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Is Hackintosh right for me?

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Hi everyone

I wasn't sure where best to put this thread, but here seems OK? I'm having a dilemma and I'd like your guy's advice on it.

So I have been a mac user up until a few years ago when my MacBook started becoming a wreck, and have since been on my windows machine, however, since then, I've gotten way deeper into the iOS ecosytem, latest iOS devices etc, my windows is modified and skinned to look and behave as close to OSX as possible.

And with Mavericks coming out, I'm really itching to switch back to OSX full time, but here is my dillema:

My desk as it is now has everything very well placed, routed, tightly packed in etc, in other words, reconfiguring it for a different machine would be a huge/impossible pain, other than switching out my desktop with a mac mini or mac pro in its place. The mini is due a refresh, so that's out until that happens, and the mac pro is more than I need.

Another MacBook, the air or retina would be lovely, but it would be a waste as it'd be in clamshell mode 90% of the time, I much prefer using my iPad when away from the PC, so I have no real use for a laptop and would need to retrain my habits to get any use out of it.

Another reason is also not having to switch peripherals between machines for when I do need windows, that would have to be done by a KVM switch or some such with all the things I have that I'd want running on both systems, so as you can see, a hackintosh is ideal really, but I have some things holding me back.

I would like to re-use all my existing hardware, except the cpu/mobo, these are currently AMD so obviously need replacing, I'm hoping to reuse the ram (GSkill Ripjaws), the GPU (Sapphire 6870) and SSDs (Samsung 830 and OCZ Vertex 2), this would give me a really cheap OSX machine, and much faster than a mac mini or MacBook.

So if it's possible to only switch out the CPU/MOBO and have a fully functioning hackintosh, that'd be great, but then the next thing holding me back is whether there are going to be any niggles within OSX, such as iCloud services not working, or any sort of iOS integration, essentially if any of these features doesn't work, it's a pretty useless exercise :( so I need to be confident that bar hardware, it's going to run just like it would on a mac.

So that's my dilemma, what do you think?

Thanks :)
 

Going Bald

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Hi everyone

I wasn't sure where best to put this thread, but here seems OK? I'm having a dilemma and I'd like your guy's advice on it.

So I have been a mac user up until a few years ago when my MacBook started becoming a wreck, and have since been on my windows machine, however, since then, I've gotten way deeper into the iOS ecosytem, latest iOS devices etc, my windows is modified and skinned to look and behave as close to OSX as possible.

And with Mavericks coming out, I'm really itching to switch back to OSX full time, but here is my dillema:

My desk as it is now has everything very well placed, routed, tightly packed in etc, in other words, reconfiguring it for a different machine would be a huge/impossible pain, other than switching out my desktop with a mac mini or mac pro in its place. The mini is due a refresh, so that's out until that happens, and the mac pro is more than I need.

Another MacBook, the air or retina would be lovely, but it would be a waste as it'd be in clamshell mode 90% of the time, I much prefer using my iPad when away from the PC, so I have no real use for a laptop and would need to retrain my habits to get any use out of it.

Another reason is also not having to switch peripherals between machines for when I do need windows, that would have to be done by a KVM switch or some such with all the things I have that I'd want running on both systems, so as you can see, a hackintosh is ideal really, but I have some things holding me back.

I would like to re-use all my existing hardware, except the cpu/mobo, these are currently AMD so obviously need replacing, I'm hoping to reuse the ram (GSkill Ripjaws), the GPU (Sapphire 6870) and SSDs (Samsung 830 and OCZ Vertex 2), this would give me a really cheap OSX machine, and much faster than a mac mini or MacBook.

So if it's possible to only switch out the CPU/MOBO and have a fully functioning hackintosh, that'd be great, but then the next thing holding me back is whether there are going to be any niggles within OSX, such as iCloud services not working, or any sort of iOS integration, essentially if any of these features doesn't work, it's a pretty useless exercise :( so I need to be confident that bar hardware, it's going to run just like it would on a mac.

So that's my dilemma, what do you think?

Thanks :)
I think you need to cruise through the User Builds / Golden Builds forums and read some of the threads there to get some ideas. Your SSD/HDD/ODD hardware is interchangeable. The GPU will work - forum search for 6870 will show many builds using this card. RAM is another question - you just have to check the mainboard specs for what RAM will work on it.

I have built several PC-Macs on differing hardware and all work 100% just like a Mac. Do your research ahead of time to avoid wasting time and money on parts that wil not work. Your best source is the Buying Guides for compatible parts.
 
