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Anyone using a Hackintosh for Pro Tools?
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darbyclash34
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#1
20th December 2011
Old 20th December 2011
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Anyone using a Hackintosh for Pro Tools?

So, I know I'm probably going to hear it for even asking, but is anyone out there using a hackintosh for Pro Tools? I'm running into the limits of what my 09 MacBook Pro can do in Pro Tools 10, and I have an ATX rackmount computer with a 1000w power supply, 10000 RPM drives, all I would need is a board, processor, and graphics card.

It helps that I'm an Apple authorized tech, so I have no problem dealing with problems as the crop up, but I'm just wondering if we're talking way more problems than its worth.

Any experience?

Thanks!

Shawn
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20th December 2011
Old 20th December 2011
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Hi Shawn!

I have been running Pro Tools 9 in Hackintosh for almost a year and it's been really stable.
I can't really say that I've had any problems with it.
Graphics card is the most problematic one in Hackintosh builds but that doesn't affect PT much obviously.
10.6.8 was the best OS for Hacks this far IMO.

Did you already plan out GPU, CPU etc. you're gonna get if you decide to give Hackintosh a shot?

Arttu
darbyclash34
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#3
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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So I had looked at a Gigabyte MB based on the Z68 chipset found in the current iMac, a Core i7 3.4 GHZ 2600 as found in the current iMac, and an Nvidia GTX 460 based graphics card. I've seen a lot of setups using those that are said to be stable.

But, I started thinking about Thunderbolt. That cannot be added with a PCIe card, so if the board doesn't have it, which I don't think any boards have currently, I could never add it. Leads me back to the idea of an iMac.

Shawn
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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but do you absolutely need thunderbolt? even the current model mac pro doesn't have it
there are rumors about the next Intel chipset "might" have thunder bolt supports,but i guess you can pretty much live fine without it,and yes,i can confirm z68+2600 works fine ,i use AMD 6870 as graphic card though
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
I started thinking about Thunderbolt. That cannot be added with a PCIe card, so if the board doesn't have it, which I don't think any boards have currently.

Shawn
They will starting early 2012 if you're willing to wait a bit.

Thunderbolt Heading to Windows PCs in 2012
darbyclash34
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Thanks for all of the replies! I'm a lot more encouraged to give it a shot now. What specific 6870 card are you using? Also, any ram recommendations? Thanks again!
#7
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Just curious, is Pro Tools more stable on even a Hackintosh than on Win7? Or is OSX just your preference?

~Jay
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#8
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
Thanks for all of the replies! I'm a lot more encouraged to give it a shot now. What specific 6870 card are you using? Also, any ram recommendations? Thanks again!
Yeah Radeon GPU might be better shot as GTX-cards have been quite tricky to get work properly even though there are some quite easy to follow guides around now.

RAM doesn't matter much in Hackintosh build, just the same general things you wanna ask yourself as in regular Windows PC.
Are you planning to overclock, use virtual instruments a lot etc?
#10
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Smile I did it and am perfectly happy

I was thinking about investing in a new Mac Pro and an Upgrade from HD3 to HDX I gave a Hackintosh install a try.
With overwhelming success!!!
It was not even a recommended build. It was just a 1 year old PC built for audio purpose from a well know German dealer called DA-X, bases on a ASUS P7P55D Motherboard. I only needed an other graphic card and chose a ATI4850 (a used one for 39,-€ on ebay).

I installed MacOS 10.6.8 mostly following this guide:
tonymacx86 Blog: iBoot + MultiBeast: Install Mac OS X on any Intel-based PC (donate if you succeed!)

It really immediatly feels like a Mac and soon lets you forget that it's just a PC underneath.

Then I installed Pro Tools 9.0.5 and all stuff that I needed - still not having any issues. Due to the SSD drive all went on lightning fast!

But the best came in the end: Somewhere on the DUC I heard that the Pro Tools PCI-X cards never have been real PCI-X cards but PCI cards that simply don't use the last pins.
So I gave it a try and installed them in my Hackintosh PC's PCI Slots - with the last pins hanging in the air.
AND IT WORKED INSTANTLY!!! JUST LIKE THAT.

I never had any issue since then. It is one of the most stable system I ever owned. I'm so happy to have saved so much money and have such a nice system running here that I can't believe it!

It is THE solution for everybody still hanging on PCI-X cards and old G5s who are not willing to go the HDX path but need to go forward somehow.
Upgrading from PCI-X to PCIe for rediculous 5k € never was an option for me.

