Man how things have changed. Just browsing through Tonymacx86 recently and I have realized just how quickly things are advanving in the hackintosh world. I fear not, for these new developments have come to my excitement as I begin a new build for a friend of mine. Here’s what I have so far in mind in a letter I wrote to him:
Motherboard: $139 – $179
Processor: $219 – $319
Ram: $39 – $79
**NOTE: you’ll find various deals on RAM. More the GB the better. 16 seems like the practical limit though. I run older rated 8GB ram and it feels doable. 16 will only ensure you computer lasts longer in the technological race.
**I’ve owned these before. They are really nice to over clock.
Video card: $204 – $300
Case and Power Supply: $80
*NOTE: often times you can find a bundle which sells a case with a power supply. Don’t buy a bundle that has less than 500W Power Supply Unit (PSU) I have listed a combo below. You can change the case, and the power supply should work with any other case. The fancier the case, the prettier it looks, nothing more. I could run my shit in a cardboard box, but maybe that’s skimping out too much. I’m not the one to buy fancy cases, so I have listed reasonable options. What ever case you buy, just make sure the specifications state it is ATX or microATX motherboard compatible (depending on which motherboard you decide to buy from above). It’s not too uncommon to find cases that are both, mATX and ATX compatible.
*This is the one I have, it’s not pretty, but very popular. It has good cable management features and an array for Hard drive spaces along with slots for separate CD/floppy/ smart cards etc.
Hard drive: $68 – $118
**NOTE: I would recommend buying two hard drive. One a fast read/write speed with low storage, and the other a much larger moderate read/write speed. One hard drive will host your operating system and the other will provide space for your data/movies/music, etc. This way if your hard drive fails, you’ll still retain your data, same thing if the OS fails. You could get one large and fast hard drive and partition it, so long as it’s not an SSD it’s cheaper that way. One small SSD and one large storage HDD would be my recommendation. You will feel and see the performance boost in a SSD hard drive if you were to buy it just for installing the OS. Below is my recommendation, but in this section you have a lot of wiggle room. Just don’t buy a 3TB hard drive, those are a pain in the ass in regards to compatibility.
Or you could just buy the 1TB 6.0Gb/s HDD without the SSD 64GB hard drive.
Cooling: $30 – $114
*VERY IMPORTANT if you want me to Over-clock your Hackintosh. The ones listed are the most bang of the buck. Cheaper = more risky for higher over clocked system, more investment = safe for your hackintosh over-clocked.
**A larger case will do you well for the COOLER MASTER cooling systems. the N520 is as adequate as the Corsair liquid cooling, but much, much physically larger.
Other: $0 – $45
NOTE: If you want WIFI wireless internet on your desktop you’ll need this. I usually hardwire mine via ethernet so I never have a need for this.
Bluetooth card: Any local USB dongle that has Mac logo in the back indicating Mac compatibility will do. I use IOgear bluetooth adapter $10 from Fry’s. It’s decent.
TOTAL POTENTIAL BUDGET RANGE: $779 – $1,234
Cheaper prices can be found if you hunt carefully. I did a quick search for a roundabout estimate for the build. Also subscribing to tigerdirect.com, newegg, amazon for daily electronic deals will help get good bargain for hard drives, ram, and even possibly cooling. For cooling make sure it’s LGA 1155 compatible.
If you’re trying to decide where you’d like to compromise, ask yourself do you want to over clock your system over 4.1 GHz? If yes, then I suggest the more expensive motherboard with i7 and N520 cooling system. If not, then maybe mATX motherboard with 8GB ram and i5 slightly over clocked and Hyper 212 cooling.
If you find a good deal on something, call me before you buy it!! Also I didn’t put in the cost of a mouse, keyboard, and monitor, assuming you already have that from your old computer.