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Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg

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Derek Andonian
Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:11:36 am

I was thinking- while the performance of the new Mac Pro is light-years ahead of the current one, I can't help wondering if the Hackintosh community is underwhelmed by it. Their machines have been eating the current Mac Pro for lunch for a while now, and I'm sure you could upgrade a hackintosh to the same hardware performance standards of the new coffee maker for far less than the cost of buying one- and they wouldn't need to move their PCI-E cards to an external box...

Greg Andonian, a.k.a. Derek

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John Pale
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:53:29 am

I think the Hackintosh community should be worried...

Apple includes a variety of drivers for graphics cards..both AMD and Nvidia in MacOSX...

Will they continue to do that when they no longer sell a single computer that has a replaceable graphics card?


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Ridley Walker
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 3:57:25 am

[John Pale] "I think the Hackintosh community should be worried..."

Worried about what?


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John Pale
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:13:59 pm

"Worried about what?"

If you are going to build a Hackintosh...you are going to need to be a graphics card in it (or more than one). They need drivers to work. Why would Apple continue to provide driver support for a variety of cards in OSX when Apple doesn't sell any computers that have user replaceable cards? I'm sure they will provide drivers for GPUs that are in shipping Apple computers and what shipped in recent legacy Apple computers...but if you want drivers for the latest and greatest Nvidia and AMD card (if you run Resolve or similar software, you always will), who is going to provide them? Will Nvidia and AMD write drivers for Apple computers that don't exist? They aren't going to put a lot of time and effort in to write drivers specifically for the Hackintosh community...it's too small.


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Ridley Walker
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 11:18:37 pm

[John Pale] "Why would Apple continue to provide driver support for a variety of cards in OSX when Apple doesn't sell any computers that have user replaceable cards?"

All the more reason to avoid buying a Mac entirely and do as Walter suggests – build the fastest PC you can and run your software in Windows. Walter, Tom and Darby are switchers that are pleased with the move. I work on both platforms but prefer the Mac OS. I'm reserving judgement on the new MacPro. Its an odd beast, for me cost will be the determining factor.

I disagree with the sentiment that using a Hackintosh means you're building your business on a foundation of sand. I know of several professionals who've used them for years now, editing with FCP and now FCPx. Its become a trivial matter to build one as I discovered yesterday. Just for fun, I installed ML on an older PC I had lying around. It took an hour from start to finish and for all intents and purposes it behaves like a Mac.

If the video drivers become unavailable in the future, so be it. Move to Windows OS entirely.


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John Pale
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 12:33:46 am

Agree with you on all counts.

I actually was considering the Hackintosh route, as I much prefer Mac OSX (yes, I work on Windows 7 all the time), but the lack of replaceable GPU cards on the new Mac Pro got me thinking...

My next computer might be a Windows box. I can't justify replacing everything I own to connect via Thunderbolt.


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Gary Huff
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 4:23:27 am

[John Pale] "Will they continue to do that when they no longer sell a single computer that has a replaceable graphics card?"

The drivers for these cards that aren't going to work in a Mac Pro have been added as recently as Mountain Lion. With Apple having a roadmap, why would they do such a thing?

I think this is a non-issue, and probably relates to Apple trying to liquidate their remaining Mac Pro Classic stock (why else is there now a 680GTX for it?) and the possibility of Thunderbolt 3 or Thunderbolt 4 being fast enough to fully connect to one via an external enclosure.


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Brett Sherman
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:17:29 pm

There is always a risk going with Hackintosh. There are no guarantees proper drivers will be available for the hardware in the future. I don't get why so many are enamored by this option. When spending thousands on a workstation, it's not a risk I would want to take. For me, it's better to spend the extra thousand or so on something you know Apple will support. But to each their own.



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Gary Huff
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 2:46:54 pm

[Brett Sherman] "When spending thousands on a workstation, it's not a risk I would want to take. For me, it's better to spend the extra thousand or so on something you know Apple will support."

Because it's not just "an extra thousand". If I update my Windows box with Haswell components and turn it into a Hackintosh, I'm looking at just about under a $1000 for that purchase.

If I order a top of the line 27" iMac (the only desktop system currently available that I can use), with roughly the same specs, it's $3000.

