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Hackintosh to replace Mac Pro mid 2010

Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
3
Hello All!

I have a Mac Pro mid 2010 where some of the RAM is failing it's ECC checks, here are the following specs:
  • Dual 2.4Ghz Xeons
  • 96GB of ECC Memory
  • Dual ATI Radeon 5770 GPU's powering QTY 4x24" HP ZR2440w LCD's
  • Apple RAID with 4x480GB SSD's
I use the computer as a development environment / staging environment for my business. I prefer OS X to Linux because it's more polished for a desktop user.

I don't want to bother replacing the RAM that is failing to pass ECC checks since it's so old. I'd rather replace it but Apple has decided that pro users like me don't matter since they released a Mac Pro Jr. a few years ago that they haven't bothered to update.

The guide on here offers a number of high performance gaming/desktop motherboard / cpu / ram options for Hackintosh builders but I'm less concerned with getting consumer grade hardware and more concerned with buying hardware that is meant for workstation class loads. I want to build a Xeon + ECC RAM + RAID workstation with OS X, ideally recycling my 4 LCD monitors to avoid replacing them. Is that something anyone else has experience with?
 

trs96

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GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
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Apple has decided that pro users like me don't matter since they released a Mac Pro Jr. a few years ago that they haven't bothered to update.
Therein lies the problem. The 2013 MP uses a chipset closely related to X79 and they haven't upgraded it since then. An X99 system would meet your needs but there is no support for it in macOS. So you could either buy an X79 based board and an Ivy Bridge E CPU and it would work well but it's terribly outdated. You could go with a newer X99 chipset system which performs much better but the support isn't there. Try searching the User and Golden Builds sections for X99 builds that you could copy. Decide whether you are ready, willing and able to do all the research and work it takes to make one of those fully functional. It is a major investment of your time and energy to go that route. It can work if that's what you want to do to be able to run macOS on your PC hardware. It's much more involved than a simple Windows install on X99 hardware because macOS is only written for use on Apple's systems. Very specific hardware configurations.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
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Thanks for the insights and information about why I'm finding so few build options. I guess I just repair the old unit in the hopes that Apple pulls it's head out of the sand and releases something Pro users actually want to buy.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
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Thanks for the feedback.

The more I think about it the less likely I think I am to go about fixing this Mac Pro. The eBay prices for this machine are still very high and will allow me to upgrade to a much newer hardware solution from a PC vendor. I'll have to virtualize Windows if I need office and I'll lose iMessage / Keychain / etc... from Apple for switching to another OS for my workstation but my machine is on it's third RAID card battery, one stick of RAM is reporting ECC errors, and the RAID array has been in place since 2012 so it's bound to fail soon. Meanwhile the current Mac Pro is embarrassingly out of date compared to newer hardware.

Wish Apple would fill the void but it seems HP and others are poised to capture this market of pro's from Apple.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/workstations/mac-to-z.html

If Apple steps back into the arena I'll gladly come back to them. In the meantime I'm likely going to switch my desktop away from Apple for the first time since 2004. Something I thought I'd never do.
 

UtterDisbelief

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Thank you. :) This has been an interesting, if short, discussion. A pity going the Hackintosh route couldn't supply the answer you needed to fill the Mac Pro void.

It goes to illustrate the need for workstation quality hardware which is now something clearly lacking in the Apple line-up. When I've read about the latest CGI and Hollywood blockbusters using render-farms to create their special-effects I don't suppose I ever visualised Apple Macs being used. I've always imagined lots of Windows or Linux PCs. The domain of Mac Pros being graphics designers in their advertising, animation or recording studios! Universities too, probably use Linux/UNIX in the majority of their computer-intensive tasks.

Reading the HP advertising you link to I'm surprised at the low cost of the hardware there. It sounds great. Indeed for a professional I can see the need for the specs they offer.

Hackintoshes always produce a compromise I guess - emulation and ability versus reliability.

Good luck with your work! :)
 

trs96

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Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
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  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Thanks for the feedback.
Wish Apple would fill the void but it seems HP and others are poised to capture this market of pro's from Apple.

http://www8.hp.com/us/en/campaigns/workstations/mac-to-z.html

If Apple steps back into the arena I'll gladly come back to them. In the meantime I'm likely going to switch my desktop away from Apple for the first time since 2004. Something I thought I'd never do.

What would be an awesome move by Apple, which will likely never happen, would be to allow HP to sell their Z series workstations with MacOS pre-installed. We already know that it's quite easy to install macOS onto HP Pro desktops. If Apple would allow this, those that use FCP X and Premiere Pro could have vastly more powerful editing systems. Would be a win win for both companies. Steve Wozniak said that he went to HP five times in the mid 1970's asking them to build his first Apple I for him and they turned him down every time. I'm certain HP would not say no if they offered them this scenario today.
 
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What about installing 2x5690 Xeons and fast PCI-E SSD (like HyperX predator) in this Mac Pro? It will probably beat the ***t out of newer "trashcans". RAM is not a problem too, there are tons of compatible DDR3 ECC Ram on ebay.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2010
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I ran a hackintosh several years back (Core 2quad). After playing the clone the hard drive before every update game (I'm an info sec person) for over a year, I finally gave up and switched to a Mac Mini. Recently I wanted to upgrade to 4k monitor, and the Mini was struggling. After reviewing price vs performance on 5k iMac vs latest Mac Pros, and reading Barefeats benchmarks, I went out and bought a used 2009 Mac Pro with the update to get it to MacPro5,1 and put a 980Ti card in it. Still have to be careful about updates, but with SSD boot disk, it's the best of both worlds.

I expect my Mac Pro to last me at least 5 years and by then the tech will have changed again.

I'd fix the ECC RAM, get a nice SSD to boot off of, and move the RAID to a SFF FreeBSD box for ZFS.
 
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