Friday, November 23, 2012

Project Blackintosh Stage 1: The Parts

I hope my blackintosh will look something like this

The first step in building a hackintosh is figuring out what parts to use in your build. Some parts will work better than others. Some not at all. As usual, research is key in creating your hackintosh build. Head on over to tonymacx86 for some sample builds. The lists in the forum are really quite comprehensive. You'll be able to find a build for almost any computing need, plus instructions on how to get everything up and running. 

My build is basically a headache-free gaming hackintosh that is as cheap as possible. I didn't stray very far from the recommended Ivy Bridge build to keep compatibility issues to a minimum. Here are the components that I chose (may vary from the actual ones that I buy based on availability and budget):

Gigabyte Z77-UD5H
Gigabyte motherboards are the easiest to hackintosh. The Z77 ones have this dual BIOS that makes OS X installation a breeze. You won't need to hunt down DSDTs (a special file for hackintoshing) for your specific motherboard because most things will just work after OS X installation. The problem so far is that I haven't found this motherboard yet, so I have to do more hunting in local stores. (I found a similar one that might work though.)

Intel Core i5 3570
For gaming, the benchmarks say that there's not much difference between a Core i5 and Core i7. But there is a big difference in price. I'm going with the cheaper i5.

Video Card:
Asus GeForce GTX 660 Ti
The most expensive component in my build is the video card. The top of the line GTX 680 costs significantly more. This is a good middle ground. Still a little pricey, but with it, I should be able to play lots of games on high settings. Again, Nvidia Kepler cards are most compatible with hackintosh builds.

16GB Corsair 1600MHz DDR3
This should do for gaming.

Corsair Carbide 400R
There are cheaper cases out in the market, but I like this one because of its cable management. It's also super expandable. Since I might be stuck with this computer for a long time (that's the point in building a PC after all), might as well get the nice-looking one.

Corsair TX Series 650W
This is probably overkill for the system. But again, the point is expandability. One day I might get a second video card or something. If that day ever comes, I'll have some extra power on hand.

SanDisk 120GB G25 SSD
SSDs can make your system feel significantly faster. It's kind of a must-have for zippy systems nowadays. Powering on is almost instantaneous and loading times are much faster. Unfortunately, SSD's are still expensive, and this 120GB SSD is the largest drive that makes sense for me. I'll be using it in tandem with a bunch of older, much larger hard drives. Together I will have speed AND storage capacity.

Optional Parts:

Water Cooler:
Thermaltake Water 2.0 Performer
Not a day one purchase, but my last PC build was a nightmare of overheating, so I think it's a good idea to invest in some water cooling.

Western Digital Caviar Black 1TB
The second 6GB/S slot on my motherboard is reserved for this drive. I am a data hog, and I'm betting I will need more storage fast.

Estimated price for this build is 50K. But it can be a lot cheaper if you get a less fancy casing, smaller power supply and skip the SSD. A barebones hackintosh system without the video card can be had for 30K. Meanwhile, all the bells and whistles will put the system in the 60K ballpark.

Comparing my basic 50K build to the recently released iMac, it is most similar to the iMac that sells for P87,990.  Both have Core i5's and GTX 660's. But I think the 660 Ti has more memory than the 660M Apple is using. Plus the 660M is actually a laptop video card. Oh, and the Core i5 3570 has a faster clock speed of 3.4GHz versus Apple's 2.9GHz. And my build has SSD. Oh, and 8GB more RAM than the iMac. So my build is a little better, um, everywhere.

Of course, my system is fat and ugly. But if you really cared about that, you wouldn't be reading a hackintosh post. I'll be building the Blackintosh around December. The first set of parts is already in the mail. It's cheaper from Amazon!


jairah karla de guzman said...

Hi, I'm Jairah from Western Digital. would you be interested to post PR Stories in your site? If you agree I would like to send you PR Stories of our client Western Digital. Thank you and God bless.

The Third World Nerd said...

Hi Jairah! Add me on FB or Google+ and I will DM you.