Wireless Network Adapter
This is my very first computer build. I have always wanted to build a computer myself for a long time, back to two years ago when I first started getting into the technology world. Over the last few months, my mom’s ThinkPad T60 (which is over 7 years old) started making a very loud noise, and I fear that her laptop might be giving up. Since her laptop is very important to our house, I decided that I am going to build a new computer. I also wanted to make this computer a hackintosh, since I loved using OS X on my MacBook Pro (and arguably better for creative uses). I got most of my parts during Black Friday 2013, which enabled me to get fantastic deals on some of them. Enjoy!
CPU: I wanted a very fast CPU that can handle everything I throw at it, and the obvious choice was the Intel i7-4770K, the top of the line Haswell CPU. Have not yet overclocked this CPU; I wanted to gather additional temperature information before proceeding.
CPU Cooler: 120mm all in one thick-radiator water cooler. I was going to get a Hyper 212 EVO but came across this for a good deal. Cools my CPU to about 70C stock when doing Prime95 (unsure if this is good or not). I bought this after I assembled the initial system, so that is why you see the Intel stock cooler in some photos.
Motherboard: Came across this for a great deal, otherwise would have bought a lower-end board. As a high-end Z87 motherboard, it has way more features than I would really need, and it also looks absolutely great. There are a few USB issues with this board though, but it otherwise works fine and requires very minimal tweaking for running OS X.
Memory: 16GB of RAM is more of a future-proof measure, but it is always nice to have more memory. Plus, it is faster and cheaper than the other 1600MHz kits.
Storage: 2 x 120GB SSDs for dual booting, one for OS X Mavericks and one for Windows 7. Another WD 1TB hard drive for media use.
Video Card: A great mid-to-high-end video card that can handle almost all games on high settings, and also great for video editing as well. Picked Zotac over the other brands simply because of their incredible deal during Cyber Monday. The reference stock cooler design does not provide the best noise control or airflow, but it is a compromise that I am willing to live with. Does not need any tweaking for OS X use.
Wireless Network Adapter: A necessity for me since our house does not have many ethernet ports. It is one of the few adapters that have been confirmed to work with OS X.
Case: A widely used and preferred case, and has gotten great reviews across the board. Now that the NZXT H440 is out, it probably isn’t the best mid-tower ATX case out there anymore, but I still have no regrets over buying this case.
Power Supply: A fully-modular 80+ Gold PSU from a reliable brand for a great deal. I had to replace the PSU once due to a noisy fan, but EVGA’s free cross-shipping has made the entire procedure relatively painless.
Regarding OS X use: I followed Tonymacx86’s buying guide for choosing my components, and made some minor tweaking. The install is very painless, just boot from the UniBeast USB drive, format the hard drive and then click install. After install I used MultiBeast to enable booting directly from the SSD. The only thing I had to take care of was fixing iMessage, and there are plenty of guides on the web that documents this process. After a minimal setup process, the Hackintosh now works just as well as my MacBook Pro, with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, graphics, and even AirDrop working. That’s it!
P.S. If you haven’t noticed it already, my build has no definite color scheme at all. It is something I have not given much thought about when I was buying the parts, and since my case does not have a window I figured that it will not be a big deal to others :)