Building a cheap hackintosh

Posted by: TCPMeta

Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/26/07 09:44 AM

I've always have wanted to get a Mac mini but I can never afford one. I have a credit limit of 300 on my card so I'm going to use it for building a hackintosh. I have most of the parts but the few main parts needed to build it.

Motherboard
CPU
Memory
OSX for Intel (Universal)

I have found the parts and the motherboard even has the TSP chip that Apple and Intel both made so I don't have to use a modified copy of OS X. Just have to use a 3rd party bootloader to force boot OSX or get a hold of a intel mac and do a ROM dump and force flash the BIOS on the PC and it will be a full fledge mac by using EFI instead of BIOS. Thing is it's not all illegal since this is the same hardware that Apple uses. Since Apple buys their hardware from Intel technicality I can build a mac with out the middle man of Apple. All I have to do is buy a legit copy of Universal OSX and it's alright.

Motherboard
1GB DDR
CPU

In the range of $286.00 before tax. The CPU isn't a Core Duo but it will work just fine.
Posted by: 987687

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/26/07 11:03 AM

So why aren't there other companies selling computers like this?
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/26/07 11:32 AM

The EFI system is the reason why. Also you need a licence to sell OS X. Apple can still slap a cease and desist on 3rd party hardware developers. I doubt Apple would take me to court for building a hackintosh but they could if I was to market it. Also I wouldn't be able to get support from Apple on my system but I know enough that I wouldn't need Apple's help.

When you get down to it all you need is one part that is Apple certified for it to fall under the EULA. For a example if I was to use a Apple certified hard drive or DVD drive I would be safe under the EULA.

If you were to build a Apple G4 sawtooth's from scratch and use the sawtooth logicboard and use a 3rd party CPU like from sonnet, memory from PNY, A DVD drive from Pioneer, a hard drive from Western Digital, a video card from MSI and a 3rd party mid size tower ATX case with power supply would this still be a mac or would it just be a PC?
Posted by: 987687

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/26/07 11:40 AM

Thanks for the info. So basically apple doesn't want clones to be sold and will do anything to make it not happen
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/26/07 06:10 PM

Back in the 90s there were mac clones and Apple put a stop to it because the companies were using copied software. Meaning by copied software the Firmware or back in those days the ROM were Apple's property. The same thing almost happened back in the 80s with IBM but AMI reverse engineered the BIOS system. 
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/26/07 09:12 PM

The celerons don't work good with that good with the hacked OSX... lol, I used a Dual 2.4GHz Xeon system, and it seemed to work slightly slower than a low end Mac Pro(Quad 2.0). The Celerons I tried, one wouldn't even boot and the other was VERY slow. Both with nice motherboards. 3.04GHz Celerons or something close to that...
Posted by: echebon

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 10:46 AM

Is hypermicro a trustworthy site? I did a google search on that motherboard and did not get a lower price than 1,000. If you only have 300 to spend on a whole system, I would hate for you to loose 100 in a scam. Defenatly use a Pentium 4 over the Celeron.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 11:22 AM

Originally Posted By: "Protocol6v "

The celerons don't work good with that good with the hacked OSX... lol, I used a Dual 2.4GHz Xeon system, and it seemed to work slightly slower than a low end Mac Pro(Quad 2.0). The Celerons I tried, one wouldn't even boot and the other was VERY slow. Both with nice motherboards. 3.04GHz Celerons or something close to that...


I have to agree about the Celeron.  They aren't nic named the gutless wonder for nothing.  They are only suitable as browsing and email systems.  VERY limited.
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 01:20 PM

Go for a single, or if you can afford it, dual core Xeon. You will see MUCH better performance from it.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 05:00 PM

echebon, I don;t know where you have been looking but on pricewatch.com they range from $99 to $349. I bought a few parts before from Hyper Microsystems and they're alright. Most of the time they sell refurbished parts. They have been with pricewatch since 98.

