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Q6600/E5200 based machine - hardware choice opinions needed


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I'm almost ready to buy my new PC, and I want to make sure that it's compatible with OSX as best it can be (so I can use my legitimate OSX licence, of course).

 

 

Based on the information from the osx86db and the osx86library.com, I've put together a couple of configurations which I *think* will both support OSX - but I could do with some experts' advice on which set up would be better. Developments happen so fast in the osx86 scene I can't keep track of them all :)

 

As well as running OSX and XP, I'm a gamer, and I also do a lot of intensive graphics, sound and video editing, so obviously good performance is a real plus point. Can you guys take a look at what I've put together, and give me any feedback as to what might work best (or what might be better than my choices?)

 

 

Here we go:

 

 

CPU...

In order of preference:

 

Intel Q6600: £169, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/131950 (quad core - quite appealing) or

Intel E5200: £56, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/158689 or

Intel E7300: £107, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150186

 

Mobo:

ASUS P5Q, £100, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145750 or

Asus P5Q-E, £113, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145747 or

ASUS P5Q SE/R, £86, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/150283

 

Patched ROMs for quad core support for P5Q and P5Q-E are available from http://osrom.net/biosmod

 

I've read that the Asus P5Q mobos use Atheros NICs... Are they a problem in OSX? should I just go for a Gigabyte mobo instead?

 

 

RAM: £44, http://www.ebuyer.com/product/141725

OCZ 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 1000Mhz/PC2-8000 PLATINUM Memory Unbuffered CL5 DUAL CHANNEL

 

 

Graphics: £110. PALIT 9800GTX+ 512MB GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV out

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/160819

 

Or

 

£113. ASUS HD 4850 512MB DDR3 Dual DVI HDCP HDTV out PCI-E Graphics Card

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/146705

 

I slightly prefer NVidia over ATi given gaming performance etc, but should I seriously be considering buying another ATi card?

 

 

Storage: £110. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/149459

Seagate ST31500341AS 1.5TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm 32MB Cache - OEM

 

(possibly, as well:

£82. http://www.ebuyer.com/product/134684

Seagate ST3100340AS 1TB Hard Drive SATAII 7200rpm *32MB Cache* - OEM

 

but this depends on how generous my bank balance is feeling!)

 

Some quick sums:

Using most expensive components for each category:

 

CPU: 169

Mobo: 113

RAM: 44

GFX: 113

HDD: 110

 

= £549 for core components, NOT including PSU, case, optical drive...

 

Using balance of cheapest vs. osx compatible:

 

CPU: 56

Mobo: 100

RAM: 44

GFX: 110

HDD: 82

 

= £392 for core components, NOT including PSU, case, optical drive...

 

 

... This is getting expensive. I can see myself going for the cheaper set up due to cost, although I'd really like a Quad Core machine!

 

 

Other costs:

£10 for cabling...

 

PSU: £83. Enermax Pro82+ 625W PSU - 82+% Certified Efficiency, 4x PCI-E, ATXv2.3

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/144085

 

Case: £107. Lian Li PC-A17 Black Aluminium Mid Tower Case - No PSU

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/145949

 

 

So, those are my first bunch of choices. What do you all think? Will a machine based on that equipment happily run X all day long with no big problems, or should I be looking for different hardware? I need to make sure that video and sound work, as well as the NIC, because chances are I'll be using OSX for my work almost as much as I use Windows once it's installed.

 

Of course, once I get my machine set up, I will contribute to the osx86 hardware db, and I already idle in the osx86 IRC. If anybody is on IRC in the evenings and is willing to discuss this with me, that's also greatly appreciated.

 

Many thanks in advance ;)

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Cheers for the quick reply - I did check out the wiki but I suppose I'll go read it again...

 

Have you had any experience with using Gigabyte mobos in hackintoshes? (is there any particular brand of mobo you'd recommend above another, in particular an LGA 775 mobo?)

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Cheers for the quick reply - I did check out the wiki but I suppose I'll go read it again...

 

Have you had any experience with using Gigabyte mobos in hackintoshes? (is there any particular brand of mobo you'd recommend above another, in particular an LGA 775 mobo?)

 

I'm using a gigabyte P31-DS3L. No problems so far, only a usb issue which I'm sure is the motherboard, not the hackintosh.

Installed fine, no tweaks or anything needed to be made.

I'm also using the E8200, so I guess your CPU 2nd choice would work fine. Tbh the quad core is nice and sexy, but you probably won't notice it's there most of the time :( Not sure if winxp 32 or anything 32bit even supports quad core?

 

One piece of advice I would offer is that you should partition the mac hard drives on a spare HDD before you start, that way once the OS gets all f'd up while you're trying to fiddle (and it will)... you can reinstall that without losing your programs and data hopefully. Remember to use MAC OSX (Journaled) !

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  • 4 weeks later...
Did you have to perform any magick to get all four cores to show, or are you effectively running as a single core machine?

 

Responding to myself... I had to use cpus=1 until I installed Chameleon 2 with DSDT override. Then, I used a DSDT.aml supplied from someone on this forum, and all four cores show up in system activity.

 

There's still a couple of unresolved problems with the graphics card, NIC and onboard sound, but for the most part it's a usable Mac. Very good.

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