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Using OS X With A Non-Mac PC

Posted on 2006-11-13
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I wasn't sure to post this here or on the hardware forum. I am a windows user since birth but have recently been looking more into macs for video editing. I currently am using a G5 and the Final Cut editing suite. I am going to need to replace the G5 and wanted to know if it is possible to run OS X on hardware other than that is supplied by Mac. I know this may be a real newbie question, but I build all my windows PCs due to the cost savings. Can I do the same with a mac? If so, what are the hardware specs I should look into to make sure I don't end up with useless components?

Thanks much for any tips, suggestions, or links!

~ C
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Question by:clickclickbang
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8 Comments
 
LVL 53

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by:
strung earned 200 total points
ID: 17933489
It can be done, but it is illegal. Running OS X on a non-Apple computer is a violation of the Apple EULA.
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LVL 7

Assisted Solution

by:lukeca
lukeca earned 200 total points
ID: 17936267
strung is most defiantly correct,

here is a slashdot posting about it:  http://apple.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/10/27/2056225 if you want to read up on it.

Apparently it is within the eula to use the unix core of the os because it's open source, but you can not run the apple gui on non apple hardware legally.
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LVL 15

Assisted Solution

by:davidis99
davidis99 earned 200 total points
ID: 17938468
You should look at this website;  it provides good detail on how to get OS X working on standard Intel hardware.

http://osx86.theplaceforitall.com/howto/
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LVL 12

Assisted Solution

by:benhanson
benhanson earned 400 total points
ID: 17970852
If you are looking at building a core 2 duo based machine, be sure to do a real cost comparison.  The Apple desktop price premium has diminished quite a bit lately, and supposedly for 51xx Xeon based systems, Apples might actually be cheaper than Dell's in some configs.

As for building a generic, it can be done and you'll end up with a pretty stable machine.  You can't run automatic updates, as Apple updates will often include a new kernel, which has to be patched to run on non-Apple hardware.  So updates are a hassle, since you have to find a prepatched update.  All in all, I would bet the best bet would be to sell the G5 for a decent price, since they still hold a bit of value, then roll that cash into a new Mac Pro or an iMac.  iMac Core 2 Duo specs are actually quite impressive when comparing to a G5.
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LVL 5

Assisted Solution

by:psyki_be
psyki_be earned 200 total points
ID: 18039530
I would strongly advise against it.

1) it is illegal, as stated in the End User License Agreement you have to accept when instaling OS X.
2) as far as I know, OS X on stard pc's isn't exactly 'stable'.
OS X is partly stable because of it's 'limited' hardware. It supports only specific parts of hardware (and the included drivers).
Running it on other hardware may not be stable, becaus ethere are no drivers designed for pc parts.
3) Updates from Apple may ruin everything, since, well, you would be violating the EULA, they may prevent this with software updates, ..

It's also possible, your G5 will work faster than non-apple hardware.

If however, you proceed, try this link ...

http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page
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LVL 12

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by:benhanson
benhanson earned 400 total points
ID: 18040163
OS X on a non-Apple system can be VERY stable.  It can be lacking from an aesthetic perspective, and from a simplicity perspective, but it is quite amazingly stable.  Really, the stability on generic hardware is a testament to the generic foundation(BSD) that OS X is built on.  As far as G5 vs Generic, I've got a Dual 2ghz G5 at home, and in most tasks a Dell GX620(3ghz Pentium 4 Dual Core) performs quite well by comparison.  I haven't done side by side tests, though I have ripped a few DVD's(which is quite CPU intensive), the P4 is no slouch.

I love Apple, own 2 mini's, a dual 2ghz G5, a brand new MacBook Pro and several other old boxes.  They make wonderful hardware, but it's not magically superior performance wise to more generic hardware.

If your primary use is for a Mac, buy Apple hardware.  If you just want to tinker with OS X, you can do that on a $400 PC, knowing that an Apple machine would be that much better.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Duffy
Andrew Duffy earned 800 total points
ID: 18069350
Basically, it can be done if you want to merely 'tinker' with running an operating system on a platform it wasn't intended for (although this point itself is open to debate).

Video editing is one of the most processor-intensive tasks you could choose for your computer, so I would suggest getting the hardware for the job, and that means a proper Mac. You could spend a lot of time and money on acquiring a machine that will run OS X in a stable state, and in the same time you could have purchased a Mac and produced / sold a nuch of videos.

There will be a time in the future when it's possible, but that time is not now.
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Author Comment

by:clickclickbang
ID: 18069469
Thank you all for your posts. I think I'm going to swap to Adobe and use their Production Suite running on a Windows PC.
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