For those who don’t know much about Hackintosh, it’s basically a detailed expert level procedure that lets you install Apple’s own Mac OS X onto a device that is not associated with Apple in any way. In case you are wondering, the hardware that goes inside an iMac is quite dated even for the latest models, and especially the price you are paying for that hardware is quite ridiculous.
Now the good thing about the hardware in iMac is that it’s closely working injunction with the OS itself, so if there is to be any outside hardware change, the whole eco-system just may crash. That is why Hackintosh is so complicated for some because you’re basically taking a whole bunch of different hardware, and making the OS X run on it. However, for the experts, it’s a fairly easy job, and people have successfully managed to run the OS on much more powerful hardware than what Apple’s Macbook or iMac has to offer.
With that out of the way, we believe that getting the OS X to run on a laptop is easier than getting it to run on a full sized desktop for multiple reasons; first reason being the fact that most of the hardware configurations on the laptops are the same. For instance, if 2 people own a Dell Inspiron 15 7559, installing the OS X on both of the laptops will pretty much be the same due to the similarities in the hardware. However, things work a bit differently for the desktop computers as they are not always having the same specifications, and to have the OS X running perfectly fine, you may have to make tweaks to more than just 1 piece of hardware.
Well, don’t worry just yet. The good thing is that since motherboard is responsible for taking care of all the hardware, you can pick the right motherboard, install hackintosh on it with your hardware, and have your way with everything. The method is very much like how you would normally install Hackintosh on a laptop, but since you have more freedom with the hardware itself, we’d say it’s easier than doing it on a laptop. Still, you should know that there might be some features that won’t work, and might have issues, but in order to make things easier for the readers, we will list the number of things that are bugged, or completely not working.
With that said, today, we are going to help you find the best motherboards that you can simply install Hackintosh on with the help of the vast community that is available on the internet. With that said, you do need to keep in mind that there are some features that are likely not to work, and just to save you the hassle, we will list them down as well. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at the best hackintosh motherboards.
Note: After proper research, we have found out that Gigabyte motherboards are normally the ones that are highly cooperative with the OS X ecosystem, however, Asus motherboards tend to work in several different cases. The support also depends on the Intel platform as well, however, the most commonly supported Intel platforms are Z97 and H97 (Haswell/Haswell Refresh), and Z170, and H170 (Skylake), but we will also be covering an X99 (Broadwell-E) chipset into the mix. With that said, we’d also like to advise people against trying the tutorials on separate motherboards, even if they have identical specs as well as the series, last but not the least, we won’t be focusing a lot on the specs in order to avoid confusing the readers.
1. Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH
Considering how the Gigabyte motherboards have the best support, we decided to kick things off with the Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 TH, now you need to keep in mind that this is a mid-high end motherboard that is separate from company’s Gaming lineup. Still, the Z170X-UD TH is one of the most capable motherboards that support all the latest technologies, and is based on Intel’s Z170 chipset that will be supporting the 7th generation (Kabylake) processors as well. In terms of specs, you get the following.
- Support for 6th and 7th generation of Intel processors (7th generation support is added by flashing the latest bios)
- Dual channel DDR4 support with max capacity of 64GB.
- Latest connectivity options such as USB Type C, USB 3.1, Thunderbolt, and M.2.
So, as you can tell, the motherboard has all the latest bells and whistles one would require in order to have the best experience when it comes to having a top of the line computer. The good thing is that running OS X Sierra on it happens to be extremely easy because the tutorials that are present on the internet work like a charm. You have to follow 9 simple, and brilliantly detailed steps, and once you are done with it, you’ll have the OS X up and running with ease. Keep in mind that there are probably some issues with Thunderbolt, USB Type C, as well as multi-monitor due to a very restricted support of the OS X, in addition to that, iMessage, and other similar apps tend to not work at times. Other than that, the OS X Sierra runs without any issue, and believe it or not, you get more performance out of your Hackintosh than an iMac 5K. Hackintosh Installation Guide
2. Gigabyte LGA 1151 GA-Z170XP-SLI
Next up we have another offering from Gigabyte, the GA-Z170 XP-SLI, now when it comes to sheer performance, there isn’t an extreme amount of difference between this one, and the UD5, however, you should keep in mind that this motherboard comes recommended from a lot of people who have successfully installed the OS X while using this motherboard in their build. It isn’t as expensive, and feature rich like some other motherboards, and while some people may hesitate, it actually is a good thing. With that out of the way, it does have somewhat similar support than the UD5 like having support for 6th and 7th generation of Intel processors along with the latest PCI-E compliance, and a bunch of other bells and whistles making it one of the best budget level motherboards.
