Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Macsavy72, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Macsavy72 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2006
    I have a question-- It is possible that I will not be able to do so.

    My first and only mac is a Performa 6200.. I obtained it from a school where I got my Assocates in Graphic Design before the fall of the towers. I have been working with and building PC's since then.

    I was wondering what I have to look for to build a Mac.

    Specifics are

    Processor and Motherboard

    If it is possible where can I look online to find these.
  2. Platform macrumors 68030


    Dec 30, 2004
    eBay ;)

    People have built G5's from a search here there is a thread ;)
  3. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    And it's not usually cheaper than buying the real thing from Apple.;)

    Unless you just want to do it as a hobby - I wouldn't recommend building one. You might be able to buy a broken G5 on ebay and fix it up cheaper than a new one cost though.
  4. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Building a Mac is easy these days! Go check out the compatibility list floating out there and grab some x86 parts. Since OS X can run on x86 hardware now, it is just as easy building a Mac as it is building a PC.

    Unless of course you want to stay with PPC...which would just be...odd ;)
  5. iIra macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    It isn't quite that easy. As I understand it, the Macintels (not mactels;) ) use EFI or whatever it is instead of a normal BIOS. They also have some sort of device that Apple recently filed a patent for that is meant to keep OS X off of non-Apple computers.
  6. Boelman macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2004
    i would be more worried about how unstable the machine would be
  7. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    I would look on Ebay they sell a lot of enclosures cases that you can chose from and then build from there. If you’re looking for a Quicksilver case I have one from a previous trade in
  8. ll350 macrumors member

    Oct 23, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Since you are coming from a background of building PC's I'll approach the question from that perspective. In the PC world you can buy the parts brand new, and build a PC cheaper or at a comparable price to buying one from a retailer.

    This is impossible to do with a Mac

    To build a Mac from parts you'd have to either:

    1.Buy used or old parts and get exactly the right ones for the Mac you are trying to build. Here you have the problem of the reliability of the part you purchased. In addition, given the way apple's been cutting prices you will probably end up paying just as much if you start from scratch, as you would spend just buying a new mac.

    2.Buy new parts from places that stock mac parts. There are a very few places that will sell a consumer brand new replacement parts for Apple computers. The problem is that they charge a high markup on the parts, so unless you only needed one specific part it wouldn't make economic sense to buy all the parts from these re-sellers. If you did for some reason try to buy all the parts new from them, you'd easily end up paying 4-5 times the cost of the new computer bought fully assembled and working from apple.

    So, if you are planning on just playing around a little, you're best bet would be to buy a mac mini, refurb from the Apple store. You'll spend about $400, it'll be compatible with the monitors and stuff you use now (Except for PS/2 keyboards but you can buy an apple USB keyboard for like $25) If you don't like it, you can sell it in the marketplace for close to what you paid.

    if the mac mini is still out of your budget, just look around for a deal on a used g4 or g3 powermac.

    If you want a workstation, a powerfull computer that you can use as your full time system, then you're still beter off just buying a powermac or iMac from apple. if that is out of your price range, a latter model G4 and get a processor upgrade (933 Mhz and up I beleive have standard slot for single or dual processor upgrades) you'll probably want to upgrade the memory as well, which is a little more difficult than PC's but not much, for any G4 powermac besides the MDD (Mirrored Drive Doors) you're gonna need SDRAM, not DDR. I'm not entirely sure which models take which speed, but if you buy PC133 SDRAM, it should be able to run in the PC100 slots on older G4's as well. And the Mirrored Drive Door Powermacs take PC2700 DDR I think.
  9. bigandy macrumors G3


    Apr 30, 2004
    if you're looking at building a new Intel based mac, good luck, because there aren't any EFI motherboards available yet commercially...

    it'll be next year i rekon before this even gets talked about, or 2194 when vista finally comes out.
  10. excalibur313 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    I remember reading someone saying that gateway used efi motherboards a while ago and it worked fine because efi can support bios. As I understand it, the biggest problem with this adventure is that Apple hardwired something onto the board that is required in order to run os x. I can't remember the company who makes it but a few months ago people were up in arms because I guess this chip could potentially force people to use particular programs for particular tasks. (ex: requiring someone to use the up to date windows media player for a wmv file)
  11. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    1. It is easier to install RAM on a PowerMac G4. You shut down the computer, open side, insert RAM, close side, start up.
    2. You need to check a website like or to get Mac compatible RAM. Macs are more finky with their RAM and 'normal' PC100/133/2700 RAM will cause kernel panics, crashes, etc.

