My Hackintosh vs iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 1080p, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. 1080p macrumors 68030


    Mar 17, 2010
    Planet Earth
    I decided to skip upgrading from my old iMac to a Hackintosh instead. This isn't my first time Hacking... Hackintosh actually led me to buying my first iMac... but this time I wanted to have control over what was going into it... and save money.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    A properly planned and built Hackintosh is just as reliable. The above machine runs Mavericks with EVERYTHING working 100% out of the box except for sound... until I installed 1 kext (driver)... then I had sound. Because of the vanilla installation with Chimera, updates won't even break this machine.

    Intel Core i7-4770K
    Gigabyte Mini-ITX Motherboard
    Gigabyte Nvidia Geforce GTX 760
    8GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
    120GB Samsung 840 EVO Solid State Drives (2... 1 for OSX, 1 for Windows 7)
    1GB Segate 2.5" HDD
    500 Watt Corsair modular power supply
    BitFenix Prodigy ITX case (Orange)
    Dell U2412M IPS Monitor 1920x1200
    Logitech Wireless Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac
    Apple Magic Trackpad

    A LOT cheaper and better than a comparable iMac @ $2399. :D
  2. Pakaku macrumors 68000


    Aug 29, 2009
    It's also in a tower and uses tower components, if we're comparing it to an iMac. But meh, saved money is still saved money.
  3. rkaufmann87 macrumors 68000


    Dec 17, 2009
    Folsom, CA
    Well good for you. You have to admit though compared to any Mac it's pretty darned ugly to look at.
  4. IA64 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2013
    It's like installing iOS on a Nokia.

    You know... that OS was made and customized for this handset only, and so are Macintosh computers.

    No offense but orange case dude ? seriously wtf...?
  5. Seramir, Feb 4, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014

    Seramir macrumors member


    Nov 10, 2006
    That build is still missing some key hardware components from say, a baseline iMac—thunderbolt, 802.11ac wireless and faster PCIe SSD. Not only that, but you'll be losing hassle free Apple Care warranty and resale value. Of course, you're also wholly giving up the benefits of a clutter free all-in-one design.

    And you shouldn't be comparing that Hackintosh to a $2,399 iMac. A $2,399 iMac would have a 27" display at least.

    I too did consider building a Hackintosh prior to buying a new iMac. But when I selected all the parts I wanted that must meet or exceed that of the iMac's, I ended up with a grand total of $1,800. And that is for the tower alone. I would have to add a quality 27" IPS display, like the Dell U2713HM 27” for $600. After that, the price comes basically the same as the iMac at $2,400. People say that Macs are more expensive than PCs, but when I did all the math it didn't turn out that way at all.

    In the end, I decided to buy the iMac since once I get a new computer I don't plan on upgrading it for at least 3-4 years anyway. By then I would be selling the iMac and get a new computer.

    And if you want a more Mac styling case, I would have gone with the new Rosewill Legacy MX2-S case. It reminds me kind of like a less pretty old Mac Pro. You can also get the case in black.


  6. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Like others have pointed out, there are some differences between your build and an iMac.

    1. No 27" display
    2. Thunderbolt
    3. 802.11ac
    4. No PCIe SSD

    Add to that the fact that your case is darn ugly and leads to more cables and more boxes. On top of that, your build may be stable *for the current OS version*. When an update comes, you never know what might stop working and you'll have to wait until the hackintosh community comes up with a fix/kext/whatever.

    I looked into hackintosh too but meh, it wouldn't be that much cheaper anyway. The only advantage in terms of price/performance (if you compare it with similar components that's in the iMac) is:

    1. You get better GPU-performance
    2. You get slightly better CPU-performance
    3. The possibility to upgrade your hardware in the future

    #3 is important in terms of saving money but when you actually buy your computer + thunderbolt display (since that's the closest display that is like the iMac display), you're looking at an almost identical purchase-price. Plus there's always that uncertainty that something might stop working after an update = not worth it for me. I want to spend time USING my computer, not MAKING IT WORK.

    I realise everyone's different though so enjoy your computer :)
  7. Kek macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2014
    Monoprice 27" IPS-ZERO-G uses the same panel as the 27" iMac, so the monitor is the same.

    Gigabyte GA-Z87X-UD5 TH has 2 Thunderbolt ports and does 802.11ac

    You could just put 2 SSDs in RAID 0 and get the same speeds

    It's smooth sailing as long as you have UEFI

    Because while people try to compare they usually do stuff like
    1. 780M = 780
    2. Always go with the most expensive option and not the most practical
    3. Don't research properly

    A Hackintosh with the same specs as a 3,799$ iMac would cost 2,013$, I like iMacs for their elegance, the general design but, It's a lie that they are good value performance wise
  8. IA64 macrumors 6502

    Nov 8, 2013
    That screen alone is thicker than the whole iMac....
  9. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    well you assume a lot don't you. You seem to be missing a concept of panel grading. Apple only uses panels of grade A+ why other companies go after and buy grade B or inferior and repackage them a lot cheaper. If you want to compare, go pickup a 27" from Planar (which is a similar laminated A+ panel) and you will have to shell out 799$.

