Learning by doing.
Intel NUC6i5SYH Hackintosh Silver Setup with Benchmarks
My old MacBook Air (13-inch Mid 2013) has an Intel Core i5-4250U CPU, 4 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM, and 128 GB SSD storage, which is so outdated for modern scientific research. Therefore, an upgrade is needed. However, the new 2016 MacBook Pro is so disapointing that the cost performance index is quite low. Therefore, a Hackintosh might be a good choice.
I am not unfamiliar with Hackintosh. I have experience setting up Hackintosh on two platforms, LGA1150 and LGA1151, with three different mini-itx cases. Acutally, I am using a Hackintosh right now, which has an Intel Core i5 6500, 16 GB 2133 MHz DDR4 RAM, and 500 GB SSD storage with a Cooler Master Elite 110 case. It is a golden setup that everything works like a charm, except that it is not portable. What I need is a tiny portable machine that I can take to my office everyday yet still powerful enough that can replace my old MacBook Air and do some real work.
What in my mind is an Intel NUC6i5SYH. After an extreamly painless installation process, it turns out to be a silver setup that everything works except WIFI, which is good enough for me.
Intel NUC series are super tiny (5 in x 5 in) barebone kits, which means that one needs to add the RAM and storage to make it a complete computer. I chose a 6i5 version because it has a good balance between performance and cost.
To maximize the performance, 32 GB DDR4 RAM and 525 GB SSD are added on.
Besides, to enable bluetooth, I bought a USB toggle: IOGEAR Bluetooth 4.0 USB Micro Adapter (GBU521).
Installation of macOS
I followed this detailed TonyMacX86 guide to install macOS. One add-on modification is from the replies of this post (e.g., #293), changing the Graphics platform from “0x19120000” to “0x19260002” or “0x19260004”.
A system overview comparison between this NUC hackintosh and my old MacBook Air:
A system overview comparison between this NUC hackintosh and my i5 6500 desktop hackintosh:
A CPU benchmark comparison between this NUC hacktinosh, my i5 6500 desktop hackintosh, and my old MacBook Air (these tests are performed on Nov 23, 2016 with the same Geekbench version 4.0.0):
Now let us take a look at the i5 version of the late 2016 MacBook Pro (Geekbench link):
With respect to the GPU, my old MacBook Air got the score of 16519:
and the NUC got 21365. Here we show the comparison between the NUC and some other GPUs:
With respect to cost performance, the winner is always a desktop hackintosh of course, however, this NUC hackintosh is so tiny that one can bring it to the office everyday. The portability is close to a MacBook, but the price is much cheaper. Moreover, almost everything works like a charm, and the installation is much easier than a desktop hackintosh. Thanks to the geeks in the hackintosh community, the world is getting better!