MSI Wind Hackintosh

A little over a week ago, Adam bought himself a shiny new aluminum MacBook, and when I went with him to BestBuy to pick it up, I bought myself an MSI Wind 100U. At $350, it was almost $1000 less than Adam paid for the MacBook. =)

(I peeled off the Windows sticker after I took this photo)

I hacked it, installing OSX on it, and for $11 (damn, RAM is cheap these days!), bought another gig of RAM, which maxes it out at 2GB.

I even found a method of installing that let me use my standard Leopard installer disc. When I upgraded my Mac Pro, I bought the “family” 5-license version of Leopard, so yes, I am using a legal copy of OSX – although installing on this hardware is technically in violation of the OSX licensing agreement, I don’t feel too bad seeing as I paid Apple for the OS.

For such a cheap machine, it’s not bad.

It’s got the Intel Atom processor, designed for low power consumption, but it still decently fast. It will run XCode, including compiling iPhone apps and running the iPhone emulator. Eclipse and MAMP run fine. The Flex SDK runs fine, too.

Battery life probably isn’t great – I haven’t tested it, but should be 2-3 hours.

It does have a slight edge on the MacBook in a couple respects – it has 3 USB ports over the MacBook’s 2, and has a built-in SD card reader, something lacking on the MacBook.

I had a couple Apple logo stickers which I stuck on the back of the MSI (one was too transparent and the MSI logo was still visible, so I put a second sticker on top of the first). It’s a bit off, the logo is larger than it should be, and the sticker has some air bubbles under it, but it’s close enough to be amusing and cause the occasional double-take.

How it stacks up to the MacBook:

Feature MacBook MSI Winner
CPU 2.0GHz Core2Duo 1.6GHz Atom MacBook
RAM 2GB (4GB max) 1GB (2GB max) MacBook
Video NVIDIA GeForce 9400M Intel GMA 950 MacBook
Screen 13″ 1280×800 10″ 1024×600 MacBook
Ethernet 1000bT 1000bT tie
WiFi 802.11b/g/n 802.11b/g MacBook
Bluetooth yes yes tie
Hard Drive 160GB 120GB MacBook
Video Out mini-DVI VGA MacBook
USB 2 ports 3 ports MSI
Card Reader none SD MSI
Price $1,299.00 $349.00 MSI

Yes, the MacBook thoroughly trounces the MSI in almost every way, but for the price, the MSI puts up a respectable showing.