But even for LE users it seems to be a cool option: These old cards go for about 500,- bucks on ebay.

Have fun checking it out!


Cheers

et71

PS: Also tried Win7 and PT 9.0.5 on the same Machine. It didn't do well. But I did not what Avid wants you to do (all this disabling of all the security tools etc.) because I have to be online which for me is simply to risky with everything turned off. Dispite that I'm on PT and Mac since 1998. It's hard to switch then.
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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I am working on protools HD10 with 3 HD on Hackintosh on solid state drive with 16 gig ram
mac osx 10.6.8
and it is amazing and very very stable better than my old win7 64 bit
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#12
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
Thanks for all of the replies! I'm a lot more encouraged to give it a shot now. What specific 6870 card are you using? Also, any ram recommendations? Thanks again!
Gigabyte AMD Radeon HD 6870 (GV-R687OC-1GD)

16GB DDR3-1600 Corsair Vengeance (4x4)

CPU overclocked to 4.5G
darbyclash34
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#13
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Ok, I'm pretty sold. I looked into it, if I do the build now, I can use the board with Ivy Bridge (at least the Z68 chipset is supposed to support it with a firmware upgrade) when it drops, and then upgrade to a supported board when the Panther chipset comes out with Thunderbolt support. Particularly as I'll be seeing how the Thunderbolt peripheral support goes.

This HD in PCI slot idea is amazing! Granted I wouldn't be able to go any further than Pro Tools 10 on the HD rig, but that'd be fine, if I really needed something that 11 offered I could simply install 11 on a separate partition and use a different interface. Thanks everyone for all of your help!

How is does overclocking work on the Hackintosh? I would love to do so. Also, are there any boards out there that will take two 2600 chips? I'd love to have a slot open for a second processor as my needs increase.

Shawn
#14
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
Ok, I'm pretty sold. I looked into it, if I do the build now, I can use the board with Ivy Bridge (at least the Z68 chipset is supposed to support it with a firmware upgrade) when it drops, and then upgrade to a supported board when the Panther chipset comes out with Thunderbolt support. Particularly as I'll be seeing how the Thunderbolt peripheral support goes.

How is does overclocking work on the Hackintosh? I would love to do so. Also, are there any boards out there that will take two 2600 chips? I'd love to have a slot open for a second processor as my needs increase.

Shawn
Niice! Come to the dark side.

I was going to add that you definitely should look into Thunderbolt support.
It would be so nice to run projects and samples via Thunderbolt.

Overclocking is same as in any PC. My i5 760 is running at 3,32GHz.
Not huge boost but still quite nice improvement.

Arttu
#15
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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hack vs win 7

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay M View Post
Just curious, is Pro Tools more stable on even a Hackintosh than on Win7? Or is OSX just your preference?

~Jay
For what it' s worth, I build my pc to run protools9 and windows7 and than change it into a hackintosh and never looked back. More stable for me.
#16
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Never heard the term hackintosh. If I purchase numerology is there a legit way to us it on PC? Can I use my PC's DAW in tandem?

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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ahmz View Post
I am working on protools HD10 with 3 HD on Hackintosh on solid state drive with 16 gig ram
mac osx 10.6.8
and it is amazing and very very stable better than my old win7 64 bit
Thanks for this post. It's helpful to hear how others are navigating through the murky TDM waters.

What version of PT were you upgrading from? I'm looking to do the same as you, but Avid charges $2500 to jump from my stable PT7 to PTHD10 (software alone.) These are present (non-native) options:

Hac + HD10 upgraded from HD7 + H.E.A.T. ($4k+)
vs.
a used Mac Pro + HD10 upgrade + used PCIe core TDM card + H.E.A.T. ($7k+)
vs.
a new AAX rig ($14k+)
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darbyclash34
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#18
21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay M View Post
Just curious, is Pro Tools more stable on even a Hackintosh than on Win7? Or is OSX just your preference?

~Jay
I'm a Mac dude, I work on them all day at work, and I just like it. I've had an easier time with Pro Tools on legit Macs than I have on Windows, but that's a real Mac, we'll have to see how the Hackintosh works out!

Plus, I don't want to relearn the muscle memory of my keyboard short cuts.

I just looked at the Tonybeast guides, and they have some recommended systems. I'll probably do the top of the line one, what are people overclocking 3.4 Core i7 2600's to?

