The Perfect Hackintosh Mac Pro

When Apple announced the new Retina MacBook Pro I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Thin, light and powerful plus there’s that amazing “Retina” screen. What more could someone ask for at $2,799?

Apple Retina MacBook ProWell in my case, I ask for twice the RAM (16GB) for an additional $200. Then there’s the processor which is fabulous at 2.6GHz but I’d always wonder how much faster my video would render with that extra 100MHz so another $250. The stock hard drive is a hefty 512GB SSD, which was enough for me since once my video/photo is edited, it all goes back onto my Drobo. Since it is 100% non-user repairable, I have to add AppleCare, $350.

The total, after tax, is now $3,911.83. Luckily I have a situation where I can get it for about $700-1,000 less, especially if I drop the CPU to 2.6GHz. That’s still a lot of cash and in the end, is the Retina MacBook Pro the best option?

As a photographer and videographer who travels as much as I do, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to justify this beautiful machine. Currently I’m running my life through either a three-year old MacBook Pro or a three-year old 24″ iMac. When I got these computers they were absolutely top-of-the-line. These days, however, editing 1080p video is a chore. Exporting a just a three minute HD video takes hours in Compressor. This is no good. Additionally the AppleCare has expired on both machines and my MacBook Pro keeps getting kernel panics. Clearly it’s time to look at upgrading machines.

Hackintosh logoAround the same time Apple announced their new MacBook Pro, I stumbled upon this great article from Lifehacker explaining how building a  Hackintosh might be a wise move.

A hackintosh is a computer that can run Apple’s OS but isn’t built by Apple. For a long time, doing this was not an easy task. However, thanks to tonymacx86, things are much easier.

In the Lifehacker article, they outlined three levels of an Apple Mac Pro Hackintosh clones at three price and performance levels. Below is the list of components I adopted from their high-end performance machine. Through some tiny changes and creative shopping I managed to drop the price another $400. The total cost for my machine would be $1,611. That’s $6,088 less than Apple’s.

Function

Brand

Model

Price

Case Cooler Master RC-692-KKN2 $90
Power Supply Corsair Professional Series 650 Watt $120
Motherboard Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H $183
Processor Intel Core i7 3770K 3.5GHz $320
CPU Fan Thermaltake Frio Over-clocking CPU Heat-sink $52
Video Card EVGA GeForce GTX 570 HD 2560MB $320
RAM Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 1600MHz 2×8 $101
Hard drive Western Digital 2TB Caviar Black 7200 RPM $163
Hard drive OCZ Vertex 4 256GB SSD $210
Optical drive Sony Optiarc 24x DVD-RW SATA $22
Firewire SYBA FireWire 400/800 $28
Total $1,609

*Price above are updated as I check them, other prices in post will vary

With an investment that is roughly half that of the Retina MacBook Pro, I could have a computer that has approximately twice the performance. No, my Hackintosh will not be portable. It’s really meant to replace my aging iMac. With a computer as powerful as this Hackintosh, I could likely get away with either keeping my current MacBook Pro. Later I could pick up a base model MacBook Air for around $1,000 for use while traveling.

When I posted this idea on Twitter I immediately got hit with one of two responses. They were essentially variations of the following:

  • Yes! I’m going to do the same thing! / Yes! I did the same thing and I love it!
  • No! You will regret it, it will be so unstable and slow!

I did a lot of research in regards to the parts above and supposedly, if you follow tonymacx86’s guides with hardware selection (I did) and it’s put together in the right order (I will) you’re pretty much guaranteed a flawless system that is ready for Mountain Lion.

Considering the cost/performance ratio, it seems like a no-brainer. I can even up the RAM to 32GB for only $300 more and (according to Geekbench scores) get a pretty significant performance boost.Done

So what do you think? Should I build my own Hackintosh and save a ton of money, even if I add on a MacBook Air to replace my ailing MacBook Pro? Or should I just bite the bullet and buy the new Retina MacBook Pro? I’m torn.

