Creative pros have waited years for an update to the Mac Pro. Now that it’s here, eye-watering prices and early benchmarks are making people reconsider macOS as a viable choice for their future work. Fortunately, for those with a little tech know-how, building a Hackintosh in 2020 that beats the latest Mac Pro is possible at a fraction of the cost.
Teresa from Morgonaut.cloud has created a wonderful video guide that walks you through all the different components she used to build her latest Hackintosh and which outperforms the latest Mac Pro.
While processors (CPUs) are considered perhaps the most important component in any computer, the often forgotten motherboard is absolutely critical in building one properly. It determines things like the type of CPU, how much memory, and even the ports you can have working on your case.
Teresa opted for the ASRock TRX40 Creator since it offered two USB-C ports, 2.5G Ethernet, and 10G Ethernet that matches the new Mac Pro. There are then plenty of slots for expansion.
It’s even standard ATX format, though that means you can only load up 256GB of RAM. To start, there is 64GB of memory in this build, so still plenty of room to upgrade later.
As for the CPU, this is where the latest AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X steals the show. It balances price for performance (even though it is still pricey) and offers 32 cores and 64 threads. That beats the 28-core top-of-the-line Mac Pro. To keep it performing the Noctua NH-U14S TR4-SP3 CPU Cooler keeps the temperature down while staying relatively quiet.
Next up, and a super important one for filmmakers with massive files, is storage. It needs to be both fast and large. Going with three Corsair Force Series MP600 NVMe M.2 SSDs does the trick. She opted for 2TB versions.
To power this machine you’ll need something substantial. The Corsair HX1200 does the trick for this specific build, but if you want to go all the way to four GPUs, bumping up to 1600W is advised.
Holding all of this together needs a respectable case, and it is one that I have seen recommended quite often: the Fractal Design Define R6. It is quiet, looks nice, and has some front-facing USB-C ports for easy access.
Now for the fun part: graphics. Teresa interestingly didn’t go for some top-of the line models and went for some more accessible options. In this case the Sapphire Radeon RX 5700 XT.
So what about cost differences? Well, when you equalize components with a nearly equivalent Mac Pro, the Hackintosh costs over $10,000 less. The Hackintosh is just about $5K and the Mac Pro is $15,700. And, the Mac Pro would still be technically slower.
I’ve built a Hackintosh before, and while it is an amazing value, there is a little bit of work to be done to keep everything running perfectly. Though it does seem to be easier these days and with Geekbench Scores of 1180 for single-core and 24855 for multi-core, beating that of a 28-core Mac Pro, may make it all worth it.
Is this your next project? Could be something fun to do if you are trying to figure out something to work on at home.