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Australian Hackintosh workstation help

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Hi Guys,


While trawling the net for cheap mac minis i somehow ended up on a lifehacker make your own hackintosh which thus lead me to here :D


I've read through alot of posts especially in this section but I was really hoping for some input for a solid hackintosh which i could use as a work set up which would be able to render video and 3d stuff quite well. I'm wanting to move to a MAC/PC duel booting environment so i can get tte best from both worlds as well as have access to the various applications each has.


On of the posts i read (http://forum.insanelymac.com/index.php?showtopic=130338) it had a pretty standard setup which i liked which was:


Motherboard: Intel BOXDG31PR $65


Processor: Core 2 Duo E4600 $120


RAM: G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 800 $65


Video: EVGA 8600GT 512MB $70


Hard drive: SAMSUNG 500GB SATA $70


Case+PSU: Apevia X Q-PACK + 420W PSU $60 (after $15 rebate). <-- could not find AUS side


Aside from the case and hte optical drive (i have an old one laying around .. unless it needs to be a certain type) i was able to track everything down at http://www.shopbot.com.au for roughly $466AUD (not including p&h ).


While i'm on the decent side of pc literacy I really am still unsure about motherboards and processors and all that kind of thing, so if i could get some suggestions on what would help make this a solid rig (hopefully trying to keep it between $500 - $800AUD if possible) i would be really quite chuffed!



Thaive :)

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Hey, Thaive


I recommended that list of parts in the other thread for a basic system. I built a Hackintosh for a friend using those parts to use in a production setting where the machine needs to operate flawlessly for days at a time. When I first set it up, we ran it with OSX for nearly 3 months straight- not a single shutdown, and there were no problems then, or since.


The #1 thing to revolve a Hackintosh around, is the motherboard, and I really like that particular motherboard because of how solid it's designed. Intel seems to make boards that are very rugged and extremely stable, rather than the most cutting edge, or the absolute fastest.


Virtually everything on the list is interchangeable. I picked that processor because it was the entry level Core2Duo, and it's 65nm. I recommend to stay away from 45nm processors with that particular motherboard, as it requires a tricky catch-22 BIOS upgrade in order to use them. But you can substitute most any Intel LGA 775 65nm processor.


Since you want to do video and 3D rendering, you might consider stepping up to a quad-core processor, like the Q6600. (Again, stick with 65nm if you use the Intel board). Certainly if you were considering a Mini, this setup will run rings around one, and is far more expandable to your needs.


You can use most any DDR2 800 RAM. 4GB is the board maximum, and for what you want to do, I would recommend the maximum, or moving up to a supported board that supports more RAM. (This forum is full of motherboard suggestions).


There's a wide range of graphic cards you can use- the 8600GT is a nice tradeoff between low price and decent, well-rounded performance. If your needs run more to basic desktop tasks, you can get away with a lesser/cheaper card. If your needs run more toward gaming, 3D and large multimedia files, you might want a better/more expensive card. (IE: 8800GT is a common higher end choice for Hackintosh). Every video card won't work correctly, though. Check the HCL under PCIe video cards to make sure whatever choice you make is compatible.


I'd recommend sticking with SATA hard drives, any size that fits your needs.


If your optical drive is IDE, I don't think you'll have a problem installing from it- but I can't say from personal experience. In my use of this motherboard, I've only used SATA drives.


You can use any case, and I'd recommend a PSU in the 400w range.


Good luck! I think you'll find that you get far better bang-for-buck going the Hackintosh route over something like a Mac Mini, just stick to hardware that's well tested, and documented as known to work.

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Hey Zaap,Thank you very much for your reply :)


I've taken you advice and done some more reading and looked around at prices and was wondering if you would suggest the green light for such a setup.

  • Graphics Card: XFX PCIe 8600GT 512MB DDR2 [HCL says it work out of the box but i have to install NVinject V41 AFTER INSTALL to enable all resolutions and other features] ( $85.49) -http://www.megabuy.com.au/xfxgraphic-xfx-pcie-8600gt-p69789.html
  • Motherboard: Intel BOXDG31PR uATX DESKTOP BOARD SUPPORT INTEL CORE 2 QUAD CORE 2 DUO PROCES [i cant find any information about this on the HCL 10.5.2 - nor really in the forum]($103) - http://www.tech4u.com.au/product_info.php?products_id=53403
  • RAM: G.SKILL 4GB DDR2 800 ($88)
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 CPU, 2.40 GHz, FSB 1066MHz, 2x4MB L2 Cache, Socket LGA775 ($234) - I think it only comes in 65mn? or am i wrong?
  • Hard drive: SAMSUNG 500GB SATA ($74)
  • Case & Power Supply: WT CS2028BS 500W PSU MICRO ATX CASE ($60) - http://www.laptopdiscount.com.au/dispdet.p...807181555358784
  • Optical Drive: I already do have an IDE drive from my PC which im thinking will work as this motherboard supports 1 PATA drive .. which i think is another name for IDE?

Total Price = AUD $645 (cheaper than the lowest priced mac mini lol)


If that all sounds pretty solid and hunky dori i guess my next big question is how do i install OSX onto it - i have read a few things and I'm a bit confused by the different versions floating around .. if anyone could clear that up or point me in the right direction that would be most awesome :)




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That setup looks great.


The mobo is listed in the HCL (and referred to in posts here) as just the DG31PR. I think BOX is just an OEM designation Intel uses.