The only "maintenance" outside of the typical for any OSX machine is the somewhat convoluted OSX system update procedure (depending on how vanilla you can get your installation).


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John Pale
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:03:13 pm

Early betas of Mountain Lion had support for the 32 bit EFI and an alternate 32 bit kernel. All that was removed for the release version, and machines otherwise perfectly capable of running Mountain Lion, such as the Mac Pro 1,1 and 2,1, were left behind. (Yes, I hacked a 2.,1 to run 64 bit and it ran fine)

Apple may simply have added new drivers for various GPUs in Mountain Lion to cover all bases...the new design of the Mac Pro may have failed in testing...they probably were testing lots of GPUs, including those from Nvidia..lots of reasons why they kept it going.

I don't expect them to cut off all additional GPU driver support immediately, but I don't see them continuing to release drivers to put new cards in old machines, thereby extending their life (Apple does want to sell you new hardware) or release drivers primarily for use in Hackintoshes (where you are not using Apple Hardware at all).

To rely on the generosity of Apple in providing drivers would be foolish given past behavior. They have no qualms about cutting off support for their own legacy hardware, let alone that of a Hackintosh.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 3:29:54 pm

Why go Hackintosh at all?

You can do creative work on Windows. It's supported and it works.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 3:40:59 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Why go Hackintosh at all?"

FCPX + Legacy for archived projects, Motion, BRU LTO5 software + the desire to keep your system open and flexible. At the moment the Hackintosh is a viable upgrade option for software that needs OSX.

If someone would write a reverse Parallels or even Bootcamp, the PC option would be stronger.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Gary Huff
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 4:43:03 pm

[Herb Sevush] "FCPX + Legacy for archived projects, Motion, BRU LTO5 software + the desire to keep your system open and flexible. At the moment the Hackintosh is a viable upgrade option for software that needs OSX."

Exactly.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:27:33 pm

[Herb Sevush] "FCPX + Legacy for archived projects, Motion, BRU LTO5 software"

Presumably you already have a legacy Mac which you could use for these things. Or you could buy a new Mac.

So please indulge me while I rephrase the question: why build a Hackintosh over buying a legit Mac? If it's for performance, why not consider adding a PC to your mix without replacing your current Mac?


[Herb Sevush] "the desire to keep your system open and flexible"

Flexible, sure, but open?

Running a business on Hackintosh seems a bit like building a house on sand.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 5:59:11 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Running a business on Hackintosh seems a bit like building a house on sand."

With respect, and not wishing to cause flames to erupt - that sounds like someone who never stepped into the world of the PC, where every machine is different. My first experience of building a PC was for some work we were doing at the BBC, with more than 100 programmes to make. We built our business on a machine we had to build because no-one else had what we wanted. It worked, and we made the shows.

Hacking together a Hackintosh doesn't seem like such a big deal after that, and as people keep saying - if you want flexibilty, a Hackintosh might be the answer. Over at http://www.tonymacx86.com/home.php they don't seem to phased by new developments - drivers haven't been a great problem for a long time.

Of course, as you say - if you want PC flexibilty, buy a PC - and my Hackintosh has stood idle for some months now.

Bernie


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John Pale
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 7:17:55 pm

Drivers haven't been a problem to this point because Apple had to make drivers for use in the current Mac Pro, which allows you to replace your GPU with whatever the latest and greatest card is.
Now that the Mac Pro will have custom GPUs built in, just like all their other computers...why have drivers for other GPUs that can't be installed in their "legitimate" computers?

Sorry, if in repeating myself, but I don't think people realize the significance of Apple abandoning replacement GPU card in their entire product line.

Hope I am wrong about it all...


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Herb Sevush
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 12:09:24 am

[Walter Soyka] "So please indulge me while I rephrase the question: why build a Hackintosh over buying a legit Mac? If it's for performance, why not consider adding a PC to your mix without replacing your current Mac?"

Let's say next year I decide FCPX is the way to go. Let's say the Tube is on the pricey side. I buy a Hackintosh with the best options for CPU / GPU, keep all my PCIe peripherals, sell my 2010 system (that I bought last year) for around $1K, have a mountain lion boot up drive for Legacy projects, Mavericks for FCPX and anything newer, I'll need Raids, controller cards, space and power for only 1 system at a total price thousands below my other options (taking into account sale of old system + savings with peripherals.)

