My $1000 Mac Snow Leopard Hackintosh Recipe – “Hack Pro”

Well I finally made the purchase! My old piece of crap hp pavilion from 2004 has finally been replaced by a new “hackintosh” system!

My goal was to build a Mac desktop with equal or greater power than my 2008 Mac Pro I use at work. I knew there were recipes online and figured that was a good place to start. After massive amounts of googling with no results, I decided to go straight to the source. I contacted the author of old recipes to find out he was actually a very helpful and nice guy. I told him what my needs were (running web production apps) and budget ($1000) and we built the following system:

Part Name Price
Case COOLER MASTER RC-690-KKN1-GP Black SECC/ ABS ATX Mid Tower Computer Case $79.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
CPU Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor Model BX80601920 $279.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Motherboard MSI X58 Pro-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Motherboard $189.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Power Supply Rosewill BRONZE series RBR1000-M 1000W Continuous@40°C, 80Plus Bronze Certified,Modular Cable Design,Active
PFC”Compatible with Core i7, i5″ Power Supply
$139.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
RAM G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Desktop Memory Model F3-10666CL9S-4GBR $159.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Video Card PNY VCGGTS2501XPB GeForce GTS 250 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card $139.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Card Reader SABRENT CRW-UINB 68-in-1 USB 2.0 Internal Card Reader w/ USB 2.0 Port supports SDHC/VISTA $12.99 Newegg Link My Thoughts
Wireless DELL 1505 802.11N Wireless PCIe desktop card antenna $49.99 (EBAY) Ebay Link My Thoughts

First we chose a case that wasn’t too flashy, but looked somewhat elegant. The only real requirement here was that it took ATX form factor motherboards.

Next we choose one of the fastest and highest rated CPUs availiable – Intel Core I7-920. This chip has won customer choice awards on newegg and is known to work with Mac OS X Show Leopard. It is also known to be overclocked to go ~4.0Ghz with proper cooling. However I’ll save that one for another day.

Then was one of the most important parts: finding a extensible motherboard that supported this chip and hackintosh. I am very satisfied with my choice and happy that the MSI X58 Pro-E LGA 1366 Intel X58 supports up to 24GB of ram and the new intel 6 core chips that were recently released. It has 3 x PCI Express 2.0 x16 slots, 2 PCI Express x1, 2 PCI slots, 7 SATA 3Gb/s, onboard audio, onboard gigabit lan, and 6 usb 2.0 slots on the back. I think it will probably do the job LOL.

I then picked up a Rosewill 1000W power supply unit that supports the core I7.

I just chose 4 gigs of 240-Pin DDR3 RAM for now knowing that most applications, being 32bit, only support 4GB of ram.

A very important part of hackintosh systems are the video cards. I know that all GTS 250 cards are compatible so I chose one of those made by PNY. I made sure it had 2 dvi outputs for dual screens.

I also added the optional card reader for an extra $13 bucks that takes just about anything.

The last thing that I wanted on my system was an internal wifi card. I’ve heard mixed reviews about this part and know it is still somewhat experimental, but I decided to go with the DELL 1505 802.11N Wireless PCIe card from ebay. This part is optional of course but it was important to me.

All of the fans and cords come with the required parts – no need to worry there.

You may have noticed that storage and optical drives are not included in this list. For those, I have 1 SATA blu ray drive and 2 500GB SATA HDDS already lying around. I think the most important part here is just that they are SATA. All standard sata parts will work fine in a hackintosh.

So that’s it for now, I would really like to thank my awesome guide in this project – @weaksauce. Without him the project would not be possible. The only experience I had before this was installing OS X on msi wind and dell 10v netbooks. Thanks again and I can’t wait to begin setting up my rig when I receive the components next week.

Stay tuned for a up to date info on the construction of the rig and installation of Mac OS X Snow Leopard!

6 thoughts on “My $1000 Mac Snow Leopard Hackintosh Recipe – “Hack Pro””

  1. So which install of Snow Leopard did you end up using to get the system to boot? Retail DVD plus a bootloader?

    Currently using a Q8200 and have 10.6.3 running perfectly using chameleon and a retail dvd of SL. Not sure if I want to risk this setup to try an i7 hackintosh build unless I can find someone with the Pro-E working.

  2. I haven’t actually got my rig set up yet. There are still pieces in the mail. I consulted with a pretty knowledgeable guy before taking on this project so I’m pretty confident the Pro-E will work great. This guy uses just about the same config as me: http://j.mp/af54oF. I plan on using retail snow leo 10.6.3 with chameleon bootloader. Stay tuned and I will definitely let people know how things are going. I expect some components in the mail tmrw so there will definitely be an update to this blog.

  3. Pretty excited to hear how it turned out. I’m planning on building a similar computer in a month or so, so keep us posted!

    Thanks!

  4. thats sweet man i will definitely keep everyone posted. ive been taking pics all throughout the process and plan on doing some sort of guide or at least one or two more blog posts! i have the whole thing all prepped right now – i just got finished running the memtest. the hackintosh will be getting some snow leo love tonight! and dont worry, you will know all about it!

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