Why build a Hackintosh instead of buying a Mac?

“If you’re not familiar, a so-called Hackintosh is a PC with macOS installed on top of it. Typically, this isn’t possible: Apple restricts their operating system to specific hardware, which only they supply,” Alexander Fox writes for Apple Gazette. “But with careful hardware purchasing and some clever software hacking, you can make macOS run on PC parts.”

“It isn’t always an easy process, and even identical hardware configurations can have different outcomes,” Fox writes. “But for users that get it running, it’s an awesome way to get macOS on custom hardware.”

“If you have the patience for troubleshooting software bugs, building a Hackintosh is easier than it has ever been before,” Fox writes. “When you build a Hackintosh, you get a flexible, customizable, dual-booting gaming machine that costs vastly less than a high-end Mac – and might even run better to boot. Even with new Macs just around the corner, there are still great reasons to build a Hackintosh in 2018.”

Reasons why you’d want to build a Hackintosh instead of buying a Mac here.

MacDailyNews Take: Can’t wait for WWDC to see Apple’s new “completely rethought, modular” Mac Pro!

Your Hackintosh can now run macOS 10.13 High Sierra with UniBeast 8.0 – October 25, 2017
5 reasons to build a Hackintosh (and how to get started) – October 6, 2017
Updating macOS High Sierra on a Hackintosh, the painless way – August 30, 2017
My ‘Hackintosh mini’ parts list – June 22, 2017
Hackintosh: Should you build one? – June 21, 2017
Modern ‘Hackintoshes’ show that Apple should probably just build a Mac tower – May 1, 2017
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. Not interested in “building anything” other than art and music. I pay Apple to build and repair, if necessary, my devices. And AppleCare has always been very, very good to me when needed. Software troubleshooting is another story..

  2. 1. Far cheaper for far better performance.

    2. It is fun.

    3. You can build something that specifically meets your needs.

    4. What you build will often be better looking than what Apple builds.

    5. You can boot into Windows and play the best games out there with no lag or poor performance.

    6. Did I mention it’s far cheaper?

    7. Your Hackintosh will be upgradable.

    1. 1. Far cheaper for far better performance.

      Not really. I once went through the process of spec’ing better parts than the (trash can) Mac Pro. Using, of course, available parts that were supported by Hackintosh ports. It was slightly more expensive for slightly more power (and questionable whether the software would use the newer hardware.

      2. It is fun.

      To some. For others who just want a working solution it’s a PITA. See, especially, (7) below.

      3. You can build something that specifically meets your needs.

      Such as: “I can easily upgrade Mac OS each year as Apple releases a new version?”

      Seriously, although there isn’t a single new Mac Book Pro that fits my needs, the iMac Pro has done a pretty good job so far. Granted, that probably *was* more expensive than what a comparable Hackintosh would have cost (RAM and SSD prices get you every time), but it suits my needs (and then some) quite well. Also see (4).

      4. What you build will often be better looking than what Apple builds.

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I suppose. For all the flack the trashcan Mac Pro caught, it *was* a beautiful machine. And there is no way I could have built a Hackintosh that looks better than my iMac Pro.
      You *might* best the Mac Mini. But unless you have specific aesthetic requirements, it’s pretty hard to beat Apple’s industrial designs.

      5. You can boot into Windows and play the best games out there with no lag or poor performance.

      If that’s important to you, save the money on your Hackintosh at get a *real* PC dedicated to playing games.

      6. Did I mention it’s far cheaper?

      Did I mention, not really?

      7. Your Hackintosh will be upgradable.
      Until the next version of Mac OS comes out…

      Seriously, there is a niche for Hackintoshes — providing hardware that Apple doesn’t. The oft-requested “mid-range tower” comes to mind. Yeah, you can build a dirt-cheap machine that runs Mac OS for probably $100 less than a Mac Mini system. Is it really worth it? You can get Mac OS running on some PC laptops out there. But you either take a big hit in quality or you don’t really save anything. Yes, you can build a slightly more powerful Mac Pro for around the same price, or a little less, as an iMac Pro, but is it really worth it?

