Are you ready for hackintosh
I really like Apples MacOS, I am used to it and I am not willing to switch to Windows. I have to confess, I haven’t used Windows in a productive environment in years. And I don’t really like to.
But there is the Problem. I am also not ready to pay Apples premium prices for hardware that is not upgradeable and probably ends up in the garbage after 2 to 3 years. What to do now. Of course build your own computer and just install MacOS. Yeah if it would be that easy, or wait is it?
Kind of. Of course you should not try to build your own computer and try to install a operating system which is not supported, if you have no clue what you do. But if you are reading this post you probably know enough and are willing to invest the time to learn enough to successfully build your own hackintosh.
It is definitely worth it trust me.
Part 1 – Research
Part one is most probably the most important on. If you do your research properly you are halfway through to a successful hackintosh built. You have to know which parts work for a hackintosh and what you have to consider when buying and researching parts.
There are two different approaches in building a hackintosh.
First there is the so called vanilla build. A vanilla installation implies that the OS itself remains relatively untouched. And that the Hackintosh-related kexts, patches, etc are contained on the EFI partition. For all intents and purposes, a vanilla install’s main partition is identical to that of an official Apple computer.
The second approach is to use the unibeast/multibeast installation method from tonymacx86.com. That is the way I went. For my first hackintosh I used the method I thought was the easier one. And it was quite easy. If you are following the installation guide.
On tonymacx86.com you also find some really useful buyers guides with parts for your hackintosh. I found that the list is of course not complete. For example I used a motherboard not listed on the site and it works like a charm. But the site is the best way to start your hackintosh project. You will find everything you need when researching parts and software. The forum is also very helpful and has answers for most of your questions.
2 – Parts
There are a lot of different parts which will work for building a hackintosh. I will just list the ones I used because I can not tell you if others work.
For my build I used the MSI Z370-A PRO. This ATX board supports 8th Generation Intel Core, Pentium, and Celeron Processors for Socket LGA 1151. It has one M.2 slot and supports up to 64GB DDR4 memory in 4 slots. There is no WIFI or Bluetooth.
2. Grafics card
I used the SAPPHIRE Radeon RX 580 PULSE because it is supported natively by MacOS. For example some of the higher end iMacs use the same card. The card is not the fastest one you can buy and not the newest but having native support was more important for me. The card works perfectly out of the box. No kexts or thinkering needed.
I went with the Intel core i5 9600k. It has enough computing power for my needs and it also can be overclocked if there is a need for that. Out of the box it has 6 cores / 6 threads and a clock speed of 3.70 GHz up to 4.60 GHz and 9 MB Cache.
I used the Corsair 16GB DDR4-2400 Kit. 16GB Ram was enough for my needs as a starting point. And the kit was perfect for my medium budget built.
5. Other parts
I summarize the other parts I used because it does not make much difference which power supply unit, M.2 or cooler you buy. I went for the Thermaltake Berlin 630W PSU, the be quiet! Pure Rock cooler, the ADATA XPG Gaming S5 512GB M.2 drive and the be quiet! PURE BASE 600 as a case.
3. Is it worth it?
For my new hackintosh I paid under about $ 900,–. If you just consider the price it was worth it because you can not find a new mac under $ 1200,– with similar specs. But there is also the performance part of this equation. Spoiler alert but the performance of my “budget” built is closer to a new iMac Pro than a mac mini.
Stay tuned for the second part of this series. Next time I show you how to build your system and install everything you need for running MacOS on your new hackintosh.
If you have any questions or remarks don’t hesitate to use the comment form. I’m happy to help.
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