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.
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.
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.
"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!
"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."
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.”
Roughly comparable to a Mac Pro costing $3,500, the P280 was assembled from off-the-shelf PC parts costing just over $2,000, including a water-cooling system to chill its chips. The Hackintosh runs Apple’s OS X Mavericks and, according to its builder, bests a similarly configured Pro on many benchmarks.
It has none of Jony Ive’s industrial design magic, of course, but that’s not the point. This is a DIY rig that’s as badass as it gets.
That got one German thinking. If the Mac Pro looks so much like a trash can, why not build a Hackintosh out of a trash can. Which is exactly what he did, crafting his Mac Pro out of an Authentics Lunar bathroom trash can that comes with matching toilet brush. And while the replica isn’t anywhere near as powerful as the real thing, it certainly looks the part. Check out more images below.
Apple makes some really great software and hardware. We love it. But sometimes there are certain little things you want out of your computer that Apple can’t or won’t provide. That’s why we have jailbreaking and modding.
We love it when someone takes an Apple product and morphs it into something completely different. There have been a lot of Apple hardware mods that have crossed our desks over the last few years. Some have been simple, while others have required over a hundred hours of work. Here are the five greatest Apple hardware mods we’ve ever seen.
Creepy Mountain Lion hugging a flash drive? Uh… ok.
OS X is designed to run seamlessly on Mac hardware, but did you know that you can actually install Apple’s desktop operating system on a Windows PC and make what’s called a “Hackintosh?” Apple released OS X Mountain Lion in the Mac App Store last week, and it has already been downloaded 3 million times. But if you’re stuck with a PC, you can’t taste the forbidden fruits… until now. UniBeast, the tool used for creating a Hackintosh, has been updated with support for Mountain Lion.
Hackintoshing is not for the faint of heart, but if you’re up to the challenge, it’s possible to get Mountain Lion up and running on your PC.
The Mac Pro is the most PC-like Mac, but it serves niches that other Macs and PCs can’t.
Apple quietly updated its Mac Pro line last week. The update was an important move even though the actual changes were so minor as to be barely noteworthy. The minor refresh gave high computing customers a sense of confidence that Apple wasn’t going to abandon the Mac Pro line anytime soon. That sense of confidence got a boost from New York Times columnist David Pogue, who was assured more substantive Mac Pro upgrades were in the works for 2013.
The Mac Pro is something of a relic when it comes to Apple’s current strategy. It’s the only Mac that features significant expansion options using industry standard hardware – a point made by Lifehacker columnist Adam Dachis, who compared the Mac Pro’s specs and costs to three hackintosh options. Looking at the Mac Pro as simply a series of specs, performance, and cost is appropriate for most users – but not for some important niche markets.
It just got a whole lot easier to install Lion on your hackintosh, thanks to Tonymacx86’s new “UniBeast” bootable USB drive utility. In case you didn’t know, a hackintosh is basically a PC that’s been modified to run OS X, and some people create pretty sweet hackintosh setups for half the price of an Apple-branded equivalent.
UniBeast is a new tool that makes it easy to install Apple’s newest desktop OS, Lion, on your hackintosh. Not only does UniBeast get rid of the need for an iBoot CD, but it also creates a bootable Lion USB flash drive.
Here, have a barf. Watch this guy assemble a random assemblage of PC parts, cram them into a tablet chassis, install Windows XP on the resulting mess and then have the sheer audacity to emblazon it with an Apple logo and call it the iPad 3… all to a soundtrack of nu-metal-for-fratties band Linkin Park, as apparently broadcast by AM radio to a receiver made out of a tin can.
Short of an official announcement from Apple, it’s anyone’s guess whether or not Apple’s next-generation desktops and notebooks will use Intel’s recently unveiled Sandy Bridge architecture… but even if Cupertino defies expectations and sits this CPU gen out, don’t sweat it: you’ll at least be able to put yourself together a Sandy Bridge Hackintosh.
With remarkable alacrity, hackers with early access to Sandy Bridge wasted little time upon the lapse of Intel’s non-disclosure agreement to install Mac OS X on a Sandy Bridge processor, pushing Snow Leopard onto a machine running the new Intel Core i5-2500K CPU running at 3.30GHz.
How’d it run? Not as well as it will once OS X officially supports Sandy Bridge: a Geekbench score of 8874 and an Xbench score of 282.40. As it is, the hackers needed to patch the kernel to even get Snow Leopard to boot. Still, if there was any doubt, the benchmark scores do make it pretty clear that when Snow Leopard starts supporting Sandy Bridge, we’ll all be looking at the fastest Macs yet.
Chinese knockoff maker DragonFly has just made their already shameless MacBook clone a little more so: while the 14-inch netbook already adhered closely enough to the Ive aesthetic to be mistaken for a real MacBook Pro by the Magoo-like, they’ve now gone even farther by replacing the original DragonFly logo with Apple’s own… plus Hackintoshing the notebook in the factory to run Snow Leopard. It even comes with a fake MagSafe charger!
Try this in America and Apple’s legal team would cram your head so forcibly up your posterior that you’d give a vomitous birth unto yourself, but DragonFly hails from China, so they’ll probably be fine. $436 will buy you one on the Beijing electronics blackmarket.