Hackintosh reliable?

ChitoCrisis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2011
90
0
California
Hello everyone,

let me start off by saying I love my Mac and Apple products. I was thinking of buying an iMac once the newer ones come out but money is becoming an issue for me. I'm actually trying to save money so I can move out on my own. But a better computer comes first. I need one for 3D graphics (Maya), animation and editing. My MacBook Pro is still good enough... if the USB ports weren't messed up. But I can use something better and that's why I was planning on buying an iMac.

But today I was thinking that maybe I can save money by building a Hackintosh instead. I already have Mac OSX Lion (needed to upgrade to run Maya) and a mouse. The only thing I'm worried about is if Hackintosh are reliable. I don't know if I'll have issues with it and hardware not being compatible, and all of that. I plan to keep this baby for a couple of years.

Any advice? Be honest.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,798
2,105
I wouldn't personally trust a hackintosh for anything important. Many people have called their hackintoshes more reliable and stable than the real thing (comparing them to mac pros and imacs). I have a few issues with the concept outside of license compliance. There are little things (Disk Warrior for example) that not everyone uses that can break in a hackintosh environment. I personally do not wish to be at the mercy of those that write kexts and patch bootloaders and stuff.

Regarding 3d stuff, maya has more plugins available on the PC side. It used to suck on Macs. These days it runs quite well for most things, but there are a few quirks. Some users have said it runs better in OSX. I'm not really sure about that, but you definitely don't have some of the plugins available to the Windows version.

I don't really care for the imac either. Macbook pros are fine. Just make sure they don't get too hot when rendering, and any with integrated graphics are not tested by Autodesk. What happened to your usb ports?
 

ChitoCrisis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2011
90
0
California
I wouldn't personally trust a hackintosh for anything important. Many people have called their hackintoshes more reliable and stable than the real thing (comparing them to mac pros and imacs). I have a few issues with the concept outside of license compliance. There are little things (Disk Warrior for example) that not everyone uses that can break in a hackintosh environment. I personally do not wish to be at the mercy of those that write kexts and patch bootloaders and stuff.

Regarding 3d stuff, maya has more plugins available on the PC side. It used to suck on Macs. These days it runs quite well for most things, but there are a few quirks. Some users have said it runs better in OSX. I'm not really sure about that, but you definitely don't have some of the plugins available to the Windows version.

I don't really care for the imac either. Macbook pros are fine. Just make sure they don't get too hot when rendering, and any with integrated graphics are not tested by Autodesk. What happened to your usb ports?
Yeah I use Maya on Mac all the time especially at school.

I always use OSX. I hate Windows and just PCs in general. Everything about Macs (software, hardware, everything) just feel right and better. I sound like a fanboy but I'm not. What can I say? I just love Macs.

Anyways, I dropped my MacBook Pro and that messed up the usb ports and mini display port. They no longer work at all unfortunately. It's one of the reasons I failed a class. Well I can't blame my MBP because I could have went to my college and used their lab to get my work done but it's very difficult to do that when you wake up at 3 in the morning for work. ;___; So no excuses. And I forgot I could have used a bluetooth mouse. I didn't realize that until the last minute and it was too late.

Also, can I install any more ram on iMacs? What about third party ram?
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,811
1,285
New Zealand
Mine's still chugging along after three years. I was sure to buy compatible hardware that's supported by Apple's drivers, so I haven't had trouble with updates etc.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,798
2,105
Also, can I install any more ram on iMacs? What about third party ram?
You can install extra ram on an imac. Maya's speed in terms of navigation is heavily gpu dependent, but ram also makes a difference, and 16GB is relatively cheap. With 16GB you should have enough to keep more than one application open without bogging down, like if you're going between maya and zbrush or mudbox or adjusting shader materials in photoshop or whatever. The minimum I would go to is 12GB. It comes with 4, buying an 8GB kit (2x4GB dimms) brings you up to 12 and it's cheap as hell. 16 isn't expensive either. Once you start looking at 8GB dimms, the price increases substantially.
 

ChitoCrisis

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 9, 2011
90
0
California
You can install extra ram on an imac. Maya's speed in terms of navigation is heavily gpu dependent, but ram also makes a difference, and 16GB is relatively cheap. With 16GB you should have enough to keep more than one application open without bogging down, like if you're going between maya and zbrush or mudbox or adjusting shader materials in photoshop or whatever. The minimum I would go to is 12GB. It comes with 4, buying an 8GB kit (2x4GB dimms) brings you up to 12 and it's cheap as hell. 16 isn't expensive either. Once you start looking at 8GB dimms, the price increases substantially.
Can it be any ram? Is it easy to install on iMacs?

And how much would it cost for 12 gb? I think that'd be more than enough. Hell, I only have 2gb on my MacBook Pro (its a late 2009 model) and I haven't had any problems.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,798
2,105
Can it be any ram? Is it easy to install on iMacs?

