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Can’t Afford A Mac? Build A Hackintosh: What is It and How to Make One?

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How to build a Hackintosh

A Macintosh or a Mac has always been a hot-priced commodity. Many people have dreamed of owning one due to its sophistication and of course, the macOS. Over the years, the user base for the Mac ha grown as it became even more popular. Now, there millions of Mac users out there that benefit the convenience and beauty of a machine and software made for each other.

Unfortunately, due to its price, a Mac is sometimes quite restrictive. This most evident on higher end systems like the Mac Pro. The good news is, ever since Apple started using Intel processors on the Mac, it has been a lot easier to hack the macOS to run on generic PC parts. A machine running on macOS with generic desktop components is known as Hacktintosh.

The basics

The reason why macOS runs smoothly on a Mac is because all the parts it uses are carefully selected. These parts are then brought together to form a fine-tuned machine. In order to replicate this, one must think about the parts that Apple would use on a Mac.

For instance, there are various Intel processors out there. However, there are only a small selection of processors that the macOS supports. For anyone thinking of building a mackintosh should start by picking out what processor is best for the application. Bear in mind that the processor must be supported in order to make this thing a success.

How to build a Hackintosh

macOS Sierra (via apple.com)

After carefully selecting the components to be used, a hackintosh builder will then need to think about how it can fool the macOS operating system into thinking that it is running on a licensed Mac. For this, there are various tools one can use.

During the build, there are also some prerequisites that need to be satisfied in order to successfully create a hackintosh. Keep in mind that building one is not as easy as building a PC, although they both share some similarities in the process.

Parts selection

As mentioned, component selection is quite important for the build. For an aspiring hackintosh builder, tonymacx86 is the best place to start. The site has a list of suggested PC parts that will work with little or no adjustments at all. Furthermore, it also provides the needed software tools that one will use in building a hackintosh.

As far as selection goes, as long as you go within the list of pre-approved parts, you are good to go. Unfortunately, although Apple has already released the Kaby Lake version of the MacBook and MacBook Pro, this processor is still not fully supported by the hackintosh community at the moment. Nevertheless, the previous Skylake series from Intel are perhaps the best suited line of processors for any type of build for the time being.

How to build a Hackintosh

An open-type Hackintosh (via tricksforyew.blogspot.com)

There is, however, a very important caveat. There are some applications on the macOS that rely on a certain type of hardware to be present in the system. Without this particular hardware, some parts of the macOS, like the Message app, will not function properly. The hardware in question is the Broadcom wireless module.

Without this, you may find that using other third party wireless modules may prove to be a bit problematic. The good news is, it is available pretty much everywhere on the Internet. Sites like Amazon, Newegg, and Ebay are the best places to start to look for one.

The software tools

Another thing worth mentioning about building a hackintosh is you still need third-party tools to fool the macOS. The first software, or driver, you will need is the one for the video graphics that you are planning on using. For instance, if you chose an NVIDIA graphics card on your build, you will need to download the macOS driver from NVIDIA itself.

Then, you also need to download two software from tonymacx86: the Unibeast and Multibeast. Finally, you will also need to download the latest macOS version that is supported by the hackintosh community. For this, it is best to check tonymacx86 for compatibility. As for the complete installation process, 9to5Mac has a step-by-step tutorial on how to do the macOS installation on your hackintosh. Fair warning though, as mentioned earlier, the process is not as straightforward as building a PC.

How to build a Hackintosh

Parts selection is quite important in building a Hackintosh (via youtube.com)

Build cost

Before proceeding into building one, perhaps you would want to know just how much a hackintosh will actually cost. The surprising fact is, it is not really that much. In fact, anyone can build as hackintosh for as little as $70 on second-hand parts purchased on the Internet.

On the other hand, if you want to go full out, you can opt for higher performance on your build. Currently, Intel Xeon processors are also supported on the macOS. You can have as much as 12-cores on you build without spending a fortune at all. Most of the time, building a hackintosh can save you as much as 80 percent of the cost than buying an official Mac hardware.

In summary

To summarize, building a hackintosh can prove to be quite cost effective than the actual alternative. However, it is not for the faint hearted. Before making a decision on building one, make sure you do your due diligence first. There are still a few things that you need to understand when it comes to building a hackintosh. However, once you have done so, you can enjoy the macOS on your version of the Mac. Something that you built on your own while at the same time save a fortune by not paying the “Apple tax.”

For more tech updates, be sure to check us out at TheBitbag.

Also read: How Much Will You Save If You Upgrade the iMac Pro On Your Own?

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