Love is Lovelier…

…the second time around!two-hacksHere are the two Hackintoshes or CustoMacs I’ve built. They are PCs I’ve put together, and on which I’ve installed Apple’s OS. For most all intents and purposes, they act and operate just like Macs. On top is the CustoMac Mini which I call the Shoebox, and the larger one below is the CustoMac Pro which I call The Beast.

The only thing they are lacking is Apple’s slavish devotion to incredible industrial design. What Hackintosh has over Apple’s line is the ability to upgrade and reconfigure the computer for future demands and the ready availability of replacement parts that can be purchased right off of the shelf and easily installed. An older PC/Hackintosh can be cannibalized for it’s parts, a few new parts like a new processor installed, and, POOF, new computer! Apple may talk a great deal about the environmental sustainability of their line of products, but I would rather have a computer that I can upgrade, rebuild and renew rather than a beautiful gallery piece that may be obsolete in 3 years.

install-osxI know I promised to talk about the installation of the Mac OS on a mere PC, but I realized that there were a few items as far as the build that I wanted to discuss.

blue-fanOnce I got all of the components into the Corsair Carbide Series 500R case and fired it up, two 120mm intake fans power on and little blue LED’s light up illuminating the spinning blades. The lights can be turned off with a push button on the front panel if you don’t care for the effect. I’ll bet that the late, great Steve Jobs would have hated it, but I think it’s kind of neat. There’s a similarly lit 200mm fan on the side panel.

3-fansThere’s another 120mm fan mounted in the back of the box for exhaust, but strangely enough, there was no connector for the fan. It’s a 3-pin fan, and the motherboard only had 4-pin fan plugs on it.

exhaustI had to buy an adapter that plugged into the power supply’s Molex chain to power  the fan.

Phobya-4-Pin-Molex-3-Pin-FanThis had four 3-pin plugs feeding off the Molex plug. Additional fans can be installed in the case and powered from this adapter. The speed can’t be varied on the exhaust — it’s either off or on — but all of the fans are virtually silent. It’s much quieter than my son’s dual G4 which sounds like a plane taking off.

Another thing that this PC has that the real Apples don’t is a built-in ashtray!

ashtrayJust kidding! This Corsair case has this little recessed tray that I jokingly refer to as an ashtray. I don’t know why it’s there, but it came in handy for holding screws or thumb drives or whatever. I wish all of my computers had a similar recess.

As I was building this beast for my friend Dan, I kept on telling him how spacious the case is unlike my first build in which the components had to be shoehorned. He decided he wasn’t done and did a little more shopping to fill all of that empty space.

card-readerDan is an avid and accomplished photographer and decided that a multiple card reader placed into one of the cases empty 5.25″ bays would be just what the doctor ordered. This card reader reads whatever a photographer might have and also adds two USB 3.0 ports giving this case with the motherboard installed a total of ten USB ports.

Dan decided that he also wanted to use his Bluetooth keyboard and mouse with his new toy so he bought a USB Bluetooth adapter. The OS thinks it’s the built-in Bluetooth so, as they say, it just works.

bluetoothSorry if you were expecting an article about installing the Mavericks OS. I’ll get to it next time. I promise. I just wanted to spend a little more time with the build which to me is the most fun about the process.

Stay tuned!

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2 Responses to Love is Lovelier…

  1. Lynne says:

    I love it! And I super love the blue fans. What kind of storage and processor inside?

  2. Joe_Williams says:

    Thanks. It’s got an Intel Core i7-4770K processor installed on a Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H motherboard with 16GB of RAM and a GeForce GTX 760 video card. The boot drive is a 120GB SSD, but my buddy sprung for 2 additional 256GB SSD drives and had two 1TB mechanical drives lying around so I threw them in. The recommended shopping list can be found here:

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