If you think I should build my own computer, do you have any component suggestions that would improve on my system above? The one thing that is missing that I can think of is Thunderbolt. However, from what I read the Ivy Bridge processor and motherboard I’ve selected should have Thunderbolt PCI add-on in the not too distant future. Nope, that won’t be happening. The motherboard would need to support it from the ground up.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, the closest to this Hackintosh in the form of an iMac will cost $3,349. Of course it also comes with that fabulous 27″ screen. I currently have a spare 24″ IPS monitor that I’d put with this Hackintosh. With the money I’d save, I could easily add one of Apple’s displays.

UPDATE 1: The components keep getting cheaper, the case has dropped by $25 in the last 48 hours. At the rate that SSD and RAM prices have been dropping recently, this computer might be $100-200 cheaper by the time I make it, if I go this route.

UPDATE 2: A helpful user from the tonymacx86 forums recommended the Sony Optiarc optical drive, apparently the other might have an issue with allowing the computer to go to sleep. He also suggested I do 2×8 GB RAM so if I want to beef it up to 32 GB later, I wouldn’t have to totally re-buy my RAM. All in all, this brought the total up $21 but a little extra future-proofing (and issue resolving) is well worth it. The CPU heat-sink adds $39, can’t believe I forgot it!

He also corrected me that there is no way to add Thunderbolt to this, or almost any, motherboard. It has to support it natively or has to have been designed from the get-go for the add-on.

UPDATE 3: Another forum member suggested the smart decision to significantly increase processing power for only $29 more. I also went from the more expensive and nominally more powerful Dominator RAM back to Vengeance saving $65 so the new, super powerful video card costs me nothing more! Some how it is now cheaper than ever.

UPDATE 4: (Oct 14,2012) Updated prices, priced dropped by $103.

175 thoughts on “The Perfect Hackintosh Mac Pro

  1. @justex07 The retina is half-baked and totally unacceptable as a pro machine not being user-serviceable or able to exceed 8GB.

  2. @justex07 The retina is half-baked and totally unacceptable as a pro machine not being user-serviceable or able to exceed 8GB.

  3. @marcslove the no user-serviceable part makes sense to me though, considering the technological limitations for that design and specs.

  4. @marcslove the no user-serviceable part makes sense to me though, considering the technological limitations for that design and specs.

  5. @marcslove but you can get more than 8GB of RAM. It maxes out at 16GB which I feel is pretty acceptable for most pros anyways.

  6. @marcslove but you can get more than 8GB of RAM. It maxes out at 16GB which I feel is pretty acceptable for most pros anyways.

  7. @justex07 I’m debating between a 13 in, souped-up Air or a lower power 15in non-retina, hi-res Pro to hold me over til the Retina’s baked.

  8. @justex07 I’m debating between a 13 in, souped-up Air or a lower power 15in non-retina, hi-res Pro to hold me over til the Retina’s baked.

  9. @marcslove as far as building a Hackintosh, do you think it’s a wise idea or am I getting myself into a hornet’s nest? haha

  10. @marcslove as far as building a Hackintosh, do you think it’s a wise idea or am I getting myself into a hornet’s nest? haha

  11. @marcslove as a main machine, I don’t think the Air’s power or screen would work for me and video/photo editing unfortunately.

  12. @marcslove as a main machine, I don’t think the Air’s power or screen would work for me and video/photo editing unfortunately.

  13. @justex07 to me a Hackintosh makes no sense. Half of what makes Apple, Apple is its beautiful hardware & seamless experience w/its software.

  14. @justex07 to me a Hackintosh makes no sense. Half of what makes Apple, Apple is its beautiful hardware & seamless experience w/its software.

  15. @justex07 I think the Retina is pricey too…it’s wise to wait a cycle for Apple to lower the price/work out the bugs. I’m waiting/saving.

  16. @justex07 I think the Retina is pricey too…it’s wise to wait a cycle for Apple to lower the price/work out the bugs. I’m waiting/saving.

  17. @justex07 no, an Air would be unacceptable vs. Pro for photo & video. Those are processor-intensive which can utilize all 4 cores of the Pro

  18. @justex07 no, an Air would be unacceptable vs. Pro for photo & video. Those are processor-intensive which can utilize all 4 cores of the Pro

  19. @marcslove yeah, it’s why I fly to Florida so often. I do shoots and have to edit while on the road to get on the web sometimes same day.

  20. @marcslove yeah, it’s why I fly to Florida so often. I do shoots and have to edit while on the road to get on the web sometimes same day.

