We wanted to build a fairly high end machine for our Hackintosh, and decided to base our system around the Gigabyte Z77X-UP5TH. Besides being a great performing motherboard, one of the things that drew us to it was the ability for OS X to support it's dual Thunderbolt ports.  In addition to Thunderbolt compatibility, the UP5TH provides native power management support, as well as working onboard sound and Intel Gigabit networking.

If we had wanted to save some money, we could have gone with the Gigabyte Z77X-UP3H, or even the UP4TH which has a single Thunderbolt port.  Either of these options are supported as well and should work with minimal hassle.

Processor wise, we stuck with the tried and true Intel i7-2600K. One of the primary factors we selected the 2600K was the fact we already one in our office, however we could have selected any Sandy Bridge or Ivy Bridge processor, including the i5-3350P, which would be an interesting option since we aren’t utilizing the onboard graphics of the 2600K.

The recent decision of Apple to go with Kepler parts in their new MacBook Pro and iMac models was a heavy influencer in going with a GTX 680 for our build. Even though the Kepler drivers built into the latest OS X patches for these machines are intended for mobile use, they work perfectly on the GK104 based GTX 680. Fermi based NVIDIA cards are also supported under OS X, but we decided to go with the newest generation GTX.  Radeon support is certainly limited, but it does appear that there are ways to get the HD 6000/7000 series working under OS X.

Other components for our system will include 8GB of Corsair Vengence 1600MHz DDR3 memory, a 128GB Vertex 4 SSD from OCZ, and a 650W Power Supply from Corsair.

This guide is meant as a stepping stone into the hackintosh scene and your mileage may vary, but should still help you down the path even if you are working with different hardware and components.

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