Hackintosh Overview Updated January 21, 2021

Hackintosh

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16 'Hackintosh' stories

June 2011 - January 2021


A term used to describe non-Apple machines featuring x86-64 processors that run macOS. Hackintosh machines allow for deeper customization than traditional Mac machines, and oftentimes provide more power per dollar spent. Hackintosh machines can be difficult to install, maintain, or upgrade, however.

Hackintosh Stories January 21, 2021

Hackintoshes – PCs tweaked to run macOS with workarounds have been around for a while. But as Apple only wants its software to run on its own devices, it’s become more difficult over time to actually use them as functional machines. Now a new type of Hackintosh appears to be gaining some traction that may be useful for research and educational purposes, virtual Hackintoshes. Interestingly, a video of an iPad running macOS has just surfaced as the latest virtual Hackintosh.

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Hackintosh Stories October 24, 2017

If the upcoming iMac Pro or refreshed Mac Pro aren’t in your sights, then perhaps you might consider a Hackintosh build? We’ve covered several builds over the years, and found that they provide, by a large margin, the best bang for the buck when it comes to performance.

Today, UniBeast, one of the most popular automated tools for putting together a Hackintosh machine, was updated to version 8.0 for macOS High Sierra. That means that you can, with relative ease, build a super-fast machine running the latest version of macOS. expand full story

Hackintosh Stories August 18, 2017

NBD, just a liquid cooled, Ryzen-powered Hackintosh inside a cheesegrater Power Mac G5 case [Video]

When you think of Hackintosh build, you may generally think of an Intel-powered rig in a big and bulky PC enclosure. That’s not the case for friend of the site Dom Esposito’s build, which took over a month to put together. His Ryzen-powered Hackintosh is neatly nestled inside of a custom Power Mac G5 case, providing a unique take on a Hackintosh build both on the inside and outside. 

Hackintosh Stories May 10, 2017

If you’re looking to build a Hackintosh that can serve as a competent Windows gaming rig on the side, then a build powered by an Nvidia GPU is a good choice. In our most recent Hackintosh build, we paired an Intel i7 6700k with Nvidia’s fastest gaming GPU, the 1080 Ti.

The results weren’t all that surprising. Performance was good in a macOS environment even when using Nvidia’s beta web drivers. Performance was a lot better, though, in a Windows environment, where Pascal GPUs can really thrive.

If you’re interested in building a Hackintosh solely for video editing, however, then an Nvidia-powered GPU option might not be the best choice. Sure, Nvidia GPUs with their CUDA cores are generally superior for editing in an Adobe workflow, but if you’re building a Hackintosh machine solely for video editing, chances are you’re interested in running Final Cut Pro X.

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Hackintosh Stories April 28, 2017

A few days ago we posted about the hardware used and performance benefits of my most recent Hackintosh build. In today’s tutorial, I’ll step through the entire install process in full unabridged detail.

While it might seem a bit daunting to go through the Hackintosh setup process for the first time, once you understand the basics, it’s not so difficult. Have a look at our hands-on video for more details. expand full story

Hackintosh Stories April 26, 2017

In a previous article, posted shortly after Nvidia announced its new Pascal Mac drivers, I briefly discussed my plans to build a new Hackintosh. I’ve been planning and working on the machine for over a week, and I’m finally at the point where I can share the results of my journey.

This isn’t my first Hackintosh build, but it’s the first build where I decided to go about it without the assistance of the excellent tools over at tonymacx86. I’ve been long interested in building a Hackintosh using just the Clover EFI Bootloader, and that’s exactly what I did for this build.

Going about it this way allowed me to learn more about the process, and helped me to see that the entire premise, while tedious at times, is actually fairly straightforward. In this initial post, I’ll talk about some of my reasoning behind my hardware choices, and share some initial experiences and benchmark results. expand full story

Hackintosh Stories April 14, 2017

The Hackintosh community is probably best described as a group that doesn’t love Apple’s hardware options for pros but would prefer not to give up macOS for Windows or another alternative.

They design their own custom PC builds, and work together to come up with the necessary hacks to get macOS and the software they need running on the machines. Who better to ask what Apple should include in its upcoming modular Mac Pro than the pros it has pushed away?

To find out what Hackintoshers want in the new machine, and maybe what would help bring back some pros that Apple has lost in recent years, we’ve talked to the moderators at one of our favourite Hacktinosh communities, tonymacx86.com.

We also got some input from our own resident Hackintosh enthusiast (and YouTuber) Jeff Benjamin, and some other pros and gamers that have made the jump from Apple’s pro machines to a Hackintosh.

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Hackintosh Stories April 6, 2017

I’m currently in the process of building a new Hackintosh rig for 2017, so imagine how surprised and happy I was to hear that Nvidia is working on beta drivers for its GPUs with the latest Pascal architecture. Up until today, I had just settled on being relegated to a Radeon RX 480, or a Maxwell-era Nvidia card.

