Hackintosh Method

Straight-forward recommendations and suggested parts lists by Dan Benjamin for building a Hackintosh capable of running macOS Sierra 10.12 (and Windows 10, Linux, etc.).

I'm Dan Benjamin. I'm the founder of the 5by5 Podcast Network and the Fireside podcast hosting and analytics platform. I've been working in IT, building PCs, doing sysadmin, and writing software for the last 20 years. I love making things and sharing what I've learned in the process.

Find me @danbenjamin on Twitter.

Sections

Jump to the section you're most interested in.

  1. Disclaimer
  2. Recommended Components
  3. Configure the BIOS
  4. Install macOS
  5. Install the Video Drivers
  6. Get Messages and Continuity Working
  7. Walk-Through Video (coming soon)

Disclaimer

Building this PC is absolutely legal, and it's a lot of fun, too. I offer this guide as instructions and suggestions for assembling the hardware to make an awesome PC which happens to be fully capable of running macOS Sierra.

It will also run Windows 10, Ubuntu, Debian, elementary OS, FreeBSD, and many other operating systems quite well.

But, unlike most operating systems, running macOS on non-apple hardware violates Apple's End User License Agreement (EULA), and doing so might get you into trouble. Here's a link to the 424 page EULA in case you'd like to review it.

So, if you do decide to install macOS onto non-Apple hardware, and to enjoy the benefits of building your own super powerful, upgradeable, and yet shockingly affordable Hackintosh, that's entirely your decision, and I take no responsibility for anything that might happen.

Recommended Components

This is my recommended parts list. When I was researching my Hackintosh build, I found list after list of compatible components with explanations about what might or could work, but no guides telling me what I should get if I just wanted to build a great machine that would just work.

After tons of research, watching videos, and talking with experts, I selected, purchased, and assembled a machine based on the components below. Each item represents the best possible, highest quality component that is also compabitle with macOS. They all work very well together, and result in an excellent, stable, reliable, and almost-silent Hackintosh capable of running macOS Sierra (and Windows 10, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, etc.).

All of these parts are available from Amazon so you can put in one big order instead of placing multiple orders from different websites. And if you use these links I will receive a small kick-back through Amazon's affiliate program and you will receive my eternal gratitude.

Required Components

You'll need to get each of these to build a fully-compatible, working system. You could buy a less powerful CPU, increase or decrease RAM (to a maximum of 64GB), or get multiple or different sized hard drives if you choose. but these are what I used and recommend.

CPU Intel Core i7 6700K 4.00 GHz Unlocked Quad Core Skylake CPU $338.78
Motherboard ASUS Z170-A ATX DDR4 Motherboards $144.99
RAM Ballistix Sport LT 16GB Kit (8GBx2) RAM $104.99
CPU Cooler Corsair Hydro Series H100i v2 Liquid CPU Cooler $99.99
Power EVGA Supernova G2 850W Fully Modular Power Supply $119.59
Audio Sabrent USB Audio Card $9.99
Bluetooth IOGEAR Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter $11.29
Wi-Fi TP-Link Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter $35.90
Hard Drive Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal SSD $98.00
USB Stick SanDisk Cruzer 16GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive $6.49

Case

There are lots of great PC cases available, varying slightly in price, features, and availability from Amazon. I used and recommend the Corsair Carbide 400R, but you might prefer one of the others listed below. There are cheaper, larger, and smaller cases, but I don't recommend them.

Remember, just pick one case!

Case Option 1 Corsair Carbide Series Black 400R Mid Tower $101.57
Case Option 2 Phanteks Eclipse Series P400S Silent Edition $79.99
Case Option 3 NZXT H440 Mid Tower Case $109.99

Graphics Card

The integrated graphics on the Skylake CPUs now works perfectly in Sierra! This means you can save some money by not purchasing an additional graphics card. The performance under normal desktop usage is excellent, but for gaming purposes, you might want to still get the card I've recommended below.

If you decide to use the integrated graphics, you must follow these instructions.

Graphics EVGA GeForce GTX 950 2GB FTW GAMING, Silent Cooling Graphics Card $169.00

Monitor

The graphics card I suggested above is great, and deserves a decent screen. I give you two options below, one expensive, and one cheap. I have both, and wound up using the cheaper one as my main screen. Any modern screen with a DP, DVI, or HDMI port should work fine.

Remember, just pick one monitor … unless you want two.

Monitor Option 1 Dell UltraSharp U2715H 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor $458.97
Monitor Option 2 BenQ GW Series 27-Inch Screen LED-Lit Monitor $319.99

Optional Components

These parts aren't mandatory but are worth considering. You'll likely want to burn or read a DVD someday, and the CD-RW drive costs under $20, so why not? You'll probably want speakers because PCs don't have them built in (but if you're an audiophile, get something better than the ones below). You might want a nice ratcheting screwdriver if you don't already have one. And although I don't use one, I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest an anti-static wrist strap.

CD-RW Asus 24x DVD-RW Serial-ATA Internal OEM Optical Drive DRW-24B1ST (Black) $19.95
Speakers AmazonBasics USB Powered Computer Speakers $13.99
Screwdriver Stanley Ratcheting Multi-Bit Screwdriver $34.90
Strap Rosewill ESD Anti-Static Wrist Strap Components RTK-002, Black/Yellow $5.99

Configure the BIOS

PCs have a type of firmware used for hardware initialization during the booting process. You will need to change a number of these settings in order to get your Hackintosh to boot into macOS. Fortunately, making these changes is easy. To access BIOS/UEFI Setup, press and hold the Delete key on a USB Keyboard while the system is booting up. Follow these steps:

  1. Load Optimized Defaults
  2. Disable VT-d
  3. Disable CFG-Lock
  4. Disable Secure Boot Mode
  5. Set OS Type to Other OS
  6. Disable IO SerialPort
  7. Set XHCI Handoff to Enabled
  8. Save and exit

Install macOS

These amazing instructions are all you need. The system you've built using the recommended parts above will work perfectly.

Install the Video Drivers

After your installation is complete and you've run MultiBeast and rebooted, you will need to install the NVIDIA drivers for macos Sierra in order to get the perfect resolution for your monitor. You can download these drivers from the links on this page (pick the one to match your version of Sierra).

Get Messages and Continuity Working

Just follow these steps to make it work. Here are the same steps with screenshots.

Good Luck and Have Fun

I hope this list is helpful to you, and I'd love to hear about your experiences building your own Hackintosh. You can follow me on Twitter @danbenjamin.

© 2017 Dan Benjamin