PDA

View Full Version : Build your own mac


Albone
May 5, 2004, 10:38 AM
My PC buddy says he can make himself a PC computer for a fraction of the price of a G5. Is it possible to make your own Mac? Can you buy parts and assemble it yourself at a cheaper price (but more trouble) than buying it retail?

Mr. Anderson
May 5, 2004, 10:41 AM
You'd probably have to pay a premium for the parts on ebay, but theoretically its possible...just not very cost effective...

Also, this should have been posted in the Hardware forum...I moved it.

D

caveman_uk
May 5, 2004, 10:57 AM
My PC buddy says he can make himself a PC computer for a fraction of the price of a G5.
Yeah, but it would still be just another buggy, virus-ridden, crappy beige box though wouldn't it?

strider42
May 5, 2004, 11:01 AM
You'd probably have to pay a premium for the parts on ebay, but theoretically its possible...just not very cost effective...

Also, this should have been posted in the Hardware forum...I moved it.

D

Well, its possible if you can get a motherboard with an apple boot rom on it. Generic powerpc motherboards cannot, to my knowledge, boot to mac OS. Getting your hands on such a motherboard would not be easy. Even ahrder for G5 motherboards too I'd wager.

You can assemble cheap PC's, but often they are exactly that, cheap. If you get quality components, even a self assembled PC can get up there. Price goes up with performance motherboards with fast ram and front side bus support, good processors aren't always cheap either. These home brew, high performance PC's come in cheaper than retail perhaps, but not as jaw droppingly cheap as people make it sound sometimes. Its also potentially asking for more trouble because you have to buy the OS youself (not cheap if you do it legally), and the hodge podge of parts can lead to weird happenings.

You buy a mac because it just works. Cobbling it together in some ways almost defeats the purpose or philosophy behind it. Not saying I wouldn't like to do it myself, but there's a reason apple keeps tight controls on who can build Mac OS bootable machiens (which nowadays is just themselves)

thatwendigo
May 5, 2004, 11:02 AM
My PC buddy says he can make himself a PC computer for a fraction of the price of a G5. Is it possible to make your own Mac? Can you buy parts and assemble it yourself at a cheaper price (but more trouble) than buying it retail?

Your friend can almost certainly make a PC at a fraction of the cost of a G5. The question is whether or not it will outperform the G5, whether it's similarly specced and built with equally impressive features and technology, or if its sole purpose is to be cheaper.

A dual-processor Xeon or Opeteron system costs roughly $2,000-2,400, in parts alone, for the same general kind of features and design as the G5, and that's assuming you have the case already.

Mantat
May 5, 2004, 11:06 AM
A few years ago I build myself a ultimate PC, it was super cost efficient but had one major problem: even if the manufacturers all said they parts were compatible with each others, it wasnt the case. I had a lot of conflict and worst of all, the CPU over heated quite a bit and the computer would shut down once in a while.

I lost 4hs of my master thesys because of this and from that moment, I swore that I was going to get a mac! A year later, I got my first PB and I am super happy with it since then!

wrldwzrd89
May 5, 2004, 11:15 AM
My PC buddy says he can make himself a PC computer for a fraction of the price of a G5. Is it possible to make your own Mac? Can you buy parts and assemble it yourself at a cheaper price (but more trouble) than buying it retail?
The biggest problem will be getting a motherboard with a Mac OS boot ROM, like previous posters have mentioned. The other parts you will need aren't exactly easy to find, either (since only the industry standard parts of a Mac, like the RAM, are widely available). It probably won't be all that much cheaper, either - plus you'll never get the performance tuning that Apple does with their machines. All in all, I'd strongly advise against attempting it since it will be so difficult.

kuyu
May 5, 2004, 11:23 AM
Last saturday I helped one of my friends build a pc. Here are the parts we used.

MSI K8t Neo
AMD Athlon 64 3200+ w/1mb L2 cache (overclocked to 2.2)
1 gig OCz pc 3500
Ati radeon 9800 pro
Maxtor 160 gb @7200 RPM w/8mb buffer
panasonic 8x DVD+-RW
400 W powersupply
Soundblaster Audigy
Windows 2000

It absolutely screams, and jedi academy runs at 50 fps at 1280X960 w/ full detail.

BUT, I wouldn't trade my emac 700 for it. His pc is fast, but it's still not "snappy", if you get my drift. The thing still doesn't have a fast feeling interface. After using the (arguably) fastest pc money can buy ($1500) and 10 hours of our time, the G5 is YEARS ahead in responsiveness (and stlye!!!), and it will be at least 2005-2006 until windows catches up to panther in this regard. By then, the mac will be running a full 64-bit OS that will trump longhorn.

