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Mac OS X! What are you doing on a PC!? OSx86 Project


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#1 William Demeritt

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:07 PM

My name is Will, and I'm a relapsing computer nerd.

I've been without a desktop computer for over a year, and I was antsy. I've had a desktop computer since I was 14 years old, and made the transition to Macs when I was 24. Sold my G5 when moving from NY to LA, and living off a Macbook was OK... but I needed some power. A desktop I could upgrade, overclock, get nerdy with!

Looking at the Apple inventory, you have these options for desktops:
  • Mac Mini (starts $599): you CAN upgrade the memory and hard drive, but you need a putty knife and a reckless abandon for the warranty. Video is onboard, no upgrade.
  • iMac (starts $1199): memory upgrades easily, hard drive not to easily. Video can't upgrade, it's onboard.
  • Mac Pro (starts at $2499): typical desktop, side opens to reveal expansion slots, hard drive bays, PCIe video card ports, etc. However... $2499 for the BASE model.
So, I took matters into my own hands. Ever since Apple made the switch from IBM PowerPC processors to Intel processors, a community of people started the OSx86 project. Basically, they've created simple ways to install Mac OS X on any number of PC's. They even keep a repository of motherboards that work, don't work, partially work, etc. I did some research, priced out everything I needed (and borrowed some spare parts I had laying around the house), and built my "Hackintosh".

Specs are as follows:
  • Motherboard: Asus P5N7A-VM (micro ATX board, onboard NVidia graphics with PCIe ports for later expansion, onboard HDMI, DVI, VGA, LAN, rear eSATA port, bells, whistles galore. Supports quad-core CPU's if/when I want to upgrade.
  • CPU: Intel Dual Core Pentium E6300 Wolfdale 2.8GHz 2MB L2 Cache.
  • RAM: 4GB DDR2 800
  • Video: currently using onboard graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9300 chip.
Already had two monitors, a few spare hard drives and a new one (for cutting demo reel footage). Keyboard is the Apple keyboard, Logitech VX Revolution mouse.

I won't say I didn't hit a few bumps in the road. I've fixed most/all the kernel panics. System doesn't sleep properly, or even shut down properly. However, Final Cut Studio runs like a champ, including rendering and exporting. Pulling dailies from R3D files cranks right through.

I'd place my system's performance somewhere between the capabilities of an iMac and the scalability of a Mac Pro. My total cost for just the system (spare parts notwithstanding)? $435

I didn't necessarily want to take matters into my own hands, I just didn't want to spend over $600 for a desktop with NO upgrade capabilities, or $1200 for modest upgrade capabilities, and certainly not $2500 for a computer! For another $100, I can expand this machine to 8GB of RAM, or add another terabyte of HD space for $90. I love Apple computers, but I hate not being able to grow with need or demand. 3-4 years ago, I was importing P2 cards into FCP. Now, I'm importing ProRes files shot on RED.

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So, open up to discussion. Anyone else running a hackintosh, or toying with building one?
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#2 Stephen Vanderspek

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:25 PM

An interesting, semi related stat: 91% of computers sold for over $1000 USD in June were Macs

http://www.betanews....-NPD/1248313624
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#3 Sydney Seeber

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 03:41 PM

An interesting, semi related stat: 91% of computers sold for over $1000 USD in June were Macs

http://www.betanews....-NPD/1248313624

I've seen the report, and I think it's misleading. Many, many people build their PCs instead of buying them... I personally have never bought a brand name desktop. I've always pieced them together. It's a huge market. Aside from the original poster, there's not a lot of people building Macs... I personally have both, 2 Macs, 2 PC desktops, and 1 PC laptop.
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#4 Stephen Vanderspek

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Posted 24 July 2009 - 06:57 PM

Yea its retail only, but still neat.

I also build my desktops from scratch, but really, in comparison to the full market, homemade is a pretty small percentage, sure you know many people who make their own, but how many people do you know that don't, lots of people are content with the $500 dollar netbooks or the $400 e-machines you can pick up at Best Buy.
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