Mac Pro Advice - DIY build

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by scoletti, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. scoletti macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Newbie to Mac's

    I want to build a Mac Pro. It will be used for 3D microstation renders, SketchUp, 3DS MAX Renders, Photoshop CS 5. I'm quite keen on a Quad Core machine, or 8 Core set up (if its not too expensive!) I was thinking around the £1000-1300 price range as my budget. Let me know if this is realistic.

    I can source the chassis from eBay...see link below. Just wondering if this is advisable in terms of cost. Would i be saving money if i source the parts and build it myself.

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160524937730&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

    Are there any limitations in the chassis/ I assume you can fit any logic board/processor/memory combination to an extent?

    Is there anything i should be aware of, that may not be obvious when building a Mac Pro. I would appreciate any advice you would have.

    I've previously been 'PC', but now i want a Mac!

    Does anyone have a PDF of the service manual for a Mac Pro. I want to see a diagram of the internal parts etc.

    Thank you in advance
     
  2. alust2013 macrumors 601

    alust2013

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    #2
    I wouldn't advise it, it will be very expensive, and the parts are mostly Mac Pro only (motherboard, etc.). You might as well just buy the computer.
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #3
    You may want to read this thread.
    Everything's been discussed there, no need to re-iterate that discussion.

    No, that is not realistic. I reckon the parts alone set you back 2000 quid.

    For a Mac Pro apparently you need the Mac Pro hardware, so MP backplane, daughterboard, etc. That stuff is custom made and fits ONLY in the Mac Pro and even there are differences (2006-2010).

    If you're thinking about a PC in the Mac Pro case, you're talking about a Hackintosh. That's a whole different angle. Just search the web for Hackintosh, you will find loads of information about that.
     
  4. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a

    Johnf1285

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    #4
    I see the case online with all 4 drive sleds, optical sled, power supply, and intake/exhaust cpu fan for about $300~

    The backplane logicboard and cpu logicboard can be had around $300 to $400 each.

    The next items would be cpu(s) and heatsink(s), ram, gpu, and hard drive. Putting you right in the neighborhood price range of the computer assembled with a warranty for 1 year from Apple.


    On a side note, I am amazed at the prices for the replacement parts with a little bit of searching.

    Personally I think its amazing to get the whole case WITH powersupply for $300 new! Screw applecare lol!
     
  5. scoletti thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    i wasn't thinking of a hackintosh! Apparently i said 'logicboard'...and not motherboard!! Maybe there was a clue in there somewhere!
     
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    Nov 30, 2008
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    UK
    #6
    No one likes a smart ass.
    Maybe that's something to think about if you want constructive help.

    Over and out!
     
  7. Mackilroy macrumors 68040

    Mackilroy

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2006
    #7
    Logic board is simply Apple's term for the motherboard. There's no way you're going to be able to build an authentic Mac Pro for the price you hope to pay, as was previously stated.
     
  8. scoletti thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    You just had to read my post!!

    Anyway thank you for your constructive help.
     
  9. dch828 macrumors newbie

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    Feb 17, 2011
    #10
    I am looking at a similar project. I've been putting together prices and I think that I can do it for substantially less than even a used version, and with more upgrades. I'm going to build one of the 2009 Nehalem versions if I can do it for the right price.
     
  10. scoletti thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    Does anyone have the service manual for a Mac pro?
     
  11. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #12
    Impossible unless you're an assembly worker in China.
     
  12. R.OG macrumors regular

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    Aug 19, 2010
    #13
    Here is a link for the 2009 pro. I also have a parts list i made when i was building my mac pro, let me know if you wan't it. I was able to build mine for $1100 since i already owned the CPU, Memory and hard drives.
     
  13. scoletti thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Hi there, just downloaded the manual. Thank you kindly.

    If you have the parts list, i would be grateful if you could provide me with it.

    I've sourced the Chassis/Case with power supply on ebay. So now looking for the logic board/ processor etc.
     
  14. rmitchell248 macrumors 6502

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    Liebsthal, Germany
    #15
    where do you come up with this stuff?
     
  15. cherry su macrumors 65816

    cherry su

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    Feb 28, 2008
    #16
    Someone on InsanelyMac has done it. Unfortunately, I don't have the link to the thread right now, so you'll have to google it.
     
  16. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    #17
    And how much is your time worth? By the time I source and build everything I could have bought 3 Mac Pros with the hours wasted. Unless this is your type of "extreme" sport.
     
  17. scoletti thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Time rich?
    Or
    cash rich?

    How can it be so difficult?
     
  18. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #19
    If your time is SO valuable, why are you here?
     
  19. derbothaus macrumors 601

    derbothaus

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    #20
    Why are you here? Or are you? How many posts of nothingness can one contribute anyway?
     
  20. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #21
    140
     
  21. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #22
    Building a real Mac Pro from scratch using service parts is more often than not, significantly more expensive than just buying a Mac Pro to begin with. A few here have done it and maybe even saved some cash, but it's not as easy as ordering a bunch of parts and Newegg and slapping everything together...

    1. You have to shop around a lot, often on eBay, to get the best deals on parts (Apple service parts are NOT cheap). Depending on where you source these parts, they may or may not be covered by any warranty. Additionally, a lot of the parts may not available from UK suppliers, adding a lot of potential expense with shipping, customs, etc. from other countries.

    2. You won't have a serial number, which means you get zero warranty and support from Apple if something goes wrong.

    3. Apple only distributes official service manuals to in-house techs and AASPs (Apple Authorized Service Providers). Unless you know someone who can give you a service manual (or perhaps find a leaked one on the web), you would be limited to DIY tear-downs of the Mac Pro floating around on the net.


    These are some of the reasons why those who want to take a stab at building their own "Mac Pro" go the Hackintosh route using standard PC parts instead. It has drawbacks of its own (like OS X updates breaking things until a workaround is discovered), but the parts are cheaper and easier to obtain.
     
  22. scoletti thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    thank you for your help and advice CaptainChunk.

    i think i may purchase a used mac pro instead of building one. I'm not keen on a hackintosh, as i acutally want to have a full up and running Mac.

    Out of cusiosity can you run OS X snow leapord or whatever it is called, on a PC system?

    I managed to get a service manual, thanks to the link provided above.

    So now that i've decided on a used Mac Pro, Can anyone offer advice on the best set up or spec to buy. I was thinking a 2.4ghz 8-core "westmere", 6gb memory, 1TB.

    I will be running some windows software, like 3DS Max, Microstation, SketchUp. Everything else like Photoshop creative suite, office/iWork etc will be on Mac platform. I think this would be best as a 'Boot camp' setup, as ive heard this is more stable and reliable, than running a parallel setup like VMWare.
     
  23. 300D macrumors 65816

    300D

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    #24
    No.
     
  24. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #25
    Lion should support SB-based "PC" systems. SL requires a lot of modifications, and does not run reliable on SB-based systems.
     

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