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Low Power/Silent Hackintosh compatible desktop


Ankle
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I currently have a PC that I use for gaming and every day work that runs 24/7. However, I'm sick of the noise (even though it isn't very loud) and the large power bill at the end of every month. I also tried doing a dual boot of OS 10.4.7 but it wasn't exactly compatible with my hardware. My first thought was the Mac Mini and a KVM switch but I need DVI output for dual monitors with a larger and preferably faster drive and the option to go for 4Gb of ram; not to mention merom or conroe and that the mini does not match anything in my setup what so ever. Time isn't critical for me, I probably won't be putting this together until winter so maybe some better options will appear over that time and most of all there is OS 10.5 sometime around then.

 

So naturally I dashed around to look for a Merom micro ATX motherboard that would be compatible while skimming the forums and wiki but I couldn't find much of anything. So I figure I would be better off going with conroe because of that, not to mention it's cheaper to use desktop rather than laptop components. As far as a chassis goes I have settled on the Lian Li PC-C35 if I can get two DVI outputs that are integrated or the PC-C31 if I have to go for a PCI-Express card. (I would much prefer being able to fit everything in the smaller and better looking C35.) The nice part about these is that they match my Lian Li PC-V1100P + everything else and I can stack a KVM + my switch/router + speaker controls on top. (Again, the smaller one would be more practical for stacking.)

 

As for the actual components within, this is what I need help with. The goal is low power and silence. For PSU I'm thinking the lowest watt Seasonic S12 available (I have the S12-500 and it's dead silent) or a fanless PSU if I use one of the chassis fans. I have no idea what to get as far as a motherboard goes; I've been looking around for something with the GMA500 with either dual outputs or PCI-Express slots for an ADD2 card with compatible SATA/Ethernet/Audio and haven't exactly had any luck. I have a sinking feeling I'll have to use a 7300 or something to get dual DVI outputs for a 1680x1050 and 1280x1024 dual display setup. I'm aiming for either the 1.8 or 2.0ghz conroe or merom with a passive heatsink (no fan mounted). If the mini can do it with one tiny fan I think can do it with just the PSU fan (120mm @ 800rpm) or one chassis and no PSU fan. I need decent 5.1 audio for my music that actually works, for the sake of finding a KVM analog is probably the best output. I have a empty 320Gb Seagate 7200.10 SATA2 drive that I would like to use that is currently empty as I was intending to use it for Vista when required for games down the road. RAM isn't that critical, I doubt super low CAS latency is going to noticeable so I'll probably go with a 2Gb stick of OCZ (personal preference) for now if the motherboard has two DIMMs. If there are four DIMMs I might just go with 2x1Gb sticks for now to keep the cost down. Unsure of what passive heatsink I would go with, most are pretty tall and not exactly designed for a small chassis.

 

As for a good KVM switch I haven't had too much luck, it seems everything is made circa 1995-2000 with a few exceptions of newer ones with USB/DVI. I need dual DVIs, 5.1 audio or better and USB. A black chassis to match the rest of my stuff would be nice so I don't have to do a tacky spray paint job. The best I could find myself after many hours of searching is the Linkskey LDV-DM712AUSK with dual outputs (one DVI, one VGA), USB and 7.1 analog for audio. (I am not looking forward to trying to keep the cabling for all this stuff tidy, ugh!)

 

Any and all help/suggestions will be very much appreciated!

 

 

In a somewhat related/unrelated note: Is it possible to automatically sync all my data (music/documents/web development stuff) between a MacBook pro with another Mac (or hackintosh in this case) over bluetooth or something?

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