  21. @marcslove yeah and now that CS6 actually can use all the RAM and 64bit processing, it’s even more reason against going the Air route :-

  22. @marcslove yeah and now that CS6 actually can use all the RAM and 64bit processing, it’s even more reason against going the Air route :-

  23. @nickmcclellan Thing is, I need a solution now haha. My MacBook Pro and iMac are both not cutting it right now, especially the later. Ugh.

  24. @nickmcclellan Thing is, I need a solution now haha. My MacBook Pro and iMac are both not cutting it right now, especially the later. Ugh.

  25. @justex07 that’s why I’m thinking of going Air. I dont do much video & audio editing. So much lighter. Only hesitation is the smaller screen

  26. @justex07 that’s why I’m thinking of going Air. I dont do much video & audio editing. So much lighter. Only hesitation is the smaller screen

  27. @marcslove probably great though for you, you get the same 1440×900 resolution on the 13″ air as the 15″ MBP.

  28. @marcslove probably great though for you, you get the same 1440×900 resolution on the 13″ air as the 15″ MBP.

  29. @justex07 Good point. I’m working on a nearly 4-year-old MBP that’s survived a bike accident, so I definitely get the urge to buy big time.

  30. @justex07 Good point. I’m working on a nearly 4-year-old MBP that’s survived a bike accident, so I definitely get the urge to buy big time.

  31. @nickmcclellan mine is 3 yrs old but has a new logic board, ram, battery, power supply and still gets kernel panics 🙁

  32. @nickmcclellan mine is 3 yrs old but has a new logic board, ram, battery, power supply and still gets kernel panics 🙁

  33. @justex07 Yea, but it means smaller text, which, with long-term use, means increased eye strain.

  34. @justex07 Yea, but it means smaller text, which, with long-term use, means increased eye strain.

  35. @justex07 I read that post. Sorry about the arthritis. You’re way to young to have to deal with that.

  36. @justex07 I read that post. Sorry about the arthritis. You’re way to young to have to deal with that.

  37. @justex07 If I get the Air, I *have* to buy a Thunderbolt Display for home.

  38. @justex07 If I get the Air, I *have* to buy a Thunderbolt Display for home.

  39. @uberscholar I agree haha. I started programming in elementary school and was instantly a computer addict. Guess it’s catching up with me.

  40. @uberscholar I agree haha. I started programming in elementary school and was instantly a computer addict. Guess it’s catching up with me.

  41. @marcslove haha but that’s $1k! I mean it’s stunning and more than just a monitor and it’s Apple but… (not overpriced though actually)

  42. @marcslove haha but that’s $1k! I mean it’s stunning and more than just a monitor and it’s Apple but… (not overpriced though actually)

  43. @justex07 But it’s not Thunderbolt! *struggles to come up with other justifications why it has to be an Apple Display*

  44. @justex07 But it’s not Thunderbolt! *struggles to come up with other justifications why it has to be an Apple Display*

  45. @justex07 I read that on my phone and didn’t realize it was you writing it until halfway through, lol! And that doesn’t seem like a bad idea

  46. @justex07 I read that on my phone and didn’t realize it was you writing it until halfway through, lol! And that doesn’t seem like a bad idea

  47. @oskrNYC didn’t realize I wrote it for any particular reason? haha Yeah, seems like a smart thing to do, as long as I have my parts in order

  48. @oskrNYC didn’t realize I wrote it for any particular reason? haha Yeah, seems like a smart thing to do, as long as I have my parts in order

  49. @justex07 because I’m used to seeing your site on the computer and your banner didn’t show up on the phone! Haha

  50. @justex07 because I’m used to seeing your site on the computer and your banner didn’t show up on the phone! Haha

  51. @justex07 oh not at all! On the contrary, I was very impressed with the quality of the writing. 🙂

  52. @justex07 oh not at all! On the contrary, I was very impressed with the quality of the writing. 🙂

  53. As I mentioned on Facebook, I would love to know how this works out for you. I have an old (2007) Mac Pro – still good to go for Mountain Lion but it’s getting up there in age. Need to replace it at some point probably.
     
