On Hackintoshing For Dollars in General

Hackintoshing used to be a complicated process, but since Hackintosh expert tonymacx86 came around it’s gotten a lot easier. [..] While I had Whitson around to help me out, if you have some knowledge of how to build a computer this is likely something you can do. I am still surprised that the process was so easy and that the machine is so fast for so little money. Now it seems silly to ever buy a Mac desktop again.

Via Lifehacker: How to Build a Hackintosh Mini for a Less Expensive, Faster Mac.

Another post that is par for the course in irresponsible LifeHacker blogging.

I’ve looked into Hackintoshing a Mac together a few times and to be quite honest, unless you are a complete Zealot like @Adisor19, the price of the materials are only ever cheaper if you build a Mac Pro comparable device and have some of the parts yourself. To be quite honest, if you are trying to save money, I still think that getting genuine Apple hardware and Applecare service will save you more money and especially time in the long run. I recently helped a family member replace a failed hard drive. Although the procedure is quite simple and relatively cheap, if they had gotten AppleCare, the drive would be swapped out for free and in a very timely manner.

In another case, my brother bought a new 13″ MacBook Pro to compliment the family’s aging Black MacBook since he is on the road quite a bit. In one trip to the Apple Store, he picked up a new machine and his entire profile swapped over from the old machine to the new one as a free extra.

These are the non quantifiable extras that we have come to expect from buying genuine Apple gear, most of us buy Mac’s because they “just work”. In truth, HACKING your own Mac together simply to save some money is the wrong reason to do it, the very next update that Apple makes to OS X could possibly take you machine offline for weeks. Hackintoshing should only ever been seen as a project where you can flex some your Apple Mental Muscle. If your only production machine is hacked up Netbook, a Vostrotosh, or even a dedicated video editing beige box, then you are really putting it on the line. If ever I’m your customer and you tell me that my job is being run on one of these machines then you will lose my business. Building a Hackintosh can be a whole lot of fun but tread carefully when thinking you can do it to save money.


  1. Maybe you can clarify your Zealot reference a tad as i really don’t see myself as that.

    That being said, after almost 1 year of using the Vostrotosh, i can say that all the point updates went through with no problems once i learned that certain non cosher extensions like sleepenabler.kext are kernel version dependent and will KP if not removed in advance.

    Again, it’s a learning process.

    Something must be said as well about the recent advances in the world of hackintoshing. It’s very clear that motherboard manufacturers are striving to make thier motherboards and respective BIOSes more hackintosh friendly. There is a reason why tonymacx86 has a database of modded DSDTs available for download for all the major Gigabyte and Asus boards. Someone out there is noticing.

    Also, it all looks like on the day that Lion is released, i should be able to buy it from the Apple store and upgrade my Vostrotosh with no worries. (TM backup of course ;))

    I love the quality of Macs in general, but there is a big gaping hole in their lineup : no affordable mid tower with upgradable CPU or expansion slots. It makes 0 sense to spend 3K on a Mac Pro Workstation when the equivalent power can be had for under 1500$ and a bit of fun hacking.

    As long as Apple doesn’t fill in that hole in their lineup, tonymacx86 and hackintoshing in general will get more and more popular.

    Food for thought.


  2. Yeah, I gotta agree (this is happening too often – a sure sign The Rapture (TM)(R)(C) is coming). All this hackintoshing is happening because Apple has a hole in their line-up.  

    As long as I can get a browser onto the internet 90% of my needs are met. Does the other 10% justify doubling the cost (or more since a minimal Mac is much more expensive than a minimal no-name machine)?  For me: no.  
    I agree with Mr. Canuck that Apples are great computers, but I can’t personally justify the cost of one – I’d rather spend the time it takes to make my Slackware machine do what I need it to do (which probably is no more time than I’d spend getting the Mac to work – that Blue Yeti mic was plug ‘n play).  So far everything has worked out of the box – if I’ve fiddled with something it’s because I wanted to, not because I had to.

    I can swap hard drives, memory, etc. myself.  And Amazon.ca (see links elsewhere on this page) will gladly ship those components to my house – free of charge – saving me the time & hassle of driving down to the mall, fighting a crazed yuppie mom for parking, dodging the tweens & teens too busy texting to look where they’re going, with my two kids in tow, and handing my Mac over to some pimple-faced Genius while some other Associate (or whatever Apple Stores call their sales people) try to sell me something else.  Applecare is brilliant – Steve Jobs has found a way to get people to pay him to convince themselves to come to the Apple Store!!!  Now that’s GENIUS!!!

    So long live the Vostrotosh – may it see another ten upgrades!!!