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Building my own Mac?

contrabandcontraband Registered User regular
edited April 2007 in Games and Technology
So I have a friend with a custom Mac. He basically bought an old crappy Powermac G3 for the case & fans, and tossed the guts. He had his own RAM, HDs, video card, fans, and optical bays, and he bought a G4 processor/motherboard. This idea appeals to me greatly!

I have a perfectly serviceable midrange PC in my room that I wouldn't mind morphing into a Mac. First off, is he just fucking with me? Is this possible? It sounds nice. Second of all, would I feasibly be able to pull this off? Where would I go to buy a plain CPU/Mobo that works with OSX? How much would that kind of thing cost? Ideally, I'd like an Intel processor to boot camp, as I've got plenty of drive space, but how much would that cost? He said he got an old (relatively) g4 processor only because of the price, and that it can still run WoW better than his G5 iMac. I'll credit that to his throwing-in of "some Radeon card." Hmm.

I have, salvageable:
HDD (will any one do, or only certain kinds?)
RAM (same as above)
CD/DVD bays (same, again)
Radeon x800 (same)
Fans

Could I buy a G4 processor and make this work? It seems too nice to be true. Any input would help. Thanks!

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contraband on

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    RonenRonen Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The only advice I can give is, "Good luck."

    I know it's possible, but last I read up on it, it's incredibly difficult.

    Hopefully someone can offer more advice than I can. :(

    Ronen on
    Go play MOTHER3

    or Brawl. 4854.6102.3895 Name: NU..
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    Recoil42Recoil42 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Hint: There's a reason that not a single true 3rd party mac manufacturer exists on the entire planet.

    Recoil42 on
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    syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    edited April 2007
    Apple has, as part of their EULA, a clause stating that the OS you buy is intended only for use on the hardware you have bought it with.

    What you are suggesting flies in the face of Apple's TOS.

    That said, Intels 9x5 series of MOBOs, with the appropriate processor, have all the basic stuff you need to get the intel version of OSX up and running, including sound, video, etc.

    syndalis on
    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
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    monkeypoxmonkeypox Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    while it is in fact possible to piece together a mac from old parts, I don't recommend it for three reasons:

    1. it's not worth the money, when you can just get a reasonably old g4 tower for under $300. try here for some deals. a g4-533 digital audio will run very well in os x, given enough ram (768MB is a good bet). your bottleneck will be the video card in this case.

    2. the g4/powerpc line is a dead end. sure, it's still got a few years left, but support is waning, and the money spent on an old mac could've been put to better use.

    3. whatever it is you put together will never, ever outrun a modern pc in WoW. many of the old g4s were agp 2x/4x at the most, which severely limits your choices.

    believe me, I speak from experience ($20 g4-500 from ebay + 1.12GB pc100 ram from old computers + $50 radeon 8500. yes, the video card cost more than the computer).

    oh, and you can use any old ata hard drive, but ram depends on your bus speed.

    monkeypox on
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    apotheosapotheos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    I assume you do not mean getting the illegal build of OS X up and running on a off-the rack PC.

    You need to obtain an Apple motherboard, and those are extremely uncheap. Yes, a G3 can be upgraded to a G4, but the upgrades are limited in scope and usually quite pricey. And then you'll be off in craptastic Power PC land. Intel CPUs have been in Mac towers for a short amount of time and you'll not be able to obtain one at a reasonable price.

    However the rest of your parts should work in it, should you find one.

    apotheos on


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    contrabandcontraband Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    apotheos wrote: »
    I assume you do not mean getting the illegal build of OS X up and running on a off-the rack PC.

    You need to obtain an Apple motherboard, and those are extremely uncheap. Yes, a G3 can be upgraded to a G4, but the upgrades are limited in scope and usually quite pricey. And then you'll be off in craptastic Power PC land. Intel CPUs have been in Mac towers for a short amount of time and you'll not be able to obtain one at a reasonable price.

    However the rest of your parts should work in it, should you find one.

    No, nothing illegal. My friend is unreachable at the moment, and I figured I could get a more rounded answer from the probably more-knowledgeable G&T.

    contraband on
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    FristleFristle Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    There was a thread about Mac building recently:

    http://forums.penny-arcade.com/showthread.php?t=19115

    Building a Mac is a little different than building a PC. You don't start from scratch, you have to start from a refurb or used unit. As long as you know what interfaces are in the thing, you should have no problem finding compatible hardware. Tower-style desktop Macs use standardized stuff, just make sure you follow the same rules you would when building a PC: check that you don't get a SATA drive for a motherboard that only has ATA connectors, or get the wrong speed of RAM for the CPU/bus you are using it with.

    You might check the OSx86 community's documentation for more specific compatibility information on video cards. If Apple hasn't yet used a specific video card chipset in one of their retail models, then likely there is no OSX driver for the device either.
    Apple has, as part of their EULA, a clause stating that the OS you buy is intended only for use on the hardware you have bought it with.

    What you are suggesting flies in the face of Apple's TOS.

    EULA, not TOS, but I know what you meant. Yea the EULA for the Intel OSX says this, because it is not available separately yet, but they also sell a retail boxed copy of OSX 10.4 for PowerPC. The EULA for that must allow for installing on whatever hardware you've got -- unless you know differently? When OSX 10.5 ships the same EULA terms ought to apply.

    Fristle on
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