Greetings, I am surprised there are not more Hackintosh builds, so I will kick off my early 2012 build.
Background: My right hand cannot tolerate using a mice for too long, so I have always used a old school Tablet with a Wacom pen for Poker as to alleviate the pain. But there is only so much volume you can put in with a Tablet Laptop. So it was time to research a new Desktop system...
Requirements: I have mainly used Linux Desktops for the past decade (even my Tablets ran Linux), so I try to avoid M$ Windoze at all costs, but wanted the option just in case for Games and native Poker clients and native Poker third-party client support. Then, I got tired of Linux Desktops and wanted to try to get my feet wet with Mac OS, since Mac OS is built on BSD Unix, it was a easy transition. I also wanted to use a Razer Nostromo gamepad for my left-hand for Poker clients. And if possible, some mouse I can use for my left-hand.
Researching the Build: Choosing the parts to be compatible with both Mac OS and Windows was not that difficult. I did all my research @ tonymacx86.com. Very helpful peoplez over therez. In the end, I only had to worry about the built-in network card and built-in sound card on the motherboard. No dealbreakers. Let's go.
Out of Scope:
Apple Hardware and Software
Legalities of Hackintosh
Ivy Bridge (Will have to research yourself @ tonymacx86.com)
<< Please bear in mind that I researched and purchased at the beginning of 2012, so anything after that I have no idea. >>
<< no need to overclock as I do no play much video games >>
What software/hardware does work:
Merge clients (Hero Poker), but I use Parallels Desktop (M$ Windoze)
Ongame clients (Betfair), but I use Parallels Desktop (M$ Windoze)
Pokerstars (Native Support)
Pkr (Native Support), but I use Parallels Desktop (M$ Windoze)
PokerTracker 3 (Native Support)
Razer Nostromo (Native Support)
Razer Mamba (Native Support)
Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard (Native Support)
Apple Magic Bluetooth Trackpad (Native Support)
<< I will write up Pokerstars Hotkeys (Beta) and Razer Nostromo next week >>
What does not work for my specific system:
<< Non-LGA 2011 SB-E may work perfect with these items. These were not a dealbreaker for me. There is almost even Thuderbolt support on newer hardware >>
<< No need to worry, not many people buy SB-E LGA 2011, I am just using it as an example for future builds you might want to consider. >>
Network Card (Simple, just use Multibeast)
Sound Card (More difficult, but just had to download a hack. Usually Multibeast solves this problem)
<< Will upgrade for near 100% native support in future. NO hacks. >>
Summary: I love this system. It runs great, stable. I purchased this system at the beginning of 2012 and did not do a write up till I could wholly recommend a Hackintosh build. I run a Windows 2008 R2 Server on Parallels to run an additonal 8 Poker Windoze clients. Any Windows OS will work the same. The Virtual machine works seamlessly. I run in Coherence mode in Parallels which runs the Windows GUI Desktop in the background, so you never see the Windows desktop unless there is a special need. All Windows applications are enabled by a Windows folder in the Mac taskbar, so you just select your Windows apps from the Mac taskbar to enable your Windoze apps without ever seeing Windoze icons or the Desktop GUI. Brilliant! I even tried PKR Windows which enables in full screen with x4 anti-alias and it runs and exits perfectly. I have not tried third-party software (HEM, etc.) [Out of Scope]. But I see no reason for it not to work perfectly well. I can test if needed.
The Razer Nostromo switching from Mac to Windows runs perfectly. So you can use Mac Pokerstars and Mac Razer Nostromo, then switch over to Windoze and use Windows Razer Nostromo and Windoze Poker Clients. But of course the Razer Nostromo cannot be used on both operating systems at one time. I also run an Ubuntu Desktop on Virtualbox. Enabling File Sharing via Virtualbox allows transfer of files seamlessly to Mac. For example, if you have files on FAT/NTFS/ext3/ext4, just setup the file sharing and move files back and forth between the Mac and Virtualbox box client with no worries. On a side note, the Razer Mamba runs great and smooth like butta. The scroll wheel and overall movement is just so smooth. Love it.
