|Apple Hackintosh: Moving to Intel Sandy Bridge|
|Articles - Featured Guides|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Monday, 08 August 2011|
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Apple Hackintosh: Moving to Intel Sandy Bridge
Benchmark Reviews has previously detailed our experience in creating an Apple Macintosh into Hackintosh: a computer built of PC components, running Apple's OS X operating system and applications. Apple doesn't make this easy to do, since they'd prefer you to buy a real Macintosh, but years of work by the enthusiast community has resulted in a support system of software, guides, and online forums that provide enough information for the dedicated Hackintosher to succeed. In this article I'll describe my experience moving my Hackintosh from its X58 hardware to a new Intel Sandy Bridge platform.
How It Works
Bringing up a Hackintosh used to be the province of only the geekiest hackers, but due to the efforts of the growing Hackintosh community, it's gotten a lot simpler. It's not plug-and-play quite yet: depending on the hardware you have (and the up-front research you do), the experience can range from easy to impossible. I detailed my first experience building a Hacktosh in this article. Although several months have passed, the basic technique remains the same:
The above is a very simplified description of the process by which you bring up a Hackintosh. As always the devil's in the details.
First, of course, it's important to realize that Apple's end user licensing agreements for OS X specifically restrict its installation to Apple branded hardware, so technically it's illegal to create a Hackintosh. That said, while Apple's shut down several Macintosh clone companies, they've never seemed interested in pursuing individuals or non-profit entities like the various Hackintosh-themed web sites.
After several months of stable use of my original Hackintosh, I was itching to upgrade it from its X58-based Core i7 920 processor to the latest Sandy Bridge architecture. Flush with confidence from my previous Hackintosh experience, I began...
Since my Hackintosh is my primary system, I couldn't just rip it apart and start over. Instead, I set up the Sandy Bridge Hacktinosh on a test bed chassis. I used an ASUS P8P67 motherboard with a Core i7 2600K processor. This is not my favorite motherboard since it doesn't support NVIDIA SLI or external video from the Sandy Bridge iGPU, but it's a perfect platform for a Hackintosh.
As before, I found the information I needed in the Insanely Mac forums, but it took a little more work than I thought it would. The forums are peppered with threads marked "GUIDE", which are instructions on how to bring up a Hackintosh on specific motherboards. I found one guide on how to bring up OS X Snow Leopard on an ASU P8P67 Deluxe (I have the non-Deluxe board), and another guide on how to install OS X Lion on several different ASUS P8P67 motherboards, with specific configurations for the P8P67, P8P67 Pro, and Sabertooth P8P67.
I didn't want to install Lion just yet, since it breaks some software I still use daily (like Quicken...thanks for all your support, Intuit!), but the Snow Leopard guide was for a motherboard I didn't have. What to do?
I wound up using the regae Boot CD from the first guide, and the "updater" for the standard P8P67 board from the second guide. The combination enabled me to get everything working perfectly. Well, almost everything...