Apple is famous for its high-quality devices at a hefty price. If you are someone who wants to enjoy the smooth running system of iMac and Mac Pro but can’t because of the cost, worry not, because Hackintosh and we have got your back.
Hackintosh is a portmanteau of hack and Macintosh. In simple words, it means installing an OS X system on a generic computer to make it run and work like an iMac and Mac Pro. Setting up a Hackintosh isn’t that troublesome; however, it requires a lot of BIOS updates and software downloads. To build one, you will also need some essential parts, including a motherboard.
The motherboard is like the backbone of your computer, so if you are looking to build a Hackintosh, you will also need the best supporting motherboard. Therefore, we have compiled some of the best motherboards for Hackintosh with their pros and cons.
Best Motherboards for Hackintosh
The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro is one of the best Hackintosh motherboards for gamers and has a lot of cool features to offer. It has a CPU socket, which is also known as the processor socket of LGA 1151. Additionally, it supports 128GB DDR4 (Double Data Rate 4) RAM with increased bandwidth, which offers a ton of new amazing features and improvements compared to its forerunners.
The Gigabyte Z390 Aorus Pro is compatible with 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors and boosts the performance of your system. It also offers an improved thermal design with cross-cuts heat exchangers and heat tubes that regulate the temperature of your PC. Furthermore, it supports both ECC and non-ECC unbuffered DDR4 memory with four DIMMs. Of course, it also has Wi-Fi support.
It supports Intel Optane memory, which allows faster data access between the storage, processor, and memory. It works just as fast as RAM and can thus retain stored information without needing constant power, which makes it non-volatile. The Intel Gigabit LAN cFosSpeed allows you to stream and control multiple categories of data traffic, such as browsing, online gaming, etc., at high-speed.
The Realtek ALC1220-VB with advanced 114dB (Rear) and 110dB (Front) SNR with WIMA capacitors for audio provides high quality and clear audio. It also supports RGB fusion with directly accessible LED and RGB strips for a particolored light show. The Smart Fan 5 allows you to swap the fan heads to mirror multiple thermal sensors. Meanwhile, the hybrid headers remove excessive heat with the help of distilled water to keep your motherboard cool.
Multi-Phases Digital VRM
The digital VRM helps spread the electrical load to a wider part of your computer’s area, reducing the tension from elements and thermal temperature. It also improves the efficiency of your hardware.
- Supports USB connectivity with front port USB 3.1 in Type-C, compatible with various insertions
- Offers exceptional performance
- A bit pricy
Modern Graphics Interface: The modern graphics interface consists of three PCI-e x 16 (Peripheral Component Interconnect-Express), which helps your PC link with high-speed constituents. It also supports the duplex-graphics method of AMD and NVIDIA.
The ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero is another excellent Hackintosh motherboard for gamers and tinkerers. It has an LGA 1151 Processor socket. Similar to Gigabyte Z930 Aorus Pro, it also supports DDR4 RAM. It has an automatic-tuning function for newbies.
This motherboard has an Intel Z370 chipset, which authorizes overclocking properties of unlocked 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors, enhancing the functionality and performance of your PC. The ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero also supports duplex M.2 slots and offers 802.11ac Wi-Fi connectivity with faster internet speed. Additionally, the Asus SafeSlot offers a PCI-e slot for upmarket interface cards.
With its highest processing speed of 1,000 megabits (1 gigabit), the Gigabit Ethernet LAN provides maximum transfer speed between sender and receiver. It supports USB 3.1 2nd generation Type-C connectivity that offers a high-speed transferring rate. Furthermore, Intel Optane memory improves the inclusive system responsiveness and helps in rapidly accessing the information.
The five-way optimization enhances the efficiency of your PC by optimizing the whole network for the increased clock rate to maintain operational stability at a high-speed. Through the help of Fan Xperia 4, you can also conveniently adjust the speed of the fans according to your need. Moreover, the Supreme FX and Sonic Studio III provides better sound quality and makes gaming more enjoyable.
The Dynamic Cooling System
The dynamic cooling function of ROG Maximus quickly regulates and changes the temperature to keep it cool. Hence, this improves the overall performance of your PC and reduces stress from the system.
