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The specialized portal  Tonymacx86 has published UniBeats 6.0 software, adding support for the latest version of OS X operating system, El Capitan. This tool greatly facilitates the task to install OS X from a USB flash drive compatible machines that are not official Mac, under techniques we know as Hackintosh.

Taking advantage of the launch of the new Apple system and the UniBeats 6.0 tool, we updated the Hackintosh guide entries with a basic tutorial that this time we are going to dedicate to creating an economical PC with OS X El Capitan.

Previous considerations

There was a time when Apple licensed its desktop operating system to third-party manufacturers. As of 1997, Apple does not license its operating systems to third parties and also wage a tough battle in the courts against anyone who tries. Some integrators like PearC have tried to challenge this prohibition under the argument that  “European laws annul the software use license agreement (EULA) because the customer can not read it before buying and opening the product

With this we find a market for the non-existent clone Mac except what users themselves can do under these Hackintosh techniques, reiterating the previous legal warnings since Apple neither licenses nor supports or allows, according to the license agreement, to install OS X in a machine different from your own Mac.

What hardware do we choose?

A few years ago Apple used an architecture based on PowerPC completely different from that of a compatible PC. After the strategic migration to x86 and Intel processors, Mac “stopped being a Mac” to become a PC with OS X. Nowadays, any Mac has, in essence, the same components that you will find in a PC with the so-called “logical base”, identical in architecture to a “motherboard” of a PC for Windows or Linux.

In theory, any type of hardware x86 would serve to install OS X but in practice, this statement is far from being real and the wrong choice of components can turn your Hackintosh attempt into hell. Ideally, visit specialized sites such as Tonymacx86 to check those configurations more compatible with each of the versions of OS X. Although there are specific methods and kernels patched to use AMD processors, the ideal is to use Intel microphones.

The objective is to create an economical PC but one that can run OS X with enough softness in office automation, multimedia playback, navigation or even – although it is not the objective – games if we add a dedicated graphic. Of course, in addition to OS X, we can also install Windows and Linux.

We will use a micro-ATX base although you can also create a mini-ATX, ATX towers, and even a workstation. Once the last tonymac guide updated to September was reviewed, we chose the components. One configuration (there are dozens of combinations) would be:

Motherboard

It is the most important component when building our clone Mac. They recommend using Gigabyte boards under the Intel Haswell platform. We have personally tested them on occasion and they are the most compatible because they make use of a new UEFI implementation that is responsible for avoiding problems with the DSDT ( Differentiated System Description Table ) technology that Apple uses to “mark” the hardware on which the system operative runs. We opted for a  Gigabyte GA-Z97M-D3H, a quality board for socket LGA 1150 and with Z97M chipset. If you need more, the Gigabyte GA-Z97MX-GAMING 5 is another usable one.

Microprocessor

We chose an Intel Core i3-4370. A fourth-generation Haswell Core with enough features and an integrated Intel HD 4600 graphics card. If you want to raise the benefits, the Core i7-4690K is the alternative.

RAM

Recommended the installation of 8 Gbytes of memory. DDR3 with frequency 1600 MHz, the best supported, although it can be overclocked to 1866 MHz. They recommend Crucial models of the Ballistix series although others also work. The alternative is to install 16 Gbytes of RAM.

Storage

It is advisable to use solid-state drives such as the Samsung 850 EVO, although hard drives also work, recommending the Seagate Barracuda. The advanced 4K format requires fixing a boot0 error.

Chassis / Power supplies

Here the compatibility needs are not necessary so we can use any that serves according to the format of the microATX motherboard and power for the power supply. We want to keep a low price so we chose the Cooltek C3 box and a be the quiet source! 300 Watt System Power

Accessories

Tonymacx86 lists accessories of all kinds, from USB pendrives to optical units from LG or Optiarc that work without problems. As for mice and keyboards, they recommend Apple’s own as the Magic Mouse and the keyboards of the firm. Logitech has some models with Mac support that you can use. It includes Wi-Fi and Bluetooth adapters and webcam like the Logitech C920 with native support.

Dedicated graphics card (Optional)

The integrated Intel HD 4600  that uses the chosen processor works perfectly with OS X, but if you need an additional dedicated you will have to choose some models of NVIDIA, which are supported natively without modifying the drivers. For this configuration, microATX recommend models such as the GT 740.

