Item one: He tried to use an AMD video card. That's mistake #1 right there. In spite of AMD being the default OS X graphics, it's a royal pain to make an off the shelf card work in a hackintosh, while nvidia just works. Check the 'why not AMD cards' thread on tonymac...
Item two: he seems to want the advanced graphics capabilities that are still a good reason to buy a genuine mac in the first place. Better to buy a real Mac in this case.
Item three: he hasn't hand built a PC in 20 years. And since he's doing video work, he's probably not very technical either. If you're familiar with messing with a unix-like operating system at a lower level, it's fairly easy to fix all those little problems.
Now if you're a programmer doing native code, I'd still recommend doing a hackintosh; Apple has no hardware for you, so you might as well roll your own. For desktops, that is. Also get an apple made macbook pro for portability. Maybe the one without the emoji keyboard though.
There's one more use case that infuriates me: CI. Are we supposed to buy outdated and underpowered Mac Minis, outdated and overpriced Mac Pros, stuff clamshell'd MBPs into racks, or horizontally slide in iMac Pros even?
The fact that we collectively have to hack hypervisors to merely flick a flag and be able to operate a snapshottable macOS on server-class, rackable hardware at non-trivial scales is just beyond ridiculous. That license requirement is inane.
It's a lot of time and effort and takes a certain masochism.
What's wrong with the higher-end iMacs? (My nitpicks are no dealbreakers: Glossy screen, height is not easily adjustable, I've heard of thermal issues.) The iMac always seemed like the only line of Apple computers where updates are both frequent and well-received.
Lack of storage. For my use case at least, which involves a lot of VMs and large source trees. Please don't suggest external storage boxes.
Shit video card for taking gaming breaks ;) Or the monitor is too big for the video card, I'm not sure. Please don't suggest a separate gaming PC, considering how much Macs cost they'd better play games well.
1. It has a form factor that suits my needs for space and cooling
2. It has a 1080Ti which I can use for ML or Games (though primarily games)
Though I have to say - your use case is a bit extreme. If you need excellent cooling, lots of internal storage space and ultra smooth gameplay then maybe a mac is not what you need?
And Apple used to have a system that fit the bill pretty well - the pre trashcan Mac Pro. If the promised expandable Mac Pro comes out and they don't make it unusable for one dumb reason or another, I may abandon hackintoshes.
And to add another example, a friend of mine is working on a 5K iMac (non pro) on a normal-ish desktop application. He has to use external storage for testing, because the application has to manage large document libraries that don't fit on his internal SSD. Also, he's always mentioning that the iMac gets noisy when he's doing a build.
And their fans/heat management is great for 99% of developers.
> while nvidia just works.
He specifically mentions why he didn't go NVidia : NVidia doesn't "just work" on a hackintosh.
It requires installing a new closed source NVidia "web driver" for EVERY new macOS point release, because it absolutely refuses to start if there's the slightest build number mismatch, and NVidia can take days to catch up. One day, they may just get tired of it and stop supporting older cards or macOS versions.
Also, that driver refuses to install before you've actually upgraded macOS, which means your first reboot will be in super low res non-accelerated compatibility mode, and you'll have to painfully navigate to the installer in this environment then reboot a second time.
>Item three: he hasn't hand built a PC in 20 years. And since he's doing video work, he's probably not very technical either. If you're familiar with messing with a unix-like operating system at a lower level, it's fairly easy to fix all those little problems.
No it isn't, at all. I'm a systems engineer, lived and breathed Linux since 1996, including 8 years as my primary desktop OS (Slackware, Gentoo, custom kernel builds, you name it) before switching to the Mac.
I made the mistake of building a Hackintosh last year to save on an iMac's cost, and I want those dozens of hours (and counting) of my life back. The argument the author makes under "price" is spot on : if you're not a student with way more time than money, it's just not worth it. If you bill by the hour/day, don't even THINK about it.
I've now got a 80% working setup after carefully choosing compatible components (including a Z97 Asus mobo, an insanely fiddly to get working Thunderbolt card, and a custom PCI card with original Apple chips for BT/Wifi). But I've given up on getting all USB ports working, or iMessages/Facetime, or sleep/wake which is sure to freeze the machine (it also sometimes reboots out of the blue). The PC also doesn't wake my monitor up half of the time when first booting macOS, and I have to hard reset it.
