Hackintosh - Does Trouble Overlap Cost?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by v5point0, Mar 26, 2011.

  1. v5point0 macrumors member

    v5point0

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #1
    I ask this for all those who have built a Hackintosh and have also owned a Mac. I have only used laptops so far, two to be exact, an IBM and now a Macbook. I have never custom built a PC but that doesn't mean I would shy away from it. I like the idea; mainly for the lower cost, upgradability freedom, potential for higher performance in comparison to equivalent priced factory built options, and longer part warranties direct from manufacturers. It appeals to me that I can continue building upon my system down the road bit by bit rather then making a completely new investment and repurposing/discarding the old one.

    Now, we always can't have all that we want and I would want to run OS X on a custom built PC. I have considered Ubuntu as a backup but I can't give up OS X. Obviously this comes with a different price tag - time, effort, intelligence and compromise. Everything may not work perfectly and there is also fear that something may go wrong if not at installation but down the road.

    Also, if a part(s) dies, you may have to ship it yourself at your own expense. Depending on the shipping location and size/weight of the part(s), things could add up. As a custom built PC owner, your down time would usually be longer then Mac users who simply received support at the Genius bar. This obviously won't apply to those who don't have an Apple store nearby but a good Apple reseller instead should be able to take care of this for you.

    So tell me guys, is it worth it? I can understand if you multi-boot with Ubuntu or even Windows and usually that is what custom PC builders do but what about someone who just wants to run OS X. Having a couple of startup clones would give you some peace of mind but what do you think?

    PS - I understand this is a Mac forum, but I ask of you to be open minded and weigh other options. If you believe OS X should only run on Macs, more power to you but if you don't have anything useful to say pertaining to this post then please don't.
     
  2. ashman70 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2010
    #2
    It's a lot easier to do nowadays then it ever was. I first looked into doing this about three or more years ago and back then you couldn't even do a vanilla install off a Leopard CD, it just wasn't possible, you had to use 'distros' that people had put together, it was very convoluted, took many hours and was often fraught with kernel panics and limited hardware support. Now things have changed dramatically, hardware support is huge, there are many many more people doing it which makes it easier to get help, hardware is faster and cheaper and the tools available today are easier to use then ever. I would suggest you visit and join this community for any further questions.

    http://www.tonymacx86.com



    I will just point out that I don't condone building Hackintosh's as its against the Apple EULA to install their OS on any hardware other then Apple branded hardware.
     
  3. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #3
    I would also check out insanelymac.com. As long as you choose your parts carefully based on what other users have found to be compatible it is not that difficult. You will definitely learn more about drivers on Mac's than you currently do.

    I think the savings more than outweighs the time spent to set up on desktops. If the parts are chosen right it will function flawlessly. Though you can't just do an OS update without research and some tweaks. It really is not necessary if everything is already working great. As the saying goes if it isn't broke don't fix it. The only time I do an update is when a program requires it which is not very often once the OS has matured to say 10.x.3.

    Mind you pick the parts carefully though. That can make the difference between spending two hours on the OS install and minor tweaks vs sixteen hours editing kexts, tweaking boot entrees, trying different boot loaders and scouring the hackintosh sites for modified kexts.

    Really the main parts to find search for compatibility are the CPU, Motherboard, Video Card and Wireless Card if needed. Any parts that are already Mac compatible will be in the hackintosh like keyboards, mice, monitor, printer, hard drive, web cam &c.
     
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604

    thejadedmonkey

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Location:
    Pa
    #4
    I've been building computers for around 10 years now, and with the exception of a motherboard that didn't work out of the box, and a video card that failed after 2+ years of use, I've never had a component break on me. The trick is not buying the cheapest PoS that you can find, but buy semi-descent components from companies you've heard of eg: Intel, Gigabyte, MSI, to name a few.
     