- Support for the latest 6th and 7th generation of Intel processors.
- Dual channel DDR4 support with maximum 64GB of RAM.
- Advanced connectivity options like M.2, USB 3.1, and USB Type C.
As you can tell, the motherboard does offer you some pretty good amount of features, making it one of the best when it comes to the best price to performance ratio. With that said, now comes the important part, is it easy to install OS X on this motherboard, well, the answer is yes. However, before you start preparing, you should know that there is no “specific” guide for this particular motherboard, however, there is a generic Skylake guide, and the GA-Z170XP-SLI is on the list, which means that you can use that guide and install the OS X with great ease. Again, there will be some feature not working like audio having issues, but don’t worry, the guide covers everything, and in terms of difficulty, it’s pretty mild thanks to the good amount of details. Hackintosh Installation Detail
3. Asus X99-A
We are now looking at something different, the product we have with us is the Asus X99-A, and in case you aren’t aware of the X99 chipset, this happens to be Intel’s prosumer grade chipset that supports cores beyond 4. Starting from hexa, all the way to deca core configuration. Now, in case you are wondering, the X99 chipset is a powerhouse, and is made for the enthusiasts who want to have every bit of performance from their computer as they can get. Although the motherboard is a bit old, it still manages to house some of the best available technology including the quad channel DDR4 support with max capacity of 128GB. With that said, let’s look at some of the features below.
- Support for Intel’s Broadwell-E family of processors.
- Quad channel DDR4 support with maximum of 128GB supported RAM.
- Ability to have 3-way SLI or 4-way crossfire.
So judging by some of the basic functions, one can only tell that the motherboard is an absolute beast, but does it fair well when it comes to installing and handling the OS X, well, you’d be glad to know that it fairs really well. The installation was smooth as butter, and we didn’t face any issues. The tutorials available on the internet alone were helpful enough, and that proved to make things better. Surprisingly, the WIFi and Bluetooth were working out of the box. There were some audio issues that got patched, other than that, the whole process is really easy, and simple to follow. Hackintosh Installation Guide
4. Gigabyte GA-Z170MX-Gaming 5
Back on with another motherboard from Gigabyte, and this time, it’s the Gigabyte GA-Z170MX-Gaming 5, and as you can tell by the name, this actually comes from the gaming series of motherboards by Gigabyte. Considering how it is a Skylake motherboard, it is safe to say that it will be running the OS X without any issues, because the motherboard is supported, and the generic Skylake guide can be used on it without any issues. With that said, as for the post installation issues, there are bound to be some, and we will obviously discuss them in detail once we are done with highlighting some of the main specifications. So, let’s take a look.
- Support for the latest 6th and 7th generation of processors.
- Dual channel DDR4 support with max capacity of 64GB.
- Modern connectivity options like USB 3.1, USB Type C, M.2, and PCI-E Gen 3.
With that said, you can tell the motherboard is more than capable of handling the OS X, but sometimes, it’s not just about the features that are in the motherboard, but more of some certain specifics that make it possible for the motherboard to be even supported. You need to keep in mind that you can easily install OS X on this motherboard, however, you do need to go through a number of different guides such as the generic Skylake guide, as well as a guide specific for this motherboard. As always, there may be some issues like the audio issues, or slow performance, but make sure you are fully aware before beginning. As for the actual performance itself, it manages to be relatively good, and the tutorial is fairly simple, and well written to follow. Hackintosh Installation Guide
5. Asus Maximus VIII Ranger
We’re now taking a look at another product from Asus, and this time, it’s the Asus Maximus VIII Ranger, for those who don’t know, this motherboard is based on the Z170 chipset, and is a part of the company’s Republic of Gamers line up, and while some people may be confused mainly because it’s an Asus motherboard, we assure you that this motherboard happens to have support for pretty much every single feature of the OS X, and if that’s not it for you, you should also know that the installation method is really, really easy, and can be done by just carefully reading it. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the important features on this motherboard.
