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discmeister

XCY Chinese mini-PC - bargain fanless Hackintosh

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Hi everyone,

 

I just wanted to share an experience I had with one of the Chinese mini PCs that are so popular on sites like Gearbest and Aliexpress. I wanted a simple, silent machine for my study to work on while my main PC chugs away on video compression, so I settled upon one of these machines from XCY:

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32932188480.html?spm=a2g1y.12024536.singleImageText_532537961.0

 

I ended up with an i3-7100U version, and then I added an mSATA 128Gb SSD and 8Gb of laptop memory in there. I bought it direct from the XCY store on Aliexpress and was impressed by the comms - they even got the product manager to email me some chipset details.

 

Firing it up for the first time, the BIOS looked a reasonably in-depth UEFI set-up - not a guarantee with the Chinese stuff, which is often locked down.

 

First I installed Budgie Ubuntu and it worked really nicely. But I couldn't help but feel there was the potential to at least try Hackintoshing it.

 

I came up with a pretty raw Vanilla Clover install USB for Mojave, with a little bit of patching in the config.plist but only the bare essentials on kexts.

 

Amazingly, it went straight through to the installer - albeit with a pink tone on my monitor, something I quickly discovered was down to the HDMI graphics output from the INtel 620 GFX being misunderstood as a DisplayPort. Quick bit of Googling and another patch in the config.plist sorted it, and the system then installed correctly.

 

I've disabled sleep for safety reasons but that aside, this seems to me to be a remarkable little passively cooled desktop Hackintosh. It's hardly a powerhouse but it's swift enough for browsing and fires up apps pretty snappily. Audio works out of the box across HDMI. It's driving my 2560x1440 monitor without an issue. I subsequently installed the HWMonitor Hackintosh kexts and they pick up CPU and SSD temps, which are somewhere just south of 40deg.

 

And the total cost in the UK was somewhere around £160.

 

If anyone would like further details I'm sure I could put together a guide - although as I say, it was a doddle. I've done a few Hackintoshes in my time and this was right up there as one of the easiest.

 

Regards to all,

 

Discy

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This is excellent news! I use one of these (with a J3160) as my router (running OpnSense) and have always wondered about the hackintosh-ability of the models with i CPUs. That design also has a M.2 WiFi slot (which the new NUCs lost) so presumably you could put a Broadcom card in there, only 2 antennas might be an issue though.

 

There are so many interesting variations that have NVME, Display Port for 4k@60Hz, USB-C, 7th/8th Gen CPUs even one that uses a Xeon! Personally I've been looking out for one with Iris Pro graphics but Intel seem to be keeping these CPUs back for their own Skull Canyons, the best graphics available seems to be 930 however there are some larger ones with discrete GPUs.

 

FYI I enjoy this Youtuber that reviews all the cheap Aliexpress mini PCs and laptops.

 

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On 11/19/2019 at 1:33 PM, discmeister said:

Hi everyone,

 

I just wanted to share an experience I had with one of the Chinese mini PCs that are so popular on sites like Gearbest and Aliexpress. I wanted a simple, silent machine for my study to work on while my main PC chugs away on video compression, so I settled upon one of these machines from XCY:

 

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32932188480.html?spm=a2g1y.12024536.singleImageText_532537961.0

 

I ended up with an i3-7100U version, and then I added an mSATA 128Gb SSD and 8Gb of laptop memory in there. I bought it direct from the XCY store on Aliexpress and was impressed by the comms - they even got the product manager to email me some chipset details.

 

Firing it up for the first time, the BIOS looked a reasonably in-depth UEFI set-up - not a guarantee with the Chinese stuff, which is often locked down.

 

First I installed Budgie Ubuntu and it worked really nicely. But I couldn't help but feel there was the potential to at least try Hackintoshing it.

 

I came up with a pretty raw Vanilla Clover install USB for Mojave, with a little bit of patching in the config.plist but only the bare essentials on kexts.

 

Amazingly, it went straight through to the installer - albeit with a pink tone on my monitor, something I quickly discovered was down to the HDMI graphics output from the INtel 620 GFX being misunderstood as a DisplayPort. Quick bit of Googling and another patch in the config.plist sorted it, and the system then installed correctly.

 

I've disabled sleep for safety reasons but that aside, this seems to me to be a remarkable little passively cooled desktop Hackintosh. It's hardly a powerhouse but it's swift enough for browsing and fires up apps pretty snappily. Audio works out of the box across HDMI. It's driving my 2560x1440 monitor without an issue. I subsequently installed the HWMonitor Hackintosh kexts and they pick up CPU and SSD temps, which are somewhere just south of 40deg.

 

And the total cost in the UK was somewhere around £160.

 

If anyone would like further details I'm sure I could put together a guide - although as I say, it was a doddle. I've done a few Hackintoshes in my time and this was right up there as one of the easiest.

 

Regards to all,

 

Discy

 
I also use it but I can't install mac osx, what configuration did you put in the bios thanks

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