Building a Gaming Hackintosh ↬

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.Killian Bell

The post title links to Part One of a Two Part article by Killian Bell, outlining his own experience of building a Hackintosh computer.

I’ve owned a number of Mac computers over the last few years, including a Mac Mini, Macbook Air, and two Macbook Pro’s. All have been great machines that have been a joy to use daily. However, if there is one thing that these Mac computers have managed poorly – It’s gaming.

For many this won’t be a surprise. Mac’s have earned a reputation for being poor computers for gaming. Historically this can be attributed to a number of causes. Ultimately though, a lack of dedicated graphics hardware and poor software drivers meant that relatively few games were developed for the platform. This impression was exacerbated by awful ports of gaming titles that were often bug ridden.

However, this situation is slowly changing. The popularity of iOS gaming, the release of the Mac App Store, and the rise of cloud services has contributed to an increase in Indie titles released on OSX. In addition, gaming stores such as Steam now offer a Mac client and sell games that are compatible with the Mac.

Although many gaming titles are now being released on OSX, the state of Mac hardware is still in flux. Apple’s ethos of thin, light and energy saving means with the exception of their high-end desktops, most Mac’s only ship with integrated graphics hardware. This means that a significant portion of Mac’s are incapable of playing many modern games at a respectable framerate.

This is where the idea of a Hackintosh becomes appealing. That is: a PC that is custom built using components supported by OSX but that is more powerful than competing Apple machines. There are a number of internet communities that support this endeavour and regularly release guides and component lists for building a Hackintosh.

I am considering building my own Hackintosh in the next 12 months, as my existing desktop PC is getting long in the tooth. Part Two of Killian’s article will be enlightening as it will discuss his experience getting OSX working on his custom machine. This is often the only downside of building a Hackintosh, the lack of technical support and components that don’t function as intended under OSX. Killian’s description of his experience may be enough to push me into making my own machine.

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