Using a Quo Computer to run Final Cut Pro 7

I have been considering building a hackintosh to replace my venerable 4,1 Mac Pro for some time. Either that or even moving to Windows, because the new MacPro does not seem like a viable replacement. It just isn't expandable enough, and I can't use NVIDIA graphics cards which are key to so many high end graphics programs. I don't want to leave Mac, but I want NVIDIA and more expandability, and more internal storage.



Well one of the companies I work for picked up a Quo Computer to run as a Mac for editing with Final Cut Pro 7 (and we will be testing it on Premiere Pro on the job starting now). If you don't know about Quo, they started as a Kickstarter Campaign to make a Hackintosh computer that can be legally sold as they don't sell or install OS X for you, but the motherboard is built with many standard Mac components to make it the most compatible Hackintosh board out there. It is a Micro-ATX motherboard, so it is limited in PCI slots, but does have built in capabilities for Firewire 800, USB 3 and Thunderbolt. It is an older board design, so does not use the latest Haswell processors, but is still quite adequate for using Final Cut Pro 7.

There is a great article on the systems over at TechSpot, that is worth checking out.

This is is how it shows up in About this Mac.

This version includes an SSD for startup, an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 for Graphics, and 3 internal Drive bays. It has USB 3 on the back as well as USB 2, Ethernet, 1 Thunberbolt and a Firewire 400 port. On the breakout in Front it has 2 USB 2, 2 audio ports, another Firewire 400 and an ESATA that is not hooked up. Unfortunately though it is on the motherboard there are no Firewire 800 ports (it really needs a custom breakout in front with USB 3 and Firewire 800) which can be a bottleneck when you have a ton of Firewire 800 drives laying around!

We tried a Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter, but didn't realize it is not hot swappable, so it must be attached when the computer turns on to work, which is really inconvenient for external drives. No hot swap with Thunberbolt. Yuck!

Also the PCI Slots are a little spare because of the size of the board, it has 1 PCI2x16, 1 PCIx8 and a couple of PCIe x1 for USB 4 and Wifi cards, which are used up. So with a single graphics card, you get one slot, so you might want to consider a USB 3 or Thunderbolt video in and out card, though we are running an Intensity Pro, filling our single expansion slot.

Overall I have to say the machine is pretty kick ass. It seems rock solid going through a the edit and graphics on a 28:30 Direct Response Infomercial with no problems whatsoever. We had a little scare when out MacPro went down and we had to put an ATTO SAS card into the machine, and once installed it showed command line before boot, but it booted fine.

The only complaint, other then the lack of Firewire 800 ports, and an SATA slot that is not connected, is that the support from Quo is not the best. They don't get back to you too quickly, which is really a shame. Honestly they could be really filling the niche left for expandable Macs. And if they made a full ATX Haswell board, they could really take over the high end Mac Market, especially as the machines are considerably less expensive than a new MacPro Trashcan!

Honestly this thing works so well I am much less worried about Hackintosh Machines, now if only we can guarantee that NVIDIA cards will still work even without a machine to install them into in Apple's lineup of machines!
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Jonah Lee .com