Sometimes it's just better to go with the flow to keep the client happy. If they judge your end result or the overall quality of your work by the amount of available toilet paper, just get a few extra rolls alright. Do your clients require a real Mac? Just get one. In the end they
are paying you.
But this is totally different compared to the question if a hackintosh is up for the job vs a real MacPro. And as many posters have pointed out, they surely are up for the job. And they even can do it for a lot less money with more performance. And yes, I tried this myself and installed OS X 10.10.3 on a separate HD so i could switch to windows easy. And no I did not just check my e-mail on it or wrote a letter in Word. I did a big 4K video editing project on it and a 3D animation/rendering project without any issues.
But: (and this is a big one
) They require a lot more effort to get up and running perfectly compared to a real mac that's just plug-and-play. And you can run into unforeseen consequences (yes, thats a half life reference) despite things are much easier nowadays. For example my GA-Z87-UD3H board is on the recommend list of mainboards. Yet I experienced random system freezes and I had to flash the F8m bios (a user m
odified bios) that would resolve the crashes. However I was already at F9 bios and could't downgrade without the use of another third party tool. After finally installing the bios the crashes were a lot less frequent but not gone totally. I also had to manually adjust some memory subtimings to get it all sorted out. This took at least whole day to figure out and at least another day to check if the solution really worked.
Second example: The TP-Link 4800 PCI express WiFi card works out of the box on MacOSX and is also on the recommended list. However, I experience incidental 'freezes' of the WiFi connection. The icon doesn't show anything wrong and the connection seems good, but there's no data transfer at all. Disconnecting and reconnecting solves the problem for another few hours or even a day. A quick google search shows i'm not the only one. Hopefully this issue is resolved when i receive my PCI Express Aiport adapter + original apple mini PCI-E wifi card. For the moment I use an old router as a wireless client (kinda like an USB dongle) but its connected to the LAN port of my pc. This works ok.
I consider myself pretty tech savvy, but even with recommended hardware the path was not smooth at all. Apart from these two initial issues everything works without any problems. Computer runs 24/7 (including sleep and wake up cycles). After effects, Premiere, Final Cut X, AutoDesk Maya, various games, multiple virtual machines, it all works fine. USB3 speeds are good, my dual 27" monitors work good too.
I even put it head to head with a real MacPro 6 Core from a colleague and it does outperform that machine by a little bit because of its more modern and higher clocked 4 core I7 4790 CPU. I'm not talking about synthetic benchmarks but real scenario's like rendering H264 video or 3D animations. Interestingly enough, the dual FirePro cards on the MacPro proved to be of no performance gain compared to the single GTX780 in the hackintosh. Not in the Maya Viewport 2.0, not in After Effects Raytrace test, not in Final Cut X, not in Motion and not in Premiere Pro realtime preview and rendering. I know this is a different discussion, but I have serious doubts about the real world gains of those FirePro cards. There's no excuse a single GTX780 400 dollar gaming card matches 1500 dollar dual firepro cards. And I'm not talking games here, but real world professional use where the firepro cards should
make a difference.
Anyway, the question to ask first is: How do I present myself to my clients? Does a hackintosh 'fit in'? Secondly: Are you willing to spend time and effort (and maybe quite some time and effort) on a hackintosh for the initial set-up and the upgrade process later on when there's a new OS X version? If yes, sure go ahead and save a lot of dollars and buy yourself an extra long summer holiday