      I’m still using my (original) Mac Book Pro Retina. For normal applications (i.e., not Apple’s pro app suite) it seems to run a little less than half as fast as my brand-new 10-core iMac Pro. Considering the different in cost and time (5 years), I think that the MBP is holding up very well (refuse to buy the new MBP — I spend far too many hours on the keyboard every day and the new MBP keyboard doesn’t cut it; FWIW, I gave my space grey keyboard that came with my iMac Pro to my wife to use with her space-grey MBP when it’s docked at home and I’m typing this on a Microsoft Natural 4000, the only wired keyboard I can find these days that is comfortable to use for 10-12 hours a day).

      There is a niche for Hackintoshes. Some people might even get a kick out of the pain associated with building one. That’s just not Apple’s market. I’ve built lots of custom PCs over the years; I’ve *tried* to run through the exercise of building a Hackintosh. Every time I concluded that for a few dollars more I could get a real Mac that would serve me well for 5 years and gave up on the Hackintosh while it was still a mental exercise.

    2. I got tired of waiting for a new, decent Mac mini. I had a 2011 with dual drives (one ssd and a large data HD) upgraded RAM a large monitor and was pretty happy with it .Then they crippled the Mini in 2014. No worries, I kept using the 2011 but then Mojave came along. 2011 not supported. So I always wanted macOS in the form factor of. Dell Optiplex SFF .I got one for a great deal without a hard drive. Added more ram, an SSD and a large data drive, a basic nvidia GPU and I had a system better than the 2014 mini for less than $150. I did use parts I had laying aroundN such as a 1TB hard drive from my wifes laptop (SSD upgrade). I had extra RAM from another optiplex system .
      I later added a ViewSonic 2560×1440 monitor for about $160 from ebay and my whole setup is around $300 now. To configure a similar Mac mini would have been around $800 . Of course, two weeks later, the new 2018 Mac Mini came out but at $800, it is still a lot more and I would be forced to either pay a ton for an internal huge SSD or use an extneral drive.

      Of course the time I spent getting it all working was pretty high .iit took me a couple of days. I am self employed and I could have made enough in those two days to buy a real mac but I did it during downtime .
      Ultimately, when people say “not really” in response to Apple systems costing more, they are completely ignoring all of the flexibility you have in saving money building your own .

      as for looks, I think my Dell hardware is very professional looking, and not bad at all. However, real Apple hardware is usually a work of art .

  3. The only Mac Pro modularity I can fathom beyond the obvious monitor/keyboard/mouse/trackpad would be to provide PCI Express slots in a separate chassis. Not a bad concept as long as Apple provides sufficient bandwidth between the two chassis, with 16 lanes of PCI Express between them. I fear they will take this approach using Thunderbolt 3, which will provide woefully inadequate bandwidth between the CPU and high-end GPUs.

    It would be nice to modularize the PCI Express slots, I could imagine Mac Pro systems with one or more ePCIe chassis to meet user’s needs, for graphics or GPU computing or solid state storage.

    Come on Apple, get it right this time! It seems obvious and easy to do it right.

  4. Let’s hope the modular – “who says we can’t design” – Mac Pro is more than three trash cans glued together creating the first Triad Mac Pro!

    Apple will be facing a tough crowd after all these years. Almost anything they put forward will be faulted. It’s too big. No, too small. Too much of this and not enough of that. And if they offer what everyone has been clamoring for, i.e., a rectangular box with a drop down side for easy access to update the box, people will scream, “Why did we have to wait five years for this?!” It’s going to be tough. I hope they have some good tricks up their sleeve.

    Best of luck, Apple.

  5. The Apple T2 Chip is the death knell for the Hackintosh.

    One could reasonably expect that chip to be included in all new Macs and eventually will be required to boot.

    According to an article at AppleInsider, the T2 Chip “combines previously discrete functions, including the system management controller, image signal processor for FaceTime camera, audio control, and SSD control”.


    As older Macs become EOL, this will no doubt be required to boot.

  6. We’ll all believe the 2018 Mac Pro is the Mac Pro of our dreams when (and if) we see it.

    It would be so easy for Apple to please and yet so easy too to go off the rails again with their cute sales-deflating “cleverness” aka the “innovation” no one wants or asked for. I hope better heads prevail this time.

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