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The Perfect Motherboards For Your Hackintosh

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 53 comments

We keep getting asked, which motherboard to start with for a fully working hackintosh? Start with the letter "G."

So you're going to "hackintosh." Well, you might as well start off properly.

After scouring around countless forums, the most popular boards people are using to setup their systems are boards made by Gigabyte. Digging deeper, the reason is clear: almost complete driver compatibility with Apple's OS X Snow Leopard (save for SATA 6gbps at the moment). The specific features and hardware components that Gigabyte uses for its motherboards in the last few years, are either the same, or natively supported by Apple.

Some other boards people are using belong to Asus, but there are far more compatibility issues here as far as hackintoshes go.

Motherboard support in OS X is the biggest hurdle in setting up your system. If you're going with Core i5 and Core i7, Gigabyte's recent X58A line of boards like the X58A-UD5, have complete compatibility with OS X.

Those interested, can look for driver support on kexts.com. The site also hosts full boot images that have already been customized to work with various boards (mainly Gigabyte boards).

Taking a quick look at the osx86project wiki, we can see a quick run down of which boards have the most compatible. For the latest version, check the OS X 10.6.4 list. Here is a list on OS X 10.6.3, and this one is for 10.6.2. If you want the best shot at a fully working and stable system. Start off with one of the popular Gigabyte boards listed.

On forums such as efixusers.com as well as insanelymac.com, there are plenty of guides on how to setup your own system with driver support as well.

What things do you need to look out for?

- Ethernet support
- SATA support
- The correct DSDT (or how to edit one)

If you want us to write a DSDT guide, let us know!

Thanks to John Pals!

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Top Comments
  • 14 Hide
    exodite , November 3, 2010 11:32 PM
    I admit I haven't used OSX much but I can't really see anything that special about the OS that I'd want experiment with getting it running on non-Apple hardware.

    It's not bad, it's just not offering anything that Windows or your general Linux distro can't do.

    *shrug* My .02 I suppose.
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , November 4, 2010 1:08 AM
    industrial_zmanActually Intel makes the motherboards for Apple, not Gigabyte. Which I'm shocked that Intel boards aren't more compatible. I wonder if UEFI and Apple's EFI are the same under the hood from Intel? It could also be the reason why there isn't a more wide spread usage of UEFI until now. Apple secretly having a deal with Intel to NOT to push it forward until the last minute (aka HDD larger than 2.2TB)


    Intel manufactures the chipset. Foxconn actually makes the motherboard.
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 11:55 PM
    "If you're going with Core i5 and Core i7, Gigabyte's recent X58A line of boards like the X58A-UD5, have complete compatibility with OS X."

    But Core i5 compatibility, not so much.
Other Comments
    Display all 53 comments.
  • 9 Hide
    rohitbaran , November 3, 2010 11:18 PM
    Mmmmmm. Windows or Mac, that motherboard looks really feature rich! :) 
  • 2 Hide
    Darkerson , November 3, 2010 11:18 PM
    I guess if I ever was gonna play around with Mac OS X, this would be the way to go. At least It wouldnt completely cost an arm and leg to do so. But I tried the whole hackintosh thing a couple years ago, and while it was kinda cool getting to play around with a different OS other then Windows and Linux, it wasnt all that practical in use. But Im sure there will be plenty of people that find this information useful.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 11:29 PM
    Gigabyte makes the motherboards for macs. Except since it has an apple on it, it's worth more.
  • -5 Hide
    mister g , November 3, 2010 11:32 PM
    Good way to dual boot from Windows to Mac, though if you usually play Steam games then you could theoretically stick with the Mac and use Mac drivers for the GPU.
  • 14 Hide
    exodite , November 3, 2010 11:32 PM
    I admit I haven't used OSX much but I can't really see anything that special about the OS that I'd want experiment with getting it running on non-Apple hardware.

    It's not bad, it's just not offering anything that Windows or your general Linux distro can't do.