- Supports both 6th and 7th generation of Intel processors.
- Dual channel DDR4 support with maximum 64GB capacity.
- All the latest connectivity options like M.2 slot, USB 3.1, Type C, and latest PCI-E Gen 3.
So, as you can see the specifications are quite similar to pretty much every other motherboard that we have talked about. Now there are basically two ways you can tackle the process of installing Hackintosh on your motherboard, you can either you use the generic Skylake guide, or you can use the guide that is specific for this motherboard, whatever you do, you shouldn’t be too worried because as far as the reports are concerned, there is not a single feature on this motherboard that is missing when you install the OS X. With that said, in case you are wondering whether or not it’s difficult to install the OS X on this motherboard, well, as long as you are following all the required steps, and doing everything right, nothing will really go wrong. Hackintosh Installation Guide
6. Gigabyte LGA 1151 GA-Z170-HD3
The next motherboard on our list is again an offering from Gigabyte, and this time, we are looking at perhaps the cheapest Z170 motherboard; the GA-Z170-HD3, and as you can tell, the motherboard is based on a Z170 chipset, and that’s what we are normally looking for. With that said, you need to keep in mind that it doesn’t really matter if you spend top dollars on a motherboard because if you are looking for basic feature such as the support for latest gen processors including the support for the super-fast M.2 connectivity, and the support for dual channel DDR4 memory. With that said, let’s take a look at the specs.
- Support for 6th, and 7th generation of Intel processors.
- Dual channel DDR4 support, maximum RAM up to 64GB.
- Connectivity options such as M.2 slot, PCI-E Gen 3, as well as a slew of other options.
As you can tell, all of the features available on the motherboard seem to be working really, really well in the favour of the OS X, and in case you are wondering if installing the OS X is easy or not, you should be glad to know that it actually is. With that said, you should also know that the tutorials suggest that there is absolutely no feature that isn’t working right now, and if you think there is a feature that’s broken, it will be fixed as per the developer. The motherboard does have a good support in the community, so you shouldn’t be too worried in the first place. Hackintosh Installation Guide
7. ASRock Mini ITX H170M-ITX/AC
As we are getting close to the conclusion, we are focusing more on the entry level motherboards, the H series motherboards are basically the same as the Z series, however, you should know if you are not willing to overclock, then going for an H170 motherboard is perfectly fine. The ASRock Mini ITX H170M-ITX/AC is an ITX motherboard that has wireless support, which means that you get to have WiFi and Bluetooth. However, you need to keep in mind that the Bluetooth and WiFi won’t be working due to the chip not being compatible, however, you can simply replace the given chip with the compatible Broadcom chip, and have the best of both worlds. With that said, let’s take a look at the specs.
- Mini ITX form factor for compact building experience.
- Wireless connectivity offering both Bluetooth and WiFi.
- 2 DDR4 slots supporting a maximum of 32GB RAM.
- PCIE-E Gen 3 slot for graphic expansion.
Now as you can see, the ASRock Mini ITX H170M-ITX/AC isn’t shy when it comes to flexing muscles, it’s small, it’s powerful, and it has wireless capabilities, with that said, do keep in mind that you won’t be able to use these out of the box if you install the Hackintosh on the motherboard, and you’ll need to replace the built-in Intel chip, with a compatible Broadcom chip that you can find easily. With that said, the installation process is fairly straight forward, and you should be able to install the OS X without any issues. The developer didn’t really specify any bugs, but promised to fix any if found. Needless to say, thanks to the great community, it’ll easily be achievable. Hackintosh Installation Guide
8. Gigabyte H97-Gaming 3
We’re finally moving into the H97/Z97 territory that supports the 4th and 5th generation of Intel CPUs, now it may come as a surprise to some, but a lot of people don’t know this but as compared to the latest Skylake CPUs, the H97/Z97 chipset have aged really, really well. This means that you won’t be having any troubles installing the OS X. With that said, the H97-Gaming 3 is actually a gaming motherboard, and follows the same red and black scheme we have seen on most of the gaming motherboards, and it is a full sized ATX motherboard in case you are wondering. Whether or not Haswell works on it properly will be clarified soon, but first, we’re going to take a look at the specs.
