• Building a CustoMac: Buyer's Guide 2012


    212
    Published on 08-02-2012 10:58 AM by
    It's an amazing time once again to build a computer. Intel's "Ivy Bridge" CPUs alongside with the latest motherboards are the fastest and most compatible consumer components we've ever tested. There is native support for Thunderbolt, NVIDIA GeForce 6xx "Kepler" graphics cards, and Ivy Bridge in OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.

    On the pro front, Apple hasn't updated their Mac Pro since 2010, but Intel's "Sandy Bridge-E/EP" has native kernel support. Socket 2011 CPUs are available in quad core, hexacore, and octacore (Sandy Bridge-EP Xeon only) options. Maximum RAM on single socket LGA-2011-based motherboards is 128 GB, making the platform ideal for tasks that need extra headroom.

    In comparison, Socket 1155 is capable of 32 GB of RAM. These no compromise supercomputers may never be fully optimized for power management, but they are the most powerful.

    For maximum ease of use with tonymacx86.com guides and methods, we put together some general hardware recommendations. These might not be the only components that work, but based on our research they're the easiest and most supported options. Use these as a jumping off point or as a shopping list. You'll be supporting the site automatically if you get anything through these links, so thanks in advance!

    Full Buyer's Guide now available at http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/search/label/CustoMac
    Comments 212 Comments
    1. alex_tzardea's Avatar
      alex_tzardea -
      Good job! I notice AMD GPU's are not in this list
    1. DudeNamedDave's Avatar
      DudeNamedDave -
      Awesome work. Thank you tony and crew!
    1. ymorimoto's Avatar
      ymorimoto -
      Thanks for the updated guide! It's great to look at the future upgrade options.

      The link for Gigabyte GA-B75M-D3H is not correct, but I concur that it is a great budget board for Ivy Bridge Hackintosh
    1. raistlin444's Avatar
      raistlin444 -
      Tony a bunch of us with the GTX 550 Ti are having issues with it. You can see here

      Nvidia 550Ti Sleep / Wake / Freeze Thread

      It seems the "Fermi Freeze" is plaguing this and a few other Fermi cards for reason.

      Not to be a downer or anything though, I know you guys have been super busy! Thanks for all you guys do
    1. ucupsz's Avatar
      ucupsz -
      woaaaaa.... finally it's out..

      thanks tony! u rocks!
    1. thelostswede's Avatar
      thelostswede -
      Quote Originally Posted by alex_tzardea View Post
      Good job! I notice AMD GPU's are not in this list
      Simple reason, the HD 6000-series is end of life and the HD 7000-series doesn't work, at least not yet, possibly never...
    1. gitaarwerk's Avatar
      gitaarwerk -
      So if I am reading it correct, the 2011 sockets ARE supported, but still no power management ?
    1. tonymacx86's Avatar
      tonymacx86 -
      I'll test my 550 Ti- but I haven't had any issues. Thanks for the heads up.
    1. DoctorWho's Avatar
      DoctorWho -
      Quote Originally Posted by gitaarwerk View Post
      So if I am reading it correct, the 2011 sockets ARE supported, but still no power management ?
      That's how I take it.
    1. marktd's Avatar
      marktd -
      Thanks! I've been looking daily for this.
    1. xkelly's Avatar
      xkelly -
      This is great! Thanks for getting this out. Question: what should those of us who are looking for an mini-itx solution? Are you planning on adding those motherboards to this list, or should we assume the itx version of some of these boards will work? Thanks again!
    1. DoctorWho's Avatar
      DoctorWho -
      So are there DSDT files for these new Gigabyte boards?
    1. tbealmear's Avatar
      tbealmear -
      Great parts selection! I think though that it would be important to list the different Intel graphics on the different processors. I got the i5-3570K not because of it being unlocked, but because it has the HD4000 graphics. Just my .02
    1. alex_tzardea's Avatar
      alex_tzardea -
      Quote Originally Posted by thelostswede View Post
      Simple reason, the HD 6000-series is end of life and the HD 7000-series doesn't work, at least not yet, possibly never...
      Yeah,that's too bad though...
    1. thelostswede's Avatar
      thelostswede -
      Quote Originally Posted by xkelly View Post
      This is great! Thanks for getting this out. Question: what should those of us who are looking for an mini-itx solution? Are you planning on adding those motherboards to this list, or should we assume the itx version of some of these boards will work? Thanks again!
      There will be a separate buyers guide for this at a later point in time.
    1. thelostswede's Avatar
      thelostswede -
      Quote Originally Posted by DoctorWho View Post
      So are there DSDT files for these new Gigabyte boards?
      No, because you don't need them any more.
    1. thelostswede's Avatar
      thelostswede -
      Quote Originally Posted by tbealmear View Post
      Great parts selection! I think though that it would be important to list the different Intel graphics on the different processors. I got the i5-3570K not because of it being unlocked, but because it has the HD4000 graphics. Just my .02
      Hence why we're currently only recommending the CPUs with HD4000 graphics for LGA-1155 boards
    1. alans17's Avatar
      alans17 -
      If I have a Core i5 2500K (Sandy Bridge) that I would like to get a little more life out of and upgrade to a Z77 board, can I still go DSDT free? Or is that only when they're coupled with Ivy bridge processors?
    1. thelostswede's Avatar
      thelostswede -
      Quote Originally Posted by alans17 View Post
      If I have a Core i5 2500K (Sandy Bridge) that I would like to get a little more life out of and upgrade to a Z77 board, can I still go DSDT free? Or is that only when they're coupled with Ivy bridge processors?
      DSDT free, not SSDT free. Also note that the HD3000 graphics seems to be glitchy in combination with a Z77 board and OS X.
    1. alans17's Avatar
      alans17 -
      I'm curious to see the results of the GTX 550 Ti as to whether or not it's going to be a real issue. It looks like the price is right for my needs. The next best card is nearly double the price. :-S