Lifehacker posts guide to building a Mini Hackintosh

Lifehacker has posted a nifty guide to building a Hackintosh, Mini style. This Hackintosh is very similar to Apple’s Mac Mini in price but more burly in specs. Hackintoshes offer a great way to learn about the innards of computers and how they work.

The end product ran up a price tag of $599.65, which is a very fair price for what you’re getting.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 Motherboard $104.99
  2. Intel Core i3 Processor i3-540 3.06GHz 4MB LGA1156 CPU $110.00
  3. ZOTAC nVidia GeForce GT240 512 MB DDR3 DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Video Card $84.99
  4. 2x2GB Corsair PC3-10666 1333Mhz Dual Chanel 240-pin DDR3 Desktop RAM $43.99
  5. Western Digital 1TB SATA III 7200 RPM 32MB Cache Desktop Hard Drive $59.99 (2TB: $79)
  6. SilverStone SG05BB-450 ALL Black Plastic/SECC Mini-ITX Computer Case with SFX 450W 80+ Bronze Certified/Single +12V rail Power Supply $119.99
  7. Sony Optiarc 8X SATA DVD+/-RW Slim Drive $34.99
  8. StarTech.com MCSATAADAP Micro SATA to SATA Adapter Cable with Power $11.71
  9. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard $29.00
  10. OPTIONALOCZ Agility 120GB SSD $199.99 (note: this is optional and not included in the total cost of the machine)

The squad over at Lifehacker used tonymacx86’s CustoMac Mini tool and a good suite of hardware. While this isn’t as small as a Mac Mini, it is very close and is a lot faster. Check out Lifehacker’s video above on how to set this up and visit their post for a list of hardware. We have to warn you, this isn’t for every computer user, because you need to know how to build your own computer and do a little tinkering.

If a Hackintosh Mini isn’t for you, check out tonymacx86’s guide to making a Sandy Bridge Hackintosh. Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor is rumored to be included in many of the new Macs. Why not go ahead and build one on the cheap? Tonymacx86 has all the answers.

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Apple gearing up to launch upgraded Mac Pro with 16 cores

Following a report from earlier this week that claims that Apple is gearing up to launch a new Mac Pro in late July or early August, a reliable source tells 9to5Mac that Apple has referenced a mid-2011 Mac Pro in multiple internal documents. This, of course, is reference to an unreleased Mac Pro. Apple has not upgraded their professional desktop Mac since July 2010. Additionally, these internal documents are said to tout four new core Mac Pro models: 6 cores, 8 cores, 12 cores, and for the first time, 16 cores. This is likely in addition to some custom configurations.

If these internal documents jibe with what Apple will be soon releasing, Mac customers will be able to get their hands on a super-fast 16-core Mac. In addition to these specifications, we hear that Apple has already begun the process of assembling product manuals for the new Mac Pro, corroborating previous claims of a late July or early August launch. Our sources could not confirm if the new rack mountable design, which we detailed, will make its way into the 2011 model.

On a final note, a certain Apple executive has reportedly said the following in an email we’ve seen:

“Apple is investing heavily into Mac Pro”

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Black MacBook Airs coming soon? (Update: another source says unseen)

MacRumors is reporting that Apple is readying Black MacBook Airs in its next refresh.

We’ve received several anonymous tips claiming that at least some models of the next-generation MacBook Air will be be available with a black finish, different from the aluminum case used on the current MacBook Air and most of Apple’s other Macs. The most specific of the claims suggests that a black anodized aluminum case would be available on a top-end MacBook Air model, in much the same way as Apple once offered a high-end black MacBook on top of the standard white offerings.

Remember that when we first broke the news of a MacBook Air way back in 2007 (without Optical drives), we’d been told there was a black version.  That information was later verified with the Ebay auction selling a prototype MacBook Air with a Black aluminum shell (pictured above, another shot below).

We’ve also received an anonymous tip with a similar Lion/Sandy Bridge/Thunderbolt/Next few weeks release information.  That tip also said a $899 starting price point.

Update: A reliable source has told us that they haven’t seen any Black in the new MacBook Air materials

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Dell's new 'thinnest' laptop isn't even as thin as the 2.5-year old MacBook Pro

We were expecting a MacBook Air-like device.  It turns out Dell’s new product, dubbed “Thinnest 15-inch PC on the planet” isn’t thinner than the 15-inch MacBook Pro I gave up a year ago for an Air.  That’s the same one that came out with the Unibody manufacturing process in October 2008.

Dell’s 15-inch XPS 15z is .97 inches thick compared to the MacBook PRo’s .95 inches.  It does weigh in at slightly less than the MacBook Pro (which is due for an update soon as well).

Update: Engadget has a comparison gallery:

All of that being said, the XPS 15Z  looks like a solid, loaded Sandy Bridge package for just $1000 – except the Windows OS of course.  Imagery and video below: Read more

Software glitch causing connection problems between some Macs and iOS devices

An unknown portion of the latest MacBook Pros with Sandy Bridge processors and high-speed Thunderbolt connection appears to be affected by an issue where the computer has trouble maintaining connection with iOS devices, even with the latest iTunes 10.2.1 installed. And if more than 215 posts in a thread on Apple’s Discussion forums are an indication, numerous 2011 MacBook Pros are plagued with this issue.

From what we’ve hearing, it’s a software issue easily patched with an upcoming software update (10.6.7). Here’s what the affected owners are saying.

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