Modern ‘Hackintoshes’ show that Apple should probably just build a Mac tower

“Apple is working on new desktop Macs, including a ground-up redesign of the tiny-but-controversial 2013 Mac Pro,” Andrew Cunningham writes for Ars Technica. “But we don’t know when they’re coming, and the Mac Pro in particular is going to take at least a year to get here. Apple’s reassurances are nice, but it’s a small comfort to anyone who wants high-end processing power in a Mac right now. Apple hasn’t put out a new desktop since it refreshed the iMacs in October of 2015, and the older, slower components in these computers keeps Apple out of new high-end fields like VR.”

“This is a problem for people who prefer or need macOS, since Apple’s operating system is only really designed to work on Apple’s hardware,” Cunningham writes. “But for the truly adventurous and desperate, there’s another place to turn: fake Macs built with standard PC components, popularly known as ‘Hackintoshes.'”

“People primarily build these boxes for one of two reasons: generic PC hardware is cheaper than Apple’s even if it is usually bigger and uglier; and unlike in the old Power Mac and Mac Pro days, Apple doesn’t sell a Mac that offers what many of these people want,” Cunningham writes. “Whatever Apple builds probably won’t be as customizable as a good old PC tower, but that’s the kind of thing many of these Hackintosh builders are looking for.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup. Don’t overthink it, Apple. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here. Just use modern parts and give Mac-using professionals the extensibility that they require.

Apple may be converting Mac Pro from a dead-end vanity project to a serious powerhouse – April 28, 2017
Apple updates ‘Mac Pro’ trademark to cover augmented reality displays, smartglasses and more – April 26, 2017
It’s not that hard for Apple to design a new Mac Pro – April 20, 2017
Why is Apple’s next-gen Mac Pro taking so long? – April 18, 2017
Apple’s Mac Pro rethink is a good idea, but will it be good enough? – April 14, 2017
Laggard, trailing Apple needs to catch up HP’s workstation designs – April 7, 2017
Why Apple’s promise of a new ‘modular’ Mac Pro matters so much – April 6, 2017
Apple’s cheese grater Mac Pro was flexible, expandable, and powerful – imagine that – April 6, 2017
More about Apple’s Mac Pro – April 6, 2017
Apple’s desperate Mac Pro damage control message hints at a confused, divided company – April 6, 2017
Who has taken over at Apple? – April 5, 2017
Apple’s embarrassing Mac Pro mea culpa – April 4, 2017
Who’s going to buy a Mac Pro now? – April 4, 2017
Mac Pro: Why did it take Apple so long to wake up? – April 4, 2017
Apple sorry for what happened with the Mac Pro over the last 3+ years – namely, nothing – April 4, 2017
Apple to unveil ‘iMac Pro’ later this year; rethought, modular Mac Pro and Apple pro displays in the pipeline – April 4, 2017


  1. Everyday for the last few years, Apple feels more and more like it did when it was run by John Scully and Gil Amelio, lost and without direction with respect to product development both hardware and software.

    Where are we going Apple? I used to know when S. Jobs was at the helm, now I have no idea where you’re headed (again).

    1. Oh, they’ve got a direction, it’s just a different direction the “Desktop/laptop” way of working. As when Steve Jobs was at the helm (remember PostPC?) they’re driving more and more into iOS and macOS isn’t a top priority anymore. Time will tell if it ever is again.

      In other words, if a time comes in the future where macOS is primarily used to develop for iOS (i.e. You don’t need 12 cores and the latest graphics chips to do development), I wouldn’t be surprised.

    2. It was Amelio who recognized the trouble Apple was in and did something about it. He bought NeXT, jobs computer company including bringing Steve Jobs back. He was the only one that could save Apple and Jobs did.

  2. Frankly I don’t trust Apple any longer to get our most simple and no-brainer requirements. It would be SO frikkin’ easy to comply with, like TOMORROW (or yesterday). Waiting another year (or more) only to be disappointed again and aghast at their lack of pro market comprehension is more than I & most can take.

    With it already two years past the point I should have upgraded I have quotes in and will put a call into Puget Systems this week to finalize a system (who sells nice & very powerful PC workstations tailored to need – what a concept!) in the tower paradigm pros prefer to work this week.

    Apple this time for me & many have over-taxed our patience and broken the bond, and trust. Fat lady is truly up at the mic and about ready to sing. No worry folks I soon will not be whining over this (much) sitch-ee-a-tion. (Also they better talk about their MP plans at WWDC. going into great detail, diminishing current sales of 2013 MP be damned!)