It's like a car. The pc will do 0-500 in ten seconds, the mac does 0-400 in 2 seconds.

bryanc
May 5, 2004, 11:44 AM
and it was fun at the time. But now, for me, it doesn't make sense to build a PC when I can buy a Mac.

Back then, I was learning a lot by building machines from scratch, installing operating systems, configuring, downloading drivers, compiling, debugging, recompiling, etc. Now I understand how computers work, so the time spent on building computers and learning how to make the software work was well spent. However, spending *more* time on that now would be a waste, as I don't need to learn any more about that (right now). And my time is valuable.

So, if you can build a PC equivalent to a G5, install all the software, and get it up and running in, say, 20 hours, and your time is worth $20/h, make sure you add $400 to the cost of the parts and software when you compare the final prices of you roll-your-own-PC and the G5. If you're learning something in the process, it's probably still worth it (unless you wind up with a burnt CPU, or a machine that runs Windows). But if, like me, you just want a good machine that works really well and runs a great OS with the minimum hassle, buy a Mac.

Cheers

P.S. If Apple sold build-it-yourself kits, I'd certainly consider buying one to assemble with my son when he's a bit older.

Versello
May 5, 2004, 12:01 PM
Yeah, but it would still be just another buggy, virus-ridden, crappy beige box though wouldn't it?

True that... only my custom built PC is housed in a stealth black aluminum Lian-Li case. Biege is so 1995.

But then again, of course you have 100x more software support on a PC.

trade-off.

Horrortaxi
May 5, 2004, 12:03 PM
I know of people who have built their own Macs "from scratch" and I have considered doing it myself. You really only do it for bragging rights. It isn't worth it. You have to buy a lot of used parts, which will be from older Macs, and some 3rd party upgrade parts. In the end you will have a 3-4 year old Mac that ended up costing you almost as much as a new one.

If you want to spend $1500 on a Sawtooth G4 then go right ahead.

tomf87
May 5, 2004, 12:10 PM
L...
Windows 2000

It absolutely screams, and jedi academy runs at 50 fps at 1280X960 w/ full detail.

BUT, I wouldn't trade my emac 700 for it. His pc is fast, but it's still not "snappy", if you get my drift. The thing still doesn't have a fast feeling interface. After using the (arguably) fastest pc money can buy ($1500) and 10 hours of our time, the G5 is YEARS ahead in responsiveness (and stlye!!!), and it will be at least 2005-2006 until windows catches up to panther in this regard. By then, the mac will be running a full 64-bit OS that will trump longhorn.

It's like a car. The pc will do 0-500 in ten seconds, the mac does 0-400 in 2 seconds.

Of course it won't be very snappy. Windows 2000 isn't the OS of choice for games. While I agree that the G5 is more appealing to the eyes, a system like that should run very fast. I still have my older Asus A7N8X Deluxe with 512MB RAM and AMD Athlon XP 2600+ and it is still fast, and it's almost 2 years old.

And 10 hours of time? Were you taking a bathroom break every hour? :)

kuyu
May 5, 2004, 01:51 PM
And 10 hours of time? Were you taking a bathroom break every hour? :)

We went through three motherboards before we got one that A)came with all the parts and B)didn't have the 'dump cmos' jumper factory set to fry the board. Windows took 3 hours to install, then about 2 hours installing drivers, updates, apps, and overclocking.

Dreadnought
May 5, 2004, 01:57 PM
We went through three motherboards before we got one that A)came with all the parts and B)didn't have the 'dump cmos' jumper factory set to fry the board. Windows took 3 hours to install, then about 2 hours installing drivers, updates, apps, and overclocking.

That was a wast of time, LOL.

blue&whiteman
May 5, 2004, 02:34 PM
I really wish you could easily buy mac parts and build your own.

what apple needs really bad though is a consumer tower. pretty much an emac without screen. the emac would appeal to many more people if the screen wasn't on it.

vollspacken
May 5, 2004, 02:52 PM
Is it possible to make your own Mac? Can you buy parts and assemble it yourself at a cheaper price (but more trouble) than buying it retail?

sure, it has been great fun for me to put together and tinker with oldskool 68k machines...

- you get the parts cheap or for free
- I doesn't to much harm to your wallet if you screw something up
- you get to know a lot about the mac of "ye olden tymes"
- you might end up with a nice and snappy OS 7 or BSD machine that everybody wants to know something about when they see it/them

vSpacken

Oats
May 5, 2004, 03:38 PM
It absolutely screams, and jedi academy runs at 50 fps at 1280X960 w/ full detail.

