Archive for November, 2008

Starting on my Hackintosh PC build

November 18, 2008

After a long hiatus, 32-bit Shell is back. Lately I’ve been getting more into using a Mac again, since the last time I really used one was in the computer labs at college. But I cannot afford a Mac computer at the moment. So I did some research into the OSx86 Hackintosh project and decided to make a PC that would be fit to run a version of Mac OS X properly. I continued my research in hardware and installation configurations and have almost completed my purchase decisions…

Currently I own a self-build AMD machine that runs on an Athlon 64 X2 5000+ and an Abit AM-N2 motherboard. This is a pretty good setup for general purpose use, but not so great for a Mac install. The first time I jumped into experimenting with OSx86, I tried to use two distributions of OS X Panther, Zephyroth AMD 10.5.2 (revision 1) and Kalyway 10.5.2. The Zephyroth build is optimized and used for AMD processors only- I got it to install and after a few bios tweaks, it was able to boot properly and run. But the hardware side felt very crippled- I couldn’t use the onboard sound and ethernet, and aside from that, I wasn’t able to get a successful dual-boot configuration (I had to reinstall Windows after that). I wanted to run Mac on a PC in the best way possible.

So now I decided that to get the best setup possible (and to use a patched retail version of OS X) I must go with Intel. The last time I owned an Intel PC was back in the Pentium days- mine was a 100mhz beige box from Packard Bell. It turns out that the Intel D975Xbx2 (the Bad Axe 2) is a great motherboard to ensure almost everything would work out of the box using Mac. I went for the original Bad Axe, which is very similar, and cheaper too. It’s based off the 975 X Express chipset and one of Intel’s flagship boards when it first came out. I would only need to make two purchases for my Mac build- the motherboard itself and a processor. Everything else I already felt was adequate.

Intel D975Xbx

But I lied- I only need to make one purchase, as the Bad Axe already arrived a few days ago. I was a little worried about the revision number- some revisions do not support the Core 2 processors which would really put me in the stone age and I would have to return it. I’d need revision 304 or higher to use them. Good news when it arrived- it is revision 306 so I’m in the clear. All I can do right now is save up a bit more to buy a good Core 2 Duo and look through the motherboard package and its generous set of accessories. The manual is also very comprehensive and detailed- no funny Engrish text here. Even if the D975Xbx is somewhat dated (and I can no longer use my DDR2 800 ram to its full potential) it’s easily my best motherboard purchase yet. Next, I will actually start rebuilding my PC once I get a processor and go step by step on how I’ll get everything to work smoothly.