How Much Would It Cost To Build A 'Hackintosh' In Australia?

A Hackintosh is a machine dedicated to running the Mac operating system but it is strictly non-Apple hardware. Apple is notoriously restrictive with the official hardware that can run its operating systems so, of course, tenacious techies have found ways to work around it. There are whole communities of devotees that dedicate themselves to creating Hackintosh machines with different specifications. Recently, app developer Mike Rundle detailed his process of building a US$1200 Hackintosh. Sounds quite cheap. So how much would it cost an Australian that wants to buy all the parts locally? We did a breakdown of the costs bit by bit.

Photo: From Mike Rundle on Medium

US$1200 is how much Rundle's Hackintosh costs, before tax. Even with tax on top, the cost of the machine he made would convert to under $2000 in Australian dollars. That sounds like a reasonable price but, as locals know, we're usually slugged with the 'Australia Tax'. It should be noted that Rundle already owned a monitor and keyboard for his build so that did saved him some money. Total cost including parts he owned would have been US$2109 before tax.

Rundle listed out all the parts his used for his cut-price Hackintosh that, he claimed, is faster than almost any Mac that Apple sells. We took that list and scoured PC parts comparison website Static Ice to find out just how much it would cost to build the same one in Australia from scratch:

  • Motherboard: Gigabyte Gaming-5, from $244
  • Processor: Intel i7–6700K at 4.0 Ghz, from $479
  • GPU: GTX 950, from $207 (depending on which brand you go for)
  • Memory: 64GB DDR4 Ballistix Sport, from $417
  • Hard Drive: Samsung 850 500GB SSD, from $199
  • CPU Cooling: Corsair H60 liquid cooler from $92
  • Power Supply: Corsair CS650M 650W ATX Power Supply, from $135
  • Wi-Fi: TP-Link PCI-E card, from $14
  • Case: BitFenix Phenom, from $94
  • Monitor: Dell U3415W 34-inch widescreen, from $1245
  • Keyboard: Apple wired keyboard. Static Ice couldn't find any results for this, but you can fetch a decent one around $60 on Ebay

Total hardware cost: $3186

This is just one configuration you can use to make a Hackintosh; there are many other options for parts. It's not a perfect system and there will be Mac OS X supported functions that won't work on this unofficial machine.

It's worth noting that running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware would violate the operating system's end user licence agreement. Building a Hackintosh is also quite a laborious process. As Rundle puts it:

"Building a Hackintosh is not for everyone. If you need portability, you should probably hold out for a new MacBook Pro and hope it’s unveiled in the next few months. But if you’re looking at a Mac Mini, an iMac or a Mac Pro, you can definitely build yourself a faster and less expensive machine if you go the Hackintosh route. Of course that means purchasing computer parts yourself, building the computer, running a hacked bootloader, tinkering with cryptic flags and kernel extensions, violating the Mac OS X EULA by running it on non-Apple hardware, searching web forums for tidbits, worrying about system software updates, and general computer hardware nerdery that most people wouldn't want to deal with."

If you're still keen to fork out the money and invest the time in building your own Hackintosh, there are a number of online resources that can help you, including Tony Mac X86 and There's also a dedicated Reddit page that is devoted to Hackintosh information and troubleshooting.

You can read more about Rundle's experience in building his Hackintosh over at Medium.

[Via Medium]


    A slightly disingenuous comparison. At face value, the article suggests that a US$1200 Hackintosh turns into AU$3186 but this is not the case.

    The breakdown:
    "Even with tax on top,...under $2000 in Australian dollars." Actually about AU$1750, so well under $2000. (USD -> AUD + 10% GST)

    The other bit of maths failure is the total of $3186. In the linked piece, it distinctly says :
    "Monitor: Dell 3415W 34" widescreen. (Already owned.) $796.
    Keyboard: Apple wired keyboard. (Already owned.) $49."

    So the additional cost of monitor + keyboard was not included in the US price.

    This brings the Australian price down to $1881 - a far cry from the 'OMG Australian Tax' figure of $3186 and less than $100 difference to the original US cost.

      Hi magani,

      Yes, he already owned the monitor and keyboard, but I'm calculating this based on somebody who doesn't own any hardware and is starting from scratch.

      I should have made it clearer in the article that he owned some of the hardware already. I mentioned Australia Tax as a side note because we do pay a bit extra for hardware here. The point of the article is to provide information for those who are interested in building a Hackintosh from scratch. Notice I didn't lead with 'OMG this Hackintosh costs $3000+ in Australia'

      But thank you for flagging your concern. I've added in a line to make it clear that Rundle excluded the cost of a monitor and keyboard.

      Hope this helps.



    You can easily do this for much less by going for less extravagant (but still very good) hardware.

    I'd be interested in what the cheapest combination that would work as a Hackintosh would be rather than his $3K setup.

