The Blockchain Bonanza Is Over for Graphics Card Makers →

August 23, 2018 · 09:39

Timothy B. Lee, for Ars Technica:

Nvidia’s GeForce 1080 could fetch more than $800 in January. Today, you should be able to find one for less than $600. All of this means that after a year of shortages, gamers should finally be able to buy graphics cards for reasonable prices.

I really hope this is true, since I’m waiting for prices to drop to get a new GPU for my Hackintosh. I was tempted to go for the Vega 64 but after testing a review unit, it doesn’t seem to want to work with my EIZO properly — it flickers. Not sure what to do now but I’m thinking of getting just a regular RX 580.


Are External GPUs for Macs Viable in macOS 10.13.4? →

April 20, 2018 · 11:05

Samuel Axon, writing for Ars Technica:

We tested an eGPU enclosure with a Thunderbolt 3-equipped MacBook Pro, and found that, in most applications, performance didn’t disappoint. Unfortunately, we also found limitations and software support inconsistencies that prevent the Mac eGPU dream from being fully realized at this time.

This is an extremely tempting solution. I imagine my current setup changing from a Hackintosh and MacBook Pro 13” to just a MacBook Pro 13” with a eGPU setup and external monitor. There would be a few caveats: I’d need a 2 TB SSD in the MacBook, at least a 4K monitor, preferably supporting Display P3 (my current 4K Eizo is sRGB), and I’d want one of those new quad-core Core i7s from Intel. They’re already available but Apple hasn’t yet ingested them into the lineup.

That and a reliable keyboard — my MacBook Pro is currently in for service for a new one.


iMac vs. iMac Pro — Apple’s Bad Design Priorities →

January 11, 2018 · 12:51

Stephen Hackett, writing for iMore:

I decided to take the conservative route, so I ordered the regular iMac. It showed up the day after Christmas. I slapped 32GB of OWC RAM in it — for a total of 40GB — and migrated my data from my trusty 2015 model.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long to realize that I had made a mistake. Even during the migration, I could hear the new iMac’s fan blowing, and once I was logged in, it was even louder.

After any data migration, a Mac has a lot to do behind the scenes. Photos.app was busy reindexing my library, and Dropbox was working hard to make sure everything in its folder was supposed to be there. I let things run over night, thinking that by the next morning, this new iMac would be as quiet as my old one in normal usage.

Sadly, that wasn’t the case. I’ve heard very mixed things about this from people on Twitter and friends with 2017 iMacs, so I can’t say this is a universal truth, but the Core i7-powered iMac on my desk seemed to ramp up its fan far more often than my older i5, and when it did, the noise was noticeably louder than before.

Indexing Photos and Dropbox is not something that should make a powerful iMac, equipped with a Core i7, costing close to $3K, sweat. I know that because I built a Hackintosh based on an iMac’s specs — it has a much beefier GPU but it’s basically a 2013 iMac on paper. Its fans still spin at their slowest speed when the machine is chugging along, crunching 4K data in Final Cut Pro X. If the top-of-the-line iMac starts screaming at the top of its lungs during the basic stuff, then something’s wrong. It could be a software issue, but I’ve heard enough people complaining about the fans in various scenarios, that this sounds like a bad design decision.

Granted, the iMac Pro does seem to solve the problems Stephen’s having, but to me it sound as if his issues are the most basic tasks, which most Mac users do. A $5K+ iMac Pro should not be a “solution” to this problem. An iMac Pro is a workstation, aimed at demanding workflows. And I still have my doubts whether this is the appropriate machine for the task, especially since a 2010 Mac Pro equipped with a Vega 64 is still faster in OpenCL than a 2017 iMac Pro.

Apple’s crusade for making everything thinner and sleeker is ruining their machines. They are making their products more and more niche, while not providing computers for the masses. I’m sure there’s a market for a desktop computer like a Mac Pro, but with cheaper hardware and full-sized GPUs – I know I’d switch to that from my Hackintosh in a heartbeat, if the GPU was upgradeable, and I’m sure many more would too.

 


Modern Hackintoshes Show That Apple Should Probably Just Build a Mac Tower →

May 2, 2017 · 22:20

Andrew Cunningham, writing for Ars Technica:

“The hassle of getting everything working has stagnated my updates throughout the years,” Nolan said. “After El Cap’s new Disk Utility and rootless feature temporarily breaking brew, I simply left the machine on 10.10.5. Besides security updates, I let it chug along and I have had little reason to consider upgrading it past that.”

Sometimes, perhaps as a side effect of software updates, things just stop working properly for obscure reasons. Sleep and audio were the two issues that I saw brought up repeatedly—one developer has never been able to get his front audio ports working properly, and a TV producer I talked to sometimes has to log out and back in to get the audio jacks to work. Graphics cards and USB can also be fiddly.

That’s one of the reasons I haven’t upgraded my Hackintosh since I built it — there’s nothing much worth upgrading to at the moment, although there is a small light in the tunnel in regard to NVMe. My current build is practically bulletproof in terms of updates — I only have to worry about Clover, while the rest works 99.9% of the time.

“I’m fine with spending hundreds, if not thousands of [dollars] having a top-of-the-line system to avoid any hiccups or slowdown on any of my applications,” he told Ars. “And here I ran into the problem—the lack of Apple hardware to be upgraded really began freaking me out. I wanted a system I could upgrade the parts at a reasonable cost, and without dealing [with] the opaqueness of Apple support.”

JC is one of several people who told me they would be happy to shell out for a new Mac Pro if it had a more traditional PC’s flexibility.

There is an issue with Apple desktop hardware which irritates me to no end — when anything in a Hackintosh (or PC) fails, I can just go out and buy a new SSD, HDD, GPU, CPU, fan, stick of RAM, or whatever else broke. I’ll be up and running in a few hours tops. If anything happens to an iMac or Mac Pro, I can expect to be without it for up to a week or two, depending on the severity of the issue and the queue at the Authorised Service Centre1. This is unacceptable for most people.

  1. Still no official Apple Store or Genius Bar in Poland.

My Mac, Hackintosh, and iOS Setup →

April 24, 2017 · 21:11

Jeffrey Abbott, on The Sweet Setup:

Every week we post a new interview with someone about what software they use on their Mac, iPhone, or iPad. We do these interviews because not only are they fun, but a glimpse into what tools someone uses and how they use those tools can spark our imagination and give us an idea or insight into how we can do things better.

My Mac and iOS setup is up today, with detailed specs of my Hackintosh! Yay!


The Nvidia GTX 1080 — the Nail in the Coffin for the Mac Pro →

February 23, 2017 · 09:08

Marco Solorio, writing on the OneRiver Media Blog:

But as good as that juiced up Mac Pro Tower is today, I know at some point, the time will have to come to an end, simply because Apple hasn’t built a PCIe-based system in many years now.

The Nvidia GTX 1080 might be the final nail in the coffin. I can guarantee at this point, we will have to move to a Windows-based workstation for our main edit suite and one that supports multiple PCIe slots specifically for the GTX 1080 (I’ll most likely get two 1080s that that new price-point).

With all that said, I see (and have already seen) a huge migration of longtime Apple users (such as me) going to Windows systems for their main workstation needs. The sheer power and lower cost is just too huge at this point. The Nvidia GTX 1080 just compounded that point exponentially stronger.

The only way out that I can see, is building a Hackintosh, but that’s just not possible for pros who need to rely on their hardware and software every hour of every day.

I am personally starting to consider that I will have to go Windows at some point in the future, just on my desktop and just for my video and photography needs.

Reverse halo effect, anyone?