Not having Pascal drivers for the Mac certainly didn’t diminish the Hackintosh community, but it was significantly limiting in both options and creativity.

With today’s announcement, the Hackintosh just got exponentially more appealing. Nvidia’s announcement is positive for a variety of reasons: there’s the prospect of using an eGPU setup with a MacBook Pro, along with future prospects of Nvidia cards powering future Mac Pro hardware.

But on the immediate horizon, the announcement is most promising for Hackintosh builders. With this in mind, I wanted to share the build that I’m currently working on in this first part of a multi part series. expand full story

Hackintosh Stories January 31, 2017

‘Almost working’ Hackintosh setup for Dell XPS 13 with ‘virtually borderless’ display shared online

Anyone not happy with the latest MacBook Pro options might be interested in a Hackintosh project posted to Github for the Dell XPS 13. Dell describes the machine, which offers Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, as ‘the smallest 13-inch laptop on the planet.’

Hackintosh Stories March 15, 2016

Create OS X Boot DIsk

In part I of our Hackintosh tutorial, we discussed our choice of hardware and the reasons behind those decisions. The main goal was to create a machine that had enough power to meet the Oculus Rift hardware requirements.

In this follow-up tutorial, we’ll show you the entire software install process needed for completing the build. Watch our 18+ minute step-by-step tutorial and witness this Hackintosh come to life. expand full story

Hackintosh Stories March 12, 2016

Hackintosh OS X Oculus

Back at the beginning of March, Oculus CEO Palmer Luckey made controversial statements about Apple’s hardware, specifically the inability of any Mac in Apple’s entire lineup of computers to handle the graphics needs of the upcoming Oculus Rift. At one point in time, Oculus had support for OS X in the pipeline; in fact previous Rift dev kits supported Macs. As time went on, however, it was decided that the Oculus Rift would be Windows-only, at least initially.

It’s with Luckey’s comments, and the lack of initial OS X support in mind, that I’ve decided to put together a Hackintosh machine that meets the minimum requirements outlined by Oculus, yet can still run OS X. In theory, this machine could support the Oculus Rift if the necessary software was made available for OS X. It can run the Rift now if you install a Windows partition on it… expand full story

Hackintosh Stories June 13, 2014

Ever since the Mac Pro was released in December, we’ve faced an onslaught of 4k displays. We reviewed Seiki’s budget offering last year, and while we liked it overall, it did have more than its fair share of set backs. For instance, you could only use the full 4k resolution at 30Hz, which meant that there would be noticeable lag when using the display as a monitor. Despite the low refresh rate, the display was still a great deal at its then $450 price point (now down to $390) and truly got us excited for the potential of 4k. At CES this year, we also saw a variety of 4k displays, some of which were priced for budget-minded customers, and some of which were high-end. Noticeably missing from CES, however, was Apple’s frenemy supplier/competitor Samsung.

Samsung, at the end of May, unveiled its take on an affordable 4k display. Samsung’s U28D590D is a 28-inch 4k monitor that supports full 4k resolution at 60Hz via a DisplayPort 1.2 connection. There are also two HDMI ports, but they’ll only do 4k at 30Hz, like the Seiki. The big selling point of the Samsung monitor, aside from doing 4k at 60Hz, is that it costs just $646 on Amazon. This puts it far below any currently available 4k monitor with 60Hz capabilities. I purchased the Samsung U28D590D on Amazon while it was priced at $666 and have been using it as my primary display for the past week. How does it compare to the Seiki? Is 4k all it’s hyped up to be? Let’s discuss.

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Hackintosh Stories January 14, 2014

It’s no secret that Apple’s Late 2013 Mac Pro looks strikingly similar to a (really futuristic, shiny, insanely great) trash can; take a look for yourself. You can even replace the Trash icon on your OS X Dock with a… Mac Pro. Let’s just agree there’s a certain…resemblance.

That inspired one Apple fan to build a Hackintosh based on the new Mac Pro design using, yes, an actual trash can (specifically, an Authenics Lunar <–check scale) for the casing. The result isn’t exactly as powerful as the Mac Pro sold today by Apple; this specific build lacks Thunderbolt support and its processor is a Haswell i3 that you might find in a much cheaper PC.

Nevertheless, the final product is down right fascinating to see. Check it out below: expand full story

Hackintosh Stories December 18, 2013

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Over the years, building ‘Hackintosh’ computers has become both a lot easier and more popular. For those unfamiliar, a Hackintosh is essentially a machine running OS X on non-Apple approved and manufactured hardware. There are many reasons to build a Hackintosh instead of buying a Mac directly from Apple. They can be more expandable, faster, have more features and configurations, run quieter and can be a great learning experience.  One of the biggest reasons to go down the road of building your own, however, is price. It’s no secret that Apple charges a premium for its products, especially if you don’t need some of the hardware (Thunderbolt for example). And thanks to the ongoing growth of the Hackintosh community, the process has become very easy over the past few years.

