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Mar 10, 2018
I'm currently in desperate need of some expert help for my current situation. I need to create/build a mobile music production computer that allows me to run ProTools 12 and my Focusrite Clarrett Audio Interface via Thunderbolt 2. Here is what I currently have:
imac (27-inch, Mid 2011)
Processor 2.7 GHz Intel Core i5
Memory 12 GB 1333 MHz DDR3
Storage 1Tb HD
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6770M 512 MB
Running version 10.11.6

Two years ago I was going to build a hackintosh, but ended up buying this imac. I've really enjoyed it, but need to adjust my setup to accommodate some lifestyle changes. I currently have no funds for this build, so my budget will be whatever I can sell the imac for. Its in nearly excellent condition, despite being a 2011 model.

Here are my questions:

What are my options?

Are there laptops that are suitable for this project?

I've also thought of a mac mini hackintosh with iPad/tablet setup? Although I really don't want to have to rely on 120v power source, which is why I am leaning towards a laptop setup.

Would a laptop and iPad/tablet combination be possible? I'd like to try and expand my screen size, especially after getting so use to a 27 inch imac.

Do you think I'll realistically be able to sell the imac and have enough to fund the hackintosh?

Hopefully this thread is is the right place. New Member.

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Apr 22, 2016
Asus Rog g751jl touch Laptop, Clover UEFI
4th Gen Intel Core i7-4720HQ 2.6GHz processor
NVIDIA GTX 965M graphics
If you must run MacOS all of the time, you might be stuck with a macbook if you need thunderbolt working flawlessly. I have a Asus g751 hackintosh that I mainly use on windows but I can boot into MacOS when needed but... thunderbolt only works when booting into windows first then restarting and booting into MacOS, it doesn't work cold booting into MacOS. I've read the only way around this is to enable 'legacy mode' on thunderbolt in the bios however this laptop and you'll probably find most laptops, do not have legacy mode in bios for thunderbolt. If you don't mind logging into windows first, it will work. The mac side isn't flawless and took a very long time to setup. Also, you can't seem to plug a HDMI monitor into the laptop and have both the laptop screen and the HDMI monitor working at the same time, the internal screen turns off when MacOS loads. It's faster than your imac though.

You will find laptops with thunderbolt tricky to get working. See if you can find one that has 'legacy mode' support in bios. You will then probably have to go to a lot of work to get the trackpad and dedicated graphics working if it is even possible. I would start by looking at working laptop builds. I saw someone have the Asus g752 working which is newer than my model and has thunderbolt 3 instead of 2 although, you may want to research if someone has that working, theoretically I think it would work but may also require going into windows first.

The biggest issue with thunderbolt is macs have different thunderbolt firmware which no one has yet worked out how to flash onto PC thunderbolt so although the hardware is the same, the firmware is not, this is why 'legacy mode' is needed to work properly.

On another topic, you could just use ProTools 12 on windows 10, it works well for me and you can still have thunderbolt.
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Apr 17, 2018
  1. iMac
Classic Mac
  1. Centris
  2. Performa
  3. Power Mac
Years ago I was facing the same problem, as I lived between two cities, and later three. I settled for a 21.5" iMac with a Reinda iMac bag (they're not available anymore but maybe you can find one on ebay).
My main (FW) interface was sitting in my rack in my main studio, while I took an USB unit with me on the go.
Compared to a laptop you have no battery and you can't use it on your lap, but as long as you have a desk or a table and a power socket you're fine, you have a rather large screen, and you can use it as your main computer, which was also what I needed at the time since I had my files scattered across four different computers.
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