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The Latest OS X Lion Hackintosh Recommendations for Video Editors

12.22.11 @ 2:45PM Tags : , , ,

One of the reasons I haven’t updated my How to Build a Hackintosh guide (which, I should note, is even more popular now than the DSLR Cinematography Guide — probably because most people have the PDF of the Guide and don’t need to visit the latter as often) is that my machine has been working perfectly and so I haven’t feel the need to constantly search for new components. However, I recently upgraded my machine to OS X Lion (it’s working great), and so I also updated the guide to reflect an easy way to do it, courtesy Unibeast from Tonymac:

The guide has been updated to reflect the latest hardware recommendations and OS X Lion instructions. My machine’s currently running OS X 10.7.2 flawlessly.

UPDATE: the upgrade to Lion seems to have broken the ability to use external ESATA drives. More as I discover why this is. There may also be some issues with hard drives (not because of Hackintoshing, but because of Lion itself) — see this comment.

Link: How to Build a Hackintosh


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • hey Koo, are you using the Hac for Manchild?

    and if so, what editing software?

    • Right now I’m editing using all Adobe stuff, with Red Giant plugins and REDCINE-X Pro.

      Hope to not be editing Man Chid myself, so I doubt we’ll be using the Hac… but I’ll still be putting it to work regularly!

  • I wonder when someone will come up with how to make a Hackintosh out of a notebook that can compete with a current Macbookpro?

    • See, I don’t get this. I think Mac makes by far the best laptop hardware. The screens, the trackpads, the form factor… when a Macbook Air is $1k, why would you want to spend time and effort turning a chunky piece of PC plastic (which probably costs 2/3 as much) into a Mac?

      A desktop is another matter entirely, as you only interface with the keyboard, mouse, and monitor, and it doesn’t need to be portable or elegant since it sits under your desk. Plus Mac Pros are priced so high and are refreshed rarely. Just my $0.02.

      • I don’t think Air has the same performance or screen as a Macbook Pro.

        I already own a 2011 2.3 Macbook Pro, but I hear Lenovo may be better.

        Anyways, I’m a PC man that’s new to Mac, so I don’t hold Macs in the same reverence as some. Bloody overpriced if you ask me. Anyway to have similar (or better) performance, portability, and price, while running mac osx, is what I’m interested in.

      • …because you can get a 17″ i7 clevo with a CUDA card, two hard drives, and 16 GB ram for under $1600.

  • Koo, have you had any disk formatting issues, such as external drives that were formatted under 10.6 for PC use that are now not recognized?

    I hear Lion added more security and thus disk formatting is becoming an issue for people, even external disks from WD just don’t work out of the box.

    Many more stories like this:

    I am just curious because this is the one thing holding me back from upgrading the hack. Did you get any better GPU performance?


    • Matt,

      I looked into it and this seems to have affected my ability to use external ESATA drives — they are not showing up.

      I also had some issues with my internal SSD being recognized and I thought it was because the drive had failed. I swapped in a new unit from OWC and it worked fine. But now you’ve got me thinking maybe the old one is working, it’s just not being recognized…

      • Alex Zustra on 12.25.11 @ 8:03PM


        You may already know this but installing Lion wipes out some drivers, specifically one for me than ran my express card to esata adapter. You simply have to reinstall. You may be experiencing the same thing your Hackintosh. If so, you should be able to just reinstall.

      • Clayton Arnall on 12.30.11 @ 1:24PM

        Something strange going on with the OCZ SSDs… I tried for a couple days to get lion going. Haven’t got it working yet, so I reverted to my SuperDuper Snow Leopard backup and I was stuck on “loading DMI pool data”, so I go in the bios and the ssd isn’t even being recognized anymore by the bios. After messing around for a while trying to get it working, I used a regular hard drive I had lying around, and it recognized and booted just fine off that. Kinda coincidental that both our ssds die during the lion upgrade.

        • Actually, I doubt that’s a coincidence! I will update the article with a warning. I read elsewhere that drives formatted in 10.6 may have a hard time being recognized. Very strange and a potentially significant problem!

          • Clayton Arnall on 12.30.11 @ 8:02PM

            It might be something deeper than that though cause the bios doesn’t care what version of OSX you have, you could be running Windows for all it knows. Mine won’t even show up in the bios. And to double check, I re-formatted the drive in both SL and Lion and neither worked. I saw some posts that suggested that maybe it’s a firmware issue with the ssd – but the only way you can update the firmware is with a windows Vista or newer windows machine. I don’t have Windows, so I’m getting a new one under warranty.

        • Clayton Arnall on 12.30.11 @ 8:10PM

          I should also note it booted into snow leopard fine with the other drive I had… still haven’t gotten lion to work.

  • Koo,

    What specs do you have on your Hackintosh? Does it run 4K flawless in post? What is the best and cheapest option actually when it comes to computer parts to run 4K flawlessly in a Hackintosh environment?

    • Tim,

      I’ve just started working with 4K files in Adobe Premiere Pro. They key component (other than the fastest processor and the most RAM you can afford) is to get a good nVidia card. I’ve found in Premiere Pro you can edit 4K files without transcoding, and without a RED ROCKET, if you use GPU acceleration and set playback resolution to 1/4 (which is in the neighborhood of 720p). This is just off a stock internal 7200 RPM hard drive, no RAID or anything fancy.