    (Side note: If you do go for an actual Apple Display make sure you have Thunderbolt in your new machine – but you’d save money getting a 27″ Vizio display since you’re truly hackintoshing this thing!)

  54. As I mentioned on Facebook, I would love to know how this works out for you. I have an old (2007) Mac Pro – still good to go for Mountain Lion but it’s getting up there in age. Need to replace it at some point probably.
     
    (Side note: If you do go for an actual Apple Display make sure you have Thunderbolt in your new machine – but you’d save money getting a 27″ Vizio display since you’re truly hackintoshing this thing!)

  55. @oskrNYC thanks 🙂 of I build it, I’m going to see about lighting a panel with it on the case exterior!

  56. @oskrNYC thanks 🙂 of I build it, I’m going to see about lighting a panel with it on the case exterior!

  57.  @richmackey I am leaning more and more for building this computer.
     
    Meanwhile, in regards to a screen, the Thunderbolt monitor isn’t as over-priced as a lot of people like to think. The next best thing that has adequate resolution (2560 X 1440) is probably the Samsung S27B970D which is $200 less but lacks the Thunderbolt input, Firewire 800 output, 3 USB outputs, Ethernet jack and Thunderbolt passthrough. Those features alone are worth the extra $200, but that’s only if I can get Thunderbolt. Plus the images on it are incredible and it’s soooo pretty 😀
     
    So far there isn’t a Thunderbolt add-on for the MacPro, much less this hackintosh. But rumor has it that Ivy Bridge natively supports it and it will soon be available, price yet to be determined. Meanwhile I could live with a single 24″ monitor at 1920×1200, which I’d rather have than a cheap 27″ monitor at 1920×1080. 
     
    I’ll probably deal with one monitor until they come out with the PCI add-on and I have the extra cash to get the Thunderbolt display, plus I want to wait for the Thunderbolt display that has USB 3.0 instead of 2.0, should happen within the year (in my dreams).

  58.  @richmackey I am leaning more and more for building this computer.
     
    Meanwhile, in regards to a screen, the Thunderbolt monitor isn’t as over-priced as a lot of people like to think. The next best thing that has adequate resolution (2560 X 1440) is probably the Samsung S27B970D which is $200 less but lacks the Thunderbolt input, Firewire 800 output, 3 USB outputs, Ethernet jack and Thunderbolt passthrough. Those features alone are worth the extra $200, but that’s only if I can get Thunderbolt. Plus the images on it are incredible and it’s soooo pretty 😀
     
    So far there isn’t a Thunderbolt add-on for the MacPro, much less this hackintosh. But rumor has it that Ivy Bridge natively supports it and it will soon be available, price yet to be determined. Meanwhile I could live with a single 24″ monitor at 1920×1200, which I’d rather have than a cheap 27″ monitor at 1920×1080. 
     
    I’ll probably deal with one monitor until they come out with the PCI add-on and I have the extra cash to get the Thunderbolt display, plus I want to wait for the Thunderbolt display that has USB 3.0 instead of 2.0, should happen within the year (in my dreams).

  59. I would be fascinated to see this project happen!  I can’t really give a vote for or against since I’ve never done something like this and therefore can’t really comment on its feasibility but would love to see how this works out for you if you do.

  60. I would be fascinated to see this project happen!  I can’t really give a vote for or against since I’ve never done something like this and therefore can’t really comment on its feasibility but would love to see how this works out for you if you do.

  61.  @Iron_Fist it is definitely an investment and a risk (it could not even boot or be unstable) but if it works, wow, what a machine! The Geekbench score was estimated at around ~22,000 where the fastest Retina MacBook Pro is ~13,000. Meanwhile my current MacBook Pro and iMac score 3200-3600. Laughably lower than this machine!
     
    If all else fails, I could always turn this into a killer PC machine and sell it to make up some of the difference. Perhaps Amazon has a 30 day return policy for all of the parts?… haha wishful thinking.

  62.  @Iron_Fist it is definitely an investment and a risk (it could not even boot or be unstable) but if it works, wow, what a machine! The Geekbench score was estimated at around ~22,000 where the fastest Retina MacBook Pro is ~13,000. Meanwhile my current MacBook Pro and iMac score 3200-3600. Laughably lower than this machine!
     
