DIY X = Hackintosh??

Videoguys by Gary Bettan

DIY X = Hackintosh??

I'm getting tons of requests on Twitter and FaceBook and user forums for Videoguys to do a DIY Hackintosh guide. I'm not sure if we can pull this one off, and I'm also quite concerned about getting sued by Apple if we do it. I got a TON of heat from Cupertino back in June of 2011 when I called it like I saw it, and predicted the Fiasco that FCPX would be. Apple was abandoning Professional Post and our blog article "Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors" got tremendous traction on the internet, Twitter and Facebook. I updated the article after FCPX released and then after the first update "FCPX is getting better, but still has a long way to go. Videoguys' Options for Final Cut Editors".

We love Apple and we love Apple products. I just wish they would give us what we want, a new Mac Pro that would take advantage of all the latest technology. I'm drooling over the Mac Book Pro with Retina display. Why the heck won't Apple give us the Mac Pro of our NLE dreams? Multiple Thunderbolt and USB3 ports, eSata, NVIDIA graphics and the very latest Ivy Bridge chips?!?

Well if Apple won't give professional editors the workstation they need, who will?

  • HP & Dell have released new lines of workstations and we are seeing our Post Houses not only leave FCP, but leaving Apple to migrate to these new machines. They aren't throwing their old Mac Pros away, but they are replacing them with HP or Dells
  • I'm in love with the HP Z1 all-in-one workstation. I think it could be the perfect solution for so many of my customers. It's a great form factor and the ease of upgrading and customization is exactly what video editors need. But I've been struggling to come up with a configuration for under $5K that delivers the performance my customers demand.
  • HP has announced a z820 workstation optimized for RED workflows running Adobe CS6. This is one bad-ass machine. Water cooled and ridiculously powerful. But that comes with a hefty price tag, early estimates are around $10K. I spent some time at the Adobe NY Roadshow with the folks from Tekserve talking about this NLE Beast, and the more I heard, the more impressed I became. If you edit RED, you MUST put this machine on your wish list!!
  • ProMax, a long time Apple VAR has released the ProMAX One, their own HP workstation competitor. Early reports are that they've built a rock solid machine, capable of giving HP & Dell a run for the money in the NLE space.

So where does that leave us? Well we've been helping folks build and configure their own NLE workstations for almost a decade. While Dual Xeon machines are great for the top of the market, they are very expensive. Not every editor needs that level of machine. We put together our DIY builds in the $1500 to $2500 range. The sweet spot for independent editors, who need performance but simply can't afford the premiums of Dual Xeon workstations. In the past, you could always pick up an older Mac Pro or a refurb from Apple for around $3K. It was more expensive then one of our DIY machines, but hey, it was a Mac Pro, and it worked perfect, right out of the box!

Unfortunately, even the newest Mac Pro is now old by today's computer standards and finding refurbs is next to impossible. So you are stuck overpaying for a new Mac Pro based on two year old technology, or having to switch to a PC. For many folks that is simply a lose-lose proposition. So for those of you out there who feel that way, I just want to say that we hear you, and we are investigating and considering doing a Hackintosh DIY project.

I'm going to provide you with some links that we have been given / found over the past few days. Give them a look, and please add any additional links, comments or experiences you have had with Hackintoshes using our Disqus commenting system. Be sure to check off your Twitter and/or Facebook account if you want to follow these discussions there as well.

  • Lifehacker: Build the Mac Pro That You Wish Apple Released

    Last week Apple updated their Mac Pros to cutting-edge processors from 2010, even older graphics cards, and all the USB 2.0 ports you'll ever need. With a proper update unlikely until 2013, we thought we'd bridge the gap with Hackintoshes—the faster, cheaper Mac desktops you can build yourself with standard PC hardware. By making your own "Hack Pro" you'll get the up-to-date machine Apple won't provide, and you'll also save a lot of money in the process.

The sole purpose of Kakewalk is to make it as easy as possible to install OS X (Snow Leopard or Lion) on your PC. Kakewalk tries to remove all of the painful fiddling and tinkering so that you can get your hackintosh up and running within a few hours.

Will DIY 10 (X) be a Hackintosh? It's still way too early to tell. But I'm looking forward to your feedback and learning from your experiences.

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