To Hackintosh or not to, that is the question...

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Jah2013, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Jah2013 macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Hey there,

    I would like to know ur opinions on an ethical decision... Given the fact that there is the possibility to build a hackintosh the easy way nowadays, I could get much more potent hardware on the same price as an original... I am willing to spend money on perfect manufacturing and the mac software.. But is it worth the 1000$ difference to pc hardware ? .. I am gonna have to chooce between a fully specced iMac and this "hackintosh":

    2x 6core xeon e5 with 15 MB of L3 Cache each
    32 GB of 1600 MHZ DDR3...
    2 TB of Samsung 840 Evo SSD in Raid 0 (1000 MB/s) with daily backups

    I wont be able to afford the new Mac Pro, so the screen of the iMac would be addional but unwanted value. The hackintosh looks to be much more potent for the same 2500 euros...

    Ethics ?
  2. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    I don't think you're going to build a 12 core with a decent card and 32GB of RAM for 2500 euro
  3. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Don't forget to factor in your time as part of the cost. I understand that building a PC can be a fun and rewarding experience... I used to do that myself ... and therefore isn't a 'cost' at all. The other 'time cost' however is the maintenance cost.

    You have to be careful about OS upgrades - reading the relevant blogs before committing yourself. You may get stuck at an early OS level because Apple's newest OS breaks something in the hackintosh. Or there may be time involved to work around this issue.

    And of course you are your own technical support department. Part of the price of a Mac is the 'one stop' warranty service. Hardware or Software, it doesn't matter... Apple will cover it. With a hackintosh you need to first figure out whether it's SW or HW, and then contact the relevant provider. You are likely still covered... but it's time invested that can be spent elsewhere. Of course, all of this may be just fine with you, and then go ahead. I just wanted to point out that there is time involved - and to make sure you had factored that into your balance sheet.

    And, of course, make sure you have really good backups.
  4. valiant66 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012
    I just did a very, very quick sum of what your parts list would come to based on today's prices at, and before adding a case, power supply or video card I got about $3400. Adding a pair of decent video cards will increase that price between $1000 and $2000.

    The old canard that Macs are more expensive is no longer true, especially if you are building your own. Their supply chain is tight, they buy in huge bulk, their contracts with their makers are aggressive, and even with the famous 30% markup, you can't beat their hardware costs ON AN ORANGES-TO-ORANGES BASIS. (I thought "apples-to-apples basis" would be too obvious... ;) To build your own hackintosh and match the hardware specs of an iMac (or even Mac Mini) for a lower price is now a myth. And the higher up the chain you go, the bigger the disparity becomes.

    You simply can't build a hackintosh that will match the specs of the entry level new Mac Pro for as little as $3000. It's astonishing that Apple can.

    Yes you can build a hackintosh cheaper than a Mac, but it will have inferior specs. And as mentioned above, you don't get Apple's famous customer service or tight integration between hardware and software. Those alone are worth the 30% markup, not to mention not having to micro-manage software updates and new OS releases.

    How do I know this? I needed a new Mac Pro earlier this year but didn't want the old model and couldn't wait for the new one. I ended up spending almost $4k on a hackintosh that doesn't want to upgrade to Mavericks. I truly wish I could have just waited for the new Pro...
  5. Jah2013 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 2, 2013
    Well, let's calculate again:

    2x Six-Core 2.6GHz E5-2630V2 _____________ 500,99 € each [1]
    1x SUPERMICRO X9DRL-iF Motherboard - ATX - LGA2011 Socket - C602 - LGA2011 Socket (not sure about compatibility) ___________________________ 348,00 € [2]
    2x 1 TB Samsung 840 Evo _________________ 465,47 [3]
    Totals so far to 2280.92 € (including Tax).

    Missing: RAM, PSU, Case, Cooling, Graphics Card, Apple Logo :apple:

    RAM used to be below 200 euros for 32 GB some time ago (before the fire in that chinese company occured). So even if I would have to spend 2800 euros, it would still be the much more potent hardware than a single quad core and 256 GB of ssd found in the Mac Pro's. Actually, I dont need that much of graphics power as my work is nearly only CPU intensive.