- Provides excellent performance
- Inbuilt Wi-Fi enables going online wirelessly
- Loaded with exceptional features
- Pricier than some of the alternatives
The Aura Sync RGB Lighting: The ASUS ROG Maximus Hero supports the configurable Aura RGB LED lighting and software. Thus, the RGB lighting gives a kaleidoscopic effect and an indefinite color spectrum. It even allows you to link the lights with music for better individuality and gaming action.
The Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra motherboard uses an LGA 1200 processor socket that improves the power delivery and offers support for future progressive I/O interface features. It delivers 5000MHz memory that provides higher frequency and faster speed.
This motherboard is compatible with the platforms of Windows 8.1, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7, and Windows 10. Additionally, it has a vast storage capacity of 10000TB (Terabytes) and supports a 10th generation Intel Core processor that provides exceptional performance and upgrades for better system productivity.
It also has a direct multiple-phases digital VRM (Voltage Regulator Module) that makes your CPU work by making the usable power from the power supply and a 50A smart power stage with tantalum. Furthermore, the VRM cooling fins-array heat exchanger increases the heat dissipation area. It also has direct touch nano carbon-coated heat tubes.
Moreover, this motherboard has shielded extreme memory scattering with tantalum polymer capacitors array, with four DIMM (Dual Inline Memory Module) slots that enable your CPU to install more RAM. This motherboard has dual-channel DDR4 RAM for fast and better performance. The 3x M.2 thermal guard coating reduces heat transmission.
The AMP UP audio provides highly overdriven and distorted sound at a soft or loud volume. It also offers RGB Fusion 2.0 that lets you manage inbuilt or outer LED light strips. Plus, it also has multi-colors with kaleidoscopic patterns.
Gigabit Ethernet LAN With Intel Wi-Fi 6
The Gigabyte Z490 Aorus Ultra motherboard offers a 2.5 Gigabit Ethernet LAN network that allows faster data access and excellent streaming and editing speed. It supports intel Wi-Fi 6 that provides three times faster internet speed and reduces data transmission delay by 75%.
- Offers high-quality performance
- Supports PCI-e 4.0 interface
- A stunning board design
- It doesn’t have a Thunderbolt slot
- Clogged access to the M.2 slot
Four Aorus Antenna: This motherboard has two transmitting and two receiving Aorus antennas with Bluetooth 5 that provides considerable range and enhanced speed.
This ASUS Prime Z370-A is one of the finest feature-packed motherboards for Hackintosh. Similar to the ASUS ROG Maximus, it has an LGA 1151 CPU socket. This motherboard is specifically designed for 8th generation Intel Core processors that increase the performance of your CPU and allows exclusive gaming, incredible VR (Virtual Reality), and overall remarkable performance.
The Intel Z370 chipset provides fast app response times, improved performance, and increases the responsiveness when put together with the Intel Optane memory module. It also supports USB 3.1 2nd generation (10 Gbps) that offers faster data transferring rate. Moreover, it has PWM (pulse-width modulation) fans with four pin connectors so that you can control the rotation of the fans.
It has two slots that are patent-pending safe. Furthermore, it presents an injection molding process that combines the steel structure for a vigorously secured peripheral slot made for graphic processing units (GPU). It offers a DisplayPort with real 4K high-resolution at 60Hz refresh rate and provides decent responsiveness.
The ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard allows the users/gamers to personalize the logo panel with 3D printing mounts and multi-colored Aura Sync RGB light strips with an extra RGB header. Hence, you can connect, control, and display RGB LED strips according to your preference. It supports supreme 8-channel audio with Realtek S1220A with Crystal Sound 3 and provides a high-definition audio codec. Additionally, Japanese capacitors operate it for prominent and vivid sounds.
- Dual M.2 slots increase the performance of your CPU
- A dynamic cooling system
- DDR4 RAM offers superior performance and higher speed
- FIve-way optimization with auto-tuning for newbies
- Doesn’t have inbuilt Wi-Fi
Intel Thunderbolt 3: The ASUS Prime Z370-A motherboard supports Intel Thunderbolt 3, which is versatile and the fastest connection. It allows you to connect high-speed hard drives and a broad range of displays, including 4k and 5k resolutions.
