Is building a Hackintosh worth the effort?

“ friend Michael Kammes decided to build a Hacintosh, a computer built from parts that runs macOS,” reports. “He succeeded, but was it worth it and would he do it again?”

“Macs can be expensive, but they work out of the box and we know that apps such as Final Cut Pro X are optimised for the machines,” reports. “However, for those who feel up to the technical challenge, it is possible to build a computer to run macOS for a lot less money than buying a new Mac off the shelf.” asks, “How does it benchmark with various NLEs against a Mac Pro and an iMac Pro?”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Impressive benchmarks!

Of course, the Mac Pro will turn 5 years old this December 19th, but even against the new iMac Pro, these are impressive price/performance results!

Why can’t Apple keep their products up-to-date? – April 10, 2018
Why is it taking Apple so long to update the Mac Pro? – April 10, 2018
Apple’s latest announcements about the modular Mac Pro really ramp up expectations – April 6, 2018
Apple needs to stop promising new products and start delivering them – April 6, 2018
Apple: No new Mac Pro until 2019 – April 5, 2018
Why build a Hackintosh instead of buying a Mac? – March 28, 2018
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. If you take the amount he saved vs an iMac Pro, divide by the number of hours spent on the project, he saved (made) $1185/hr. I don’t know too many folks billing at that rate.

  1. It is worth it for many reasons. First of all you can build a Mac more powerful than anything Apple offers for a fraction of the cost.

    Second it is a learning experience.

    Third it is fun. You get to design your own machine.

    Fourth, you also have a kick ass Windows machine.

    And I still say it’s one of the great projects for parents and kids out there.

  2. I considered doing this but who wants the continuing headache of building and then maintaining such a machine? Just go the PC/Windows/Linux route instead or wait until Apple is good and ready to give you something they want to give you, and not necessarily what you want to buy.

  3. I came really close to building a Hackintosh, but, decided against it since every system update would likely kill it until I learned the workaround. I ended up buying an iMac to replace my dead five year old Mac Pro. . . . still waiting for a new Mac Pro to come out. . . . please hurry, Apple.

  4. Read the transcript he provides instead of watching the video, you’ll save time. Anyway he recommends against it if you are using Premier or FCPX while he obviously enjoyed the build process. Need more raw GPU power? go eGPU.

  5. To this day, there is still no reason that you have to accept Apple’s recent horrible sealed box designs. Apple can do better, and since they won’t, you should.

    The actual title of the article is “Michael Kammes Builds a Hackintosh – Was It Worth It?” It is a very good article.

    The evaluation of whether a Hackintosh is worth it depends on the individual user of course, but the trascript page lays out some excellent information for you to make an informed decision.

    Michael’s raw performance results blow ALL existing Macs out of the water on single core operations at a price of OVER $10,000 LESS THAN A COMPARABLE iMAC PRO.

    There of course are some limitations and decisions he made which may not work for everyone, and of course one has to do some light engineering to figure out stuff like power supply and cooling and whatnot. But any teenager with remedial tech skills ought to be able to make a reliable Hackintosh with all the support info that is out there now. Read the excellent transcript for the details.

    Bottom line is that for a full time creative professional for which zero downtime or tinkering is ever acceptable, maybe a warrantied Mac is worth the investment. Otherwise, if peak performance and versatility matter to you, and you’d prefer to retain that $10k in your own pocket, well the answer is obvious. Apple doesn’t give a shit about giving users a nice range of Mac hardware choices, so hack away.

    For those who want versatility and don’t care about peak performance, then somebody on Craigslist or eBay will hook you up with a great 2010-2012 Mac Pro and OWC or other providers will allow you to customise with excellent plug and play solutions that Apple’s vaunted designers aren’t smart enough to figure out. It will perform adequately for any typical desktop Mac produced today at a fraction of the cost. You won’t have Thunderbolt, but that’s what internal PCI card slots are for.

  6. I haven’t made a Hackintosh.

    But I’m typing this on an upgraded Cheese Grater Mac Pro.
    Upgraded RAM to 48 GB , upgraded the processor, by doing the ‘thermal paste’ thing, upgraded the video card several times. The current nVidia card now draws more power than the (old) PCI slots provide so have to hook up power from the spare drives etc.
    (Years ago an authorized Apple re seller/repair shop told me my setup would never work but since then I’ve used it successfully for years)

    But NOW after years …
    every Apple OS update breaks the machine, half way through the update it goes black and stuck due to the fact Mac OS is now ‘actively hostile’ to nVidia cards. Used to be able to use a linked ‘remote Mac’ from laptop to supervise the updates but no more.

    Fortunately I have a spare Mac Pro with a Radeon card so I can pop the drives in (they are in sliding sleds) to do the upgrade. Once upgraded I can load new nVidia drivers…

    I imagine Hackintosh machines with even more non Apple approved parts would have more issues. So that’s the rub for Hackintoshes, not just the initial build but the ongoing maintenance .

    1. I hear you fellow Mac Pro sufferer. I have an Nvidia 1060 and I have the exact same issue – the chicken or egg problem of installing the Nvidia driver that is locked to a specific OS release.

      Someone, likely Apple, is screwing us over on purpose.

    2. I’ve been hackintoshing for about 2 years and I’ve updated to each new version of macOS within a day or two of its release with little to no major problems.

      I had more problems with my old MacPro5,1 with Nvidia than with my hackintosh.

  7. I would add to this question 2 more:
    A) A Hackintosh
    B) Buy an old 2012 Mac Pro and upgrade all the hardware you can
    C) Wait another year for the next “modular” Mac Pro

    Considering Intel 6 cores are starting to be affordable and 8 cores may lower their price very soon and be available even for 1051 mother boards I would wait a few months before a serious investment.

    Top iMacs “none Pro” may start using 8 cores next year or sooner as Intel may have then ready. The reason for this is AMD have the advantage right now in multicore CPUs and in rumored Intel is working to provide competitive CPUs.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.