Part of your journey is to "inject" kexts, pass kernel parameters with magic constants, sometimes provide binary patching instructions for drivers in a Clover plist config file. There's no single guide that takes you through all of this. Everybody has their own different thing. Even the attempts at UI tools (Clover configurator, Multibeast) to generate those config files don't attempt to hide any of the complexity.
And don't get me started about built-in audio : first, you need to pick your kext between several variants of AppleHDA available from zip files hosted on mega.com (or random Github repos when you're lucky, with no context at all given in the READMEs, when there's a README). Then, you need to find out which of a few dozens audio I/O "layouts" is appropriate for your motherboard, and manually pass that as a kernel parameter.
The tutorials disagree between each other, there's no standard way of doing it, it feels like the worst hours of Linux on the desktop.
I'm also usually an enthusiastic early OS upgrader, but I've been holding off upgrading my machine to High Sierra for months because a quick search on tonymacx86.com shows the gigantic bag of hurts this is going to be (new kexts to inject, careful with APFS, etc)
I'll finish with a self-explanatory quote from a macOS High Sierra upgrade thread on tonymacx86.com :
Some audio codecs will require an addtional patch (AppleHDA)
If you are using target codec 0x11d4198b, you may need to also zero out codec compare 0x11d4198a (a new supported codec in 10.12).
eg. in KextsToPatch:
Comment: 0x11d4198a to zero
And a helpful recommendation for an easy and "foolproof" way to upgrade to High Sierra (tl;dr : make a second OS installation from scratch on a spare disk (you have that right?), "fix it until it's bootable", then attempt a High Sierra upgrade on the first installation, compare and contrast the two and cross your fingers) : https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/it-is-unclear-how-to-upgr...
Careful what you wish for. I have no Thunderbolt and no wifi on the desktop (it's immovable so I use a network cable). I would never try to get TB working on a hackintosh. Nor iMessage/FaceTime. For those I have a Macbook Pro.
Audio works out of the box. All USB ports but one work out of the box. Sleep works out of the box.
You're saying you bought a Z97 Asus mobo. You bought one that you liked just because it had a chipset that usually works, or a specific board known to work 100% from tonymac's compatibility list? If you had to patch kexts, i think it's the former not the latter.
And High Sierra... I don't have that even on my laptop yet. Waiting for a few more patches. After it works fine on my laptop I'll consider upgrading the hackintosh.
And yes, I switched to OS X after 10 years of Linux as my primary OS. I've installed Slackware from 80 floppies and hand compiled my kernels because back then it was the only way to get the right drivers in. I still make a lot of my money by doing custom ARM linuxes for various devices. On VMs on OS X :)
At most I've spent a day to get some quirks of new hardware to work, but all of the 3 upgrades I've done throughout the years has basically worked directly.
And with Clover bootloader, it's even easier than it's ever been.
The key is to pay attention to what hardware to use, the tonymacx86 buyers guide is great for the most part but sometime the recommendations are too early so you might have to live with a few quirks like USB testing and limiting.
Right now I'm using an Gigabyte Z170-HD3, Intel i5 6600K, 32GB DDR4, 1x M.2, 6x SSDs and 2x HDDs and Nvidia 1080 Ti without a hitch.
I'm even using MacOS on my new HP Envy 13 without any issues.
And it's about to start getting far more difficult too. In my opinion, we've reached "peak hackintosh". Now with additional features which run on ARM chips and custom hardware complementing macOS more and more, it's going to become increasingly untenable to replicate the full experience going forward.
TouchID & TouchBar with BridgeOS on the MacBooks was the first step. Hey Siri on the iMac Pro is the next rung up. How long until we see FaceID on the Mac, or much further down the road, macOS running on ARM?
::message typed from a glorious clicky-clicky keyboard with well broken-in MX blues::
I don't need commercial software so I never tested, but it was my impression that the commercial version of Wine (codeweavers) could handle most things?
I recently tried it with a couple Windows only apps (after having not tried it in 4-5years) and sadly was still essentially unusable. Admittedly the apps I was trying were silver or bronze category, but still doesn’t change the fact it was one small step above unfunctional.