    Whats the point? I thought people paid for the brand, not the OS.

      The general populace pays for the brand.

      Those in the workforce have reasons to use the OS.

        That's.. Very valid :)

        That said, as long as it's not forced down their throats from management who have no idea about the capabilities and simply rely on the brand and marketing, be it known to them or not. Speaking from experience where a manager insists the media/graphics team must use a mac, and find that it not suitable for their environment nor do most of their staff have the experience and knowledge to complete basics tasks on the OS.

      Do you or have you ever used a Mac? or have any experience outside what you always use?

      Even my diehard long time anti-Mac PC bigot brother-in-law finally got a Mac after he saw the service his ex-wife got with her Macbook in the Apple Store. I've run out of Apple haters to even debate this with. Anybody who's got the spare change and sense has switched, and like my brother-in-law, wondering why it took them so long.

      Apple makes solid, well designed and premium products. Even good value when you look at what it costs to even vaguely attempt to copy them as above.

      I decided to give Windows 10 a shot and have just gone the other way with a 2-in-one Notebook. It took two shots at getting something that was tolerable. The first was awful to use and came with at least 2 hardware faults, so I took it back and upgraded to a much more expensive model and then poured more money into upgrading that, so eventually not that cheap. There are some things I like about Windows 10, but other than the touch screen on a PC (Apple restricts it to its mobile gadgets) it is really clunky, and lacks a long list of features that have been standard on Macs going back over 20 years. Hardest is finding quality software that doesn't drive you nuts.

      I am still left gobsmacked at the lousy quality, almost total lack of any support, and avoid-at-all-costs After Sales service that PC users take as standard.

      The nonsense that people are just buying the Apple brand is some comfort to those are still putting up with Windows and PCs, but that is all it is.

        It's not about buying brand or anything, at least on the point of views of users as me, I have a mac, I is not the first one and yeah I love the design and the OS, but the quality is some time debatable, my laptop motherboard went bad, after long time they decided that all the batch was faulty, after a long time of thousands of user complained and even made a mass lawsuit against it and they finally agreed and its not the first time, those mass recalls had been happening in several years, now in less than 2 years after the new motherboard was installed it just broke again, but now there is no more recall for me... That so good quality is something of the long gone apple that was for power users.

        Which is my other point, Power Users, Apple just forgot about them, the so called MacbookPro is not pro, its a really expensive laptop with yes, a beautiful screen and now with a cooool touch bar (but thats just a toy...)... The MacPro they themselves admitted recently that was a bad design, was outdated on specs when it came out and now is even more outdated, that you could only upgrade in RAM and hard drive space... but these new laptops you can't even upgrade RAM, programed obsolesce. Sub par GPUs, on the most expensive one which are supposed to be for PRO users who work on them I'm graphics, video, 3D, VFX. I think that PRO thing could be sees almost as false advertisement, people get sued by that...

        So yeah, if you want to look at facebook and write some google docs and look cool on starbucks, they are super great computers sure. If you work on audio they are good computers, still expensive, for what they have inside, which is the big point of the value, not just "aestethic design", because that is just on part of the "design", because we are talking about a product made to achieve certain functions.

        But well not all is lost, their iDevices are awesome, the iPad Pro is damn awesome and yes theirs OS IS awesome, thats why Hackintosh exist, a GREAT OS, with a really powerful hardware to come with it and make it work at its finest.

        I still don't own one btw, but used one, and looking forward to build one, at least until Apple comes back to it senses and makes really PRO products. :)

    macs run on intel hardware now anyway? you could buy any barebones PC and run it via Niresh or something?

    buying that many items from static ice will incur another 200 in delivery charges

      Something I have repeated frequently to the inveterate cries of "I can build one for half the price". No you can't! Ignoring the quality differences, you get stung for everything, even the credit card payments, but never total it all up.

      The "support" (or the joke of one) is split amongst a long list of manufacturers who all blame the other hardware or software. Also not factored in is the risk, time and hassle of building your own PC and then trouble shooting it. None of it os ever costed in. Certainly none of the amazing Apple support freely available to its users, years after the warranty runs out. Apple is still helping me with ancient hardware, e.g. recently got a free replacement Magic Mouse for my 8 year old I'd beaten to death.

      A lot of PC hardware, particularly the displays and other add ons are frankly crap, but the PC users don't know that, just look at how "big" or cheap, or supposedly fast something is (it is usually not).

      Of course the real thing is that most PC users are just gamers and that is all they ever see computers being good for.

    You could do it for around $1000 for a good machine, that would be as least as good as most macs, not including a monitor.

    Personally i'm the other way round, I bought a mbp for the hardware and use windows on it exclusively. I had been forced to use macOS throughout all my schooling life, its not like I never gave it a solid go, but I DO NOT understand the appeal. Only if you are forced to use it because certain software is exclusive to it.

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