In the weeks leading up to my winter break from classes, I decided I was going to build a gaming computer since I was tired of playing on my laptop. While I was originally planning on just building a beastly Windows machine, I realized it was now ridiculously easy to throw together parts to make a “Hackintosh,” or a computer running Mac OS X minus the Apple hardware and price. I spent several weeks researching the viability of the Hackintosh build, predominately on TonyMacX86, and selecting the components for my system. I ended up settling on the following list of hardware, rocking a SSD for my operating system and a regular HD for everything else.
- Corsair Carbide Series 400R (Case)
- Gigabyte GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 (Motherboard)
- Intel Core i5-2500k (CPU)
- AMD Radeon 6870 HD (GPU)
- 16GB G.Skill Ripjaws X Series DDR3 (RAM)
- Antec NEO ECO 620W (PSU)
- Crucial RealSSD C300 64GB (SSD)
- Seagate Barracuda 1TB 7200rpm 6GBps (HD)
I ordered all the parts from NewEgg and Amazon (yay Prime shipping) and was ready to assemble within two days. This was actually my first time assembling an entire computer from scratch, so I had some fun figuring out where stuff plugged into the motherboard. After wasting half an hour trying to power it on before realizing I had forgotten to plug in the CPU power, I finally began the rather simple process of installing Mac OS X Lion (10.7) from a bootable USB drive created with tools from TonyMacX86. Since I was installing onto the SSD, it took about 5 minutes for the entire install to complete. After installing some drivers for the non-standard components and several restarts, I had a fully functioning Mac that cost well over 50% less than the comparable Apple product.
After installing Windows for my gaming, I launched StarCraft 2 and was instantly greeted with the prompt to set my graphics automatically to “Ultra” based on the hardware specifics of my computer. I’ve lowered into the High-Ultra range now since the frame-rate would plummet during larger engagements, but I enjoy playing at well over 50fps nowadays (compared to the roughly 40fps I got on Low-Medium on my laptop). Time to waste all my time away!