My Experience Going from a Mac Pro to a (kinda-sorta) Hackintosh

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by devon807, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #1
    A little backstory on the whole situation-
    In October of 2015 I bought a Early 2008 Mac Pro 2.8 GHz 8 core. That machine was my first ever real "workstation" machine. By October 2016 I had upgraded almost everything in the computer: GTX 970, 32GB RAM dual 3.2GHz CPU's the whole 9. It was a stable reliable and overall very powerful machine. It did everything I needed it to do, even edited a couple of 4K Tracks in FCPX, but I wanted more, so I decided to build a Hackintosh. Completely ignoring the Mac Pro 4,1/5,1 I went straight to eBay looking for good deals on the most current platform I could afford X58, no X79 yes. So I built a dinky ghetto rigged cheap "X79" Hackintosh using a $50 E5-2660 8-core a $100 cheap off brand X79 board, cheap RAM,PSU, and I already had the 970 plus a few spare bits and bobs like SSD's and such from the MP. Two days into the build I realized I had made a mistake. I started with EL Cap and wanted to work my way up. The primary installation went ok, but drivers for my generic board were nonexistent. So after 2 days straight of troubleshooting, removing RAM, and reseating, I finally got it to work. And it worked amazing for a week, noticeable improvements in FCPX, a little slow in everyday tasks but other than that, great performance. After that week had passed I began to run into constant crashes, random reboots and freezes and with myself being in college and working, I ran out of time and had to resort to doing modeling work on a C2D MBP (not fun). After a while I got sick of the thing and sold it to a friend of mine who needed a PC for $500. In conclusion/

    TLDR, Hachintosh's are GREAT, very feasible machines and often cheaper than Macs in general, but you must have time and patience to deal with the small quirks and kinks of owning a Hackintosh, and unfortunately I had neither one of those BUT to those that do have the time, I would definitely recommend because even through the issues it was a fun time getting it up and running, and the performance gains (depending on the setup) may be worth it.


    EDIT: I wish I would have documented the process/benchmarks on here, but I was so eager to get it up running, but I will be documenting the "build" of my "new" Mac Pro 4,1 when it gets here. :)
     
  2. 89aw11s/c macrumors newbie

    89aw11s/c

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    #2
    I've been running hackintoshes since intel released the first atom board in 2007; like you said, they're great if you have the patience, keep daily backups, and time. I've had hackintoshes with years of uptime, but no matter how stable, there's always a few quirks compared to the real thing - glitches in finder/ gpu rendering.
     
  3. Susurs macrumors 6502

    Susurs

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2010
  4. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #4
    Am considering a hackingtosh. From what I read, gigabyte boards are the only way to go if you value your time or sanity, and even then it would be wise to only buy the specific boards recommended on TonyMac's Buyer's Guide.

    https://www.tonymacx86.com/
     
  5. devon807 thread starter macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #5
    And I will return one day! just when I have the time and funds to put together a proper hackintosh.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 1, 2017 ---
    I agree. Gigabyte boards are notorious for being plug and play with lots of different configurations.
     
  6. fendersrule macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #6
    Glad I still never did this and chose to pimp a 5,1 instead. I'd rather not use my computer as a toy, but as a tool.

    Well, a toy is fun, but only when I'm upgrading. It's never fun to diagnose issues and solve problems with a computer anymore when you have better things to do in life.
     
  7. melchior macrumors 65816

    melchior

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
    #7
    My asrock X99 hackintosh on Sierra has an uptime of 60 days at the moment. More stable than my macbook pro.
     
  8. 89aw11s/c macrumors newbie

    89aw11s/c

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    #8
    My best advice is to stick with basic asus/gigabyte boards that use standardized intel nics/audio/video....the less common components are, the more trouble you're going to have.
     
  9. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #9
    This is why I went with my 4,1 converted to 5,1. I new I could heavily upgrade enough to do my work and I don't want to play any games at all on it.

