So today, on a whim, I decided to see what a “reasonable” gaming PC will cost if I had to chuck out most of my PC, and buy all new parts. I have a harddrive and a video card, so wouldn’t need to buy those. I also wanted to keep in mind that I may want to try my hand at creating a Hackintosh at the same time, so decided to check out some Hackintosh hardware guides, as I figured the Hackintosh hardware guides, plus my video card (confirmed, supported under OSX), should be “good enough” to give me both a gaming PC and a Hackintosh-capable PC.
So off to takealot.com I went, as well as followed this guide from TonyMacX86, for a “budget” mATX Hackintosh, making sure I can fit my video card and harddrive as well. Here’s what I came up with, a list of Hackintosh-supported hardware:
I chose a reasonably cheap case, as a case for me is purely functional, and not decorative, so I chose the
Raidmax Super Atlas Black – coming in at only R441. The case does not come with a power supply, which was my intention, as generally the PSUs that come with a case are generally not powerful enough to run several devices as well as a reasonably power-hungry graphics card.
As takealot did not have the suggested 500W Corsair modular PSU, I ended up choosing the
RaidMax 850W PSU V2.3 80PLUS modular PSU. More than enough wattage to be able to add more peripherals, but a bit more expensive than I’d ever pay for a PSU before, a heavy R1149. It is a modular design, so no extra cables hanging around causing airflow problems inside the case.
One of the suggested, and Hackintosh-supported motherboard, is the
Gigabyte Z87M-D3H M-ATX motherboard. 4 memory slots, supports 4th generation i5 and i7 CPUs, has USB3.0 support, supports 6GB/s SATA drives (6 SATA ports, so lots of RAID possibilities there), and has a single PCIEx16 slot. I won’t ever run a second video card in my machine, so the single PCI-Express slot is fine for me. Never having paid more than maybe R1000 for a motherboard before, this one’s price of R1716 was a bit of a drag, but hey, it’s chock full of goodness.
PC, and Hackintosh, memory is a dark art. Lots of numbers and CL this and latency that, to tell the truth, I don’t know much about it. And the bit of reading I’ve done, the differences between a lot of these numbers may mean an extra 1% or 2% extra performance. Not enough of a performance gain to spend much time on that, so I just took the suggested memory dimms from the buyer’s guide, and went with CORSAIR VENGEANCE Low Profile 8GB – 2x 4GB DDR3-1600 CL9 from takealot, coming in at a reasonable-ish R1293 for 2x 4GB, leaving enough room in the motherboard for future expansion too.
The CPU was the shocker for me. The most I’ve ever paid for a CPU was about R2000 for my Intel Core2Duo E8400 CPU, a fantastic CPU for its time. The CPU I ended up looking at, based on the recommendation from TonyMacX86, was the Intel Core i5 4670K – 3.40Ghz Socket 1150 Processor. I read up a bit, and found that the “K” in the model number indicates that the CPU is overclockable, which I’m OK with. It’s only about R200 more expensive than the non-overclockable version, so a no-brainer. The price of this puppy was my biggest surprise. Coming in at a very heavy R3339. It comes with its own CPU cooler, so no overclocking quite yet. It will require a better cooler if any overclocking is going to happen.
Doing the math now, this comes in at just under R8000, keeping in mind the above kit does not include harddrive, graphics card, mouse, keyboard or monitor, all of which I already have. Adding the price of those could easily put the price of this Hackintosh/gaming PC at easily over R15000. Fine, R8000 for an upgrade to a reasonably new hardware platform, and allow me to run both Windows and OSX on it is not a bad price at the end of the day. Now if only I had the R8000 to make it happen. Anyone want to donate me some bitcoins? 😉 (Really? Bitcoin tipjar here: 1KDHFgVsw2Zcp3erPDNDRz8VF6vQQv