    If all else fails, I could always turn this into a killer PC machine and sell it to make up some of the difference. Perhaps Amazon has a 30 day return policy for all of the parts?… haha wishful thinking.

  63.  @richmackey Ok, according to someone who knows more than I do from the tonymacx86  forums, Thunderbolt will NOT be coming via PCI. Apparently the motherboard has to have native support for it ahead of time and currently it looks like only two models of ASUS mobos have it. Even still you have to link it to your graphics card to use the Thunderbolt display port. Kinda wonky. http://itsjust.in/LBamw3
     
    Even still, I can probably live without Thunderbolt, just would have to get a different monitor, perhaps the older 27″ monitor or just go with the cheaper Samsung I posted earlier.

  64.  @richmackey Ok, according to someone who knows more than I do from the tonymacx86  forums, Thunderbolt will NOT be coming via PCI. Apparently the motherboard has to have native support for it ahead of time and currently it looks like only two models of ASUS mobos have it. Even still you have to link it to your graphics card to use the Thunderbolt display port. Kinda wonky. http://itsjust.in/LBamw3
     
    Even still, I can probably live without Thunderbolt, just would have to get a different monitor, perhaps the older 27″ monitor or just go with the cheaper Samsung I posted earlier.

  65. @justex07 Hmm. I think it would be an interesting project, but I’d be hesitant to use it as my main computer w/ issues around OS updates.

  66. @justex07 Hmm. I think it would be an interesting project, but I’d be hesitant to use it as my main computer w/ issues around OS updates.

  67. @justex07 But, I last looked into it a couple years ago…things may be more “stable” now.

  68. @justex07 But, I last looked into it a couple years ago…things may be more “stable” now.

  69. @rzhale from what I’ve been reading, as long as you follow @tonymacx86’s guides, you’ll have a pretty solid system. Fingers are crossed…

  70. @rzhale from what I’ve been reading, as long as you follow @tonymacx86’s guides, you’ll have a pretty solid system. Fingers are crossed…

  71. @rzhale I mean, I’d love to get the Retina MBP but I’m weary of all the $. Meanwhile new iMac’s won’t arrive for quite a while I think.

  72. @rzhale I mean, I’d love to get the Retina MBP but I’m weary of all the $. Meanwhile new iMac’s won’t arrive for quite a while I think.

  73. @rzhale I was hearing 2013 which would be way too long. Still, that 27″ screen is breathtaking.

  74. @rzhale I was hearing 2013 which would be way too long. Still, that 27″ screen is breathtaking.

  75. @justex07 I can’t wait to check that out. I’m in the process of moving and using this time for minimal tech use.

  76. @justex07 I can’t wait to check that out. I’m in the process of moving and using this time for minimal tech use.

  77. @perrysalyer I might be getting the price down another $40 for an even faster system. By the time I’m done, it’ll be free 😀

  78. @perrysalyer I might be getting the price down another $40 for an even faster system. By the time I’m done, it’ll be free 😀

  79. @justex07 use lake walk to build your hackentosh. It makes upgrades much easier.

  80. @justex07 use lake walk to build your hackentosh. It makes upgrades much easier.

  81. @kellanjacobs do tell me more about this lake walk, or is it Kakewalk? Is @MrJanek really better than @tonymacx86?

  82. @kellanjacobs do tell me more about this lake walk, or is it Kakewalk? Is @MrJanek really better than @tonymacx86?

  83. @justex07 kakewalk is a hackentosh where they keep drivers up to date for a specific set of hardware. No worries about OS updates.

  84. @justex07 kakewalk is a hackentosh where they keep drivers up to date for a specific set of hardware. No worries about OS updates.

  85. @kellanjacobs thanks, definitely giving that a look! It rang a bell when you mentioned it.

  86. @kellanjacobs thanks, definitely giving that a look! It rang a bell when you mentioned it.

  87. @justex07 @tonymacx86 New motherboard on its way, Thunderbolt, Firewire, Intel LAN USB 3/2

  88. @justex07 @tonymacx86 New motherboard on its way, Thunderbolt, Firewire, Intel LAN USB 3/2

  89. @myQUO @tonymacx86 I wonder how long, at what cost and when will the hacks be stable enough on the mobo. Not sure I can wait months :-/

  90. @myQUO @tonymacx86 I wonder how long, at what cost and when will the hacks be stable enough on the mobo. Not sure I can wait months :-/

  91. @justex07 @tonymacx86 Good questions. It won’t be very long. Price 2b announced soon. What ever you get just get Ivy then you can change mb.