I've ran a OSx86 system before just to try it out but I used my gaming PC. It was 100 times faster then my sawtooth. I think the Celeron would be plenty. The parts I listed work with out patching or hacking OS X. All I have to use is the Darwin bootloader and the rest is just gravy.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 05:26 PM

Oh, I forgot to mention I bought the motherboard friday and its been shipped.
Posted by: echebon

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 08:33 PM

I wanted to check out your motherboard specs so I did a google search of your motherboard (Mfg.Part No. BLKD945GTPLKR). This is only 1 site I found maybe this is for a new board:[ftp][/ftp] http://www.provantage.com/intel-blkd945gtplkr~7ITEM0AX.htm

Ah I see my mistake seems this board is usually sold in a 10 pack hence the $1,000 price tag. I'll just keep my mouth shut for now on.LOL  smile
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 09:14 PM

TCP:

One thing to keep in mind is that Apple has never written any code for a Celeron.  I know its all x86 but you can be sure that they put C2D and Xeon optimized code in their intel sw.  Even though i'm sure it would run it would be running on a cpu it was never intended to run on.

You may end up with a very slow and very unstable system.  If you ask me its better to put the 300 aside till you have another 300 and then you can buy a mini.  The new ones all have 1GB standard and the entry level is now a C2D 1.83.  Something to think about..
Posted by: 987687

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/27/07 09:35 PM

The apple TV supposedly uses a Pentium M, so mac would probably run on that too.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/30/07 06:02 PM

The motherboard came in today and I have tested it and it works.
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/31/07 06:04 AM

It works but with what processor, and how well? ;-)
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/31/07 06:41 PM

I only did a hardware test. I'm waiting for the CPU to get here and the 1GB of ram. After they get here i'll slap the system together and spend the day getting OSx to run. Tomorrow after work I need to stop by RPC computers and pick up a 20 to 24pin adapter for the power supply. I'm going to put the hardware into the sawtooth case I painted. I might even write a guide for this.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/31/07 06:51 PM

Best of luck in the build and OS setup, TCP.

I really hope this works out for you!  If it does this would be a great side project for me.
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/31/07 08:34 PM

I'd love to see your guide posted so I could install OS X and EFI on my Dual Xeon system...
Posted by: maestro

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 08/31/07 10:37 PM

I tried 10.4.6 x86 on my xtra PC, a PentiumD 4.0ghz on an Asus pdl2 with 1gb of adata running at 720.  It would post and get stuck on the Apple screen.  I am going to try an sata hd and see if that helps as this mb is a bitch for recognizing primary hard drives.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/01/07 08:03 PM

Must of had a bad patched kernel. This is why im going to build my own custom OSx86. Start from a legit copy of OSx and use the Darwin bootloader and start from there.

If I can get a ROM dump of a EFI system it would make things a lot easier.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/01/07 08:20 PM

I've done some research on EFI. It's a Intel product and a matter of fact a lot of PCs use a type of EFI. Intel's first Itanium workstations and servers, released in 2000, supported EFI 1.02. Also the newer HP laptops where you can watch a DVD with out booting into the OS uses a EFI system. My main gaming system has a type of EFI. The motherboard had a dual BIOS and on the second BIOS holds the EFI programing for restoring/upgrading the main BIOS, use custom profiles for the BIOS and also has a HD formating tool. Although Intel has changed the name EFI to uEFI. Thing is it has a legacy BIOS implemented as a compatibility support module to boot Windows. Give it time for the next Windows release and the old BIOS might be gone. OSx, Unix, Linux and BSD already don't need a BIOS or a heavy firmware really for it to boot.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/06/07 03:37 PM

The correct CPU came in yesterday. They sent me the wrong CPU! they sent me the older P4 / mobile CPU of the Celeron D. I sent a email right when I was about to toss me fist into the sheetrock of my computer room. I haven't gotten a reply yet.
Posted by: soundmann18

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/06/07 05:46 PM

"That was an overreaction" - Andy from The Office

You seem to have to worst luck in ordering parts and such.  Remind me never to have you buy something for me.
Posted by: dead13

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/06/07 06:12 PM

I think your celeron will run fine if all of the oldies remember i was running osx86 on a dual core amd processor and it ran like a champ the last time i dissapeared.now i am back with 2 imac g4's and an amd sempron waiting on a board for my pentium d.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/06/07 06:53 PM

Everyone doesn't realize there really isn't a difference with a Celeron and a P4. The celeron has a slower FSB and a smaller cashe. Basicly my system will be running like the older iMac Solo Core.

