Looking to build a new Coffee Lake hackintosh and unsure on what parts to bring together for your for new rig? Here’s some thoughts and recommendations to help you decide.
Which Coffee Lake CPU for Hackintosh
Whatever Coffee Lake CPU you buy as long as it’s an i3, i5, i7 is going to work in macOS High Sierra along with Coffee Lake’s UHD 630 integrated graphics to which sleep and wake now work with High Sierra. So with them all working which one you should buy is going depends on what exactly you want to do and how much you want to spend. I’m using an i3-8100 for web browsing, media, an i5-8600k for Photoshop, Illustrator etc, and a overclocked i7-8700k @4.9Ghz for more intensive stuff that can use extra core like FCPX, Xcode and multiple VM’s running all at once. If you overclock in BIOS you will get the same performance boost in macOS without having to do anything extra so an i5-8600k or an i7-8700k could be worth it if you want or need an addition ~15% performance on top of what you already got.
If you’re stuck trying to decide between a i3-8350k and i5-8400 remember macOS is going to favor more cores on the i5-8400 while an i3-8350k is better for gaming on something like Windows. Also in April 2018 Intel released a batch of new CPU’s to which I do not recommend buying. For an extra $25-50 you only get a minor 0.1-0.2 GHz clock bump to which you would never be able to discern apart in real world performance, nor can you overclock any of the these CPU’s.
Coffee Lake Integrated Graphics UHD 630 on a Hackintosh
So in addition to integrated graphics working on Coffee Lake UHD 630 despite no framebuffers sleep and wake also function reliability in High Sierra unlike Sky Lake/Kaby Lake. Out of the box the Coffee Lake i5 and i7 iGPU is going to work, but the i3 will require a spoof or even better a modification of the Kaby Lake frame buffers for acceleration as the i3 has a different Device ID. After the frame buffers are modified to include the i3, it will perform just as the i5 and i7 do. I’m actually typing this on a fully accelerated i3-8100 . The mod only takes 2 minutes to do, but needs to be done every time macOS is updated to a new version.
The UHD 630 iGPU is a viable alternative for those who don’t want to use a graphics card, but for stability and to avoid graphical glitches with high resolution displays change the SMBIOS to iMac 18,1 in config.plist if you are using the UHD 630 integrated graphics exclusively.
Perfect Coffee Lake Motherboard for Hackintoshing
Hackintosh Motherboard Recommendation:
- DisplayPort – Having a motherboard with DisplayPort is a real nice to have if you ever plan to use the iGPU weather as your primary display output or as backup just in case your graphics cards stops working in macOS. The reason you would want a motherboard with a DisplayPort or even a motherboard with HDMI 2.0 support on the rear IO is because most cheaper motherboards only come with HDMI 1.4 in which case your max resolution will be locked at 1080p60 over HDMI 1.4.
- ALC1220/S1220 Audio Chipset – The audio quality with the 1220 chipset is better then ALC892/ALC887 found on cheaper motherboards. don’t pack enough punch. ALC892/ALC887 isn’t as crisp sounding or is the max volume loud enough in macOS. This will be especially noticeable for headphone users like me who will be disappointed that even at max volume these cheaper audio chipsets don’t pack enough punch. When when I switch over to a motherboard with ALC1220/S1220 as it’s audio chipset and run macOS, I feel like the volume is at least ~25% louder, loud enough to hurt my ears at max volume. But this isn’t going to be a big deal if you are using external speakers where you can raise and lower the volume unlike headphones in which case ALC892/ALC887 should be fine for your needs if you don’t want to spend more.
- WLAN Slot – Part of owning a hackintosh is being able to use WiFi + Bluetooth for your iPhone, iPad and bluetooth devices as well has the Apple Continuity features available on macOS. To get support for these things on a hackintosh you will need to order a motherboard with WiFi and then replace the included card with a hackintosh compatible one and use this guide as a reference to enable it. Even if you don’t have a need for these features you may in the future.
- Skip MSI – MSI motherboard have some issues with NVRAM although they can work. I also found MSI to be more sensitive when it comes to sleep then the other three motherboard brands and won’t work if I have certain applications open. For example if I have a prompt popup in my Chrome Web Browser and try to sleep an MSI hackintosh it will immediately wake up and I’ll have to exit that prompt or close Chrome. Since it’s harder to to sleep and keep asleep I prefer the other three brands. If you really like MSI then by all means go with it, however your experience won’t be as smooth as someone with a Gigabyte or ASUS motherboard.