The ASROCK X570 Phantom is a leading motherboard for Hackintosh, and it is ideal for gamers and hobbyists. It has a decent memory speed of 2666MHz, which is suitable for editing and rendering. The Picasso AMD Ryzen series is perfect for users focused on gaming, intense overclocking, 3D rendering, and video encoding.
It also supports Intel Wi-Fi 6 802.11ac (2.4 Gbps) with Bluetooth 5.0 for a wider range and faster speed and Intel Gigabit LAN connection for the highest data transferring speed. Additionally, it allows overclocking and supports DDR4 RAM speed up to 4533MHz for an improved and smoother experience.
This motherboard has 7.1-channel high-definition audio with Realtek ALC 1220 audio codec that gives you excellent sound quality and high-powered bass for gamers. Furthermore, it supports Creative Sound Blaster Cinema 5, which is an audio control software that lets you change the equalization (EQ) in an audio signal and adjust surrounding sounds.
It supports PCI-e Gen 4 expansion slots with a four-lane arrangement. The ASROCK polychrome sync also supports visualization or the Razer Chroma effect and provides an advanced true-to-life gaming experience.
AMD X570 Chipset
The AMD X570 is the first chipset with PCI-e 4.0 support; it is the best for gamers and content creators as it offers outstanding performance, having great bandwidth for graphics and storage.
- Simple and user-friendly UEFI
- Massive main VRM heat exchanger with heat tubes
- Nonpareil overclocking potential
- Improved performance with the lowest temperature
- Supports ECC memory
- No inbuilt cooling
Type-C Thunderbolt 3: The ASROCK X570 Phantom supports Type C Thunderbolt 3 that lets you connect expeditious hard drives and numerous 4K displays. Therefore, it allows you to transfer data at the highest speed of 40Gbps, making it the fastest port available in the market today.
If you are looking for the best affordable Hackintosh motherboard, then MSI Z390-A PRO is the one for you. This motherboard is one of the cheapest but has several first-rate features to offer.
It has an LGA 1151 processor socket and supports Sky Lake, Coffee Lake, and Kaby Lake processors. Therefore, it is best suited for gaming and programming as it provides high-quality performance. It supports DDR4 memory ranging from 2133MHz up to 4400MHz (overclocking compatible).
This motherboard has dual-channel memory that increases the data transferring rate and provides smoother performance. It allows you to use up to 128GB of memory, which is remarkable considering its cost-efficient price. Furthermore, it has a single M.2 slot and is compatible with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10 controllers, making it faster and more secure.
It has a single microchip Trusted Platform Module (TPM) header that provides hardware-based network/cybersecurity. It has a Realtek ALC892/897 audio codec, which offers high-definition audio and first-rate performance. Moreover, it is compatible with Windows 10 (64-bit).
This Hackintosh motherboard has four 1st generation front USB 3.1 Type-A ports and four rear ports, including 1 USB 3.1 Type-C (2nd generation), 1 USB 3.1 Type-A (2nd generation), and 2 USB 3.1 Type-A (1st generation) ports. It also has four front USB 2.0 ports and two rear USB 2.0 ports with a single serial port.
Intel Z390 Chipset
The MSI Z390-A PRO Hackintosh motherboard has an Intel Z390 chipset. It is Intel’s newest motherboard generation, specifically designed to work with the Intel 9th generation Coffee Lake processors. Thus, it provides powerful performance and allows overclocking features of 8th and 9th generation Intel Core processors.
- Four RAM slots for smoother performance
- Supports Intel’s extreme memory profile (XMP), improving gaming features and allowing overclocking
- Turbo M.2 operating at PCI-e x4 (3rd generation) provides enhanced performance
- Intel LAN 1219-V offers a faster, more secure, and stable system connection
- The motherboard makes a loud popping noise when turned on
SATA III Interface: This motherboard supports Serial ATA third-generation (SATA III), which is also known as SATA 6Gbps. The SATA third generation runs at 6Gbps and has a bandwidth capacity of 600Mbps.
