Build your own Intel Mac?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrmacdude, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. mrmacdude macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2004
    #1
    Is this a good idea?
    Will it save me money?
    Will it be more/less powerful?
    Where should I buy parts?
    What processor should I buy?
    Can I have a dual processor machine?

    any other advice or links are much appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. psycoswimmer macrumors 65816

    psycoswimmer

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  3. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #3
    I'm guessing this isn't something allowed to be discussed on this forum. You can't just build a PC, buy a copy of OSX and install it. There is significant and legally questionable hacking that goes into getting OSX to work on a home built PC, and then there's no guarantee it will work next time Apple updates something, etc.

    You can build a machine that is comparable in power to a Mac, but you won't save a ton of money, really. You can build a machine that is more powerful than (most) Macs, and not spend to much cash. You can build a machine that is less powerful, in many aspects, and save money.

    You should Google around a bit and see if it's something your up for. I've looked into and it's not worth the hassle, imo. Part of the great thing about buying a Mac is that it all just works together. Doing this means you lose that.

    Well, that depends on where the OP lives.
     
  4. thugpoet22 macrumors regular

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    New York
    #4
    The above posts are correct but it seems like most members or mac users dont want to have a honest convo about this subject. It always stated that its illegal and passed off and a total bad idea. I honestly think it would be great if i could create something similar to the mac pro for much less. I love the software that apple makes but im not totally in love with their hardware prices.

    But like the above post suggested, if you opt to create your own mac its illegal but you will also run the risk of not being able to install all the updates that are created for the OS and other programs on the mac. So its not impossible its just that are you willing to break the law and go through all the trouble of building your own mac.
     
  5. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #5
    From what i've heard the hacked versions are not stable enough to be worth the trouble, besides the fact that they are illegal. if the OP wants to build his own computer and not have Windows on it he should use Linux. it would be much more stable that a hacked version of OS X
     
  6. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #6
    Just wondering what makes it "illegal" to build a computer that can run OSX? Can't be anything in the hardware, so a section in the OSX license agreement? I just read it, and the license agreement simply says you may install it on one computer at a time (single use license). Or do the hacks required to make it work require "modification" of OSX? (That clearly is a prohibited use...)

    Just wondering.....

    Bob
     
  7. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #7
    im pretty sure OSX has something coded into it that checks the machine its being installed on, and if it wont install, youd have to hack it.
     
  8. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #8
    To boot Mac OS X you need EFI on your system board. That isn't available, to my knowledge, on any retail or OEM motherboard you can pick up. In fact, I've only ever seen one or two machines (other than Apple) on sale that have had it - and they've been high end servers.

    So yeah, to install it and boot sucessfully, you need to hack OS X to work with BIOS, which has been done, but breaks the user agreement, and the law, in most countries.
     
  9. portent macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 17, 2004
    #9
    Copyright law.

    Also, the DMCA (in the US) and EUCD (European Union) and similar laws in some other countries.

    OS X does not install on off-the-shelf boxes. Only "cracked" versions will install, and the only way to get a cracked version is to copy it from someone, which is a copyright violation.
     
  10. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #10
    Well, seems as if 17 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq is the answer!

    Bob
     
  11. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

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    Feb 10, 2004
    #11
    It's a DMCA issue. As mentioned, OSX requires EFI and you can't get a mobo with EFI on it at the moment. So, you have to hack it. There's also some issues with Intel's Trusted Platform chip (or something like that) that OSX checks to be sure you're running on a real Mac, which also requires hacking. This is illegal in the US due to the DMCA.

    Lastly, the EULA state that you can use the software on one Apple computer at a time, not just one computer (I am fairly certain on that point, anyways). This is a breach of that agreement, which I believe is a civil matter, not criminal.
     
  12. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

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    Jan 3, 2006
    #12
    Right now, Apple does not sell a retail copy of intel OSX, so you will need to buy an intel Mac to acquire OSX legally. Of course, if you keep OSX on your original mac and try to hack and install it onto another one, you will run afoul of the "one copy, one machine" rule.

    Once Leopard comes along, it will be a bit more legal to acquire intel OSX. Then, you might still be violating the licence agreement, but at least you'd have a paid copy of OSX. In that case, I don't really see the harm in trying to hack it. You would only be going against the desire of Apple to control the full hardware and software experience, but as long as you don't expect support from Apple, I'd say it is quite OK.
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #13
    Aside from being Illegal, it's also a tremendous hassle and most people I've heard who have done it say features are stability problems and/or things that just don't work period. Everyone's case seems to be a bit different, and every time new updates come you have to find a new hacked version of the update.

    It's really extremely clumsy and only for super geeks.

    And the desire to maintain the halo of OS X as being a super stable OS that "just works" with stuff.
     
