PC vs Mac Cost Comparison
I built my Hackintosh with components I had available. Using the configuration utility at the online Apple Store, I configured a real Mac Pro to match as closely as possible the hardware I used. I selected the base 2.8GHz quad-core Xeon “Nehalem” processor (although Apple does not name the exact model Xeon used, the specifications are those of a Xeon X5660), 12G of error-correcting 1333MHz DDR3 memory (3x4G), an ATI Radeon 5870 video card, and accepted the standard “Superdrive” optical drive and a 1T hard drive of unknown provenance. The total cost for this configuration from Apple is $3,974.00.
Below is a list of the parts I used in the Hackintosh, with current Newegg prices where available. A couple of caveats: first, although I used an Intel Core i7-920 processor, it’s no longer available, so I substituted the closest thing, the Core i7-930; and since the HP Blackbird case is not a retail item, I substituted a high-end Lian Li case to approach the quality of the Mac Pro case, and an Antec Signature SG-850 power supply as my “best guess” for a match to Apple’s custom Mac Pro power supply, whose specs I couldn’t determine. These matches aren’t perfect, and you could choose a much less expensive case and power supply for your Hackintosh. I also included the cost of OS X and iLife, since this software is included with every Macintosh.
- ASUS P6TV2 Deluxe motherboard: $269.99
- 12G Crucial memory kit CT3KIT51264BA1339: $329.99 (direct from Crucial)
- SAPPHIRE Vapor-X 100281VX-2SR Radeon HD 5870: $375.99
- Western Digital VelociRaptor WD6000HLHX 600GB: $279.99
- Intel Core i7-930 BX80601930 CPU: $284.99
- Antec Signature SG-850 power supply: $249.99
- Lian Li PC-B70 Black Aluminum full-tower case: $229.99
- Mac OS X “Snow Leopard”: $29.99 from Apple
- iLife ’09 software suite: $64.99
PC Hackintosh total cost: $2,048.05
Apple Mac Pro total cost: $3,974.00
So, my PC Hackintosh cost $1,925.95 less than an Apple Mac Pro, and, although I wasn’t able to test it directly against a current Mac Pro, is probably significantly faster due to the overclock.
EDITOR’S NOTE: While some of the components used in this article were necessary for compatibility with Snow Leopard, items such as the video card, hard drive, power supply, and computer case are all flexible. Builders should consider the best option to fit their project and budget.