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The Definitive Hackintosh topic
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  • How does this look:


    Z77-UP5 TH (I don't have any thunderbolt devices, but..)

    32 gb 1600MHz ram

    Samsung 128GB SSD SATA600 840 Pro Series

    (I already have noctua cooler on current processor, Nice case and PSU, GTX260 that will probably be the next to go, and few fast terabytes.)

    Is there any reason why this current instalation of ML with all apps would not work copied to a new drive on a new system (with bootloader of course, an correct kexts, minus dsdt)?

  • @inqb8tr As I said, is your best bet for researching specific builds and parts.

    An i7 isn't always the most appropriate overall CPU for all use cases. I know most here see themselves as needing Apollo 13 under their ass just to render those sixteen layers of grading on that spec rap video, but most of them would never notice the difference between an i7-3770K and an i5-3570K, aside from perhaps a few seconds and I mean literally a few seconds of final output render. In the meantime, you've saved a hundred bucks and you'll save on electric bills. But yeah, I know, you've got Spielberg on line one, Myrna Loy on line 2, and you can't spare the extra 10 seconds of render because godammit time is money and a CPU's like an assault weapon, hippie. Hyperthread Free Or Die.

  • that's worth considering :D

  • hahahah, lol.

    I think you have a point there, but, when I compare my current computer with the i5 builds from that period, there is a big difference, in usability and in price used. Also, I will not have the money for any major upgrades anytime soon, and right now it does not make so much difference for me that 100$ more or less. But I will think about it, thanks for your advices!

    Naaah, I need the fkn i7. :)

  • Longevity is a factor indeed. My experience is getting top end stuff pays off in the long run. It lasts longer till it's really too outdated to be useful. (Typing this on a 7 year old macbook pro so I know what I'm talking about ;) Of course this argument only holds if you plan to use gear for a long time, not switching every 1 or 2 years.

  • i have 9 Mac Pros currently in use on various systems and the only difference between my personal hackintosh and them is the hackytosh is faster - zero difference in quality or reliability of the actual box running the software, just buying the Apple dream (and ECC RAM) costs a whole lot more.

  • Well my latest updated Hackintosh specs are as follows;-

    Gigabyte Z77X-UP5 TH mobo, i7 3770k (unlocked) o/c to a safe 4.2Ghz for now ;-), 2 x 256Gb 840Pro SSDs (one for OSX/other for Windows) couldn't be arsed for the msata as the more expensive price for the same performance shows nothing in it over normal sata port, nvidia 680 gpu, 32Gb of Kingston RAM, plus a ton of regular sata drives and Im happy. Oh, and an additional UltraSharp U2913WM at 2560 x 1080 pixel res. Should do me for another year!

    PS This was a breeze spec to 'hackintosh' NO DSDT required. Vanilla build. :-)

  • Aye lovely easy install with that board - have fun!

  • @driftwood Congrats on the new Hackintosh rig, Nick. I'm running a similar setup with the 3770K (also OC'd to 4.2GHz, which seems to be the sweet spot for performance, heat, and stability) except with another Z77 Gigabyte board and an HD5870. Between the i7, SSD, and 32GB RAM, you're getting the best desktop Mac experience there is currently.

    Since you're an optimizer, one thing you may want to look at is your system definition aka smbios.plist file in /Extra. Multibeast defines new Hackintoshes as Mac Pro 3,1 by default, but with more modern parts like i7 and many current GPUs you'll get better graphics performance if smbios.plist tells OSX your machine is a late model iMac. Seems counterintuitive but my Cinebench score nearly doubled with my rig recognized as an iMac vs a Mac Pro. Sleep and Speedstep also became better optimized.

    You have Nvidia while I have ATI but you may want to try different system definitions and benchmarking them in Cinebench to see which gives you the best GPU performance.

  • @Shaveblog Already using it as a imac 13,1. Yeah, I know about the higher specc'ed the model is set in smbios the more you can overclock, faster gfx, and the ability to utilise the hackintosh closer to vanilla Mac features. No issues with sleep, sppedstep, etc... dream setup :-)

    Render speeds are insane!

  • @driftwood Interesting that iMac 13,1 works best for you. I benchmarked all the Mac Pro and iMac plists and found iMac 12.2 gave me by far the best Cinebench results, though my HD5870 vs your Nvidia may be the difference.

