|Hackintosh Performance Hardware Options|
|Articles - Featured Guides|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Tuesday, 16 April 2013|
Page 5 of 5
As with any computer, the components you choose will depends on your needs and budget, and the results will reflect those components. The most interesting part of these experiments for me was how good the performance of the Core i3-3220 was. I had originally asked Intel for a quad-core Core i5 CPU for this latest Hackintosh project, and was initially disappointed when all they had available was the Core i3. Its excellent single-core performance was a real surprise!
Unless you're running programs that leverage more than two cores, or like to do a lot of video transcoding, there's little reason to spend more money on a CPU...although you might want to pony up the extra $15 for a Core i3-3225 to get the Intel HD4000 graphics if you're not a gamer.
Apple's support for the Quick Sync video transcoding feature built into Intel's HD4000 iGPU is spotty. FaceTime and Airplay reportedly use it, but none of the various video programs (Handbrake, Final Cut Pro X, etc.) seem to use it. In contrast, many programs (including Adobe Creative Suite) can leverage NVIDIA's CUDA API to improve performance.
Unsurprisingly, the video card you use will dramatically affect gaming performance. Although it still lags far behind Windows, OS X is slowly gaining some decent games, mainly via Valve's Steam platform. And of course if you build a dual-boot system that sees some Windows use, a more powerful video card might make sense even if it can't be fully leveraged under OS X.
As for cost...well, look at the components cost if we're building a system with no video card and the Core i3-3225 CPU:
This compares well with the $599 base configuration of the Mac Mini, which has less memory (4G), and a 2.5GHz Core i5 dual-core CPU (the exact model of CPU isn't specified, and Apple has been known to change CPUs during a model run). For about $20 more we get twice the memory, a Blu-ray drive (the Mini has no optical drive at all!) a (probably) faster CPU, a faster hybrid hard drive, and much more expandability. Sounds like a good deal to me.
COMMENT QUESTION: What would your Hackintosh performance goals be?