BUT, I wouldn't trade my emac 700 for it. His pc is fast, but it's still not "snappy", if you get my drift. The thing still doesn't have a fast feeling interface.

I think you are nuts. Windows has one of the snappiest user interfaces, I have been severly impressed by it, especially how it ages with older machines. I have 10.2 installed on a 500MHz G3 and it is PAINFUL slow at times. I installed win XP on a 400MHz pII and it is about 2-3 times "snappier" than the mac OS. This does make a certain amount of sense: OS X has the most "eye candy" user interface effects of any OS I can think of. Looks cool, yes, but snappy, no. With newer hardware, I imagine that both computers will feel pretty snappy, but theres no way OS X should ever be snappier than Windows unless there is something seriously wrong with windows.

Only think that slows down windows sometimes is network complications... windows will hang something terrible if a network connection is not acting as it should. I am not sure how the newest Apple OS handles network connections, but I see plenty of spinning beachballs as it is.

applekid
May 5, 2004, 04:16 PM
I think you are nuts. Windows has one of the snappiest user interfaces, I have been severly impressed by it, especially how it ages with older machines. I have 10.2 installed on a 500MHz G3 and it is PAINFUL slow at times. I installed win XP on a 400MHz pII and it is about 2-3 times "snappier" than the mac OS. This does make a certain amount of sense: OS X has the most "eye candy" user interface effects of any OS I can think of. Looks cool, yes, but snappy, no. With newer hardware, I imagine that both computers will feel pretty snappy, but theres no way OS X should ever be snappier than Windows unless there is something seriously wrong with windows.

You've got to be kidding me! My dad's 1.8 GHz P3 Laptop is horribly slow with Windows XP. It's a joke compared to my G4 iMac with 800 MHz. Once you turn on the computer, you have to wait a couple of minutes for the PC to be ready to do anything. You'll click, nothing happens, and you'll sit there for a couple of minutes until something moves. My iMac, sure it's stuck after a initial startup, but that's only for about 30 seconds. And Windows XP redraws every window by layers which really lags it. In OS X, it just pops open, and you see no redraw. Now, you have Jaguar on your iMac (and not to mention its a G3), so that may be the problem, but even when I had Jaguar on this iMac, times were only slightly worse. I think my dad is going to have to erase his HD completely and reinstall Windows. It's only getting worse the speed. It's better to try to run OS X on the lowest-requirement Mac possible vs. using XP on the lowest-requirement PC.

I helped my friend purchase a $900 Dell PC about 6 months ago. He wanted to buy another Mac (after his Lime iMac died), but his family just couldn't afford an iMac or iBook at the time (they were a couple of hundred dollars more), so they decided to go Dell. Well, I helped him get a 2.8 GHz (I believe) P4 with 512 MB of RAM and a GeForceFX 5200 and Windows Home edition. Well, even his decent PC is a choppy mess. Windows, icons, buttons don't respond when they're expected to. At least after starting up his PC, there's no long hang, but the windows once again have that slow draw speed. The buttons and menus pop up much more slowly than on OS X. His PC only has an edge on gaming over mine. Interface and speed-wise, it's a joke.

You can technically build your own Mac. MacOpz.com had an article about going about doing this. However, you're most likely going to have to buy used parts. Especially the motherboard. The processor could be upgraded with an upgrade kit, but it's not good as a real G4. It's a waste of effort and money.

blue&whiteman
May 5, 2004, 04:29 PM
The processor could be upgraded with an upgrade kit, but it's not good as a real G4. It's a waste of effort and money.

my mac is a G3 tower upgraded to a G4/500 and its as fast as a real G4/500 tower or even faster in some cases. its not a waste of money if you only have a small amount to spend and need faster performance.

if upgrades didn't have a market then they wouldn't be around.

dieselg4
May 5, 2004, 05:32 PM
I think you are nuts. Windows has one of the snappiest user interfaces, I have been severly impressed by it, especially how it ages with older machines. I have 10.2 installed on a 500MHz G3 and it is PAINFUL slow at times. I installed win XP on a 400MHz pII and it is about 2-3 times "snappier" than the mac OS. This does make a certain amount of sense: OS X has the most "eye candy" user interface effects of any OS I can think of. Looks cool, yes, but snappy, no. With newer hardware, I imagine that both computers will feel pretty snappy, but theres no way OS X should ever be snappier than Windows unless there is something seriously wrong with windows.

Only think that slows down windows sometimes is network complications... windows will hang something terrible if a network connection is not acting as it should. I am not sure how the newest Apple OS handles network connections, but I see plenty of spinning beachballs as it is.