- Unlocked DVMT – Avoid motherboards that have a locked DVMT or DVMT Pre-Allocated Memory that can’t be set higher than 64MB usually found on barebones budget motherboards like the MSI Z370-A which will prevent you from using high resolution displays over the iGPU.
I made a list and narrowed it down based on motherboards I would buy while excluding ones I don’t like or have bad reviews. My personal favorites from this list include: Gigabyte Z370N ITX, Gigabyte Z370 HD3P ATX, Gigabyte Z370 G5, ASUS Z370-G mATX, ASUS Z370-E ATX, ASROCK Z370 Falat1ty ITX
GIGABYTE Hackintosh Motherboards
GIGABYTE Z370N WIFI ★
GIGABYTE Z370M DS3H
GIGABYTE Z370 HD3
GIGABYTE Z370 HD3P ★
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 5 WiFi ★
GIGABYTE Z370 AORUS Gaming 7
ASUS Hackintosh Motherboards
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-I WiFi
ASUS ROG STRIX Z370-G WiFi ★
ASUS Prime Z370-A (TB3 Header Inc.)
ASUS ROG Strix Z370-E WiFi ★
ASUS ROG Maximus X Hero WiFi
ASUS ROG Maximus X Code WiFi
ASROCK Hackintosh Motherboards
ASRock Z370M-ITX/ac WiFi
ASRock Fatal1ty Z370 Gaming-ITX/ac WiFi ★
ASRock Z370M Pro4
ASRock Z370 Killer SLI/ac WiFi
ASRock Z370 Taichi WiFi
ASRock Z370 Professional Gaming i7 WiFi
Note: If you need ThunderBolt 3 support in macOS for a sound interface or something else you will need to purchase a specific motherboard with a TB3 Header and a PCIe card. More information can be found here: Hackintosh ThunderBolt 3 Support (Motherboard Requirement)
The Right Graphics Card for High Sierra Hackintoshing
Better support came for AMD RX 570/580, Vega 56/64 in 10.13.4 as part of Apple’s support for eGPU enclosures. Note: Vega 56/64 cooling fans may run at excessive speeds under macOS 10.13.4. If you experience this keep QuickTime open in the background and the fan speeds will drop down.
Apple’s 10.13.4+ Recommended Graphics Card List:
- Sapphire RX 570 Pulse
- Sapphire RX 580 Pulse
- Sapphire Vega 56
- XFX Vega 56
- Sapphire Vega 64
- XFX Vega 64
- AMD Frontier Edition
If you want something cheaper or something else here’s what I can personally recommend.
Hackintosh Recommened Graphics Card List:
For Nvidia there’s some issues with lag in High Sierra which can be gotten around by using a a version of NvidiaGraphicsFixup.kext that’s patched or by using a script to install lag free versions of Nvidia Web Driver from 10,13,2.
Pretty much any Nvidia Graphics card can be gotten working macOS with Nvidia’s Web Drivers although they won’t run as well as AMD with it’s native macOS support.
The only Nvidia graphics card I own at the moment is the EVGA GTX 1050 Ti which I like because of it’s smallness and it’s absence of 6-8pin power connector.
Motherboard + Hackintosh Compatible RAM
Choose your motherboard before you pick your RAM because the RAM module number needs to be on the tested compatibility list of the motherboard you choose. You can find the RAM compatibility list by going to the motherboard product page on the Gigabyte/ASUS/ASRock/MSI brand website it will either be listed on “Support List” or “Memory QVL”
RAM with the same name can have different module numbers with some being compatible and others not. That is exactly what this hackintosher found out on the forums when his first ram kit caused freezing with the reason ending up being that the ram module number he originally purchased wasn’t on the QVL list and simply swapping it out from one that was one that was made the freezing go away.
Recommended DDR4 RAM:
New to High Sierra is support for third party NVME drives that don’t have 4096 block storage like the Samsung 960 EVO NVME If you purchase an NVME die it’s recommend formatting it for the first time outside the macOS installer because as unallocated storage fresh from the factory it may not get detected.
Popular Hackintosh Solid State Drives:
Some power supplies built earlier than 2012 may exhibit issues with sleep on macOS so it’s good to have a more recent one. From my use case here are some quiet power supplies that I’ve grown to like to which I have and do use in my hackintoshes.
Hackintosh WiFi in High Sierra
For motherboards with a WLAN slot you can replace the integrated WiFi card with a DW1560 and follow Enabling Third Party Broadcom WLAN 802.11a/b/g/n WIFI + Bluetooth Cards on a Hackintosh to get WiFi working