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View Full Version : Build it yourself G5s?


digital1
Mar 22, 2004, 12:43 PM
This would be awesome if IBM did this, as I cannot afford a G5, but it seems that IBM has been approaching Mobo manufacturers about making mobos based on PPC. Read here:

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14834

Hopefully that would mean PPC 970 ;) That would be neat-o :) What you guys think?

Dippo
Mar 22, 2004, 01:01 PM
Still wouldn't be able to run OS X on it though :(

wdlove
Mar 22, 2004, 01:36 PM
If you want a real Mac it only comes from Apple. Without X you don't have anything of quality.

digital1
Mar 22, 2004, 02:01 PM
In theory it could make sense. Given the kind of design they go with. Personally, I think it would be a driver issue to get it to work with OSX. Nonentheless,it would be interesting to see how it pans out.

Flowbee
Mar 22, 2004, 02:06 PM
Personally, I think it would be a driver issue to get it to work with OSX.

Let us know when you find that 'driver.' :p

strider42
Mar 22, 2004, 02:45 PM
In theory it could make sense. Given the kind of design they go with. Personally, I think it would be a driver issue to get it to work with OSX. Nonentheless,it would be interesting to see how it pans out.
ASFAIK the issue is that apple still puts proprietary boot roms on all their machines. You can buy generic PPC motherboiards right now with no problem, but none of them can run mac OS for that reason. its a hardware, rather than a software limitation.

digital1
Mar 22, 2004, 03:50 PM
ASFAIK the issue is that apple still puts proprietary boot roms on all their machines. You can buy generic PPC motherboiards right now with no problem, but none of them can run mac OS for that reason. its a hardware, rather than a software limitation.

Good point... ;) thanks for the clearification. Kills that idea! LOL LOL LOL I forgot about Apple's proprietary boot ROMs. Although, I do still think it is possible to do some programming to work around it...

digital1
Mar 22, 2004, 03:51 PM
Let us know when you find that 'driver.' :p


BTW, I am digging your avatar dude... that hair is awesome

JeffTL
Mar 22, 2004, 06:02 PM
I guess that if you don't want iMovie (and iTunes, and Final Cut, and Quicktime, and....) you could install Darwin (and add stuff like X Window System) or Linux.

digital1
Mar 22, 2004, 06:33 PM
Well assuming I am able to get past the Proprietary ROM, Installing that other stuff is a matter of purchasing the respective software packages. iLife 04, FCP,etc.etc. ;)

vniow
Mar 22, 2004, 06:36 PM
Err...that link points to some Nvidia NV40 stuff, the link to the actual story is here. (http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14876)

Nermal
Mar 22, 2004, 06:46 PM
ASFAIK the issue is that apple still puts proprietary boot roms on all their machines. You can buy generic PPC motherboiards right now with no problem, but none of them can run mac OS for that reason. its a hardware, rather than a software limitation.

Just install Linux, then Mac-on-Linux, and voila, Mac OS X running on a generic PowerPC :)

cubist
Mar 22, 2004, 08:38 PM
The ROM is only used for booting in the Mac OS X world. If you can write Darwin kernel drivers for your peripherals, you can run Mac OS X.

Because of the nonproprietary open-source nature of Darwin, it appears to me that the 'licensing'/'cloning' issue of earlier versions of the Mac OS no longer applies. If IBM wishes to make motherboards and run Mac OS X on them, there would appear to be nothing to prevent them; and furthermore, these machines would be indistinguishable from an Apple machine.

Apple's job - which, IMHO, they are doing very well - is to make the best Unix systems available.

As for the shrink-wrap licenses, terms disclosed after the sale of the product, those are of doubtful legality. IANAL, but my opinion is that once money and product have changed hands, you can do with the product whatever you wish. Any subsequently disclosed 'license agreements' are nonbinding.

Dippo
Mar 22, 2004, 09:05 PM
The ROM is only used for booting in the Mac OS X world. If you can write Darwin kernel drivers for your peripherals, you can run Mac OS X.

Because of the nonproprietary open-source nature of Darwin, it appears to me that the 'licensing'/'cloning' issue of earlier versions of the Mac OS no longer applies. If IBM wishes to make motherboards and run Mac OS X on them, there would appear to be nothing to prevent them; and furthermore, these machines would be indistinguishable from an Apple machine.


