Upgrading to Mountain Lion

The release of the latest Apple computer operating system OS X 10.8 ‘Mountain Lion’ has been a resounding success with over 3 million copies sold in less than four days. As with any system update, the Hackintosh community anxiously starts refreshing their favorite websites (TonyMacx86) in hopes of reading tales of successful installations before attempting it themselves. After installing the $20 update onto my laptop, I finally decided to give it a whirl on my Hackintosh. I used the Unibeast tool from the aforementioned TonyMacx86 community to create a bootable flash drive with the Mountain Lion installer. A typical installation would then simply require booting off the flash drive, selecting the installation drive, and then enjoying the new OS. Unfortunately, my graphics card (ATI Radeon HD 6870) has had issues with the installation process and requires a few extra steps to get everything working. Without these additional modifications, the installer hangs at the launch screen indefinitely. This fix should work for any ATI Radeon 6XXX card but I have only tried it on the 6870.

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Upgrades and Overclocks

After about two months of using my new Hackintosh without any custom modifications, I decided I wanted to overclock my 3.3GHz Intel Core i5-2500K processor a little bit to see if I would notice a performance increase. However, in order to do this, the horribly inadequate stock Intel CPU cooler needed to be replaced. After a brief search online, I settled on the Cooler Master Hyper 212+ as a suitable replacement for my CPU cooling needs. After an excruciating two-day wait, the part finally came in and I began the installation process of this gargantuan new cooling unit that just barely fit into my case. The new heatsink offered easily 10x more surface area for heat dissipation, which drastically increased the cooling efficiency of the running CPU. With the stock cooler, I saw the CPU idling around 45-50C. In stark contrast, the overclocked system now idles around 35C.

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The Hackintosh

In the weeks leading up to my winter break from classes, I decided I was going to build a gaming computer since I was tired of playing on my laptop. While I was originally planning on just building a beastly Windows machine, I realized it was now ridiculously easy to throw together parts to make a “Hackintosh,” or a computer running Mac OS X minus the Apple hardware and price. I spent several weeks researching the viability of the Hackintosh build, predominately on TonyMacX86, and selecting the components for my system. I ended up settling on the following list of hardware, rocking a SSD for my operating system and a regular HD for everything else.

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