Installing OS X

Once purchased the most compatible hardware components and assembled the equipment, we need a copy of the system and a tool that is capable of installing it.

The tool that we like the most is UniBeast. An “all in one” comprehensive that leaves us all ready to install OS X from a USB flash drive. The problem with UniBeast is that it is a native application that needs a Mac to prepare the installation and if we are preparing a Mac Clone surely we do not have access to a Mac.

The solution here is to virtualize Mac on a Windows machine with applications such as VMware and in the same way, we use to test Windows 10. You can follow tutorials like the one Virtual Box and iAtkos use. Other options (less legal although no clone Mac is legally supported by Apple) is to use already prepared distributions like Niresh following tutorials.

If you have access to a Mac or can virtualize it, Unibeast is ideal, following this step-by-step update to install the latest version of OS X, El Capitan:

Step 1. Get OS X

  • The operating system is free for anyone who has purchased the Mac OS X Snow Leopard, Lion or Mountain Lion or has a Mac preloaded with OS X Mavericks or Yosemite. If this is your case, download it with your Apple ID from the Mac App Store
  • OS X can also be purchased loaded in a USB, for sale in the Apple Store

Step 2. Create a USB boot drive

  • Insert your pendrive of minimum capacity 8 GB (recommended 16 GB)Open in the Mac  / Applications / Utilities / Disk Utility and select the pendrive.
  • Click on the partitions tab, then on Current and select 1 Partition. Then click on options and select the GUID partition table.
  • Put the name you want to the USB but select the format Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
  • It only remains to click on apply and partition to format the pendrive.
  • Download and run UniBeast (you’ll have to be registered with Tonymacx86 ).
  • At the destination select USB and in the operating system option choose your copy of El Capitan.
  • Select UEFI Boot Mode or Legacy Boot Mode in the bootloader options according to which your BIOS uses.
  • Optionally choose your graphics chip in the graphics configuration options.
  • Check the options, enter your password and click Install. The creation process will last around 10-15 minutes.

Step 3. BIOS settings

  • If you have used the Gigabyte motherboard that we have recommended you, you will not have problems with the UEFI BIOS of AMI making the following adjustments.
  • It enters the BIOS and loads the optimized default values.
  • If your CPU supports it, turn off VT-d and CFG-Lock.
  • Also disables the safe boot mode.
  • Activate USB as the first boot device.
  • Save the configuration

Step 4. Install OS X El Capitan

  • We place the bootable pendrive in a USB port (more compatible if it is 2.0) and start the machine.
  • On the home screen select Boot Mac OS X from USB.
  • We choose language
  • For a new installation of OS X, we must delete and format the destination unit according to the following steps.
  • Open the Disk Utility in Utilities.
  • Select the hard drive in the column on the left.
  • Select the partition tab and select GUID Partition Method.
  • Type the name you want (for example El Capitan) and in format select Mac OS Extended (Journaled). Apply and close the disk utility when finished.
  • Follow the steps of the Apple installer, selecting the partition that we have created.
  • Restart your computer when you complete the installation.

Step 5. After installation

The installation is complete but the unit is not bootable. For this reason, we have to restart with the UniBeast pendrive and select the El Capitan partition. To solve this problem we will have to install the well-known MultiBeast all-in-one package, which allows booting from the hard disk and installs audio, network and graphics support, among others, in the following way:

  • Restart with the USB and on the home screen choose to start OS X El Capitan.
  • Complete the setup and download the post-installation tools from the Safari browser
  • There we will have two custom Clover installers (for systems based on UEFI and for older ones based on BIOS), as well as the essential kexts (folders that act as drivers in OS X).
  • Execute one of them to solve the boot from the hard drive and complete the configuration.

You may want to install more drivers to enable ethernet, sound or graphics depending on the configuration of your computer. In case of problems, tonymacx86 has a support forum where there are hundreds of common problems already solved.

It is not easy for a new user but this type of techniques allows creating a machine not manufactured by Apple capable of running OS X operating systems and of course, it is also compatible with Windows and Linux that we can install in dual boot.

In addition to Tonymacx86 from where we have obtained all this information and images, we recommend Hackintosh.com as another point of must visit, hoping that you will find this modest Hackintosh guide useful as a starting point for Mac clones.

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