Mac Mini or iMac or Hackintosh?

I am a developer and work on a variety of platforms from Java to Flex to PHP/HTML/CSS to Photoshop for work, for fun and as a hobby to try things out (soon planning to discover Android and iOS platforms as well).

I am planning to buy a computer which runs Mac OS X - primarily because I want to build cross platform applications and running OS X on a VM isn't as efficient and is time consuming - with all the fixes and patches that I have to do when an update comes along. Can't use XCode at all times as things break with every update apple sends across

Now my budget is tight - If I can get a mac mini - a new 22" monitor, RAM upgraded to 8Gb, wired keyboard and mouse for about $200 more. So the Mac Mini setup would costs me about $800 inclusive of everything.

iMac on the other hand costs $1200 with wireless keyboard and mouse. I am not too keen about Apple display either (somehow don't like Gloss on monitors).

What I am really confused about is the processing power and if the Mac Mini will be able to handle multiple memory and process intensive applications that I plan to run in parallel. iMac comes with Quad core i5 whereas Mini comes with Dual core i5. I don't even know the processor marketing names to check their CPU benchmark to have an idea.

Really need some help with this. I can't risk spending $800 on something which won't be able to run my applications in parallel at all times.

Alternatively, I can buy an Intel i5 quad core 3570K, a gigabyte motherboard, 16Gb of Memory, 500Gb HDD, a monitor and dual boot Windows and OS X ( native - hackintosh ) for $750. Not sure if there will be a hit in the performance and if I will continue to face problems and spend time fixing them with every OS update.

Thanks for reading through my question.
13 answers Last reply
More about mini imac hackintosh
  1. Go hackintosh it's much cheaper and you will have a longer life of the device. There is a definite performance boost, and you won't have to update the OS all the time.
  2. +1 for Hackintosh. Better value for money by far.
  3. Hackintosh for sure. Apple stuff is overpriced and nowhere near competitive at its price point.
  4. ^Ditto.Noone meantioned also that it is cheaper to upgrade as needed.iMac is full of c**p!They make very nice systems but charge twice their worth.Only 'i' thing I recommend is an i5 and the iPod160gb( :P expensive but worth every $)
  5. Hackintosh if you're set on a Mac. However I would still go with Windows. It's your choice though.
  6. +1 Hackingtosh.
  7. Hello Everyone,

    Thank you soo much for your valuable feedback.

    @Montosaurous, its not that I am set on Mac - I just want to develop cross platform applications, so I would need a system running OS X to run and test them.

    Given your feedback, it all boils down to building a system and then dual booting windows with hackintosh.

    This is the system configuration that I suppose should work fine:-

    Intel Quad Core i5 3570K or 2500K processor, Gigabyte GA-H77M-D3H board, 16Gb of memory, 500 GB WD Hard drive, 22" Dell HD monitor.

    I don't play games at all, so a processor that has overclocking abilities (like the 2 mentioned above) I believe are of not much use to me. If overclocking helps with running my programs faster, then yes, I would be interested; but if it lowers the life on my computer, then no overclocking at all for me.

    Alternatively, if overclocking is not a big deal for my requirements, to cut costs should I opt for Ivy bridge i5 3450 or 3550. However, one noticeable difference between 3570 and 3450/3550 is the graphics. The latter comes with Intel 2500 whereas the earlier one has Intel 4000 HD!

    Please suggest if the config needs any changes.

  8. Gigabyte boards ALWAYS for hackintosh.

    Go with the 2500K, so far that has been the CPU that hackintoshes work the best on. Personally I use a hackintosh with a 2500K and SL on it.

    The biggest problem is compatibility, that's just what you have to get over when you go hackintosh.
  9. Hackingtosh on a 2600k and a good GPU for best results. Most intel sandybridge chips are compatible with hackintoshes.
  10. jaideep1337 said:
    Hackingtosh on a 2600k and a good GPU for best results. Most intel sandybridge chips are compatible with hackintoshes.

    Radeon 6870 would be the best choice for the hackintosh. :)

    I use a 5450 on my hackintosh.
  11. hackintoshes can also support a 6970 so I guess thats the highest you can go on the GPU
  12. That isn't the best card for compatibility.....
  13. Hackintosh all the way. It will probably end up being half the price, with more than twice the performance.
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