The Hackintosh Thread

Discussion in 'Alternatives to Mac Hardware' started by lowendlinux, Jul 13, 2015.

  1. lowendlinux, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    lowendlinux Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Since asking about creating a hackintosh sticky I've been going to do this so here it goes:

    This is the MR hackintosh thread, yes I know there are other places on the web that discuss this but IMHO they are all either to technical or to newbish. I don't want to own this thread but I'd kinda like to consolidate some of the various threads into one and this is my attempt to do that. I know there are people here in MR that are hackintoshers because I see them in the hackintosh neighborhoods of the web so gents let try to make this thread valuable. If you're going to ask a question please give the whole story what the specs are, what you're trying to accomplish, what you've done so far (no everything isn't an answer), what your research has brought up this isn't reddit. One last thing If you don't like hackintosh that's great but please don't troll the thread the simple fact is people have been doing it for 10 years now it's not going away no mater how much righteous indignation you feel. If you have a working hackintosh put your specs here and anything tricky you had to do to make it work. To me working means it sleeps. has speed step, it connects to the app store, it does iMessage, Maps, and any other Apple SW. Yes I know X79 & X99 don't have any power management and won't sleep and since you can't fix that I'll accept those. If folks feel this definition is too much or two little please correct it I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed so I'm flexible.

    I have an HP Z600
    GTX 760
    32GB DDR3 1600 RDIMMS 4@8GB
    SSD on an X2 marvel PCI-e to SATA controller

    It meets all the qualifications of "working". To install I needed an installer that used clover because if I didn't my USB Port would disappear as soon as OS was loaded. I need voodoo for audio and it's not needed to be reinstalled during upgrades. Initially it too a lot of futzing to get it to work right since then it's been easy sailing.
  2. bladerunner2000, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015

    bladerunner2000 macrumors 68000


    Jun 12, 2015
    I built a Hackintosh with the following specs (prices in Canadian dollars)

    Case: Fractal Design Define R4 Arctic White w/ Window Side Panel - $145
    CPU: Intel Core i7 4790k - $420
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK - $180
    RAM: 32GB Kingston HyperX Fury White 1866mhz (4 sticks @ 8gb each) - $220
    Power Supply: Seasonic X650 - $160
    GPU: Asus Strix GTX 960 4GB - $305
    Storage For Mac OS X: Intel 320 120gb SSD - $0 (taken from my old comp)
    Storage For Windows: Western Digital Blue 1TB - $65
    Cooler: Phanteks TC14PE - $105
    Wifi: TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 - $45

    Total Cost: $1,645 CAD / $1,299 USD

    The Final Build:
    (windowed side panel taken off for photo)



    Took me two days to get it all put together, installed and get the quirks worked out with the motherboard's BIOS. Still having issues running 32gb of RAM, it's stable at 16gb, will need to do some more McGyvering around with it. I should note that I didn't take into account that Gigabyte motherboards have a Qualified Vendors List of RAM sticks that are basically 'certified' and assumed any RAM would work without hitch only to find out my dilemma later (oddly enough, Windows runs perfectly fine with 4 sticks. I still need to try out some timing settings in the BIOS, potentially a Systems Definition to mimic an iMac 14,2, or finally, a BIOS update. My RAM is HX318C10FWK2/16. If all else fails I'm going to be forced to run the system at 16gb and sell the two other sticks OR swap my motherboard to the Z97X-UD5H-BK as my RAM is on the support list for that mobo.


    32GB RAM issue seems to be fixed. Did a new install of OS X Yosemite with a new bootable USB installed (last time I created it with Legacy Support). This time I chose iMac 14,2 system definition and omitted the NCPM. However, I needed to switch to Mac Pro 3,1 system definition to install the Nvidia Web Drivers. In BIOS, loaded optimized defaults and after OS X installed I disabled the IGP and LAN WAKE, as well as turned off wake on LAN and ethernet (I'm running wireless) as well as
    VT-d disabled and Intel Virtualization Disabled.

    OS X Installation:

    In regards to the install, it was actually significantly easier than I anticipated thanks to the instructions laid out on TonyMacx86.

    Essentially, all one really needs to do is find a motherboard from TonyMac's Buyer's Guide and then look for a user build in the forums as the guidelines state to show the steps necessary. Then, just follow the steps. For my motherboard, I use this guide.

    Chimera boot screen is great as it allows me to quickly select if I want to boot into OS X or my Windows partition found on another hard drive. Boot time from the point of turning on the computer to getting into OS X is actually surprisingly fast with the SSD, in fact, faster than my old 2008 Mac Pro with an SSD.