- Support for 4th (Haswell) and 5th (Broadwell) generation processors.
- Dual channel DDR3 support with max 64GB capacity.
- Latest M.2 support, along with other latest connectivity options for unrivaled performance in the price group.
Now that you are aware that the motherboard is pretty capable even by the modern standards, comes the more important and pressing matter – is it good enough to run the OS X perfectly without any issues? Well, the shorter, more comforting answer is yes. Thanks to the hardware’s age, it has amassed a lot of developer support, which means that the OS X running on the H97-Gaming 3 is pretty stable, and has all the features working without any issue. As for how easy the installation process is, it’s pretty simple thanks to the hardware being old, and the method being perfected, so you won’t be having any issues, and in case you run into an issue, the active community will be there to help you. Hackintosh Installation Guide
9. ASRock Z97 Extreme 6
For those who don’t know, ASRock is perhaps one of the most popular motherboard manufactures that are out in the market at the moment, the company is known for creating some of the finest motherboards for nearly all the Intel platforms, and today, we are going to take a look at the ASRock Z97 Extreme 6, and while one may think that the H97/Z97 platform is old, all the highly skilled Hackintosh developers have went on the record and stated that the this is perhaps the best platform for using an OS X mainly due to the active community as well as how well the hardware has aged. With that said, some basic specs can be found below:
- Support for 4th and 5th generation of Intel processors.
- Dual channel DDR3 supports up to 64GB of memory.
- Supports 4 way SLI, or 4-way Crossfire.
- Has support for Thunderbolt, and other modern connectivity options.
As you can see, the specs are nothing to fret about, couple the motherboard with a K series processor, and you’ve got an absolute powerhouse. Believe it or not, a lot of people are still using this motherboard in their primary systems due to how good the price to performance ratio is. In case you are wondering about the installation process, we are sad to announce that it is somewhat difficult than we normally would want it to be. For starters, finding the tutorial for the exact model is a bit difficult, as the tutorials for the earlier model exist, but you have to go through several threads in order to find the ones that will work without any issues on this one. Still, we would like to confirm that the OS X works on this motherboard, and works really well, so in case you are wondering whether or not there is any issues, there isn’t. Hackintosh Installation Guide
10. MSI Z97 GAMING 5
The last motherboard on our list another Z97 motherboard, and this time, we are looking at the MSI Z97 Gaming 5. In case you are wondering this mother is one of the best from MSI, and has a great success rate for the Hackintosh to run without any issues. Much like it’s Z97 brethren, this one also has full support for both the 4th generation Haswell processors, the Haswell refresh series, and the 5th generation Broadwell processors. With that said, just like our usual way of reviewing a motherboard, we are going to take a look at some of the basic specs first, and once those are out of the way, we are going to talk about how well the Hackintosh runs on this motherboard. Let’s begin.
- Supports both the 4th, and 5th generation of Intel processors.
- Dual channel DDR3 RAM support for up to 64GB of memory.
- SLI, Crossfire, and M.2 support.
The motherboard is no slouch when it comes to the specs, and the good thing is that the motherboard manages to run the OS X with great ease. Of course, like every other case, you do have to do some tweaking, but once that’s done, you’re presented with a pretty refined OS X experience that a lot of people are normally looking for. The tutorial is fairly simple and easy to follow, and the community is really, really active, so even if you end up facing troubles, you can always turn to the community for help. Hackintosh Installation Guide
As you may or may not have noticed, in many cases, installing Hackintosh on a desktop is easier than the laptop mainly because of how easier the access you have to all the hardware in one place. With that said, these motherboards are 100 percent guaranteed to work, and even if the methods don’t work in the tutorial, you can always turn to the community for more guidance, and they will be more than able to help you.
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