I sometimes wonder what monsters haunt the nightmares of Apple’s resident designer, Mr. Jonathan Ive. He’s so prim, so meticulous, so clean and proper, but on those nights when he has a slice of pepperoni pizza a little too close to bed time, what horrors does he dream up? Some horrible Cenobite iMac dragging itself bloodily across the floor whispering “Make way for the new flesh:” a biomechanical monstrosity of Foxconn components crammed into the pulsating sack of some skinless, cancerous stomach?
Or is it something more like this cardboard box Hackintosh, put together by the guys over at One Block Off the Grid — a cooperative for buying photovoltaic solar panels at a group discount — after one of their Macs proved too slow to run Adobe After Effects?
Those unconventional iconoclasts at Psystar might have been ground down to a gelatin paste by Apple’s legal team, but that’s not to say you can’t have a business selling Mac clones… as long as you don’t sell them with OS X pre-installed.
Just ask the guys at Quo Computers, “Apple enthusiasts who breathe and bleed Mac OS X” who have just announced their latest hackintosh: a truly ghastly tower called the maxQ2 with beefy hardware placing it somewhere between the performance of a high-end iMac and the Mac Pro.
Inside the chassis, the Q2 features an Intel Core i7 3.6GHz CPU, 12GB of RAM, a 240GB SSD, a 1TB hard drive and an NVIDIA 285 GTX GPU. The real appeal here, though, is the addition of Aestek’s liquid / copper cold plate cooling system, which will keep the innards frosty regardless of what you throw at it.
The maxQ2 will run Windows, OS X or Linux through EFI support… although Quo isn’t stupid enough to install OS X on it for you themselves. The Quo maxG2 starts at $3,675, and if you’re willing to trade aesthetic for horsepower while breaking OS X’s EULA in the process, it seems like an option worth considering.
Apple’s fastest Mac is the 12-Core Mac Pro, featuring two 2.93 GHz Xeon processors. Configure it with 25GB of DDR3 ECC SDRAM, and Apple’s fastest Mac will cost you $8,749.00.
Yowza. That’s an extraordinary amount of money. If you don’t mind dropping an extra $300, though, you might be interested in Macintouch’s guide to building not Apple’s fastest Mac, but the world’s fastest Mac yourself.
Yup, according to Macintouch’s tests, their Hackintoshed monstrosity — a total beast of a machine running two 3.33GHz hexacore Westmere processors overclocked to 4.2GHz each and supplemented with 24GB of DDR3 RAM — melted the Mac Pro’s face off.
Of course, there’s a lot of drawbacks to this approach, including compatibility issues and a much louder system than the Mac Pro, as well as a desktop footprint that makes the Pro look compact. But as of right now, it seems that a Hackintosh is the fastest Mac in the world. God help us.
We’ve all been gleefully following the seventeen month legal battle between Apple and Mac clone maker Psystar, but it looks likes the credits are finally about to roll. Yesterday, United States District Judge William Alsup granted a permanent injunction to Apple that will prevent Psystar from ever again selling hardware with Apple’s operating system already installed.
For the last year or so, I’ve had an old indigo blue iMac G3, throbbing its orange oculus silently on my computer desk. I inherited it from the previous inhabitant of my apartment, and while I was at first enthusiastic about it, I’ve never quite been able to decide what I want to do with it.
While my budgerigar, Humbert J. Humbird, likes it well enough, converting it into a bird cage doesn’t really seem like a good idea: a gloomy demesne indeed for a parakeet already morbidly inclined. Another idea I had was to install Writeroom and put it in the front hallway of my palatial blogger’s luxury apartment, as a sort of guest book, but the only nook suitable is already the napping post of my senescent man servant, Beasley.
The other day, though, inspiration struck: I would Hackintosh it. I’d just rip out that iMac’s guts — the bulbous CRT, the 450MHz Power PC architecture, the 10GB hard drive and the 350MB RAM — and install a homemade mini-PC, hacked to run Snow Leopard. A perfect New Year’s project, and an excellent way to make that gorgeous, old and obsolete piece of plastic junk into a modern Mac.
I haven’t started yet — I expect the real challenges to be the installation of an LCD screen and getting the slot-loading DVD drive to play nice — but I was curious if anyone had tried to Hackintosh an old iMac G3. Sure enough, someone had, as demonstrated this gorgeous picture guide of some maker who gutted his own, tray-loading Tangerine iMac G3 and installed a Hackintosh.
Unfortunately, there’s no text instructions, but the process seems simple enough. I plan to start sometime in January, and I’ll update here about it as I do. Any of our Cultists done something similar and want to warn me away from potential pitfalls? Pipe up in the comments.
We posted yesterday that Apple and Psystar had reached a partial settlement in their age-old legal conflict over Psystar’s manufacturing and marketing of PCs with OS X pre-installed. The only thing up in the air was exactly how much those Hackintoshing upstarts from Florida would end up having to pay.
Now the number’s out, and it’s not pretty: Psystar has agreed to pay Apple $2.67 million dollars in damages.
As a blogger, it’s hard to know quite from just what angle I should tackle modder Will Urbina’s utterly wonderful but certainly unholy amalgamation of a Xbox and a Hackintosh.
Should I describe it as a hideous, pupal cocoon that has been secreted by Microsoft to encase the imago of the Macintosh struggling to free its wings within? Or is OS X just the magic employed a soul-devouring hag, who — once bedded — lets the charm drop and reveals herself as the uggo she is?
Either way, Urbina’s creation is probably a psychoanalytically diagnosable incubus in the mind of Steve.
Called the OS Xbox Pro, Urbina’s project takes a translucent Microsoft Xbox chassis and crams it with Hackintoshable guts, including a pair of 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550s, an NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 16GB solid state drive, and four additional hard drives. One drive boots Windows 7, the other OS X Snow Leopard (retail bought, Urbina assures), with two other hard drives for video editing. The end cost was $1500 for component from New Egg, which is just a little bit less than the cost of a 27 inch iMac.
The impetus to Urbina’s profane cross-breed case mod? Although he prefers Windows, Urbina needed a work machine to use Final Cut Pro.
The end result is sure to have Cupertino weaving a circle around it thrice and shutting its eyes in holy dread, but personally, I just can’t think of a better use for an old Xbox than to make it into a Mac.