Final check of Hackintosh i7 workstation/server build?

Hi everyone! First post here, though I've been reading for quite a while. I was just hoping I could get a bit of help choosing the final components for my build.

My intentions are a little bit unusual, I think, as I'd like to be able to triple-boot Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Windows 7, and Linux (Ubuntu or Gentoo, probably).


APPROXIMATE PURCHASE DATE: Tonight by midnight, hopefully; tomorrow at latest

BUDGET RANGE: $1000-1300 not including monitor

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: General productivity and home use (PowerPoint, Excel, watching Blu-Ray DVD's), home file and multimedia server, financial analysis workstation, maybe some experimentation with Linux and parallel programming, maybe some casual gaming


PREFERRED WEBSITE(S) FOR PARTS: (examples:,, -- this is to help others see available options and prices)

OVERCLOCKING: Yes on CPU; maybe on GPU, if possible

MONITOR RESOLUTION: 1920x1080? planning on getting Samsung 40" 1080P

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Will reside in my bedroom, so the quieter the better, while still within budget. I'm a little bit of a movie buff and will eventually use this for watching Blu-Ray, so high-quality HD video and audio are desirable.

CPU - the easy part
Intel i7 920 - $280
any way I can guarantee that I get a D0 from NewEgg? Do I just RMA if its C0?

Motherboard - here's where I start to need some help!

Normally, I would just go with one of three Asus MB's, but it seems Gigabyte MoBo's support Hackintosh very well right out of the box (OSX86 Hardware Compatibility List). That would be a big help to me, and it means if I really can't get my head around .kext's and EFI patches and everything, I can just order this EFI-X Hackintosh dongle that lets me load retail OSX on any PC with a Gigabyte MoBo.

Asus looked like it had some cool features in terms of power-saving, thermal, diagnostic, overclocking, etc, but I'm just wondering if they are worth the extra hassle?

Dual Gigabit LAN's (on all but P6T and UD4P) would be helpful but not necessary.

Also, would you guys recommend trying out Open Box MoBo's from NewEgg? I figured this was the most important component, and probably the one I would least like to get Open Box.

The choices:
1) Gigabyte UD4P - $240
2) Gigabyte UD5 - $290. Not too sure where my extra $50 goes here, other than Dual Gigabit NIC.
3) Asus P6T - $240
4) Asus P6T Deluxe V2 - $290. Again, not too sure where my extra $50 goes here, other than Dual Gigabit NIC.
5) Asus P6T6 WS Revolution - $350. This guy supports Xeons and true x16 3-way Crossfire/SLI - upgrade city!

OK, I'm gonna go ahead and put this first post up. More components to follow!
Thanks, everyone, in advance for all your help. I really appreciate it!
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More about final check hackintosh workstation server build
  1. Continuing on...

    OCZ Platinum 3x2GB DDR31600 7-7-7-24 - $115

    Some alternate choices:
    OCZ Gold 3x2GB DDR3 1600 8-8-8-24 - $90. Looks like a pretty good deal - any reason to pay $25 more for the OCZ Plat?
    Corsair XMS3 6GB DDR31600 9-9-9-24 - $95. Looks like a good deal too. There are several XMS3 kits available at different timings, but I don't know enough about timings to choose between them.

    Power Supply
    CORSAIR CMPSU-850TX 850W - $110
    Enough wattage? Too much? I plan to continue upgrading this system gradually over time....

    Antec Skeleton - $150
    A little expensive, but I really like it, and I feel like it helps with cooling.

    Alternate choices:
    Antec 300 ($60)
    Antec 900 ($108)
    Raidmax Smilodon - $50

    CPU Cooler
    I feel like I don't need one right now, thanks to Antec Skeleton's massive 250mm fan right above the CPU and plans to overclock CPU only to 3.3-3.6 range at first. Is this a mistake? I'd definitely like to add one later, but trying to save money now.

    Samsung F1 RAID Class 7200RPM 1TB - $150.
    Comes with free Seagate 7200RPM 500GB.

