Another Hackintosh?

I like Macs. Apple makes cool products, and whenever I get a chance I like to hit the local Best Buy and check them out. The iPads are tugging at me, and my iPod Touch has been outgrown. I always seem to linger just a bit longer, though, with the latest iMacs. The look is really something: glossy white plastic, satiny aluminum, and one of the most beautiful displays you could hope for. However, if I think I have lingered too long I just view the price tag, and then I am properly motivated to move on down the road!

My current Hackintosh is starting to show it’s age. I have a Gigabyte EP45 series motherboard with an Intel Core2Duo E8600 CPU with 4 Gigs of RAM, an NVidia 9800 GTX+ video board, and a couple of TB of drive space. I can dual boot with either OS X 10.6.7 or Windows 7, which is really convenient. However, lately it’s begun to feel a bit slow. Buy a new i5-based iMac? The 27″ display starts at $1,699, which is about double what I want to pay. Time to start researching parts, perhaps, and build a new hackintosh!

The TonyMacX86 website has lots of info. I’m zeroing in on a Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3 motherboard for about $110. Add $200 or so for an i5 CPU, another $130 for hotter video board, RAM will run $100 or so. A hard drive will be another $70 or so. I will re-use an exiting case and power supply. Bag a DVD burner for $25 and add up the numbers: looks like around $635 or so, and if I pick carefully from Newegg I can probably get free freight on almost everything. The display is a bit more difficult: if I want a true IPS display that rivals the beauty of a real Apple iMac I’m looking at $260 for a 23″ LG, or $500 and up for larger. Or, I could drop back to a conventional LCD or an LED backlit display and save a bit. I bought a family pack OS X license a couple of years ago and never used all of them, so I have an available license. Either way, I’m looking at less than $1,000 for good performing homebrew platform.

Too bad I didn’t order this earlier this week; I could build it this weekend! Happy Memorial Day to you all!


About johnmcgeeblog

Husband, father, IT manager, traveler, guitarist, hackintosher, writer...? Blogging can be a coping mechanism, a mentoring tool... what is it to you?
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3 Responses to Another Hackintosh?

  1. Vikas says:

    Hi John,

    You didnt mention how your installation went with the newer hardware? šŸ™‚ I am also planning to install Hackintosh on my pc like you. I already bought my motherboard and processor last year to set up Windows 7 and it works just perfect. But as you mentioned I am too inclined towards the beauty of MAC but price tag is way higher than I want to pay. So I have a question about video card you mentioned that you bought video card separately, is it really required or I can live with the inbuilt video card that comes with the i3 processor?
    My configuration:
    Intel Core i3 540
    Gigabyte GA-H55M-USB3
    DDR3 Ram
    Do I need to buy any other hardware?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Vikas, I have been too busy to do a new build! However, the reading I am doing leads me to believe you might be better off to buy a solid, separate video board. You will get much better performance, you can likely find one that has better connectors on it for your monitor (or flat screen TV! yeah!), and may be easier to support with the hackintosh community. The website and websites both have sections on video boards that are worth checking out. However, TonyMacX86 also has a new post about onboard graphics you may want to check out; click here for the info about Sandy Bridge HD 3000 graphics. I personally like the idea of buying a killer high-performance card, but it looks like there are options either way depending on your build budget and tolerance for risk.

      Let me know how it goes, as I am freeing up some time to start that new build soon. Thanks for reading!


      • Vikas says:

        Thanks John for your quick reply. I will check the forum links you mentioned and will decide what will be the best option. I will keep you posted. Thanks for sharing your experience.


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