Easily change your Mac’s CPU type

It’s time to put an end to those “OS X running on normal X86 machine” videos and pictures … with a bit of work, you can upgrade your CPU, as seen in the About this Mac box, to whatever you want:

Start TextEdit and open /System -> Library -> CoreServices -> loginwindow.app -> Contents -> Resources -> English.lproj -> AboutThisMac.strings. Navigate to the bottom of the document; for single CPU machines, find this string:
For multiple CPU machines, find this:
Change the %@ to whatever you want your new CPU to be, like, say “Pentium 133mhz w/ MathBug Technology.” You can also patch up the About window to look more like the real OSx86 version, by opening the AboutThisMac.nib in the same folder (Developer Tools required). This was tested in Panther and Tiger, and works in both. Also good to appear cool with your “overclocked” 3.5GHz G5!

[robg adds: Yea, this is a completely whimsical hint of no practical value … but that doesn’t mean it’s not fun and worth sharing. To edit the above-referenced file, you’ll need root privileges (changes take effect immediately on save, which is nice). I found it easiest to just use the Terminal and sudo vi. There’s a character limit, too — I originally tried “Quad 4 GHz PowerPC Dual Core G5,” but the “G5” bit got cut off. As always, make a backup first (or just remember the %@ bit you took out) in case you want to go back to the default setting. Maybe it’s just me, but my PowerBook certainly feels faster now that it’s got those four 4GHz dual-core G5s in it! :)]


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