“Why join the Navy, when you can be a pirate?” - Steve Jobs
Preparing for the future ahead means I’m finally putting together another Hackintosh system. Standard disclaimers about Hackintoshes here, but I ultimately believe with as much money as I’ve spent on genuine Apple hardware over the years, one-off Hackintosh experiments are perfectly ethical.
I built my first Hackintosh out of old Shuttle PC over 10 years ago. When it died, I bought a MacBook White (the one covered at length elsewhere) to replace it and my Mac mini G4. I’ve only had genuine Macs since, most of them purchased new. Plus plenty of Apple peripherals. When I first switched to macOS on the Shuttle PC I did it because of the stability of the operating system. After installing a few kexts (including one I wrote myself, somehow), it ran much better than it did on Windows (which is what I had hoped). I made the switch to the more stable operating system–and buying MacBooks and Mac minis afterwards still had enough user repair and upgrade possibilities to make me happy.
We’ve sort of come full circle. Now, it’s back to doing a modern Hackintosh experiment because while the operating system is still a wonder to behold, unless one can afford the new Mac Pro, there is almost no ability to repair or upgrade your own system. I cannot afford the new Mac Pro, and it just doesn’t feel like replacing my venerable Mac Pro 3,1 with a 4,1 or 5,1 is really cost effective given what parts we have available.
Further, I’ve seen just how stupidly easy, easier than some Intel models, to get macOS Catalina up and running on AMD Ryzen. So I’ll go ahead and run down the parts (with AU$ at current exchange rates) I have and the prices I paid, and I’ll update this post with the installation process. Right now the system is put together, but it’s running Linux Mint.
I did some serious shopping around the electronics market here in Tokyo and was able to get these:
CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700 - AU $214
Motherboard: MSI B450 GAMING PLUS MAX ATX - AU$80
RAM: 16GB 2666mhz Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro - AU$144
PSU: Corsair RM850x - AU$80
This projected started with these items (since I had some scavenged parts for those up above I am now replacing):
Case: Sharkoon TG4 Red - AU$88
SSD: Acclimator 240GB SSD (Blue/Red) - AU$47
Cables: Red/Braided - AU$52
So the total currently stands at: AU$705 / US$482.50 / 52,821円
My GTX 660 is currently in there, but as it doesn’t play nice with anything past Sierra, I will be replacing it with an AMD card eventually (RX580 or a 5X00). We’ll see if I can install Catalina with it, even if it glitches, if not, I have my GT 710 fail safe, or I can throw the GTX 770 from the Mac Pro 3,1 in.
Some not great pictures, though it may not look terribly different from when it was running on the scavenged parts, even though it’s a significant difference in component quality, age, and power.
EDIT: First surprise of the project, although I know from research that being a non-metal card, my HD 5770s are incompatible with anything past High Sierra, I NEVER expected these Mac EFI cards to work flawlessly with PC components, but… Woah. Works perfectly under Linux, and booted into Windows, too, but I didn’t do anything with it in Windows.