    My current Geekbench score is 18,041 (64 bit multicore) without overclocking. This is roughly the same speed as a 2009 Xserve. The iMac Retina with the same processor scores 16,547 (scores here: but it's lower because it has very poor cooling and it's throttled down. If I chose to overclock, I could hit around 22,000 points (pretty normal for the 4790k).

    Overall performance, this thing is AWESOME. The ability to have true SLI in Windows, plenty of fast CUDA cores for work in After Effects, 60fps+ gaming across all games at max settings (1920x1200 w/ 2xMSAA) and the options of swapping parts at will is freaking GREAT. I'm finally not bound to the limitations of an iMac or the ridiculous price tag of a Mac Pro. THIS is the middle ground that Apple has been in need of creating for YEARS but refuses to do so.


    In regards to temperatures, idle temps in OS X (via iStat Menus, yes they work) are around 26-29C, which is very low. Running chrome, with a few extensions and playing back a youtube clip jumps the temps to around 31-34C. Max temperatures are at 75C, not too shabby considering it's air cooled. I might try a different method of applying the thermal paste.

    Noise Levels:

    As for noise levels, they are insanely low. I have a very difficult time hearing the machine run... I have to put my ear up to the computer just to hear it at idle. I've *carefully* selected ultra quiet parts for it, so its almost dead silent. What's crazy is that the noise levels could be even lower IF I turned my power supplies mode into hybrid (fan turns on only when under 20% or higher) but I prefer to keep it cool AND the fact that the side panel has a window where as the standard case has sound isolated padding to keep noise to an absolute minimum. At full load, the computer generates only a low hum thanks to the GTX 960 being a quiet card and it's fans only turning when hitting 60C temps.


    Once setup though, nearly everything works as normal EXCEPT for:
    Audio doesn't work after waking from sleep mode but I use USB speakers so it's not a big deal. This can be fixed but I haven't looked into it yet.

    Facetime and iMessage I can't confirm if they work, the apps load but I dont have any accounts to log into as I use Android.

    Conclusions & Comparison to a Mac Pro:

    I wonder why I never did this sooner. I've owned a PowerMac G4 MDD, Mac Pro 1,1, Mac Pro 3,1, MacBook Pro 2010, 2011 and 2012. Overall value of this machine has been terrific but without the limitations of my previous Mac Pro desktops. The 2008 Mac Pro I had created an incredible bottleneck with a GTX 660 and GTX 960 I had in it which was the final straw for me to ditch the desktop Mac Pro experience. While I could have opted for a used 2009 or 2010 dual processor Mac Pro and upgraded the processors to the x5690 processors for an addition $500 USD + shipping & customs import taxes (I live in Canada), finding a 2009 Mac Pro at a reasonable price WITHOUT scratches, dings, etc. would be difficult and would cost me about $2,000 USD anyway while also having to run two processors at 130 watts each, thus generating a lot of heat and ultimately fan noise to keep things cool which DOES make a difference in my room, it gets very warm with that much power consumption especially with my Dell u2410 monitor (it runs very hot). I've actually made a comparison of costs of 'geekbench points', essentially how much each geekbench point is worth dollars to points wise here. And while an old 2009/2010 Mac Pro upgraded to two X5690 processors DOES prove to be extremely cost effective, there are other necessary costs with it as well; requires additional cards for USB 3.0 and those have been unreliable. The cost is greater anyway and I don't yet require THAT much horsepower.
  3. mcnallym, Jul 13, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2015

    mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    Since the nMP came out then there are downloads to give the X79/2011 boards Power Management. You just have to look on those other sites for it. I suspect that the X99 won't get it until the nMP is updated and OSX gets support for it

    If look there are people out there with Supermicro X9 based board - dual 2011 socket systems out there working nicely. They appear to be quite compatible with the OSX, just make sure you don't go over the core limit that OSX seems to be able to work with. Some people have looked at X10 series however as these are 2011-3 rather then 2011 socket/chipsets then I suspect that is needing the next nMP before they get supported nicely.

    Perhaps however rather then posting this in the Mac Pro Section then the Forum moderators can create a specific area rather then getting bundled in with the Mac Pro sections. Most Hackinstoshes tend to be more around the iMac spec for instance being based on the Z77/Z87/Z97 mainstream chipsets and 1150 processors rather then Mac Pro with X58/X79/X99 chipsets and the enthusiast processors
  4. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    I imagine a Hackintosh that follows Mac Pro 5,1 specs closely must be easy to build yet have better upgradability if the X58 motherboard has more slots
  5. lowendlinux thread starter Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    Actually computers that track the iMac are the easiest.
  6. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    But if you get an X58 mobo you can install dual CPU. There are also X58 with PCIE 3, USB 3 and SATA 3 built in. When my Mac Pro no longer serves me I will move the components across to an X58 mobo and make it a real Windows machine. Then I will see what Apple is selling at that time to decide if I want to stay with OSX. I think Apple should just make a version of OSX to install on any PC.
  7. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2012
    How old are the CPUs that would work in such a system though? Modern Haswell CPUs are significantly faster than the CPUs from the cMP.
  8. Inutopia macrumors 6502