I ahve to agree with the netwroking problem - my 2.6 celeron (yes i know its a celeron, so it won't be a demon) get REALLY bogged down with Kazaa open, thoght maybe that's just what Kazaa does. Kind of ironic, since the only reason i really keep this pc is for PC only prograsm like Kazaa . ..

applekid
May 5, 2004, 06:33 PM
my mac is a G3 tower upgraded to a G4/500 and its as fast as a real G4/500 tower or even faster in some cases. its not a waste of money if you only have a small amount to spend and need faster performance.

if upgrades didn't have a market then they wouldn't be around.

Actually, I should restate what I said. Depending on how much of a jump you're making, it may not be worth it. Also, your bus speed will also make a difference.

BrianKonarsMac
May 5, 2004, 07:29 PM
the lack of macintosh parts makes building your own mac next to impossible (you can build one, but it will be using old parts from a computer that nobody wants anymore, you will have next to zero success finding new G5 parts). I wish you could build your own Mac, but the lack of a market as well as the lack of parts makes it next to impossible, and you'll end up paying far more than it's worth for the parts.

Macmaniac
May 5, 2004, 07:36 PM
There are acutally places out there for old Mac parts, like www.preowned.com, which refurbishes and sells Mac parts, but usually only Apple techs use them for computers who are out of warranty or the part is no longer made by Apple.
You could try and find a quicksilver case which has mobo with a 4x AGP slot then you could get a processor card and upgrade it a 1.4ghz G4, and have a decent graphics card.

Haberdasher
May 5, 2004, 08:14 PM
Yeah, but it would still be just another buggy, virus-ridden, crappy beige box though wouldn't it?

No, it would be a very powerful, tricked out machine that would cost about 1200 bucks. The myth of a crappy beige box is naive and represents the extent to which some of you Maccies have breen brainwashed.

Love my Mac, but honestly, PCs are cheaper and won't break on you just because you don't pay 3000 bucks.

Mav451
May 5, 2004, 08:31 PM
You've got to be kidding me! My dad's 1.8 GHz P3 Laptop is horribly slow with Windows XP. It's a joke compared to my G4 iMac with 800 MHz. Once you turn on the computer, you have to wait a couple of minutes for the PC to be ready to do anything....

There is no such thing as 1.8Ghz P3. There is a 1.8Ghz P4, however.


You'll click, nothing happens, and you'll sit there for a couple of minutes until something moves. My iMac, sure it's stuck after a initial startup, but that's only for about 30 seconds. And Windows XP redraws every window by layers which really lags it. In OS X, it just pops open, and you see no redraw...


Common problem when the video driver is outdated. I'm surprised so many PC vendors continue to ship computers with outdated drivers. I had a friend running a nForce IGP motherboard--redraw problems just like you described. 30 second D/l from Nvidia.com, restart, and it was gone. It's just that easy :)



....Well, I helped him get a 2.8 GHz (I believe) P4 with 512 MB of RAM and a GeForceFX 5200 and Windows Home edition. Well, even his decent PC is a choppy mess. Windows, icons, buttons don't respond when they're expected to. At least after starting up his PC, there's no long hang, but the windows once again have that slow draw speed. The buttons and menus pop up much more slowly than on OS X. His PC only has an edge on gaming over mine. Interface and speed-wise, it's a joke.


Again, the same problem. Sounds like a spyware/virus problem when icons don't respond the way "they're expected to". Tell him to stop using IE/OE. Run Spybot. Switch to Firefox/Thunderbird.

Mav451
May 5, 2004, 08:42 PM
No, it would be a very powerful, tricked out machine that would cost about 1200 bucks. The myth of a crappy beige box is naive and represents the extent to which some of you Maccies have breen brainwashed.

Love my Mac, but honestly, PCs are cheaper and won't break on you just because you don't pay 3000 bucks.

There we go, thank you :)

People need to understand that while a build-it-yourself PC is cheaper, doesn't mean you should buy the cheapest components available. Basic common sense like not buying 3rd-party/no name RAM should be there. Sticking to a reputable MOBO maker (Asus or Abit) and quality fans (demand Panaflos, nothing else quieter and as powerful).

1) The power supply. Don't try to save money buying a $30 PSU that is supposedly "400W". That $30 PSU will die on you, and can possibly take your entire computer with it (hard drives, motherboard, ram). Don't want that to happen? Spend 70bucks on a reputable Enermax or Antec power supply. Accept nothing less.