The reason why I have so much bad luck is the damn people that send the part don't know what they are really sending half of the time. I got a reply and they're giving me a run around. I'm going to send back the CPU and contact the BBB on them. The tech and sales guys at StarMicro claim they sent the correct but in my first email I included a picture of the CPU. You can clearly see its a socket 478 and not a socket 775LGA.

The one they sent me


The one I need.
Posted by: zenstate

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/07/07 07:49 AM

TCP:

I took a look at the StarMicro site and I have to say it looks like a pretty 2nd rate sketchy company.  You shouldn't be shocked that they made a mistake and won't easily correct it.

Buy parts from well respected places like newegg or tigerdirect and you won't get screwed.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/07/07 02:06 PM

My old job used starmicro a lot and never had a problem. In the past I had a lot of problems with TigerDirect. I guess im stuck with newegg.
Posted by: dead13

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/07/07 05:13 PM

i use directron and have never had a problem
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/07/07 06:18 PM

I'll check it out, thanks.

Oh, after I made two complaints to the BBB I still got a run around with starmicro but as soon as I gave a bad feedback on pricewatch.com I got this email.

Quote:
Hi,

Sorry for the trouble….if we shipped wrong



Please contact us on Monday to get the replacement…and we do not know until we saw Ur feedback that u had this kind of problem no emails we got from u……



Thanks
SP


Sounds like a real people person / sales rep huh? Heres my reply

Quote:
So no one got my emails? Would kinda help if you checked your inbox once in a while. Heres copies of the emails I sent before.

EMAIL 1:
I just got a CPU I ordered. It's the Intel Celeron D 330J 2.66GHz 256K 533MHz 775Pin CPU OEM. Well I went to build my new system and it seems the CPU size is too small. The motherboard I am using is a Intel D945GTPLKR.  The picture on your website shows the correct CPU but what I have here is completely different. The CPU that was sent to me looks like the older P4 478pin.


EMAIL 2:
Hi, I sent a email the other day and have not received a reply. I was sent the incorrect CPU from what was listed on the website. I ordered the
Intel Celeron D 330J 2.66GHz 256K 533MHz 775Pin CPU OEM. What I got was a Intel Celeron 2.66GHz 256k 533MHz 478Pin.

I would like a RMA number by Monday so I can return this item.

Thank you

So I guess I better call to get the RMA number on Monday since Email doesn't seem to work for you. I even sent the same emails to your tech support as well when I sent them to you and so far you're the only one that has sent me a email but you sent me a email because of the feedback I gave on pricewatch.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/10/07 01:10 PM

I finally got them to refund me for the CPU. Yet they want me to pay for shipping. Every person that works there are hindu and can't understand a bloody word they are saying. Reminds me of the tech support flash cartoon from illwillpress.com I had the guy repeat the
"RMA" number 5 times and I still think I only got half. I think tomorrow i'll just take a trip to RPC computers and get a buddy of mine to order me the parts to finish this project.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/10/07 06:16 PM

Well to kill time I thought I would show off a few things.

The case I will be using (I have RED cath tubes in and they're so bright my cam's redeye filter cuts in).


The motherboard with 1GB ram installed.


Right now im rewiring a power supply that I will be using.
Posted by: Krow

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/15/07 09:54 AM

Originally Posted By: "TCPMeta "

Back in the 90s there were mac clones and Apple put a stop to it because the companies were using copied software. Meaning by copied software the Firmware or back in those days the ROM were Apple's property. The same thing almost happened back in the 80s with IBM but AMI reverse engineered the BIOS system. 


The Apple clones from the 90's were licensed by Apple. When Steve Jobs came back to the company he didn't renew the licenses and actually bought the last remaining license from PowerComputing Co. I never heard anything about copying of the firmware. Where did you find this info ?

The official Apple story was Apple stopped the licensing of clones because they were loosing money on hardware sales.
Posted by: Krow

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/15/07 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: "TCPMeta "



When you get down to it all you need is one part that is Apple certified for it to fall under the EULA. For a example if I was to use a Apple certified hard drive or DVD drive I would be safe under the EULA.

If you were to build a Apple G4 sawtooth's from scratch and use the sawtooth logicboard and use a 3rd party CPU like from sonnet, memory from PNY, A DVD drive from Pioneer, a hard drive from Western Digital, a video card from MSI and a 3rd party mid size tower ATX case with power supply would this still be a mac or would it just be a PC?


