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Need help to build 3 hackintosh for audio/video use

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Hi everyone,


First of all let me introduce myself, I am a french Audio engineer who lives in France, I work in Music studio's in Paris.

I am planning to build for my associate who is a beatmaker and I 3 different machines to work in our home studio.


The first one is to mainly use for protools le with a digidesign audio interface type MBox, and also some gaming and photoshop work. So it needs some good power a nice video card for gaming and video.


The second one is for my associate who mainly uses Logic Audio with lots of synths effects and plugins which uses lots of power. He also needs to make from time to time minor photo or video editing. So the config will be much like the first one maybe a lil bit more powerful with more ram. Also dual monitor and maybe a firewire audio interface.


Last but not least the third machine is for using with protools HD2 with 2 pci express card and one UAD 2 pci-e. The graphic card is not important because it si strictly for mixing music. We will go for real fast hd 7200 or 10000 rpm with lot of cache mem and I would like to have a system to quickly extract the disks(I am french so I don t know how do you call it in english). Concerning the pci slots is there a way to have more than 4 without another chassis.


Concerning the build I don't know wich mobo we will take I want lots of usb and firewire outs i don't know if having usb 3 is good because idk when it is going to be supported.

I have read good thing on the I7 875 i think we will go for it for the 3 machines.


Do you guys think it is powerful enough for our use?

I want something really strong for an intense use even if we oc them.


I wish to concentrate on those two main thing MOBO CPU for know maybe RAM too if it needs to be related to the cpu type. After having really defined those pieces I will go on concerning the graphic card HD cooler power supply.


As you maybe have already notice my english isn't great and so does my tech knowledge. That's why I am begging for your help.


To resume this long first post I would like to build 3 Hack around maybe an I7 875 (or more powerful, stable CPU) compatible with SL's last update. I need powerful and fast machine and also really silent.

Concerning the budget I would like to be around 1K each without monitors.

I don't know if it is possible but if some of you could share some tips with me I ll appreciate.


Thanks for reading this long post

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If you want more than four PCIe slots you pretty much have to go with something like the X58A-UD3R. I'd go with the i7-920 for a processor, with three sticks of this RAM and for the first machine's GPU (as you mentioned gaming), I'd go with the GTX 260. A case, PSU, and optical drive will take us right up to the limit of your price (did you mean in Euro or dollars?), so a good case might be the Antec Sonata III – it has a built-in PSU, and I use it for my own system. Then as you'll need an optical drive for installation, this Samsung model looks pretty nice. Total price for that is roughly 952 Euro, and obviously you can add more RAM or swap out GPUs later or whatever. For the non-gaming machines the 9800 GT is a nice little GPU.


All those links are from Amazon.fr, so hopefully they'll at least give you a good idea for pricing and such (I don't know if you purchase from Amazon or prefer another retailer).


EDIT: before I forget – the i7-920's fan isn't exactly quiet (not loud, but not quiet) – so you can always replace it with a good cooler such as the Scythe Mugen 2. That's another 60 Euro, though. And I completely forgot about hard drives – how much space do you think you'll need?

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thanks so much for the quick reply.


I am a bit lost in all this. I am actually looking for the part you gave me.


For the hard drives I most of all need really fast disk like the raptor 10000 rpm but I don't know if cache mem is really important in audio. Concerning the size I will need 2 or 3 disk of 1 Tera. So i have 3 independent disk one for the system one for projects and one for sample and personnal files. I think I wiil make my backup on another external hd. I also would like to have easy removable disk like in the mac pro.


Concerning the budget I speak in Euro maybe I can find a dealer which will make rebates if I build 3 PC. If I need to have a better computer I can put more money I just don't want to waste money nor have a computer I will have to change next year.


You suggested the I7 920, is it more powerful than the 875? I really want something fast specially for the first and second one because everything is running native compared to HD DSP cards on the third. I heard that 875 overclock easily and it s the better you can get for the money I have. I also noticed that they don t use the same socket between the 8xx and 9xx series respectively 1156 and 1366. From what I have understood the first one is more mid range price and the other one is more high end concerning upgrades and also that one is Tri channel (1366). Is it really worth it?


I have tons of other questions but I'll stop for now if someone has time to answer.

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I don't think any PC case is as easy as the Mac Pro, but it's not hard to remove hard drives anyway. :rolleyes:


The i7-875 has a higher base clock speed and an unlocked multiplier, so it's extremely easy to overclock. The 920 is also a good processor, but it has a locked multiplier and a slower base clock speed.


Yes, 1156 is more mainstream, while 1366 is more enthusiast. I noticed you also posted on tonymac's forum, and I didn't realize that hyperthreading interferes with audio production work. If that's true, there's no point in going with a 1366 motherboard – you'd save a bundle going with something like the P55-UD4P and a Core i5-750. However, 1156 motherboards generally have fewer PCIe slots so I don't know how important that is to you.

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I have done some more research and I ve made three build (not completelly finished) based on what I have read.



1. Hackintosh for Protools LE and Gaming



Cpu : I7 930 / seems to be some kind of a beast for a reasonable price.


Mobo : Ga X58a UD3R or UD5 / donn't really know the difference. I also don't know how the A version of the X58 go with SL.


Ram : 3x 2Gb / still haven't chose a brand


HD : 100 GB SSD OCZ vertex 2 / To put app and system on. Looks like it can really boost the performance. If someone can share experience on how it behaves on SL with this kind of setup.

600 GB Velociraptor / work

2x Western Digital Caviar Green 16 Mo 1 To / Storage Backup


GPU : GTX 260 / or other if I can find more silent like passive but still vanilla


2. Hackintosh for Music Production Logic Audio use


I think I will go with the same build maybe give another ssd for samples. If you have some advice don't hesitate.




Concerning the third I still have issues with the PCi e setup of the mobo I will explore it later on.




So what do you think of this build, are the Ga X58A work good with SL. Will audio/ethernet/etc will work even if I will use external soundcard I xwant the integrated one to work.


Thanks for reading

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