2) The case. Again, no $30 "On-sale" cases. These are worthless. I still stick to the basic Chieftec, 4-fan case with 2 USB2.0 ports/FW. These usually run $60-$80 and are well worth it. Those $30 cases will probably have poor ventilation as well...that could lead to a MULTITUDE of problems for your components. Don't risk it.

FuzzyBallz
May 5, 2004, 11:36 PM
Can you even buy all the parts on ebay? You do realize it doesn't come w/ the coveted 3 year apple care right? I mean you just can't buy a $3K mac w/o tagging another $300 on there 'cause you never know when something will go wrong, and the only way to save it is ship it to Apple. I mean seriously, who wants to buy their own PC and have the freedom to fix it any time they want by switching out the faulty part, buy the replacement part, and resolving the problem all in the same day?

Yeah, but it would still be just another buggy, virus-ridden, crappy beige box though wouldn't it?

Thanks for solidifying the ignorance of mac fanatics.

Counterfit
May 6, 2004, 12:32 AM
I seriously think that Arn should put something in the rules like this: "No Apple/PC price comparison threads".

All they do is bring out the trolls.

virividox
May 6, 2004, 02:12 AM
macs have their purpose and pcs have theirs

if you strapped for cash, are really into gaming, running auto cad etc then pcs are for you. sure xp, 2000, 98 se, arent perfect but they do what most people want them to do. im not ashamed to say i own a windoze box, and i dont think anyone who does should be. in fact i think it makes me a better mac user for owning one, a better computer person for owning one. helps me know what other people are using so i can help them, and lets me appreciate my mac.

Building your own mac will be a labor or love, because of sourcing parts, assembly, etc. building a pc is much easier, and a great experience as well.

know thy enemy :)

blue&whiteman
May 6, 2004, 02:23 AM
macs have their purpose and pcs have theirs

if you strapped for cash, are really into gaming, running auto cad etc then pcs are for you. sure xp, 2000, 98 se, arent perfect but they do what most people want them to do. im not ashamed to say i own a windoze box, and i dont think anyone who does should be. in fact i think it makes me a better mac user for owning one, a better computer person for owning one. helps me know what other people are using so i can help them, and lets me appreciate my mac.

Building your own mac will be a labor or love, because of sourcing parts, assembly, etc. building a pc is much easier, and a great experience as well.

know thy enemy :)


very well said

caveman_uk
May 6, 2004, 03:20 AM
Thanks for solidifying the ignorance of mac fanatics.
Hardly a mac fanatic. I've probably built a lot more PCs than you ever have and I used them for years before I got a mac so I'm not some uniformed blinded zealot. I've also used most of the Window's OS's from 95 through to XP as well as FreeBSD and Linux on x86 hardware. None of them comes close to the ease of use and just plain reliability as a mac running OS X. Even if macs cost 4 times as much as a PC I still wouldn't buy/build another PC for my own use.

rhpenguin
May 6, 2004, 09:40 AM
if upgrades didn't have a market then they wouldn't be around.

Very true.. I just sunk $1000 into my iBook.. RAM, HDD and Superdrive.

Makes things ta whole lot nicer and its going to hold me over till I can get a 12" PowerBook thats atleast 1 - 1.5GHz faster than my current notebook..

MacDaddie0
May 6, 2004, 10:14 AM
To make an equivalent PC to Powermac G5 Dual 2.0, you have to spend somewhere close to 3K using good components/brands.

But more importantly, it will still be a x86 PC running Windows variations.

7on
May 6, 2004, 10:41 AM
I know of people who have built their own Macs "from scratch" and I have considered doing it myself. You really only do it for bragging rights. It isn't worth it. You have to buy a lot of used parts, which will be from older Macs, and some 3rd party upgrade parts. In the end you will have a 3-4 year old Mac that ended up costing you almost as much as a new one.

If you want to spend $1500 on a Sawtooth G4 then go right ahead.

Sawtooths run like $400 on ebay.

tomf87
May 6, 2004, 10:48 AM
To make an equivalent PC to Powermac G5 Dual 2.0, you have to spend somewhere close to 3K using good components/brands.

But more importantly, it will still be a x86 PC running Windows variations.

Not true. Around 1.5 years ago, I built a PC for gaming with the following spec's for $1200:

Antec Tower Case with 350W Power Supply
Asus A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
.. with Dual Ethernet ans Serial ATA RAID
AMD Athlon 2600+ CPU
512MB Corsair DDR333 CL2 RAM
60GB 7200rpm Drive
Asus DVD-ROM
PNY 128MB GeForce4 Ti Video Card

Those components are all good brands and it actually boots faster than my PB 1.33 and iMac 800. I still love the Mac for its usability and stability, however, the notion of the Macintosh line being priced comparatively to PC's is not true. Of course, you are also paying for the OS when you buy a Mac, but that only remove $130 from the equation. I still think Mac's are overpriced, but I will still continue to purchase from Apple because I feel that's where my money is best spent.

blue&whiteman
May 6, 2004, 10:50 AM
Very true.. I just sunk $1000 into my iBook.. RAM, HDD and Superdrive.

