No one can really deny that while the
Mac operating system might be better than Windows for certain tasks,
going the Apple route means buying into a closed ecosystem, in which
other products and accessories also from Apple become your sole
upgrade path. Recently, though, some enthusiasts have managed to get
Mac OS X running on standard PC hardware – the cheap, readily
available parts that make up Windows and most Linux PCs.
While the legality of doing this is
questionable, the so-called “hackintosh” movement has become very
popular over the past few years – so popular, in fact, that
Kickstarter is now seeing a new company called Quo propose a
motherboard seemingly designed specifically for hackintosh builders.
The company won't admit that upfront, though.
The ProjectQ (or if you'd prefer the
more technical name, Z77MX-QUO-AOS) motherboard features, among other
things, an LGA1155 socket for Intel Ivy Bridge processors, DVI and
HDMI video outputs, dual Thunderbolt ports, Firewire 400 and 800
support, up to four USB 3.0 ports, a gigabit LAN port, a UEFI BIOS,
four RAM slots for up to 32GB of memory, and six SATA ports for up to
six hard drives or optical drives. CPU overclocking is also
supported, if the user feels like doing so, and QUO promises that
their board will “run any Operating System you choose out of the
Understandably, QUO themselves are not
doing the manufacturing – Gigabyte
Technology, an established motherboard maker, are. The whole
thing is packed onto a standard Micro-ATX form factor circuit board,
which ensures capability with the thousands of Micro-ATX and ATX
system cases floating around on the market.
Currently, QUO are gathering support on
Kickstarter to make their hackintosh dream board a reality. 100
boards are up for grabs to those who pledge at least $219; that rises
to $239 once the initial batch runs out. Those who pledge $869 or
more will get one of several complete systems, shiny cases and all,
with the ProjectQ motherboards running the show.
With 24 days to go, 185 backers have
pledged over half of QUO's
$87,000 goal. The company considers this a stepping stone towards
more custom motherboards and to similar things like videocards. We'll
just have to see about that, won't we?
August 2013 Postscript: Well, QUO ended up raising $189,451, quite a bit over its original $87,000 goal. The company now has a website where you can go and buy yourself some Z77MX-QUO-AOS motherboards, with 167 in stock as of this writing. They will also sell you storage drives from Western Digital and Samsung and customized cases to complete your build. Still no sign of those custom videocards, though.