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So you don't think I'll run into any silly issues like iMessage, iTunes match, iCloud integration and things like that not working? as if even one of those features doesn't work then it's pointless to me and I should have spent the money on a real mac instead. That's my concern, as I don't seem to be able to find a whole lot of information on how well a hackintosh actually works, only lots and lots of info on how to build one and troubleshoot everything, nothing about what they're actually like in day to day use, so that's my concern, not the hardware and putting it together etc, that's a breeze, it's just whether it works exactly like a real mac once it's all put together that worries me :crazy:
 

trs96

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So you don't think I'll run into any silly issues like iMessage, iTunes match, iCloud integration and things like that not working? as if even one of those features doesn't work then it's pointless to me and I should have spent the money on a real mac instead. That's my concern, as I don't seem to be able to find a whole lot of information on how well a hackintosh actually works, only lots and lots of info on how to build one and troubleshoot everything, nothing about what they're actually like in day to day use, so that's my concern, not the hardware and putting it together etc, that's a breeze, it's just whether it works exactly like a real mac once it's all put together that worries me.
It's a question everyone has at first ( Will this really be worth it? Should I just pull out my credit card,
buy an iMac or Mini and take the easy way to get OS X?) For myself I'd say yes it has been worth it to build one of these CustoMacs.

you don't think I'll run into any silly issues like iMessage, iTunes match, iCloud integration and things like that not working?
You do need to be your own tech support and fix issues that occur. If you want perfection and don't want to do your own software upgrades and maintenance/trouble shooting then a CustoMac isn't for you. The
odds are good that you'll experience something not working on the software side of your build at some point in time. I've always been able to find a solution on this site. You can also ask for help if your research doesn't turn up a working solution. Various builds in the buyer's guide require more maintenance effort than others. A socket 2011 build will be more complex to update to a new version of OS X than the basic Mac Mini CustoMac will be. So my advice is to try out a simple, inexpensive build, use OS X for a month to get familiar with how this all works to see if a CustoMac is right for you.

The main appeal of a CustoMac for me is that I can upgrade it or replace failed components at a reasonable price. Look at the recent Apple iMac or Mac Mini 2013. Say you want to replace the HDD with
a faster SSD in your new Mini. Having the $599 base model built for you with an SSD in it is not even an option that Apple offers. The cost of having an Apple tech install one for you is way more than I want to pay. Not to mention the price of the actual SSD itself ($200) when purchased from Apple. If an iMac's monitor were to fail you wouldn't even want to see the cost of replacing that and there's no way I'd attempt to replace it myself.

With the PC midtower form factor upgrades/ repairs are a breeze. You save much $ when you build and maintain your own CustoMac. The CustoMac Mini 2013 is very inexpensive and performs nicely with a
Geek Bench score of over 7700! Tony has produced a Golden build description of all you need to know to get it fully functioning. Note: you can install the motherboard in any case you already have as long as the standoffs will support mini-itx. Add a stick of DDR3 Ram (4GB) and you can run OS X with minimal expense.

http://www.tonymacx86.com/golden-builds/109953-customac-mini-2013-ga-h87n-wifi-core-i3-4340-intel-hd-4600-a.html Read Post #1 of the thread.

So in conclusion, yes, it can work exactly like a real Mac if you build it correctly with hardware
that is compatible (see buyer's guide) Install Mavericks and add the proper kexts via multibeast
you won't be able to tell the difference in performance. Once you've got a stable build you make
a clone of it on a backup drive to reinstall if you ever do have a problem with an update.You really
need to build one for your personal use to know if it's the right choice. If you are someone who likes
to learn new things and love challenges then this is for you.

Take a look at some of the posts in the following thread and you'll get a better understanding of what
experiences TMx86 community members have had and reasons why they have created these builds for
running OS X on PC hardware.

http://www.tonymacx86.com/polls/10880-what-your-background-draws-you-hackintoshing.html
 
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Thanks for the reply, it gives me a little more confidence that hackintosh is what I'm looking for, the technical aspect is no worries for me, as I'm well used to that sort of thing, so it's just making sure it'll support all the Apple features a real mac would, I'll check that thread out, seems to be useful!

From what I gather, the Sapphire 6870 works fine in Mavericks, which is what I currently have, then I was just going to swap in the Gigabyte GA-Z87N-WIFI mobo and an i7 4770K. Which should all work fine from what I can gather.

You do need to be your own tech support and fix issues that occur. If you want perfection and don't want to do your own software upgrades and maintenance/trouble shooting then a CustoMac isn't for you. The
odds are good that you'll experience something not working on the software side of your build at some point in time.
This is the main concern and always has been, not the fact that I'll need to troubleshoot and fix things, that's no worry, the worry is that there might not actually be a fix possible for something like iMessage or one of the other iCloud features not working no matter how hard you try. That puts a real hole in the boat if that's a possibility.
 
