i5 or i7 hackintosh alternative to mac mini (similar pricing)

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by 68topls, Jul 19, 2010.

  1. 68topls macrumors newbie

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    #1
    My little brother is going off to college. I was going to use my discount (20%) and get him a mac mini like I promised but he wanted me to look into building him an i5 or i7 hackintosh for around the same amount of money ($700 or less). I've been looking at several threads but they seem to be pretty old and the motherboard combinations are not available any more. Can any one point me to a still available and working i5 / i7 combination for less than $700
     
  2. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Are you planning on going to college with him so you can troubleshoot every time he runs an update without doing his research?
     
  3. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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  4. 68topls thread starter macrumors newbie

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  5. 68topls thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    Thanks for the detail. Would that mother board support the Intel Core i5-760 2.8GHz? Also, has anybody built one using a AMD Phenom II X6 1055T Thuban 2.8GHz?

     
  6. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    Pretty sure no one has gotten OSX running on AMD processors of any kind, but I might be way off base with that one.
     
  7. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #7
    For the price of the CPU you're going to get a AMD hexa-core with 2.8GHz, which will work fine for your application. Snow Leopard runs fine on AMD now and you don't want to stick to Intel if you don't have to, unless you want to waste money. The hard drive is way to small. Add $35 and get a 2TB one. Spend $20 more and get a better graphics adapter.
    A $125 case on a $700 budget, are you serious? A $20 case, which doesn't even look much different and $20 450W PSU do the Job, I'd put the money rather in the key components then the case and PSU when dealing with a small budget. If it goes up in smoke in a year, spend $50 and get a 80+ certified PSU.

    This may be the wrong forum for that question, though.

    My Athlon 64 ran fine on Leopard until the capacitors on the mainboard died. Snow Leopard now runs fine too on most modern AMD systems. It's not your fault, even Apple didn't got the memo that hexa-core AMD systems at the same price of a socket 1156 i5 machine will run Mac OS X just fine. Unfortunately, you won't benefit putting an iPhone A4 processor into an iMac, so I guess they don't even notice nor care that they can make more money putting AMD chips in their Macs. They justify their choice for Intel by telling that they produce the most advanced processors, but that doesn't help if you have put Core 2 Duos in 2010 products because you can't afford putting 2010 chips in there.
     
  8. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    I'm fairly certain you can't hackintosh an AMD
     
  9. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040

    AlphaDogg

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    #9
    IMHO, you should just go for the Mac Mini. If he ever wants to sell it, it will retain it's value for a much longer time than a hackintosh.
     
  10. donw35 macrumors regular

    donw35

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    #10
    for a student that has serious work to do, I don't think a Hackintosh makes good sense, things happen and one simple update can cause issues and the down time could be problematic. A hack is fun but a reliable machine would be more important. how about a Mac Book ?
     
  11. Giuly macrumors 68040

    Giuly

    #11
    And I'm fairly certain that I have one here with a broken mainboard.

    That's why I bought mine, selling it and adding $100-150 will buy me the 2011 Mac Mini, while an AMD system would be worth $200 by then.
     
  12. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    Haha, touche. Excuse my ignorance please
     
  13. codymac macrumors 6502

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    I'm absolutely positive you can since I just tore my Opteron apart to replace it with an i7.

    You can get an i7 for the same money you'd spend on an i5:

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0331303

    Shop really wisely for the rest of the components and you might squeeze it in under $600-700.
     
  14. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #14
    Installing OS X on AMD isn't nearly as well supported as Intel - and Intel's processors are generally faster than AMD's even at similar clock speeds. I see your point about the case and PSU, but that hard drive is unavailable. ;)

    Yes, it uses the same chipset - LGA 1156. I've never seen anyone build a hack with Thuban, did a bit of Googling and couldn't find anything. I'd go with Intel just for ease of use and support.


    That really only works if you have a Microcenter near you, and that CPU uses the wrong chipset anyway - he'd have to go with an i7-860, not an i7-930.
     
  15. 68topls thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #15
    I have a micro center near me. So with that i7 the mother board would have to be different?

     
  16. 68topls thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Anybody have any experience with either of these mother boards:

    JetWay JBI-600-LF LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

    ASRock X58 Extreme LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard

    GIGABYTE GA-X58A-UD3R LGA 1366 Intel X58 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
     
  17. codymac macrumors 6502

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    #17
    Didn't notice it was in-store pickup only since there's one near me. For the record, I'm also suggesting he go with a different MB as well so the chipset becomes a non-issue. Sorta thought that went without saying.

    Yes on the GA-X58A-UD3R - it's what I'm typing this on.

    GA-X58A-UD3R
    i7 930
    12gb DDR3
    PNY 9600 GT (512mb)

    I created a package installer for this board. I need to update the installer to add audio (big "DOH!" moment on my part since I use mine at work and never bothered to check audio functionality, which 10.6.3 killed).

    • Audio isn't perfect due to Apple dropping support for some of the Realtek audio components when they released 10.6.3 (it works, but I don't think TOSLINK out works, etc.).
    • I haven't bothered to get sleep working since I never sleep my machines but understand that others have gotten it working.
    • I don't install any video stuff since I personally stick to cards that work out-of-the-box.

    Those are the biggest shortcomings of my installer/build at the moment. Lately, I've been a little distracted by the prospect of adding an additional video card to mine.
     
  18. 68topls thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    I believe I'm going to go with this mother board / cpu combo. can you share the package installer?

     
  19. codymac macrumors 6502

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    #19
    I suspect that's going to break your budget once you add everything else up but it will run very big, very fast circles around a Mac mini.

    Sure... if you don't mind being an alpha tester. Let me see about updating it to at least include audio support.

    PM me your email and your timeframe for getting the parts together.

    Oh... and that should say "dropping audio support when Apple released 10.6.3" - not 10.6.2.
     
  20. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

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    #20
    I'd just use Kakewalk in your position.
     
  21. codymac macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Has Kakewalk worked for you? I've tried it and never gotten it to work correctly.
     
  22. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #22
    AMD Phenom II x6 is about as fast or worse than i5 is. It's also a power hungry bastard. You can install OS X for AMD but the support is worse because no Mac uses AMD chipsets meaning that some things may not work as they should. There are some hacked OS Xs that have drivers written by randoms but again, the support is worse.

    Take a look at InsanelyMac for Hackintosh stuff, there are recommended components and what you need in order to install OS X on those setups
     

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