  14. steamboat26 macrumors 65816

    steamboat26

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    #14
    Hypothetical- this wouldn't be cost effective and might not be feasible, but...

    Coudn't you buy parts from intel macs and assemble them in your own case?

    I seem to recall livingfortoday doing something like this with a sawtooth (minus the intel)...
     
  15. TheManOfSilver macrumors regular

    TheManOfSilver

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    Canada
    #15
    No, it's not a good idea. Part of what makes a Mac so good is how the OS and hardware work together seamlessly.

    It is unlikely to save you enough money over a similarly configured Mac to get around the legal and compatibility issues raised by others. Have you considered buying a used/refurbished Mac?
     
  16. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #16
    When Leopard comes out, that dicey licensing situation (for some, and for most flat-out illegal) will change - but the bigger thing is actually getting a hackintosh up and running.

    I was running a Dell Latitude D520, which was then succeeded by a Samsung Q35 as Hackintoshes for a while out of curiosity. Hardwarewise the D520 is essentially a higher-res Macbook (Core 2 Duo 1.8Ghz + GMA950), and the Q35 is essentially a Macbook minus 1lb of weight & 2 hours of additional battery life. Both of those have found more useful purposes in the end but even the slight deviations from a 'real' Mac in the specs can result in things not working. There are plenty of how to's available on InsanelyMac, but frankly speaking it is just not worth building your own Mac unless you like me (and many others using the OSX86 projects) purely want to do so out of interest (and even then, in my case pay other people to actually install it for you) or you just happen to have an idle reasonably current Windows machine hanging around that you want to fiddle with OSX on. It is however perfectly possible to get a hackintosh to a 'having a dabble' state, and with some additional effort you can have a dual boot system.

    At the same time, I wouldn't suggest buying a Mac if you want to primarily stay in the Windows world as a Parallels or Boot Camp Mac is - whatever people say - not a full Windows machine. It's enough for the occasional Windows user, but it's certainly not as stable for a start as a 'real' current Windows machine of similar spec.
     
  17. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #17
    Mr. Green--You were probably typing as I was! 17 U.S.C. § 1201 et seq is the DMCA.... Also, the Apple EULA I just read on the support site does not specify an Apple computer--it simply says "on a single computer...." See http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=26275

    theBB: As I understand it, OSX has been universal since day one...so there's not a "PPC" vs. an "Intel" version..... Also, circumventing a technology to limit access would violate the DMCA.....

    Best,

    Bob
     
  18. localoid macrumors 68020

    localoid

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    #18
    All motherboards with the Intel 945 chipset are said to be "EFI ready" in the sense that EFI could be enabled via a firmware patch. However, Intel has never issued such a patch...
     
  19. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #19
    You're quite mistaken.
     
  20. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #20
    dpaanlka--

    I should have written "dual compiled" instead of universal. So there's an Intel compilation and a PPC compilation, which according to Jobs has been the case since the beginning of OSX.

    Bob
     
  21. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #21
    Yes but none of those have been available to anyone outside of Apple. the only legal way currently to get an intel version of OS X is to buy an intel Mac, that will change with Leopard, but there will most likely be copy protection on it to prevent it from being installed on a regular PC.
     
  22. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #22
    Ah! I understand......but what if you buy an Intel Mac, lose the restore discs, and then have to re-install? Do you have to then buy a whole new computer?

    Bob
     
  23. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #23
    u can just buy a new osx disk for $129.

    for OP, u can't coz OSX is restricted technically and legally to "apple's" hardwares, which are, actually re-branded from normal pc parts producers. (There is illegal ways to install OSX on "non-apple" hardwares)

    So, clearly, I think those argument of "apple softwares and hardwares works seamlessly together" are fake. coz apple produce no hardwares of computers.
     
  24. Sesshi macrumors G3

    Sesshi

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    #24
    That's true in that they don't produce hardware, but neither do most of the big 'manufacturers' these days. They do all design or at least custom-spec their own hardware and test them.
     
  25. MacGuffin macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2006
    #25
    It's doable, depending on your skill level, and it will only become easier. The switch to Intel has all but assured OS X will be running on non-Mac hardware in greater numbers in very short time.

    But as the scolds have noted, for now it's not permitted, not supported, etc. If you don't know enough to go out and select hardware to build a computer, you don't know enough to maintain an unofficial OS X installation.

    Meanwhile, if you can't afford to buy a Mac and can't live with Windoze, you should get yourself a copy of Ubuntu Linux for Non-Geeks (No Starch Press, 2007).

    This amusing and very readable book comes with a "live install" CD that allows you to test drive one of the friendlier and more elegant Linux distros--quite literally, the poor man's OS X, as its pioneer is an African businessman with a keen social vision. With live install, you can easily retreat to the wasteland of XP if it's not for you.
     

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