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i7 Hackintosh Review and Guide - With Pics!


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#1
Cindori

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After running a Mac Pro for 4 years, I felt it was time to move on.

Being stuck with EFI 32 and no way to upgrade the system, I was itching for a new rig.

But buying the next-gen Mac Pro would cost me like 3200$ where I would get the same specs as a cheap PC. I also feared to be stuck yet again with a non-upgradeable machine.

So I took the plunge:



Intel Core i7 920 2.66 GHz 2575kr
ATI Radeon 4890 1800kr
Gigabyte EX58-UD5 2295kr
Corsair 850w 1517kr
1TB Seagate Barracuda 793kr
Fractal Design Define R2, Silver 795kr
Corsair Dominator DHX+ DDR3 1600MHz 6GB 2048kr
Samsung 22x DVD RW 282kr


Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm, 4x 492kr
Corsair H50 Hydro Series CPU Cooler 714kr
Akasa Intern Memory Card Reader 3.5 95kr
Deltaco Bluetooth Adapter Mini 219kr


Total of 13 525 Swedish KR
In dollar = $ 1323 without the Swedish Taxes.
(Shipping not included in price)

So $1323 for this watercooled beast, how will it perform?


After installation it works just like my Mac Pro.
The bluetooth and memory card reader works perfectly. Sleep works.
Sound, internet works.
The Water cooling is efficient, but the fans are not as silent as my Mac Pro. However, they are not noisy.

I've been running WoW for days and I'm getting sweet framerates.

No apps have crashed yet, but I have had Kernel Panics.
They have all been caused by a Logitech app, that is used to set color on my G19 keyboard. It complains that the current color calibration is bad. I removed the app and kernel panics are gone. I am going to try reinstall it later.


Xbench score: (My Mac Pro 2x 2.66GHz 8GB Ram got 5100)

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#2
Cindori

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Install method!

Download this:

http://groths.se/hac.../guide/Mods.zip

and

http://redirectingat...h_Installer.zip

Set your BIOS Sata settings to AHCI

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First you should make an image of your install DVD. It will be quicker to use and good to have. It can be done with Disk Utility.

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Next, restore the ISO to a empty drive.

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When the restore is complete, you'll see this window. Close it and close disk utility.

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Now, run the Script.

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Select your drive

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Select Extra

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From the menu, select 2 (Install Bootloader)
Then select 4, PC EFI 10.5

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When done and back at the menu, select run Retail DVD Installer
Complete the SL install

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When done and back at the menu, select 5, Kext Installation
Keep all the settings and just type N and enter.


Now boot your hackintosh from the drive. At the bootloader menu, press Down arrow and select Single User mode. After the loading is complete, type: buildcache
and hit enter. then type reboot.

Now boot again from the drive and set up Snow Leopard.
When inside you will probably have bad resolution and other problems. We got some more stuff to take care of.

Download the Combo Update 10.6.2 from Apple
http://support.apple.com/kb/DL959

Install it.
Reboot.


Open the Mods folder.
Copy the Kexts_10.6 folder to the script folder, and replace the current one.

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Copy the three files, com.apple.boot, DSDT and smbios to the Install Drives Extra folder, located on the root.

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Now run the script again and choose Kext Installer.

Make sure you have the same setup as this picture.
To change a item between Extra and System, simply enter the number and press enter.

When setup is the same, enter N and press Enter.

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Now run the QE_CI update pkg. from the mods folder.


Reboot!


Congratz, now you should have a working Snow Leopard 10.6.2 install, with Sleep, Internet, Audio etc.

System can be set to boot 64 bit if you want to, but if you sleep and wake, and then try shut down you will get kernel panic. So I'm leaving that out.
64-bit kernel has no use anyway as far as I know, unless you plan to use 4GB ram for the kernel alone. 32-bit kernel can still make use of all RAM and run 64-bit apps.