    Oh, and the PSUs inside Macs have been custom for a number of years. They deliver a very high wattage (the G5s have 800W I think) but are custom-shaped, custom-made, and there isn't a flame's chance on Hoth of you being able to get one on your one. A standard ATX one may work, but no guarantees on pinouts, etc.
  12. jhu macrumors 6502a


    Apr 4, 2004
    the only macs that used a standard atx psu was the beige g3. the b&w g3 and yikes! g4 could use an atx psu with minimal modifications.
  13. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Thanks, I forgot to mention these in my post. But you rarely find one of those era Macs without PSU; they've all past that part of the danger breakdown curve and are awaiting some other form of destruction.
  14. kadajawi macrumors member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Yes, I recall something like Paladium or TCPA... it can limit the software you use, makes the computer unusable without internet access, control all sorts of stuff like what media files you are allowed to use and how often, and even do this cool self destruct thing from Mission Impossible with your emails... allows your boss to deleted insulting mails sent by your collegue after they were sent, ... at least that is what they want to be able to do, or could be able to do with it.
    These sort of stuff will be even more fun when some "hackers" find ways to use your system for their uses.

    Ah well, but its not a Mac exclusive thing, Microsoft, Intel, the music industry and more are part of this.
  15. Airforce macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    You can buy one off the net....Just go a froogle search for g5 apple power supply. ;)
  16. willdr macrumors newbie

    Feb 4, 2008
    What about outlet

    I recently found an outlet that claims to sell used mac parts so you can build a name brand system and get past the whole solo os thing. Think it would work or do that systems require that all the parts recognize eachother in some way to ensure they are all from the same system?
  17. Sawtooth811 macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2007
    Alsip, IL
    Hey, I'm building another Sawtooh G4, since I have spare parts and an extra motherboard & processor, but I need a Tower casing and Power supply.

    Your best bet is to look on eBay, or other places where you can bid on or buy parts for cheap.
  18. JDR macrumors regular

    Jan 26, 2008
    Chicago, IL
  19. SmurfBoxMasta macrumors 65816


    Nov 24, 2005
    I'm only really here at night.
    YHPM :p
  20. FreedomDesign macrumors newbie


    Feb 6, 2008
    Houston area
    Just find a G4 Gigabit Ethernet or higher, max out the ram and add the Newer Technologies 1.6Ghz dual processor (or the faster and cooler 1.8 but its 2X the $ right now). You will have a great "trailing edge" Mac that will run quite well. And all for well under a grand.
    Im not a mac mini fan just because you can't expand it and it dosen't run dual monitors well. If you like to tinker with your comp. and be able to upgrade it for several years, the mini is not the way to go. Just MHO.
  21. mitchuba macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2009
    Mac Pro

    I recently buought a Mac Pro 2 from a friend who had upgraded his computer. The Hard drive was taken out and so was one of the 512 MB sticks. that is all that is missing form the computer....unfortunately i was a little trigger happy when i got it and tried to take my G4 mac hard drive out and put it in the Mac Pro 2 and proceeded to fry my hard drive...yay go me. but i did read up on how to put a hard drive into to mac and i it step by step. i also use a Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 80 Gig hard drive which they SAID was compatable with the Mac Pro 2.... now i have no computer and a beast that needs to be unleased. please help me know what i need to do to get the computer up a running.

    ps. yes this is my first time trying to build/ repair anything so and details that you would take for granted... remember i wont :D


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