OS: OS X Lion (10.7) USB thumb drive
<< Not sure if available at Apple stores anymore since Mountain Lion (10.8) debut. May have to wait. >>
<< You can also download Lion or Mountain Lion at the Apple Store and make a DVD and install from there. Similar steps.>>
Case: Cooler Master HAF X Full Tower w/ SuperSpeed USB 3.0 w/ Window w/ Black Interior ATX Case (RC-942-KKN1)
CPU: Intel Core i7-3930K Hexa-Core Processor 3.2 Ghz 12 MB Cache LGA 2011 - BX80619I73930K
Motherboard: ASUS P9X79 PRO - LGA2011 - X79 - 8x DIMM - PCIe 3.0 Motherboards
Memory: 2x 4GB Corsair Vengeance DD3 1600
<< Just bought plain memory knowing Quad-channel 2133Mhz would be available for future upgrade since my motherboard supports Quad-channel. placeholder for now.>>
Video Card: MSI ATI Radeon HD6870 1 GB DDR5 2DVI/HDMI/2x Mini DisplayPort PCI-Express Video Card R6870 HAWK
<< Just bought best native support for OS X 10.7.1 until Nvidia was natively supported. Sort of a placeholder, but actually pretty good. Nvidia GTX680 is now natively supported in 10.8 Mountain Lion, but no hurry to upgrade video card, it does well >>
Power Supply: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold (SPG) 800 Watts Modular Power Supply
DVD/CD: Asus DVD Drive
<< Any DVD Drive should work. Hope to upgrade to a Sony Optiarc drive if Power Management is available in the future >>
Heatsink: Corsair Hydro Series H80 High Performance Liquid CPU Cooler (CWCH80)
<< Corsair H100 would have been a more troublesome install by placing fan in different location >>
HDD:# 3X Western Digital Caviar Black 2 TB SATA III 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache Bulk/OEM Internal Desktop Hard Drive - WD2002FAEX
SSD: Crucial 128 GB m4 2.5-Inch Solid State Drive SATA 6Gb/s CT128M4SSD2
Possible Future Upgrades:
Memory: Corsair Vengeance Red 16 GB (4x4 GB) 2133MHz CL9 DDR3 Quad Memory Kit (CMZ16GX3M4A2133C9R)
Video Card: Nvidia GTX680 2GB (OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Native Support)
Monitor: Dell U3011
Network Card: Sonnet Technologies GE1000LA2XA-E 10/100/1000 GBE CTLR SVR CARD 2PORTNETWORK CONNECTION
<< fault tolerant nic that is natively supported, no need for hack. has 2 ethernet failover ports, so if you lose connection, it will try to use your backup ISP. need 2 isps network connections for fault tolerance.. >>
Sound Card: Will use a USB/DAC/AMP and disable sound card or find a native Mac support card.
<< No urgency >>
SSD:OWC 120GB Mercury Accelsior™ PCI Express Solid State Drive (700+MB/s Read/Write)
<< native support blazing fast SSD boot drive >>
DVD: Sony Optiarc (Better Sleep Support)
Installation: Simple. Just download Unibeast from tonymacx86. Make Unibeast USB drive. Boot with USB drive. Unplug, Insert Mac OS X USB thumb drive. Install. Do not reboot. Install Multibeast to tailor to your system. Reboot. Done.
Conclusion: I have the best of both worlds. My system outperforms current Mac Desktops with a much lower price and flexibility. I have the option to upgrade for even better performance. No need to dual boot to Windows. Everything I need runs on Mac OS X or via the Virtual Machines. The Magic Trackpad works great using my Left Hand. Just flick here, flick there. Saves a lot of wear and tear on my right-hand. Razer Nostromo is great for poker. I have a Logitech G13 also, but Razer is more comfortable and smooth for I. Happy Customer. Overall, can justify the price if it saves my right-hand from falling off.
In Conclusion: Please, when researching your build, consider a possible Hackintosh in the future, so when you select your parts, they are also natively supported in Mac OS X. That way, you can enjoy your Windows now and if you get the itch to install Mac OS X, that option is available.
Optional: If needed, I can just buy another SSD for Windows Gaming. Choose between the Mac SSD and Windows SSD via Bios, then on to PC Gaming. Simple, easier than playing AA on the button.