This Mac Studio-besting Hackintosh is a beast, but you probably shouldn't buy one

A lady using a Mac studio at a desk
(Image credit: Apple)

It's something that comes up every so often and yes, you can run macOS Ventura on a PC if you really want to. But should you actually do it?

One YouTuber set about creating a Hackintosh of their very own to see how it stacked up against the rather awesome M1 Ultra Mac Studio. That Mac Studio costs a cool $4,000 in the configuration tested, while the Hackintosh came in at half the price — just $2,000.

You'd be forgiven for assuming that you'd get about half the performance as well but, it turns out, that isn't necessarily the case.

Lots of power, not as much cash

While the Mac Studio might be the best Mac available for creatives and power-hungry users right now, few people would accuse it of being inexpensive. And even at $2,000 the Hackintosh put together by Quinn Nelson over on the SnazzyLabs YouTube channel isn't cheap either. But in Mac terms it's a bit of a steal, especially considering the performance at hand.

How much performance are we talking about? In some tests, the Hackintosh was twice as fast as the Mac Studio although there are some downsides. Some big downsides.

What kinds of downsides? Well, while getting a Hackintosh up and running is possible it's far from being something everyone will want to take a stab at. Old problems like apps not working and updates breaking everything seem to be a problem consigned to the past, but there are still issues like some features simply not working. You'll see what we mean when you watch the video.

On top of that, there's just the general issue of guaranteed reliability. The kinds of people paying $4,000 for a Mac Studio are likely writing it off as a business expense and with that in mind, it's worth paying the extra for a Mac that is guaranteed to work. And work for years to come — there's no guarantee future major macOS releases won't kill the Hackintosh support needed to make your machine work, for example.

If you need your Mac to function so that you can earn money, it's a no-brainer to buy a real one if only because you can't lug a Hackintosh into an Apple Store for support.

If you're gaming, however, it's a very different story. As great as Apple silicon is, it still can't compete with a high-end PC. But if you're gaming we'd suggest just using Windows anyway thanks to the huge library of titles.

Still, there's no denying that, from a tinkerer's point of view, Hackintoshes can be cool. But remember that you're technically breaking Apple's terms of service by running macOS on non-Mac hardware. And that alone could be enough to put some off.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.