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'OpenMac' Promises $399 Headless Mac... But Not From Apple


macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 17, 2008
Cambodia - Thailand
As a newbie and some one who is going to buy his first Mac soon ( waiting for possible up date ) I came across this ...

The Psystar OpenMac works just like an Apple Macintosh. Why spend $1999 to get the least expensive Apple computer with a decent video card when you can pay less

can now be purchased with Leopard included and preinstalled

The Smart Alternative to an Apple

can some one please advise me about this ... OpenMac

Thank you


macrumors 6502a
Oct 16, 2007
Well first off, it is illegal running Leopard or ANY OSX on a computer that does not have an apple logo.


macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
Colorado Springs, CO
I take it Apple doesn't know about it or else they'd have been given a cease and desist for "installing it themselves."

The reason OS X works so well is because Apple knows exactly what hardware it runs on. If you put OS X on other hardware you quickly start to have problems.


macrumors bot
Apr 12, 2001
'OpenMac' Promises $399 Headless Mac... But Not From Apple

A company called Psystar has started advertising a $399 computer called "OpenMac" which claims to be a Leopard compatible Mac built from standard PC-parts. For $399, you get a tower computer with the following specs:

- 2.2GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- 2GB of DDR2 667 memory
- Integrated Intel GMA 950 Graphics
- 20x DVD+/-R Drive
- 4 USB Ports
- 250GB 7200RPM Drive

Many of the components can be upgraded, however. For example, the graphics card can be updated to a GeForce 8600GT 512MB for $155 more.

Psystar is marketing this as a cheaper and more expandable alternative to a true Apple Mac.
When comparing base configurations, the Mac Mini costs 150% of the price of the OpenMac while offering poorer performance, smaller storage space, and RAM. Not only that but the Mac Mini doesn't have the option for an nVidia GeForce 8600 video card like the OpenMac does so playing games on it is a lost cause.

The company claims that the machine is Leopard compatible with some "minimal patching" but does offer Leopard pre-installed. This is reportedly accomplished by using parts that are known to be compatible with Mac OS X Leopard, as well as the use of an EFI emulator.
With the EFI V8 emulator it is possible to install Leopard's kernel straight from the DVD that you purchased at the Apple store barring the addition of a few drivers to ensure that everything boots and runs smoothly.
Readers should note that these claims have not been independently verified, so this is not meant to be seen as an endorsement of this product.

The concept is an interesting possibility, and will certainly draw the attention of Apple. The use of Leopard on non Apple-branded hardware is a violation of its End User License Agreement (EULA) and is specifically prohibited.

Article Link


macrumors 68020
Feb 20, 2004
I can't image Apple's legal letting this one get to market. Brings back fond memories of my old Power Computing PowerTowerPro clone though.

Maxed out it's $1,044.99:
Intel Processor: Core2Duo/2.66GHz (+ $90.00)
Hard Drive: 400GB 7200RPM SATA (+ $95.00)
Graphics Processor: GeForce 8600GT 512MB (+ $155.00)
Firewire: 3 x IEEE 1394 (+ $50.00)
OS X Leopard: Installed (+ $155.00)
Memory: 4GB DDR2 (+ $100.00)


Moderator emeritus
Jul 19, 2002
It will be interesting to see how this situation develops.

My guess is that Apple legal department will be all over it and will show how enforceable a EULA really is.


macrumors 68030
Oct 16, 2007
I think this will be gone in a very short time. Apple isn't going to let this happen
although it would be sweet if this gave apple the idea to do something similar


macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2006
This is illegal and will never happen. This is EXACTLY what Apple doesn't want: it's brand diluted with an ugly product full of bargain-bin components to appeal to the wellfare market. No thanks.


macrumors 601
Apr 3, 2003
I hate rip-off products, but until Apple wakes up and gives us a consumer-priced tower, I say go clones go!

I miss the days of the sub-$1500 Power Mac.


macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
Colorado Springs, CO
At least the computer isn't an ugly beige box. But I agree, they're screwed as long as they still install Leopard themselves. I smell a Cease and Desist coming soon.


macrumors regular
Apr 12, 2007
The use of Leopard on this would be "illegal", but this is not being sold with Leopard - merely as a machine that can run it. I don't see how Apple could prevent the sale of this.

For 399, this is a steal.


macrumors 6502
Jan 11, 2006

I wonder way so many companies are hell bent on making such ugly machines. Oh well...can't wait for those in MacBook enclosures. :)


macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2003
A commercial orginazation specifically asking people to break Apple's license agreement? Hello lawyers!

You're all nuts if you think Apple can sue a company for the mere suggestion that their hardware is compatible with Leopard. Apple can possibly take action against an end-user for breaking the EULA, but what're they gonna do? Go to your house and serve you a subpoena? Please.


macrumors member
Mar 7, 2005
No Way

Sorry, but there's no way this can go through. It's not even a good idea, IMO. I mean, cr@ppy hardware with poor support --you get what you pay for, as we all know-- would lead to potential bad experiences for users with machines that overheat, lock up unexpectedly, and so on. This is probably in part the reason Apple doesn't want clones any more, anyway. Jobs was right to kill them off and retain a good brand experience from start to end. Just my opinion.


Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
The use of Leopard on this would be "illegal", but this is not being sold with Leopard - merely as a machine that can run it. I don't see how Apple could prevent the sale of this.

Depends on how you configure it. They offer Leopard pre-installed for an extra $155.


macrumors regular
Dec 11, 2004
Sneaky... so sneaky... I would actually buy one of these babies!

Just wait until Apple adds a "apple verification chip" onto their motherboards... Unless of course they already do.

I wouldn't be surprised if a Leopard update makes this machine unusable.


macrumors member
Jan 27, 2005
I smell a scam...


The machines in question seem to have fairly good specs (except for the integrated graphics). $400 seems more than a tad low, especially when you factor that they supposedly include a Leopard install disc.

I smell a fly-by-night scam.

UPDATE: Oops, missed that $155 extra part. Still, $400 just seems a bit too sweet... but I haven't priced parts in a while.


macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
right to clarify some things.

a EULA is that - and end-user agreement. The only weird thing is that this company will preinstall Leopard for you. So I could see Apple trying to get them in trouble for that. That being said, EULA's are of debatable enforcement. But I'd guess Apple would try against a company like this.

If they don't sell it with Leopard, I don't see how Apple can block it. They'd have to go after the end users buying/installing Leopard and it seems unlikely that would happen.

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