ProjectQ, the $799 Mac Pro replacement

The Hackintosh is a rare species of Mac endangered by Steve Jobs and only seen in the wild every decade or so. Here's the details on how to get a cheap, fast Mac – from a vendor outside of Cupertino.
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor

[Update: A Kickstarter project has been launched to take orders.]

In early February, I wrote about projectQ, a new motherboard that could be the computer to end all computers. It's the first motherboard (and computer) that promises to let you boot any operating system that you like (including OS X).

Picture of a red Quo tower, capable of booting OS X.
Image: Jason O'Grady

Quo Computer told me that the first of its long-awaited projectQ motherboard will be available to order tomorrow beginning at 12 noon PT.

The Z77MX-QUO-AOS motherboard will run any operating system you choose (including OS X) and the hardware specs are impressive.

The motherboard is based on the Intel Z77 platform and supports most Macintosh features including Ethernet, Thunderbolt, Ivy Bridge, CPU, and GPU out of the box. The AOS (ie "any OS") motherboard includes an impressive array of ports, including:

  • FireWire 400 and 800

  • Thunderbolt

  • DVI

  • HDMI

  • USB 3.0 and USB 2.0

According to Quo, a complete tower computer will start at $799, packing a lot more bang for your buck than you'll get from a Mac mini. Here are a few things that the AOS has over a Mac mini:

  • 3-monitor capable (without adapters)

  • 8GB of RAM (upgradeable to 32GB)

  • 1TB hard drive

  • Optical drive

  • Desktop processor (the Mac mini is mobile processor)

  • Quad core running 3.5 (stock can be overclocked)

Heck, the AOS might be the Mac Pro upgrade many have been waiting for, especially when you consider its expandability:

  • You can add a video card

  • You can add more drives

  • You can liquid cool it

  • You can overclock the CPU

  • You can upgrade the CPU.

For more details, read my post from February, follow myQuo on Twitter, and look for a Kickstarter project on this page on Monday, March 4, beginning at 12 noon ET.

I can't wait to get my mitts on one.

Update 1: I hear that Kickstarter pricing will be $219 (including US shipping) for the first 100 backers, then $239 after that. Retail will be $249. The first units are supposed to ship in May.

Update 2: The press release is out.

Update 3: The Kickstarter project is now live.

Update 4: The KS project has been updated with a new pledge level called "THE NEW COLLECTOR" which costs you $869 (which is $799, plus shipping). Back the project already!

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