  • Clayton Arnall on 12.24.11 @ 7:16PM

    Koo, any video card issues when you upgraded? After I install, my gtx 480 is recognized in lion just fine but after I run multibeast and reboot I get a kernel panic unless I set GraphicsEnabler to no in which case the graphics card drivers aren’t loaded. I pretty much have the same hardware as you except for the gpu, so thought I’d check if you encountered anything similar?. Works out of the box, but multibeast is screwing something up.

    • Mine’s working fine, except now it says “unknown nvidia card” instead of gtx 285. Performance is the same…

  • hello people,

    i´m new in the hackintosh building and i spent a few days in the last weeks, working on my system. i build it for video editing. the specs are:

    mainboard: gigabyte ga-z68xp ud3
    nvidia geforce gtx 480 (evga)
    16gb ram
    ssd 120 gb

    the problem i have:

    after i build the hackintosh hardware stuff, i was installing snow leopard, which was not as easy as i thought it would be, but after a few hours i got it running. i tried out adobe premiere with the little cuda crack to recognise the gpu and everything worked realy amazing good. the performance in premiere was really much better when i was turning on the cuda engine. but as i was having a few probems with booting the system, so i installed lion, which was much more easy to install. i again installed premiere pro and tried out the cuda performance. the programm was again recognising the gpu and everything looked ok. the problem is that the gpu akts like it was doing something, but the performance is the same as when i only use the cpu.the gpu does really nothing. it´s a difference like day to night to my test before. i was thinking it´s surely a problem with lion and so i installed snow leopard again, exactly like i did it the first time. now also in snow leo the performance was gone although the grafic was recognised by premiere. then i decided to install windows 7 to try if works there. and again the same problem: the card has been found but no performace increase in adobe premiere. can somebody help me? i don´t know what this tells me. is it a hardware problem? is it a problem with the bios?

    thanks and a happy chrismas… ben

    • Interesting, I’ll have to investigate.

      • Sorry…it’s very early here, I totally missed Clayton Arnall’s reply about the firmware issues. My apologies for 1) doubleposting 2) replying in the wrong spot.

  • Can someone tell me what are the advantages of using a Mac OS rather than just use a Windows OS. (besides the fact that FCP doesn´t run on a PC)
    I´m building a machine so I need some help, thanks

  • On the matter of failing SSD’s.

    I had a 2,5″ OCZ Vertex 2 in my MacPro 1,1, (10.6.8 formatted) it has been running like a charm. I had the 2,5″ taped/rigged to the MacPro HDD brackets in order to fit, screwholes weren’t in the right places for a 2,5″ HDD. Then I swapped it out for a 3,5″ because it just didn’t feel right sitting there like it was.

    Leaving me with a spare 2,5″.

    Then I took on my Hackintosh project (succesfull Lion 10.7.2 using the Kakewalk method by the way). Ordered a 2,5″ OCZ Agiltiy 3 as main OS X bootdisk. Decided to install Win 7 on the spare Vertex 2. It’s a breeze to be able to dual boot!

    Suddenly the Vertex 2 (Win 7) stopped responding and wasn’t recognized by the system. I didn’t have Lion installed on it previously. Anyway, to cut a long story short:

    I could turn it in for a new one at the shop for free since most SSD’s come with a 2 year warranty (got a 3,5″…2,5″ were out of stock) and the guy who helped me said it could have been a firmware failure, causing the disks to stop responding. Seems it happens after heavy loading/traffic. You can check your SSD manufacturers website ti see if they have any firmware tools available and update to the latest.

    OCZ has a tool online (Runs on Win only…bummer).

    Another word of warning I picked up along the way. If you stress your SSD with a lot of datatraffic pounding it *might* just give up. The disks are not designed (yet) to be used as…well lets say FCP scratch disks.

    Hope this helps.

    • To be fair to SSDs in general: OCZ does not have the greatest reputation amongst SSD manufacturers. They sure have good marketing and sell their drives in big numbers, but they are known for being less than reliable.

      Better get a Crucial, Intel (not the 320 though!) or Samsung SSD, these are much more reliable than OCZ, and they are a lot better as scratch disks, too, because they don’t rely on data compression like the OCZs with their SandForce controllers. Video material is already heavily compressed, so the Sandforce drives get pretty slow…

  • i installled lion on my GA-x58A-UD5 motherboard with unibeast usb drive.
    No problems at all when i entered lion the first time, he even recognized my GTX 480 Gigabyte graphic card. But after the multibeast install with the following install notes.
    see link:

    I got this Kernel Panic when i boot Lion without USB….

    see link:

    Please help me with this because i tried it with easybeast but my graphic card won’t show a higher resolution then 1024… I don’t know what to do arghhhh!!!

    Gr Rob

    • I am having this same issue with an EVGA GTX 480. Perfect video detection while using Unibeast but after installing multibeast if I use DSDT I get reboot loops/hangs, if I use easy beast my video card is not detected properly. It’s driving me crazy!!

  • Hi there. I build a very good working hackintosh with Radeon GD6450 GPU, 3930k processor , 64Gb Ram… yet when i try to run Red Giant plugins on Adobe Premiere CS6, the playback almost grinds to a halt?

    Is it to do with my GPU card not being good enough for video editing?


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