Why A Hackintosh?
During the early stages of my photography career, I decided it was time to invest in a professional grade computer for my photo and video production needs. At the time I was using a Dell desktop with 4GB of RAM and a dual core processor. It was slow. (Painfully slow.) But it was getting the job done, up until that point. I had recently purchased a Nikon D7000 and the large raw files were really bogging down my system.
During the process of searching for exactly which computer would be best for me, I found myself heavily biased towards the Apple operating system. Something about the sleek design of the computers combined with the way OSX worked so seamlessly made me decide I wanted to go Mac. The computers I was looking at were the photographer's dream. Smart, sexy and efficient. I loved everything about them. Until I saw the price...
To this day I am an avid Mac user and most likely always will be. But for a young college student who wants to get into using Photoshop or Lightroom, the price tag is just too high. I began researching alternative routes. I knew I did not want to go PC. Through this process of researching blog posts and forums about computers until my eyes turned bloodshot, I started hearing the term "hackintosh" thrown around a lot. I was curious about it so I started doing some research. A hackintosh is basically the Mac OSX operation system running on standard PC hardware. In other words, you can build your own computer for less than half the price of a Mac and then install the operation system on it yourself. I knew this would require a lot of time, research and work, but I decided I would give it a try.
Two weeks later I had ordered all of the parts for my dream computer and they were shipped to my house. By watching YouTube videos and reading forums, I had the computer up and running within a week or so. I loved it. Compared to my old Dell it was a dream come true. But after a few months, I started to notice little bugs in the system. Little bugs that wouldn't go away. First it was my hard drives. No matter what I tried, my computer would not boot up if I had any external hard drives plugged in. I usually have seven or eight drives plugged into my computer, so this was an issue. Each time I needed to reboot I had to unplug all of my drives, wait half a minute, then plug them all back in. But the issue still wasn't resolved because at that point, my drives would fail to mount about fifty percent of the time. I got used to this problem and if the drives were not mounted I had to wait an hour or two and come back, usually to find that they had mounted with no problems.
Additionally, I was unable to install any updates via the App Store because if I wanted to run an update, I had to completely reinstall the operating system, therefore, deleting all my files and starting fresh. I had everything backed up, but this was still very frustrating.
I used this setup for about a year and a half before I upgraded to a 2014 27" iMac with a 23" Asus monitor on each side. I can not describe how much better this situation is. Everything runs flawlessly and processes very quickly.
This may seem like a no-brainer to many of you since the Mac OSX operating system is not meant to be put onto other hardware in the first place. However, there are thousands of users creating their own hackintoshes to save a little dough. In summary, I would say that if you are absolutely out of reach of purchasing an Apple computer for your personal or business needs, then a hackintosh may be the way to go. It certainly worked well overall and was much faster than my previous computer, but please be aware that there will most likely be bugs to try to work out. If at all possible, I recommend buying a Mac. You will not regret it!