    Plus the most important thing for me was it needed to turn on and work, no messing around with it all the time.

    I like tech but I am not a interesting in messing with code or fiddling and customising.

    For me "it just works" is important.
     
  10. 89aw11s/c macrumors newbie

    89aw11s/c

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    #10
    I'm in IT, which is to say I have a MacBook Pro and 2008 Mac Pro that are reliable and require little upkeep, but still have a Hackintosh to mess around with. I'd say the biggest problem I have with a Hackintosh install is that security updates routinely break the nvidia drivers. [You have to have a motherboard with onboard video in order to boot the OS to update Nvidia drivers post-apple-update]
     
  11. William Payne macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2017
    Location:
    Wanganui, New Zealand.
    #11
    See that's the thing with me. I don't want something to "mess around with" I just want to do my work.
     
  12. Flint Ironstag macrumors 6502a

    Flint Ironstag

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2013
    Location:
    Houston, TX USA
    #12
    Can't you do this via Apple Remote Desktop or SSH?
     
  13. irked macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2017
    #13
    Yeah, or just buy a flashed card. My 980 has been a champion.

    Edit: just realized what thread i was in. Not sure of the state of flashed cards on Hackintoshes but my machines need viable boot screens.
     
  14. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #14
    This happens on real Mac Pros too.
     
  15. 89aw11s/c macrumors newbie

    89aw11s/c

    Joined:
    May 29, 2017
    Location:
    Arizona
    #15
    This is true - I have a non-apple nvidia card in my Mac Pro, and updates break the graphics in the same manner. I keep the original ATI card around in case.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2017 ---
    If you keep the nvidia card in post-update, the machine will fail to boot altogether; it'll get to the boot screen, and then hang/panic.
     
  16. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #16
    I think he mean "flashed card" doing nothing on a Hackintosh.
     
  17. devon807 thread starter macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #17
    Well, I recently was offered a dual Xeon Dell workstation at a price I couldn't turn down. ($160)

    It had 2x Xeon 2.4GHz E5-2609 Quad core CPU's (Now 2X Xeon E5-2643 3.3GHz Quad Cores)
    NO GPU
    16GB of RAM
    NO HDD

    I added some stuff from my parts bin and stole some stuff from my 2010 6 core Mac Pro, including the RX 580, and the PCI-e SSD. I used it under Windows 10 for Premiere for some test projects and the render times were great. After using Premiere for a few days I began to realize that the program was extremely buggy and constantly crashed, this is unacceptable when there are deadlines on projects that must be done. So I began toying around with the idea of a hackintosh (again). I began plugging away at getting the thing to even boot to the installer. Finally after 4 DAYS of troubleshooting and inconclusive google searches, I got to the desktop of MacOS Sierra. Here are some benchmarks of the new hackintosh

    NEW HACK BENCHES-squashed.jpeg

    R15 E5-2643 .jpeg

    Benches.001.jpeg

    As the benchmarks show, the hackintosh is a fair amount faster. FCPX takes full advantage of both CPUs while rendering and editing, but the machine is far from perfect. I am currently having an issue with one of the 16 DIMM slots on the motherboard not recognizing within MacOS, my PCIe SM951 also sometimes doesn't run at full speed (requires a full reboot) and the Advanced CPU power management does not work well at all, making the system run at stock frequencies all the time. On the upside though, the hackintosh in noticeably faster in FCPX than the Mac Pro as videos render about 25-30% faster based on my tests. At the moment is is certainly stable enough to become my main machine, but needs a few more days of testing and troubleshooting to be perfect :)
    (P.S. Mac Pro is not going anywhere)
     
  18. orph macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    cool update :) iv been looking in to E5-2680 & E5-2680 v2 chips on ebay and thinking about the same thing, there so cheep now.

    do post an update if you get power management on the cpu working, are you useing HWMonitor to watch your system?
    https://github.com/kozlek/HWSensors
     

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