The EULA is very clear that the software is only for an "Apple-Labeled computer" which pretty much eliminates anything but an Apple computer. Apple has never had a problem with people making their own Macs or but anyone who tried to market them without a license has been stopped. And of course there are no licenses available now, and I doubt there will be any in the future.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/15/07 09:30 PM

The Apple nazi lawers attacking the apple clones "The clone wars" was all I heard in the late 90s from every computer geek I knew.

You might be right about the EULA, I only skimmed it when I got about half way.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/16/07 06:32 AM

So then all we have to do is stick some Apple logos on the case......" wink
Posted by: Krow

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/16/07 08:21 PM

Originally Posted By: "TCPMeta "

The Apple nazi lawers attacking the apple clones "The clone wars" was all I heard in the late 90s from every computer geek I knew.

You might be right about the EULA, I only skimmed it when I got about half way.


Here's a pretty good article on the clones and what happened:

http://lowendmac.com/musings/mm07/0830.html
Posted by: Krow

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/16/07 08:22 PM

Originally Posted By: "Waragainstsleep "

So then all we have to do is stick some Apple logos on the case......" wink


Just pop the little Apple logo out of an old beige Mac and stick it on there and you are good to go ;-)
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/17/07 01:26 PM

Just run OS 7.7 on it and your good... LOL
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/17/07 05:59 PM

You mean system 7.5.5. System 7.7 was renamed to System 8.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/20/07 06:04 PM

I found a roll of red and black 16 gauge cable in the garage. I'm thinking to rewire my power supply for the hackintosh to make it match the color theme. Also im making up some Evil Inside stickers for the case to put on the Apple logo. Also im debating to add some LEDs for my hard drive and power.
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/20/07 06:33 PM

Sorry, i mean to just type 7. Think I had to much coffee a few days ago.
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/23/07 06:29 PM

I want to build a scratch machine as well, I know nothing about PC boards, what do you guys think of this one:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813138040R
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/23/07 07:25 PM

Depends on what you're trying to build. If you're trying to build a hackintosh it may work just fine. If you're trying to build a system for gaming then I would go with this one.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131182
Posted by: mordaskyt

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/24/07 10:51 AM

Hackintosh indeed, I can get the motherboard and a serviceable C2D chip for around $200 US. Not sure how well I will do with the OS install though, its a bit over my head, a good learning experience if you will.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 09/26/07 02:12 PM

If you can build a basic Unix system then you can make OSX boot on a PC. Or you can cheat and download the highly illegal copy of a prebuild OSx86 but I wouldn't trust it.

I'm still trying to find the perfect CPU. I did how ever got a buddy of mine to install OSx on a 200GB drive with his new MacPro. The drive has 3 partitions. 1GB for the boot partition (vfat), 100GB for the OS and what not and 99GB for backups. Right now I have it on a crappy PC to work on the bootloader. I know 1GB is a bit much for the bootloader but I might toss on WinXP for dual booting.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 10/01/07 09:52 AM

I got the perfect power supply today. My brother gave me his old PC and it has a 400watt Ultra power supply. Just need to polish it up since it's a chrome and dust is all over it and stained it in a few places.




When I go to cut up the case for the motherboard i'll need to also modify the spot for the power supply. The 120mm fan at the moment sits at the side of the case causing no airflow.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 10/01/07 11:05 AM

Afraid I really can't see any logic in having a partition for backups on your only drive. Unless you are in the habit of accidentally deleting your files on a regular basis. The imminent release of Leopard makes it an even less sensible practice. Buying extra drives for backup is a pain on the wallet, but if our only drive goes down, you'll be glad you forked out. I buy Seagate drives since they have nice long warranties. Buy a pair and you know your data is 99% safe for 5 years. Just don't burn your house down.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 10/04/07 08:00 PM

Backup as in software updating. Update say OSx and if something goes wrong I can revert back to the backup just by rebooting and switching the boot partition.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 10/05/07 01:26 AM

Fair enough. You'd be amazed how many people partition their drive for backing up their data. Lunacy.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: Building a cheap hackintosh - 10/05/07 07:05 AM

For backing up software you want to keep you should always use a different drive or a DVD. The backup partition is a stupid thing yes. But mine is more of a rescue partition.