HTPC(W8+ML) : Part 1

HTPC InternalRecently, I finished building a hackintosh with windows 8 dual boot.  This was an attempt at building a flexible HTPC that can boot both Mountain Lion and Windows 8 (not at the same time, of course).  The process was not smooth, due to old information that no longer apply and mistakes I made in purchases.  Because of this lengthy process, I will break down my adventure into 3 parts:

  1. Hardware/software purchase and assembly
  2. Operatin System Installation
    1. Preparing for Dual boot
    2. Installing Windows 8
    3. Installing Mountain Lion
    4. HDMI Audio
  3. Where to go from here?

 

1. Hardware/software purchase and assembly

TonyMacx86.com is been a boon to anyone interested in building hackintoshes for experience and tinkering.  It is filled with guides, recommendations, tools, and answers to many who have attempted these projects.

Based on my budget(I want to stay <=$500 for HW), I ended up with the following combination as having the biggest bang for;

Category Name Price
CPU i5-3570K $206
CPU Cooler Zalman LQ3201 $50
Motherboard ga-h61n-usb32 $80
RAM Corsair 16GB $82
Storage 120SSD + 750HDD N/A
PSU Corsair CX430 $35
Enclosure Cooler Master Elite 120 $40
Total $493

1Turns out I did not need this – I bought this because at the time, I could not find any information regarding;

  1. will the stock fan will fit under the PSU in this enclosure
  2. will the stock fan have enough clearance from PSU to actually circulate air

2There is no internal USB3 headers on this motherboard for the front USB3.0 port on the Elite 120 enclosure to connect to.  Also, only 2 SATA connectors while the enclosure has room for 3 internal drives and one 5.25 bay.

HTPC clearance

 

Also, because I’ve exceeded my budget, I opted to not get a graphics card at the moment. One of the main reasons for selecting the Elite 120 enclosure is that it has room to support a double slot video card – which is most of your typical average to above average video card for a gaming rig!

 

It may not be fair, but I happened to have spare HDDs lying around, and I had bought copies of Mountain Lion and Windows 8 OSes sometime before when Apple/Microsoft had discounts/promotions.  I also did not include the cost of the Logitech K400 wireless keyboard.  I found the K400 to be very handy, over bluetooth(since I can mess with BIOS settings with this wireless input tool)

In the next article, I will detail the steps in installing the operating system software, as that was tricky… stay tuned!

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