The pile of PC parts that runs Mac’s operating system is referred to as a Hackintosh because you have to Hack the system with a few software workarounds in order for the software to cooperate with the non-Apple hardware.
This won’t be an exhaustive tutorial by any means. If you dive into this project, do your homework over at Tonymacx86.com. They are the source for the software workarounds, and the site is an incredible knowledge base. I’m just providing some of my impressions.
And let me make you aware of a major caveat – you need a Mac or at least access to a real Mac in order to make a Hackintosh or CustoMac. As is stated in the instructions:
The full operating system is a free download for anyone who has purchased Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion. Download the Application from the Mac App Store using your Apple ID on any Mac or functional computer running Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later.
This was my build:
- Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ 8 MB Cache
- Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H Z87 LGA 1150 2-Way SLI Dual LAN ATX Motherboard
- Corsair Vengeance 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 1600 MHz (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory
- Corsair Carbide Series Black 500R Mid Tower Computer Case
- Corsair Enthusiast Series CP-9020039-NA650W ATX12V v2.31 / EPS12V 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular High Performance Power Supply
- TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless N900 PCI Express Adapter
- EVGA GeForce GTX760 SuperClocked w/EVGA ACX Cooler 2GB GDDR5 256bit, Dual-Link DVI-I, DVI-D, HDMI,DP, SLI Ready Graphics Card
I adjusted the BIOS and created a Unibeast installation disk as per the instructions at Tonymacx86.com. I then rebooted the computer holding down the F12 button on my keyboard to get me into the list pictured below, and I selected the USB drive which was an 8GB Kingston. I pressed enter.
It took about 20-30 minutes, but the installation finished, and the machine rebooted. I held down F12 again to go into setup making sure to boot into the USB drive again. Once there the tricky part began.
The computer booted into the familiar Mavericks desktop, but I wasn’t there yet. Now I had to use a piece of software from Tonymacx86 called Multibeast. Multibeast writes a number of kexts or Kernel Extensions to the almost-Mac so that the OS will function on the non-Apple hardware. The problem is that there are a number of options. The trick is finding the right set of options in order to make your machine behave as a proper Mac. I had a couple of false starts and went back and forth fighting with this. I did a search for my specific motherboard at Tonymacx86 and found this post where a fellow had almost the the identical build. He put the specifics of his build and his Multibeast settings in a forum post so I essentially copied his homework. Bless you, sir.
Multibeast finished it’s installation. I shut down, and I pulled the USB drive to make sure I wasn’t booting from it. I started it up and voilà! It’s a Mac!
The Mac Pro Early 2008 identity seems to be a general setting which can be changed in Multibeast. I left it alone.
I played with it a bit to make sure all was well. It seemed to work fine so I gave Dan a call to come and get it. Dan will give it the true work out, and we’ll see if this beast needs any fine tuning as we go along.
As I said before, research your build before you plunk down a big wad of cash. I would stick with the list of recommended builds. See how people have fared with their setups, and, most importantly, be patient.