Using a Hackintosh: Two Weeks In

I’ve used my Hackintosh as a production machine for the past two weeks now, and I’m ready to make some observations.

owc_ssd_and_mb

Benefits:

1. In running OS X 10.10.5, the Hackintosh is super fast and super responsive. Photoshop and Manga Studio run like a dream. All apps play well within OS X on the Hackintosh.

2. The Hackintosh recognizes my hardware, from my Seatech Panasonic external DVD drive to the Yiynova Tablet monitor that I use to draw my comics with.

3. Downloading apps from the Mac App Store and from third-party developer sites works as it should.

Quirks:

1. When using the Apple menu to shutdown or restart the Hackintosh, the screen goes black and stays stuck at the spinner. Pressing the soft reset button at that point will reboot the Hackintosh, but the Hackintosh does not reboot from OS X on its own.

2. With the SnowBall microphone plugged into the Hackintosh’s USB3 port, the Hackintosh will not boot the Chimera boot loader . Unplugging the Snowball microphone allows the Hackintosh to boot through Chimera.

3. The Hackintosh reverts to the default Apple desktop wallpaper upon logging in after a reboot or power up.

Each of these quirks aren’t deal breakers for me, given the performance gains.

Unknowns:

Updating the OS to the next point release (or even El Capitan) has me a little concerned. It won’t be as smooth as running a bonafide Mac. When the next point release of OS X hits, I’ll be back to write about the experience.

Negatives:

Outside of the quirks listed above, I haven’t found any significant negatives to building a Hackintosh. For the adventurous and geeky, like myself, it’s worth the plunge. For average users, I’d recommend sticking with a bonafide Mac.

What are your experiences with Hackintoshing?

-Krishna

These beautiful and intelligent people wrote

  • Kevin S
    September 8, 2015 at 3:05 am

    To fix the shutdown issue, install EvoReboot.kext (Google should turn it up easily)

    The other two issues are a tad more complicated. Ideally, you should use Clover to boot, as Chimera is sort of the “old school” way of doing it, and everything I’ve heard says it may be discontinued soon. Clover is a tad more complex, but there are quite a few compatibility benefits, such as being able to smoothly install updates (it patches files at boot-time, instead of manually with scripts).

    I’m surprised you got the App Store to work without it, in fact. A lot of Apple services have trouble without Clover, and it’s currently impossible to use iMessage with Chimera (although I gather you probably don’t use it much anyway).

    You should definitely look into it when El Capitan rolls around.

    • Krishna
      September 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

      Thanks Kevin. I’ll look up the kext you mentioned. Would a Clover install require me to wipe my current OS X install completely?

      • Kevin S
        September 8, 2015 at 12:33 pm

        Nope! You would just need to set-up a boot USB temporarily, remove Chimera, then boot and install Clover.

        They use fairly different methods of configuration, and the available options are quite daunting. It’s not bad, but it’s certainly not easy like MultiBeast/Chimera is.

        Have a look at this tutorial: http://www.tonymacx86.com/yosemite-desktop-guides/144426-how-install-os-x-yosemite-using-clover.html

        • Klingon00
          September 24, 2015 at 10:29 pm

          Actually, I found it wasn’t necessary to completely remove Chimera when moving to Clover since Chimera uses legacy bios booting and Clover relies on the newer UEFI. My Gigabyte bios boot selection has options to boot my drive using legacy or UEFI OS. I don’t generally switch back and fourth because if your settings like serial number and such are different it can cause some major headaches for some software like Apple Store and iMessage. I found keeping both boot loaders around to be handy once when I accidentally goofed up my Clover settings and couldn’t boot. I was able to boot using Chimera to fix my error.

    • Krishna
      September 8, 2015 at 4:26 pm

      The EVOReboot.kext did the trick! I installed it via MultiBeast 7.5. Thanks!

      I’ll wait a bit on Clover – maybe it will get a bit more streamlined in a few months (there’s no rush to move to El Capitan on my part).

      I was also able to fix the default desktop wallpaper issue by pointing to a desktop image folder inside /Users/… instead of /System/Library/…

      Now to test the microphone issue…

  • sttony
    September 17, 2015 at 10:54 am

    okay so my comment and concern will be slightly off subject … I have installed the beta version of El Capitan i’ve had it since 3 months now … everything works great on my computer except Manga studio… I am using a wacom 21ux and when ever i use my stylus i get a really bad lag .. if i use my mouse iu don’t … ive been searching every and any were fort some help … and i’ve come up with nothing … I would liove to be able to use Manga studios but this is really taking a tole on me … any advice … and I am planning to create my own hackintosh but now i want to know is it better then the current mac pro ?

    • Krishna
      September 18, 2015 at 10:28 am

      hi sttony: I can’t advise as I am not running El Capitan on my Hackintosh. I’m assuming you’ve checked to see if you’re running the latest drivers and the latest version of MS? You could also create a new account on your Mac and see if the programs work in the new account. It’s a good way to troubleshoot.

      I think that one can build a Hackintosh that trounces the current Mac Pro many times over. The Mac Pro will have the advantage of smooth upgrades and installs of the OS, but the Hackintosh is cheaper and has more flexibility.

  • Bob Harvey
    September 24, 2015 at 11:59 am

    Krishna, glad you’re enjoying your “hackintosh.” Personally I think it’s preferable to refer to these non-Apple hardware systems running OS X as “CustoMacs.” The reason? While building the CustoMac system requires the minor skills of someone with better than average ability to assemble components, it’s a bit much to glorify the assembler-aggregator as a “hacker.”
    With these CustoMacs, OS X itself is not “hacked.” It is of course an Apple EULA violation to modify OS X code. To make a CustoMac bootable, the simple add-on of a third party bootloader such as Chimera or Clover is needed. But those bootloaders do not hack OS X; they are external to the OS and simply allow OS X to handshake with and boot the non-Apple hardware.

    My CustoMac is now 4 1/2 years old and is running 10.10.5 with just a single OS X issue: I’ve had no time to surmount the logon denial to the App Store to allow use of Messages. I’m using Chimera but will attempt the switch to Clover when time permits.

    btw, sure wish we could better see your system’s parts list. Could you please substitute or insert a link to a higher res shot of your items? thanks

    • Krishna
      September 24, 2015 at 3:00 pm

      Thanks, Bob. Good point on the naming – I actually like the term “CustoMac” so I will use that from now on. Glad to hear that your system has been running smoothly. I’ve used Chimera and it seems to be working well for me. My CustoMac is running stable and solid.

  • Bob Harvey
    September 24, 2015 at 12:06 pm

    Krishna, I now see the link to details of your build. So my last paragraph can me omitted when you moderate. thanks
    http://pcweenies.com/2015/05/24/the_hackintosh_project/