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Dual Xeon With Snow Leopard

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Hello, I'm new here so I apologize in advance for any outrageously ignorant questions I'm about to ask.


I'm looking to build a hackintosh that is fairly close to what is currently officially offered by Apple but without paying Apple's asking proce. I've settled on a dual Xeon because I will want to run Logic Studio 9 with many effects/samplers/synths/etc. I've done a bit of searching here but there doesn't seem to be a lot of info regarding dual Xeon setups. I'd like to post my CPU and mobo thoughts to see if even they are possible and what it would take to get them running. The other components are of less importance to me so I figure I'll just get whatever is compatible as long as my CPUs are running rock solid.



2 x Intel Xeon 5520



Intel S5520HC (I didn't find anything here for this mobo) or

ASUS Z8NA-D6C (I only found one topic that mentions this board here and that was a copy from engadget)


Are these even a possibility? If so, where do I go or what posts should I read to get (hopefully easy to understand) info on how to set this up? I've built my own rigs for 10 years now so I'm ok with doing this the hard way. One caveat, I don't have any access to a Mac. Not sure how i works but I've seen several guides here that require you to use an existing Mac to get started.


TIA for any thoughts, ideas, and/or suggestions.

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This type of question comes up fairly often.


It seems there were a very few dual socket 775 boards that worked for Hackintosh "way back when". Ever since, i haven't noticed anyone clamoring to any particular newer dual-socket board claiming its ideal for Hackintosh. (You'll notice certain boards that work really well gain notierity, like many models from Gigabyte for example.)


I get the feeling that if a dual-socket board really worked well, and was significantly cheaper than just buying a MacPro, the OSx86 community would already be all over it.


So it should tell you something that that hasn't really been the case.


As has been told to others countless times here: you can always try it. Maybe you'll be lucky and discover a setup that works. But it's likely you could spend very close to actual MacPro, all just to find out it won't run OSX. (And anyone who tells you "Oh sure, it'll probably work!" that doesn't know for certain and is just guessing, is doing you a major disservice if you're going to be the guinea pig spending $ to find out.)


Bottom line: you don't need so much overkill to run Logic with in the first place- a known-working higher-end spec Core2 or i7 machine will run Logic just fine. If you really feel you need dual CPU 'overkill', it might be better to invest in a MacPro.


Also, just a side note- I think also people really tend to get caught up with the product name 'Xeon'. Server and workstation CPUs, RAM, and motherboards aren't necessarily faster than their desktop counterparts. In fact, they tend to be slower: stability and redundancy is far more important than speed with workstation/server hardware. The microcode features of the Xeon are mainly for server OS's and actually slow the CPU down due to error-correction.

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Thanks for the reply.


I get the feeling that if a dual-socket board really worked well, and was significantly cheaper than just buying a MacPro, the OSx86 community would already be all over it

I can price out a dual xeon pc for half of a single proc mac pro. That seems to me to be a fairly significant savings: enough that I am genuinely surprised there aren't at least a few who go that route.


Bottom line: you don't need so much overkill to run Logic with in the first place- a known-working higher-end spec Core2 or i7 machine will run Logic just fine. If you really feel you need dual CPU 'overkill', it might be better to invest in a MacPro.

You are right. I don't need two procs to run Logic. Cubase is running on my p4 now. But, throw in a couple of convolution reverbs, some instances of Kontakt, some stereo delays, a few soft synths, and you will see the difference between one, two, four, and eight cores. Even if I don't top out 8 cores now, it means I have room to grow as plugins get more and more intensive (which you know they always do).


Also, just a side note- I think also people really tend to get caught up with the product name 'Xeon'.

I totally get that. I run into that with others as well. My reasoning here is that if I stick close to Apple's specs, I would think it would be easier to get a stable install of OSX. I think I'm pretty savvy on the hardware front as I've been building machines and running the apps I need to run (Logic back when it was available on the PC, Cubase, Vegas, Maya) for quite a while now. What I'm not at all good at since I've never done it is installing OSX on my PC components.


Given what you say, that I may be lucky to build it all and have it work, what are the steps to go through this process with components that no one else has tried? The guides all assume a specific set of hardware. What kinds of things do I need to look out for? One of the things that's easy to miss when you're deep in a scene is how overwhelming it is for someone new. There doesn't seem to be a page that simplisticly states, "These are the pieces and they all fit together like this." If someone could tell me what the puzzle even looks like, that would be great.




