User Name
Password
AppleNova Forums » Purchasing Advice »

How stable are Hackintoshes?


Register Members List Calendar Search FAQ Posting Guidelines
How stable are Hackintoshes?
Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next Thread Tools
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-24, 12:21

My mom needs a new computer. She's currently using a Power Mac G4 with a dual 1.7 GHz upgrade chip, but it's just too old and slow for her. She uses Illustrator and Photoshop for her work.

Here's the problem. She's been a Mac user her whole life and isn't particularly good with computers. So she can't use Windows. But it also means that her only option is to buy a Mac desktop (she doesn't want or need portability), and Mac desktops are really overpriced. She doesn't have a very large budget and my brother and I are debating whether we could build her a Hackintosh instead. Obviously, the hardware cost is much lower. Not only that, but since we can get much faster hardware for less money, she won't have to upgrade as often either. The only issue we're worried about is stability. Because she's not very computer savvy, we'd have to set everything up for her and then hope that it all stays together well.

We could pretty easily put together a system using the most stable components. My brother and I both live reasonably nearby, so we could provide tech support if it's necessary. If the only tough part is actually installing the OS, then we should be fine. If there are difficulties in running it, then it might not be a great option.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-07-24, 12:25

Hackintoshes are not good for that type of user at all. You need to install tons of drivers yourself, after every upgrade, and stability is always in question. To get stability you need to get specific parts (ones that Apple supports), which could mean spending just as much as getting a Mac Mini.
  quote
alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via ICQ to alcimedes  
2009-07-24, 12:31

I assume then she has a nice monitor? If not the iMacs are actually pretty solid machines.

I'd also recommend against the hackintosh route, unless you're going to do all the OS upgrades yourself on a weekend to fix the drivers etc.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-24, 12:38

Well like I said, my brother and I would set the whole thing up for her and we could probably come out and install updates for her as needed (OS X point updates only come out once every couple months anyway). The question is more related to how stable it is for day-to-day use, not whether it makes financial sense. Remember, my brother and I are both used to using Windows every day so we're not scared of installing drivers. Our only real concern is that it might be unstable during normal use when we can't get out there.

It's not like the specific components that are most stable cost so much more. Even if we do spend as much as we would on a Mini, it would be hugely faster and therefore last longer before needing an upgrade.
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2009-07-24, 12:43

I use iMac for my work and it has been great so I don't see why she can't use iMac. In case where monitor is set in the stone, you could look into getting a used PM... This one is selling Intel for $1,500 while G5 PM are selling for ~$600-$900.

Come to think of it, I *think* the Intel iMac supports spanning so you can still hook it up to the monitor for the extra space.

I personally wouldn't want to work using a hackintosh. As a hobby, maybe, but not on the clock, definitely.
  quote
alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via ICQ to alcimedes  
2009-07-24, 14:12

Under those conditions then it would probably be doable. I haven't been following them as closely as I could, but my understanding is if they're built with the same parts that Apple uses, they're pretty solid day to day.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
  quote
Eugene
careful with axes
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hillsborough, CA
 
2009-07-24, 14:15

The cleanest Hackintosh install would use an EFI-X USB dongle. For the most part it'll run transparently just as any Mac would, major system updates and all. Occasionally you'll have to firmware update the EFI-X module, but that is simple to do too.

But really, just get a Mac.
  quote
Gargoyle
http://ga.rgoyle.com
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: In your dock hiding behind your finder icon!
 
2009-07-24, 14:26

The price of a Mac might be higher, but the cost is lower!
  quote
Banana
is the next Chiquita
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
 
2009-07-24, 14:30

The thing is it's not just the day-to-day operations but the possibility of getting hosed by some bug or updates that breaks the functionality and losing money because you couldn't work. If it was just a hobby computer or maybe something to use for surfing & emailing, then well, sure. But to do work on it? No, thanks.
  quote
chucker
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: near Bremen, Germany
Send a message via ICQ to chucker Send a message via AIM to chucker Send a message via MSN to chucker Send a message via Yahoo to chucker Send a message via Skype™ to chucker 
2009-07-24, 14:32

A Hackintosh is, well, a hack. Great if you're inclined to tinker around, absolutely irrecommendable "she's not very computer savvy" type.
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-24, 14:43

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eugene View Post
The cleanest Hackintosh install would use an EFI-X USB dongle. For the most part it'll run transparently just as any Mac would, major system updates and all. Occasionally you'll have to firmware update the EFI-X module, but that is simple to do too.
I've thought about that too. It's around $200, which actually isn't that much, depending on what sort of system I'm thinking of building. When I first saw the EFI-X, I thought it would be vaporware, but it looks like they really do exist.

