Why doesn't Mac OS X not work on a PC?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by NASCAR, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. NASCAR macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2010
    #1
    This probably has been asked, but I would like an updated answer.

    If Macs and PCs are similar as far as hardware components, what exactly causes a OS X not to work on PCs? ( no hackintosh please ).

    I'f you had two systems with the same or similar specs, why can't you just put in the snow leopard disk in the PC and have it install?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2010
    Location:
    SEMO, USA
    #2
    I think the major difference is that Mac has NO bios. Mac uses EFI. Hackintosh bootloaders emulate the EFI in order to boot Macintosh.

    Not to mention that since Mac uses a very limited set of hardware, so it doesn't even have drivers for most PC hardware.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    Macs use EFI while PCs use BIOS, I think that's one issue. Even though most of the hardware is the same in Macs and PCs, there are some differences. Ever wondered why are there like million different motherboards? Usually each model is a little different, thus some are better for OS X than others.
     
  4. jav6454 macrumors P6

    jav6454

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #4
    Drivers, EFI, limited hardware compatibility... you pick it.
     
  5. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #5
    EFI is not the problem by no means, there are already Mobos with UI-EFI for windows based Pcs.

    And OP, you can get OSX to run on a PC.
     
  6. psedog macrumors newbie

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    Jul 12, 2009
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    横須賀 Yokosuka, Japan
    #6
    Ace, he knows that you can through the Hackintosh community, but what he means is why can't you just pop in a Vanilla OSX DVD and boot into OSX.
     
  7. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #7
    iirc, OSx does have some code to prevent this. It's not that strong though.
    Apple doesn't want to make it too easy for people to just install OSx on any PC since Apple is a hardware company that uses OSx to sell comptuers.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    No, it does not.
     
  9. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Location:
    Britain
    #9
    There are conspiracy theories that say Apple embed chips in to Macs which perform an authentication 'handshake' with OS X to install/run. These are all untrue however.

    Apple can and, I'm sure does tweak parts of the OS to perform better on certain hardware, as I'm sure is evident in the new Air (OS X far outperforms Windows on the Air, even taking in to account Apple's shoddy Windows drivers). For example, modifying the way OS X manages and uses the hard drive (booting up, standby) based on the fact that all Airs ship with an SSD.

    But comments I often hear such as "The OS is tailor made for the hardware" are by and large, normally untrue. Snow Leopard runs on every Intel Mac made since January 2006, every Mac is refreshed once or twice a year, and has anywhere up to 6 different models with endless BTO configurations. We've seen the Core Duo, Merom, Penryn, i7, Santa Rosa chipsets, Nvidia chipsets, Xeon based server architectures with ECC fully buffered memory, ATI cards, Nvidia cards, HDD's and SSD's. Apple would need 10x the amount of OS X engineers to "tailor" OS X to each individual Mac. I don't buy the statement "some motherboards are better for OS X than others", it's just a standard architecture.
     
  10. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #10
    There are still differences. Some WiFi, audio, Bluetooth, network etc chips simply don't work in OS X because there is no drivers. Those are usually soldered into the motherboard, thus I said some mobos are better than others. Maybe there is something to do with firmware/BIOS and stuff as well.

    There must be something why Gigabyte mobos are preferred for Hacks, or at least that is what I've heard, seen and read.
     
  11. gnasher729, Jan 3, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2011

    gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #11
    MacOS X includes some code that checks for the presence of one particular chip with one particular 64 bit code inside. It is not particularly difficult to circumvent this, but it means that installing MacOS X on a PC and getting it to work is automatically not just copyright infringement but also a CDMA violation. It would be quite possible for say Dell to build a computer that is 100% MacOS X compatible, but putting that one chip with that 64 bit code into their computer would be illegal.


    Well, Psystar was convicted for about 700 CDMA infringements, one for each computer they sold together with MacOS X, with a fine of $2,500 for each infringement.

    Apple's copy protection is just hard enough to circumvent to get protection by the DMCA laws. And there is no copy protection at all that would keep anyone from making illegal copies running on Macintosh computers, first for the reason that you say, and second because Apple wants to avoid any problems with copy protection for legitimate users.
     
  12. Kimbie macrumors regular

    Kimbie

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    With Sandy Bridge coming out and mother boards with true EFI rather an a hacked about version, the ability to simply drop in an OSX install disk could be closer, even more so when Apple move to Sandy Bridge, it will be interesting to see how they prevent it then.

    I accept there will be driver issues, but these can be got around

    Kimbie
     
  13. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #13
    According to this thread, it doesn't really matter. There have been boards with EFI before too. Hacks will still be needed to run OS X on PC
     
  14. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #14
    While this chip is non-existant for current Macs, I understand that it was used on the BIOS based Mac Developer platforms in 2005, and had TPM chips. That is why the original OSx86 hacks used a special kernel, so it would not check for the TPM chip. When the first Intel Macs shipped, they also included TPM chips, but were not used at all, and were not needed. All Macs after are missing the TPM chips.

    AnonMac50
     

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