Build a Mac Pro with replacement parts?!

fairbanx

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
79
8
Germany
I wonder, if it's a good idea to build a MP (i.e. MP 4,1) only with replacement parts!? You can find the offical technical/take-a-part manual on the internet. You can find the most relevant parts like case, heatsink, cpu, logicboards etc. on eBay. But there are some more rare parts like appropriate screws and cables. That's because some questions remains:

- any idea where to find these rare parts?
- where to find a plan to mount the bluetooth/airport cables (not covered in technical manual)
- someone did this before?
- any tips or clues?

Thanks for your replies.
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Bluetooth and Airport cards are just some small factor PCIe cards located on the main logic board behind the heat sinks.

I wouldn't recommend building such a system, since you won't get any warranty from Apple whatsoever. If a part fails you'd have to buy a new part instead of getting it repaired/replaced by Apple.

BTW: Where did you find the service manual for a 4.1 Pro?
 

fairbanx

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
79
8
Germany
You're better off building a Hackintosh. Will cost you a lot less and involves less work
That's not an option for me, thanks anyway. In addition: my first impression of the casedesign is, that it might be not very difficult to put the parts together!?
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,077
1,096
It'll be way, way, way more expensive than just buying the machine. Most parts will have their cost massively inflated.
 

sochet

macrumors regular
Nov 1, 2006
194
4
That's not an option for me, thanks anyway. In addition: my first impression of the casedesign is, that it might be not very difficult to put the parts together!?
Why not? Are you trying to pass this off as one? :p
 

highdefw

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2009
259
0
Obviously you guys haven't tried to build a MP from scratch...

@fairbanx, DO YOUR RESEARCH! I cannot stress that enough. Look everywhere, compare prices, make deals.

Over the last month I have been buying parts to build up a 2009 8 core MP.

Here's what the cost were:
-MP case with PSU and pre-wired. (All fans except PCIe Fan) = $180
-Logic Board = $329
-Backplane Board = $299
-Heatsink A = $149
-Heatsink B = $289
-PCIe Fan = $49
-Aiport Card = $48
-Bluetooth Card = $20
-2x Intel Xeon Quad 2.93ghz X5570 = $1,200
-OWC 120gb ssd = $320
-16gb DDR3 ram from OWC = $610
-2x 1TB WD Black hdd = $180
-LG Blu-ray Drive = $150
-NVidia Geforce GT 120 (used) = $60

Total cost comes to about $3,500

Compare this to Apple and you would easily be paying twice as much, maybe more...

Remember, the base 8 core model offered by Apple had slower chips, 6gb ram, 640gb hdd, and the Geforce 120 for $3200.

Hope this helps
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Total cost comes to about $3,500

Compare this to Apple and you would easily be paying twice as much, maybe more...

Remember, the base 8 core model offered by Apple had slower chips, 6gb ram, 640gb hdd, and the Geforce 120 for $3200.

Hope this helps
Those are US prices! Considering that the OP lives in Germany you certainly won't get that machine under 6000€.

The X5570s alone cost about 1300€ EACH in Germany!

You'd have to import everything from the US (which won't get any cheaper considering the prices for shipping and additional taxes), or go with used parts, which aren't necessarily easy to find in the EU.
 

highdefw

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2009
259
0
Those are US prices! Considering that the OP lives in Germany you certainly won't get that machine under 6000€.

The X5570s alone cost about 1300€ EACH in Germany!

You'd have to import everything from the US (which won't get any cheaper considering the prices for shipping and additional taxes), or go with used parts, which aren't necessarily easy to find in the EU.
Once again research. I didn't get all my parts from the US...

The chips are pretty costly here in the US as well. It's gonna take more then a couple nights of googling to find everything you need.

P.S. Ebay is a good place to start making contacts
 

Transporteur

macrumors 68030
Nov 30, 2008
2,729
3
UK
Once again research. I didn't get all my parts from the US...

The chips are pretty costly here in the US as well. It's gonna take more then a couple nights of googling to find everything you need.

P.S. Ebay is a good place to start making contacts

So the chips came from Ebay, or do you have any other source for them?
$1200 for a pair of 5570s is just insane, I'd take two of them immediately for that price.

I'm constantly looking on Ebay for a pair of 5570s or 5580s but even if there is a pair, it's always on ebay.com. :(
 

goMac

macrumors 604
Apr 15, 2004
7,077
1,096
Obviously you guys haven't tried to build a MP from scratch...

@fairbanx, DO YOUR RESEARCH! I cannot stress that enough. Look everywhere, compare prices, make deals.

