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Hardware Recommendations Please :)

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Hi All


I'm looking to build an iMac Pro Killer Hackintosh.


I do a lot of Graphics (Adobe CC), Video (FCP, Adobe CC), Music (Logic Pro X) and also coding (xCode, and Web)


I need the new machine to be relatively cheap to build, certainly no more expensive than a top line iMac system, but (hopefully) as powerful and as well spec'd as a top line iMac Pro.


My concern is that somehow, Apple will be able to tell on App Submission that I would be no longer using an Apple Product?


so ....


Please advise which components I should purchase (Full List would be appreciated), and if possible links to UK Amazon, or preferably Overclockers UK)


RAM : 64GB (Minimum) or 128GB (Preferred)

HDD : Will be multiple 1TB SSDs (System will be Dual Boot (256GB minimum for each OS and apps plus at least 2 x 1TB Data Drive per OS)

CPU : i7 or Ryzen 7

Optical : DVD Writer, no BD needed


System MUST be Handoff compatible, iMessage working, Ethernet (1gbps) and WiFi.



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My concern is that somehow, Apple will be able to tell on App Submission that I would be no longer using an Apple Product?


Not to worry too much, my wife screwed up our new iPhone setup and we needed to call Apple support to remedy.   They started with screen sharing on the iPhones and then the tech noticed I had several Apple Computers on my account and he said go to one of your computers and log on, DOPE!     I WAS SWEATING BULLETS and logged into my Ryzen 7 1700 hackintosh and then into iCloud,  iTunes etc while screen sharing as we logged in and out of each app to fix the issue.    My screen was loaded with all the Hackintosh tools available along with Kernel folders config.lists etc...   I thought I was going to lose my account ( 100s of iTunes and various apps) but no he didn't mention a thing and never even noticed or cared as nothing has happened over the last 2 months.    It was a nail biter I'll tell you my only system ready to go was my ryzen as my others were missing graphics cards or other parts.     So not to worry about being detected if I passed that ultimate scare test you will be fine as long as you do not try to get warranty repairs or something on your new hack.  


I would follow MaLdOn's suggestion with the possible exception of RX 580 for a Vega 64 or Frontier addition.    I have RX 460, RX 480 and Vega 64 and the Vega is champ for performance levels.     However the RX 580 does have more time in Apples development scheme so support is more mature and relatively seamless.    Either one is a great choice and you won't need to worry about updates taking out Web Drivers which can happen with Nvidia cards.    There are some professional apps that do prefer Nvidia so if you need Cuda cores then you may be limited to earlier software versions in order to run smoothly.  


On your motherboard 2 things to check in to Ethernet and Audio compatibility.    Try to find a board that has Ethernet that has native support or has documented fixes, and the same for Audio.    My ryzen system has Intel i211 ethernet which is real buggy if I activate it, I basically use WiFi for it to avoid crashes.    If it were i219 I would be much better off.    Audio is not such a big issue if you are going to use HDMI or displayport audio as the RX cards have native audio at this point and work well. 

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Hi there :) ,


Well even to exact copy the iMac Pro, it costs close to 3000 to 4000 USD comparing to Baseline iMac Pro, around 5000 USD. (Price in USD, but you get the idea). If you think of ECC DDR4 RAM, which normal consumers don't use. An Average consumer doesn't need ECC RAM. ECC RAM will of course cost a premium. In your case ECC could be good, but not a necessity. This alone costs 500 to 600 USD just for 32gb. Then the Server based motherboard, in iMac Pro's case, Apple uses a custom chipset made by Intel, close to C402 Intel Chipset, 500 USD again.This is a server based chipset, so for the use of Xeon CPU's with Socket 2066. And if no Xeon CPU, then there is no need for ECC RAM. A Xeon CPU for such system would be at 1000 USD range. And then the other essential bits, a gfx like Vega, maybe around 700 USD. etc. Now I am telling this to give an idea. Of course there is no need to Copy iMac pro 100%.


Keep in mind though, Apple MacOS is more optimised for Apple's own computers, that doesn't mean you cannot get a Hackintosh to work close to the same optimisation levels. 


The content creation world relies a lot on the Open Libraries, such as OpenCL and OpenGL, Adobe use it, Apple uses it and even BlackMagic DaVinci Resolve uses it etc. Far less go towards utilising CUDA by Nvidia. Nowadays, people using Nvidia graphics cards for content creation do it more because of their comfortability, being already known to the hardware and its supportive utilisation methods. AMD Graphics Cards on the other hand, are more optimised for such stuff. That doesn't mean Nvidia is a bad purchase. But one should always read why what is good to use, and why one should use it over the other for their own needs. In your case, content creation. But every content creation type is different, people use different tools, software and even Operating Systems. You know better about what you use, and you know how you will use them. Always good to read about what you use and what is much more compatible for it, than the other choices.


However, it is easier to answer to why one should use AMD Graphics cards for Content Creation when using MacOS. MacOS is much more optimised with AMD GFX, and Intel iGFX, the drivers for them are also native. Modern Nvidia cards need third party drivers from MacOS, if one needs to gain proper acceleration. In this case there is more focus for AMD cards to be optimised for MacOS by Apple. And this is a documented fact. 


I am telling you this, because I always find it weird when people ask for hardware recommendation for specific stuff such as content creation. As it depends on your use and how you use the computer to do content creation, only you would know better.


You mentioned Apple Services (HandOff, iMessages etc.) was a must. For Apple Services, you would need to do some research, it is possible, but dependent on certain values that needs to be modified, edited or added, either in the SMBIOS section, or RT Variables for ROM and MLB and so on. 


I agree with MaLd0n and Gigamaxx.


You would most likely be ok with Z370 CoffeeLake and 8700K 6-Core Processor. 64 Gb would be good enough, if 128 Gb is a must, then you would need to find a compatible board for it. An AMD Radeon RX card would most likely do the trick.For the SSD, you really don't need 1Tb SSDs as passive storage, you can use HDDs. Unless the SSDs are for heavy exportation work. I could understand that one would want thin non bulky and high storage capacity SSDs though. As a boot drive, just use NVMe SSD.  It seems that anything is possible to Hackintosh lately, so this isn't a problem.


Good luck! 

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