    Apr 8, 2009
    South of Heaven
    I'd like that too, but it doesn't make it likely to happen.
  9. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008
    There are no X58 boards supporting Dual CPU or PCI-E 3 slots. If you know of one please provide a link. X58 never supported PCI-E 3.0 slots, though you can plug PCI-E 3.0 cards into the PCI-E 2.0 slots. Dual CPU Boards like EVGA SR-2 were 5520 chipsets rather then X58.
  10. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    I'm game, and take into account that this is from 2 years ago.

    From seeing that the Mac Pro was basically discontinued back then and not knowing how that they'd turn it into what the Mac Pro is now, people loved that case. With that in mind, I took the following:

    CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K Ivy Bridge 3.4GHz (3.8GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI LGA 1155 Intell Z77 mini-ITX Motherboard
    GPU: Sapphire Radeon R9 280 3GB GDDR5 DVI-I/DVI-D/HDMI/DP Dual-X with PCI-Express Graphics Card Boost 11230-00-20G Video Card
    Memory: CORSAIR Vengeance 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Low Profile Memory
    PSU: Antec TruPower New Blue 750W 80Plus Gold Power Supply
    Fan: Antec Kuhler H2O 620 Closed Loop Liquid Cooling System
    SSD: OCZ Vertex4 2.5" 240GB SATA III SSD
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 2.5" 7200RPM SATA III HDD
    HDD: Western Digital Caviar Green 1.5TB 3.5" 5400RPM SATA III HDD
    Optical: Lite-ON 5.25" 48x SATA III DVD+RW/DVD-RW
    Case: BitFenix Prodigy Black / Plastic Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case

    And based on this:

    I built my version of this:

    I saved a bit of money on the fact that I previously owned a Sapphire Radeon HD6950 2GB card, and unlocked the second core to bump it up to HD6970 specs, owned the 1.5TB HDD, CD drive, memory, and PSU. So adding up those prices:

    DVDRW: $18
    Memory: $32
    1.5TB HDD: $40
    Radeon HD6950: $300
    PSU: $85

    That left me with getting the Motherboard, Case, CPU, SSD, and Liquid Cooling. That's where Black Friday came in:

    Liquid Cooling and Motherboard in a combo for $190.
    CPU for $230.
    Case for $50.
    SSD for $80.

    Throwing all of that in, and the results look similar to this:


    I just replaced the 1.5TB Green with a Samsung 850 EVO 2.5" SSD, and the HD6950 with the R9 280, and all works smoothly. In fact, since moving everything from this to my MBA, I reformatted this for Windows 7, but am happy that I can turn this back into a hackintosh at any point. My only regret is that the Arctic White case was sold out at the time, and I didn't want to wait and pay more for it the day after Black Friday, so I pulled the trigger on the black. White would have looked smoother, especially if I took out the ODD.

  11. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    You're right but it's still bad ass
  12. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    Faster per clock but big deal. That Dual X5690 isn't going to feel slow for a long time.
  13. lowendlinux thread starter Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    You can hide to OD by cutting the tabs off the blank, taking the front shield of the OD tray then two way taping the blank onto the tray itself.

    I hate OD's in any case so I always hide them.
  14. three macrumors 6502a


    Jan 22, 2008
    Washington State
    Love my Hackintosh! I built it a little over a year ago and it's served me very well ever since I built it. It doesn't have the highest specifications but once again it is totally perfect for my usage.

    CPU: Intel Core i5-4570
    Motherboard: Gigabyte H87M-D3H
    RAM: 8GB GeIL Evo Potenza 1600MHz
    Graphics Card: Gigabyte GTX 760
    Storage: 240GB PNY Optima (OS X Yosemite), 240GB PNY Optima (Windows 10), 1TB WD Blue (storage)
    PSU: Seasonic 520w (can't remember the name) modular
    Case: Cooler Master N200

    In total I believe I spent around $650 on the build. I'm playing around with installing OS X El Capitan on a spare HDD I've got laying around, but I don't know. Might if I'm bored one day.
  15. bradl macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2008
    No, but power consumption is going to be brutal. TDP for just one of those is 130W. Double that, plus memory, PCIe video card, and you're already pushing nearly 650W with a decent video card, 2 sticks of DDR3 memory, and 3 drives. Is 24 cores worth that, and the price tag with it, if you can get just as much performance with 1/3rd of the power consumption the X5690s have?