If I go PC and switch over my Raids and PCIe controller cards I won't be able to use the Legacy system for anything more than reviewing old files - I should stop here because the more I think about it the better the Hackintosh sounds, even if I switch to Avid or Lightworks.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Walter Soyka
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 1:32:08 am

[Herb Sevush] "Let's say next year I decide FCPX is the way to go. Let's say the Tube is on the pricey side. I buy a Hackintosh with the best options for CPU / GPU, keep all my PCIe peripherals, sell my 2010 system (that I bought last year) for around $1K, have a mountain lion boot up drive for Legacy projects, Mavericks for FCPX and anything newer, I'll need Raids, controller cards, space and power for only 1 system at a total price thousands below my other options (taking into account sale of old system + savings with peripherals.)"

I understand you could build a Hackintosh that would work beautifully today -- but if you were going to commit to FCPX going forward, what about tomorrow?

There's a huge risk that some new version of FCPX will require some new version of OS X that might be broken on your unsupported hardware. Then you've spent all this money on a dead-end system that you cannot update. Especially with Apple's new custom hardware and yearly major OS updates, this strategy seems to maximize uncertainty.

But then again, I don't recommend building your own PC, either.

Basically, I think that the entire Hackintosh community can get frozen out anytime that Apple feels like it, whereas you can reasonably expect updates to work perfectly on a supported Mac or a supported PC for years.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Herb Sevush
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 4:06:47 am

[Walter Soyka] "Basically, I think that the entire Hackintosh community can get frozen out anytime that Apple feels like it, whereas you can reasonably expect updates to work perfectly on a supported Mac or a supported PC for years."

My tendency is to be very conservative with my purchases but what the past 2 years has taught me is that there is no assurance of continuity no matter what I do. Apple could dump X tomorrow and it wouldn't surprise me. It could get out of the computer business next year and it wouldn't surprise me. Avid could fail, Adobe could price itself into bankruptcy, HP could get out of the work station business.

Whatever I purchase needs to be a cutting edge system right now. Then I can count on it to be useful for up to 3 years, even if I have to freeze the operating system. After that I will re-evaluate everything, just as I'm doing now, and start another 3 year cycle. I will create XML exports of all finished projects as SOP, so hopefully I will have some way to access files.

Continuity is an illusion, so why pay premium for it?

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 7:02:49 am

[Walter Soyka] "I understand you could build a Hackintosh that would work beautifully today -- but if you were going to commit to FCPX going forward, what about tomorrow?

There's a huge risk that some new version of FCPX will require some new version of OS X that might be broken on your unsupported hardware. Then you've spent all this money on a dead-end system that you cannot update. Especially with Apple's new custom hardware and yearly major OS updates, this strategy seems to maximize uncertainty.

But then again, I don't recommend building your own PC, either."


That's true, but then again, if that happens he could still turn the hackintosh into a PC only system and get another Mac - ie. coming back to what you've suggested in the first place and have two machines side by side. Or, with a second drive an windows installed, he might feel comfortable enough with a windows environment to just leave the Mac behind for good.
I actually do recommend building systems. People think it's difficult and there are tons of things to be aware of with regards to stability or compatibility - in my experience it isn't and it comes with the bonus of understanding a lot more about components and how things actually work which is never a bad idea.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Justin Crowell
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 4:00:14 pm

I have to agree with much of what you said, Frank. My primary work machine is a hack that dual-boots in Windows 7. I like having the flexibility of running FCP 7/X on the mac side, and Adobe stuff on both sides. If OSX stops allowing me to use my GTX570 (unlikely, given that the TonyMac crew were able to support it before Apple did), I'll just move over to Windows while freezing my OSX at ML.

You're totally right about the benefits of building my own machine--it was pretty easy and fun, and now I know enough to build a pretty serious Windows or Linux machine if I want to. I also understand the importance of GPUs, and how they vary. Honestly, the whole thing only cost $1600 and it screams in both OSes. If OSX broke on it tomorrow, I'd still consider myself ahead of the game.