    Are you running boot/OSX and apps on SSD and your home/user files on HD, or is everything on SSD and you just use HDs for dumb storage? I'm running a smaller 128GB mSATA Mushkin SSD for boot/OS so I moved my user/home to a Hitachi 2TB HD and everything runs great. I know there are some DIY Fusion tutorials out but I don't trust Fusion yet, certainly not a home-rolled version. Perfectly happy with boot/OS on SSD, everything else on fast HD.

    One last tipfor a fellow 3770K traveler: ditch the stock Intel CPU cooler and get a Coolermaster EVO 212 for $30. I'm a silence freak and this did the trick for me. It even beat a more expensive Arctic Cooling cooler that was louder and less effective.

  • @Shaveblog +1 on the 212. Wonderful piece of equipment.

  • @Shaveblog Im using the Prolimatech Lynx CPU Cooler which is a fiver cheaper but I swear is just as good as the cooler master I got in my other machine.

    I plumped straight out for 13,1 but I may give 12,2 a tryout on your recommendation. With the SSDs I use them primarily for OS/Applications - for quick load times, also the 100Gb odd spare on the SSDs is used for FCPX /PP /etc... latest projects before moving them to standard sata drives on completion.

    Reading into Fusion it looks like a clunked Apple RAID-style attempt but if one drive goes down it brings the other with it. Its new tech from them so Ill give it a miss for now. There's only so many Apps I need on the boot drive and the Samy 840 Pro SSD is ample with room to spare for rendering.

    I'm unconvinced by mSATA until the speed times of newer devices prove its more worthwhile than standard hi-speed SSDs.

    Question: Have you used your TH ports yet?

  • @driftwood A fiver cheaper, you kill me.

    RE smbios.plist - I did the same as you initially, going straight for iMac13,1, but at least with my HD5870 I wasn't seeing the GPU performance I should have. The system worked, but FCPX didn't fly as the hardware in place would suggest. I went through MacPro defs and then finally hit upon iMac12,2 as being the magic def for my system. Curious whether yours shows the same difference. Try both with Cinebench and see what FPS they give you. With the HD5870, iMac13,1 got me in the mid30s while 12,2 got me 57.

    I agree the jury's still out on Fusion. I'm leery of any drive arrangement that spreads imminent failure around multiple drives so if any one of them tanks it's goodnight Irene. At least with SSD boot and HD user individual drive failure is sandboxed. I'm also unconvinced of any performance advantages Fusion has vs. an SSD/HD setup like ours. I've played with new Macs which have Fusion drives and the only advantage I can see is cosmetic, there's only one drive icon. I have great respect for Apple's hardware engineers but so far I don't see the point of Fusion aside from just visually hiding the 2-drive arrangement from users who've grown up with single drive environments.

    RE mSATA - I don't know if there are any speed benefits vs. 2.5" form factor, I just got a good deal on the Mushkin and since the Gigabyte board had mSATA I thought I'd try it. As it turns out the mSATA slot is only 3GB, so I put the Mushkin in a Syba mSATA-to-SATA adapter and now it's hooked up like a normal 2.5" SSD to one of the board's 6GB SATA ports. Not sure I've ever noticed a performance difference between 3GB and 6GB but the adapter was 12 bucks. I know it's killing you I spent a twelver on that.

    I haven't touched TH yet. Have you? A. my board doesn't have TH ports, and B. I don't have any TH peripherals. Honestly, I don't see TH in my needhouse. I'm a simple guy, thanks to you and Vitaliy. IV2-filled SD card goes in the slot, Private copies to the desktop, 5DtoRGB transcodes to ProResHQ, FCPX copies the pre-optimized files over. Hacked GH2 and i7 Hackintosh are a match made in heaven.

  • @artiswar It's silly I suppose to wax poetic about a CPU cooler but the 212 really is such a nice piece of kit. That @%#$ Arctic Cooling one drove me to drink. A PITA to install, screw threads that stripped, uneven contact. The 212 was cheaper, easier, and so far on the 20+ systems I've installed it on it's been 100% reliable. Great quiet fans on the 212 too.

  • I'm using one TB port as a display adapter port and got a Apogee Symphony on the other one, working a treat so far.

  • @soundgh2 Good to hear. I'm looking at trialing a mate's TH external drive this weekend. Be interesting to see how it fairs.