    [1] Price found here
    [2] Price found here
    [3] Price found here
  6. apunkrockmonk macrumors 6502a


    Nov 20, 2005
    Rochester, NY
    The above is something very important to consider. In addition to your regular backups you'll need to keep a bootable clone ready to go as well.

    The ease of setup is usually based on the motherboard you choose ranging from almost "Vanilla" OS X installs to installs that become nightmares with every software update.

    You cannot just choose any motherboard and expect your Hackintosh experience to be easy.

    My first Hack was C2D based and was quite a pain to maintain. My newer Ivy Bridge was much easier to setup and maintain.

    However, the next time I need a new computer I may go back to buying a real Mac and avoiding the headaches.
  7. MyMac1976 macrumors 6502


    Apr 14, 2013
    To Hackintosh or not to, that is the question...

    This still doesn't have a card and I don't believe E5's have internal graphics but for cpu stuff it is going to be faster. The SM board will probably not be compatible see if you can find a DP Asus WS board
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Do you need a 6 core xeon workstation? What will you be doing with this?

    You need to choose very carefully the motherboard, cpu, and gpu otherwise you'll be in a boatload of hurt to try to load OSX.

    Keep in mind, that it may be troublesome to upgrade or even patch a mackintosh. I built one and I was able to load one version of OSX and even patch it, but I couldn't get Lion on it.

    Another thing to consider is you're using this machine to make money - are you willing to take a chance of incurring downtime if you do run into issues. You'll have to fix it yourself.

    I built a hackintosh as I mentioned but it was more of a hobby, it was fun to do but it did give me issues that a regular Mac never did.
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    This shopping list needs a lot more work before you're going to make your point. You have a prices, without some of the core components - not to mention the cooling the case. The CPU and MB may not even work together, much less with OS X.

    Like I said... building your own can be a rewarding experience... but it takes a fair bit of time to research to get mix of parts right. It's a lot easier now, with websites that give a complete shopping list. But it still takes a bit more time than the list about took, imho...
  10. valiant66 macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2012
    Getting back to my original point, let's review:

    Base specs on the Mac Pro can be found around the net, here's one place:

    The new Mac Pro entry level has a quad-core 3.5 Ghz Xeon E5. The Xeon E5-2637 v2 3.50 GHz Processor is priced on Amazon right now at $1218.93.

    It has only 12 GB of 1866 Mhz Ram. Corsair Vengeance 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR3 1866 MHz is $189.99 on Amazon. That's laptop RAM, but it looks like that's what Apple is using. That's a little more memory than the base Mac Pro.

    The only Hackintosh recommended LGA 2011 motherboard is the Gigabyte LGA 2011 Extended ATX GA-X79S-UP5-WIFI for $318.13, but it doesn't have Thunderbolt, never mind Thunderbolt 2.0, Bluetooth 4 or the new WiFi standard.

    The baseline SSD is 256 SSD on the PCIe bus. On Amazon the OCZ RevoDrive 3 X 2 240 GB PCI Express SSD RVD3X2-FHPX4-240G is $659.82

    The Mac Pro has dual GPUs. I can't find a price for an AMD FirePro D300, but it's a Pitcairn based GPU like the W7000. Amazon has the AMD FirePro W7000 4GB PCI-Express Graphics Card 100-505634 for $649.99.

    So: $1218.93 + $189.99 + $318.13 + $659.82 + ($649.99 x 2) = $3686.85.

    And that's without power supply, case, or cooling, and it lacks Thunderbolt.

    So to get back to my point IF YOU ARE COMPARING ORANGES TO ORANGES - I.e. doing your best to build an actual Mac Pro using commodity PC parts, you CANNOT match the prices Apple charges.

    So no need to worry about the ethics: a genuine Mac Pro will be cheaper than building a knockoff!

    YES, you can build something cheaper but you are no longer comparing oranges to oranges. To put it in automotive terms, you would be comparing a $85,000 BMW M5 to a $35,000 Chrysler 300. They're both luxury 4-door sedans, but they're not the same thing at all.

    I hope that helps your ethical dilemma.

  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I agree with your post… And Apple is definitely not using laptop RAM. My MP has ECC ram with special heatsinks. Makes your point stronger, btw...

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