Random Thoughts by Fabien Penso

Switching to Hackintosh

TL;DR — I bought standard PC hardware components and I’m waiting for its delivery to install MacOSX and use this hackintosh as my daily development setup.

My currently daily computer is a a Mac mini mid-2011 I bought as I was waiting for a new MacPro. At the time no one knew Apple would release the new trash can MacPro and since I really wanted thunderbolt I didn’t want to invest into the existing MacPro who had not seen updates for a long time.

I got a Mac mini waiting for a new powerful computer, and an external raid5 FW800 disks for my photos (currently using about 3TB). That was a temporary setup, but the temporary did last 4 years. A Dell 30” screen died on the way (I fixed it myself later on) and I got the 27” Thunderbolt Display. Going from 30” to 27” was actually harder than I thought.

Recently the iMac 5K was released, with the new slower Mac Mini, and less expandable than before. I went to the local applestore and while I was impressed by the screen quality, I wasn’t willing to spend as much as 3500 euros on the top line model (the cheapest one is apparently only good for Safari browsing).

I have a very specific need: I want 5TB of disk space locally available, high CPU and lots of RAM. For the disks I would have to go to a LaCie Raid5 thunderbolt disk, it adds about 1200 euros to my total cost. That means close to 5000 euros to spend on a decent computer.


I’ve spent a few hours reading online forums and articles about hackintosh, and ended up following Tony’s advices. My component list:

For 40 euros extras the store builds the computer, and checks everything works fine. It will be delivered without any OS and I can then proceed into installing MacOSX. Total cost: 1600.15 euros for one of the most powerful computer.

I feel sad Apple is now selling computer less powerful than previous versions, and is iPhoneifying its computer line (meaning, not expandable). This iMac 5K looks nice, but the graphic card isn’t powerful enough and I feel like my temporary Hackintosh setup will actually serves me for a while.