Great writeup, you almost rekindled my desire to build another one! I ran a hackintosh as my main machine for 2 years before actually pulling the trigger on real Apple hardware. Even if you buy the most compatible parts, it's not uncommon to boot into random kernel panics, resulting in hours of frustrating troubleshooting. It's also frustrating not to know if a specific update would ever become available for your current setup. As much as I'd like to believe that you can be 100% productive on a Hackintosh, I fear that this is far from possible. Hackintosh is an excellent option for people who work primarily on Windows or Linux and sometimes dual-boot into Mac. I wouldn't feel safe if this was my only machine for sure.
100% agree with Martin, I had the exact same issues around 2012-2013, before buying genuine Apple hardware.
An ex-colleague built my then-girlfriend a hackintosh.
Now you've got someone owning a hack of a computer that keeps dying without the person operating it (or the person she live(d) with) knowing how to fix it.
Gghhh. My bad.
For balance I run a Hack' (for the last 5 years) and have never had any issues whatsoever. Can't say the same for my MBA....
Honestly, I was running a lot of custom kexts (I had a clocked 2600k with speed step working), my setup was quite dangerously balanced. I know that if you go kosher and don't go overboard with the customisations it can be a solid machine. However there was always this fear on the back of my head that something just might go wrong. Especially if you're deep into a project, last thing you would want is to spend a day re-setting up your machine. But yeah... in the end if Apple fails to release a solid update to their current hardware line by the end of the year - I'll be forced to go Hackintosh once again. I'm won't be paying premium money for a mediocre machine.
Great article and thanks for the info.
It’s such a shame that the current Mac Pro is so out of date, and in many respects not much quicker than the model it replaced. I don’t want to build a Hackintosh. I really, really don’t want to build a Hackintosh… but this article is pushing me closer to the edge.
Just be ready for it not to be smooth. I know 3 people who ran a Hackintosh at some point in their lives, and all 3 admitted that you'll occasionally start up your computer and have something die.
A mouse, your speakers, USB ports, GFX card, etc. Something would not be recognised or otherwise crap itself.
Note, this is not an issue if you enjoy fixing this. It just loses you productivity.
.edit: oh, and me and the ex had one for 3 years, which ran fine when it did run, but crapped itself at least once a month.
Sounds terrible. :D I really just want to give Apple more money, but I’m not going to do that with the current lineup.
Well, my experiences were pretty terrible, aye :)
I'm sure there's people for whom the Hackintosh works. Whether that's because they like tinkering with a non-standard machine, or because they actually managed to get it to run consistently, that's up for you to figure out :)
So in exchange for $1k (the difference between what you paid and a top of the line 5k iMac) you are not only getting a long list of major issues / missing features (sound not working reminds me of the days of windows XP when you had to find a working driver for your sound card before you had sound), you are also not getting any support, no updates, no 5k display, a considerably less reliable system in a less practical form factor. Not to mention the ton of work it takes to build and maintain that thing.
Could you be more condescending? I wrote an article about a cool thing I did, there's no reason to be a jerk. Oh wait, it's Designer News, everyone's a jerk.
I am not being condescending, I am questioning the usefulness of a hackintosh. If you care to counter my arguments, you are more than welcome to.
I would absolutely not recommend a hackintosh as your daily driver. Hackintoshes always sound great in theory, but never turn out well in practice (in my experience, but also in experience of a few friends of mine). Sound issues, random kernel panics, the guarantee that your entire system will probably not work anymore if you do a update are some of the reasons I switched my home rig back to Windows. And yes, all parts of my setup were considered 'approved'.
After building a hackintosh with Tonymax86 recommended hardware, this is pretty much exactly how I felt. I had issues with audio, sleep, messages, etc, and just never felt satisfied with the performance and stability of the machine.
I run Windows 10 on it now, and while I'm not a huge fan of the OS, I'm much happier with the it overall.
I've been running OSX on my desktop since February this year, and so far it is super stable. Sure, I had my fair bit of tweaking around, specially with audio in the first week, but as soon as I got everything working, I've been more than surprised by the performance and stability. I haven't had a single crash, ever. I would be fooled to think it was a real Mac. The big downside imo is that you can't really update the Hackintosh without doing proper research, and even then it's risky. But if you don't update... it's basically rock solid in my experience. Maybe I was lucky.
Although, I'd probably not make my Hackintosh my "primary" machine. If you can, have a MBP as a cover, in case something goes wrong (on both of them). This way you can have a backup machine to keep working no matter what. Just make sure you keep your important files in the cloud and a Time Machine for each of them for recovery.
I've run a hackintosh for 6 years now (Snow Leopard to Yosimite) without any issues. I'm not sure what people are doing to their systems to make them so unstable.
"Works on my machine"
Built a Hackintosh last year with unibeast and clover, have had some hiccups here and there like most people. But, nothing that can't be fixed with a little searching. Best thing I've done. It's incredibly powerful!
iMessage on my Mac doesn’t work.
I was seriously considering a Hackintosh as my next machine until I read that.
The sound not working didn't put you off before you got to that?
I figured it’s something that’s possible to fix with the right hardware or drivers. Can’t say the same about iMessage, though.
Been fiddling with Hackintosh for a year or so, with a Windows notebook. Things are definitely harder when you don't get to choose the parts and when your internal parts are customized for laptops while bearing the same name. Things have definitely gotten easier now—I still remember how I struggled with boot commands and Kexts just to get transparent menu bars and proper audio output on Snow Leopard.
Thou shalt not be tempted.....Never!!!....
I used to have a hackintosh, nice if all you can afford is a windows box, but don't see the point of this otherwise, you just end up with an ugly windows setup but running OS X, like this guy. If you like building your own machine, ugly setups etc then get windows.
Hey Mark, I'm not sure why your take on my article was that I can't afford a Mac so I built an "ugly Windows setup" considering I point out a few times that I'm a diehard Mac user, but Apple has left pro users like me behind with slow processors and seldom-updated hardware. Even if I spent $8,000 on the most tricked out Mac Pro it would still be 1) using 3-4 year old internal components (RAM, processor, etc.) and 2) would be slower than even the most modest Hack setups like this one. If Apple had pro-level desktop machines that were anywhere close to using current technology and were fast, I'd buy it! The point is that they don't exist. Not that I'm cheap. I've spent at least $25K on Macs over the years since my first Performa in 1996.
I didn't really read the article, I bought a maxed out iMac 5k, very happy with it, I was considering your option once too. But i went this way and I am very happy! I am sure you will be happy with your choice too :)
Likely just grumpy today haha.
Been running on hackintosh for over a year.. Vanilla Yosemite then El Capitan.. It's been perfect. Although I do lots of 3D rendering and find the same apps better performant on Windows on the same system.
I built mine about a year ago and noticed the same thing. OSX just never seemed to take advantage of the hardware as well as Windows.
Hey Mike, nice article. I will build hackintosh as my summer project since im not that happy with working on i7 mbp. So I'm going to put 64gb ram, i7, 512 SSD and some tonymac recommended gpu. Could you shoot me your email so I can ask you some questions if I get stuck in osx installation process?
64 GB is overkill. Do you have any plan to use all of it?
For sure, open few tabs in google chrome :)
Just kidding, I agree its overkill but I don't plan on upgrading that rig anytime soon so I'm going for at least 5 years of none upgrading.
Yeah! I'm mike dot rundle at gmail or hit me up at Twitter @flyosity