Hackintosh 101: Part 1 – Choosing the parts

Apple & Intel inside

Apple & Intel inside

As part of my exposure to the world of Macs, I decided to try a project that is fairly publicized on the Internet – to build a Hackintosh. This is essentially building a computer system with regular PC parts that you can pick up from your local computer store, but installing the Mac operating system on it.

This effectively provides you with a full functioning Mac that could even be more powerful than their native Macs, and most importantly… AT A LOWER COST! (I paid less than USD600 for this Core 2 Quad machine – not including the monitor)

Stay tuned for the next part of this series that details the operating system software installation process.

[stdvid]WAgvePJm5U0[/stdvid]

Summary of computer components used

  • ASUS P5K Pro motherboard
  • Core 2 Quad 2.4 GHz (Q6600)
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8500GT graphics card
  • 2x 2GB DDR2-800MHz Kingston RAM
  • Pioneer SATA DVD-ROM
  • 250GB SATA hard drive
  • A regular casing with a good power supply

Music credit: Sunset (Ken Verheecke), Farranos no Frevo (Camerata Brasileira)

34 Comments

  1. Paul Tan - August 26, 2008

    lose the music next time (except for that last fast forwarded bit)

  2. Jon - August 26, 2008

    you should give away the hackintosh once you are done. Create a contest, get everybody link you. I’ll link you and you will select me as the winner.

    thanks

  3. Grace - August 27, 2008

    Jon, I think you’re revealing the secret too fast. You should be more discreet next time. Paul, the music was for contrast, though quite different in feel.

  4. Kee - August 28, 2008

    Asus p5k boleh!

    Now who says an apple cannot live in a pc? buahahaha

  5. The Backpackr - August 28, 2008

    Hi Paul, thanks for your comment – I’ll try to be more discerning when I select music in future. I do however like the pieces that some of these Creative Commons fellas churn out.

    Jon: Give away the hackintosh? Are you nuts? How am I gonna edit my segments? My wife won’t let me near her Macbook Pro… :(

  6. Hackintosh 101: Installing the Mac OS on PC hardware | TheBackpackr.com - September 12, 2008

    […] and are just raring to try your hand at installing the Mac OS. This tutorial follows on from Part 1 – Choosing the parts – do watch it first if you haven’t assembled your […]

  7. Mark - December 18, 2008

    Is your Audio working and do you have problems with Update 10.5.6? Looks great by the way!

    Thanx

    • The Backpackr - December 20, 2008

      Yes, my audio is working – but I have not updated to 10.5.6. I would caution you against upgrading to the latest update via the Software Update method, as it will oftentimes override the customized settings based on the installation DVD. My philosophy for the hackintoshes is, “if it’s not broke, don’t upgrade!”

      As for audio, it really depends on what motherboard you are using and whether or not it is compatible, or whether there are kexts available for it. Alternatively, you can get an external sound card that is on the hardware compatibility list and plug it in.

      Thanks for your compliments, and all the best with your project!

  8. tom - December 31, 2008

    Hello..awesome tutorial

    I have a Gateway GT5628 that I’m considering converting, do you see any problems with any of the specs?

    Processor Intel® Core™2 Quad Q6600 quad core processor with VT

    * Each core operates at 2.40 GHz
    * 2 × 4MB L2 cache
    * 1066 MHz front side bus

    Chipset Intel G33
    # Memory Installed: 3072 MB DDR2, 667 MHz, (PC2-5300) dual channel memory (two 1024 MB and two 512 MB modules)
    # Expandable to: 8 GB (4 DDR2 DIMM slots)
    Hard Drive 500 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II hard drive
    Support for up to two hard drives
    Optical Drive DVD ±RW, 18X multi-format dual layer drive (up to 8.5 GB)

    * Write max: 18X DVD±R, 8X DVD+R DL, 8X DVD-R DL, 8X DVD+RW, 6X DVD-RW, 12X DVD-RAM, 48X CD-R, 32X CD-RW
    * Read max: 16X DVD-ROM, 48X CD-ROM
    * Supports Labelflash™ on disc printing (req. Labelflash media)

    Media Card Reader 15-in-1 high speed digital media manager supporting the following:

    * Compact Flash (CF) I, II
    * IBM Microdrive™ (MD)
    * SmartMedia Card (SMC)
    * Memory Stick™ (MS)
    * Memory Stick Duo (MS Duo)
    * Memory Stick PRO (MS PRO)
    * Memory Stick PRO Duo (MS PRO Duo)
    * Secure Digital™ (SD)
    * Mini Secure Digital (MiniSD)
    * Multi Media Card (MMC)
    * RS Multi Media Card (RS-MMC) (need adapter)
    * Multi Media Plus Card (MMC Plus)
    * Multi Media Mobile Card (MMC Mobile)
    * xD-Picture Card (xD)