  92. @justex07 @tonymacx86 Good questions. It won’t be very long. Price 2b announced soon. What ever you get just get Ivy then you can change mb.

  93. @myQUO awesome, that was sort of my plan. Did you check out the build I’ve put together? Any thoughts from a pro like you? 😀 Thanks!

  94. @myQUO awesome, that was sort of my plan. Did you check out the build I’ve put together? Any thoughts from a pro like you? 😀 Thanks!

  95. @justex07 Good drives, I would get rid of the SSD and get a raid card, specially since you are doing video.

  96. @justex07 Good drives, I would get rid of the SSD and get a raid card, specially since you are doing video.

  97. @myQUO I could be wrong, but wouldn’t that increase the cost by hundreds? MIght be out of my budget. My video is 1080p but not RED footage.

  98. @myQUO I could be wrong, but wouldn’t that increase the cost by hundreds? MIght be out of my budget. My video is 1080p but not RED footage.

  99. @justex07 SSD will make your system boot a bit faster and open your apps faster. you can get raid cards from 250 and up.

  100. @justex07 SSD will make your system boot a bit faster and open your apps faster. you can get raid cards from 250 and up.

  101. @myQUO Perhaps then I’ll add a RAID card and another 256GB SSD after I recoup some of the costs for the machine, 2x speed would be great.

  102. @myQUO Perhaps then I’ll add a RAID card and another 256GB SSD after I recoup some of the costs for the machine, 2x speed would be great.

  103. @justex07 I want to see this machine. When will it be completed? Also, noticed you went WD on HD for your Hack. You prefer WD over others?

  104. @justex07 I want to see this machine. When will it be completed? Also, noticed you went WD on HD for your Hack. You prefer WD over others?

  105. @Brothanogood maybe by mid-july? Went with WD because this is a high performance drive and because it’s cheaper + 5 year warranty vs 3 year.

  106. @Brothanogood maybe by mid-july? Went with WD because this is a high performance drive and because it’s cheaper + 5 year warranty vs 3 year.

  107. @Brothanogood oh yeah and I had three DOA 2TB Seagate drives about two years ago so bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure they are fine now.

  108. @Brothanogood oh yeah and I had three DOA 2TB Seagate drives about two years ago so bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure they are fine now.

  109. @justex07 Yeah, my Seagate had a corrupt file last year. I lost everything. Reformatted and it’s fine. This is why I want a backup HD.

  110. @justex07 Yeah, my Seagate had a corrupt file last year. I lost everything. Reformatted and it’s fine. This is why I want a backup HD.

  111.  @reddy2go As of June 12, the Intel HD 4000 graphics card, found in the Vizio Thin and Light computer line, is not compatible with the tonymacx86 Hackintosh installation. It might still work, just not officially supported by MultiBeast. Check their forums.
     
    Meanwhile, the price difference between the Vizio and Apple hardware isn’t big enough to make it worth the effort. You’re talking only a hundred to maybe three hundred dollars different, as I recall. Plus the Apple computer is made by Apple who is known for incredible quality. Meanwhile Vizio is new to the computer business and has reliability record for this sort of hardware.

  112.  @reddy2go As of June 12, the Intel HD 4000 graphics card, found in the Vizio Thin and Light computer line, is not compatible with the tonymacx86 Hackintosh installation. It might still work, just not officially supported by MultiBeast. Check their forums.
     
    Meanwhile, the price difference between the Vizio and Apple hardware isn’t big enough to make it worth the effort. You’re talking only a hundred to maybe three hundred dollars different, as I recall. Plus the Apple computer is made by Apple who is known for incredible quality. Meanwhile Vizio is new to the computer business and has reliability record for this sort of hardware.

