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First Hackintosh with so many questions!

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Hey all,
My 20'' core 2 duo iMac has died after 5years and I decided to build a hackintosh. I'm trying to build a 'budget' hackintosh with the best hardware available. I do alot of photo editing (huge photos) in lightroom and photoshop cs6. I also consider myself a heavy user meaning I have at least 6-7 apps running at any given time.

This is what I'm thinking: (from the April 2013 CustoMac Budget ATX List)
Intel Core i5-3570K
GA-Z77-DS3H
8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
Corsair 600 Watt Modular


Now here come the questions:

  • I'm planning to go with a couple of regular SATA HDD 6gb/s. Does it matter which one I choose. I've noticed that Seagate is preferred but does it matter? I want to go with SATA due to the price.
  • For bluetooth if I choose o usb dongle off the list, I will be ok right?
  • The CustoMac Budget ATX List does not include a gfx card. If I add the cheapest GT 640 I will be ok right ? Any recommendations on the brand ?
  • Do you have any suggestions to make this even cheaper with other hardware?
  • I read some people are having issues with sleep functionality. This is very important to me. I want to have an automatic sleep schedule. For example, every night at 1am. And wake up with bluetooth ofcourse. The IOGEAR GBU521 seems to be able to do this right ?
  • Am i missing anything else ?

Sorry if my questions sound stupid but since this is my first build I want to be sure that everything will work without too much trouble!
 

Stork

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...I do alot of photo editing (huge photos) in lightroom and photoshop cs6.
IIRC, you'll need a graphics card that supports CUDA. So, I'd check nVidia's web site for the 600 series cards that support CUDA.
 
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Hey there! Thanks for the CUDA info. It seems that all geforce 6xx series have CUDA - even the cheapest 640 that I mentioned. So I'll got with that one!

Regarding my other questions ? Any help/info is greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 
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Any expert hackintosh builder care to help out a bit? Thanks!
 

Going Bald

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Now here come the questions:

  • I'm planning to go with a couple of regular SATA HDD 6gb/s. Does it matter which one I choose. I've noticed that Seagate is preferred but does it matter? I want to go with SATA due to the price.
HDDs with SATA II 3G/s are unable to use the entire 3G/s, so a platter HDD with SATA III 6G/s is kinda a waste of $$ if it cost more
What you want to go for in a HDD is the larger cache size. Given a SATA II HDD with 64Mb cache vs a SATA III HDD with 32 Mb cache I would take the SATA II drive.
  • For bluetooth if I choose o usb dongle off the list, I will be ok right?
Yes
  • The CustoMac Budget ATX List does not include a gfx card. If I add the cheapest GT 640 I will be ok right ? Any recommendations on the brand ?
That is because it saves $$ by using the on-CPU HD4000 graphics. Question is do you need anything better than HD4000?
  • Do you have any suggestions to make this even cheaper with other hardware?
additional hardware would just cost more $$$ you might not want to spend, but a SSD for the boot drive would be worth it IMHO.
  • I read some people are having issues with sleep functionality. This is very important to me. I want to have an automatic sleep schedule. For example, every night at 1am. And wake up with bluetooth ofcourse. The IOGEAR GBU521 seems to be able to do this right?
Sleep seems to be hit or miss with that board. You will just need to assemble it, install and hope for the best, then play with kexts/DSDT edits maybe and make it work if it is that important, realizing that the next update might break sleep and you have to do it over to figure how to get it working again.
 
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First off, I'd recommend be wary of the GT640 card. I notice on newegg, these cards often cost just as much as a GTX650 ($90-$120 range). If you find that's the case wherever you buy your card, look into the GTX650 instead. If it's the difference between a GTX650 with 1GB DDR5, vs. a GT640 with 2GB DDR3- the GTX650 still is the much better card of the two for Photoshop and other graphic tasks.

I personally would not recommend the onboard graphics for heavy Photoshop and intensive graphics work. In my experience, the onboard performance will do for media consumption, but I wouldn't recommend it for media creation tasks.

If sleep is really important to you, then I advise you to pick a motherboard known for working sleep. When building a Hackintosh, your motherboard choice is (IMO) the most important thing to consider. Everything else you are building around your board choice. So choose one not just for price, but for the features and performance you need.

Look through the golden builds and user builds forums for system builds that match your needs, where people report sleep works fine.

For example, I've had no issues with sleep using th GA-Z77X-UD5H (and more expensive TH model). Having built all kinds of Hackintoshes for myself and others, I say it's more than worth it to very carefully select your motherboard, and also to make it a larger budget priority if nessisary.

As for wake from sleep via bluetooth, I have no experience with that as I mainly only use USB keyboards and point devices.
 
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Thanks guys for your input and clarifications

HDDs with SATA II 3G/s are unable to use the entire 3G/s, so a platter HDD with SATA III 6G/s is kinda a waste of $$ if it cost more
What you want to go for in a HDD is the larger cache size. Given a SATA II HDD with 64Mb cache vs a SATA III HDD with 32 Mb cache I would take the SATA II drive.
Oh I didn't know that. I already have the HDD (SATA 3 6gb/s and 32mb cache) so I'll stick with that. It's good to know that thanks!

First off, I'd recommend be wary of the GT640 card. I notice on newegg, these cards often cost just as much as a GTX650 ($90-$120 range). If you find that's the case wherever you buy your card, look into the GTX650 instead. If it's the difference between a GTX650 with 1GB DDR5, vs. a GT640 with 2GB DDR3- the GTX650 still is the much better card of the two for Photoshop and other graphic tasks.
Well on amazon uk the 640 is £71 while the 650 is £116 (both 2GB but 650 has the ddr5). I mentioned the 640 because that's the base one Apple is using on their iMac. But what you are saying is to invest on that extra £45 for the ddr5. Note taken! Thanks!

Regarding sleeping since both you guys are mentioning that I will be having issues I think I need to reconsider my options. The alternative that you mention is an additional 100£ on my budget but as you said, it's really important. I must debate now with myself whether I can learn to live without sleep and shut down my machine instead just to save that extra 100£ :)
 
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Keep in mind, the boards I mentioned are examples based on what I've used. (I try to be cautious about recommending hardware I haven't ever built with myself)

I'm sure there are other less expensive current motherboards where sleep works as well, I just haven't used them personally so can't recommend. Take a look around at other's builds and guides here, there's actually a pretty decent selection of Hackintosh-compatible motherboards.
 
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