    Video NVIDIA® GeForce® 8500GT

    * 256 MB onboard video memory
    * DirectX® 10, Blu-ray™ /HD DVD™ capable
    * Ports:
    o VGA
    o DVI-I with HDCP
    o S-Video

    Audio Integrated 8-Channel (7.1) High Definition Audio
    Network Support Integrated Intel 10/100 Mbps Ethernet LAN
    Modem 56K ITU V.92 ready Fax/Modem
    Power Supply 400 watt
    # Add-in Card Slots One PCI Express ×16 (graphics interface)
    # Two PCI Express ×1
    # One PCI conventional
    # External Connectors One PS/2 keyboard port
    # One PS/2 mouse port
    # One VGA monitor port
    # Eight USB ports (six rear, two front)
    # Two IEEE 1394a port (one rear, one front)
    # One RJ-45 Ethernet LAN port
    # Seven audio jacks (five rear, two front)
    # One S/PDIF optical audio port
    Drive Bays Five total:

    * Two external 5.25-inch
    * One external 3.5-inch (with a docking bay for optional Gateway 2.5-inch removable USB hard drive)
    * Two internal 3.5-inch (hard drive)

    Physical Dimensions
    (H × W × D) 15.6 × 7.2 × 16.1 inches
    Weight (Unpackaged) Minimum 23.4 lbs. (varies with configuration)

    • The Backpackr - February 13, 2009

      Tom, your graphics card should have no problem. The only area is the motherboard which is probably a proprietary one to Gateway. As such, I would have no idea on its success, unless others have used the same configuration before.

  9. Nuuky - February 11, 2009

    Hi Backpackr,

    I think that the video is awesome! You explain everything very clearly, although the part where you install in the case all what you bought is very fast.

    Could you make a video showing step by step how to put every part in the case,please,please,please?

    By the way,the music is very good selected and it does not distract.

    Thanks in advance.

    All the best,
    Nuuky

    • The Backpackr - February 13, 2009

      Hi Nuuky,

      Thanks for your comments. Perhaps I will put together a video one of these days on how to assemble a PC. I’ll have to find a slice of time to do that. For now, I believe you can search online to see what others offer in terms of computer assembly – it’s really not too difficult.

  10. Hi Backpackr - February 14, 2009

    Hi Backpackr,

    Thanks for your answer.I have seen some videos on YouTube on how to assemble a PC…the problem is that one can´t watch step by step how to connect the cables correctly at the end,because of their hands.

    You truly have the gift to explain things and show them very well,so I really hope that you´ll have a litte time to makre this video.

    I wish you only the best,
    Nuuky

  11. john - April 16, 2009

    can you attach a mighty mouse and a mac keyboard?

  12. andre - April 17, 2009

    Hi Backpackr,

    I am building my first hackintosh for video editing (using final cut studio 2) and was wondering if this was a good group of hardware to get started with and what are your thoughts about overclocking this setup?

    Asus P5QL PRO Intel Socket 775 motherboard
    Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 2.66Ghz 6MB 1333FSB CPU
    OCZ 700w GameXStream Power Supply
    8GB OCZ SLI PC6400 DDR2 800MHz (4x2048MB)
    Sparkle GeForce 9400 GT Video Card – 1GB DDR2, DVI, VGA, PCI-Express 2.0
    Seagate Barracuda 500GB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive
    Aspire X-Cruiser Case

  13. Kevin - May 8, 2009

    Hey Alex,

    Great website! I am building a unit alot like yours for audio (Logic Pro 8) I have 2 questions: 1. Does the firewire ports working properly with this configuration? 2. Will this video card work with this config? Any info about this setup would be greatly appreciated.

    ASUS P5K Pro
    INTEL Q9550
    NVIDIA GEFORCE 9500GT 1GB
    KINGSTON HYPER 2X2G 1066FSB(800)
    LG 22X DVD
    SATA 500GB 3GB/sec HD

  14. Michael - May 14, 2009

    Aloha
    Much Mahalos for the tutorial, its going to help out a lot when I get stared. I just need to know what Version of Leo4All I need to get, and what Ver. did you use in your videos.

    I,m an Indy Film Maker, and was wondering if you where a Film maker? you got the top of the line Editing software to do the right job, I,m Learning how to use Final Cut now.

    You did such a good job on the tutorial I wonted to cut it up and put it on a DVD. There is a lot more I wish you put in the next video like covering hardware that you know works, like what CPU can I use, what top of the line CPU will work, Faster is Better right. whats the max Ram I can get. I use Win XP and I cant stand Vista and Macs are new to me.

    Aloha

  15. Justin - May 19, 2009

    So basically for a hackintosh you need an ASUS motherboard, NVidia graphics card, and a good Intel processor. Sounds pretty basic.