Over the last month I have been buying parts to build up a 2009 8 core MP.

Here's what the cost were:
-MP case with PSU and pre-wired. (All fans except PCIe Fan) = $180
-Logic Board = $329
-Backplane Board = $299
-Heatsink A = $149
-Heatsink B = $289
-PCIe Fan = $49
-Aiport Card = $48
-Bluetooth Card = $20
-2x Intel Xeon Quad 2.93ghz X5570 = $1,200
-OWC 120gb ssd = $320
-16gb DDR3 ram from OWC = $610
-2x 1TB WD Black hdd = $180
-LG Blu-ray Drive = $150
-NVidia Geforce GT 120 (used) = $60

Total cost comes to about $3,500

Compare this to Apple and you would easily be paying twice as much, maybe more...

Remember, the base 8 core model offered by Apple had slower chips, 6gb ram, 640gb hdd, and the Geforce 120 for $3200.

Hope this helps
Erm, if you hadn't somehow gotten a deal on those processors, it would be way more expensive than buying one new. Those CPU's are $1300 each.
 

fairbanx

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
79
8
Germany
Yes, I did some research. I calculated the cost for the most relevant parts. For the 8-core Nehalem (2.26) that is about 2000$, for the 4-core Nehalem 2.66 about 1300$ (to be honest: w/o gpu, drives, cables, screws and shipping). But yes, I'm not informed about the used prices for complete machines.
 

Prince134

macrumors 6502
Aug 17, 2010
330
141
Obviously you guys haven't tried to build a MP from scratch...

@fairbanx, DO YOUR RESEARCH! I cannot stress that enough. Look everywhere, compare prices, make deals.

Over the last month I have been buying parts to build up a 2009 8 core MP.

Here's what the cost were:
-MP case with PSU and pre-wired. (All fans except PCIe Fan) = $180
-Logic Board = $329
-Backplane Board = $299
-Heatsink A = $149
-Heatsink B = $289
-PCIe Fan = $49
-Aiport Card = $48
-Bluetooth Card = $20
-2x Intel Xeon Quad 2.93ghz X5570 = $1,200
-OWC 120gb ssd = $320
-16gb DDR3 ram from OWC = $610
-2x 1TB WD Black hdd = $180
-LG Blu-ray Drive = $150
-NVidia Geforce GT 120 (used) = $60

Total cost comes to about $3,500

Compare this to Apple and you would easily be paying twice as much, maybe more...

Remember, the base 8 core model offered by Apple had slower chips, 6gb ram, 640gb hdd, and the Geforce 120 for $3200.

Hope this helps
Hi,
I am sure you are the right person to ask about. I am going to do the same thing as you did. However, before I place my order can I put ONE CPU (X5570) on the TWO CPU board. Will there be any switch to make the single cpu working, OR no way, that I need to put two? Since putting 1 cpu save lots money for me. I am sure this would be the same question like to pull one of cpu from dual cpu mac pro and get it working. Can any one share with me about this as well?

Thanks.

Thanks.
 

fairbanx

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
79
8
Germany
Obviously you guys haven't tried to build a MP from scratch...

@fairbanx, DO YOUR RESEARCH! I cannot stress that enough. Look everywhere, compare prices, make deals.

Over the last month I have been buying parts to build up a 2009 8 core MP.

…

Hope this helps
thanks and congrats! a question about the cage: pre-wired really means no cables need for optical drive, hdd, bluetooth/airport, etc.? did you find it on eBay?
 

highdefw

macrumors 6502
Apr 19, 2009
259
0
So the chips came from Ebay, or do you have any other source for them?
$1200 for a pair of 5570s is just insane, I'd take two of them immediately for that price.

I'm constantly looking on Ebay for a pair of 5570s or 5580s but even if there is a pair, it's always on ebay.com. :(
I came across a buyer on ebay who only sells chips based from Hong Kong. He had listed the X5570s from a low starting bid, and they sold quickly for $800 each. After a good week of negotiating, I managed to get it down to about $1,200.

You need to be careful when ordering from countries like china and such. There are a lot of clones of chips and other electronics floating around. Remember, it's usually a gamble when prices seem too good to be true. Make sure they only use paypal, and any kind of warranty is good as well.

My buddy and I decided to risk it and go for the chips, and they turned out to work just fine.