Some years later, I was handed a Dell XPS 8300 desktop at work. Turns out I couldn't stand Windows, and I was constantly running a Linux VM in it, so I might as well jump to native. But it was a crapfest: unstable graphics driver which randomly failed to initialize, constant tearing that couldn't be dealt with, seemingly random CPU performance issues, GPU/screens that wouldn't respect DCC, power off then instantly power back on, endlessly blinking, AHCI glitches that would spam dmesg, not to mention your typical pulseaudio and bluez mess. And one day, just for kicks, I hackintoshed the thing. It booted right away, with zero glitches, full GPU support, and only ethernet and audio missing, which was quickly fixed by installing kexts that are basically ports from either Linux or FreeBSD drivers. To sum it up, Mac OS X was behaving much better than Linux on that specific non-Apple hardware. I was stumped. The productivity gain was astounding for me, so much so that I kept it around, and used it with increasing frequency. Soon enough, coworkers started to notice and asked me if it was a Linux theme or something. The word spread that Mac OS X was a good thing and that it integrated well into our work environment, the hackintosh was quickly retired in favour of legit Apple hardware, not just for me but for many people in the company as it became a possible option for whoever wanted to have one as a work machine instead of a PC.
I can understand Apple going after people trying to turn money on hackintoshed hardware, but I sincerely hope they continue to turn a blind eye on this, because enthusiasts hacking the shit out of this is definitely good for them.
Interesting keyboard. (Takes some getting used to.)
Well, I blew away Windows and put Ubuntu Studio on it and its now my main goto computer - replacing the very expensive MacBook Pro I typically use.
I think that there is really no need to go the Hackintosh route, except for "access to MacOS software" (fair enough), if all one wants is a nicely-designed, comfortable, convenient machine. The GPD Pocket + Ubuntu Studio experience has been just as friendly as it ever was on MacBook, and I think that if the next iteration of the Pocket gets a bit bigger, with a nicer keyboard .. then it'll be goodbye MacBook addiction, hello "switched to Linux on GPD Pocket2" ...
Seriously, the only draw for me is the resilience of the hardware. Apples competition need only produce a unibody MacBook-like experience, hardware-wise, and distros' like Ubuntu Studio can handle the rest.
My perception is that there are getting to be two kinds of Linux users these days:
1. People who relished in the technical challenge of maintaining a Linux machine in the olden days and would use Linux no matter what.
2. People who installed it for whatever reason in recent times on compatible hardware, and literally have no idea how it’s any different than MacOS or Windows from a difficulty perspective.
My perspective nowadays is that Linux is a cake walk... but I started with Yggdrasil, Slackware, and the BSDs in the 90s.
Hackintoshes seem like a lot of work to buy oneself into Apple serfdom. The idea that people can newly encounter Linux in 2017, and not be turned off by usability, hardware compatibility, or software availability is pretty exciting to me.
We've come a long, long way.
The conclusion fits with what I've found as a natural progression of my approach to tech as I've aged.
Late teens to early 20s had they been a thing I absolutely would have invested time in building a hackintosh and enjoyed the time spent solving the problems. Nowadays (40ish) I wouldn't even build my own gaming PC anymore. I want to exchange money for something that works as I expect when I need it and have done with it and at best swap a GPU or SSD sometime.
I think I go in phases. In my twenties & early thirties I was very wrapped around the notion of efficiency and opportunity cost. I wouldn’t have dreamed of building a computer, or a shelf, or anything else.
But a couple of years ago I decided to build a PC for gaming—not because it was cheap or easy, but because I thought it sounded like fun. I took advice from excited people much younger than me, and had a blast talking pros and cons of this stuff with randos (presumably teens and millennials) on the Internet.
In the end I probably did save a little money, but the kick I got from doing something I hadn’t done since you needed to remember that the red side of a ribbon was pin 1, would have been worth it at a much higher price.
So, Hackintosh? If you’re purely trying to have a functioning computer for a reasonable price? Probably not.
However if part of what you’re looking for is a challenge, then I think it’s okay to just own that and know that you’re paying for an experience.
The name HACKintosh kind of tells you that, right? Sorry, but this was a pointless and non informative post.
I ran a Hackintosh from 2009 to 2013. It was extremely stable, but a bit cumbersome when doing updates. Things might have evolved since then.
The fact that things are hardly documented except in forms of either step-by-step blind-handholding recipes or unscientific "hey I pushed this and pulled that and it works now!" forum posts doesn't help.
