Help upgrading/buying new mac/hackintosh

Hi all,

currently I have almost 6 years old Mac Pro 2013, trash can. 6-core CPU, 32GB RAM, 512GB SDD and dual D500 GPUs.

I work as freelance iOS developer, but I also make app designs, assets, animations and so on. To sum it up, I do everything, from consulting, design to finished app. I also develop mobile games in my free time and make my own art and assets for games.

My toolset:

  • xcode
  • adobe illustrator & photoshop - currently slowly switching to affinity designer and photo.
  • adobe after effects - for animations, that are later exported as Lottie json files and used in apps
  • sketch and sometimes Adobe XD for creating wireframes, icons, designs,…
  • sometimes I also play a bit in Maya and make some of my own models.

And after a long day I like to play a game or two. Yes I use mac for gaming. I’m not pro gamer, but more like casual. For some games I even use Bootcamp, but I like it more if game works in macOS better. My favourite games are strategy and sandbox games, but I also like RPG games.

Few examples: paradox line: crusader kings, europa universalis, imperator, hearts of iron, stellaris, and then American and euro truck simulator, factorio, men of war, space engineers, kerbal space program, world of warcraft, diablo 3, assasins creed,… Stuff like that.

Ok now to part why I’m writing all this:

My computer is working ok, I have no problems with it, except performance. Xcode can take up to 10 minutes to compile sometimes, opening stories is kinda slow, but even more slow zooming in and out and moving things around. What kind of slow? Well like 1-2 second lag sometimes and most annoying it is when I move one thing and then everything gets stuck and I release and then it drops in totally wrong position. Also some projects in illustrator can be very freakin slow, as well in photoshop. I’m looking at you wacom and photoshop combination where using brush or mix brush can be so slow I would just throw whole computer out. Affinity works better, but I’m not used to their tools yet, but there is still a bit of “lag”

In sketch I get also slow scrolling/zooming/placing when I reach certain amount of “screens” so I have to break down every project into smaller parts. :(

In some games I get max 30-40FPS, in some even less.

So I suspect that GPU isn’t good enough. Or maybe I use too big resolution monitors (I have 2 4K dell monitors). I like to have higher resolution when I write code and work with precision graphics. On macOS it seems that computer runs monitor on native 4K no matter what scaled resolution I set so this might be slowing down everything? But heck in some games having 4K is a good advantage (strategy games, factorio,…).

Ok anyway, after 6 years of faithful service I’m thinking about buying new mac. At first I was waiting for new Mac Pro and I was thinking about buying 16-core version with 96GB RAM (xcode sometimes easts almost whole 32GB ram itself), 2TB and Radeon Pro Vega II duo. That machine would get me to around 17k€ which is a lot compared I have paid around 5k€ for my current mac pro and I got a lot of bang for that buck.

I’m afraid of putting so much money in machine that is actually not even best piece of hardware that is on market. 6 years back, this mac was a pretty beast and using latest technology, now we have AMD cpus that are much faster and also using PCI-e 4.x and cost much less. I would be kinda ok with a pricetag around 9k€, but 17k is a bit much even for me. And also I saw some test somewhere on reddit where someone tested new 16-core mac pro and new 6-core mac mini and mini beat 16 core mac pro in compile test, and mac pro was using all 16 cores. I do not know what to make out of it but I really would not like to throw that kind of sum and then cry at home having so low performance.

Maybe mac pro isn’t for me after all?

It crossed my mind to buy new mac mini maxed out and then buy additional external eGPU, but here I’m also afraid this might not work in all apps and games (and also bootcamp) and also TB3 can be a pretty bottleneck on GPU side.

Then I thought about building a hackintosh, but again I would like to have care free and fully working mac system. And I really do not know what kind of components to buy to be best compatible and to be tested enough not to break down in next 5 years.

I would spend around 9k€ on new computer, it needs to be working care free for next 5 years and also not overheat and give me more performance than my current one. I also need windows for some games even tho I hate windows so I use it ONLY for running some games and I would not like to use other programs there. If I go to hackintosh path, I would also like to have working iMessages and everything else (app store, updates, bluetooth, apple keyboard and trackpad,…). Yes I use trackpad and mouse. Trackpad is so nice in some apps that I can’t live without it and mouse is used for gaming and in some edge cases in apps where I cannot be so accurate with trackpad.

Ok so here is my question: How can I get new computer where macOS works 100% and give me more bang for the buck than new mac pro systems? Or should I just swalow this sour apple and pay that high price for it? I like apple and I like their OS, ecosystem and reliability, but their computers can be sometimes very underperforming or too expensive. I also buy computer for 5+ years so I would not like to have it break down in middle of work or to replace components all the time. Buy once and work in peace for next 5+ years.

Thanks for help and sorry for a wall of text :)

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