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Flash storage: I configured my machine with 1TB of storage, mostly because Apple's storage prices are ridiculously high. Be careful in trying to match this, though. Network: This is going to be another high bar for the Hackintosh.
Intel "Hades Canyon" NUC series
I spent an extra hundred bucks and equipped my Mac Mini with a 10Gb Ethernet port. Most motherboards just don't come with Ethernet above 1Gb although more and more have two 1Gb Ethernet ports. Case: Face it, the Mac Mini is tiny. It's going to be hard to find a case that can fit everything I bought in a size that small.
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Power supply: The Mac Mini's power supply is tiny, but it works. We'll need to find a reasonable power supply to meet our needs. Fans: The Mac Mini has one fan that's doing all the work. Although there are nearly as many different PC cooling options as there are PC builds, we'll look for an inexpensive fan for our build.
The machine also supports the new Bluetooth 5. HDMI 2. Even so, we'll keep the requirement in mind. Apple's custom T2 chip: This is the wildcard.
You can build a Hackintosh for cheaper than a Mac Mini, but it's so not the same
Obviously, we can't configure the T2 chip in our Hackintosh build. There is some speculation that the T2 might wind up being the special sauce that kills Hackintosh builds. For now, though, the primary benefit of the T2 in the Mac Mini is faster video encoding and encryption speeds. Hackintoshers won't get this benefit.
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Both of these are known to work with MacOS Mojave. Unfortunately, they don't have the specs we need, and with only one PCIe slot there's no way to get there from here. I wanted to stick with a known-working mobo, so I worked my way up the TonyMac buyers' guide to the Pro-level motherboards. We'll start here. It supports the memory we need, the flash storage, the USB 3.
It also has two PCIe Gen3 x4 slots, which we'll be using later. It also supports NVMe M. But hey, if you want that for your Hackintosh, there are tons of RGB options. While the mobo has two USB-C ports, it does not have four. It also doesn't support Thunderbolt 3. It supports Bluetooth 4. Also, some forum threads seem to imply that the onboard networking needs to be replaced with PCIe cards , but I'm going to skip that for now.
One thing I'll tell you is that this isn't known science. Everything about configuring a Hackintosh is trial and error. You have to search forum posts which point to other forum posts which, in turn, point to more forum posts. In practice, you pretty much have to buy the parts, jump through all the configuration hoops, and hope it works.
As such, the computer based on the products I specify in this pricing run will not necessarily result in a working computer. Don't buy these items because I'm telling you about them in this article.
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Instead, research each component on your own. We are starting with a motherboard that will run Mojave. While the Mac Mini has a 6-core iB, we'll spec out an iK desktop class processor. It also has 6-cores, but it runs at 3.
This is faster by a bit than the Mac Mini's 3. We'll take the win where we can find it. Next, we'll add RAM. That's the thing with RAM. Prices fluctuate. A lot. I just ran a quick Blackmagic Design storage speed test. That's the number we're looking for in NVMe flash drive. Crucial offers what they call a budget NVMe M. While benchmarks and claims never match real world performance, it's definitely in the ballpark of what I've been seeing. This is where the Apple Tax seems extreme. Now, we have some decisions to make.
We have only two PCIe slots, so which do we choose? There's not all that much right now that utilizes Bluetooth 5. So we'll need to find a board for that. This is a big challenge, because it's not just what board you buy, but which board has components that Apple supports. For the record, I don't know if this board works with Mojave, it just has a better chance because it's Intel. As for Thunderbolt 3, I've been striking out. There are not many PCIe Thunderbolt 3 cards out there. Those that exist appear to be tied to specific motherboards. That's because the PCIe channel isn't enough to feed Thunderbolt 3.
As such, I haven't found any Thunderbolt 3 cards that work with the recommended motherboards.
Best alternatives to the Mac mini
If we're willing to settle for four USB-C ports instead of the much faster Thunderbolt 3 ports, we can purchase a card that will augment the two USB 3. I found the StarTech. The Neo has been painstakingly designed to provide the most stunning home cinema experience possible.
Powered by Windows 10, the Neo is capable of outputting crystal clear 4K 60 Hz. Going a step further, the engineers at MINIK have embedded a proprietary suite of technologies that improve upon the 4K standard and further enhance the already ultra-sharp images. All these cutting-edge enhancements, however, would be worthless without robust connectivity. A spotty connection can easily ruin an otherwise pleasant streaming experience. The designers have used the latest An array of dual-band antennas covers 2.
On top of that, you have a M. Despite being a barebones mini Tower PC, the Intel NUC 8 Mainstream kit is everything about upgradability, versatility and affordability in a professionally designed miniature form-factor.