Makes things a whole lot nicer and its going to hold me over till I can get a 12" PowerBook thats atleast 1 - 1.5GHz faster than my current notebook..

glad to hear you've boosted your mac. it was so much fun upgrading my mac. seeing it get faster and faster with each add on brought lots of joy to me.

you have a pretty respectable ibook setup from what I see in your sig.

Mav451
May 6, 2004, 12:11 PM
Not true. Around 1.5 years ago, I built a PC for gaming with the following spec's for $1200:

Antec Tower Case with 350W Power Supply
Asus A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
.. with Dual Ethernet ans Serial ATA RAID
AMD Athlon 2600+ CPU
512MB Corsair DDR333 CL2 RAM
60GB 7200rpm Drive
Asus DVD-ROM
PNY 128MB GeForce4 Ti Video Card
...

Are you sure you spent 1200? If you look at my specs, I built basically the same thing (ignore my 250gb), except:
Non-Deluxe A7N8X (- $35)
2100+ vs. 2600+ (- $80)
NEW 80GB WD w/ 8MB cache (+ $20 or $30)
DVD-ROM (? $, probably $50-$70?)
Ti 4200? (~ $130-140).

If you add that up, that's + $240; - $115.
Net gain...only like $130.

Considering I only spent $ 700, with your new components that should be around only $830 then...I am wondering if you are not including the cost of a new monitor perhaps (my 17" NEC/Mitsubishi Diamontron was only $170 2 years ago)? That makes it $1000 then. My set up also included a new Chieftec (1999 Alienware look-alike) AX-01BLD case [$70] and a [$80] Antec True 430. Again, all of this ~700.

Did you buy your components from Newegg or elsewhere? I am really worried you might have gotten ripped off somewhere :(

virividox
May 6, 2004, 12:32 PM
Sawtooths run like $400 on ebay.

i think he meant 400 plus all the upgrades you do to it to get it into shape

applekid
May 6, 2004, 01:49 PM
There is no such thing as 1.8Ghz P3. There is a 1.8Ghz P4, however.

It probably is. I couldn't remember if it was a P3 or P4. I knew it was 1.8 GHz for sure, though. I'll have to check on updating those video drivers. Thanks.

My friend's PC on the other hand is really screwy despite running Adaware. I installed FireFox and he uses that, but nothing has actually helped his computer.

Horrortaxi
May 6, 2004, 02:18 PM
Sawtooths run like $400 on ebay.
Thank you for pointing that out.

A complete Sawtooth will run about $400. Now price the parts individually--case, logic board, graphics card, etc and it will cost much more. Add RAM, hard drive, upgrade processor (if you want faster than 450mhz or can't find a stock one) and you've spent 3 times the value of the computer. But buying one whole for $400 goes against the idea of building your own.

That's why I think it's a little stupid. Noble, but stupid.

superbovine
May 6, 2004, 03:15 PM
My PC buddy says he can make himself a PC computer for a fraction of the price of a G5. Is it possible to make your own Mac? Can you buy parts and assemble it yourself at a cheaper price (but more trouble) than buying it retail?

http://www.techtv.com/screensavers/macintosh/story/0,24330,3411914,00.html

armchainmstenw
May 6, 2004, 03:23 PM
Most of the apple components that I've seen would add up to about the same price as just purchasing a new Mac.

Mav451
May 6, 2004, 09:24 PM
It probably is. I couldn't remember if it was a P3 or P4. I knew it was 1.8 GHz for sure, though. I'll have to check on updating those video drivers. Thanks.

My friend's PC on the other hand is really screwy despite running Adaware. I installed FireFox and he uses that, but nothing has actually helped his computer.

Yeah, it might be too late. For all we know, his registry and dll's are probably fubared from the numerous spyware/viruses that seep through IE/OE respectively...

A clean format, with firefox ONLY should cover this for now. I personally stopped using adaware b/c it missed a ton of spyware in its detection; hence the reason I use only Spybot S & D.