Might be worth it given the price difference between off-the-shelf parts vs. pre-built Macs. Adding an EFI-X would probably increase the cost of the system to about equal to an iMac, but it would still be faster and have more internal expansion than an iMac. But I'd have to run some numbers and figure out the actual cost of building a system.

I think the need to need for me or my brother to do all the software updating on an OSx86 Hackintosh is probably reason enough for us to stay away from that. It's attractive for the low price, and it might make sense if we only needed a temporary and very low-cost solution (such as if her computer died tomorrow and she could only spare a few hundred bucks for a new one), but in the long run an EFI-X or just a regular Apple Mac would be a better solution.
  quote
thegeriatric
geri to my friends
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Heaven
 
2009-07-24, 14:48

Used Mac mini, if you already have mouse, monitor and keyboard.
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-24, 14:55

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegeriatric View Post
Used Mac mini, if you already have mouse, monitor and keyboard.
So I can spend $500 on that when I could instead spend $500 building an entry-level quad-core system that would completely own any Mac Mini and would have a useful amount of internal storage and RAM. Add a $200 EFI-X on top of that and $700 ought to buy a machine that will run with the $2000, 3.06 GHz iMac.

See, this is why I really don't want to buy a Mac. Even I think they make pretty good laptops, but their desktops are all a rip off.
  quote
turbulentfurball
Right Honourable Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Québec
Send a message via ICQ to turbulentfurball Send a message via AIM to turbulentfurball Send a message via MSN to turbulentfurball  
2009-07-24, 15:06

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
So I can spend $500 on that when I could instead spend $500 building an entry-level quad-core system that would completely own any Mac Mini and would have a useful amount of internal storage and RAM. Add a $200 EFI-X on top of that and $700 ought to buy a machine that will run with the $2000, 3.06 GHz iMac.

See, this is why I really don't want to buy a Mac. Even I think they make pretty good laptops, but their desktops are all a rip off.
Would your mom even need a quad-core system that would 'completely own' any Mac Mini? Seems like a Mini would be ideal.
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-24, 15:12

I believe it would help her based on the software she uses; furthermore, it would allow the computer to last longer without needing an upgrade.
  quote
alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
Join Date: May 2004
Send a message via ICQ to alcimedes  
2009-07-24, 15:22

Why wouldn't he?

It's easier to upgrade down the line in almost every way. Easier to add RAM, easier to add more storage, you can swap out the video card etc.

No reason not to if you're comfortable building one.

Let me know how it goes if you go that route Luca, I'm still tempted to build one myself.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-07-24, 16:49

The biggest problem I ran into was graphics drivers when I installed OSX on my PC. It was impossible to get resolution higher than 1024x768.
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-24, 17:33

Yeah I'm thinking at this point I'll either go with EFI-X or just tell her to buy a Mac. It would be nice if my brother or I had an Intel-based system so we could get a better idea of how well OS X runs on a Hackintosh, but we don't have quite the right hardware for testing and I'm also just sort of put off by the idea of having to provide all the tech support for my mom, for as long as she has the machine. I figure an extra $150-$200 for an EFI-X would be worth it for all involved (and I believe I'd still be able to build a great computer for cheaper than an iMac even with the cost of an EFI-X factored in).

Everything I've read about the EFI-X says that it's a pretty seamless solution - as long as you use a supported motherboard, it's basically the same as having a Mac. That appeals to me because she wouldn't have to turn off Software Update or anything.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2009-07-24, 17:49

I'm looking at building a Hack right now too. I've got a i7 920 and DX58SO sitting next to me in a box right now. Still not sure if I'm going to make it the Win7 Ultimate system Intel intended me to or make it a Mac.