  113.  @justex07 Thanks for the reply. Makes a lot of sense indeed. I’m rather happy with my 2 year old MBP which I have given a new lease of life with more RAM, an SSD and a HDD in lieu of the superdrive. Nonetheless, I’m considering one of HP’s notebooks which are known to be hackintosh friendly. However I just can’t imagine life without a backlit keyboard. That is the one Apple killer feature I can’t live without 🙂

  114.  @justex07 Thanks for the reply. Makes a lot of sense indeed. I’m rather happy with my 2 year old MBP which I have given a new lease of life with more RAM, an SSD and a HDD in lieu of the superdrive. Nonetheless, I’m considering one of HP’s notebooks which are known to be hackintosh friendly. However I just can’t imagine life without a backlit keyboard. That is the one Apple killer feature I can’t live without 🙂

  115. I’ve built a Hackintosh before. It was not very stable because I didn’t have the precisely compatible hardware. I had to chose between being able to sleep the computer or using the GPU. This was using a Dell M1530 laptop. The trackpad didn’t work well and I had no ethernet, but again, incompatible proprietary hardware. I think this is a great idea! I’m sure things are a lot easier now. I’m curious and would like to do the same thing.
     
    I bought a cheap PC to use as my home server last year. It was $500, and even though it has a decent CPU, the motherboard sucks and it’s laggy as hell. I should have spent more and done something like this, but I was lazy.

  116. I’ve built a Hackintosh before. It was not very stable because I didn’t have the precisely compatible hardware. I had to chose between being able to sleep the computer or using the GPU. This was using a Dell M1530 laptop. The trackpad didn’t work well and I had no ethernet, but again, incompatible proprietary hardware. I think this is a great idea! I’m sure things are a lot easier now. I’m curious and would like to do the same thing.
     
    I bought a cheap PC to use as my home server last year. It was $500, and even though it has a decent CPU, the motherboard sucks and it’s laggy as hell. I should have spent more and done something like this, but I was lazy.

  117.  @motoridersd Yeah the sleep issue seems to be one that comes up a lot. I’ve done a lot of research on this machine so I feel pretty confident that it will be stable. Once I get it all going, I’ll definitely lt you all know what I discover along the way. I’m hoping this will allow me to have a system I can upgrade at my discretion and keep for a very long time. Being able to upgrade things component by component is a huge benefit that only PC users, or to some degree rich Mac Pro users, have been able to do.
     
    What’s great about this build is whether it is a Windows computer, OSX computer or Linux computer, it is a powerful computer. And considering the high-end, yet affordable, parts I’ve selected, it should also be super reliable. On some things I’ve gone overboard (the CPU heat sink) but an extra 3% added to the cost means that my CPU could be overclocked to 5GHz, if I really wanted to. That would be crazy! One guy got this (or the “extreme” edition) to around 7GHz. Insane 😀

  118.  @motoridersd Yeah the sleep issue seems to be one that comes up a lot. I’ve done a lot of research on this machine so I feel pretty confident that it will be stable. Once I get it all going, I’ll definitely lt you all know what I discover along the way. I’m hoping this will allow me to have a system I can upgrade at my discretion and keep for a very long time. Being able to upgrade things component by component is a huge benefit that only PC users, or to some degree rich Mac Pro users, have been able to do.
     
    What’s great about this build is whether it is a Windows computer, OSX computer or Linux computer, it is a powerful computer. And considering the high-end, yet affordable, parts I’ve selected, it should also be super reliable. On some things I’ve gone overboard (the CPU heat sink) but an extra 3% added to the cost means that my CPU could be overclocked to 5GHz, if I really wanted to. That would be crazy! One guy got this (or the “extreme” edition) to around 7GHz. Insane 😀

  119.  @reddy2go There are a few companies that make aftermarket, desktop lighted keyboards. Why those haven’t taken off, I do not know! It’s brilliant. Even my expensive Das Keyboard doesn’t light up, which is a shame. All keyboards should have that option.

  120.  @reddy2go There are a few companies that make aftermarket, desktop lighted keyboards. Why those haven’t taken off, I do not know! It’s brilliant. Even my expensive Das Keyboard doesn’t light up, which is a shame. All keyboards should have that option.