  5. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2004
    #5
    IMO yes. Loved my Hackintosh, but I eventually got tired of troubleshooting little things from driver quirks. After my hard drive failure (my first Western Digital drive to ever fail, out of any of the dozens I've ever had), I put Windows 7 on it :'(

    That said, I built it for $900 two years ago and it's still better than many Macs. Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz, 8 GB of RAM, Geforce 8800 GT. Dated now, but for $900 two years ago?
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #6
    The ease of implementation is completely tied to the components you choose and how much work you put into researching.

    I have a Core i7 hackintosh that is incredibly stable and has had zero problems. Once I selected the components, and found the automated steps to install Snow Leopard. It worked like a breeze.

    While not a Xenon processor, my core i7 running at 3.5GHz is fasterr then the Quad core mac but at a third of the cost.
     
  7. v5point0 thread starter macrumors member

    v5point0

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #7
    Thanks for the input guys, I guess it is not so bad after all if I just follow in the foot steps of someone who has already built a flawless system. The Hackintosh community and Tonymac would definitely be useful resources. Lifehacker has also posted a few builds which was based on Tonymac.
     
  8. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Location:
    Essex (UK)
    #8
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.3; en-gb; Nexus S Build/GRI40) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    I had very little trouble with my hackintosh so for me it was a simple and stable experience. I've recently stopped using my PC as a hackintosh simply because I as spending far more time on Windows 7 and Linux but I could have it running osx in no time.

    It is fun to do if you're a tinkerer. :)
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #9
    I'm close to that point with one exception. For some reason Cisco's anyconnect VPN software kills my ethernet connection, in that if I use my VPN to work, after about 4 to 6 hours I lose all internet ability and the only option is to reboot (killing the app doesn't help, the driver is what's doing it). I can leave it in windows 7 for days on end, and it won't occur but then I use VPN - boom
     
  10. Ubuntu macrumors 68000

    Ubuntu

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK/US
    #10
    It was worth it, yes. I really like the Mac OS on the 10 inch screen of my NC10 netbook but as someone else suggested it can be a be tiresome to have to worry all the time about whether or not I'm just about to break the thing. I would never recommend it as a main computer as its not reliable enough - you fix one thing and another thing breaks, sort of.

    But still I quite like it.
     
  11. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #11
    It all depends on what equipment you use. If you replace stock Kexts with custom ones, then any update could impact you. This seems especially true for netbooks. For my core i7, I've been able to apply any and all updates, the difference is that I don't have any custom kexts that replaced stock ones.
     
  12. v5point0 thread starter macrumors member

    v5point0

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #12
    What of migration utility - clones and tm backups. Suppose one decides to revert to a Mac, can the info be transfered? I suspect there will be something a miss.

    Also if you upgrade a part on your box, you would probably have to install OS X again from scratch right?
     
  13. velocityg4 macrumors 68040

    velocityg4

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2004
    Location:
    Georgia
    #13
    You should be able to transfer user accounts well enough. Personally I am not a fan of migration assistant for anything other than user account transfers. Whenever I have used it for applications and settings on a customers computer it has some error halting the process part way through. When it does get all the way through the applications are buggy and need to be reinstalled anyways.

    I always recommend the manual approach when migrating to a new computer. You get fresh installs of all your programs and will more likely do some spring cleaning of a cluttered user account and skip installing the junk programs that have built up in your applications folder over time.
     
  14. 3N16MA macrumors 65816

    3N16MA

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Location:
    Space
    #14
    I did the hackintosh thing a couple years ago with a Dell netbook. It was a leftover from my sister who no longer wanted it so I decided to mess around with it. My brother also did it to an HP netbook a couple years back. I quickly got tired of the Dell with all the little quirks and bugs, it also had terrible battery life. My brother returned his HP netbook for much of the same reason. I'm guessing things have come along since then when it comes to full fledged builds but not sure about netbooks.
     
