Ever since Apple announced its switch to Intel processors and released an x86 version of its operating system to developers, hackers have managed to get able Mac OS X running on white-box PCs. After all, Macs are little more than PCs at the hardware level—they just use a customized Extensible Firmware Interface instead of a BIOS.
Running OS X on PCs typically involves using software patches of dubious legality, but Gizmodo blogger Matt Buchanan has been testing out a much more elegant alternative: EFI-X. In essence, the EFI-X USB dongle includes the firmware necessary to install a retail-boxed version of Mac OS X. There are catches, of course. You can only use a handful of processors, motherboards, graphics cards, Wi-Fi adapters, and sound cards. And right now, EFI-X supports neither AMD processors nor most AMD graphics cards.
Still, according to Buchanan, EFI-X really does what it says on the box. "The best way to put it is this: I've got a Mac Pro now," he says. Benchmark results suggest performance is peppy, and Buchanan claims he was able to use the OS X auto-updater to install Mac OS X 10.5.5 without a hitch—he even has a video to prove it. The only major downsides Buchanan bemoans are the spotty hardware support, the fact that the dongle can prolong boot times, and the price tag: $169. Considering the markup on Apple hardware, though, that may not be too bad a deal.
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