I've been using Hackintoshes since 2006, I built one on an OLD Dell, it still works and still has Tiger on it. It's too old and limited to upgrade.
I don't really use it anymore but it's still around gathering dust.
Last year I built another one using my old Gigabyte based system, it was a 2008 mobo that I ran Linux on for a long time.
I was able to convert it to Lion but it never worked right.
It would crash a lot at random for no apparent reason. I never got the sound to work on it and I never could get it to boot from hard disk.
I had a pen drive in it that it would boot from.
Over time though, it became a real problem. When it would crash it wouldn't come back to life. It would power up but it was "dead", black screen, no response.
I found out though trial and error that it was corrupting the CMOS NVRAM. I found that I could power it off, as in remove the power cord, short the CMOS reset pins and wait an hour.
Then I would have to go through the setup routine and set everything back and then I could boot it up.
It also seemed that it wouldn't boot or come up if the hard disk was plugged in so I began pulling the data cable when I would pull the power.
I would have to let it sit an hour or two then power up with the hard disk disconnected. Power up, get into setup, reload saved configuration and tell it to save and exit.
The system would power down for a second on it's own. I would have to hit the main power switch while it was powered off, plug the hard disk back in then power it up again.
This was a monumental pain in the backside. And the downtime I would have to wait kept getting longer and longer, it went from minutes to hours and from hours to DAYS...
At this point the machine will no longer come up. I've written it off and it's time to move on and build a new one. I'll pull the disk and put it as a second drive in my new machine so I can get all my files off of it, I have about a terrabyte of irreplaceable stuff on it (I'm an amateur photographer) plus all my email and just tons and tons of personal stuff.
So I need to build a new machine from scratch. I am a power user and I need some real muscle behind the new one. BUT, I have to balance out the costs, I want to keep the costs down as best as possible.
What I'm looking at is a middle of the road machine, maybe just a notch below top of the line. Entry level will not cut it. No way, no how, not happening.
I was looking at the mid-range mac-pro shopping list at lifehacker, h++p://lifehacker.com/5919132/build-the-mac-pro-that-you-wish-apple-released
It seems to be a reasonable shopping list but what I'm wondering is if the suggested hardware is still valid?
I want to of course use Mountain Lion. Some of the items, I will almost certainly make different but similar choices. Western Digital? NO WAY... Garbage. You couldn't give me a WD disk.
The case, I have to be careful to find one that will fit in my rack. Yes, I have a 5' tall rack next to my desk full of equipment. I want my new mac to be rack mountable with the option of stand alone if I decide to move it out of the rack. For the case I'll have to look outside the normal sources.
A firewire card I do not need, I think the mobo has it built in anyway. I don't have any firewire stuff anyway..
I need an internal DVD burner but I'm also going to get an external Blu-ray burner so I can move it to other machines if I need to.
I'm going to get an external 2tb disk for time machine (which like a dummy I wasn't using before) and a Rosewill HD docking bay so I can pop disks in and out. I have about two dozen 2tb drives in various formats from Mac, Linux, NTFS, and other *nix machines that I need to go through and clean out years of junk. The dock (I have one on my Dishnetwork tuner) is great because I can access any disk with extreme ease. I know I'll have to tweak OSX to read the *nix and M$ disks but that's not a problem, I know how to do that.
So anyway, here's what they suggest as a decent, mid-range system:
Our Mid-Range Hack Pro; Price: $1,276
Here's an mid-range Hack Pro you can build for $1,276, or a little more than one-third of the cost of a similar Mac Pro:
Cooler Master RC-692-KKN2 Case ($90)Looking for something different, probably go with this one, h++p://www.rosewill.com/products/2311/ProductDetail_Specifications.htm
Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H Motherboard ($99) (Probably will go with the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H instead)
Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5 GHz CPU ($350)
MSI NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560 Ti (448 Cores) PCI-E 16X Graphics Card ($300)
8GBCorsair DDR3 1600 MHz RAM, 2x4GB ( $50)
Western Digital Caviar Black~~Seagate~~ 7200 RPM Hard Drive ($ 195)
Corsair Professional Series 650W Modular Power Supply ($117)
Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial ATA Internal Drive ($17)
SYBA FireWire 400/800 Card ($28)
Mac OS X ~~MOUNTAIN~~ Lion Download ($30) or Thumb Drive ($69)
One thing I would consider is adding an SSD, I was looking at this one, h++p://www.amazon.com/dp/B007BNE7MQ (180gb OCZ), it seems to be the best value and has the best performance specs of the family.
I'm also considering and probably going to go with the higher end mobo they list in their suggestion of a high end Hackintosh, the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H Motherboard.
The big question are, will these components be 100% compatible and will my machine be rock solid and 100% reliable?
How hard will it be to make the system where it will boot from disk without a pen drive, where it won't corrupt the CMOS like my old one and will everything work?
Like my old one, there is some issue about the built in ethernet that the Apple App Store rejects and won't let me log in to the store.
I have a valid app store ID, I own a new iPhone 5 and a 2012 iMac (entry level model , I got it from my son ) but my Hackintosh was a no go.
OH, one note, it will be an OSX only machine. I do not need or want dual boot. I quit using M$ years ago with the exception of a media center PC my ex built some years ago that I still use only for watching TV. As the disks fill up I pull them and put new ones in. I want to be able to read those NTFS disks so I can handbrake all the old videos from mpeg2 .ts to .mkv files. But no, I do not need to boot any other operating systems on this machine, it will be a dedicated OSX machine..
I need to get moving on this, I want to start ordering tonight or tomorrow at the latest.
Do you think the hardware shopping list is a reasonable one? If I get those items will I have a machine that will hold me over for 2-3 years?