State of the Hackintosh 2014: A peek into a shadowy subculture of Apple fans

FULLSCREEN

Purple Mac Pro Hackintosh

Unlike Apple's newest Mac Pro, which looks like a trashcan, this replica 2013 Mac Pro is made out of an actual trash can. It even comes with a matching toilet brush.

Purple Mac Pro Hackintosh, back view

Made by hacker JuanLobo, the replica is quite capable, boasting outputs for HDMI (three), USB, Ethernet, DVI and digital audio.

Purple Mac Pro Hackintosh, the guts

It was hard work getting all the components to fit inside the trashcan. The fan cooling the graphics card had to removed and flipped over. Another challenge was squeezing in the special power supply.

Purple Mac Pro Hackintosh, custom 3D base

To make everything fit, JuanLobo created a 3D model of Mac Pro's base. "It provided another 30mm of space that was desperately needed," he wrote on the project description.

The actual trashcan

This is the $53 Lunar Waste Bin used to build the replica Mac Pro.

Water-cooled PowerMac G5

This is a water-cooled PowerMac G5. "I've always loved the style of the PowerMac G5 enclosure," wrote it's creator, MrAhlefeld.

The original PowerMac G5 case

"I've sourced a PowerMac G5 from a local MAC shop in my city," said MrAhlefeld. "It was dirt cheap, cause one of the handles on the to was bend out of shape."

Advertisment

PowerMac G5, filling the coolant

"I will be using some of my old parts as I love my Eheim 1048 pump, just can't beat it at those noise levels," explained MrAhlefeld.

PowerMac G5, the cooling system

The coolant loop includes three beefy fans to dissipate heat. The original G5 ran so hot it had nine fans.

The HackinBeast tower

In September 2012, the HackinBeast was one of the fastest Macs on the planet with a whopping GeekBench score of 36,918.

The HackinBeast

Based on a pair of Intel Xeon X5690 CPUs, the machine’s total cost was $4,500. That’s less than half of an equivalent 2012 Mac Pro, which would have cost more than $10,000 and topped out with a Geeekbench score of 25,000.

Cooling the HackinBeast

Here's the beast's crazy cooling system. It's loaded with LIQ-702 Liquid Coolant (UV Green).

hackinbeasttower_logo

The HackinBeast's logo. “It took me from January 2012 to Sept 2012 (a total of 9 months); the same amount of time it takes to have a child,” wrote its maker, PunkNugget.

Mini G5

This is a mini G5, approximately half the size of the original. It was hacked down to size by prolific hacker neilhart. "This has been four months of 'fun' and I end up with a high performance machine that runs with the best," he wrote.

Advertisment

Hackintosh mini server

This Mac mini case has been updated with up-to-date components.

G4 Stormtrooper

With a Star Wars aesthetic, the G4 Stormtrooper Haswell has been updated with a speedy 17 processor. Painting the case was a lot of work. "I sanded all the parts, applied a coat of primer, sanded down, applied a second coat, painted it in black and white (two layers), sanded with steel wool, and finally applied three layers of varnish," said its creator, antonvodenitcharov.

G4 Stormtrooper, open

The G4 Stormtrooper is made for audio work. " I decided to built my dream Hackintosh," said antonvodenitcharov.

iMac G4 Hackintosh

Another iconic Mac, the iMac G4, gets an update from an Intel NUC mini-PC. "The project turned out great, and works terrific in early testing," wrote its creator, ersterhernd.

Water-Cooled Cube

This is the world's first water-cooled Cube.

The Cube's tiny cooling loop

This is the cooling loop for the water-cooled Cube.

Powermac G4 Hackintosh_

"I got excited by the idea that i could have a crazy powerful machine in ANY case I wanted," wrote modder rayd. "So naturally I picked the best looking case ever to be made; the Powermac G4 MDD." The Powermac G4 MDD runs OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Not too shabby!

Advertisment

Brix Pro Hackintosh

"Extremely small form factor micro PC kits are gaining steam," writes Tony of TonyMacX86. "Since the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing) was launched, many users have started using them as HTPCs, and even full desktop replacements."

Brix Pro Hackintosh Mini PC

Tony built his tiny Hackintosh from a Gigabyte Brix Pro mini-PC.

Hackintosh in an Xbox

There's no accounting for some people's taste. This modified Xbox 360 is based on a low-power Celeron processor. It's no speed demon, but serves well as a Mac-based media PC. "The idea was to make a small, cheap but yet capable machine, mainly intended for usage under a TV set," said its creator dj_aris.

These are the computers Apple never built, and never will — a water-cooled Cube; a teeny-tiny G5; a faux Mac Pro in a trash can.

Oh wait. Apple did the trash can, but not a genuine rubbish bin with a matching toilet brush, like the purple beauty in the Hackintosh gallery above.

These homemade Macs, built from non-Apple hardware, come in a thousand different shapes and sizes, built by legions of dedicated, ingenious hackers. In the nine years since Apple switched to Intel processors, a DIY subculture dedicated to building alternative Mac hardware has steadily grown. It’s not a strictly legal endeavor — Apple’s EULA forbids OS X from running on non-Apple hardware — but Cupertino turns a blind eye to hobbyists.

“You know what? We’ve never gotten anything from Apple other than a few anonymous employees asking for help :),” said Tony, who runs Hackintosh website tonymacx86.com, in an email to Cult of Mac. “It’s clear that tonymacx86.com doesn’t sell hardware. I would think that they’d understand that we are promoting the purchase of OS X and Apple peripherals and laptops, and have zero tolerance for piracy.”

Early 2011 MacBook Pros Are Dropping Like Flies, Heat Issues To Blame

By

heat2

If you have a 2011 MacBook Pro that is wonking out like it was haunted by a Japanese ghost, you’re not the only one. It appears that a massive number of early-2011 MacBook Pro owners with AMD graphics are having issues with system crashes and hardware problems, with failure rates reaching a critical mass in recent weeks.

The New Mac Pro Is Available To Order Now With Shipping By December 30

By

Screen Shot 2013-12-19 at 08.26.07

Apple’s “fastest Mac ever” is now available to order from the Apple online store, with prices starting at $2,999. The high-end desktop, which is assembled in the United States in Austin, Texas, is currently shipping before the end of the year.

You can also pick one up today from your local Apple retail store, or from an Apple authorized reseller.

AMD Hires Ex-Apple Graphics Guru

By

35715

Perpetual PC chipmaking underdog AMD is having a rough time of it in the mobile age. The stock is in the tank, and they lost $146 million last quarter on $1.09 billion in revenue. AMD needs to figure out a way to make a splash in mobile quick if it intends on surviving.

Over the past year, there’s been some sign that AMD has been taking this threat seriously. Last August, Jim Keller — previously director of Apple’s mobile platform architecture group — was enticed over to AMD, reporting to former Apple hardware chief Mark Papermaster. Reportedly, Keller was focusing on developing high-performance, low-power processor cores at AMD.

Now it looks like AMD is looking to beef up its mobile division even further. It is now being reported that AMD has poached Raja Koduri, Apple’s director of graphics architecture.