Apple may be done with Intel Macs, but Hackintoshes can still use the newest CPUs

Hackintoshes are PCs that run macOS, which means you can do whatever you want with the design.

Enlarge / Hackintoshes are PCs that run macOS, which means you can do whatever you want with the design. (credit: Dan Counsell)

Apple hasn’t stopped selling Intel Macs just yet, but it’s safe to say that we’ll never see a Mac with one of Intel’s 12th-generation Core processors in it. But that minor detail isn’t stopping the Hackintosh community from supporting new Intel and AMD processors and platforms. The developers behind OpenCore, the most powerful and actively maintained bootloader for loading macOS on standard PC hardware, improved its Alder Lake support in this month’s release, version 0.7.7. In a blog post over the weekend, the developers also detailed their efforts to update OpenCore and its associated software to work with Intel’s Z690 chipset.

The key to building a functional Hackintosh is normally to build a PC that’s as close as possible to actual Intel Mac hardware—most crucially, the CPU, GPU, and chipset. OpenCore’s job is to bridge whatever gap is left between your PC and real Mac hardware so that macOS boots and works properly. It adds support for reading and booting macOS filesystems, loads kernel extensions to support additional hardware, tells macOS how to handle your system’s audio outputs and USB ports, and spoofs hardware to take advantage of macOS’s built-in support (if, for example, your PC has a GPU that is similar to but not quite identical to a GPU included in a real Intel Mac).

As OpenCore has developed and matured, it has gotten better at bridging larger and larger gaps between PC hardware and “real” Macs. It can get old versions of macOS like Tiger (10.4) and Snow Leopard (10.6) up and running on old hardware, and it can even be used to run newer macOS versions on real Macs that Apple has dropped from the official support list. It can even run macOS on AMD processors, albeit with some caveats for software that relies on Intel-specific functionality. The still-active Hackintosh Reddit community is full of people running macOS on all kinds of different hardware.

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