When system is booting fine, remove the -v from com.apple.boot plist in Extra, use an editor like Smultron. (The -v displays all the lines of booting text)

Now you can run the script again to modify About This Mac, or the bootloader Theme.

#3
Formal

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Hi, many thanks after reading through it looks great and very informative!

I have been these pages today as I need to build a pro audio system that can run a Pro Tools HD setup.

Ideally I need 3 PCI slots (there is hardly any though that run i7)

I cannot see what sort of clearance you have for the two lower PCI slots can you maybe take another closer pic at all please? I wouldn't really need that kind of gfx card so maybe a lower spec with a passive heatsink could be possible (do you have any in mind?)

Any help would be REALLY appreciated. Happy holidays.

#4
Cindori

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I'm using an third party cooler, Twin Turbo, and yes it is huge.

What you can do is keep the GPU in the lowest slot, that way it will not block any slots.

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Ideally you would be using a low profile gpu like the 9800GT, might not block any ports with a card like that.


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#5
niiles

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This is sweet. Thinking of putting together the same machine.
Is logic stable with this rig?
BTW did you buy all parts from Sweden?

Cheers

#6
Cindori

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I don't run Logic. But I can't see why it should be a problem. No app has crashed on me yet.

Yes, I live in Sweden :)

#7
niiles

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I don't run Logic. But I can't see why it should be a problem. No app has crashed on me yet.

Yes, I live in Sweden :(


Perfect!

Then you don´t mind if i have some questions in swedish if i run in to any problems building this beauty?  :)

Did you buy all parts from one place here in swede-o?

#8
Cindori

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no, I placed my orders on shops depending on stock and price, cardreader from Webhallen, rest from inet/komplett. on inet you can get free shipping, google "sweclockers fraktfritt"

#9
Formal

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Hi, thanks it all looks very straight forward for once ;)

Do you know if this install would work with other Gigabyte boards (namely : GA-EX58-UD3R)

I can use the same graphics card etc just need that board.

cheers

BTW if I did use the low profile card you suggested are the correct drivers in this install for it?

Sorry I also forgot to mention I have an Apple branded NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 (from the latest Mac Pro) This is low profile and as its Apple will it work out of the box?

#10
Cindori

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I don't have a clue about Nvidia cards.

The mobo should work the same.

#11
Formal

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Great thanks!

I'll stick to ATI if they work best!

How has FCS been on your system? I will be using the rig for Pro Tools HD and various other audio apps as well as FCS 2.

Have you had any kernel panics etc yet or all good?

thanks again

*Sorry I thought you had been running Final cut on your system! Ignore question! Really all I need to know is has it been super stable:)

#12
Cindori

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I don't run Final cut no..

As stated in the main post, I have had some kernel panics. They were all caused by a Logitech app.
I think the issue was that I copied my App folder straight from my Mac Pro. Because after reinstalling the app, I've had no more KPs.


Besides that, no app crashing, hanging, whatever. Everything just works. I would not be able to tell the difference between this build and my Mac Pro if the Hackintosh weren't alot snappier ;)

A little pic of how it looks right now:


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#13
Phorte

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very sharp desktop. looks great!

#14
ilias builds macs

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Everything looks pretty good. But the Hackintosh doesn't detect the ethernet when I connect it. I tried the diagnostics and assistance. Any help? Also, when I put the computer to sleep, it doesn't wake up. :P

#15
Cindori

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No, I won't help you. Not when you won't be bothered to post any system information at all.

#16
ilias builds macs

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I liked your setup a lot so I got the same hardware spec as you, just a different case.

#17
Cindori

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OK good,

tell me current kext setup, OS version, and what DSDT you are using.

#18
Nick14

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Riktigt snyggt gjort :(

#19
ilias builds macs

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I followed the install you outlined above. Where do I find the kext to paste here?

#20
Cindori

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boot drive > Extra > Stored_Kexts

tell me what is in there


Riktigt snyggt gjort smile.gif



Tackar :(




Some additional pics:


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