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Hey all! Am a first time poster here but over the last few months have been doing as deep a dive as I can (given schedule) on using a hackintosh to power a ProTools HD, specifically HD Native, rig.

While I have had some limited success in following a few related threads, before I pull the trigger on ordering components and getting stuck into a build, I wanted to ask if anyone that has had some experience with ProTools HDx/Native systems with hackintosh.

A bit of info:

I intend to use Mojave as my OS.

I have the thunderbolt HD Native box, and would like to stay with that piece (ideally don’t want to use pcie so I can freely switch between my MBPro rig and this desktop rig just by moving the cable).

I have a UAD octo satellite thunderbolt box for plugin DSP.

I have a large library of virtual instruments which are vital to my workflow. That being said, forgive me if this is naive, but I feel like if my install is solid this really shouldn’t be a point of concern. Am I over simplifying this?

I will be using an Avid HD Omni as my interface connecting to my HD Native box. I’m also running 8 channels of optical down an ADAT line to/from a UA4-710D. I intend to upgrade to an Apogee Symphony MKII digilink model next year.

While I have the cash on hand to invest in a new Mac Pro, the idea of spending $10k on a computer that will rival a $3-3.5k hackintosh makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

I am not expecting one be all end all answer here - I know this is a complex ask...but the core requirements of this theoretical build are:

Thunderbolt audio capability/compatibility

Ability to run large ProTools sessions with ~128 voices being a common thing

USB3 compatibility

General Thunderbolt compatibility (UAD satellite and other peripherals)

iMessage compatibility (sounds dumb but I see dozens and dozens of threads discussing nonfunctional iMessage, and I send lots of files directly through that platform to my clients so they can check rough mixes on their phones/in cars easily).

———

Im a producer/engineer/mixer that works with Muse, Coldplay, and other such acts. I would love to spread the gospel of hackintosh building into the high end music production community as we are ALL fed up with Apples complete lack of respect for the industries needs. However, like virtually all of my colleagues, I am undereducated when it comes to hackintosh builds (despite having built 3 gaming PCs of my own and more for others, this is a totally different beast) So it seems borderline scary.

Ultimately, my rig is my lifeline and the way I make my money. That being said, I feel as though (provided there are answers to the above questions), I’m a good candidate to make the switch to hack world. Audio professionals already don’t upgrade OS often, as we just want a working stable interaction between ProTools/DAW and our OS. My primary work rig is currently still on Sierra ...not High, just vanilla.

I have great respect for this community, and even more for your time! Let me know if and of you have any info regarding the above!

Cheers!
 
Joined
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Hey all! Am a first time poster here but over the last few months have been doing as deep a dive as I can (given schedule) on using a hackintosh to power a ProTools HD, specifically HD Native, rig.

While I have had some limited success in following a few related threads, before I pull the trigger on ordering components and getting stuck into a build, I wanted to ask if anyone that has had some experience with ProTools HDx/Native systems with hackintosh.

A bit of info:

I intend to use Mojave as my OS.

I have the thunderbolt HD Native box, and would like to stay with that piece (ideally don’t want to use pcie so I can freely switch between my MBPro rig and this desktop rig just by moving the cable).

I have a UAD octo satellite thunderbolt box for plugin DSP.

I have a large library of virtual instruments which are vital to my workflow. That being said, forgive me if this is naive, but I feel like if my install is solid this really shouldn’t be a point of concern. Am I over simplifying this?

I will be using an Avid HD Omni as my interface connecting to my HD Native box. I’m also running 8 channels of optical down an ADAT line to/from a UA4-710D. I intend to upgrade to an Apogee Symphony MKII digilink model next year.

While I have the cash on hand to invest in a new Mac Pro, the idea of spending $10k on a computer that will rival a $3-3.5k hackintosh makes me throw up in my mouth a little bit.

I am not expecting one be all end all answer here - I know this is a complex ask...but the core requirements of this theoretical build are:

Thunderbolt audio capability/compatibility

Ability to run large ProTools sessions with ~128 voices being a common thing

USB3 compatibility

General Thunderbolt compatibility (UAD satellite and other peripherals)

iMessage compatibility (sounds dumb but I see dozens and dozens of threads discussing nonfunctional iMessage, and I send lots of files directly through that platform to my clients so they can check rough mixes on their phones/in cars easily).