    1. “Apple this time for me & many have over-taxed our patience and broken the bond, and trust. Fat lady is truly up at the mic and about ready to sing”
      No, she sang awhile ago, a lot of people had cotton in their ears and thought iOS was a stepping stone until they made macOS touch enabled. I think it’s pretty clear now that macOS will be kept around as a way to develop iOS code. Many who feel like you moved on awhile ago and, no, they don’t use their favorite OS for business anymore, BUT, they control how far they want to go and how fast… as it relates to CPU and graphic updates.

      1. I was referring to my own line in the sand as to when the Fat Lady would sing. Everyone has their own tolerance level. Yes the attraction to having many choices and upgrades and making our own “destiny” in regards to high end pro computer gear is the most attractive thing about a PC Workstation. (But certainly not the Windows OS.)

        I wonder if Apple has truly come to grips with just how much damage (and alienation) has already been done and is continuing to be done? (And it’s easier if you have no need of Apple’s macOS specific apps.)

  3. Is anyone seriously running a business on a Hackintosh? Or is this primarily enthusiats doing it just to say they can. I mean the idea does sound fun, but I don’t want to have to THINK about applying security patches because it’s going to take a few days to get my main machine back up and running.

    1. You can build a perfectly stable Hackintosh without the need for hacked drivers. Many Gigabyte, ASUS, etc. motherboards run right out of the box. Try to pay attention.

    2. Enthusiasts and tinkerers who are OK with searching out solutions online,…somewhere, and then they have to frequently tinker with updates. It’s only a rare professional such as in a graphics design service bureau who does not need to depend on a non-hackintosh.

    3. i know quite a few people in the audio world making a living on hackintoshes.

      their clients don’t care what the computer looks like, because it’s sitting in a machine room away from the session.

      if clients care about what your workstation looks like, you’ve got other problems.

    4. You are WRONG AGAIN. It is amazing to me how totally clueless you are to Apple pros and their computing needs. Probably because your thinking is entrenched as deep as a birdbath in Clueless Cook’s office …

  4. I remember when Phil Schiller said “We are not innovating anymore my A$$” and I thought it was a kick a$$ phrase that put in place all the journalists and competition… but after 3 years, he should be ashamed because apple was not annotating anymore, just one computer and tiny upgrades in 3 years? and now, with those rumors that new macs are coming soon, they will make the official announcement in several months from now, they are going to say they are going to be available starting a few more months from that date, and you won’t be able to buy one after almost a year because of the low initial stock.
    Come on apple, that formula worked a few years ago, but enough of playing publicity tricks on its customers.

    Tim cook, Steve Jobs created Apple because he wanted to give the world what any other company could not, not to make political incursions, for that he would became president of the US and not president of apple. Quit and run for president if you want that and let a person who is worry about apple customers run the company. Bring back Scott Forstall.

  5. They should “tolerate” Hackintoshes. My suggestions on the best course of action…

    The hackintosh owners have to buy the OS, and do not get free updates. If they want to upgrade to a new version, they need to pay for it.
    The hackintosh owners do not get the free iLife apps, and have to pay for them.
    The hackintosh owners do not get unpaid support from Apple.

    In exchange, Apple lets them be and collects monies.

    If you understand that, then use your hackintosh. If you want some of those benefits, then buy Apple hardware.

    1. Personally I agree. And I asked before for a full “Pro” license, with a definition on what will they support and where you are on your own.

      However, I think it is a delicate subject in the big Apple ego. So they are trying again to build a pro platform. Trying… Lets find out how serious they are about it.

  6. While I too am greatly disappointed with the lack of new and exciting Macs the last few years, I’m not satisfied with the notion that Apple should just skate to where the puck is and give power users an updated cheese grater. Prove us all wrong, Apple, and give us a Mac Pro which gives us all the power and flexibility we crave, but shock us with drool-worthy design and innovative thinking.

    The entire well of creativity could not have dried up with Steve’s passing. Show us that there’s still some Apple left at Apple!

    1. It’s a nice thought and no one can fault you for it but I don’t think they’re capable at this point. Plus current paradigms work extremely well on the PC side.

      How much more could you want or could Apple design if you have an expandable and upgradeable system? It’s really all about something as crass and simple as being “faster & upgradeable.” Something Apple hasn’t had since 2012. 5 years ago! Unforgivable negligence and Ivory Tower distance & apathy is not just a river in Cupertino.

      1. Honestly I also doubt what Apple can do, or to be more specific I doubt Apple will hit the right spot on this as lately they tend to bite too much from the Apple they provide.

