A $350 Mac Killer?

THIS GUIDE IS STILL BEING UPDATED AND WILL CHANGE OVER THE NEXT FEW HOURS. NOTE THAT IT IS UNFINISHED AND MAY BE PRONE TO ERRORS UNTIL THIS WARNING IS REMOVED.

Introduction

My most popular video of 2017 was my $70 hackintosh build—a computer that I hacked together with used parts I had acquired from a university inventory surplus and various craigslist ads. If you’re on a budget, you’ll always get more bang-for-your-buck if you buy used—however, a common complaint was that my build wasn’t easily replicable. So I’m back, with the best hackintosh you can build with NEW parts for less than $350.

This article is going to operate on the assumption that you’ve already viewed the YouTube video above. If you’ve yet to do so, it’d be wise to view before continuing on.

Disclaimer

Building a hackintosh is a lot of fun, and it isn’t too tricky, but it does assume you have basic/essential computer knowledge. Please note, this guide serves as a reference and does not serve as endorsement for building a hackintosh machine. Furthermore, this is a free guide and we will not provide tech support. If you get stuck, we’d recommend joining the TonyMac or InsanelyMac forums to seek assistance from willing community members. Don’t send us an email because we won’t reply. Sorry. We’re very busy and providing free one-on-one support to an audience of 400,000 isn’t possible.

Parts List

Fact: the PC market is a bit of a mess right now. Due to RAM and GPU shortages, prices may shift significantly at any given time. The following parts list is exactly the same as what I used in my video. In order to help you maximize value, I’ve listed a few alternatives that are (at the time of this article) similar in price and performance. The motherboard and CPU do not have any listed alternatives because that changes the requisites for the build. Swap parts out as you see fit, but also note that deviation from the guide may result in unexpected roadblocks.

Note: URLs redirect to an Amazon affiliate link. Amazon may not have the best price at all times. Consider checking PCPartPicker or alternate component-check software to ensure you’re getting the best deal. That said, we’d appreciate you use our links when Amazon has the lowest price.

Instructions

Note: this guide is being written with macOS 10.13.3 as the latest version of High Sierra. It is possible that later versions of the OS may require a different install method (although, unlikely). It is suggested that you read/follow this thread which is a similar build and shares many of the same instructions for insight on later versions.

Step 1: Build the PC

This guide will not go into detail on how to build a PC. Fortunately, there are several handy guides on YouTube to help you through this process.

Step 2: Update BIOS

The Gigabyte GA-H110M-A motherboard was originally intended for Skylake chipsets. Make sure you download and update the latest BIOS version from Gigabyte’s support website (using a USB thumb drive) to ensure full compatibility with Kaby Lake.

Step 2: Modify BIOS Settings

Get into your BIOS by hitting DEL or F2 on your keyboard. Once you’re there, hunt around the awful tree of menus to find the following settings. If you’re struggling to find one of them, Google it; it may be called something different on your BIOS software. If you absolutely can’t find a setting, don’t worry about it—it’s probably not a toggle-able setting on your motherboard.

  • EFI Boot = Enabled
  • Secure Boot = Disabled
  • Fast Boot = Disabled
  • Virtualization VT-d = Disabled
  • ErP = Enabled
  • OS Type = Other
  • XHCI Hand-Off = Enabled
  • Super I/O (legacy hardware) = Disabled

Step 3: Prepare and Install macOS

Follow steps 1, 2, and 4 (skip 3 and 5) of this universal install guide from TonyMac. The guide assumes you have access to a Mac to prepare the USB drive. If you don’t, well, there are ways to get around it, but I won’t list them here. Google is your friend.

Note: if you’ve selected to add a GPU to your system build, that’s very neat of you; however, you may need to add extra boot flags or args. Again, deviate your parts list from this guide and you’re on your own. This thread provides instructions for most NVIDIA GPUs to help you get your bearings.

Step 4: Post-Install Fun!

Go back to the TonyMac install guide and follow instructions for step 5.

  • Follow steps 5.1 thru 5.5
  • Step 5.6: choose UEFI Boot Mode
  • Step 5.7: our network drivers work out of the box (yay!) but audio drivers don’t. Unfortunately, the audio driver install doesn’t work in MultiBeast for our board, so we’re going to do it manually. Don’t worry, it’s not hard. Just a few extra steps.
  • Step 5.8: do nothing here unless you’ve got a GPU (in which case, you’re on your own)
  • Step 5.9 and 5.10: follow instructions listed on TonyMac

Step 5: Install Clover Configurator

Download here, install (into Applications folder), and reboot.

Step 6: Fix Audio Drivers and Install config.plist

  1. Download “config.plist” and “SSDT-HDEF-HDAS-1.aml” from this post: download files
  2. Go to /System/Library/Extensions in Finder
  3. Locate AppleHDA.kext and change it to AppleHDAbackup.kext or something similar. We want to be able to change things back in case something goes wrong.
  4. Open the new Clover Configurator app you put in the Applications folder. Click the “Mount EFI” tab on the sidebar and then click the “Mount EFI” button that will show up next to the name of your system drive.
  5. Once mounted, you’ll see a drive called “EFI” popup on your Finder. Go to [EFI]/EFI/Clover/ and replace “config.plist” with the version you downloaded in step 6.1.
  6. Go to [EFI]/EFI/CLOVER/ACPI/patched/ and drop the “SSDT-HDEF-HDAS-1.aml” file you downloaded in step 6.1 into this folder.
  7. Reboot
  8. Repeat step 4
  9. Download this file and follow step “C” of the guide

Step 7: Take a Nap

You’re done!

Conclusion

Building a hackintosh can be a lot of fun and once it’s setup, they’re pretty robust; however, getting everything running perfectly can be a bit of a challenge. This guide should help get you there, but if you need additional help, you’d be wise to seek assistance on the wonderful TonyMac or InsanelyMac forums. Enjoy your killer new machine!

 

 

Scroll to top