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GAMING KEYBOARD REVIEW: Masione backlit frameless gaming keyboard is a pleasure to type/game on at a killer price
GAMING KEYBOARD REVIEW: Masione backlit frameless gaming keyboard is a pleasure to type/game on
Masione Multi-Color Multimedia USB Wired Gaming Keyboard with LED Illumination. (Read review)



GAMING MOUSE REVIEW: Tesoro Sagitta Spectrum Gaming Mouse - A very comfortable, customizable gaming mouse for claw and palm grippers alike
GAMING MOUSE REVIEW: Tesoro Sagitta Spectrum Gaming Mouse - A very comfortable, customizable gaming mouse for claw and palm grippers alike
Tesoro Sagitta Spectrum LED Illumination Gaming Mouse. (Read review)



MOUSE PAD REVIEW: Frakkin' HUGE XTrac Ripper XXL Mouse Pad... err, desk-pad review
Mouse Pad Review: Frakkin' HUGE XTrac Ripper XXL Mouse Pad... err, desk-pad review
The XTrac Ripper XXL Mouse Pad laid out in all its massive glory, approx. 36in. x 18in. (Read review)



WATCH REVIEW: Seiko 5 SNZG17K1 Men's Automatic Self-Winding Watch with outstanding lume

WATCH REVIEW: Seiko 5 SNZG17K1 Men's Automatic Self-Winding Watch with outstanding lume
The Seiko 5 SNZG17K1 Military style watch has a simple, bold, yet slightly elegant design. (Read review)



WATCH REVIEW: The Reactor Fusion II sports watch with great lume, it's what Terminator would wear to a dinner party
Reactor Fusion II 95001 with Superluminova watch review
The hour and minute hands along with numerals have a very bright and strong greenish lume which lasts for hours. (Read review).



WATCH REVIEW: Seiko 5 SNK381 Men's Automatic Self-Winding Watch with great lume
WATCH REVIEW: Seiko 5 SNK381 Men's Automatic Self-Winding Watch with great lume
The Seiko 5 SNK381, simple elegant design with superior luminosity. (Read review).



WATCH REVIEW: Infantry Night Vision Military Quartz Sport Mens Wrist Watch with Black Nylon Band
Watch Review: INFANTRY Night Vision Military Quartz Sport Mens Wrist Watch with Black Nylon Band
Infantry watch dial, a simple, easy to read field/military style watch. (Read review)



WATCH REVIEW: Citizen Men's BM8180-03E Eco-Drive Canvas Strap Watch

Citizen's face lume, a.k.a. luminosity has a bright blue-glow hue on hands, hour markers and even the numbers which is a very nice touch. (Read watch review)



Custom Hackintosh Case Mod - Project: iCon

Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon

Project: iCon is a Hackintosh I wanted to build along with a complete custom case. I wanted to build a semi-beefy workstation that could run any web, graphic and media apps thrown at it. I also needed it to be able to handle games, MMOs and FPSs, with ease as well as have the ability to easily upgrade the system with the latest components when available and needed.

About Hackintosh cases
A lot of Hackintosh builds use regular PC cases or many builders mod out a Mac Pro Tower Aluminum case. I wanted the case to be a little more unique and possibly be one which could be mounted on a wall. I always liked the apple logo and really liked the big metal Apple logos displayed on Apple store fronts. I thought why not a true "Apple" case as in the "Apple Logo" itself. I made a few rough drafts and then decided on what size the case needed to be to fit all the internal components and leave a little extra room for future additions/upgrades should I need it.

The iCon Case Build
It took about a week to build the case by hand and attach all the components to a metallic painted wood base, aluminum sides and front Plexiglas window with optional 16-feet of LED lights illuminating the inside and rear of case. I originally was planning on taking my drafts to a professional metal fabricator for the case build but needed to save money and decided to build it all myself from available materials at my local Home Depot for roughly $45.

After doing some research on the net, invaluable thanks to tonymacx86.com and the Hackintosh community there, I decided on all the iCon components listed below which were purchased from Amazon.com. You can read the build log over at tonymacx86.com here.

Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Custom case build with top 120mm case fans and secondary Western Digital Velociraptor 10k-rpm 500GB drive installed. (Click photo for large view)

Project: iCon components list
-- Motherboard: Gigabyte Intel Z77 1155 GA-Z77X-UD5H
-- CPU: Intel i5-3570K Quad-Core Processor 3.4 GHz, (overclocked to 4.2GHz)
-- Storage Drives: Two SanDisk Extreme SSD 120 GB SATA 6.0 disks and One 500GB WD VelociRaptor 10k RPM, SATA III, 64 MB Cache drive
-- Graphics Card: GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 2GB
-- Memory: 16GB, (2x8GB), G.SKILL ARES Low profile DDR3 1866
-- CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS12X Pure Copper/Aluminum CPU Cooler
-- Power Supply: KINGWIN Lazer LZ-850 850W Modular
-- Mouse: Logitech G400
-- Keyboard: Azio Large Print Tri-Color Backlit Keyboard
-- Speakers: Klipsh Promedia 2.1 THX Certified Speaker System
-- Headset: Turtle Beach Call of Duty: MW3 Ear Force Bravo Wireless Gaming Headset

Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Hackintosh component boxes arrive from Amazon.com. (Click photo for large view)

Total Cost
I already had a few components/peripherals such as the CPU cooler, power supply, mouse, headset, keyboard and speakers, rest of the parts cost about $1,200

Installing Mac OS X
Installing Mac OS X 10.8.2, (Mountain Lion purchased from the App store), was a fairly simple process using two install helpers, Unibeast and Multibeast, both of which you can grab over at tonymacx86.com. If you are seriously contemplating building a Hackintosh I would register over at tonymacx86.com and engage the fellow Hackintosh community there for their invaluable help. I also adjusted some of the Motherboard's Bios settings and overclocked the 3570k i5 CPU to 4.2GHz.

Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - First boot, installing Mac OS X 10.8.2 using Unibeast and Multibeast from www.TonyMacx86.com. (Click photo for large view)

Using Project: iCon
Once this Hackintosh was set up and a few kinks ironed out, (Boot 0 errors, couple of Kernel Panics related to the HWMonitor App), I installed my apps. I was blown away at the absolute sheer speed of everything. This rig absolutely flys, booting up takes around 8 to 10 seconds. iCon runs circles around my Late Model 2011 iMac which has an i7 core. Launching apps are instantaneous, everything seems like it literally has "zero wait states," I love it. Other examples of performance are Geekbench scores around 13k and in Warcraft I can get anywhere from 90 to over 200fps depending on graphic settings and location. I average 120-ish fps with well above average graphics settings.

Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - About This Mac window info. (Click photo for large view)

Overall Impression
I'm kicking myself for not building a Hackintosh sooner. A similar comparable Mac Pro would run around $4k direct from Apple, so theoretically I could build three iCons and still have some left over spending cash for other goodies. I'm glad I did wait till now because it's a really great time to build one regarding component and performance price points. The Hackintosh community is pretty strong right now as well with many avenues of support to rely on. If someone is considering building a Hackintosh I would recommend it whole heartedly. I had a blast building iCon and very satisfied with iCon's performance and upgradability for the foreseeable future.


Project: iCon Build Photos

Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Hackintosh component boxes arrive from Amazon.com, time to get busy. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Base board and initial holes drilled for mounting components. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Hundreds of screws used for the build. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Custom case using aluminum and wood for main build. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Custom case build with top 120mm case fans and secondary Western Digital Velociraptor 10k-rpm 500GB drive installed. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Almost all the main components installed, getting ready for first power test. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Finishing up 120mm exhaust fans install and attaching leaf to top of case. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Power Switch installed, a 22mm Aluminum Vandal Momentary Switch with Blue Illuminated Ring. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - First power test, which is successful! Unibeast flash drive is recognized and the process of installing Mac OS X Mountain Lion begins. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Shot of the Zalman CNPS12X Pure Copper/Aluminum CPU Cooler. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - 16GB, (2x8GB), G.SKILL ARES Low profile DDR3 1866 memory. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - GIGABYTE GeForce GTX 670 2GB graphics card. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Apple leaf on top of case. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - About This Mac window showing basic iCon info. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - case on wall with acrylic front panel and mounted to wall with a traditional LED/TV wall mount. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - case on wall with acrylic front panel and mounted to wall with a traditional LED/TV wall mount. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Lit-up blue, purchased the LED multicolor ribbon from LEDwholesalers via Amazon.com. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Lit-up green, purchased the LED multicolor ribbon from LEDwholesalers via Amazon.com. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Lit-up red, purchased the LED multicolor ribbon from LEDwholesalers via Amazon.com. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - Lit-up blue, purchased the LED multicolor ribbon from LEDwholesalers via Amazon.com. (Click photo for large view)


Reactor-Core.com - Mac Hackintosh Case Mod, Project: iCon
Project: iCon - My work, slash, play station, using an ACHIEVA Shimian QH270-Lite 27" LED PC Monitor which I purchased from ebay seller "red-cap". (Click photo for large view)


Update: March 15, 2013
I have updated to Mac OS X 10.8.3 via the Mac App Store with no serious issues to report. iCon lost audio on reboot after installing the update. Ran MutiBeast again for the Realtek ALC898 sound driver. After that, audio was up and running again, so far so good.


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