How to Build a Hackintosh

nofilmschool by Ryan Koo

Last updated October 2012 with the latest Intel Ivy Bridge processor and motherboard recommendations (which, it’s worth noting, are not available on the out-of-date Mac Pros) and OS X Mountain Lion-native installation instructions. My example build is currently running flawlessly using OS X Mountain Lion 10.8.2. New in this latest build: Thunderbolt! However, note that to use the Thunderbolt ports on a Hackintosh, you will have to plug in your Thunderbolt device at boot-up; it is not hot-swappable. We also have native nVidia graphics drivers for the best possible video/3D support.


What do you do when you need a high-end Mac — for editing video, retouching photos, recording music, animating 3D graphics, or just playing games — but you can’t afford a Mac Pro? Build one out of PC components. Yes, it’s possible to take off-the-shelf PC parts and build a Mac with your bare hands. It takes a D.I.Y attitude and a sense of adventure, but the result — a machine that’s faster than the entry-level Mac Pro, for half the price — is worth it. I wrote this how-to with video editors and other creatives in mind, but this hackintosh will work for anyone looking to get more bang for the buck out of a Mac. I believe this is the most in-depth guide you’ll find online, as I explain a lot of the reasons for choosing certain components, and I also include a full suite of testing utilities to ensure you end up with absolute best hackintosh (less) money can buy. As more folks build this exact machine, the article should get even more comprehensive, thanks to comments and additions.

Creativity shouldn’t be relegated to the upper class. But in the 21st century, many creative pursuits require the latest technology — especially working with video, which requires a lot of processing power and storage space. But when Apple recently announced new Mac Pros for the first time in almost two years, I wondered why they were so expensive, concluding that they were “not a good value proposition.” As far as video editors were concerned, I also wondered why they no longer offered nVidia graphics cards as an option, despite (or because of) the fact that Adobe Creative Suite uses nVidia cards to get drastically higher performance when editing video. So here’s the latest technology at a fraction of the cost — all it requires to build a Hackintosh is some elbow grease and a DIY attitude. read more...

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