Choose the best model number on your Hackintosh for correct power management


Choosing the model number for your Hackintosh setup is not a cosmetic reason, not the only reason at least. In fact the model number it’s a crucial parameter which “tells” to the operative system what type of computer you’re using. On a regular PC, with Windows or Linux installed, this is done automatically for the user during the OS installation based on a few conditions like: “Is this a Desktop or Laptop computer?”, “Which CPU and GPU model it has?”, “Is the GPU integrated or not?”.
The same thing happens on a real Mac computer but the only difference is the fact that when OS X is being installed instead of “asking questions” it simply reads the answers which are contained in the EFI portion of the Mac, and, since there are only a few fixed types of Macs [iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and Mac Mini], this is a simpler process compared to ordinary PCs.

While this is a straight-forward process for a real Mac it can be a problem for Hackintoshes since there are not fixed types of computers and anyone can built it’s own setup with different components like a normal PC. Another problem is that OS X’s power management is completely based on the model number parameter and, as you can easily understand, if it is wrong it will be wrong too.

So, how can we fix this problem? By using the SMBios.plist file.

This file, contained in your Extra folder, holds many informations about your system such as its serial number, BIOS version and the one we’re looking for: the model number.

Note: The SMBios.plist is a really [really!] important file and you cannot simply change it without knowing what you’re doing. Remember that the system uses this file to initiate and pass data to system kexts as needed.

To edit the SMBios.plist we will need Chameleon Wizard, download the latest version available here, install it by dragging it to your Application folder and then open it. Once Chameleon Wizard is launched click on the SMBios tab and then click on Edit

Chameleon_Wizard_SMBiosNext, select you model number from the drop down menu according to your hardware specifications


You could ask: “Which model number should I choose?”, answer: the one with the most similarities with your build with CPU at the highest priority. For example if you have a Haswell CPU choose a model with Haswell CPU [desktop or laptop depending on your system], if you have Ivy Bridge select a Ivy Bridge model an so on.

In my case I have an Intel Core i5 4570S and I have chosen the iMac 14,2 model number since it has the same CPU [as you can see here] so power management will work perfectly.

If you can’t find any model number similar enough you can try using MacPro 3,1, it’s the most flexible model number and it can work sometime with unsupported hardware.

Remember: Chose your model number based on your CPU, if you need help with Mac models you can use the Apple official tech specs, or Wikipedia

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