For installation, I recommend Leo4Allv2, or v3 or Kalyway 10.5.2. (On the wiki, the board installs with either). You can find these on the bay, as they say. I installed on this board with Leo4allv3. You could also try iAtkos 10.5.4, since -if it works with this board- it'd bring you up to version 10.5.4 on install. Hopefully you have a fast internet connection- if so, spend some time downloading all of the above.


For your graphic card, I highly recommend using EFI studio, rather than nVinject. It's easier to use- just open it, find your graphic card and RAM amount from the list, and click to add to the boot.plist. When you reboot, you should have full hardware acceleration. nVinject on the other hand is a bit messy, and outdated.


Also look for the Kalyway 10.5.3 update on the bay- once you install 10.5.2 from Leo4All or Kalyway, you can update it to 10.5.3. Be careful using the Software Update from Apple- it worked for 10.5.4 from previous versions, but now 10.5.5 requires some hacking to work. (Basically, do your research and read a lot before updating the system.


I recommend partitioning your hard drive at least twice- create a small test and backup OS partition. Install OS X twice- a main install, and a backup on the test partition. Test any system tweaks or updates you're unsure of on the test install before messing with your main install. That way, you'll never bork your main system. You can always reinstall/restore the test partition. Also, if you do happen to bork your main system install, you can use the test as a backup.


For planning a multi boot with other OS's, I'd recommend using more than 1 hard drive, and read the Multi boot forum here.

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Oo the idea of the two osx partitions is great - i would never have though of that :S


Cheers for all you help Zaap, i shall do some more reading tonight about using EFI studio, multi booting and the OS flavors you suggested and once I have all that under my belt i will start ordering :)




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  • 2 weeks later...

Just thought I would give a quick update - install went flawlesly with the kalyway 10.5.2 as well as the combo update to 10.5.3 and the apple update to 10.5.4 ;)


software wise the only thing im unsure about is how to get my cpu to read correctly (both its name and its temperatures) - currently its unknown which is what i was expecting from the wiki but ive been reading around and people seem to have it written ii their about info ... im not sure if there are certain kexts i need to copy or delete to make this happen correctly or if i am just meant to modify the unknown to just say q6600 core2quad.


also as im currently running this on a stock fan i want to keep track of the temps just to see how its handling - unfortunately with any temp monitor app i install its reading my hdd temp :S any fix to this - ive tried searching through here for a few days now but its very hard to get anything specific using the search function.


but anyway yay - all works great - the only issue i had was with me installing it all together - apparently i kept grounding the mother board :/ - oo also i need a suggestion for a fan to fit? i only have a small case thats 150 cm high (from motherboard to side wall) and i'm having trouble finding cpu fans that fit - i did like the noctua NH-C12P but when i saw it in person i though it was a little to big... anyone got any suggestions that fit well with this mother board?


oo also i have noticed that duel monitors does not work .. i guess there is a kext for that floating around here too

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Thaive, look around for Apple SMBIOS 27. I think I got it from here.


It should fix a lot of your issues with the system information- use the iMac version. Your system will ID as an iMac. Use kexthelper to install the kext file, or look up instructions on the proper terminal method. Always repair permissions after installing a kext, and restart. There are ways to customize the system info, but you'll have to search the forums for threads on this as I don't know off the top of my head.


Dual monitors should work fine- did you use EFI studio to enable your graphic card? Check your system profiler under graphics card- Core Image should say "Hardware Accelerated" and Quartz Extreme should say "Supported". If not, then your card isn't enabled properly, and won't do dual.


In control panels Displays, you should be able to switch resolutions to use your monitor's native res, and when a second monitor is hooked up, it should be detected, active, and have its own Display control panel.

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i did the efi studio right after the install of kalyway and i was able to change the res of my vga monitor to a higher option so it must have installed correctly - however ive just realised that as soon as i try to connect my dvi monitor it crack the wobblies. If i plug it in with the mac running the vga will turn off and the dvi monitor will turn on but be black - if i have it plugged in on boot up the dvi monitor will turn blue and the vga monitor will stay black/turn off (cant remember exactly). I also tried the NVinject method described in the wiki but that didn't work either.


This is the graphic system info:


Chipset Model: Graphics by NVIDIA

Type: Display

Bus: PCIe

PCIe Lane Width: x16

VRAM (Total): 512 MB

Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)

Device ID: 0x0401

Revision ID: 0x00a1

ROM Revision: NVinject 0.2.1



Resolution: 1280 x 1024 @ 75 Hz

Depth: 32-bit Color

Core Image: Hardware Accelerated

Main Display: Yes

Mirror: Off

Online: Yes

Quartz Extreme: Supported

Rotation: Supported

Display Connector:

Status: No display connected


i also installed the apple smbios 27 you suggested via kexthelper and then did a repair permissions call through the terminal and hot the following error:


2008-10-25 11:19:44.720 diskutil[204:10b] _CFGetHostUUIDString: unable to determine UUID for host. Error: 35

2008-10-25 11:19:45.133 DiskManagementTool[205:10b] _CFGetHostUUIDString: unable to determine UUID for host. Error: 35


but it still seemed to continue after that after a short hang.


the applesmbios 27 i installed did change anything ... the only difference i can see if that instead of the model being classed as a MacPro(3,0) it now just says mac.


and just to throw something else out there im also getting yellow strings of texts when i boot up via the -v which seem to be describing things that aren't loading correctly?


so im thinking somewhere along the line ive buggered something up and might have to do a clean install?

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