  • Only wierdigan had was turning off wake on TB in the Bios to stop the constant reboots (a la Wake On Lan) other than that performs same as my other Macs speed wise - be aware one of the TB ports is for drives and the other for displays on that board .

  • @SHAVEBLOG/Driftwood i am about to build a Z77-UP5 TH system this weekend, I have built a couple of Hackintoshes.

    The one thing that irks me is exactly this topic of SMBIOS. When using the iMac 12 or iMac13 definition did you also create SDDT files to load?

    Is the real-world difference between those SMBIOS and the MacPro 3.1 defintion really so big (aside from the benchmark scores)? I ask this because the Stork-system at tonymac that was referred to states clearly that he uses the default MacPro smbios, and finds it guarantees stability.

  • @ninetto No SSDT file is needed if you're using an Ivy Bridge CPU. SSDT is only for earlier Sandy Bridge chips.

    MacPro3,1 is the system definition for an early 2008 Mac Pro. It's the most generic of the smbios.plists, so it tends to "just work" with most combinations of board, CPU, and GPU.

    The downside to using MacPro3,1 with a modern set of parts is Apple has continually updated their OS to optimize performance for certain CPUs and GPUs that came later than 2008, and often you'll get a faster machine with a more current system definition like iMac12,2, iMac13,1, or even some of the later MacPro models.

    My advice would be to take the tonymac user builds with a grain of salt. They're starting points, not the last word.

  • Thanks for the info, Shaveblog. I do believe there is more to the SSDT management than you are aware of, are you sure you are getting full speed stepping using just the Imac12,1 SMBIOS ? Because if you read [this thread] ( you will see that there is a bit of tinkering involved...

  • @ninetto I know all about that SSDT generator on tonymac. I tried it, tweaked it, got it as perfect as the terminal edits allow, and I didn't see any performance difference whatsoever vs. no SSDT at all.

    I think that forum is a valuable resource but it does have its pockets of fringe tweakery that chase things that don't really matter. Building a successful Hackintosh is all about adding extra code to trick PC parts into booting OSX, and then behaving just like an Apple only faster. I prefer to add only the bare minimum to vanilla OSX to get everything working properly and nothing more. I try new developments like SSDT, but sometimes they fall into the category of things that only help incomplete installations. If you choose your hardware wisely and add the right kexts and plists, you don't need little bits of gum and twine all over the place. I remember the days when Hackintosh meant fake kernels and distros and all kinds of Apple code blocking. The resulting machines were touchy and prone to failure every software update, completely unfit for a work machine. That's a proof of concept game, not a professional tool.

    If you see better performance with SSDT, more power to you. I didn't, and the more I read that thread the more I feel they're chasing something that's more of a bandaid for suboptimal builds than necessary part of a fully optimized Hackintosh.

  • Thanks for the info, Shaveblog. My query was not intended as criticism, it was aimed at exactly that which you provided: hard info on real-world performance. Up until now I had only used SSDT-injectors before apple started supporting the newer CPUs, and was curious if they were now necessary and how they effected the SMBIOS management.

    Great, NO geeky SSDT-scripts for the build this weekend, although I am still a bit of a coward veering away from the standard MacPro 3,1 definition.

  • @ninneto No need to worry so much about smbios.plist, it's a pretty harmless choice as long as you stay with the MacPro and iMac plists. As I said, MacPro3,1 is the most generic, but won't optimize performance for more modern GPUs and CPUs. One of the later MacPro or iMac plists will get you faster benchmarks and rendering times. And I'm not definitively saying SSDT is a scam, just that it had zero effect on my i7-3770K/Gigabyte Z77/Radeon HD5870 system properly set up and OC'd in the bios. YMMV.

  • Just reporting back the the board both Shaveblog and Driftwood have, the Gigabyte z77-up5-TH is really sweet. Just watch out for which version of OSX your are installing, anything before 10.8.3 will not support 600er nvidia-GPUs, you have to first install via on-board graphic and then update to 10.8.3 and then install your card.

    What I am now interested in; has anyone using this board tried the USB-3 or even thunderbolt version of Blackmagic's Intensity Pro video card?? because the PCIe version will only output 8-bit, not 10-bit which sucks for color correction. It would be nice to hear it worked before shelling out 250 Euro...