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Ask DN: Hackintosh builds, for web designers / developers?

over 7 years ago from , Product Designer

Hi guys,

Just wanted to know if any of you have built a Hackintosh as a replacement of your Mac products? Only because I feel my MacBook Pro retina just doesn't supply enough horsepower when it comes to using Photoshop.. If so, how did it go for you and was it worth the transition?

18 comments

  • Robert BusbyRobert Busby, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    DN has a hard-on for hardware right now. I like it.

    7 points
  • James StiffJames Stiff, over 7 years ago

    I built a hackintosh in January to replace my obsolete (2006) Mac Pro. Updating OS X is a bit more hassle with a hackintosh but otherwise it's been a positive experience. I just appreciate having a slightly more future-proof machine. I can now upgrade individual components as needed. Generally, Apple products offer more limited upgrade options.

    http://www.jamesstiff.com/2013/01/22/hackintosh/

    1 point
  • Andrew LeAndrew Le, over 7 years ago

    GA-Z77X-UP5-TH with Thunderbolt display 3.5ghz i7 16gb RAM Corsair Force GT SSD (similar specs as a top tier 2012 iMac)

    Built it a year ago and it has been used mostly as a file server mostly because of the upkeep required. It's fast and cheap but slightly less reliable than throwing down money on the real thing. It's a fun hobby and worth it performance-wise, but I wouldn't trust it as my main workstation without a backup computer. I'm content using a 13" Air with my TB display.

    1 point
  • Matheus PereiraMatheus Pereira, over 7 years ago

    I do hackintosh 's been about eight years. Initially by curiosity (and lack of money for an original model). Long ago things were quite complicated. You had to intervene in many details to make the OS work and when it worked, it worked through the steam.

    Since then much has changed, and changed for the better. The comudidade around the subject increased and many ports were made. Do Hackintosh today is a simple matter of choosing the right parts.

    For example, a few months put together a new machine for my work (dev + ui /ux ) . I started with an SSD, a intermediate motherboard from Gigabyt , board video from AMD (I prefer Nvidia, but the money was little ) and a processor Haswell. Ran the OS X since the first beta of the Mavericks, and from there everything worked reasonably well. After the third beta machine had a stable and fully functional.

    Now the GM, everything goes well and at full speed. All updates have been made by the Mac App Store.

    Anyway, practice Hackintosh is a hack-ability. Lost nights of sleep, but I learned a lot about the architecture of the system in question.

    If you are a Designer and trembles with a hack, ask your buddy Dev do it, but if you are a curious, might be a good option.

    I live in Brazil and prices of Apple products (and almost all imported electronics) are very high. For me that is the determining factor for Hackintosh. If your country things are different, it might be better to wait for the new Mac Pro :)

    0 points
    • Aaron S, over 7 years ago

      Thanks for the great reply, that really clarified it for me! I have great knowledge when it comes to the nitty gritty parts of computers, it's something I thoroughly enjoy doing. Which is why I think I'd love to take this bad boy on!

      0 points
  • Jason YehJason Yeh, over 7 years ago

    I don't think Hackintosh for web designers and devs are required... I used one at Prologue but I think they build that for the convenience of the 3D guys.

    0 points
  • Dirk HCM van BoxtelDirk HCM van Boxtel, over 7 years ago

    My girlfriend runs one, built by a friend of mine.

    Requires regular work (every x months) and still crashes frequently during gaming, video editing or photoshopping.

    She still thinks it's been worth it.

    I'd say it's a lifestyle choice, rather than a money one.

    0 points
  • Roy BarberRoy Barber, over 7 years ago

    A friend purchased a hackintosh over here in the UK from http://www.esseffcomputers.com/ and its an absolute beast! Although nowhere near as quiet as apple!

    0 points
    • Aaron S, over 7 years ago

      Nice, will definitely consider it! Has it run smoothly for him, with no problems?

      0 points
  • Martin Mark, over 7 years ago

    I had a similar problem. I needed to have a faster laptop though and found the process of Hackintoshing one a little daunting.

    I ended up running OSX for XCode in a VM and everything else in Windows. It gets the job done. On an i7 with 8GBs it feels about the same speed as an old Core2Duo Macbook.

    0 points
    • Aaron S, over 7 years ago

      Did you build a laptop hackintosh? Also, when you say you ended up running XCode on VM was that on the hackintosh or MacBook?

      Daunting but worth it in the end?

      Thanks for the reply Martin!

      0 points
  • Yifan JinYifan Jin, over 7 years ago

    Yeah, I did build a Hackintosh as my main desktop right now just because iMacs aren't as powerful as I would want it to be and I like to do PC gaming as well.

    What exactly are you looking for and for around what budget?

    0 points
    • Aaron SAaron S, over 7 years ago

      Exactly the same thing, I do happen to have a list of what I'm going to get. Will share it as soon as I can. Also, thinking of getting the Thunderbolt Display to go with it, but not much help on the internet about it working on a Hackintosh? Obviously I'd need to get a motherboard with at least thunderbolt compatability.

      Has it given you any problems? Or does it run pretty smooth, you know running Photoshop and the essentials?

      Thanks for the reply!

      0 points
      • Yifan JinYifan Jin, over 7 years ago

        Not sure if you already got something setup as I just saw the 1 reply button with the somewhat new DN layout.

        I'm personally running an 3930k setup which is probably more expensive than what you like. Currently, only Ivy Bridge would work well at this point so if you would like Thunderbolt, I would recommend getting the GA-Z77X-UP4 TH since Gigabyte boards work the best.

        I have currently upgraded my system to Mavericks without any problems and it runs Photoshop, Sketch, and even Final Cut really well. It works almost as well as a new Mac (it probably crashes more often than an real iMac although its still very stable).

        0 points
  • Matt BaxterMatt Baxter, over 7 years ago

    Have you already maxed out the RAM on your MacBook? Might be a cheaper/easier option, unless you're just wanting to build one for the heck of it.

    0 points
    • Aaron S, over 7 years ago

      Well, sort of, more the fact it starts to scream at me when I'm working on large files in photoshop and then starts becoming really slow to work with.. I've not figured out if it's a RAM problem just yet. But it does start to overheat..

      0 points
      • Matt BaxterMatt Baxter, over 7 years ago

        MacBooks tend to get hot in general and the fans can be loud, but I've never actually seen one overheat from too much processing. How much RAM does yours have? I really think you would see a big difference with that maxed out. I'm assuming that you have an SSD since you have a retina, but definitely go for that as well if you don't.

        0 points