———

Im a producer/engineer/mixer that works with Muse, Coldplay, and other such acts. I would love to spread the gospel of hackintosh building into the high end music production community as we are ALL fed up with Apples complete lack of respect for the industries needs. However, like virtually all of my colleagues, I am undereducated when it comes to hackintosh builds (despite having built 3 gaming PCs of my own and more for others, this is a totally different beast) So it seems borderline scary.

Ultimately, my rig is my lifeline and the way I make my money. That being said, I feel as though (provided there are answers to the above questions), I’m a good candidate to make the switch to hack world. Audio professionals already don’t upgrade OS often, as we just want a working stable interaction between ProTools/DAW and our OS. My primary work rig is currently still on Sierra ...not High, just vanilla.

I have great respect for this community, and even more for your time! Let me know if and of you have any info regarding the above!

Cheers!

I have a client who uses a GA Z390 Designare/Mojave setup(more or less the same as my rig) with Pro Tools HDX(so PCIe) and 2x Avid MTRX(48 i/o). This works fine.

TB is the weak spot on Hacks, the ports work for some stuff and not for others. TB networking doesn't work at all, for example. Hot swap may work, or may not.

UAD stuff in general works fine on a Hack, TB or PCIe.

Zero problems with plug ins and VI's. These all work. I have my samples on an internal 2TB NVME SSD.

You could also switch to Pro Tools on Windows 10... Although an official compatible HP Z4 workstation is not cheap either.
 
Joined
Oct 8, 2019
Messages
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Which TB version is PT HD Native?

Hey e-troc! PT HD Native is thunderbolt 2. There is a pcie version but I’m not inclined to switch to that as I need to be able to switch back and forth between a laptop rig/other Macs that my clients might have for a project/my main machine (theoretically; a hackintosh).

I have a client who uses a GA Z390 Designare/Mojave setup(more or less the same as my rig) with Pro Tools HDX(so PCIe) and 2x Avid MTRX(48 i/o). This works fine.

TB is the weak spot on Hacks, the ports work for some stuff and not for others. TB networking doesn't work at all, for example. Hot swap may work, or may not.

UAD stuff in general works fine on a Hack, TB or PCIe.

Zero problems with plug ins and VI's. These all work. I have my samples on an internal 2TB NVME SSD.

You could also switch to Pro Tools on Windows 10... Although an official compatible HP Z4 workstation is not cheap either.

Hey zipb! Thanks so much for the reply I really appreciate it.

I too am looking at a Designare mobo; the x299x 10g newer one, to go alongside one of the newer intel 18 core 2066 socket CPU’s that dropped a month or so back.

Regarding hot plug - I’ve had this bookmarked for a minute as a thread I planned to follow when I start my build.

TB networking isn't a big requirement for me. I’ve not used it yet in my working life. All I’ve ever really used TB for is my UA twin for my mobile rig, a blackmagic SSD drive bay, and the afore mentioned HD Native box.

If I can’t get hotswap working that would be sad...but not a dealbreaker. TB not working for my HD native box would be biiig setback though as the additional headphone amp/flexibility to swap between my mobile rig and my primary rig by moving a cable would be ideal.

Great news re-plugs, UAD, VIs, and nvme sample drive...got me smiling already! I heavily lean on the UAD stuff.

If ya have any further insight on Thunderbolt it’d be really appreciated. I suppose in a worst case scenario I could go back to the pcie version - as I really am not trying to buy an HDX card rn on top of hefty rig I’ve specced out - and going to pcie hd native feels like a pure downgrade.

Thanks again for the responses
 
Joined
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Messages
752
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime II
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I built mine for Pro Tools LE with UAD and Antelope interfaces along with a UAD PCI card. I trust mine completely and will likely never look back on buying a Mac desktop. As for MBP, ok I'll need a new one some day. It changed the way I mix with not having to freeze or print constantly. It just works.