    *shrug* My .02 I suppose.
  • -9 Hide
    teodoreh , November 3, 2010 11:32 PM
    I would love to install MacOS so as to use the millions of programs that I can't find on PC.
  • -2 Hide
    teodoreh , November 3, 2010 11:33 PM
    ...Windows I meant ;D
  • 4 Hide
    IzzyCraft , November 3, 2010 11:52 PM
    Is this suppose to encourage or discourage me into buying gigabyte
  • 10 Hide
    Anonymous , November 3, 2010 11:55 PM
    "If you're going with Core i5 and Core i7, Gigabyte's recent X58A line of boards like the X58A-UD5, have complete compatibility with OS X."

    But Core i5 compatibility, not so much.
  • 1 Hide
    nukemaster , November 4, 2010 12:36 AM
    YAY my board(X58A-UD5) can be a hackintosh. crap, i still don't feel like doing it. But this is good to know for testing purposes.
  • -4 Hide
    industrial_zman , November 4, 2010 12:44 AM
    TeaPartythebestGigabyte makes the motherboards for macs. Except since it has an apple on it, it's worth more.


    Actually Intel makes the motherboards for Apple, not Gigabyte. Which I'm shocked that Intel boards aren't more compatible.

    I wonder if UEFI and Apple's EFI are the same under the hood from Intel? It could also be the reason why there isn't a more wide spread usage of UEFI until now. Apple secretly having a deal with Intel to NOT to push it forward until the last minute (aka HDD larger than 2.2TB)
  • 5 Hide
    _Cubase_ , November 4, 2010 12:53 AM
    You mean we can build a system that runs OSX for a fraction of the cost it takes to buy a Mac!? Whodathunkit?
  • 12 Hide
    Anonymous , November 4, 2010 1:08 AM
    industrial_zmanActually Intel makes the motherboards for Apple, not Gigabyte. Which I'm shocked that Intel boards aren't more compatible. I wonder if UEFI and Apple's EFI are the same under the hood from Intel? It could also be the reason why there isn't a more wide spread usage of UEFI until now. Apple secretly having a deal with Intel to NOT to push it forward until the last minute (aka HDD larger than 2.2TB)


    Intel manufactures the chipset. Foxconn actually makes the motherboard.
  • 5 Hide
    nukemaster , November 4, 2010 1:10 AM
    Quote:
    Actually Intel makes the motherboards for Apple, not Gigabyte. Which I'm shocked that Intel boards aren't more compatible

    I was under the impression Foxconn made Apples boards, just like the make many boards for DELL. I know the old ones are for sure, but have not seen many new ones.
    Does Intel make there boards now?
  • -5 Hide
    industrial_zman , November 4, 2010 1:48 AM
    1337_b0iIntel manufactures the chipset. Foxconn actually makes the motherboard.

    Intel has always made the boards for Apple. Foxxconn only makes Ipods, Iphones and the Ipad for Apple
  • 0 Hide
    nukemaster , November 4, 2010 2:58 AM
    Good to know(for real), "always" would include the Power PC days and those board are for sure made in the foxconn factory.

    Either way, thanks for the reply
  • 4 Hide
    gsacks , November 4, 2010 3:27 AM
    industrial_zmanIntel has always made the boards for Apple. Foxxconn only makes Ipods, Iphones and the Ipad for Apple


    No, actually. Foxxconn manufactures OEM boards for almost everyone, including Intel. If you buy an Intel board, changes are near to 100% that it is manufactured by Foxxconn.
  • 0 Hide
    The_Prophecy , November 4, 2010 3:42 AM
    Awesome. This is the exact board I have...
  • 3 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , November 4, 2010 4:31 AM
    Write a DSDT guide! I personally LOVE the Mac OS X operating system, but the price for their hardware is definitely not worth it for me.
  • -1 Hide
    deletemach_kernel , November 4, 2010 5:23 AM
    Yes YEs YES.............PLEASE write a guide for custom DSDT patching iwould personally love......it

    am having a hard time trying to get my ich 4 working in snow leopard....
    personally though..... i find osx as a whole better than windows (enter pc fanboys)
    thats bcoz....on my ancient P4 rig with onboard memory.....
    Leopard 10.5 runs flawlessly....no crashes nothing whereas i still have problems with windows.....
    think it is down to the UNIX base on which apple is based...
    but a dsdt guide would really help.......
    especially one in which USB patching is detailed......very few guides for that out there....
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