Thoughts on Hackintosh?

Discussion in 'Recording Studio' started by buriedoutback, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I found a couple older threads on this but I wanted to see what the current opinion of these are. I watched a ton of videos where people have really good luck building and using a stable hackintosh. 1 video showed a guy buy an old HP 6300 for $70 (i think) and get it working awesomely.

    So I'm currently running a late 2009 21.5 inch Imac. It's awesome, I love it. I'm reaching the point where my projects are taxing the system heavily, so I want to get a new computer. A new decent Imac is waaay out of my budget, so I started looking at the idea of a hackintosh.

    I use Reaper and Final Cut Pro X and Photoshop.

    I spec'd out a sick i5 system with hardware compatible with hackintosh/OSX systems for about $1100. As a windows system it would be awesome, but I don't want to use windows if I can help it. I know many people here use windows without issue, so I will consider it as a last resort. I use windows elsewhere, but I very much prefer mac osx. I want to avoid all the issues I constantly see/have to fix with windows and I prefer the osx user interface as well.

    TLDR; Anyone here using a hackintosh for audio/video/photography? How did you build it? What OSX are you running? etc etc
     
  2. billinder33

    billinder33 SS.org Regular

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    Time is money.... at $1,100 for the hackintosh hardware, I'd just cough up the extra for the real mac. Plus you get some semblance of supportability through the Apple stores.
     
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  3. NickLAudio

    NickLAudio Audio/Video Engineer

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    Ever think about upgrading to more RAM and converting your HDD to SSD? Upgrading RAM alone will help out performance while audio or video editing and an SSD will speed up general computer speed of everything. You can then turn your old HDD into an external high speed drive to save your source files to when working. This speeds up processing speeds because your computer isn't using the same drive to stream audio/video from at the same time as writing data to it.

    This place has everything needed to kick it up a notch on your old mac... https://www.macsales.com/

    Roughly $300 or so, maybe more, possibly over night parts from japan, and your mac would be blazin' compared to what it is now.
     
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  4. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    ^^^ I should have said that I already crammed 16G ram in there, which did make a big difference. I actually watched a video on how to swap in a SSD recently, didn't look that difficult. I'll look at that option a little closer. thanks.
     
  5. NickLAudio

    NickLAudio Audio/Video Engineer

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    Daaaang 16G lol, all that's left is SSD now and if done and if/when that gets slow, it'll be truly time for a new comp. I was just in the same boat trying to revive my late 2009 macbook pro. Mainly do video editing with FCP for work on it. Music is one thing, but multiple video editing sessions and files are the real killer.
     
  6. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    ^^^ do you know if its possible to just clone my current hard drive to the ssd and then drop it in?
     
  7. NickLAudio

    NickLAudio Audio/Video Engineer

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    Exactly. Connect ssd with cable or drive dock, format/name in disk utility, clone installed drive to ssd with either Super Duper, Carbon Copy, whatever free cloner you feel like downloading prior. When done, install ssd and it'll boot up nice and quick.
     
  8. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    I'm still getting some mileage from my '07 iMac. When I upgrade I'll probably just replace it with something a few years older too like a 2014 or 15. Maybe look into getting something used like that to save some $$$? IMO, an upgrade from Your '09 to something even a few years newer will be a pretty big improvement as recent CPU gains haven't really been all that impressive lately anyway.
     
  9. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    NickLAudio - Awesome. I'm pricing out ssd's now \m/
    Rawkmann - Very true. I've been looking at 2012 Mac Minis because they have some serious horsepower vs the newer ones.
     
  10. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Honestly, in my significant experience in this, unless building to a REALLY specific set of components that have been regularly tested.

    This also caught my eye:

    I have a suspicion that you're not going to like Hackintosh's if troubleshooting isn't a passion.

    Honestly, I don't understand the production Windows hate.

    I regularly use Reaper, Pro Tools, Studio One and Adobe Creative Cloud, and as long as I don't try and update unnecessarily I have stability. I save the updates for periods of non-time critical projects. I mean obviously I prefer working on OSX for production as well (hell, just the RSI saving movement of using thumb for Command vs pinky for control is a bonus), but it's not always the best solution, nor the cheapest. I now have stable real Mac platforms and haven't built a hackintosh since, and I use Windows for everyday because I get far more power for less money, which from a workflow perspective saves me time and makes me more money (and also more time and freedom to be creative).

    But as has been said, SSDs + enough HIGH SPEED RAM will go a long way.

    Also, honestly, save yourself the headache and drop FCP. I mean not all at once, but currently Premiere runs circles around it with everything from workflow to encoding to hardware utilization.
     
  11. Nicki

    Nicki SS.org Regular

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    The problem with running a Hackintosh is that even if you were to buy a copy of OSX and let it run automatic updates, you're running it on what Apple considers "unauthorized" hardware. In the EULA of OSX it says that Apple has the right to effectively disable the OS if it's running on top of a non Apple branded or unlicensed system. And believe me it happens frequently. The only way to make things usable again is to re-format the OS partition and reinstall the OS. If you save your work on your OS partition, you risk losing everything. I saw this happen enough times when I worked tech support for Apple to know that Apple actively enforces the EULA heavily.

    In the end if the cost savings justify the risk to you then by all means, build yourself a Hackintosh. Otherwise, if you're going to build, Windows 10 is a cheap & safe option (You can get Windows 10 keys for around $10 from an online reseller).
     
  12. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I recently needed a Mac and all that was available was a 2009 mini that performs super terribly now. Ended up finding a way to make it run in a VM on a much more powerful PC. The VM performs way better than the actual 2009 mini does. I don't think it's stable enough that I'd trust it for audio though.
     
  13. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    KingAenarion - you're right, very specific hardware is required. the list gets bigger as time goes on.
    As you can see here : https://www.tonymacx86.com/buyersguide/september/2017/
    the compatible hardware list is actually pretty decent.

    As far as troubleshooting, as you said "and as long as I don't try and update unnecessarily I have stability." which i actually joked about to a friend before i made the OP saying "I'll get everything installed and then unplug it from the internet".

    "more power for less money" could be a windows unofficial motto, but it could work for hackintoshs too if you check out some of the crazy benchmarks guys are showing online.

    I will check out Premiere as an alternative to FCP, thanks for the tip.

    Nicki - i'm running Mavericks on my imac, so i'm not the type to update once i get a solid system going. as far as breaking apples eula... eulas in general can suck my b@lls.

    tedeh - i have considered getting a windows machine and running osx inside it, or dual-booting, etc.

    tldr : i couldn't decide what to do so i bought a samsung 850 evo 500G ssd. i cloned my hdd with carbon copy cloner and swapped the drives. my imac is WAY faster in every respect. gonna stick with this until i'm done my bands ep, and my buddies bands album and review my options then.

    thanks dudes!
     
  14. KingAenarion

    KingAenarion Resident Studio Nerd

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    Compatible doesn't mean optimal though. Like there's a likely setup of most stable components, and because you can't install drivers in OSX, you need them to not have clashes.

    The great thing about Premiere is that Adobe cloud is really easy to set up, and obviously you can get the latest version constantly.
     
  15. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    I imagine it's easier to get a Mac and use Bootcamp to get Windows on it. I used to do this with an old Macbook and it's probably the best laptop I've owned (relative to the time I had it).
     
  16. buriedoutback

    buriedoutback SS.org Regular

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    I used Wine to run some windows apps in osx mavericks in the past and it worked just fine as well.
     

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