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i7 Hackintosh Workstation / Gaming PC Build

by maxwelltech


Part List View full price breakdown


CPU Clock Rate

3.5 GHz

GPU Core Clock Rate

993 MHz

GPU Effective Memory Clock Rate

6.008 GHz


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 :)

Comments Sorted by:

peanutbutter 5 points 62 months ago

+1 for taxes being listed

maxwelltech submitter 1 Build 3 points 62 months ago

I am a very detailed person when it comes to price management...

peanutbutter 1 point 62 months ago

And I like that, almost nobody does that

nehemiahawesome1 1 Build 1 point 56 months ago

tax can be included in the price

EcoMCG 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

whats hackintosh?

ThunderHead_MC 1 point 62 months ago

I know right!

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 1 point 62 months ago

Build a PC, install any Mac OS on it, get it to work: voilà, it's a Hackintosh.

Hakumisoso 2 Builds 3 points 62 months ago

There are limitations with hardware support.

Bladedrummer 4 Builds 2 points 62 months ago

Yep, I know, not all hardware will work with Mac OS so your choices are pretty limited and you have to watch out for updates.

maxwelltech submitter 1 Build 3 points 62 months ago

Yeah, for example AMD CPUs are not supported, not all motherboards work (Gigabyte ones work better than others), and the choice for graphics are pretty limited as well. Still, it is a lot better now than it was a few years ago.

maxwelltech submitter 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Yep, totally true.

ThunderHead_MC 1 point 62 months ago

oh that's a good idea.

SethMatrix 1 point 62 months ago


mynamexsh -1 points 62 months ago

A fake Mac

[comment deleted]
zac16 1 point 62 months ago

+1 one for the guys over at zotac lol

xOutrageous 1 point 62 months ago

I've heard that that PSU has trouble with Gigabyte Mobo's. Is this true? Have you experienced anything? Please tell me because I'm looking to build an AMD system and I might use a Gigabyte Motherboard.

maxwelltech submitter 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Yeah the first batches seemed to have issue with Gigabyte motherboards but it was fixed in late August I believe. Mine did not have problems with the motherboard. I did have to RMA the power supply once due to loud fan issues but it is not related to the motherboard. Also, I believe the issue only applies to Intel systems so AMD should be fine.

xOutrageous 1 point 62 months ago

Sweet. Thanks man. I feel a lot less nervous now :)

CDGRockZ 1 point 61 months ago

how is that gpu working out is it still working because im planing on getting this or either this one http://pcpartpicker.com/part/pny-video-card-vcggtx7602xpb

maxwelltech submitter 1 Build 1 point 61 months ago

It is still working out just fine. I have been playing Assassin's Creed 4 recently and it handles that game just fine at 1080p on high-very high settings. I cannot speak for the PNY card but the stock cooler on the Zotac is actually quieter than I expected.

FGarray 1 Build 0 points 62 months ago

70 degrees Celcius on stock under load is a little high imo...

nguyendennus 1 point 62 months ago


TobyGwynne 1 Build 1 point 62 months ago

Running Prime95 it's really not, during real world application it wont encounter anything as strenuous as this.

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nehemiahawesome1 1 Build -1 points 56 months ago

i have that same exact trackpad for my hackintosh

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