PS. I hope this doesn't come across as argumentative, I'm just discussing to learn.

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Hey nautonnier- sorry if I may sound pissy about this or anything. I just think it's only fair not to sugarcoat any of this when people ask about the more exotic type builds, since they may go and spend a lot of money, and may really need a working OSX system, not Windows or Linux which may be all you'd get it OSX isn't working. All of this can be very hit and miss.



Generally there are two different Hackintosh methods- the 'Retail Install' and the 'distro' install, so the starting point with any board is which works best for it. I personally prefer retail installs as it's the most 'vanilla' and is often easier with system updates and such, but distro installs often work great, and with a choice of drivers built into the disk can be much easier. Sometimes a board simply won't take a retail install for whatever reason, but a distro does work.


Personally, the first thing I'd do: get on Google and start searching for any and everything related. Like, the exact board you're looking into, and Hackintosh.


A search for ASUS Z8NA-D6C + Hackintosh turned up a thread right here where someone asks is it possible with that board. Nothing conclusive. However, they did mention someone else using the Asus Z8PE-D12 board, and it working.


So a quick search for that board + OSX, turned up this thread with a guide to installing the Z8PE-D12. Newegg has that board for $410. Notice in the user reviews, one reviewer confirms: "For the adventurous looking to put together an excellent Mac Pro alternative, consider this board. It is fully functional with OSX 10.5.7."


Seems a safe route to try the same board and follow the guide. The poster is using an older Kalyway 10.5.2 install, but I'd venture a guess that a more modern distro of iPC or iATKOS (10.5.6 or better) may also work using the same procedure. I'd also guess that a retail install could be made to work on it as well, just I have no idea the process on i7 hardware.


As for Snow Leopard- no idea- that seems to be another whole can or worms right now even for much more common boards. (Though I'm sure that will change- Leopard was the same when it first came out.)


If you still try the Z8NA-D6C yourself, it's a safe bet that the same install method outlined for the Z8PE-D12 would be the best place to start. Often things are pretty similar from one board make to the next -within the same product family- with a few specific details changing here and there. Keep in mind though, the D6C may not work at all, even if it seems similar to the D12. BIOS differences are usually a cause of that.


At any rate, I hope you get it working and if so, let us know how it goes.

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Zaap, you flat out rock.


1) I understand that the newbie sub-forums anywhere contain about the same 5 questions about 10,000 times so thanks for taking the time to answer mine. 2) I do appreciate your sentiment of trying to save me from the hassle of buying a lot of gear only to end up with another windows box and no Logic.


I did come across the first post you mentioned but dismissed it as being not being helpful with my particular situation. Thanks for taking me the extra step.


I was hoping to go with a retail install as I would like to be able to run updates from Apple from time to time. It kind of sounds like I need to keep an eye on the Snow Leopard sub-forum for a bit and see what happens when the dust settles. It's kind of hard to wrap my head around the process of getting a retail install working since I've never seen it done. Add to that I'm not sure what my final decision will be (bite the bullet and buy a real mac pro for the peace of mind knowing that it will just work and if not someone else can just fix it or buy the components and try for a hackintosh and if it doesn't work right away keep using Cubase and try installing OSX again towards the end of the year). Again, thanks for the info.


If anyone else reading this has any other insights, *please* post them. In under 24 hours this post got over 100 reads so I have to think there are others pretty interested in a mac pro clone hackintosh.

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If it was me I would wait for the dust to settle on 10.6. Once there are are some good solid guides out for that, then I would come back and look at selecting hardware that is known to work otherwise it is quite a gamble.


I might be totally wrong, but one of the big reasons to get such a powerful machine would be to run apps that require huge amounts of memory as well as multiple cores. That is what 10.6 is all about, enhancing multiprocessor support, and adding more 64 bit stuff to the system so that you can address more memory.


Weaksauce12 has a good write up on his wiki (that is down at the moment) explaining how a Hackintosh works. Otherwise try googling hackintosh EFI to get an understanding of what is going on. I would try to explain, but am sure to confuse something along the way.

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