*One last thing. If he has a 1.8 Celeron in there...that is like a 1ghz Athlon equivalent, or even less. A celeron is called "celery" for a reason :)

tomf87
May 6, 2004, 09:55 PM
Are you sure you spent 1200? If you look at my specs, I built basically the same thing (ignore my 250gb), except:
Non-Deluxe A7N8X (- $35)
2100+ vs. 2600+ (- $80)
NEW 80GB WD w/ 8MB cache (+ $20 or $30)
DVD-ROM (? $, probably $50-$70?)
Ti 4200? (~ $130-140).

If you add that up, that's + $240; - $115.
Net gain...only like $130.

Considering I only spent $ 700, with your new components that should be around only $830 then...I am wondering if you are not including the cost of a new monitor perhaps (my 17" NEC/Mitsubishi Diamontron was only $170 2 years ago)? That makes it $1000 then. My set up also included a new Chieftec (1999 Alienware look-alike) AX-01BLD case [$70] and a [$80] Antec True 430. Again, all of this ~700.

Did you buy your components from Newegg or elsewhere? I am really worried you might have gotten ripped off somewhere :(

The $1200 includes a 19" monitor. Also, I bought the A7N8X Deluxe when it first came out, and it was close to $100 then. And the 2600+ was pretty new too. And the RAM, I splurged on it because it was a dual-channel kit, and those were relatively new. When you buy parts when they first come out, they tend to cost a little more.

blue&whiteman
May 6, 2004, 10:09 PM
the thread is about how to build a mac and everyone is talking about building a pc...

Mav451
May 7, 2004, 02:26 AM
The $1200 includes a 19" monitor. Also, I bought the A7N8X Deluxe when it first came out, and it was close to $100 then. And the 2600+ was pretty new too. And the RAM, I splurged on it because it was a dual-channel kit, and those were relatively new. When you buy parts when they first come out, they tend to cost a little more.

You DO realize I bought the parts around the same time as you did? (1.5 years ago) I am referring to a NewEgg receipt and not making this up.

The Deluxe was $150+ at release, not 100. The Non-Dlx was around $114.

If that 19" was a Sony, then that would explain for most of the discrepancies. Additionally, I think you meant CL2, not CL3 for ddr333. Even Crucial.com's PC2700 memory, which is not exactly mean for overclocking, is default @ 7-3-3-2.5 (2.5 being the CL). Again, more reason to think you got CL2 (those were running 150-180 for dual kits back then).

Now it does make a bit more sense.

tomf87
May 7, 2004, 06:58 AM
You DO realize I bought the parts around the same time as you did? (1.5 years ago) I am referring to a NewEgg receipt and not making this up.

The Deluxe was $150+ at release, not 100. The Non-Dlx was around $114.

If that 19" was a Sony, then that would explain for most of the discrepancies. Additionally, I think you meant CL2, not CL3 for ddr333. Even Crucial.com's PC2700 memory, which is not exactly mean for overclocking, is default @ 7-3-3-2.5 (2.5 being the CL). Again, more reason to think you got CL2 (those were running 150-180 for dual kits back then).

Now it does make a bit more sense.

I did say CL2. Anyway, it seemed the bulk of my cost was in the video card and case. I had a case from Antec that I definitely wanted because it was so easy to take apart and haas the ability for numerous fans.

At any rate, I've been happy with this system.

Mav451
May 7, 2004, 10:34 AM
haha oops...that's wut i get for posting at like 2 in the morning.

jared_kipe
May 7, 2004, 11:43 AM
Come on guys, it's called a logic board over here in Apple land. Don't be sending this guy off to ebay looking for a G4 motherboard. Now adays it isn't that hard to get old G4 parts, and put in a nice CPU upgrade. The hard part is finding one of those apple power supplies. Cause even when you find one, you must make sure it works for you SPECIFIC logic board. Apple changed power supplies ever few years. If I were you, just go looking for either a Digital Audio logic board or a Gigabit Ethernet Logic board. Bottom line is you need to get everything that will work on your specific board.

tomf87
May 7, 2004, 12:32 PM
No, it's a mainboard with daughtercards. As long as they get the picture, it isn't a big deal. :rolleyes:

plinden
May 7, 2004, 12:49 PM
You've got to be kidding me! My dad's 1.8 GHz P3 Laptop is horribly slow with Windows XP. It's a joke compared to my G4 iMac with 800 MHz. Once you turn on the computer, you have to wait a couple of minutes for the PC to be ready to do anything. You'll click, nothing happens, and you'll sit there for a couple of minutes until something moves. ...

I helped my friend purchase a $900 Dell PC about 6 months ago... a 2.8 GHz (I believe) P4 with 512 MB of RAM and a GeForceFX 5200 and Windows Home edition. Well, even his decent PC is a choppy mess. Windows, icons, buttons don't respond when they're expected to. ...

