After five years I have finally reached the point where I can no longer coax my MacBook Pro into handling the tasks I find myself now asking of it. Lightroom, Photoshop, video editing, and increased streaming are now simply too much for an old Intel Core 2 Duo, 4GB of RAM, and integrated graphics. So, the quest for my newest toy began. Little surprise, budget was my primary concern. I first looked into the new retina MacBook Pros, but my needed specs brought it in the realm of $2500. Not going to happen. I then considered that my laptop was already acting solely as a desktop machine anyway, so I looked into an iMac. Unfortunately, the iMacs have taken the same route as the MacBook Pros with soldered RAM and more difficult upgrades. Again, not going to happen. All that was left was the Mac Pro, and I can’t begin to touch that price point.

After some research I was reminded of the hackintosh concept. I had found my solution! A couple months of component research later and with the help of the guides at tonymacx86, I arrived at this build:

CPU: Intel Core i7-3770K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-D14 65.0 CFM CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH ATX LGA1155 Motherboard
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LP 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Storage: Sandisk Extreme 240GB 2.5″ Solid State Disk
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5″ 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 660 2GB Video Card
Wireless Network Adapter: TP-Link TL-WDN4800 802.11a/b/g/n PCI-Express x1 Wi-Fi Adapter
Case: Corsair 500R White ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer
Monitor: Asus VS239H-P 23.0″ Monitor
Keyboard: Logitech Solar Keyboard K750 for Mac Wireless Slim Keyboard
Mouse: Logitech Performance Wireless Laser Mouse

About half of my components have already arrived and I’ll be ordering the rest this week. I feel like a kid at Christmas! Now I just have to sit down and read up on the actual build. It’s been quite a while since I last tinkered inside a computer—much less built one from scratch!—so this should be fun.