I'll say this much about it, sometimes it's hard to stop tinkering with it. You'll notice another extra mile you can go and you'll be so tempted. There are so many nuances and its endless fun.

Let me know if you need any help with it!

EDIT: Oh and Thunderbolt is at a good state now. I've got my hotswapable, I can boot without a device connected, and we're getting closer and closer to full native behavior. Right now your card acts a PCI Bridge which is enough for this.
 
Joined
Dec 4, 2011
Messages
132
Motherboard
GA-Z370 G 7-F11
CPU
i7-8700K OC 5.0 GHz
Graphics
RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Hey e-troc! PT HD Native is thunderbolt 2. There is a pcie version but I’m not inclined to switch to that as I need to be able to switch back and forth between a laptop rig/other Macs that my clients might have for a project/my main machine (theoretically; a hackintosh).

Hey zipb! Thanks so much for the reply I really appreciate it.

I too am looking at a Designare mobo; the x299x 10g newer one, to go alongside one of the newer intel 18 core 2066 socket CPU’s that dropped a month or so back.[...]

X299 is extremely cumbersome compared to Z390. I would go with the Z390 Designare (e.g. with an i9 9900K) especially since the corresponding Golden Build seems to offer the most solid TB experience so far:


I have been using a Z370 Gaming 7 with i7 8700K as my main audio workstation for a year now and performance has never been an issue despite high track counts and extensive use of plug-ins. There really is no need for X299 when it comes to audio.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
752
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime II
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
X299 is extremely cumbersome compared to Z390. I would go with the Z390 Designare (e.g. with an i9 9900K) especially since the corresponding Golden Build seems to offer the most solid TB experience so far:


I have been using a Z370 Gaming 7 with i7 8700K as my main audio workstation for a year now and performance has never been an issue despite high track counts and extensive use of plug-ins. There really is no need for X299 when it comes to audio.

You nailed it bud. Same with mine.

@avonkorff We need fast single core speed for the audio and 12 to 16 cores is awesome for plugins. The trade off for more cores is obviously slower single core speed. i7/i9 is the best middle man.

Absolutely if I were you I'd buy at 9900k on a z370 and stick 32-64gb of RAM in there. Also, don't blow it. Stick OS on an NVME.
 
Joined
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Messages
752
Motherboard
Asus Z370-A Prime II
CPU
i7-8700
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RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Totally agree with e-troc and NATA. Z370 or 390, 9900K, 32-64 GB, big NVME SSD's, simple and effective.

Speaking of NVME, I grabbed one of those Intel 660p's that don't do so hot as an OS drive and I use it as my Session drive. I just dump into to my Archive every quarter or half a year.
 
Joined
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Messages
5
EDIT: all this to say...I was already strongly considering just going the i9 9900K and z390 route...and these comments by e-troc, NATAM, and zipb have swung me closer to just going that route and forgetting my pipe dream of a dual boot Windows Gaming rig//Mac OS DAW focused build.


You nailed it bud. Same with mine.

@avonkorff We need fast single core speed for the audio and 12 to 16 cores is awesome for plugins. The trade off for more cores is obviously slower single core speed. i7/i9 is the best middle man.

Absolutely if I were you I'd buy at 9900k on a z370 and stick 32-64gb of RAM in there. Also, don't blow it. Stick OS on an NVME.
Totally agree with e-troc and NATA. Z370 or 390, 9900K, 32-64 GB, big NVME SSD's, simple and effective.
Speaking of NVME, I grabbed one of those Intel 660p's that don't do so hot as an OS drive and I use it as my Session drive. I just dump into to my Archive every quarter or half a year.


edit 2: my ultimate goal was to have a dual boot Windows high end gaming PC and a Mac OS DAW (PT) focused build. The priority is the professional side of things (Mac/PT) hence this thread, but the dream was to have a dual boot, or perhaps virtualization specced rig, with a GPU dedicated to the Windows side...all in one case with one CPU/Mobo/Ram config. I realize this was a pipe dream and would require some exploration/hiring a specialist to help me get things stable...but after 3 separate recommendations of a rig I already had my eye on as the gold standard...now am thinking of just doing golden build.
 
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