I haven't read to the end of the thread, so this may have been mentioned already. If so, sorry.

I'm not a Windoze fan, but often it's unresponsive because of spyware and/or viruses rather than underlying responsiveness. I suggest you download adaware (www.lavasoft.de) and Spybot (security.kolla.de) and AVG antivirus (www.grisoft.com) and make sure your dad's and friend's PCs are clean.

I still haven't got my PowerBook so I'm using my 2 yr old 1.8 GHz P4, and it's still pretty snappy, but I have 1GByte RAM, have turned off the eyecandy (i.e. configured it for performance) and I keep it clean of all (known) spyware and viruses.

(added the following)
As someone else said, also make sure all drivers are up-to-date, and go to www.pcpitstop.com and have it analyse the PCs. Also, run sandra (www.sisoftware.co.uk)

Sorry - this shouldn't really be in a build-a-Mac thread.

But, as to why anyone would want to build a PC/Mac rather than buy? I am tempted to build my own PC, just for the hell of it. But right now I'd rather save my cash for a PowerBook.

MacDaddie0
May 11, 2004, 02:11 PM
Not true. Around 1.5 years ago, I built a PC for gaming with the following spec's for $1200:

Antec Tower Case with 350W Power Supply
Asus A7N8X Deluxe Motherboard
.. with Dual Ethernet ans Serial ATA RAID
AMD Athlon 2600+ CPU
512MB Corsair DDR333 CL2 RAM
60GB 7200rpm Drive
Asus DVD-ROM
PNY 128MB GeForce4 Ti Video Card

Those components are all good brands and it actually boots faster than my PB 1.33 and iMac 800. I still love the Mac for its usability and stability, however, the notion of the Macintosh line being priced comparatively to PC's is not true. Of course, you are also paying for the OS when you buy a Mac, but that only remove $130 from the equation. I still think Mac's are overpriced, but I will still continue to purchase from Apple because I feel that's where my money is best spent.

Sure you can make a $1200 Windows PC, but not a workstation level machine for that price.
Try HP or even Dell's workstation specs and see what you get for $3,000.
At least compare with the specficiations closely as possible to what Mac has.

musicpyrite
May 11, 2004, 02:34 PM
That was a wast of time, LOL.


No it wasn't, don't be so close minded.

rueyeet
May 11, 2004, 03:55 PM
Most of the apple components that I've seen would add up to about the same price as just purchasing a new Mac.I'd agree with that. I was toying with the idea of building my own Cube with all nice upgraded components; the idea was: Why buy a used Cube just to rip out and replace all the components? Why not just start from the components?

First, because of the logic board thing: Apple is the only manufacturer of Mac logic boards, which means you can't really get a new one (like you can get a nice new motherboard from third parties on the x86 side). So you're starting with a used board from the outset, and usually an older one.

Two, you've got to assemble a set of components that will be compatible with that particular logic board. There are those that say that this is easier because the set of compatible components is smaller than on the x86 side, but it does take quite a bit of research to nail down. And then there's all the usual PC-building cross-compatibility double-checking to do.

In my little project at least, the price of getting and assembling all the separate components turned out to be a good few hundred dollars more than just buying an existing Cube and applying the same upgrades. And of course the price of either option could have paid for most, if not all, of a new Mac. Granted, the Cube's a collector thing, and probably a more complicated proposition, but still.....it seriously turned out to be more money and trouble than it was worth.

Haberdasher
May 11, 2004, 06:48 PM
Sure you can make a $1200 Windows PC, but not a workstation level machine for that price.
Try HP or even Dell's workstation specs and see what you get for $3,000.
At least compare with the specficiations closely as possible to what Mac has.

Depends where you purchase. Try newegg.com or ibuypower.com.

1300 was my tricked out Athlon 64 (note the 64 bit... :p) and included a nice little speaker setup too.

crazzyeddie
May 11, 2004, 08:08 PM
If you want to, you can in fact do this... although it takes a little more work than a standard PC. You can buy generic PPC motherboard/CPU combos from http://pegasosppc.com/index.php. Then, after installing Linux, you can run Mac-On-Linux (http://maconlinux.org), which will run OS X at basically native speeds.

MacDaddie0
May 11, 2004, 11:06 PM
Depends where you purchase. Try newegg.com or ibuypower.com.

1300 was my tricked out Athlon 64 (note the 64 bit... :p) and included a nice little speaker setup too.

As mentioned before, try to get price on dual xeon, dual athlon 64 or something close to dual G5 2.0 powermac with DVD burning, 1000bits ethernet, firewire 800, etc...