Intel Core i3/i5 Dual-Core Processors and Mac OS X

EDIT: As of the release of Apple's new MacBook Pros, i3/i5/i7 notebook processors are supported!  Just use the new 10.3.1 Darwin Vanilla kernel.  It's available through the MacBook Pro Software Update.  Check out this thread for details on installation.

Intel's new Dual-Core Core i3 and Core i5 processors are currently (as of 10.6.2) not supported natively by Mac OS X. Furthermore, recent looks into the 10.6.3 developer build don't reveal any future support. This includes the following dual-core desktop and mobile processors:

Core i3-530
Core i3-540
Core i5-650
Core i5-660
Core i5-661
Core i5-670
Core i3-330M
Core i3-350M
Core i5-520UM
Core i5-430M
Core i5-520M
Core i5-520E
Core i5-540M

If you own one of these processors, and would like to try to install Mac OS X, you can try my Boot CD Method with the default tonymacx86-P55BootCD. It has the Qoopz 10.0.0 kernel which is patched to run on unsupported processors. Issue this command at the Chameleon prompt:


If you don't type this command, your computer may instantly reboot. Also, when you update to 10.6.2, you'll have to use a patched kernel.

  1. Download the Mac OS X 10.6.2 Combo Update here:
  3. Download MultiBeast
  4. Mount MacOSXUpdCombo10.6.2.dmg
  5. Install MacOSXUpdCombo10.6.2.pkg
  7. Run EasyBeast 10.6.2 Unsupported to install the patched mach_kernel.
  8. Reboot.
As of now the only Core i-series Intel processors that Apple has used in a Mac are the quad-core Core i5 750 and Core i7 860. Therefore these are the only ones that are supported natively by Mac OS X, and can therefore run the 10.6.2 Vanilla (default) kernel. Of course, Apple may release new Macs that run these processors, and at that point, they'll be supported.

EDIT: Here's a table of all of the actual bus/core ratios for every Intel Core i processor:

If you have had any success or failures using these new processors, be sure to let me know. Good luck!
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