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Discuss Newbie - Reality Check Time: The Question(s) of a Hackintosh at the Installation -; Hi All, Id like to start off with an apology(!) for a long initial post! ...
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    Default Newbie - Reality Check Time: The Question(s) of a Hackintosh

    Hi All,

    Id like to start off with an apology(!) for a long initial post!
    Ive a lot of questions regarding the building of a hackintosh (sorry hackint0sh!), and hope some of you could help out.

    My PC's (AMD 3600+) motherboard has recently failed, and I think rather than just replacing it, I can have a cheap upgrade if I just change the processor, motherboard, RAM and power supply. Id prefer to stick with AMD, but as Id like to give a Hackintosh a go, I will need to get an Intel chip to make this easier. My questions are:

    1) Honestly speaking, how stable is a hackintosh going to be?

    If I need to deal with the reality of things like random reboots, or on-board sound that wont be recognised, then frankly, Id rather cut my losses, and wait until I can afford a Mac Mini and run them side by side. The headache of 'hot-swapping' a keyboard/mouse, sound and display adapter from a PC to a Mac is the main reason I prefer a hackintosh over a mac since I use a PC too.

    I feel a bit intimidated by all the incompatibility issues I've read, and I wonder what is the real appeal to go through the heartache of all this, if it wont be 100% safe or a sureshot? Even if I save some money, I may lose a great deal of time.

    In addition, there will be no 'real' support for issues I run into, and will need to rely on the good guidance and kind support of those in forums to help with each of the issues I may deal with.

    I read the great guide on lifehacker by Adam Pash who took the time to painstakingly write out each step (this kind of verbose take-you-by-the-hand writing is something I always appreciate although I know not everyone does). Its great for someone like me who knows nothing about how Macs install and the role of command lines for installing OS X, but a comment below it said that he omitted the FDISK steps, and the need for a USB keyboard and mouse. Kudos to Mr. Pash for the article, I'll probably use it should I go through with this, but it still worries me I'll come across some ridiculous problem like this in my installation, that will put a brake on the whole thing, and waste money on an Intel chip when Id rather have AMD.

    2) Im on a very very tight budget here. So much so, that I am spending only US$150 for all the above changes with AMD (Athlon 2 4-core, 2GB RAM, and motherboard), but Im willing to spend US$250 for an Intel chipset if I can get a Hackintosh to work. Already, you can see people trumpeting their Hackintosh as being 'just over the price of a mac mini' but Im not willing to spend even that much.

    In addition, I will still need to pay for Mac OS itself, so this is an additional cost to be borne later.

    I know people suggest to use certain makes of motherboards/RAM/HDD to get a hackintosh working. The vendor from which Im buying my upgrades said I need only make sure Im using a gigabye motherboard and an Intel chip. Other than that, everything else can remain the same.

    As said, Ive read a lot of comments of people running into issues getting this thing to work. Im not a techie per se, and I dont mind fooling around with the system until I can get it to work, but only SO LONG as I can use WinXp day-to-day until I can. I cannot have this system building experience risk my data and use of my PC.

    My question therefore, is how likely is it that I can get a working Hackintosh relying on most of my parts, except an Intel chip and compatible motherboard?

    Because if its unlikely this is going to bear fruit, then there is no sense in wasting money on an Intel chip SOLELY for the small glimmer of hope of a working Hackintosh.

    In this sense, financially, it works out cheaper to just wait and get a Mac Mini when I can, and run both a good PC and standard Mac, rather than buying a top-of-the-range PC intending to do both, but perhaps ending up with nothing to shout about.

    3) I have a 80GB drive which is enough for me. As it stands, I have over 40GB free. Is this enough to support both Mac OX SnowLeopard and WinXp?

    4) Rather than partitioning the hdd, isn't it a better idea to just install Mac OS, and then use the built-in virtual-PC software to let Mac OS create a partition and install windows that way? If not, why?

    5) Once Win Xp and OS X are installed, do I need to select which OS each time the rig starts up, or can I default it to either one with a software setting?

    6) I understand that I will need what is known as an EFI bootloader which must be in place at all times including bootup. Is there any way, that once the software is in place, to not rely on it each time the system boots?

    And if removed, does that mean WinXp will load automatically?

    7) Does it matter that my HDD is SATA, my RAM a certain speed, or that a certain brand of IDE controller controls the DVD drive?

    8) And finally, a reason I am willing to go the Hackintosh route is because I am hesitant over Mac Mini's lack of sufficient RAM and dedicated video. Can someone advise me, is the Mac Mini equivalent to a 'netbook' or is it still a decent computer in its own right? Can I for example, run Director, Flash, and Photoshop on it? Can the PC emulator (once booted into XP) run older games like RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 and Simcity 4 at 1024x768 under XP Pro with smooth framerates? That sort of thing.

    The rig as it stands, will most likely end up like this:

    Replacement Gigabyte motherboard (with onboard 7.1, firewire, LAN, and VGA but video wont be used as Ive dedicated video)
    Intel chip - most likely C2D
    2GB DDR3 RAM
    Asus Nvidia 7600GS video card (256MB)
    80GB SATA Seagate HDD
    400W power supply
    Samsung Syncmaster 971P Monitor
    Sony Vaio RF wireless USB keyboard and USB wireless mouse

    Again, I do apologise for the long post, but as a newbie, I appreciate all the help, since I know no one who runs a 'Hackintosh'! Thank you!

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    3. I would use a different HDD or SSD for each OS. It's more secure, more convenient.

    5. You can make one as the default in your BIOS. Once that's done you only need to strike F... and select to use the other. Probably there are other solutions also.

    7. Probably not. You will only really get to know this when trying to install OSX86.

    8. A Mac Mini is definitely a bigger computer then his name. But there are limitations, on every computer. For Adobe CS software it will run good enough but if you wanna do 3D rendering and stuff like that it will come to short. The advantage of OSX86 is that you are not bound to expensive Apple parts for upgrading your computer. Also you will faster be able to adapt to new standards like HDMI, Blu-ray, USB 3.0, ...



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