How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: hardware

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More power, less money, runs OS X. Winning! Photo: Killian Bell
Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.

The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.

I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.

Apple Announces New iMac With Faster Intel Processors, New Graphics & Next-Gen Wi-Fi

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The Rumor: Retina iMacs really are on the way soon, according to some info in Apple's new Xcode 6 program.The Verdict: Looks promising. WWDC came and went without a single hardware announcement, meaning Apple has gone over 8 months without a significant new product. Based on code found in the Yosemite beta, it looks like we won't have to wait much longer for sharper iMacs to land on our desks, thanks to a file that lists scaled-up resolutions for such a display. The structure of the list is identical to resolution listings for the Retina MacBook Pro, making this rumor feel more like a sure-thing now.

The Rumor: Retina iMacs really are on the way soon, according to some info in Apple's new Xcode 6 program.

The Verdict: Looks promising. WWDC came and went without a single hardware announcement, meaning Apple has gone over 8 months without a significant new product. Based on code found in the Yosemite beta, it looks like we won't have to wait much longer for sharper iMacs to land on our desks, thanks to a file that lists scaled-up resolutions for such a display. The structure of the list is identical to resolution listings for the Retina MacBook Pro, making this rumor feel more like a sure-thing now.


Apple has today announced a new iMac update which sees the latest fourth-generation Intel quad-core Haswell processors, new graphics, next-generation Wi-Fi, and faster PCIe flash storage options added to the popular all-in-one desktop.