I had some long forgotten Bitcoin I found so I did this.
Took around a hour to get OS X installed. Only real catch was audio. But that only added another 30 minutes.
Everything works great. No problems with stability.
The funny thing is I initially installed windows on this build. I wanted to make sure everything worked. That was more difficult than getting OS X installed.
I do not recommend using a hackintosh if it pays your bills. It will eventually break and there might not be a fix.
Or do it like me, I have a hackintosh but also a genuine macbook pro - which i need anyway because a desktop hackintosh isn't portable. If the hackintosh acts up, I have the laptop to keep me in business while i figure out a solution.
WSL offers a very reasonable Linux environment under Windows nowadays.
And since it's a Windows box, you are still free to build it up from components yourself.
I have a feeling a lot of people build Hackintoshes because they like assembling their own box (with the freedom to upgrade when they want), don't want to pay the 400% Apple tax and want a nice development environment. I'd say it's worth looking into using Windows 10 + WSL, because you can do Linux based web development, audio / video editing and gaming all with 1 machine, without compromises.
At this point, if you're wanting to use WSL for something like Chef development, you're better off having a full Linux VM on your Windows machine, or just sticking with macOS (in spite of it's apparent decline in quality).
You are right about file permissions, it's the one downside I've noticed but luckily it's a non-issue. You can just chmod your files and folders in your deploy scripts/recipes/playbooks. This is a good practice anyways and I would do that in any case.
Also in any case, if I were testing deploy scripts I would always do that in a VM or staging server even if I ran Linux natively, because you wouldn't want to corrupt your development box with project specific deploy infrastructure.
Oh yeah, the permissions also don't bother you in development. For example I can just cd into my development files (which are outside of WSL) and run VSCode on it without sudo or any tricks, and it all just works. They are accessible from within WSL too without using sudo (even tho they are owned by root:root according to WSL while I'm logged in as my user).
Some of us find Windows itself to be the unreasonable part.
nvidia cards is a way better idea than AMD for a hackintosh.
Indeed I also would never recommend building a hackintosh (built 3 myself). It is not for the faint-hearted, you will fail numerous times, and even when you are done, chances that everything breaks after a minor update is always in the realm of possibility.
The price you can't beat tho, a RAM or SSD upgrade for a real mac is just absurd.
There are hosting companies out there but I'd rather spin up an EC2 instance or equivalent.
Unfortunately they require virtualization to be enabled within the AWS or GCP VMs. Those have just started to appear and are only available on the most expensive instances.
Oh please. I have been using 1920×1080 displays for a while and there's nothing wrong with them. To claim that 4k is not good enough and you absolutely need 5k, that's just ludicrous.
I agree with the conclusion that a Hackintosh misses the entire point of a Macintosh, but for different reasons.
I'm not an Apple fanboy. I have owned 3 MacBooks in the past, but lately I have switched over to Lenovo laptops running various flavors of Linux.
That being said, Apple's hardware is undeniably well engineered and aesthetically pleasing, to a degree IMHO unrivaled in the industry.
It features a deep integration of hardware and software, meaning that they are developed by the "team next door," that allows Macs to excel in areas considered "difficult" in other OSs, such as battery usage and fast and reliable standby/wakeup. This level of integration between hardware and software is again unrivaled, except in the smartphone and tablet industry, which closely followed Apple's lead with the iPhone and iPad.
Finally, Apple's software has traditionally been very user-friendly, intuitive and bug-free (IMHO this was true 10 years ago, less so now.)
This is what people are paying for when they buy a Macintosh and it's something a Hackintosh misses completely (except for the last point, I guess.) Not the 5k display.
I would still be buying Mac Pro computers regularly except that they haven't released a proper one for 7 years.
Mini Dell 9 (Snow Leopard, my first Mac ever)
HP Probook (Lion)
Desktop #1 (Mountain Lion)
Desktop #2 (Mavericks)
Desktop #3 (W7/Yosemite dualboot)
Desktop #4 (W10/Sierra dualboot, my current build and probably the last new build I do for a while since you can now upgrade MacOS on a Hackintosh without doing a complete reinstall)
The best thing you can do when you build one is to look for people who have had successful builds and get the same parts (namely motherboard, CPU, and GPU, with all 3 being equally important). Laptops that are deemed hackintosh-friendly by the community are a safe bet, since you can compare model numbers and get something that is going to be extremely similar parts-wise, if not identical, to what lots of other people are using.
