Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Unified Realtek Onboard Audio Solution: ALC8xxHDA

Introducing ALC8xxHDA.kext, a single combined LegacyHDA replacement for Realtek ALC888, ALC887/888b, ALC889, ALC885/889a, and ALC892 high-definition audio codecs.  In order to initiate audio, this driver must be combined with a DSDT from the DSDT Database or HDAEnabler.  For any codecs other than the native ALC885/889a, AppleHDA Rollback must also be used.  All options now available in the latest MultiBeast.

To update from an existing MultiBeast LegacyHDA + AppleHDA rollback:
  1. Delete LegacyHDA from /Extra/Extenisons
  2. Open MultiBeast
  3. Select ALC8xxHDA + AppleHDA Rollback + System Utilities
  4. Reboot
To update from an existing MultiBeast VoodooHDA:
  1. Delete VoodooHDA from System/Library/Extensions.
  2. Open MultiBeast
  3. Select ALC8xxHDA + AppleHDA Rollback + System Utilities
  4. Reboot
Realtek ALC888, ALC887/888b, ALC889, ALC885/889a support:
OUTPUTS: Analog Front Headphone/Green Line-out, Orange Line-out, Grey Line-out, Digital SPDIF-OUT
INPUTS: Analog Pink Microphone, Blue Line-in, Digital SPDIF-IN
Realtek ALC892 support:
OUTPUTS: Analog Front Headphone/Green Line-out, Digital SPDIF-OUT
INPUTS: Analog Pink Microphone, Blue Line-in, Digital SPDIF-IN
Please report your results with this new method in the forum.  Special thanks to complx for the ALC8xxHDA logo.  Enjoy!

For discussions on this and other topics, register today at tonymacx86.com!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Graphics Card Support and Mac OS X

The issue with graphics cards in OS X is that there are what is called a "Reference Design" which is based on what ATI/AMD or NVIDIA provides to manufactures for a baseline hardware design. Then there is what cards manufacturers ship, either a "Reference Design" or their own unique spin on that hardware. They do this unique spin to set their card part from the "Reference Design" cards. That is fine in Windows, but can create problems in OS X. Apple typically uses a "Reference Design" or very close to one in their graphics cards.

So where am I going with this. Apple ships and supports a limited set of ATI/AMD "Reference Design" cards in OS X, they do not provide support for all models or any major variations from the "Reference Design". The reason being that the ATI/AMD architecture requires specific model driver support. For example in 10.6 Apple only supports some 46xx and 48xx cards, there is no OOB support for the 45xx cards. So that is why you see patches and/or modifications for Apple's drivers to support some of these other cards.

The ATI/AMD 5xxx cards are finally easier to install. This has more to do with the GraphicsEnabler technology used within Hackintoshing, Kabyl's boot loader and ATY_Init. Even then you are limited to what cards are supported Out Of BOX (OOB) by Apple. For example the following are the only desktop ATI 5xxx cards Apple supports OOB:

ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series:        Device ID 0x6898
ATI Radeon HD 5800 Series:        Device ID 0x6899
ATI Radeon HD 5700 Series:        Device ID 0x68B8
ATI Radeon HD 5600 Series:        Device ID 0x68D8
ATI Radeon HD 5500 Series:        Device ID 0x68D9

If your card's device id is not in this list, then you need to add your device ID to ATI5000Controller.kext and possibly ATIRadeonX3000.kext. This is great workaround but will be needed to be done after each and any Apple software update that touches the ATI drivers. Ouch.

NVIDIA cards use a different architecture and allows for a more generic driver than can support more models and variations. The new 4xx cards are based on a new architecture nicknamed "Fermi" and require new drivers.  Check out this article on Tony's blog for our solutions for NVIDIA 4xx cards.

So until Apple ships support for more cards or allows AMD and NVIDIA to ship generic drivers, graphics card support is a challenge.