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Hackintosh Performance Hardware Options E-mail
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Written by David Ramsey   
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
Table of Contents: Page Index
Hackintosh Performance Hardware Options
Hackintosh Components
Hackintosh CPU Performance
Hackintosh Video Performance
Final Thoughts

Hackintosh Components

The two components that have the most effect on your Hackintosh's performance are the CPU and GPU. Which specific ones you choose depends on your needs and your budget. Today I'll be testing combinations of two different CPUs and three different GPUs. The CPUs are:

Model Cores/Threads Freq/turbo Cache Link
Core i3-3220 2/4 3.3GHz/n.a. 3M $129.99 at Newegg
Core i7-3770K 4/8 3.5GHz/3.9GHz 8M $329.99 at Newegg

The GPUs are:

Model VRAM Clock Frequency Cores Link
Intel HD4000 512MB (shared) 650MHz - 1.15GHz (dynamic) 16 --
NVIDIA GTX250 1GB 1058MHz 384 $109.99 at Newegg
ASUS GTX660 TI-DC2O-2GD5 2GB 967MHZ (1058 boost) 1344 $279.99 at Newegg

Intel's HD4000 GPU is surprisingly capable; in fact, Apple uses it across a wide range of Mac Minis and Powerbooks. It has more than enough power to handle the OS X interface effects and animations, and you'll never notice any artifacts, pauses, or stuttering in non-game applications. But if you are going to game, you're going to want a discrete video card, even with the relative paucity of Mac games as compared to PC games.

Choosing a CPU is a decision you'll want to look at carefully. The two Ivy Bridge processors I have on hand represent the low and high ends of the range, and neither would be my first choice for a Hackintosh. If you wanted a small, quiet, non-gaming system, the Core i3-3225 ( $144.99 at Newegg) is identical to the Core i3-3220, except that it includes a full HD4000 iGPU, allowing you to dispense with a graphics card. If you want more performance, especially for virtual machines, rendering, or other heavier workloads, the Core i5-3570 CPU ($214.99 at Newegg) will provide all the real-world performance of the 50%-more-expensive 3770K, unless you have heavily-threaded applications that would benefit from the latter's Hyper Threading, or you want to overclock.

On the GPU front, I can finally compare the performance of Intel's touted HD4000 integrated graphics with the NVIDIA GTX250 I used in my original article, as well as the ASUS-provided GTX660.

Let's take a look at the CPU performance first.



# Nice updateMugsy 2013-06-07 05:04
Glad to see this update. As most readers seemed to note, last weeks report seemed strapped by relying only on the hardware provided for testing rather than look at more capable and/or compatible components.

I think the greatest draw of a "Hackintosh" is the ability to create a Top End machine without paying Apple's Top End wildly over-marked-up price.
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# You can build this machine for a little less.LWATCDR 2013-06-08 07:06
PCPartPicker part list:
Price breakdown by merchant:
Using PC parts picker to find the parts I did increase the drive to a 1 TB drive and switched to a bigger power supply from Corsair and memory from A-Data. You save enough that you could throw in an SSD for a fusion drive with almost no effort.
CPU: Intel Core i3-3225 3.3GHz Dual-Core Processor ($132.66 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: Asus P8H77-I Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($96.99 @ NCIX US)
Memory: A-Data 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($62.99 @ Amazon)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($65.58 @ Outlet PC)
Case: Cooler Master Elite 120 Advanced (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($39.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 600W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($37.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus BW-12B1ST/BLK/G/AS Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer ($58.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $495.18
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-06-08 09:50 EDT-0400)
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# RE: You can build this machine for a little less.David Ramsey 2013-06-08 13:02
Excellent component suggestions!
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