View Full Version : Any Hackintosh or Clone Experts out there?
05-18-2012, 04:27 PM
So the UPS people dropped my Mac Pro (3,1) in shipping. Totally crushed case. Mazel Tov.
I had the unit insured for 2000 dollars, and I'm looking to replace it with something comparable or better for around that price point. I saw on eBay a clone that had 8 Core i7 2600 cores (not sure if it's 2 x 4 or 4 x 2). Here is the listing.
could someone with more knowledge about this than me give me a little help? does it look like a good bet?
Thanks so much guys.
05-18-2012, 07:34 PM
Hmmm... The system in that ebay link doesn't look that great... There's no real info about what components they're using. It's a single quad-core i7-2600 CPU overclocked to 4.3GHz. It's not accurate to call it an 8-core system, it's 4 physical cores with 8 execution threads via HyperThreading. Which is what you get from all i7 and recent model Xeon processors anyway. IMO, it's not that great of a deal and it's loaded with a combination of obviously pirated / improperly licensed software and old software. He's loading it up with crap so it looks like you're getting more for the money, when in reality there's nothing tangible there.
I personally don't recommend hackintosh systems to anyone unless they're comfortable and knowledgeable about maintaining it. They're a system you have to be prepared to tinker with and even occasionally fix via mods or hacks if something breaks when updated software or the OS. Not necessarily a bad thing, some people like that. I like to tinker a lot myself, but not on my production systems that need to work day in and day out and not blow up when I install updates or make changes.
For your price range, take a look at a used Mac Pro if you want to stick with OSX. <shameless plug, I have a 2009 Mac Pro 4,1 for sale with about 3 weeks left on AppleCare>. But also take a look at various PC options if you don't mind running Windows. You can get some nice quad-core i7 (8 thread) and possibly 6-core (12 thread) systems in the $2K~$3K price range.
05-18-2012, 07:38 PM
I'll offer an example since I'm on Hackintosh: clicking an update for iTunes installed under the hood components that completely disabled audio on my system. I had to research web forums for the affected kext file to edit and was able to revive audio.
This was before I turned auto updates off, which, at one point the system update gave me immediate kernel panicks and would not allow me to boot up at all.
Sound scary? If so- steer clear.
05-18-2012, 07:58 PM
If your near Vancouver Canada I know a great guy to build you a hackintosh. I'm sure you can have it shipped too, pm me if your interested.
05-18-2012, 08:18 PM
IMO, the best hackintosh systems are built around the i5520 platform and the EVGA SR-2 motherboard performs great for this. It's an almost perfect Mac Pro clone, but you gain some more room to expand and there is little to break in terms of hardware compatibility. Most issues come down to minor compatibility glitches with audio and maintaining proper configs to work (in conjunction with third-party utilities) and get around the lack of the Mac ROM and Apple EFI.
Doesn't matter how great someone is at building a hackintosh, the real value is what comes after. Will the person provide post-sale support to keep their customers in the loop as far as OSX and other upgrades? A lot of the forums out there dedicated to hackintosh building can really get people going, utilities to install and configure the OS. Hardware discussions and component lists to build from.
In the end it all still comes down to maintaining an up to date and stable system. Whether you have an interest in all the tinkering or not, it's still a lot of work and there's always a risk that a future OSX version could be unworkable on your hardware, meaning you would be locked out of future updates.
Worst case scenario with a hackintosh is you just wipe OSX and run Windows or Linux and move on with your life.
To anyone buying / building a hackintosh right now, you may not want to buy into a system with the latest Sandy Bridge and/or Ivy Bridge CPUs. There currently is no proper chipset support within OSX outside of partial support in beta builds and developer previews. So you are actually crippling the potential performance of your system by using the latest hardware. If Apple doesn't go down the road of new Mac Pro or similar systems based on Xeon or i7 desktop-class CPUs, they may not incorporate proper chipset support within OSX and that would effectively kill the hackintosh community. Building a hackintosh around low-power and mobile platforms like we have in the iMac or Mac Mini doesn't really make a lot of sense or offer many benefits.
05-18-2012, 09:19 PM
Well, I am a relatively good tinkerer, but this computer is going to need to be a post-production workhorse. And hopefully in its elder years, a DIT workhorse. The whole reason I shipped the damn thing was because of a deadline for an edit. :-/
So I think what I'm hearing is that an actual Mac Pro might be the way to go. Weird how few 3.2 Mac Pro 3,1's I see out there.