Has anyone actually done this??

rainman::|:|
Mar 22, 2004, 09:30 PM
post-purchase pre-use license agreements are in fact binding, if wrongfully so (i agree with you in theory). and AFAIK, without looking, the license agreements to actually *install* os x, insists it be an "apple labeled computer".

and yeah, you'd have to burn a ROM chip at least, not an easy task (but not impossible). but the motherboards may provide special access to the ROM chips that the generic boards do not... i don't know. it could be more complicated than just the ROM, since it's an inherently proprietary hardware set.

paul

crenz
Mar 23, 2004, 04:52 AM
I don't think it's going to be possible to make your own Mac OS X-compatible G5. But this move of IBM is going to strengthen the PPC platform -- which is a good thing, and will benefit Apple in the long run.

digital1
Mar 23, 2004, 09:38 AM
Well too I am thinking along the lines of doing it myself. I suppose the only licensing issue I as a consumer would have is the actual OS license. But, I think in IBMs case, if they provide the board, and I can get Mac-On-Linux (awesome idea Nermal btw, totally forgot about that one.) I think you could have a pretty generic running build-it-yourself G5. I don't know that someone would try selling these things though. But I do think its an awesome idea to get the G5 architecture out there in general. Essentially mobo manufacturers are tied down to the x-86 architecture in some form or another. At a minimum with some of the new chipsets and ISA's they are tied down to at least extentions, and/or code to x86 that could be absorbing performance because of some of the backwards translation(talking about the new 64-bit chips that are out now ). Going with a G5 architecture could give people more choice, and a very powerful architecture to use and harness. Oh sorry about the link guys ;) Good discussion though. ;) :) :D

cubist
Mar 23, 2004, 12:07 PM
... IANAL, but my opinion is that once money and product have changed hands, you can do with the product whatever you wish. ...

Just to clarify, of course copyright law would still apply. Copyright law is all the protection software publishers need or should be entitled to.

That being said, I'd like to see IBM license hardware designs from Apple so the machines could be fully compatible. I don't think IBM and Apple would sell into the same markets. Unfortunately for the DIYers, I doubt IBM would sell retail motherboards either.

Also, there is going to be a big push for desktop Linux in the near future, and into 2005, and I expect it to start out slow but become hugely successful.

digital1
Mar 23, 2004, 12:21 PM
Very much agreed... ;)

MrMacMan
Mar 23, 2004, 11:01 PM
I really only want a G5 if i can run Mac Os X...


If burning/flashing the ROM will do it.... then do it really...


If *someone* gets it to work... then please post about it.

Dippo
Mar 23, 2004, 11:57 PM
If *someone* gets it to work... then please post about it.


Yes, if someone can do it, please let us know!

I can't find anywhere to buy PowerPC 970 motherboards or processors!

digital1
Mar 24, 2004, 09:25 AM
Thats because IBM hasn't done it yet. This story was just about IBM is in talks with manufacturers about. They aren't making them yet ;)

cubist
Mar 24, 2004, 02:03 PM
Here ya go... but they're not cheap...

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14932

digital1
Mar 24, 2004, 02:49 PM
Here ya go... but they're not cheap...

http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=14932


Thanks Cubist ;). That is pretty expensive. Always nice to dream I suppose. That is a little much for a board.. LOL LOL LOL :p

digital1
Mar 24, 2004, 02:52 PM
Thats funny. If you look at the chip layout the thing uses an AMD southbridge chip.. That's classic.. LOL LOL :D

vrc
Mar 24, 2004, 03:42 PM
They're a little more than just boards for that price. The $6000 unit is complete with ATX case. The boards have embedded Dual 1.4Ghz CPUs. Still way too much money though, that's too bad.

digital1
Mar 24, 2004, 05:06 PM
Yeah and you are missin out on Apple's System Controller ASIC. This board uses the old Northbridge/Southbridge setup that all other chipsets rely on. :( The Apple Mobo is still more superior for this fact alone I think.

vrc
Mar 24, 2004, 05:29 PM
Agreed. Imagine trying to replace a CPU that went bad! The truth of the matter starting out with a factory G5 would be the same money anyway. I put together a dual AMD 248 with comparable hardware to the G5, and it was $2900 and change anyway. Plus nobody puts these things together like who ever does it for Apple. Have you ever tried Linux on your Mac?

digital1
Mar 25, 2004, 09:26 AM
Agreed. Imagine trying to replace a CPU that went bad! The truth of the matter starting out with a factory G5 would be the same money anyway. I put together a dual AMD 248 with comparable hardware to the G5, and it was $2900 and change anyway. Plus nobody puts these things together like who ever does it for Apple. Have you ever tried Linux on your Mac?

Me personally? Well I tried getting it to work on a buddy of mine's G4 system a while back. It was pretty weird how he had it set up. But we had trouble setting it up.