Shawn
darbyclash34
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Also, until I go HD, got any Firewire card recommendations? I don't see any boards with it built in.

Shawn
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21st December 2011
Old 21st December 2011
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
Ok, I'm pretty sold. I looked into it, if I do the build now, I can use the board with Ivy Bridge (at least the Z68 chipset is supposed to support it with a firmware upgrade) when it drops, and then upgrade to a supported board when the Panther chipset comes out with Thunderbolt support. Particularly as I'll be seeing how the Thunderbolt peripheral support goes.

This HD in PCI slot idea is amazing! Granted I wouldn't be able to go any further than Pro Tools 10 on the HD rig, but that'd be fine, if I really needed something that 11 offered I could simply install 11 on a separate partition and use a different interface. Thanks everyone for all of your help!

How is does overclocking work on the Hackintosh? I would love to do so. Also, are there any boards out there that will take two 2600 chips? I'd love to have a slot open for a second processor as my needs increase.

Shawn
You're welcome. Donate me for the HD-in-PCI-Slot-idea if you succeed!
Overclocking: With my Hac HD3 System there is no need for me to try it...
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#21
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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So I kind of answered my own question. The board I'm going to use is the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3, which has FireWire. Any idea if that built in port will work ok?

Shawn
#22
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
So I kind of answered my own question. The board I'm going to use is the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3, which has FireWire. Any idea if that built in port will work ok?

Shawn
I don't have any experience with that board, but Gigabyte board I'm using also has FireWire and it worked out of the box.

Arttu
#23
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
So I kind of answered my own question. The board I'm going to use is the GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3, which has FireWire. Any idea if that built in port will work ok?

Shawn
I can't vouch for that particular board, but every Gigabyte board I built with had onboard FW with a TI chipset and has been flawless with FW.
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#24
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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I looked into it, that particular board has a via FireWire chip. I was hoping for a TI. Any idea if that will pose a problem?

Arttu, what board do you have?
#25
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darbyclash34 View Post
Arttu, what board do you have?
P55M-UD2. Might not be the best choice nowadays for high end audio computer, but was quite badass back then.
It was and is really supported as it was one of the first boards TonyMac made tutorial for.
#26
22nd December 2011
Old 22nd December 2011
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I'm surprised so many musicians are willing to steal from Apple considering how bad piracy has effected our industry.
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23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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Dappy are you for real? You signed up just to post that?

My OS copies are all NFRs. No ones stealing here bud.


Back to FireWire concerns.
#28
23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
  #28
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Quote:
If you obtained a license for the Apple
Software from the Mac App Store or on Apple-branded physical media, then subject to the
terms and conditions of this License and as permitted by the Mac App Store Usage Rules set
forth in the App Store Terms and Conditions (Apple - Legal - iTunes) (“Usage
Rules”), you are granted a limited, non-transferable, non-exclusive license:
(i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the
Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running Mac OS X Snow Leopard
or Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control;
Since the license only allows you to run OS X on an Apple-branded computer, installing it on a PC is stealing.

I registered because I'm fed of people ignoring license agreements and then complaining when their IP is being stolen. In my experiences of selling Mac software most of the pirated copy's of my app are unsurprisingly installed on hackintoshes.

It's surprising how many think they're doing nothing wrong by breaking the license agreement.
#29
23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dappy View Post
Since the license only allows you to run OS X on an Apple-branded computer, installing it on a PC is stealing.

I registered because I'm fed of people ignoring license agreements and then complaining when their IP is being stolen. In my experiences of selling Mac software most of the pirated copy's of my app are unsurprisingly installed on hackintoshes.

It's surprising how many think they're doing nothing wrong by breaking the license agreement.
The agreement is worthless in a LOT of countries over the world.They have 0 legal support for it, as example in germany.When you buy a copy of osx you can install it on what you please.Hey, may even stick an apple sticker on it.Only because Apple writes it on a Retail boy does not make it the law!
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23rd December 2011
Old 23rd December 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dappy View Post
Since the license only allows you to run OS X on an Apple-branded computer, installing it on a PC is stealing.

I registered because I'm fed of people ignoring license agreements and then complaining when their IP is being stolen. In my experiences of selling Mac software most of the pirated copy's of my app are unsurprisingly installed on hackintoshes.

It's surprising how many think they're doing nothing wrong by breaking the license agreement.
That license agreement is illegal in many countries.

I for one have nothing but legal sw on my hack.
I also own a MBP, an iphone and an ipad.
My conscious is clear.
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