Let’s face it, sure that Pentium 4 is still chugging along, but what if you could build a real Mac, minus the logo? Welcome to Intel’s newest line of CPU’s. Nowadays, you can pick up a bundle Intel Core2 Duo 2.2GHz paired with a standard motherboard with on-board 64MB of video memory and all the goodies for under $200 shipped. While you’re at it, stuff it to the limit with 4GB of DDR2 RAM and go all out (budget style) for a 256MB or 512MB video card (GeForce). Scoop up a $30 case or spend hundreds buying a replacement case from Apple (don’t forget the mig welder!), but either way you slice it — you’ve just saved thousands of dollars by building your own Mac.
And it’s not just the desktop that has done a 360. HackBooks and HackBook Pro’s as they’re lovingly called by, well, hackers, are popping up all over Internet cafes and coffee shops around the globe. Most notably one of the most popular models being used is the IBM/Lenovo ThinkPad. While the most popular Mac line-up aside from the Mini and iPhone, building your own MacBook may not be saving you as much money as you think.
Entry-level MacBooks run for just over $1,000 USD and most decent PC laptops with comparable hardware are only a couple hundred dollars cheaper. Planning on using an older laptop for your Hackintosh adventures? Think again. Most slower laptops really drag behind because we expect more from our laptops. When we’re on the go and staying busy, we expect our portable desktop to wake on command, zoom through the latest videos and handle like NASCAR but that’s hardly the case with slower, cheaper laptops we have laying around.
For the record, you will probably never hear me say this again, but if you’re looking for a portable Hackintosh to polish off your collection of Frankensteins, go buy a Mac.