  16. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    Power consumption is important to me but 90% of the time you won't come close to 650w you mentioned even under full load. People here have measured their Mac Pro under full work and gaming load and it's lower than that. But even when the system isn't operating at its highest performance it's still not going to feel slow for a very long time thanks to software being made more efficient and better at distributing resources. Yeah I'd rather have a Haswell, Broadwell, Skylake, etc but try to find dual six core Xeon for those architectures that hit 30,000 Geekbenches and cost just $400 for a pair of CPUs at current prices.
  17. Fl0r!an macrumors 6502a

    Aug 14, 2007
    Nice to have a thread like this here! :)
    I've built my hackintosh exactly 5 years ago (on 10.6 I think) with these specs:

    CPU: Intel i5-750
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2
    RAM: 4GB DDR3
    Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD 5770
    HDD: 1TB Western Digital
    PSU: beQuiet! 530W
    Case: Old used PowerMac G5 case :)
    Bootloader: Chameleon
    Price: ~700€

    In the mean time, I've installed some upgrades (now running 10.10):

    CPU: Intel i5-750
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-P55M-UD2
    RAM: 8GB DDR3 (+50€)
    Graphics: Sapphire Radeon R9 280 (+70€, sold the HD 5770 as flashed MacPro card)
    HDD: 2TB Fusion Drive (2TB HDD + 128GB SSD) + 2TB Storage + 1TB Windows (+ ?€)
    PSU: beQuiet! 530W
    Case: Old used PowerMac G5 case :)
    Bootloader: Clover

    It obviously can't compete with todays high-end machines, but it's still going strong! Runs every game in OS X completely smooth on maxed-out settings, and on the Windows side only stuff like GTA V on Ultra settings makes it sweat.
    On the software side, the only real problem was the iMessage outage last year, but I guess this affected every hackintosh user out there. Besides that, it's as stable and reliable as a real Mac. Major OS X upgrades take a few clicks more than normal, but that's the only notable difference as an enduser.
    On the hardware side, my SSD died due to an firmware bug short time after installing it (thanks, Crucial...). Never had any problems besides that.
  18. lowendlinux thread starter Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    I sent Olly the message asking for it to be stickyed so lets see if that happens
  19. lowendlinux thread starter Contributor


    Sep 24, 2014
    North Country (way upstate NY)
    When I first contacted the mods about this the justification I used was that as the MP get's less expandible and less frequently updated the MP users where the most likely to build one. Whether this thread stays here or not I don't know but I did ask first.
  20. SoyCapitanSoyCapitan macrumors 68040


    Jul 4, 2015
    On my cMP the sound output is louder and perhaps clearer in Windows than OSX. Five bars in Windows is equal to full volume in Yosemite. Is this also the case with Hackintoshes?
  21. Asgorath macrumors 65816

    Mar 30, 2012

    If you really want to spend basically twice as much money on an architecture that's 6+ years old at this point and massively slower in single-threaded performance (which is still extremely important in many applications), knock yourself out. I've used a 2010 Mac Pro and a modern Haswell system, and yes, the former feels very slow in comparison.
  22. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    Thanks to all of you. I really enjoy reading about your adventures in the hackentosh world. I think one day I'll consider building one if Apple continues castrating the Mac Mini. Would be nice to make something the size of a Shuttle cased computer run a hex cpu and a respectable video card with OSX.
  23. shoehornhands macrumors regular

    Oct 9, 2014
    I just recently sold a Hackintosh with the following:

    -Intel i7-4930K (overclocked to 4.4GHz)
    -ASUS Rampage IV Formula
    -Sapphire AMD Radeon R9 290X (4GB Reference Model)
    -16GB of Samsung (MV-3V4G3D/US) Memory
    -512GB Crucial MX100 SSD
    -Seasonic Platinum 1000W PSU

    I had to play around with it a bit at first, but once I got everything figured out, it was rock solid and worked just like any other Mac. The only thing I wasn't able to get working was the ASMedia USB 3.0 controller (ended up just disabling it in the bios).

    Anyway, as I said, I recently sold it (parted it out) because it wasn't getting used a whole lot (even though I never had any issues with it, I still never really felt comfortable using a Hackintosh as a primary work machine). I'm sure I'll end up building another one when I'm not so busy with work / have a bit more free time to mess around with it.
  24. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    Please report the post that starts this thread so the moderation team can consider it. OllyW is currently on vacation.
  25. Eau Rouge macrumors regular

    Sep 21, 2013
    What's the verdict nowadays on Chimera vs Clover? Is one significantly better than the other? I have a stable vanilla TonyMac Mountain Lion box that I cobbled together from spare parts and it's served me well. I plan on doing a clean install once El Capitan is released and the community has worked through the kinks. I'm wondering if I should consider different bootloaders?

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