And how much would it cost for 12 gb? I think that'd be more than enough. Hell, I only have 2gb on my MacBook Pro (its a late 2009 model) and I haven't had any problems.
There are companies like Crucial and OWC that test their ram on Macs, but many people have purchased from places like Newegg and Amazon too. Just make sure you buy the correct type, and don't buy from any weird/obscure brands. A new 2011 imac comes with 4GB installed. Lion barely runs on 2GB. I don't know how you would have dealt with it like that, especially with larger scenes and a lot of heavy shaders (not sure how far along you are with that program). You can keep the initial ram in and add 8GB in the other two slots bumping you to 12GB. That would cost roughly $50.
 

ADemonC

macrumors newbie
Jan 16, 2012
1
0
I have been running one for about 3 years now core2quad and 16gb of ram with an 8800gt its great i have never had any issues. Its my only computer and its the only os on it i dual booted for a bit incase as a backup but i never used it. so early last year i removed windows no need. if you do your research and collect the right parts you should have no problems. I am a designer so i rely on it heavily. I use it all day every day for work.
 

prisstratton

macrumors 6502a
Dec 20, 2011
534
121
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
I originally built my Hackintosh to run Leopard. I took the time (several months) to do my homework and researched the topic very thoroughly. Since then I upgraded to SL and got every update from the Apple servers without a single glitch. Everything has worked very well and I could almost call it the perfect Hackintosh. All that being said, at the end of the day I realize that this system can be compromised by a single update from the Apple servers and I always kept this in mind and never used the system as my main desktop. To me, it was an experiment to test Mac OS X before finally taking the plunge into a real Mac (which I did last year). I still use it occasionally but it does not compare to the "feel" of the real thing.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,300
24
Can it be any ram? Is it easy to install on iMacs?

And how much would it cost for 12 gb? I think that'd be more than enough. Hell, I only have 2gb on my MacBook Pro (its a late 2009 model) and I haven't had any problems.
If money is issue then get refurb iMac.

Or you can get your MBP fixed.

If you don't know how "easy" to install RAM, then Hackintosh is not for you.
 

smirk

macrumors 6502a
Jul 18, 2002
678
47
Orange County, CA
If you don't know how "easy" to install RAM, then Hackintosh is not for you.
Agreed. Building a stable hackintosh is not something you do frivolously. It takes a lot of planning and learning. It might work fine, or it might work mostly fine and you spend days figuring out how to get the computer to sleep, for example. If you're not comfortable with hardware and with running commands in Terminal, you'll have some learning to do as you come up to speed.
 

jenntaylor

macrumors newbie
Jan 18, 2012
7
0
Costa Mesa, CA
I have friends who have been building Hackintoshes since OS X rev 1, and they are always fraught with driver issues....of course, my friends are hackery types who like tinkering, so fighting with a video driver for hours is fun for them.

Unless you are wanting to have maintenance be part of your enjoyment, I would opt for a real Mac. Scour Craigslist and eBay -- there are machines for every price range.
 

adnbek

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2011
1,540
505
Montreal, Quebec
If you really do want a hackintosh that's stable, I'd go to tonymacx86's website and check out the "customac" section. Basically shows you how to build one with nearly all the same parts as real macs so no fiddling with drivers and practically the same as a real one.

*disclaimer* I own a MBP, an iPad and an iPhone so don't flame me.
 

arjen92

macrumors 65816
Sep 9, 2008
1,065
0
Below sea level
If you really do want a hackintosh that's stable, I'd go to tonymacx86's website and check out the "customac" section. Basically shows you how to build one with nearly all the same parts as real macs so no fiddling with drivers and practically the same as a real one.

*disclaimer* I own a MBP, an iPad and an iPhone so don't flame me.
How can you recommend tonymacx86 when you never owned a hackintosh?! Pffft! :D
 

velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,046
1,593
Georgia
A hackintosh can be quite stable if you know what you are doing and choose the right hardware. If you aren't really good with computer diagnostics nor understand hardware quite well I would avoid it.

I have one in my house that has been running great for over 3 years on 10.5.6. I don't run updates because of the risk of damaging the install. If it ain't broke don't fix it. I've had OS X updates go south on real Macs. I'd update to 10.6 or 10.7 but neither support the Radeon HD 3870.

It is more stable on the computer than Windows XP or Windows 7.

The resources online are far better now for setting up a hackintosh than three years ago. I know I could build one quite a bit more easily with modern hardware and a bit of research. Heck under the latest updates my gaming rig in my signature fully works with just the latest Chameleon Boot loader and vanilla install. I have no reason to muck it up with OS X as it is for gaming. It was just a test I was running to satisfy my curiosity.
 

adnbek

macrumors 68000
Oct 22, 2011
1,540
505
Montreal, Quebec
How can you recommend tonymacx86 when you never owned a hackintosh?! Pffft! :D
I am running a hackintosh. It's my desktop computer. (in a dual boot config w/ Windows 7 and OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.8)

I just felt the need to mention the Apple products I own so that I don't get flamed for "stealing".
 

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