The Apple Mac Mini has always been an incredibly unique computer with its very small form factor. However, for the price it is not the best purchase you can make. Thats why I was interested in seeing if I could make a hackintosh based around the Asrock Desk Mini 110, a small form factor STX based computer which I reviewed here. It is an incredibly powerful computer with an i5 7500, 8GB RAM, 250GB SSD and is fully upgradable in a tiny package. Only drawback with it is that there is no PCIe expansion, so no dedicated GPUs here. However, it is very similar in size to the Apple Mac Mini. The Desk Mini is 6.1" x 6.1" x 3.15" (155mm x 155mm x 80mm) while the Mac Mini is 7.7" x 7.7" x 1.4" (196mm x 196mm x 36mm). This comes out to the Desk Mini having a slightly larger total size with 1.92L vs the Mac Mini's 1.38L. Another thing to keep in mind is that the Desk Mini 110 has a beefy external power brick, while the Apple Mac Mini has it built in. Even so, I'd say the slight trade offs are worth it for the lower price and better upgradability.

Having never done any hackintosh builds, this was an interesting experience for me. I started my research on which is a fantastic resource for all things hackintosh. The instructions I used for installation can be found here and this for Kaby Lake CPUs (not needed for Skylake CPUs). The instructions are incredibly simple to follow. To sum it up, all you are doing is just creating a bootable USB drive with UniBeast and changing a few BIOS settings. For this Desk Mini make sure VT-D, IOAPIC 24-119, Secure Boot Mode, and Serial Port (if you have it) are disabled. Also set XHCI handoff to enabled (see here ).

For installation if you have Kaby Lake, you must fake the CPU ID in Clover boot menu to "0x0506E3" to boot. The fake CPU ID is not needed for Skylake CPUs. After installation you can install the rest of the drivers with Multibeast .

Finally, the hackintosh is ready for use. I had no issues with services like iMessage and FaceTime which worked seemlessly without doing any extra work. Everything "just worked"!

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