        However, if they can provide a chassis or 2 with simple but important configuration options, so we have a nice pro Apple look (not extremely fashion and expensive) and functionality and we don’t need to go completely Hackintosh, that will be very good. Maybe those machines will come with a pro license establishing what they provide to the pro user and where the user is on its own.

        1. For me I like the tower solution and almost everything “under one roof” whereas Apple will inevitably cling to the minimalist housing and ancillary devices, as needed, attached to it. It may be closer to a pro Mac but at this moment I’m much too pessimistic it will fill the bill as satisfyingly as the cheese grater MP did. And Apple doesn’t go backward even if it screams for it. In fact it may well be a variation on the current 2013 theme as their continued misinterpretation of what is required. Wouldn’t be the first time Apple went past a working paradigm a little prematurely.

          But no I don’t miss floppy drives. 😉

  7. Dear Apple,
    Please work on your reputation.

    Not providing a current iMac and MacPro makes Apple look rudderless, causing it to lose its reputation as as a nimble innovator which is much more valuable to an already wealthy, hulky corporation than share and profits.

  8. “There’s no need to reinvent the wheel here.”


    My only request would be that Apple make the next MacPro small enough to fit into a standard 19″ rack. It can be 2 or 3 rack-spaces, or even 4. Just make it easy for users to expand and easy for Apple to update.

    1. No reason Apple couldn’t have several Mac Pro models filling needs everywhere. Instead of pretending they’re doing us all a favor just having one model in a size that doesn’t fit all. That’s what got them into trouble to begin with.

  9. My concern is that when Apple finally reboots the Mac Pro line they will include new OS additions that cripple existing Hackintoshes. beosjim suggest that Apple should just “tolerate” the Hackintosh. In essence they have been. There are many paths to loading Mac OS on Hackintoshes now that Apple has not quashed. But knowing Apple’s history, I suspect that when they have the hardware they expect to sell to that market segment they will make it very difficult once again to install Mac OS on non-Apple devices.

    1. and thats fine, there is nothing past el cap that is really appealing to anyone hackintoshing, as most of the new “useless” features involve touch id and touch bars and other pointless gimmicks.

  10. I have completely lost faith in Tim Cook and the rest of the apple management as they have left the mac platform languish for years. The 2016 MacBook Pro is seriously overpriced with frankly crap gpu capabilities. The trash can macpro was a bigger stupidity than the cube yet they let it go on for nearly 4 years while Jobs killed the cube within less than a year.

    Cook is looking more like Scully every day, all he seems to give a shit about is the bottom line. Apple needs a visionary like Elon Musk. I’d love to see him do a deal like jobs did when he returned to apple and tossed that idiot Ameliorate.

  11. I built a hackintosh that also runs windows 10 on a different drive.

    To be honest, I’m on the edge of just using Windows. I’m tired of dealing with the Apple stuff.

    I have a laptop that run the only “must have” mac app I use which is old fashioned mac mail. All the rest is platform agnostic – protools, photoshop, illustrator, finale, etc. etc.

    I think I’m outta here….

  12. A 3U Mac Pro with 2x hot swappable power supplies, a 512 flash drive, 4 HDD/SSD bays, 4x PCI-E slots, Dvd ans el Blu-Ray, 6Gb 5K NVIDIA Graphics card, Xeon 12core processors, firewire 800, e-sata, usb 3, thunderbolt 3, raid card, 2x 4tb HDD, fiber card, and 64gb RAM, SD card reader, gigabit ethernet, optical audio, thunderbolt 2, Beats subwoofer and satellite speakers, and of course a gold color option… is that enough?? We want it all! And we want it now! slap a 4,999 price tag and throw in a 27″ 5K thunderbolt 3 display for $999… amateurs can buy a 27″ iMac… this is a serious machine…

    1. I won’t argue against you on this. Apple should have a top bad ass full tower machine. Although I am asking for a mini tower, so why can’t we have both options as all other Pro brands have?

      1. If it were me I would easily grant your request. Maxi and mini-towers for all!

        Plus build Xserve blades again and options for Enterprise. Plus pay companies who write Enterprise apps to create macOS versions so there are no more IT doofus excuses left!. These guys just aren’t thinking how to advance pro Mac sales in the least instead of letting them languish.

  13. I think Apple should quietly and happily support the Hackintosh community where it makes sense. I wonder if licensing macOS to premier PC cloners that won’t tarnish the Mac brand is a worthy endeavor?

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