**Always order the chips LAST. Even if you find a bargain price. There's no point letting $1000 chips laying around if you can't test them!**


Erm, if you hadn't somehow gotten a deal on those processors, it would be way more expensive than buying one new. Those CPU's are $1300 each.
No... Even if I got them at retail, they would be significantly less than what Apple offers. Look at it like this... even if I was building the same configuration but with the lowest 8 core chips (2.26 ghz), I could build that for about $2600. I realize that for another $600 you can get the actual model direct from Apple, but without the ssd, extra 10gb ram, 1tb hdd, and a Blu-ray drive? You still save quite a bit.


I'd like to know where you get those for 600$ each as their retail price is 1386$ each.
Check my response to Transporteur ^^^


Hi,
I am sure you are the right person to ask about. I am going to do the same thing as you did. However, before I place my order can I put ONE CPU (X5570) on the TWO CPU board. Will there be any switch to make the single cpu working, OR no way, that I need to put two? Since putting 1 cpu save lots money for me. I am sure this would be the same question like to pull one of cpu from dual cpu mac pro and get it working. Can any one share with me about this as well?

Thanks.

Thanks.
I'm not 100% sure but I don't think that would work. I have never heard a Logic Board running with an empty socket. The beauty about the Mac Pro is that the logic board is completely separate. So you could just buy the single chip board and when you're ready, upgrade to the dual quad board. Obviously you would be missing the extra 4 ram slots.


thanks and congrats! a question about the cage: pre-wired really means no cables need for optical drive, hdd, bluetooth/airport, etc.? did you find it on eBay?
That's correct. I found the seller on Ebay. Here is the item number:

320574425359
 

fairbanx

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
79
8
Germany
That's correct. I found the seller on Ebay. Here is the item number: 320574425359
yes, I saw this before, but I was irritated, because the only cable I saw was the powercord and that the description mentions "do not include … any other electronic component." but if it's true, it would be great :). the price for the case is also nice.
 

feins

macrumors member
Aug 11, 2010
93
1
Malaysia
Obviously you guys haven't tried to build a MP from scratch...

@fairbanx, DO YOUR RESEARCH! I cannot stress that enough. Look everywhere, compare prices, make deals.

Over the last month I have been buying parts to build up a 2009 8 core MP.

Here's what the cost were:
-MP case with PSU and pre-wired. (All fans except PCIe Fan) = $180
-Logic Board = $329
-Backplane Board = $299
-Heatsink A = $149
-Heatsink B = $289
-PCIe Fan = $49
-Aiport Card = $48
-Bluetooth Card = $20
-2x Intel Xeon Quad 2.93ghz X5570 = $1,200
-OWC 120gb ssd = $320
-16gb DDR3 ram from OWC = $610
-2x 1TB WD Black hdd = $180
-LG Blu-ray Drive = $150
-NVidia Geforce GT 120 (used) = $60

Total cost comes to about $3,500

Compare this to Apple and you would easily be paying twice as much, maybe more...

Remember, the base 8 core model offered by Apple had slower chips, 6gb ram, 640gb hdd, and the Geforce 120 for $3200.

Hope this helps
I'm doing the similar projest I've bought the item below.
Mac Pro 2009 Case with 980W PSU: £239.99 GBP ($381.90 USD)
Mac Pro 2009 Logic Board & UK Spec power core: £212.98 GBP ($338.88 USD)
Mac Pro 2009 Restoration DVD kit: €38.00 EUR ($27.97 USD)
24GB 6x4GB DDR3 1066 ECC Ram for Mac Pro: $570.00 USD
Xeon W5590 x2 OEM Processor: $1,850.00 USD
Mac Pro 2009 Technical and Installation document: $7.49 USD
2mm 100mm x 200mm Thermal Pad: $12.00 USD
Mac Pro 2009 Support Tray: $51.60 USD
Mac Pro 2009 8 core Processor Board: $369.53 USD
Mac Pro 2009 CPU-A heat sink: $159.35 USD
Mac Pro 2009 CPU-B heat sink: $285.10 USD
Ati 5870 for Mac: RM1,330.00 MYR

So far the amount i've spend on Parts so far are in total USD 4053.82

Completed and running flawlessly.
Just got myself and Areca 1880i and 4 pcs of WD RE4 HDD going for Raid 5.
 
Last edited:

bearcatrp

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2008
1,604
3
Boon Docks USA
Sounds like the chips you got are engineering samples. Are they? Looked at a few for my build, but not a hackintoch. Putting ubuntu 64 on my new build. It's crazy what apple wants for a new Mac pro. A 2.66 octo westmere from apple is around 5500 while mine will be less than 3000 (maybe 2500). Can't blame anyone considering a hackintosh, especially in this economy.
 

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