A couple of months ago I said I was going to build a Mac Pro out of PC components, the goal being to make a faster machine that cost a thousand dollars less. I researched and bought the components, built the machine, installed OS X, tweaked it, ordered new components, and tweaked it further. Then I gave it a trial-by-fire recently while editing a trailer for my project 3rd Rail (we're still figuring out what to do with the trailer, while we meet with producers and financiers). And it's been a total success; I never could've edited the After Effects-heavy project on my laptop, and the Hackintosh handled it with aplomb. It's seriously fast - and it hasn't crashed once. I'm happy to report the machine has lived up to my stated goals at the time:
Here’s what I think is possible for a video editing-optimized hackintosh: compared to the $2,500 Mac Pro base model, I believe the Hac Pro can have a faster processor, four times as much RAM, a Blu-Ray burner, USB 3.0 connectivity, more storage space, and an nVidia graphics card that accelerates Adobe CS5. The kicker? This Hac Pro will cost $1,000 less.
With a couple of minor exceptions, ((I went with the same speed processor as the entry-level Mac Pro, but you can always go faster; USB 3.0 isn't yet supported by Mac OS X, but the hardware's in place.)) the above goals have all been achieved by the machine sitting under my desk. To arrive at such a trouble-free solution, however, I went through several iterations and tweaks (this is why the article's taken a bit of time); at present, the only aspect I'm not totally satisfied with is the Wi-Fi connectivity, but I've got some parts on the way from China that should bring the Airport connectivity up to 100% (if this sounds too complicated, fear not: there are a number of viable USB Wi-Fi solutions that work fine provided you install the correct drivers -- I'll include this in the tutorial). So stay tuned -- the detailed step-by-step article should be ready sometime next week. The week after, at the very latest. For independent filmmakers and creatives, this is a machine that is built to create -- even if you don't have quite enough cash for the new Mac Pro, which I've wondered how good of a value proposition it is. And, as I'll talk about in the article, contrary to my expectations going into the project, I actually found it to be a lot of fun.