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This is the main concern and always has been, not the fact that I'll need to troubleshoot and fix things, that's no worry, the worry is that there might not actually be a fix possible for something like iMessage or one of the other iCloud features not working no matter how hard you try. That puts a real hole in the boat if that's a possibility.
It's not a Mac because it doesn't have the hardware/software integration of a real Mac. Unless you repurpose existing hardware and want more performance than a base Mini it may not make sense for you to build a Hackintosh. I've built 3, sold one and have my Haswell system offline right now to address some issues though my Ivy Bridge system is rock solid from Lion to ML to Mavericks. (I expect that now that Mavericks has shipped my Haswell will be more stable)

I ended up buying a Mini for the business until the new Mac Pro is available to replace an aging Mac Pro 1,1 after the Haswellgot funky. My Haswell has far better bang for the buck in terms performance but there are some caveats. Upgrading the OS could be an issue though many don't upgrade at every rev. For the most part when you get a Mac you know it's going to be a Mac. Building a Hack if you know what you are doing and have the right hardware most of the time it's pretty straightforward and works just like a Mac though there are some things that may need a work around. If you are looking for a cheap Mac I don't think a Hack is right for the job. At the base level using all new parts it's not that much less than a base Mini. OTOH, if you want more performance for your dollar with the expectation that either it will take a bit more work to get operational or that at some point some features may be problematic then by all means build a Hack. There are advantages and disadvantages and as long as you are aware and willing to deal with any potential issues building a Hack (for me anyway) is a) fun and b) gives a better price/performance ratio with much more flexibility in terms of hardware choice.
 
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I'm not looking for cheap, I'm looking for something that does the job. A Mac Pro does the job, but it's also $3,000 for the base model and that's just foolhardy when the only thing I need is the CPU/GPU performance it offers and OSX, and I can theoretically get that by throwing a new mobo and faster CPU into what I have.

I'll probably give it a swerve and suffer windows for now since no one seems certain of the functionality.

Thanks for the help :)
 
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I'm not looking for cheap, I'm looking for something that does the job. A Mac Pro does the job, but it's also $3,000 for the base model and that's just foolhardy when the only thing I need is the CPU/GPU performance it offers and OSX, and I can theoretically get that by throwing a new mobo and faster CPU into what I have.

I'll probably give it a swerve and suffer windows for now since no one seems certain of the functionality.

Thanks for the help :)
A CustoMac behaves exactly like a real Mac if you do it right. I don't think I will ever buy a Mac desktop again and continue building Hackintoshes just because not only do I think it is fun to custom build a computer, but also it is $$$$ cheaper.
 
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A CustoMac behaves exactly like a real Mac if you do it right. I don't think I will ever buy a Mac desktop again and continue building Hackintoshes just because not only do I think it is fun to custom build a computer, but also it is $$$$ cheaper.
Thunderbolt hot swap doesn't work (which for most of my apps is a deal breaker why I sold my TB Hack) and USB 3.0 support is spotty. On the socket 2011 boards sleep/ power management is also an issue and on others wake on Blutooth is an issue. Some can be solved, some can not as there are hardware issues that a DSDT or kext can't address. It's as much of what one chooses to use as it is how they do it. I've built with this tool and by hand and across all builds there is hesitation right after boot where the mouse of keyboard doesn't work. While some of these issues are minor in the big picture and a Hack is nearly a Mac, there are still issues though by and large it can be a great value all things considered.

To the OP, if you want to build a Hack follow the instructions and components lists in the build guide here and you can get a build that works quite well but depending on what you want to do may or may not have 100% functionality. On my Ivy Bridge the only caveat is USB 3. Other than that and the keyboard/mouse lag after boot it behaves like the other Macs I use regularly.

EDIT: The latest version of Zenith's GenericUSBXHCI (ver 1.2.7) works with backward compatability on my Ivy Bridge. A patch to this version was released day before yesterday (Oct 27).
 
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The real question is: what is your time worth to you? Hackintosh *can* get 100% functional parity with a real Mac but it may take some effort. (In my Hack time I've only had 2 minor outages with iMessage that were solved pretty quickly. I don't use wifi, bluetooth, USB3, or thunderbolt though - my requirements are pretty specialized as I do music production on my Hack almost exclusively.)

If you absolutely have no tolerance at all for fiddling around with drivers, config files, etc, then just skip it and get a real Mac.

Personally, I don't mind a bit of messing around. I had a pretty decent Windows system already so I only needed to get a new mobo, CPU and RAM to use with my existing case, hard disks, monitor, keyboard, etc. The actual installing and getting OS X functioning didn't take more than a few hours.
 
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