  15. v5point0 thread starter macrumors member

    v5point0

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #15
    I have given this much thought and decided it is either a Mac Mini or a Hackintosh for me in the future. I may choose the Mini because it is the cheapest, has highest repurposing value, no built in consumable batteries which only Apple can service for a hefty cost, and easier post warranty hard drive replacement compared with to the iMac. But personally I feel like going the custom build route with a Hackintosh, I don't necessarily need to have the latest and greatest software running on my box but I do want things to work and maybe perform an upgrade every couple of years or so when the new OS comes out.
     
  16. KeriJane macrumors 6502a

    KeriJane

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    Location:
    ЧИКАГО!
    #16

    If you're having to ask, I'd say buy the Mini. At least it'll probably have good resale value for awhile if you change your mind.

    Or why not try both? Get a Mini and tinker around with a lower-spec HT to see how it goes for you. That way you get a known-good system and you can tinker at your leisure. You can sell the one you don't want though you wouldn't want to sell a working HT system.... You would want to sell the parts or load Windows or Linux on it.

    Have Fun,
    Keri

    PS. Aside from breaking the EULA, I feel that it's just not worth the effort. Lots of people disagree with me on this.
     
  17. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #17
    Hiya

    I just built my first Hackintosh. I thoroughly selected the components and installed the system following the Tonymac instructions. This was damn easy, as much as a regular install of OSX. So I would say it's totally worth it, I love my new computer !
     
  18. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

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    Essex (UK)
    #18
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.3; en-gb; Nexus S Build/GRI40) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    Well, after Windows 7 was being a royal pain in the arsenal recently (freezing at the log-off screen on shutdown, having issues with USB devices and generally running sluggish) I backed up all my data, installed Snow Leopard and all is fine and dandy now.

    Ill stick to a Linux/OSX dual boot for now. I don't have the patience to troubleshoot or maintain a borked Windows install any more. :(
     
  19. v5point0 thread starter macrumors member

    v5point0

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #19
    Nice! No problems what so ever with OS X?



    I am trying to adapt to Ubuntu from OS X. If I do, I can forget about OS X but I doubt that would be the case at least anytime soon. Even so, I can't think of any reason besides gaming via Wine to have a powerful GPU and CPU for Ubuntu.
     
  20. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #20
    No problem at all. Oh yes, the computer does not go to sleep and one time I lost the sound. Happened one time only. Apart this I have a brand new Mac Pro like computer and you know what? I think it's even my favorite mac now because I have made it myself and customized to fit my needs. And if a part breaks I know it's easy to fix it!

    I know Ubuntu well and I like it. In my opinion it's a very very good OS. I would be using it if I wouldn't need some specific software like InDesign or PS, FCP. If I could work on an Ubuntu machine I would for sure.
     
  21. ChazUK macrumors 603

    ChazUK

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
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    Essex (UK)
    #21
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 2.3.3; en-gb; Nexus S Build/GRI40) AppleWebKit/533.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile Safari/533.1)

    I'm glad its not just me. I seem to go towards my hackintosh over my iMac, simply because I'm pleased that "I made it". Such a strange feeling of computing satisfaction! :)
     
  22. v5point0 thread starter macrumors member

    v5point0

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2010
    #22
    I know the feeling; its like a user built remote control car vs factory assembled, you know where every part lies, you can upgrade and make it better ie faster motor, tires, suspension, etc.

    I am in the same boat as you, I love Keynote, Aperture, FCP, and PS - I don't think Impress, F-Spot/Shotwell, Cinelerra, and GIMP can hold up to those respectively, but I am willing to make compromises - just how much, I will only know till I experiment.
     
  23. Angelo95210, Apr 7, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2011

    Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #23
    So yes my experience of the hackintosh is very good. But this is only because I have been extremely picky at gathering the different parts, making no compromise. This is key of the success. Having a fast computer wasn't my priority, I am not a heavy user, mine equals to a Mac Pro 2.1 I think, I bought all the parts from ebay which had an establish reputation to work with a hackintosh.

    I didn't want to spend time on boot issues, kext things etc. Just followed Tonymac instructions: install iboot, retail dvd, multibeast. That's it.

    EDIT: I just added the specs of my Hackintosh to my profile FYI ;-)
     

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