I'm glad to see this thread moving toward actually helping you build the hack rather than convince you why you shouldn't. I'll let you know if I move forward with mine too and how it works out.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
ime_NY
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
 
2009-07-24, 19:11

Luca, if you and your brother are comfortable providing tech support, go for the hackintosh. Not sure what your relationship is with your mother, but if it's a good one, you won't be dreading the out-of-the-air-help-her-troubleshoot- a-problem- on-a-friday-night scenario than if you can barely stand her. Also gives you an excuse to spend some quality time with her AND a cool machine

A little off topic, but I'm just wondering: is building a desktop hackintosh easier to do compared to building a netbook hackintosh? I know the Dell Mini hackintosh community is very active in making the hackintoshing experience as easy as possible.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-07-24, 19:25

Desktop hackintoshs are a little harder to work with than notebooks if anything as notebook parts tend to be more uniform.
  quote
turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2009-07-24, 20:00

Quote:
Originally Posted by ime_NY View Post
Luca, if you and your brother are comfortable providing tech support, go for the hackintosh. Not sure what your relationship is with your mother, but if it's a good one, you won't be dreading the out-of-the-air-help-her-troubleshoot- a-problem- on-a-friday-night scenario than if you can barely stand her. Also gives you an excuse to spend some quality time with her AND a cool machine

A little off topic, but I'm just wondering: is building a desktop hackintosh easier to do compared to building a netbook hackintosh? I know the Dell Mini hackintosh community is very active in making the hackintoshing experience as easy as possible.
As a member of the netbook hackintosh club I can tell you that it's easier because the hardware is the same across the line as PB PM said. With desktops and such you have to get the right components and put them together. Take the Dell Mini 10 and 10v for example. The 10 just doesn't work right now. The chipset isn't right. The 10v and A90 work fine with a little DellEFI hack right out of the box.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
  quote
ShadowOfGed
Travels via TARDIS
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Earthsea
 
2009-07-24, 22:27

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luca View Post
So I can spend $500 on that when I could instead spend $500 building an entry-level quad-core system that would completely own any Mac Mini and would have a useful amount of internal storage and RAM. Add a $200 EFI-X on top of that and $700 ought to buy a machine that will run with the $2000, 3.06 GHz iMac.

See, this is why I really don't want to buy a Mac. Even I think they make pretty good laptops, but their desktops are all a rip off.
Pack your Hackintosh, complete with display, into the iMac form factor and then we'll talk.

Seriously. It's not about the parts; you can't pack desktop-rated components into a case that size. They're using laptop parts, which are more expensive. It also has a display, which your Hackintosh wouldn't (from the sound of it). Just because the costs are for features you don't want/need doesn't make them a ripoff. They're still real costs.

Apparently I call the cops when I see people litter.
  quote
scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
Send a message via Skype™ to scratt 
2009-07-24, 23:23

They'
  quote
scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
Send a message via Skype™ to scratt 
2009-07-24, 23:24

I hav
  quote
scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
Send a message via Skype™ to scratt 
2009-07-24, 23:25

browser keeps cra
  quote
scratt
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: M-F: Thailand Weekends : F1 2010 - Various Tracks!
Send a message via Skype™ to scratt 
2009-07-24, 23:26

But really they're fine..
  quote
Luca
ಠ_ರೃ
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Minnesota
 
2009-07-25, 11:48

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowOfGed View Post
Pack your Hackintosh, complete with display, into the iMac form factor and then we'll talk.

Seriously. It's not about the parts; you can't pack desktop-rated components into a case that size. They're using laptop parts, which are more expensive. It also has a display, which your Hackintosh wouldn't (from the sound of it). Just because the costs are for features you don't want/need doesn't make them a ripoff. They're still real costs.
I understand entirely. So you're right, "rip-off" is too harsh a term. Still, the end result is the same - you pay $2,000 for a system that has a dual-core, 3.06 GHz CPU and a 24" LCD despite being able to build or buy a similar (if less elegant) system for half the price. Apple, unfortunately, doesn't offer something like that, because it's not as slick and cool. But that's not worth an extra $500 or $1000 to me, and it's definitely not worth extra to my mother. For some people, it is worth it to spend that much extra for something sleek and simple like that, but not everyone.
  quote
PB PM
Sneaky Punk
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Send a message via Skype™ to PB PM 
2009-07-25, 12:31

Yeah, but does your mom really need a Quad either? Unless she is encoding video all day, I highly doubt she needs more than a Mac Mini type system, which will be fine for years.
  quote
Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2009-07-25, 13:09

iMac.
  quote
Posting Rules Navigation
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Page 1 of 2 [1] 2  Next

Post Reply

Forum Jump
Thread Tools
Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Hackintosh users: How stable is your system? turtle Third-Party Products 11 2008-06-28 07:16
Don't tell me Leopard is stable! ezkcdude Apple Products 30 2008-02-20 17:37
Dynamic Assignation vs. Stable URL drewprops Programmer's Nook 9 2005-12-11 18:25


« Previous Thread | Next Thread »

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:25.


Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2004 - 2022, AppleNova