Now, if you can't be bothered with the Hack world (it does take a few does of reading and careful planning), then by all means move to Windows or prostrate your bank account to Apple (I sure did when I bought a Macbook Pro for on-the-go work!). But it's not particularly logical to say that there is any more risk in doing serious work on a Hack than any other machine that could be made obsolete at any moment.

Video editor, animator, composer, producer
JustinCrowell.com


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Walter Soyka
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 6:39:28 pm

Beyond the licensing issues, there's a certain "duck tape and baling wire" element to Hackintosh that is not present on standard Mac or PC installs. Different people will make different decisions according to their needs, but they should understand and consider the unique risks as well as the unique advantages.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Jeremy Doyle
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 7:20:59 pm

[Walter Soyka] "there's a certain "duck tape and baling wire" element to Hackintosh that is not present on standard Mac or PC installs."

Having run a hack for several years, all I can say is, it's been the most stable OSX machine I have ever run. Fewer kernal panics, spinning beach balls, and programs crashing. To me its quite disturbing how much more stable OSX has been running on PC parts than "native" mac parts.

I'm sure it's just a level of comfort gained from knowledge on how computer's work, but when something has gone goofy with my hack, I've had it back and running pretty quick. I'm several hours from a apple certified repair shop or genius bar so when my Mac goes down it shoots a whole day easy. When my hack goes down, I've lost maybe a couple hours.

Last time I did a price comparison, for a comparable Mac I was at a 1/3rd the cost.

I do have Macbook Pro that I use on the road, but it's far from my primary machine.

Jeremy Doyle
http://www.jeremydoyle.com


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Frank Gothmann
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 6:47:40 pm

[Herb Sevush] "FCPX + Legacy for archived projects, Motion, BRU LTO5 software + the desire to keep your system open and flexible. At the moment the Hackintosh is a viable upgrade option for software that needs OSX.

If someone would write a reverse Parallels or even Bootcamp, the PC option would be stronger.
"


Bru for windows will be out this month.
And you don't need to wait for reverse Parallels. VMware on Windows runs OSX just fine with some very minor tinkering, as legit as running OSX on a hackintosh (ie not). Also very helpful if you need to run PowerPC apps via Snow Leopard in a virtual machine in Mountain Lion btw.

------
"You also agree that you will not use these products for... the development, design, manufacture or production of nuclear, missiles, or chemical or biological weapons."
iTunes End User Licence Agreement


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Herb Sevush
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 16, 2013 at 11:55:53 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Bru for windows will be out this month."

Best news I've heard in a while.


[Frank Gothmann] "VMware on Windows runs OSX just fine with some very minor tinkering, as legit as running OSX on a hackintosh (ie not)."

I'll have to look into it.

Thanks.

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Bernard Newnham
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 9:06:57 am

[John Pale] "Now that the Mac Pro will have custom GPUs built in, just like all their other computers...why have drivers for other GPUs that can't be installed in their "legitimate" computers?

Sorry, if in repeating myself, but I don't think people realize the significance of Apple abandoning replacement GPU card in their entire product line. "


Apple drivers aren't the only ones around, and I rather think that the TonyMac crowd would regard Apple taking them away as a challenge.

And the significance seems to be to try to lock you in even tighter than before, if you're silly enough to let them do it.

In the UK there's one of those saying often taken out of context for effect - "other (in this case) computers are available...." Taken from an old magazine advert. If a company doesn't build what you need, buy another company's products. It isn't anybodys religion (probably)

Bernie


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Jim Wiseman
Re: Hackintosh vs. Pony Keg
on Jun 17, 2013 at 4:29:15 pm

@Derek Except the PCIe cards that match the new Mac Pro cost over $3000 each, no? Could be wrong. We'll know when it releases.

Jim Wiseman
Sony PMW-EX1,Pana AJ-D810 DVCPro, DVX-100, Nikon D7000, Final Cut Studio 2 and 3, Media 100 Suite 2.1.3, Premiere Pro 5.5 and 6.0, AJA ioHD, AJA Kona LHi, Avid MC, Hexacore MacPro 3.33 Ghz 24Gb RAM GTX-285 120GB SSD, Macbook Pro 17" 2011 2.2 Ghz Quadcore i7 8Gb SSD, G5 Quadcore PCIe


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