Long story short: I recently put together a ‘hackintosh’ computer — Macintosh software on PC parts. It’s running OS X Leopard and cost me $325. I kept the price low by salvaging parts from an old PC. 4 gigs of RAM, duo-core processor, the whole deal. Fast. Cheap.

Hackintosh construction is a gray zone, no doubt about that. Info scatters across a handful of forums and sites. Since it involves shoehorning Apple’s operating system into a hodge-podge of PC components, everyone’s experience differs, and most of the online discussion is very technical, with lots of snippety moderators who have little time for folks like me who are in way over their heads.

I wouldnt (read: can’t) pay Macintosh hardware prices, so the inexpensive Frankensteined hackintosh was a fantastic option. I’m proud to say it runs smoothly (ok, the machine can’t “sleep”, but all else is stable and transparently Mac). Plus I get the pleasure of sneaking high-end software inside a banged up, taped-up, dusty, stained old PC case.

I did this primarily to use Logic 8, a nice piece of music production software that used to be for Windows and Mac, until Apple bought it and promptly discontinued the Windows version.

Logic is Matt Shadetek’s weapon of choice, and my other musical partner Andy Moor uses it as well, so I figured it was finally time to get on the same page as them to facilitate collabo.

If you’re curious, I found this overview to be quite helpful, and this page helped out immensely with my particular hardware combo. (I used the hackintosh-friendly Gigabyte G31M-ES2L motherboard and an nvidia 7300GT video card.)

11 thoughts on “HACKINTOSH”

  1. Dope! I wanna check out your new hack-book pro! Have some cool software for you…

  2. nerd swag on 1000, glowing neon green and shooting off smartness sparks.

  3. rad man, i would love to hear if it runs smoothly. i have been considering building a netbook hackintosh for my live setup with ableton live since i mainly use it to route midi and such. love the blog btw.

  4. so far so good… long live the nerds and their cheap-ass OS X Frankensteins!

    i think the netbooks are the most well documented hackintoshes out there, but the flip side is less processing power and low screen resolution — which is a known problem for Serato (after a fix, you can still only see the 3/4 of the screen).

    look about on the various forums for Ableton and MSI Wind, Dell Mini9 etc. folks often talk about using hackintosh netbooks. as I understand, Ableton runs fine as long as its not processor-intensive.

    soon i reckon netbooks w/ duo-core processors (& maybe all flash HDs) will be cheap as well, which would be amazing for gigging and such

  5. I just ordered a Lenovo S10 netbook. I’m going to try Serato on it as soon as I upgrade to 2GB RAM. But, yeah, I might have to get a new eyeglass prescription to read the screen! I’ll post here to let everyone know how it goes….

  6. UPDATE : Scratch Live is not liking the 1024 X 600 max. res.
    It’s telling me that the min. is 1024 X 700, but I’ve read that other folks have used the S10 with Serato. Any suggestions?

    I googled “Lenovo S10 Serato” and my above post was, like, the 5th result – not a reassuring sign HA!

  7. I figured it out.

    In Windows XP, right-click on the desktop and click on Properties > Settings > Monitor. Untick the box that says “Hide modes that this monitor cannot display”. Now you can change the resolution to as high as 1600 X 1200 or something – but you should only change it to 1024 X 768.

    Scratch Live fits horizontally on the screen. But the rub is that it dips below the bottom of the screen. The good news is that it only takes a little getting used to: You just continue moving the mouse to below the bottom of the screen and everything will smoothly scroll down so you can access the bottom part of the program (or the taskbar when the program is closed or minimized).

    I haven’t used it in the club yet, but at home it seems to be working great. I have the netbook plugged in, in “Performance” power mode, and 2 GB of RAM. It’s pretty feaking cool to think of having this tiny machine running a whole set!

  8. Funny, I just googled Ableton Hackintosh and this came up. Big fan since the subtonic days. So glad you have a show on wfmu, etc. etc.

    heaping praise.

    very cool indeed. 🙂 Keep rocking. I may put together a system… just realizing what all the ableton fuss was about.

    Nice show with Lucky Dragons.


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