    The plan is to eventually build a RAID 10 array with Samsung F1 1TB disks, but I like the idea of using free Seagate 500GB as boot disk and Samsung 1TB as data disk for now, or maybe in RAID 1. I will eventually add 1TB drives as needed.

    I'd also like to get an SSD at some point, once prices come down and/or my income goes up.

    Post 3 and the last few components coming right up! Thanks again everyone.
  2. Post #3 of 3

    Graphics Card - the part where I'm really lost

    So, I really don't have much of a clue here. I have several priorities, some of which don't really work well together.

    1) Effortlessly run a 40" Samsung 1080P LCD at 1920x1080 AND perhaps a second 22" monitor

    2) Effortlessly decode HD video, play Blu-Ray movies (HDCP), perhaps some light personal-use HD video editing; native HDMI preferred, DVI-HDMI adapter OK - advantage: ATI?

    3) Offer raw power for Snow Leopard OpenCL; act as GPGPU for parallel programming, which I see as the way of the future - advantage: ATI because of many more SPU's at lower price? Not clear on difference between ATI and nVidia SPU's

    4) Play well, and continue to play well, with Mac OSX - advantage: nVidia?

    5) Maybe occasional casual gaming, but definitely not high priority

    6) Quiet

    7) Flexible budget ranging from $50-$150

    Some possibilities

    1) Sapphire Radeon HD 4650 512MB 128-bit GDDR3 - $41
    This looked perfect until I read that 4650's may not be compatible with Hackintosh right now - insanelymac forum. Someone says they will be under Snow Leopard, but I have no way of verifying this.

    2) Zotac GeForce 9600 GT 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 - $75
    Is this less parallel than the cheaper Radeon? It has 64 stream processors while teh 4650 has 320....

    3) Gigabyte Radeon HD 4850 1GB 256-bit GDDR3 - $110
    More expensive, but maybe the best option? 800 SPU's, native HDMI. Not the best reviewed, but I know it has been made to work with Mac OSX, albeit with some EFI string instructions and dongle tricks or whatnot - compatibility list

    I'm lost here, so any help anyone can give me here would be greatly appreciated!

    Optical Drive

    Will try to salvage one from an old Dell and wait until better and cheaper Blu-Ray drives come out.

    Anything else I missed?

    Do I need thermal paste if I'm using the stock CPU heatsink for now? Anything else?

    Thank you so much, everyone!
  3. From the underwhelming response here, you might wish to post this query on AnandTech's "All Things Apple" forum
    where there is an active and informed discussion about Hackintosh computers, or on, where there is an active and often juvenile discussion. (I do not have enough experience to help you; sorry!)
  4. Dont get the antec skeleton, its a really really bad idea for a day to day case. Its open so there is nothing stopping dust from getting into it or from you walking by and accidentally shocking a component in it, its meant as a testing platform for sites like this and other review sites. Get a closed case like the antec 300.
  5. I use it, and have no problems. The large fan keeps dust off the motherboard, and a 10-second blast of compressed air does the rest. It's actually easier to keep clean than most cases. If you keep it on a tabletop or shelf, you should have no problems. (AFAIK, there's nothing on Antec's website to suggest it was intended as a testing platform.)
  6. You need a 4850 for gfx. the others will struggle with blu ray disks. up to you to decide whether you want to pay extra for a silent one. my 4850 (reference cooler) gets a bit loud when under full load (think crysis or gta 4). GFX support is supposedly native with snow leo, if you want to go that way. if not, 10.5.6 works fine for me. youll need to find the installer on insanely mac to enable CI/QE

    Asus mobos work fine with os x. im on a p5q and all i had to do was flash a edited BIOS and now i dont need to worry about kernel panics any more. ever.

    might wanna get a blu ray drive. My sony SATA BR drive works fine under leopard (but the damn OS doesnt support them!!!!)

    for a PSU, look into a good branded 500-550w PSU.
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