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Build Your Own Mac

782 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 18, 2006 5:41 PM by The Geek RSS
gomer99 Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 17, 2006 2:55 PM
Does anyone know if you can buy a Mac motherboard, preferably one that is made for Intel, and build your own Mac. I have been building PC's for a few years, and would like to build a Mac!!!
DreamMachine, Windows 98, left Macintosh in 1999
  • David DeCristoforo Level 5 Level 5 (6,175 points)
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    Jan 17, 2006 4:26 PM (in response to gomer99)
    So sorry, but it is completly impractical to think about "building" a Mac. Even if you can get the necessary parts, you will be shocked at the cost. A mainboard (logic board in Mac-speak) for example can cost in excess of $500 compared with the $150 - 250 for a "state of the art" peecee mainboard from a leading manufacturer. You can check out parts at:

    Dual 2g G5, 2 GB RAM, 1X74 + 1X250 GB HDD (VIA Swift Data 200), 2X120 GB HDD, Mac OS X (10.4.3), 450 G4 Cube / 10.3.9
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (166,930 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2006 10:08 AM (in response to gomer99)
    As David indicates, it's not practical. No one but Apple makes Mac parts (at least those parts that makes a Mac a Mac), and Apple doesn't sell them separately. You can sometimes find parts available on the open market, but they're expensive and often not the most current.

    So if you want a Mac, it will be by far the most cost-effective to just buy one from Apple.
    PowerMac G5 DP 2GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • mkfs Level 2 Level 2 (195 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2006 12:42 PM (in response to gomer99)
    It's not quite so simple.

    How many PCI/Express cards do you have?

    Is your spare ram of sufficient speed?

    Does your video card have Apple firmware?

    I'm guessing the answers are 0, Maybe, and
    No. Probably the only hardware you could use
    would be the hard drive, and then only if
    you have a spare SATA lying around. And
    proper cooling in the case? That's going
    to cost you a few bucks as well.

    As for why Apple doesn't sell parts, I
    can answer that one simply from my own
    professional experence. Our product is
    largely a software system but we sell
    turnkey systems -- basically an embedded
    OS plus the software.

    Why? Support costs. If you allow people
    to run your software on anything, they'll
    try to run it on a 286 running Windows
    1.0 ... and then call you when it doesn't
    work. That phone call costs the customer
    nothing but time [which, if they are running
    a 286, they have plenty of], but answering it
    costs you money. Scale that up to thousands,
    millions of users and it's a huge support cost.
    Not to mention compatibility testing required
    so that the average customer has an even
    chance of the product even working.

    So, to keep it simple, to guarantee that the
    product works for the customer without driving
    yourself bankrupt, you reduce the number of
    possible configurations and supply those
    configurations yourself.
    quad, Mac OS X (10.4.4), Raptor boot, Maxline app/data
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (166,930 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2006 1:22 PM (in response to gomer99)
    Because Apple sells computers, not parts. Dell, Sony, Gateway and HP don't sell logic boards either. Why in the world would Apple want all the massive support headaches that would come with selling logic boards to people who would use gosh-only-knows-what parts to assemble a system and then come screaming to Apple when it didn't all work properly?

    If you want to build your own system, build a PC. If you want a Mac, buy a Mac.

    'nuff said.
    PowerMac G5 DP 2GHz, Mac OS X (10.4.4)
  • The Geek Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 18, 2006 5:41 PM (in response to varjak paw)
    there are ways to install the apple operating system on an intel computer.... they are not necessarily legal / easy to do.... so I would follow the other people's advice above

    If you want to build your own system, build a PC. If
    you want a Mac, buy a Mac.
    powermac dual 2.7 G5, imac G4 800mhz, emac 1ghz, dual 2ghz powermac, Mac OS X (10.4.3)


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