Here is this, just for a sad laugh:
05-18-2012, 10:03 PM
supermicro x7da3 dual lga 771 sockets for xeon quad core processors, and up to 32 gigs of ram . still needed a iatkos bootloader , but was less likely to crash final cut than my 2008 or 2009 mac pro
beware building a hackintosh , there are port issues through quartermaster that will make fcp crash on start up , you have to go into terminal , and change a little code.. matriix style.. but be carefull as you can completely destroy your system if you put the terminal commands in wrong.. seriously it will be a boat anchor. view tony macs blog , hackintosh wiki , insanley mac , for info then or iatkos ,ideneb, chameleon and others for bootloaders
they bootloaders can live in a thumb drive inside you computer on a internal usb bus. or on a startup drive partition .. it tricks the pc's architechture " bios" into reading efi bootloader strings . so you can triple boot your system if you like . get two ssd drives as once for pc one for mac . as a nice double boot system .. hope this helps
05-23-2012, 04:53 AM
does the mac pro still run? if its purely aesthetics for the damage, keep using it, or sell it to someone?
05-25-2012, 11:12 PM
Really sorry about your Mac Pro. I've been building hacks since Leopard for DIT work (used alongside real macs) and I agree with Jeff and others here. I'd go so far as to say it's absolutely not worth the effort. I was initially curious as a long-time PC builder and thought a 3U mac pro would be great but in hindsight I should have never started.
The hours it takes to get it right won't be optional and just because someone else claims to have a perfectly working unit just like your build doesn't mean they've tried to move around 3TB+ of data while transcoding and capturing and grading all in the same day at the same time.
The only reason I still use mine at times is because I have an exact duplicate system in the camera truck during a job. As well I've spent enough time on mine that it is now reliable but they are always vulnerable when you change things up to accommodate a new workflow. Never update anything during a gig. If I have a hardware problem (I have 2 OSX backup drives per unit) I switch to the other rackmount hack and I'm back in business without too much delay. Clone system drives often, OSX updates nearly always require some kext replacement / repairs. A backup hackintosh is essential for our line of work.
These will be my last hacks, a used Mac Pro is the way to go right now if you can find the right one for your needs. I'm currently on an Epic show using a 12core Scratch Lab Mac Pro and can focus on the job at hand without worry. Priceless.
If you want to go through with it anyway, the motherboard you choose is everything (RAM is 2nd) and I used a pre-edited DSDT from tonymacx86 for mine but have since edited it. To get 2 graphics cards to work simultaneously (Resolve) you're on your own as those guys rarely deal with pro add-ons. Follow his guide exactly, it's east to miss a step. Luigi has also had a lot of success with his builds here:
This is my main base system: 3U rack chassis, 3.2GHz i7 970 (6 core), 24GB RAM, Gigabyte X58A-UD5 - working PCIe cards (Not at the same time of course) - Red Rocket, Quadro4000, Atto R608, Decklink extreme 3D, Ratoc SxS reader, FW800 card, Sonnet E4P, Kona 3G, Sonnet Qio E3. Bunch of outdated Nvidia cards.
Sorry for the long rant but you hit a nerve ; )
10-21-2012, 10:44 AM
I have a 3930K i7 and it's very fast, with a gigabyte motherboard x79-up4 withe 32gb ram, 12tb raid and a geforce 640 (basic) video card. Everything is fantastic! But, on transcodes it kernel panics and freezes after almost every clip. It's frustrating as hell. I can't say for sure if it's the hackintosh, i got 6 or 7 out of it first up.
I just wish I could figure out what's causing it.
but, nevertheless, it was cheap and much faster than anything apple has available for purchase. took me a couple of days of fiddling to get it right - so that part is true, definitely.
anyone had any crashing on transcoding in redcine-x? I don't have a red rocket...
10-21-2012, 09:24 PM
Are you sure he just dropped it and didn't throw it out of the van at 80mph on the freeway?
10-28-2012, 09:15 AM
Read up - totally worth it.
You can make a nice system for under $1000.
11-06-2012, 08:03 PM
Read up - totally worth it.
You can make a nice system for under $1000.
What he said