  16. Geovanni - May 23, 2009

    Hey Alex,

    I was wondering, I know you already answered whether the audio works on this mboard, but I was wondering if you have any problem with the network card (Ethernet port). If so, how did you fix it?

    Thanks,

    Geo

  17. Manuel - June 15, 2009

    I was wondering if for your next video you could do, well, basically what Micheal said, what processor, motherboard, etc. would be the best for this version of Leo4all, iATKOS, and whatever.

    Cheers for the video, it’s awesome.

  18. Jake - August 5, 2009

    Hey thebackpackr

    i am looking to make this adsact same configuration, but i was wondering how you would go about wireless networking cards, or even a new better system to make than this

    greatly appreciated and great website…
    Jake

  19. Jake - August 5, 2009

    Oh and what version if leo4all did you use, this actually my most needed info… Thanks in advances:)
    jake

  20. devilwater - August 14, 2009

    Hi

    i try to install leo4all, the installation was successful, but after i restart my i have ebios error on my pc’s, could anyone find way to fix it.

    my pc’s config.

    intel pentium D 2.8Ghz
    ECS p4m900t-m2
    2gb ram
    40gb hdd

    thnx

  21. TheBackpackr - August 20, 2009

    Hi everyone, sorry for not replying earlier. There’s been a flood of comments and not enough time to reply. As for questions regarding whether this motherboard will work or not, I cannot answer – as I don’t have all those motherboards.

    You’ll have to give it a try and see, that’s how I learnt.

    As for the Leo4All version, grab the latest – that should be the most updated and have the most drivers available. I got the 10.5.2 version, as it was a year ago since I made the video.

  22. se7en - September 9, 2009

    hello thebackpackr..i got a problem installing hackintosh iATKOS 10.5.7,the problem is the harddisk not detected on my compaq presario F700,i already try to install using kalyway but still got the same problem..i already format the partition to FAT32..i hope u can help me out..really want to use mac on my laptop..

  23. Anthony - October 17, 2009

    @ TheBackpackr:

    Hi there,
    I was wondering, what kind of video editing are you able to accomplish with your setup? I’m interested in building an identical machine but only if it’s able to easily handle HD footage and render quickly.
    My friend has a quad-core PC laptop and he rendered a true HD 30-second sequence in After Effects in 30 seconds. Are you able to see those kinds of results consistently with your Hack?

  24. Anthony - October 17, 2009

    I’m finding as I’m looking for these components that they’ve been discontinued. That, and parts must be really cheap in Malaysia.

  25. Geoffrey Cochrane - November 22, 2009

    Hello Alex hackintosh vidaos are great ,,, music loved the jason mraz the rest not to bad … cant find the nvidia card you suggest what other cards can i use please … Could you tell me when i have biult and installed the operating system and it all works will all updates work and all outher mac software also work thanks for your help mate all the best geoffrey …

  26. TheBackpackr - November 25, 2009

    Hi guys, the hackintoshes I’ve built have been rock solid and it’s due to the extensive research that has gone into them before embarking on the project. Selecting the right hardware is the MAIN factor that divides success and failure.

    This tutorial has now been superseded by a new one on how to install Snow Leopard on PC hardware. I’ve got some instructions on this site, but no video… yet.

    @Geoffrey: thanks for the great comment. Most Nvidia cards are widely supported, do search on Google and you’ll find a long list of compatible cards. Software updates will not work as it could break your installation. If you look for the instructions I gave on Snow Leopard, that works fine with official software updates.

  27. Geoffrey Cochrane - November 25, 2009

    Alex you are a gem of a guy ,,,keep up the great work and thanks for taking the time to get back to me mate ,,, i will keep you up to date with how i am getting on all the very best mate but please more vids thry are the best geoffrey …

  28. Gilbert Wong - December 4, 2009

    Good review bro~ will want to try it out 1 day~ 1 fine day~ hehe

  29. thebackpackr.com gets a faceliftTheBackpackr.com | TheBackpackr.com - November 23, 2010

    […] website. I’ve not been blogging too much, but a truckload of traffic comes via YouTube for Hackintosh write ups and for searches on how to clean the Ikee […]

  30. Ricardo Ang - November 29, 2010

    Interesting, but how did you realized which hardware was the right to use ?? because according to mac.com your NVIDIA GEFORCE 9500GT was not even compatible with OSX but you made it work !!!, and do you know which audio chipset does your hackintosh have finally ?? is interesting because some guys are making work components NOT compatibles with OSX (according to macintosh)
    I got a problem making work these 2 in a sony vaio i7:
    VIDEO: NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 310M / GT 425M
    AUDIO: Realtek® Audio HD PCEE
    ricardoplugins@gmail.com

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