The strength and weakness has always been Apple’s closed-platform design. While the limited number of options makes it easier for developers to work on software and for Apple to maintain technical support for a specific set of hardware, it prevents enthusiasts from putting OS X on their own PCs and getting the “right” combination of features.
The comparison between a “Hackintosh” running an illegal version of OS X on a conventional Intel based PC and an equivalently-priced Mac has always shown Apple to be more expensive, but comparisons across different hardware platforms tell us very little.
Apple has aggressively gone after companies trying to profit off installing OS X on 3rd party hardware but seems to be ignoring the Hackintosh community. The same Apple that once sent cease-and-desist notices to Web sites reporting Mac rumors seems content to let big media companies such as Conde Nast (Wired) publish articles on building a Hackintosh.
What we were curious to see is if we could do “Hacked Mac on a Mac.” That is, what if we took a real MacBook and then installed a hacked OS X on top of it, using the usual tricks people have been trying? Would hacked kernels offer superior performance to Apple’s vanilla kernel? Would all of the patches add additional overhead, slowing the PC down? We’re pretty sure we’re not violating any Apple EULAs since we’re still installing the software on an Apple-branded system…
Since the new MacBooks use the GeForce 9400M chipset, traditional copies of Mac OS X will not work. That is, we were unable to test the use of a “hacked kernels.” We had to use our restore DVD to execute the hack. We emulated the EFI, SMBIOS, Apple Decryption Libraries, and disabled the Power Management. Ironically, while reinstalling OS X onto our SSD and transferring all of our old settings took minimal amounts of time, it was far tougher to get “Hacked Mac on a Mac” running properly.