Apple’s new Mac computers are spelling the end of my Hackintosh


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Apple's M1 chip

Apple’s M1 chip is being hailed as a leap forward for Macs. But it’s death to my Hackintosh.


One of my favorite nerdy hobbies is coming to an end, whether I want it to or not. And it’s Apple’s fault.

Back in 2016, I was frustrated that Apple hadn’t updated its Mac Mini, iMac or Mac Pro computers in at least a year. The company pumped out new iPhones, iPads, AirPods and MacBooks at a regular pace, and I had at least one of each. But the desktop Macs weren’t getting the same attention. 

I wanted a low-cost multipurpose machine I could rely on for work and play for the next several years. But if I plunked down the $499 starting price Apple wanted for its Mac Mini computers at the time, I’d be paying the full amount for a machine whose innards were more than two years old. Not OK.

So I decided to do one of the nerdiest things a techie Apple user can do: I built a PC.

I bought all the parts I needed, including a storage drive, system memory and a graphics card. Next, I put them together in a rather generic-looking case. Then I tricked Apple’s MacOS software into powering it.

The project took about $800, many nights of squinting at computer code, and a couple of frustrated bangs on my keyboard, but eventually I’d done it.


Apple’s $699 M1-powered Mac Mini is a low-cost machine with surprisingly speedy chips.

Dan Ackerman/CNET

I’d turned my DIY computer into a Hackintosh.

It’s not something Apple supports, and it may be a violation of the MacOS software licensing terms. (Apple declined to comment for this article.) But the result was that I had a desktop Mac…