Hackintosh: Is it worth it?

Recently, I built a new desktop for the first time since 2005. Usually I do one to two upgrades on an annual basis, but in recent years this was changed as I used my laptop as my primary computer and my desktop was mainly for games and entertainment. With my laptop's motherboard dying though, I decided to start using my desktop more. Now the machine specs I went with were the following:

Intel Core i5 3570 (Normally functions at 3.4 ghz speed, but for me it went up to 3.6 ghz straight out of the gate due to the turbo boost when I ran Prime 95 tests)
Gigabyte H77-DS3H motherboard (Chose that over X77 as I don't need overclocking)
Nvidia Geforce 480 GTX
Sound Blaster Audigy 4 (I'm hanging on to that like grim death)
BD-ROM Drive and DVD-+RW Drive
16 gigs of 1600 mhz DDR3 RAM

Overall, some pretty good specs for this machine. Now, it was actually due to the purchase of the Gigabyte motherboard that the Hackintosh process actually went very smoothly as the power settings on it made it not require a DSDT file for it. In addition, the decision of going Nvidia did allow for full driver support with multibeast providing OpenCL support and a CUDA driver available through Nvidia's site itself.

Now, when I installed Mountain Lion onto the system, this was actually at the same time that I installed Windows 7 on the system and I had not used either system for a home system, it did give a chance to see which system worked out overall. I will state a few things that I did notice first. One issue is that when doing a UEFI boot with devices, it uses GPT and not MBR for booting so MBR fixes and alterations as seen before will not only provide no worthwhile results, but could screw up the GPT and that cannot be fixed unfortunately. Another thing is that on Mac OS X, there isn't a truly capable Blu-Ray player, which is partially the result of Steve Jobs himself as he felt that accessing high-def video would be a better option. (I somewhat agree, but I feel that the loss of special features, commentary tracks, and other features of DVD and Blu-Ray we take for granted does stop some individuals like me from doing that.)

With that out of the way, I'm going to straight up say that for day to day tasks Mac OS X was better than Windows 7. Both were stable, but Windows 7 felt like an exercise in frustration in many respects. The new control panel is more difficult to navigate for me due to how it is setup. On Mac OS X on the other hand, System Preferences was easy to use, and made overscan compensation on my HDTV lightning fast due to it actually being built into the OS. In addition, there is the fact that setup on my hardware was actually easier on here than on Windows 7, and even if a DSDT file was needed Unibeast and Multibeast made setup a breeze. The only piece of hardware that I had to get third party drivers for was my soundcard which was not too difficult and the only thing I did not get working that I could in windows 7 was sending audio through my DVI to HDMI cable to my HDTV which is unfortunate, but that may be a side effect of one of the downsides I am about to mention.

When it comes to gaming on a Hackintosh, with a supported videocard it can be done, but performance-wise Windows 7 will win. The sample benchmark I used was Diablo III which I ran at 1920x1080 on both OSes. Mountain Lion got 80-100 fps which is pretty good, but Windows was getting 140-150 fps steadily which was far better. At first, this made me wonder why the major discrepancy between both OSes as it has been shown that OpenGL and DirectX yield the same performance if both are used correctly. However, it was after a bit of digging that I came to a possible reason for this as the newest Nvidia Driver I've seen for Apple's desktop solutions is based on the 270 driver series, which does not have the improvements that have been made since. However, driver versions are not really shown upfront so I can't completely confirm what drivers are being used.

The other major issue is how Macs handle optical media and portable storage. Instead of being able to eject the media at will or unplug the storage, you have to eject it from the OS first which is a longtime Mac method. While I can right click to eject it, some of the hipster Mac people consider a right click setup to be blasphemy and that I should drag it down to the trash which shows me how big of toolbags they are since some programs need a right mouse button to work correctly. Then there is the installations, which force me to have it on the same drive as the OS itself most of the time which bugs me as I like having the OS setups separate from nonessential programs, but that's just nitpicking on my end.

Overall, for daily work on a PC, going hackintosh is more than a viable option should you have an Intel processor and a good motherboard. When it comes to high end gaming though, Windows will perform better as Apple's driver support for videocards is mainly focused on covering what has been officially used in a Mac model over giving full support to all videocards, but for any halfway decent 400 series Nvidia card this isn't a dealbreaker. I haven't used XCode for programming yet, which has some of the most polarizing responses I've ever seen with regard to IDEs, but I do intend to do so to see how development is on Apple in general and I suspect that running this should be easy as well.