The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus is a feature-packed Hackintosh motherboard. It is best for gamers, programmers, and hobbyists. It has an LGA 1151 CPU socket that provides improved performance and won’t require updates for a long time.
This motherboard supports 8th generation Intel Core processors that deliver higher-level performance and gaming experience. It is compatible with several other processors, including Intel Core i5, Core i3, and Core i7 processors. It consists of a Z370 chipset that gives data protection against a hard disk drive failure with RAID 0, 1, 5, and 10.
This motherboard supports RGB fusion LED light show with RGB digital LED strips. You can even change and control the LED strip lights via its multi-zone receiver. It also supports Creative Sound Core3D, which is a first-rate hardware audio processor. It is versatile and provides excellent audio quality.
The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus is Intel Optane memory ready that provides faster data access of solid-state drives (SSDs) and hard disk drives (HDDs) combined. It allows quick access to your frequently used applications, documents, and offers a smoother computing experience.
It also offers Smart Fan 5 that allows you to swap the fan headers to throw back separate thermal sensors at different positions on the motherboard. You can personalize each fan to run at different speeds except the main processor fan.
The Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Hackintosh motherboard supports EasyTune and CloudStation applications. EasyTune application has a simple and user-friendly interface; it allows you to optimize the system settings and get the top-level overclocked performance from your CPU.
- SATA-600 interface offers exceptional reliability and reading/writing performance
- Dual M.2 slots and four PCI-e 3rd Generation slots
- Supports Thunderbolt 3 AIC for a high-speed data transfer rate
- It has an anti-sulfur resistor design
- Intel GbE LAN with cFosSpeed internet accelerator software for lightning-fast internet
- No M.2 coolers added
CloudStation: The Gigabyte CloudStation is a compilation of various Gigabyte applications that enables your devices, including mobile phones, to communicate, share documents/files, and run desktop computers through a wireless connection.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is Hackintosh?
Hackintosh is composed of two different words, “Hack” and “Macintosh.” The Hackintosh allows people to use the Apple Macintosh operating system (OS X) on non-Apple authorized computers. Through this, users can avail the benefits of macOS X without spending a hefty amount on a real deal.
2. Is Hackintosh worth it?
Hackintosh gives you a chance to run macOS on your CPU, just like Mac. Through Hackintosh, you can upgrade the modules of your computer and build a powerful Mac-compatible PC. Simply put, Hackintosh is a cost-effective way to avail the better performance and smoother experience of iMac and Mac Pro combined. So, it is worth it if you are willing to spend some time building it.
3. Can you turn any PC into a Hackintosh?
Yes, but you will need a few things, such as a Hackintosh compatible motherboard, machine hardware with a 64bit Intel processor, a hard drive to install macOS on it, and make sure that your hard drive should not have any Windows installed on it. To run the advanced macOS, you need a hard drive with at least 50GB of space.
4. Can you update a Hackintosh?
To update your Hackintosh macOS, all you need to do is open the App Store, click on the update tab; your system will update on its own. But if you are going for a newer version like Mojave, you will need a USB port limit patch compatible with Mojave to update.
5. Is it hard to build a Hackintosh?
Building a Hackintosh is not too hard, but it will require BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) updates and software downloads. You violate SLA (Software License Agreement) when you install macOS on your non-Apple machine, so a little hacking is needed to get your system running smoothly.
6. How to build a Hackintosh?
To build a Hackintosh: firstly, you will need an operating copy of macOS software. Then, to install the current OS X, you must get your hands on a genuine Mac machine. After installing the software, transfer it on a USB with “Unibeast,” a USB installer specifically used to install and modify macOS X so it can boot on a regular PC. Secondly, you will need some Hackintosh compatible components, including the motherboard, to avoid any errors and issues.
Hackintosh is a genius way to build a powerful machine at a budget-friendly price and avail the benefits and finest performance of Macintosh without having to pay for an expensive iMac or MacBook Pro. The main components of building a Hackintosh is a compatible motherboard, a CPU, and some free time. With that being said, each motherboard mentioned above works exceptionally and is Hackintosh compatible, so good luck with building your own Hackintosh.