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The ultimate compromise?

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As the title suggest i have a bit of a dilema on my hands :unsure:


A bit of a back story:

I am currently studying to become a car designer in college.

As such, we spend allot of time using CAD programs such as Solidworks, AutoCAD etc.

The time has come where we need to start spending allot of time at home using CAD and my macbook with inbuilt graphics will no longer cut the mustard.


Fine i thought, i can go and build myself another PC, ive built many before so it shouldnt be an issue.

The only problem is ive become rather attached to OSX and i have invested allot of money over the years in OSX specific programs such as photoshop creative suite and more recently Aperture.

However i cant just go for a pure mac computer as not all CAD programs run on OSX, Rhino being a very good but sadly windows only program.


Knowing this, i know a dual boot system is my only option


Solution 1=Buy a Mac Pro and use bootcamp to run xp/vista



  • Genuine mac computer
  • lots of power
  • ability to use both windows and mac programs


  • Very expensive
  • No upgrade path apart from hdd,ram and gpu
  • Ram and Gpu upgrades very expensive

Solution 2=Hackintosh with dual boot or possible bootcamp?



  • Upgradeable
  • Cheap
  • Lots of power if used with the right components


  • Tricky driver support
  • limited hardware choice

Hackintosh clearly seems to be the best option for me, it is upgradeable, cheap and i get to design a computer case for it :D


However, here is the main dilema.

In the search to run OSX on non-Apple hardware will i have to make a huge compromise? and end up with a computer that is lack lustre as both a mac and a pc?


My question is what is the ultimate hackintosh that i could build?

If i run dual boot will there be problems with my graphics card as it would be flashed for osx86?

Is it possible to run bootcamp inside of osx86 (hacked OSX)?


In the perfect world i would be able to switch on my computer and switch effortlessly between windows and mac osx. And the hardware in the computer would 'know' which operating system im using and use the appropriate drivers etc.


I would hopefully like to run hardware as close to the list below as possible


Asus Striker extreme motherboard

Intel qx6850 quadcore extreme ( i can get this at cost price so its very cheap)

Nvidia 8800gtx ( i know that SLi isnt avaiable for osx but is it possilbe to have a second card 'turn on' while in xp?)

8gb of ram ( is it possible to run more under osx or am i limited by the board rather than the os?)

As much Harddrive space as possible.


Hopefully you guys can help me, i really want to see this hackintosh idea working out.


Sorry for the long post :angel:

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Hi Route Zero Design,


Personally, I would ditch the Striker Extreme idea, as an OSX board it is not really fully functional (I have tried it and gave it to my son to build a PC with). Nvidia chipsets are always going to be more problematic with OSX and Sata. I would go for an ICH9 board, something like a gigabyte GA-X38-DQ6 board. These are nicely built boards with decent capacitors that will stay the distance. Nice over-clocking abilities too.


Click Here




NV 8800 GTX is a great board and now fully OSX/Hackintosh compatible. This is what I use. OSX is problematic with 2 graphics cards in position and will not boot, so I would forget that idea too as there is no way to turn off 1 card. Another good alternative is a NV 8800 GT 512 or 512 GTS G92 card. You can drop in 8 gigs of ram as I have with the Gigabyte board. I personally favour DDR 2 ram due to price/performance ratio (still currently performs as well as DDR3 but is a fraction of the price. I use Corsair ram here:



Heres mine:



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Thanks for the reply aqua-mac, i think you solved all the problems i was having :P


How would your setup perform in comparison to a macpro?

Im lead to believe that the xeon processors have allot of power but arent as quick as the quad core core 2, so hopefully it shold be somewhat comparable in speed.


How does the 8800gtx run while in windows? or is it even possible to run it in windows as its flashed to fx 5600?


I think il have to go for a dual boot system, with vista and leopard on one hdd and the rest of my documents and music etc. on the other 3 harddrives.


And seeing as i wont be running sli, my choice of motherboards is allot easier now. Il have a look at that gigabyte now.


Btw: where did you get your macpro case?


Thanks for the help

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In your comparison of hardware you forgot to list the time it takes to keep a hacintosh working. If you want the latest and greatest software/hardware upgrades you will most likely spend considerable time and have several "frustrating" moments. I have enjoyed my hacintosh project, but it has been very time consuming. If time is money ...... the Mac Pro would have saved me lots of money.


I have had lots of fun and learned a lot ! But, I'm buying a mac next.

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Yeah that is a concern of mine, as allot of the messages on this board seem to be about getting little bits of hardware working and the constant fight against intermittent errors.


Im very much considering going down the route that nagal went, by building a macpro out of parts.


With the contact i have in Intel i can get the quadcore xeons very cheap, which were a large expense on nagals build.

Also, i may have to research this, but if Intel makes the logicboard and cpu coolers for the macpro, i might be able to get these on the cheap aswell.

Leaving only the case, Powersupply, Ram and graphics card to buy. (i already have the superdrive and sata drives from a previous project)

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