Under christmas I gifted my gracious wife with a new laptop. I wished her a brand new Apple Macbook Pro, but bince I ain't rich, opted for a cheaper one; enter MSI EX700.

You can find various editions of the so-called laptop, mine has the following specs:

  • Vista Home Basic 32
  • LCD 17,1'' / ACV / WXGA+ / 1440x900 Pixel (1 stuck blue pixel :( )
  • Chipset: Intel® PM965 Express Chipset (Cpu-Z 1.43 says it's GM965)
  • CPU: Intel Celeron M530 (1,73 GHz) [SSE, SSE2 & SSE3]
  • RAM: 1x1024MB DDR2667 + 1x2048 Corsair Value DDR2 667Mhz [added by me]
  • GPU: NVIDIA Geforce 8400M G, 128MB VRAM on board (mxm Type II - difficult to replace)
  • HD: Western Digital 120GB 5400rpm
  • DVDRW: OptiArc Super Multi
  • SOUND: Realtek 883
  • WLAN: Atheros 5007eg 802.11b/g WLAN mini pci-e Card
  • LAN: RTL Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • PWAN: Bluetooth
  • Webcam: 1.3 MegaPixels BisonCam (Ali M560x series I think).
  • 6Cel Li-Nh Battery
  • Full Keyboard + Standard Keypad (yuppy!)
  • Weight: 3 Kg

I got it for €. 700,00 - almost USD$. 980,00 ...Well, kind of cheap, uh?? bundled CDs: no Full Vista disc (as expected), so I got that 10Gb partitioned space were Vista Recovery resided. In case of failures what to do? Call MS! And that's what I just did - I ordered an upgrade to Vista Ultimate 32 (just in case...) for the amazing price of €. 5.76 (but that's another story).

I then cleaned the HDD from every partition and every data.

Then I obtained (from known torrent sources), iAtkos 1.0i & Kalyway Mac OSX 86 10.5.1 Hacked distros.

First I tried with iAtkos - no way. The installer got stuck @ boot time.

So I switched to Kalyway 10.5.1. Amazing: install process, worked perfectly the first time.

I choose not to install anything special, just bare (no NVinject et all) & MBR.

First boot was good (but damn slow gfx, as expected, since no drivers for my 8400GS).

So I started digging (being it my first contact with MAC world...), in search of its ins & outs.

After getting a bit acquainted (I learned the OS in no time, it feels very natural), I wanted to know if and how my hardware was recognized.

To my surprise, many things worked, other needed hacks. Just for reference, I suspect that this notebook uses the same kind of MS-1719 Motherboard that can be found on the higher level MSI GX700 Gaming Series laptop, and I suspect it can be also custom built (ie. as a bare bones laptop), from 3rd party Resellers such as RKCOMPUTERS (http://www.rkcomputers.net/rkcnotebooks/).

That's it for now - Part 2 will follow, where I'll show you the hacks I had to implement to make it work better.

In anticipation of what to expect, not everything is working as it should, but there are chances that in the near future, most stuff could work (if that was to happen, I'd seriously consider getting an original license, 'though for now this is just a test experiment).

P.S.: All the things described are fruit of my personal research & testing, no warranty given that it'll work too for you. If you need more info, please register at forum.insanelymac.com

Senior Professional Network and Computer Systems Engineer during work hours and father when home.

Andrea strives to deliver outstanding customer service and heaps of love towards his family.

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My MSI EX700 MAC OSX 86 Hackintosh Part 1/3 - the laptop.
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