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Update: How to Build a Hackintosh with the Latest Intel Sandy Bridge Processors

07.1.11 @ 4:58PM Tags : ,

The NoFilmSchool Hackintosh was faster than the Mac Pro at half the price. And now it’s even faster… and cheaper. Intel Sandy Bridge processors are the latest silicon from Intel, but are unavailable on the Mac Pro. Apple’s pro machine is not only prohibitively expensive, but seldom receives updates, making it the unfortunate combination of overpriced and outdated. With Sandy Bridge processors now running successfully in OS 10.6.8, it’s time for the latest Hackintosh update. I’ve revised the guide to include the latest processor, motherboard, and GPU options, so if you were thinking about building a machine, here’s how. Also, this machine should work on OS X Lion just fine.

Why should it work on Lion? First of all, Lion has to be backwards-compatible with existing Apple hardware, and that’s what we’re emulating. Second, the developer’s version of Lion is already running on Hackintoshes. As far as I know, the previous hackintosh models should also work great in Lion. When Lion is released to the public (it just went gold), I’ll update the hackintosh guide with any changes.

Also, I’ve updated the NoFilmSchool Hackintosh (previous model) to 10.6.8. If you’re running one of the previous builds, to also update yours, download the 10.6.8 combo update. Then, run MultiBeast, select your DSDT, and make sure to follow these instructions (yes, even though you did it before, you need to do it again, because 10.6.8 will overwrite your audio kexts, etc). Restart and you should be up and running on 10.6.8. If you have problems, try this thread at tonymac.

Link: How to Build a Sandy Bridge Hackintosh


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Description image 31 COMMENTS

  • Hey Koo,
    thanks for keeping the Hacintosh list updated to the newest standards of technology.
    I’d like to know if you have heard anything about a thunderbolt port that you can built into your Hacintosh?

    - Sebastian

  • This looks really promising but the link isn’t working :( also a shopping cart of recommended items would be great to give us a budget.

  • Hmm I was considering a Sandy Bridge but for my Win7 machine. Then I read up on some of the specs and I decided that Sandy bridge wasn’t a very good idea. It has a few issues that aren’t good for the video editor type, unless your equipped with THUNDERBOLT. Integrated graphics and shared PCIe bandwidth to name a few…

    A MAC machine with THUNDERBOLT is better suited for video work with a Sandy Bridge. But with out THUNDERBOLT I fear you’d just be in the same boat.

    The videoguys have a decent article on this processor.

    • When I read this videoguys article I was doubting too, but I recommend you to explore a bit more this subject and see other points of view:

      It is true that Sandy Bridge platform has some limitations and a lot of advantages. The question is if this limitations are really important… for me they are not, and I bought a Sandy Bridge 1 month ago. After reading the videoguys article my main concern was stability, but at this moment, in my experience, the stability is great.

      Anyway if you are not in hurry you can wait for Sandy Brdge E or Ivy Bridge… good luck in your research!

    • First of all, their complaints are centered on integrated graphics. We’re using a discreet GPU so those points are moot.

      They make an interesting point about the P67 chipset, but for there to be any disadvantage you’d need to be running an AJA card, RAID, and GPU at the same time, which I think many hackintoshers are not — and it remains to be seen whether there’s a real limitation or only one that people are making up (as Pedro shows with the link above, it appears to be the latter).

      I think at this point building a Sandy Bridge hackintosh and later adding a thunderbolt setup is a great idea, and as the Videoguys note, “Conclusion: Sandy Bridge PLUS Thunderbolt is a winning combination!” They go on to say, “I will go a step further, and recommend you wait for X68 chipsets with Thunderbolt. These could still be a year away.”

      We’re talking about a machine that costs less than $2k and in some cases less than $1k. I think for the value the Sandy Bridge processors — which ARE faster and offer higher clock speeds than the previous generation — should work great. You can wait a year, true, but that’s always the case…

  • This is great information, thanks. Will the Gigabyte GA-P67A-UD5 work? I’m in Korea and the Z68X-UD5-B3 isn’t available here apparently. Or I could just go with the older version that you posted.

    And has anyone tried this out yet? I’d like to know that it was successful.

  • Plus, if you made an amazon list available for international shipping, I’m sure you get people willing to buy from that. Just a suggestion.

    • Amazon doesn’t ship internationally?

      • only for books; for this kind of stuff, it doesn’t

        you can find amazon associates that will, but even so I don’t think it would be a great idea: shipping costs, trade tariffs, etc, make buying this kind of stuff abroad a bit problematic

  • great job keeping up this work. thanks!

  • I am waiting for Lion to be out before I try building a Hackintosh.

    But how will I get Lion since it will only be available at the mac app store and I don’t have Snow Leopard or a mac?

    • I suspect someone will make it available online, but you could always buy a SL DVD for $29 and then upgrade to Lion for another $29… as far as OSes go, that’s still pretty cheap.

  • I’m leaning towards getting an awesome Hac Pro for the price of a low-level Mac Pro, but after looking around on the internet it sounds like people have problems with migration, updates, etc. Being that I’m currently on a 2-year old MacBook Pro and want to keep all my files and apps (incl. FCP), is it realistic to think that I could migrate from a MacBook Pro to a Hac Pro? Any how-tos on this? I really want a great machine for video editing but am not a technical guy and don’t have $5,000 to spend!!!

    • Mandrew,

      I’ve been using a high-end Hackintosh for the last three plus years… It’s been more reliable than many of my friends’ Macs.

      The installs over the past couple years are fairly clean installs, called Vanilla installs, where you don’t need to worry about updating the OS. The most critical choice is the motherboard you use for little to non hassle free system updates. Stick with Gigabyte motherboards for sure!

      I haven’t used NoFilmSchool hackintosh guide but it looks right on the money.

  • Hey Koo,

    Thanks for fixing the link… I was thinking of wiping out my 2005 Mac pro tower to use as the case but am unsure if the motherboard or perpiphals will fit… How do I check the sizes?


    Ps this is my new favorite site… Keep it up! You’re improving the quaility of independent productions everywhere with every new post.

  • Thanks Koo
    I’m having trouble finding information on a suitable micro-atx gigabyte board for hac-pros. If anyone has experience with one please post

  • Also- you mention in the guide that blu ray playback isn’t supported on the OS but that just changed… here’s the article I read,

  • Thanks Koo! I built my Hac Pro last week following your guide and I’m very happy with it! I’m using the i7 2600k, with 16gb ram and a Radeon HD 6870 video card. OS and apps on an SSD and the rest on a 1TB 7200rpm hd. All together it came out to a little less than CAD$1100!

    It’s amazingly fast and it’s been very stable until now!

    • Hey Nadim! Where did you get all the items in Canada? I live here too and a few of the items don’t ship to Canada on Amazon

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