Back in 2011, Seth took a stab at building a Hackintosh. He originally intended on it being an affordable, baseline model without many bells and whistles. He ended up building a $750 ‘beast’ that competed with the best iMacs of the day, though. Now, it’s my turn to make an attempt at building a Hackintosh, but with an added twist. I am building one capable of performing on par with the highest-end Macs and capable of powering a 4k monitor. And, I want it took look ultra-sleek on the outside and be absolutely silent. I don’t want to be able to hear the hard drive, fans, or anything else –essentially nonexistent in my office. Most of all, I want to do it on a budget of about $1500, not including a 4k display.

Let me preface this with something, though: I have never built a computer, Windows or OS X. In fact, up until this project, I was pretty clueless as to what went into building a computer. So if I am able to successfully build this machine, pretty much anyone can. My best friend for this project was easily tonymacx86.com, which we have praised in the past for its clear breakdown of compatible parts and software guides.

Let’s start by discussing the parts that I decided to use for this build.

Full parts list at Amazon:

  • Intel Core i7-4770K Quad-Core Desktop Processor 3.5 GHZ – $320
  • Corsair Enthusiast Series 650W Fan – $99.99
  • Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5H Z87 LGA 1150 Motherboard – $222
  • TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 Dual Band Wireless PCI Express Adapter – $43
  • Corsair Vengeance 16GB DDR3 RAM – $160
  • SanDisk Extreme SSD 120 GB SSD – $117 (or any SATA 3 SSD)
  • EVGA GeForce GTX760 Graphics Card – $265
  • Seagate Barracuda 2 TB HDD – $80 (or any 1-4TB SATA3 HDD)
  • Fractal Design Define R4 Case – $132
  • Seiki 39-inch 4K Display – $499 (Varies wildly though)

Total cost without display: $1439. With 4K display, under ~$2,000…

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Hackintosh Stories June 1, 2012

Hackintosh Ivy Bridge vs. Sandy Bridge benchmarked, small speed gains but significant power efficiency detailed [Video]

With Apple’s upcoming Mac lineup to include the much-rumored Ivy Bridge upgrade, we get a look today at what the new CPUs might be cable of, courtesy of a comparison to Sandy Bridge, running on a Hackintosh. According to Insanely Great Mac:

How the new Ivy Bridge CPUs look to match up to Intel’s previous generation Sandy Bridge platform. Benchmarks include both stock and over clocked Core i7 3770K and Core i7 2600K. Plus a look at how the new chips may affect the next round of Mac upgrades.

Hackintosh Stories June 27, 2011

Lifehacker has posted a nifty guide to building a Hackintosh, Mini style. This Hackintosh is very similar to Apple’s Mac Mini in price but more burly in specs. Hackintoshes offer a great way to learn about the innards of computers and how they work.

The end product ran up a price tag of $599.65, which is a very fair price for what you’re getting.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  1. Gigabyte GA-H55N-USB3 Motherboard $104.99
  2. Intel Core i3 Processor i3-540 3.06GHz 4MB LGA1156 CPU $110.00
  3. ZOTAC nVidia GeForce GT240 512 MB DDR3 DVI/HDMI PCI-Express Video Card $84.99
  4. 2x2GB Corsair PC3-10666 1333Mhz Dual Chanel 240-pin DDR3 Desktop RAM $43.99
  5. Western Digital 1TB SATA III 7200 RPM 32MB Cache Desktop Hard Drive $59.99 (2TB: $79)
  6. SilverStone SG05BB-450 ALL Black Plastic/SECC Mini-ITX Computer Case with SFX 450W 80+ Bronze Certified/Single +12V rail Power Supply $119.99
  7. Sony Optiarc 8X SATA DVD+/-RW Slim Drive $34.99
  8. StarTech.com MCSATAADAP Micro SATA to SATA Adapter Cable with Power $11.71
  9. Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard $29.00
  10. OPTIONALOCZ Agility 120GB SSD $199.99 (note: this is optional and not included in the total cost of the machine)

The squad over at Lifehacker used tonymacx86’s CustoMac Mini tool and a good suite of hardware. While this isn’t as small as a Mac Mini, it is very close and is a lot faster. Check out Lifehacker’s video above on how to set this up and visit their post for a list of hardware. We have to warn you, this isn’t for every computer user, because you need to know how to build your own computer and do a little tinkering.

If a Hackintosh Mini isn’t for you, check out tonymacx86’s guide to making a Sandy Bridge Hackintosh. Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor is rumored to be included in many of the new Macs. Why not go ahead and build one on the cheap? Tonymacx86 has all the answers.

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