Help on a Hackintosh build for a musician

So some time in January a friend of mine who is a professional musician wants to upgrade his Mac G5 for which he has had for about a decade. He makes and edits music for movies, TV and other musicians. The main program he uses is the Apple Logic Pro. The main reason that he wants to upgrade is that newest version of Logic Pro, "Logic Pro X" which only works on OSX and not surprisingly his G5 is too old to upgrade to OSX (lol). So the other day we were talking about it and he said he was thinking of buying the new "trash can" like Mac Pro and I looked at him and said I could build him a computer that could beat that computer silly for the same price or work just as well for less.

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, I wanted to get him a price list of a computer that would out perform the new Mac Pro for under $3000. I know that Logan made a video about it a little while ago, but I have read the new Haswell chips, as of right now, are not supported by OS X(or perhaps that has changed by now), he also wants a board with Thunderbolt, though I may convince him that it is fruitless to have as he does not have a 4k monitor nor does he have any hard drives with thunderbolt. So if you could recommend a board with thunderbolt and another without it. He also has a ton of external hard drives(like stacks on stacks of them), so you can throw a Hard drive in there if you want. He will also be getting 1 (or 2 depending on budget) 27" in 1440p Korean monitors, because he needs the room on the screen for music editing, He currently has 2 5 year old 15" 720p monitors which in my opinion look quite bad. I would also like to keep the build cool and quiet. He also cannot move to Windows or Linux so please don't suggest that to me(I'm looking at you Zoltan =P) because all of his work for the last 20 years has been done a Mac and that's all he knows how to use along with all his work are on Apple hard drives. Also he doesn't have the time to learn how to work on either nor do i have the time to learn and then teach him. Just another note, he keeps his G5 on about 24/7, besides for when he goes on vacation but even then he just leaves it on sleep mode, so I heard Linus talking about some graphics cards especially work station GPUs are certified for 24 hour use. Keep that in mind because I do not doubt he will do the same with this computer. He will not be gaming on this what so ever, just Heavy Music editing, internet browsing, and occasional light photo/video editing.

I also have some questions:

  • Are Hackintoshes illegal? This seems to be debated on the websites I have looked at.
  • Can I buy a copy of OS X Mavericks? I saw the guys at Life hacks use a clever method for getting a bootable USB with out pirating.
  • What problems can I expect from building a Hackintosh?
  • Can anyone recommend guides to me for building one(more over on how to properly install OSX)?
  • What's the difference between using an i7/i5 chipset compared to a xeon in a Hackintosh and would he notice a difference with heavy music editing?

Basically what I need is a part's list and price that will be cheaper than the new Mac Pro but will still preform or out preform the new Mac Pro.

If you have anymore questions, feel free to ask or if you want me to make a TL;DR section for it, I can. I know I wrote a lot, but I wanted to get all the info I can out. also if you have any recommendations for building a Hackintosh, please do share! Thank you very much!


Here are the answers to your questions and some advice.

1. Yes, but what are the chances Apple is going to hunt you down.

2. No, you have to get it off a mac already running Mavericks and install it off the flash drive. Go to apple's refurb and get an old mini.

3. Same as with building a normal pc except more complicated on the OS

4. Tonymacx86. Go. Now. They have forums and there are tutorials all over youtube.

5. I would go for an i7 4930k. The 4770k is better but a lot more and logic pro isn't a huge task.

       If you really want a Hack Pro just modify the kill your mac pro and go with it. You wouldn't need 2 fancy gpu's and all the crap. You could probably get it under $2000. There is a much better option though. Get an imac. It has the power he would need and at a great price. Just put a fusion drive in it for speed. If you have any questions comment back.

Just realized I didn't address the middle part. For a second monitor get the apple thunderbolt display. Awesome panel with I/O on the back. There is usb, thunderbolt, and firewire for his drives. If you need a gpu for his machine you can get one on the imac, but iris pro will out perform some gpu's.

I'm sure you can find a thunderbolt card and just put that in the system.
A quick google search says haswell works now.

I may just recommend the iMac to him then and tell him to grab the Apple thunderbolt display which he was looking at getting as well. It sucks it's illegal, I was reading how you don't actually own windows, but you only rent it with a single 1 time fee. I was hoping to save him some cash this way, but oh well. Thanks!

No problem! Hope I helped, and check the forums on tonymacx86 any way they may be able to get you a really cheap build.

Hope he is ok with lots of fiddling about, especially with the notorious sound card issues on hackintosh.

Id never use one as a main workstation in a commercial environment, they are still too buggy and one OSX update could totally leave him fucked if he is working to a tight deadline.......guess thats why people are still more than happy to pay a premium on Apple commercial workstations.   

Yeah, I'll just tell him to go with an iMac. I wanted to save him some money and perhaps have a better alternative, but better safe than sorry.