Current status: SUCCESS! (see update Feb 20 below)

Yes ladies and gents, I’m talking about the venerable “Dell XPS 8500“.

Bought it back in ’13 because of that very article. My particular config a 3rd gen Core i7 (3770), 0NW73C motherboard, 8GB of DDR3-1600 (since then upgraded to 16GB) and a GT640 video card.

I ran Sierra and High Sierra on it for a while, but for the last 2-3 years I only had Windows and Deepin installed. I wanted to put OS X on it once more but was waiting for a proper NVIDIA web driver (it was running a 1050ti), but alas Apple and NVIDIA couldn’t come to an agreement.

So last week I decided to swap out my Gigabyte 1050ti 4GB for a Gigabyte Aorus RX580 8GB (I’m lucky the Green cards hold their values better than Red’s) in hope of better compatibility. However I’m still having troubles getting even the installer to work.

Things I tried:

• Making a vanilla Catalina installer with latest Clover (using this guide)

  Result: got to the Apple logo with progress bar, but as soon as the progress fills up I got a blank black screen.

• Making a premade Mojave installer with TonyMac UniBeast Mojave

  Result: still got a blank screen but if I wait for it to go to sleep and wake it, I can get to the installer screen with Disk Utility + Install Mojave etc., but clicking on any of the entries will hang the computer.

Update Jan 30/2020:

Managed to get Catalina installed using the vanilla install method (with Clover). However this was done with the integrated graphic. Also, WiFi, Bluetooth and Audio aren’t working yet so I need to tinker with it some more when I have the time.

Update Feb 03/2020: SUCCESS!

So everything works now, apart from the Wifi/Bluetooth card (Dell DW1703, which is actually an Atheros AR9485 in disguise)I could easily grab a Broadcom card to replace it, but it’s not worth it for me since I could only get them from Aliexpress and they take months to reach where I live (Vietnam). Plus I have no real need for Wifi/BT on a desktop anyway.

Audio did take a wee bit of work, I had to go into System Preferences to get the icon to show up, and change the layout to 11 in config.plist. But after that it just works beautifully.

So, to recap. Here’s all the steps that I did:

  1. Download Catalina from the App Store
  2. Put it on a 16GB flash drive by using the /CreateInstallMedia command in the terminal
  3. Install Clover 5103 on the flash drive (and copy some essential kexts while you’re at it, I only had Lilu, WhateverGreen, AppleALC, VirtualSMC)
  4. Pop the flash drive into my XPS 8500 and boot from it (Legacy mode)
  5. On the first screen, fire up Disk Utility and format the 512GB SSD with APFS
  6. Install Catalina to the newly formatted drive, then restart with the flash drive still connected
  7. Upon restart, boot into Clover on the flash drive, and choose to boot from the SSD instead of the installation media, you should be able to get into a fully working version of Catalina running on your computer at this point, albeit the drive is not bootable on its own yet.
  8. Install Clover into the SSD.

That’s it, that’s as vanilla as it can be for a Clover installation. If everything goes well you should now have a fully functional XPS 8500 hackintosh!

Update Feb 10, 2020: Successfully added Gigabyte Aorus RX580 8GB to the installation! (Need to disable Legacy OPROM in boot option otherwise you will get a blank screen)

I will create another post soon with more details


Update Apr 01, 2020:

Just updated to 10.15.4 without any issue. Which is actually a pretty impressive feat considering that this upgrade broke some users’ Hackintoshes (especially for AMD Users and Intel Skylake and above users)