The most time I've ever had to spend on a build was the equivalent of a full workday. With my most recent build, I was never able to get sound working normally, but I did find a workaround with a $5 USB adapter from Amazon.
My most recent build was also the first time I could actually afford to spend $3k+ on a real Mac desktop. Sadly, the options offered by Apple were laughably bad at the time that I built it. I could have spent $4000 and ended up with something worse than what I spent about $1200 on.
1. Use the old partitioning tool from 10.10
2. Drop down into a terminal and use diskutil
I love the old partitioner, one could create a RAID10 root partition on install in like 10 seconds.
Or try booting the 10.10 installer, creating the raid array then exit and continue with 10.13 Donner Party of 6.
Now that OSX runs in VMWare, you can test all of these scenarios from your laptop before taking it to the Hackintosh.
Now I’ve got a bootable system (as I mentioned, with two filesystems, an ignored /etc/fstab, and my user account with a customised home folder that requires booting into a utility account and then exiting) but my permissions are so mucked-up Excel doesn’t work (much to the perplexity of Microsoft), Mathematica’s fonts are broken, and iTunes can’t download music (despite my account recursively owning my music folder).
In the finder, open the inspector panel for the drive (command I) and uncheck  Ignore Ownership.
Will still require chmod/diskrepair pass.
I have two SSDs each with an individual (encrypted) APFS volume. One (labelled Radix) is the boot volume and ends up mounted on /. The other one (labelled Usor) is meant to mount on /Users, but on account of being encrypted, gets ignored by automount (despite having a valid /etc/fstab entry) and just lingers, until I log in into a utility account, allow it to decrypt and mount, log out, and log back in as my user. My user has the home folder set to /Volumes/Usor/User/james and then it all works. But as lament, half the stuff is broken.
As soon as I get back to the office I'll have a look at whether the ignore-permissions flag is set or not (I reckon it isn't, but it is worth checking). I've faced more path-blocking absurdities in this enterprise than I have in the past ten-plus years of Mac usership.
I am much quicker to capitulate defeat in the face of unique setups like this. Or at least experiment with a VM and keep my work machine more main path. You will hit bugs, it looks like you already have.
I'm also kind of amazed at the "4K display is not large enough" section. That would be a screen about 4 times the size of my current monitor, is working quite well for me. I suppose it's like thinking "640K is all the meomory anyone would need in a computer".
Was working quite nice, but missing some core functionality like iMessage / Cloud sync.
Biggest benefit of this was the >feeling< of freedom for upgrading and replacing hardware components.
That was long time ago and things got worse on Apple side for upgradeability.
I'm right now stuck with MBP 2011, because I don't want to spend fortune on top-class MBP with Max RAM and Max HDD ( If you can't upgrade, better take those anyway ).
My gf has mac book pro with osx high sierra installed. Connecting it to any kind of network drive is purgatory and a continous one as you can transition between afp, smb and nfs protocols and each one has its own unique set of bugs dating back a decade or more still present in latest version of os.
My use case is building multiplatform apps with xamarin, and so I need a machine running osx somewhere for the apple build, and to verify performance on an actual ios device.
I had a 2016 mbp but spilled wine on it, so now I've only got my shoddy older macbook that limps along at best. I do, however, have a 2017 NUC with plenty of storage and ram, but that's my main dev box so I'd rather keep it linux...
Either get the product or buy something else.
Even more if you build try your hand at stress tests.
I don't see what overclocking teaches about how gates work.
However understanding memory latency, cache hierarchy, sleep states, PCI lanes, core layout&temperatures, etc is actually very useful when your concern is performance.
I haven't mentioned anything about von Neumann.
That is not what the UX is all about.
The premise: I read on the net and watched youtube is quite strange to judge if something is viable or not. Personally, with my own PC built by myself (but not installing macOs), assembling the hardware (and overclocking) should be nothing difficult.
The only take for me: if you attempt building hardware for an OS with limited support for the said hardware, you might be in for a surprise - which doesn't come as a surprise.
The final paragraph of the blog entry reeks of Apple fan boy.