It never shows the audio in there if you were to open the Midi utilitly then it should be shown in there or at least the channels I mean.
    Well then the maxmem is the only hope I can get a kernel panic anytime I want by simply putting an IDE device in my machine having it powered on then put a load on the machine.
    No need to buy a 5.1 device then.

    I put a Termalright HR-03 on my eVGA 8800GT with a 120mm fan I attached with twist ties to it I can't hear it over the other 120mm fans in my case it is certainly much better than the howl I got when I first installed it with the fan that seemed to run at 100% all the time. You may want to consider some after market cooling yourself.

    Yeah I have a problem with one USB device as well my Hauppague 950 tuner when I first bought EyeTV running it under 10.5.1 was great then the 10.5.2 update screwed it up and it has not worked since for some reason it shows me it is a 980 model which as far as I can determine does not exist.
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Can you provide an outline as to how you went about it, once you have the hardware assembled? It seems the InsanelyMac forums are quite dispersed. If I understand correctly, you have to somehow get your hands on "KALAWAY" (see edit below)? What exactly is it and what does it do? I'm looking at doing this with a ASUS P5K-E LGA logic board, Intel E6550 cpu and 8600GT.


    Edit: I don't need the OS X installer as I still have one left on my family pack. Does this mean that Kalaway is not needed?
  14. nateDEEZY macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    I know this is rather late, but better late then never. Anyways If you're still curious on how to go about this process... check these links out.

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