Posts Tagged ‘Technology’

Building My Hackintosh

January 17, 2011

Not to be confused with last week’s “My Hackintosh Build” post which can be found here. That post details the exact hardware, the cost, and compares it against an iMac with similar hardware. This one is about the actual work of building it and getting it running.

Well, it wasn’t quite as easy as I would have hoped, but I’ve made it. I am typing this post on a brand new Core i5 computer running OS X. Most rewarding of all, I built it myself. Everything major works. Life is good. Some of you may be wondering: How’d you do it? What problems did you encounter? Was it worth it? This post will answer these questions. It will also serve as a bit of a jumping off point if someone is thinking about building one themselves. Hit the break for a detailed description, pictures and more.

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My Hackintosh Build

January 13, 2011

So, I’m in the process of building a hackintosh (almost done, fingers crossed). I’ll be posting more about the actual building process, but for now I thought I’d share the parts I used to build it and how much they cost me.

For reference, here are the specs for a stock 27″ iMac:

  • 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 2x2GB
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • ATI Radeon HD 5750 1GB GDDR5 SDRAM
  • I wanted to match or beat that setup as cheaply as possible, so I bought the components from NewEgg over the period of less than a month, only buying things that were discounted.
    Here’s what I ended up with:
    (key: ‘+‘ indicates an improvement over the reference iMac, ‘=‘ indicates it is an equal part. ‘?‘ indicates an item for which Apple does not provide enough detail to make a comparison.)

  • 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5-760 – $179.99 (regularly $204.99)=
  • 6GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM – 3x2GB (CORSAIR XMS3) – $64.99 (regularly: $79.99)+
  • 1TB Serial ATA Drive (WD Caviar Black) – $77.99 (regularly: $87.99)=
  • Sony Optiarc Black $19.99 (regularly: $26.99) ?
  • ATI Radeon HD 5770 1GB DDR5 SDRAM (HIS Juniper XT) – $99.99 (regularly $129.99) +
  • Items that Apple doesn’t list specs for, but you need for a computer:

  • GIGABYTE GA-H55-USB3 Motherboard – $99.99 (regularly $109.99)
  • Cooler Master RS750-ACAAE3-US Power Supply – $59.99 (regularly $99.99)
  • Baller unnecessary upgrade:

  • Corsair CSSD-V32GB2-BRKT $59.99 (regularly $78.99)
  • Items I already had and paid nothing for

  • Monitor
  • Mouse
  • Keyboard
  • Computer Case
  • What it cost:
    All in all, these purchases cost me $662.92. Shipping was free on all of them. If nothing was discounted, I would have spent $818.92, meaning I saved $156.00 by doing my shopping over the course of 2.5 weeks (first order was placed 12/21/2010, last order was placed 1/7/11). Compared to the cost of the iMac I was referencing, I saved $1,336.08. That is a lot of money.

    What I got that is better than an iMac is a slightly faster graphics card, 2GB more RAM (not to mention faster ram), a 32gb Solid State Drive that will allow for quicker booting and application launching, and USB 3 support.

    What I didn’t get is a 27″ monitor, a sleek enclosure, or official Apple support. To me, this tradeoff is worth $1,336.08. I could buy a decent monitor and a MacBook Air with that amount of money.

    So, how’d it all come together? I’m still working on it. More posts to come!

    (adj) having or exerting a malignant influence

    January 12, 2011

    Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies.

    – The Chromium Blog

    Not Evil

    Google believes in the openness of the internet. They idealistically believe in supporting only 100% unambiguously royalty free video codecs. H.264, while close, does not meet these standards. It is controlled by an advisory board that has made a commitment to have no licensing fees ever, but only for non-commercial use. For Google (and Mozilla, which has already taken a stand against H.264) this isn’t good enough.

    For these reasons, Google will be phasing out support for H.264 in Chrome. This move will accelerate the implementation of the WebM standard and help ensure the longevity of free codec use on the internet. Google will do their part by converting their YouTube videos all to WebM and for the foreseeable future making them capable of running in Flash, H.264 and WebM until WebM achieved parody with H.264 technology in terms of hardware acceleration, stability on mobile devices and battery life performance. Once that happens, Google and their services will stop supporting H.264. We believe that these standards are achievable and will work our hardest with software and hardware companies alike to make this a reality for all users on all platforms.


    Google will do almost anything to handicap iOS at this point. It is already on its way to the lion’s share of the smartphone market and it wants to keep it that way. It wants to do to iOS what Windows did to the Mac OS: sub 10% smartphone market share

    What better way to do this than to leverage its three most valuable assets: Chrome, YouTube and Android. They haven’t announced lack of support for H.264 in YouTube or Android yet, but it is only a logical extension to their current rationale for dropping support for the codec on Chrome. Once this happens, browser makers far and wide will start suporting WebM videos. Content producers will do the same. Knowing that older browsers don’t support that format though, Google hopes that they will turn to Flash as their backup. This covers pretty much everyone on the desktop, but who does it leave out on the YouTube fun? iOS users.

    In an effort to marginalize iOS’s market share, Google is willing to announce the removal of support for the most popular video codec in use today. Let’s make this clear. Google is not omitting a popular feature from a future product, as Apple did with Flash. They are removing support of a feature from an existing product. People who use Chrome today have support for H.264. People who use Chrome a year or two from now won’t.

    By the time that Chrome no longer supports H.264, Google hopes (fingers crossed!) that the WebM standard will have gained hardware acceleration support, stability on mobile devices and have a minimal effect on battery life. Then, they can put it on Android phones which will likely have a significantly larger market share than iOS devices by this time. Steve Jobs expressed disdain for WebM in the past and Google hopes that he will be too stubborn to go back on them when (if?) WebM achieves parody with H.264.

    While all of this is happening, Google hopes more developers will go back to Flash. That’s something that everyone who is afraid of Apple can support, right?

    Like all polarizing arguments, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.