Since my main windows box at the office was really old and slow, I recently bought all the parts for a new and fast machine:

  • motherboard ASUS P8P67 EVO
  • processor Core i7 2600 (3.4GHz, quadcore, 8 threads) socket 1155
  • graphics card ASUS EN9500GT
  • 4Gb memory Kingston HyperX blu DDR3 PC12800
  • lightscribe DVD burner Samsung SH-223L/BEBE
  • HD Western Digital Caviar Black 1Tb 7200rpm WD1002FAEX (yeah, could be better, I know)
  • ventirad Noctua NH-C12P SE14
  • 650W 80+ Corsair power
Building it was super-simple. Installing W7 64bits worked like a charm, really really fast. Then I decided to go hackintosh since Mac OS X is now my daily work platform. To do that w/o harming the W7 install, I removed the SATA hard disk and put another one. Here are the steps I followed, just in case you want to do the same and have a cheap, modern and really fast hackintosh:
  1. grab iBoot Legacy from here
  2. burn it onto a CD
  3. grab Multibeast, Mac OS X Combo 10.6.5 Update, BridgeHelper
  4. burn them on a single DVD (a USB key is fine too)
  5. make sure your don't have more than 4Gb installed in your machine ; if you have more, remove the extra, you'll be able to put them back later
  6. remove all non-necessary peripherals, internal or external
  7. start your machine in BIOS setup mode
  8. make sure the boot order gives precedence to the DVD/CD player
  9. set SATA mode to ACHI
  10. insert iBoot Legacy CD into the machine and boot
  11. when iBoot screen appears, remove the CD and insert your retail Snow Leopard disk
  12. press F5
  13. select the Snow Leopard DVD
  14. type busratio=29 and press the CR key
  15. start OS X install
  16. in the Installation screen, launch the Disk Utility from the OS X Utilities menu
  17. create a partition as GUID Partition Table in Mac OS Extended (journaled) mode
  18. close the Disk Utility app
  19. select the partition you just created
  20. let OS X install normally
  21. restart your machine with the iBoot Legacy CD
  22. at the graphic prompt, select your OS X partition with the arrow keys, type busratio=29 and press the CR key
  23. when the Finder appears, remove iBoot CD
  24. insert your DVD with Multibeast and other tools
  25. copy everything onto the HD for faster install speed, then eject the DVD
  26. launch Multibeast but don't click on anything
  27. mount the MacOSXComboUpdate dmg and install the package ; continue when the packages says you WILL have to reboot at the end of the process but you WILL NOT reboot
  28. at the end of MacOSXComboUpdate's install, DO NOT CLICK ON REBOOT and let the window as it is
  29. now install BridgeHelper
  30. then install MultiBeast from the window you left in the background ; if it crashes, just restart it
  31. select EasyBeast
  32. select System Utilities
  33. select Drivers & Bootloaders > Kexts & Enablers > Audio > Realtek ALC8xx > ALC8xxHDA
  34. select Drivers & Bootloaders > Kexts & Enablers > Audio > Realtek ALC8xx > AppleHDA Rollback
  35. select Drivers & Bootloaders > Kexts & Enablers > Audio > Realtek ALC8xx > Non-DSDT HDAEnabler > ALC892
  36. finish Multibeast install
  37. reboot
  38. when the Chameleon screen appears, press the space bar and type busratio=29 and press the CR key ; do that everytime you boot (I have not found yet how to make that by default, tweaking /Extra/com.apple.Boot.plist just did not work for me)

At that point, everything works fine in that OS 10.6.5 including the graphics card with my Dell 24" screen in DVI and the sound BUT the network does not work at all and will not work: I found that the builtin network chips don't have 64bits drivers for Mac OS X :-( So your last choice if you still want to boot in 64bits is to find an extra network card compliant with OS 10.6. I have myself a D-Link - DWA-125 and it works just fine. I recommend an Apple keyboard.

Cost of the computer for me (excl. VAT) : 752€... Eh.

Thanks to tonymacx86's invaluable input!

UPDATE: more info on the builtin network cards ! One is based on an Intel85279 chip and a driver that works fine seems to be available !

Update 2: the Intel network driver just above works beautifully! I'm now all set, with a superb and fully functional core i7 2600-based hackintosh in 32Bits. Wow :-)

Update 3: Tried 64bits mode. The graphic animations were slow in 64bits mode. So I installed AnVal 5.1.4. The manual steps are a bit geeky but it worked fine. I finally added arch=x86_64 -force64 busratio=29 to my /Extra/com.apple.Boot.plist and done. Everything's ok. "About this Mac" says 3.5GHz, the activity monitor sees eight threads (4 cores dual-threaded), sound is fine, video is fine, animations are fine, and I build BlueGriffon or Firefox from scratch in both 32bits and 64bits in 19 minutes. A little bit less than 10 minutes per build ! Wow ! Wow ! Wow ! :-)