I’m finally taking the leap and building a Hackintosh – the old Mac mini I’ve been running at home is just way too slow anymore to keep up with our iTunes and iPhoto libraries, not to mention the web and video work I’ve been playing around with for church lately. Most of the parts arrived a couple days ago and I’ve been playing around and getting familiar with putting everything together — this isn’t just my first Hackintosh, it’s the first time I’ve ever done a home-built computer!
Of course, part of the fun (?!??!) is the troubleshooting that’s necessary to get Mac OS X up and running the right way on a Hack, so I’m getting more and more familiar with how to do all of that. Since I’ve decided to chalk the last day or so of work up to the “experimentation” phase on how to make things work, I’m going to start over and document everything pretty exhaustively both for future personal reference and in the hopes it can help someone else.
So, here is the system I’m going to call “xMac” in honor of the midpoint Mac many enthusiants hope Apple might build between the Mac mini and the Mac Pro (don’t hold your breath).Components were selected primarily based on their presence in Tonymacx86’s Buyer’s Guides (June 2013). As recommended, I’m sticking with Ivy Bridge processors because Haswell procs are still too new to be stable and widely supported in the Hackintosh community. That will change as Apple moves more of their machines to the new chips. All links below point to Amazon unless otherwise noted (and no, they are not affiliate links).
- New Components:
- Fractal Design Define R4 case in black – clean lines and very quiet
- Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH motherboard
- Intel Core i7-3770K processor (good headroom for potential overclocks down the line)
- EVGA GeForce 650 Ti 1GB graphics card (much better than on-board HD4000, but nothing to extreme since I’m not a gamer at all)
- Corsair Vengeance 32GB memory kit (four 8GB sticks)
- SanDisk Extreme 240GB SSD for the boot drive
- Corsair TX750M power supply (might be a bit of overkill, but I plan on running this box for about five years so it will likely “grow” in power needs over time)
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU cooler (effective aftermarket air cooler in case I decide to overclock)
- IOGEAR GBU521 Bluetooth 4.0 adapter
- Sony Optiarc 5280S-CB-PLUS SATA DVD burner
- LG Electronics UH12NS29 SATA BluRay player
- Existing Components:
- Apple Wired USB Keyboard
- Logitech MX Revolution wireless mouse
- Apple Magic Trackpad
- Samsung SyncMaster 245BW display
- Miscellaneous hard drives to stick in the thing once it works
- Guides and knowledgebases:
- Lifehacker’s “How To Build a Computer from Scratch” – especially Lesson 3
- Tonymacx86’s UniBeast guide for installing Mountain Lion
- Thelostswede’s “Quick guide to configuring the UEFI on Gigabyte’s 7-series LGA1155 motherboards” on Tonymacx86.com.
- Geekomancer’s “My First Hackintosh” thread, which outlines his trials, tribulations, and successes in building a Hack with the same motherboard and processor. I sympathize with him sincerely after the last couple days of going through multiple guides and “Golden Build” posts!
So I’m going to get back into re-installing everything from scratch tomorrow…I’ve got a system up, running, and “mostly” stable right now based on HD4000 internal graphics, but my GeForce 650 Ti card arrives tomorrow and that will be the permanent solution – especially since I’ve borked up my HD4000 graphics due to some errors along the way… <sigh>