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Upgrading PC hardware to run OSX..is it worth it?


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I'd like to get your feedback on a dilemma I'm wrestling with at the moment. Right now I have OSX running on an old Dell Dimension 8100.

 

Specs:

 

1.7GHZ Pentium 4 (Willamette - SSE2 only)

768MB RDRAM (bleh)

Sapphire Radeon 9700 (AGP)

Maxtor 60GB ATA HD

 

Naturally since this hardware isn't ideally compatible with OSX, I have run into certain issues like the video card not being supported (1280x1024 mode only), which means I cannot hook it up to my 20" widescreen Apple Cinema Display. And certain applications like iWeb, Keynote, and Pages will no launch at all.

 

My question is, should I spend the money to upgrade CPU/MOBO/RAM in this system? From what I'm reading in the forums the best supported mobo is the Intel 915G with onboard video. From a cost standpoint I think this will set me back around $400 for the Intel mobo, Pentium D CPU, and a stick of RAM.

 

What's giving me reason to pause is that I'm a bit leary of putting money into hardware upgrades in fear that Apple will, at some later point, make changes to OSX that either prevents OSX from running on my hardware or dumbs it down to a primitive state, in which case I would be wasting money. Also, I plan to upgrade to a Conroe-based PowerMac later this year when those systems roll out. On the other hand, the PPC-based Mac mini I'm using now runs as slow as molasses pouring through a straw. I would love to be able to run a fast FrankenMac to hold me over.

 

Can anyone else who has upgraded or built their system give me some feedback? Much appreciated.

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I was thinking about doing something like that. Then I realized that by the time I had bought all of that, I could have just bought a real Intel Mac. I'm going to stop trying to upgrade my Hackintosh and instead, save for a real Mac. But that's just what I would do.

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If you want something that will be stable and hassle free, just buy a real mac. If you don't mind searching for all the modifications on here to keep your pc running and are interested in running windows too, I would go with the upgrades.

 

Oh, and just so you know the 915 chipset doesn't work with the Pentium D.

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Thanks for your input. This is largely what I think as well. Just save the $400 in upgrade costs and invest it in a PowerMac.

 

I could actually live with what I have now if I could just get this damned video card to work with OSX and the Cinema display. Right now I have my FrankenMac hooked up to an old Dell 19" LCD. For some reason the Cinema display never works with this Radeon AGP card. When you plug it in it fails to see the card and just stays black with the power indicator pulsing away.

 

If I could get full video support (CI and QE) running with the Cinema display at native 1680x1050 res, I would be one very content geek.

 

Thanks again.

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Honestly, as it is right now, OS X on non-Apple systems isn't good for much more than novelty factor. With all the issues with unsupported or only partially supported hardware, you won't get the performance or stability you'd get with a real Mac. It's a cool hacker's trick, but not anything I'd encourage anyone to do serious work on.

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I too would stay with my Hackintosh if it wasn't for my fear of 10.5. I'm just worried that when 10.5 comes, my Hackintosh will be stuck with Tiger. Unless Maxx patches 10.5 or Apple releases it for generic x86 PCs, I'm going to buy a real Intel Mac.

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