    The monoprice monitors doesn't have a laminated display, everything is more glossy (like iMac from 2010 and below).

    I have an iMac 2008 and a hackintosh, if you want to tap yourself of the back, you should go to tonyx86 forums instead.

    I do like my hackintosh, but if I count every hours I spent to have it working the way it is, I would have save buying a new one.
  10. torana355 macrumors 68030

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    Looks like a decent setup, Hackintosh can be a cheaper way to go upfront if you have the time to set it up and maintain it as new OS's come out. One thing that people forget however is the resale you get on a iMac or any Apple product for that matter. I can still sell my 2012 iMac and only lose a couple of hundred bucks, For example i just sold my 2011 MBA which i got new for $1250 for $950 bucks on ebay! My upgrade to a newer MBA will only cost me 200 bucks. If you decide to sell your setup in 2 years you wont get close to that kind of return. ;)
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Nice setup, I went the hackintosh route before myself but found in the long run it can be a headache. I loaded Snow Leopard on it (which was the current OS at the time), I had a lot of trouble getting Lion on it, but finally did.

    In the end, it turned out to be more of a proof in concept exercise but not one that I was willing to live with. It all depends on the hardware you select - choose wisely and installing (or upgrading) OSX is will be quite easy. The motherboard I chose was not as compatible as I was led to believe.
  12. AppleFan360 macrumors 68020

    Jan 26, 2008
    Yeah, that's the way I look at it. A Hackintosh is great for someone who has the time to fiddle with things and to take on the challenge. To rely on it for anything serious, forget it. If I was going to spend $1400 I would rather just buy a real iMac and call it a day.
  13. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    My intention was to build a computer and run windows, hackintoshing it was a secondary objective.

    Also for 1300 dollars I got a machine that was closer to the MacPro in terms of power, performance and expandability.

    I have no regrets, other then my core i7 computer is sitting in the spare bedroom collecting dust.
  14. Kek macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2014
    Did you even bother to look up the Zero-G? Monoprice also uses A+ panels and it's laminated too.

    Well, my Windows rig actually went up in value due to it having a 7970 (Thank you, Litecoins!) but that's really a special situation.

    To be fair, In the end you pay same price for upgrading in the end through (paying 300$)
  15. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014
    Not to mention, the resale value for an iMac is more than a Hackintosh.

    I just needed to reiterate that.
  16. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I've run a few Hackintosh builds over the last few years, including my most recent build with a Gigabyte Z77X mobo with dual Thunderbolt and AMD HD7950 GPU. The builds have become so install and run (with nearly zero fiddling on my end) that one has to consider these as less expensive alternatives. In both of my builds the machines have run wonderfully with no kernel panics ever.


    There are always little things that get annoying over time. I had sleep issues (or maybe it was USB issues) that stopped the BT keyboard and mouse from working when I'd wake it up and I'd have to reboot twice in a row to resolve it. Or that I couldn't get encoded audio to output to my stereo. Things that really weren't major issues at all (especially in comparison to the cost, and performance while encoding video files, which never had issues or crashed the system), but were annoying enough to have me looking at official macs again.

    I've gone back to a late 2012 iMac, which is slower in every way to the Hackintosh, but its quiet, way smaller (my case was HUGE for the Hackintosh) and everything works.
  17. accountforit macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2014

    That is hard to believe.
  18. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2012
    you're right about the laminated process but the zero-g isn't grade A+. It's the pro serie that is. The site describe it as grade A-1 which could be different from A+ (since there is A- and A+).

    Having bought a Nixeus (grade A panel), I can confirm the screen is impressive.

    But quality wise, the stand is crap. I will probably end-up buying an arm for this monitor.
  19. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    My Hackintosh consisted of:

    Intel 3770k CPU (clocked at 4.3)
    16GB RAM 1600MHz (OCd to 1800MHz)
    Samsung 830 265GB SSD (connected via SATAIII)
    Sapphire AMD HD7950 GPU 3GB

    Compared to the late 2012 iMac (3.4 i7, 8GB, 1TB Fusion, 680MX), everything in the Hackintosh was just faster overall. There might have been graphical issues (I don't do video editing or the like and I know there are issues with full GPU support in the Hackintosh world) so perhaps testing in that area might have proved different, but for everything else it was just plain faster (CPU, RAM, SSD, etc).
  20. Kek macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2014
    Well, when they sold their monitors on Massdrop they said it was A+

    Also, isn't the Nixeus VESA compatible? Does it matter that the stand is crap?

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