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Thread: Build your own MAC

  1. #1
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Build your own MAC

    I couldn't think of a better forum to post this in... so tutorials it is. If it needs to be moved, please feel free to do so, or I can delete it and post it elsewhere.

    I will not attempt to get credit for this "tutorial", but I ran across a "how to" if you will, on how to build your own MAC.

    I didn't think this was possible, but I guess I was wrong.

    Check out this article by TechTV and this article from MacOpz.

    I thought this was pretty cool becasue the main reasons for people opt to buy PCs is becasue you can build your own and it is very easy to upgrade your boxes.

    MAC has always made this much harder for users to do.... until now.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Not that I'm a fan of Mac, but it's finally time they joined the world in options and upgradability.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Hrm..., although it sounds all well and good...., this really isn't much of a revolution in the world of Macintosh.

    Sonnet and other companies make processor upgrade cards. Their original intent is so that someone with an agin mac can put some life back into their old one. Buy upgrading your processor daughter card you can take your old G3 Macintosh and put in a G4 processor at a higher speed. They even sell G4 upgrade cards for iMacs, and they have them for PowerBook G3's aswell (what I have, but I don't have 400 bucks to spend, or the time to wait while my daughter card goes through the mail to them and then for them to do surgery and then send it back).

    The mobo is just a refurbished Apple mobo. No real variety there, but they are hella cheaper. And, if you have your eye on a specific upgrade card (like the Dual G4 cards that some places make) you can spend the extra money on the proc and make sure to have a mobo that supports it when you get the card.

    Video cards have always had the ability to change, that is why Apple uses AGP, so that Mac users don't feel left out when PC users talk about their newest nvidia card.

    Harddrives, IDE is IDE is IDE is IDE, SCSI is SCSI, wow. Obviously if you don't buy through Apple's site you are going to be able to find better prices. Same with RAM. I have 2 512MB SODIMMs in my PowerBook, through Apple..., well through Apple they say the my computer doesn't support them, but that is only because when my computer was built SODIMMs weren't being made in the densities that permit 512MB. Then, when they did, Apple would have you pay exorbitant prices through them, not to mention that the process to install the bottom RAM card is warranty voiding (they don't like you touching the Processor daughter card). But when all is said and done, I have a Gig of RAM at a price where I could have bought half that from Apple.

    Then, what about a case. Guess you'd have to look on ebay for fried Macs with the case that you want, or try to rig the modo inside of a normal case, which I have heard is difficult because the screw holes are in odd places...

    Basically the only difference between the Mac you can build and the Mac you can buy is that the processor card is Third Party, and the bus speed is probably that of last years, or the year before thats model. Unless you can find a new model refurbished.

    And, MacOS X is sometimes weird with upgrade cards (MacOS 9, too, but if you are building a G4, do yourself the favor and either put LinuxPPC (or some flavor thereof) or MacOS X so that you don't have a 1984 OS on a 2002 machine).

    You could do this before, hell, even NuBus Macs or Mac-clones can have G3 and sometimes G4 processors droped in them.

    This isn't the same thing as building a PC, where you can buy brand new parts and build a bleeding edge machine for what it would cost to buy a mediocre prebuilt. Here you can build an almost top-of-the-line Mac with a refurbished or used MoBo and a new type processor, with all new RAM and Graphics card (from either ATI or NVIDIA, the same two brands that you can get from Apple, 'cause they still have to be licenced) and a new HD, for :

    Encore ST G4 1Ghz - $699.95
    Apple G4 MoBo (refurbished) - $199.99
    512MB PC133 RAM - $ 68.39
    Radeon 8500 64MB DDR AGP - $199.
    80Gig WesternDigital 7200RPM- $127.99
    I dunno about a case, but that totals: 1295.32
    Compared to the lowliest of the new Macs:
    Dual G4 867mhz
    256MB DDR
    60 Gig HD
    NVIDIA GeForce 4MX
    For : $1699

    A iMac G4 for $1199 which only has a 700mhz processor but includes a 15 inch Flat screen monitor.

    Please keep in mind that Ethernet cards (Gigabit in this case), modems, USB, and FireWire are all built into the MoBo (as are sound cards I believe).

    The savings a slim. Though, if you have an older G4 or G3, or managed to aquire someone else's that died, you could save even more money.

    All-in-all, I would only ever buy a Mac if I was looking for an All-in-one, or a Laptop, because if I wanted a desktop I would build a Linux box at with dual procs running at blazing fast speeds. (I try to keep M$ free as much as possible, after school, I am deleting Office and moving to OpenOffice when it moves from XWindows onto Aqua.

    I love Macs to death. I will probably have atleast a Mac Laptop so long as I still can. But, the price often exceeds many people's budgets.

    This article maybe the first one describing this process, but it is nothing new, you have been able to do this with almost every modern Mac, and some Macs that should have been retired long ago.

    Well, I have babbled long enough.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Were do you get the G4 upgraid for the iMac ????
    I only find G3 upgraids at sonnet

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  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    harry s,


    A G4 500mhz Upgrade card for the original styl iMacs.

    The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of dusk. -Hegel

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