  121. @kellanjacobs looks like @mrjanek’s Kakewalk isn’t compatible with my Hackintosh build. :-

  122. @kellanjacobs looks like @mrjanek’s Kakewalk isn’t compatible with my Hackintosh build. :-

  123. @justex07 Nice. I disagree with comparing laptop cost 2 desktop cost but I see your point that you wont need a new laptop anymore. Have fun!

  124. @justex07 Nice. I disagree with comparing laptop cost 2 desktop cost but I see your point that you wont need a new laptop anymore. Have fun!

  125. @MichaelApproved well for me it’s either laptop or build this so that’s why I made that comparison but yeah, agree in any other case 🙂

  126. @MichaelApproved well for me it’s either laptop or build this so that’s why I made that comparison but yeah, agree in any other case 🙂

  127. Great article. I’m in the same reflexion. I sold my iMac a few weeks ago and still waiting for the new iMac. With Apple, we never know about next generation, the time we have to wait, etc, so I’m trying to find a replacement. 
     
    In another way, every year I was sell my iMac to buy another one. Now, if I buy a Hackintosh, I know I can’t do the same thing. Not easy to make the good choice.
     
    Sorry for language mistakes, I’m french 🙂

  128. @justex07 Let us know how it comes out!! We’d love to know =). Such a cool experiment.

  129. @gazelle_com absolutely! Thanks for sharing the post. Hope to have it built by my birthday in August. 🙂

  130. @nihatabay yeni bir ?ey de?il, apple, intel tabanl? platforma geçti?inden beri kolayl?kla uygulanabiliyor, bizzat denedim:)

  131. @gazelle_com take a look at this new board from Gigabyte and QUO is coming out with custom board in 3 weeks.

  132. @justex07 @tonymacx86 the board will sell for $189. I will send you a link on monday

  133. @motoridersd yes and no… It isn’t on Amazon yet but it is on NewEgg so I might have to pay upfront for that $285 board. Oh well. NOt bad.

  134. @justex07 yeah that’s not bad. You have to take the geek time factor into account. A geek cannot wait!

  135. Brilliant post. I was in the same situation, I have a two year old, Coming up three year old iMac, with an i3 processor, 4gb of RAM. I have a screen disfunction whereas only half of it is now usable thanks to two bars of coloured pixels so i saw the Retina Macbook Pro and started saving. I got to £900 and thought.. this is going to take me until christmas! I cannot wait that long! and decided to build my own machine with the intention of ‘hackintoshing’ it. I did, and for a few weeks ive been running an i5 3570K on the same Z77X-UD5H motherboard your looking at, 8GB of Corsair Vengeance memory 2x4GB and 1.5TB of storage with my SSD’s coming in a few days. Pain free and really easy, Tonymacx86 and their very helpful forum users. My handle is ‘techyapplemanhd’ if anyone needs any help with a similar build 🙂 Go for it!

  136.  @techyapplemanhd That’s awesome to hear! Have you run GeekBench? Would love to see how yours is scoring. Sounds like a pretty great machine. I went ahead and got the Retina MacBook Pro since I travel so much but still plan to build this computer. It has dropped in price significantly since I first built it out on here, up to a few hundred dollars cheaper. 
     
    I’m hoping to get my Amazon Affiliates funds up a bit more so I can pay for this with the money my blog brings in. That will make the decision, and the purchase, much easier! 

  137. Hi justex07 – I’ve been recently searching for solutions to building a hackintosh as well after I found out that the refresh for Mac Pros are in 2013 – just too long!  I see this post has not been updated for several months but I am hoping you can help out.  I am not very technically inclined so I am just looking for a 100% proven list of parts that will work with Mountain Lion.  Do you know if your list still applies?  I am not sure if you have personally built this out already but do you perhaps have instructions on how to install Mountain Lion as well?  Thanks for any help!

  138. royho1 This list still applies. For the guidance check out http://www.tonymacx86.com/ where there is a live community of people available with tips and guides. It is the best source of help.
    That being said, they just released  MultiBeast 5.1 which is what I would recommend for mounting the Mountain Lion OS to your hackintosh.

  139. royho1 I bought the configuration above and am unable to get the machine to boot from either of the hard drives.  They still depend on the USB configuation from tonymacx86.com in order to boot into any OS installation.  I’m guessing it’s a setting with the BIOS or motherboard settings.  Does anyone have any ideas?

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