Hackintosh Intel NUC6i5syh vs Mac Mini (MGEQ2*/A)

I have the Intel NUC 6i5syh on which I installed OS X El Capitan using this amazingly detailed guide from tonymacx86 forums and wanted to do an informal comparison between my hackintosh and Apple's offering - the 2016 Mac Mini ($999 version).

Obviously, I am impartial to my lovely hackintosh since I am still in awe that I could do it, but here are my thoughts anyways.

What doesn't work?

That's usually the first question that pops up in my mind. "What's wrong with it?"

The most glaring one is the Wifi. Bummer. If you can satiate yourself with the Ethernet port, no problem. Then, there is Bluetooth, which also doesn't work.

The answer to both, as is the norm for Apple computers, is dongles. Lots of dongles. In fact I ordered a USB 3.0 hub just cause we don't have too many ports on these NUCs to begin with.

The SD Card reader doesn't work. Here's another dongle for that

Audio over HDMI doesn't work :( I use the headphone out with 3.5mm jack. And if you have Airplay speakers, you can stream direct to those as well.

Photoshop CC doesn't work. Lightroom CC however works fine. This might be due to graphics drivers and there is a workaround for that, I haven't tried it yet.

Apple Maps is wonky as well. Maybe cause of above mentioned driver issue.

Handoff and AirDrop don't work for me as I did not install a wifi dongle (I think you need that for those two to work).

What does work?

Everything else! iCloud, Messages, Find My Mac, Numbers, Pages, Xcode, Garageband etc, etc. Everything works as it should. Barring the stuff that doesn't work, and once you do find an alternate (dongles!) then it works really, really well.

I've paired it with the Apple BT keyboard and Magic mouse. No problem.

Sleep/wakeup/WOL works. I don't use it cause leaving it on 24/7 costs me $5/year but hey, if you want to shave some dollars, you still can.

Performance is pretty good. No hiccups (apart from ones mentioned above - Photoshop CC and Apple Maps) no spinning beachballs, no crashes or reboots or screens of deaths.

If you have an ultra wide monitor, you will need to use the mini displayport port (is it just displayport or displayport port. So confusing) as HDMI will only output at 1920x1080. If you want 2560x1080 goodness, DP it is.

Time machine backups to a time capsule work. Airplay works really well (I use it all the time).


I think for half the price ($500 vs $1000) of the Apple Mac Mini, the NUCintosh (heh!) provides a much better hardware while still giving us the stability and versatility of OS X. Sure there are a few workarounds, but once implemented it doesn't become a crutch, it works smoothly.

The NUC has the 6th generation Skylake i5. The Mac Mini is on 4th gen (boo!).

NUC has ddr4, MM is on ddr3.

NUC can use the super fast m.2 SSD disks AND you can install an additional 2.5" hard drive (I put in 2TB). If you need more, get one of these

(Maybe you should get a 7-port USB hub if you anticipate more stuff)

I use it primarily for editing photos on Lightroom and also to do research on my DIY projects and as a Plex Media Server.

Sometimes, I use Steam's in-home streaming to play Skyrim or Civ VI. And that works pretty well too!

Processor 4th Gen 2.8GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 3.3GHz) with 3MB on-chip shared L3 cache 6th generation Intel® Core™ i5-6260U processor with Intel® Iris™ graphics (1.9 GHz up to 2.8 GHz Turbo, Dual Core, 4 MB Cache, 15W TDP)
Memory 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 memory 8GB of 2100MHz DDR4
Graphics Intel Iris Intel Iris
Peripheral Connectivity Two Thunderbolt 2 ports (up to 20 Gbps) Four USB 3 ports (up to 5 Gbps) HDMI port SDXC card slot Audio in port 3.5 mm headphone jack IR receiver 4 x USB 3 (1 features charging). HDMI Port. mini Displayport port. 3.5mm headphone jack. IR receiver (SD Card does not work)
Storage 1TB Fusion Drive 128 GB m.2 SSD. 2 TB 5400 2.5" HDD
Networking 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet (RJ-45 connector). BT 4.0. 802.1ac 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet. BT and wifi not working on mackintosh. Need usb dongles ($20)
Size 7.7d x 7.7w x 1.4h inches 4.5d x 4.3w x 1.8h inches
Weight 2.7lb 2.5lb
⚡️ 85W (from personal use) About 35W under heavy load
Price $999 + tax $390 + ram ($49) + hdd ($104) + tax

Sources -