Wish to build Mac Pro myself, best place to hunt for parts?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JollyJoeJoe, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. JollyJoeJoe, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2011

    JollyJoeJoe macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011

    I am wishing to build a mac pro from scratch, best sites I have found so far are applecomponents.com and weluvmacs.com that seem to have most parts in stock for the mid-2010 model. I am from a PC building background and not too informed on the best places to source mac parts.

    Here's the machine I wish to build:

    Mac Pro 5,1 mid-2010 (12-core) model

    I am needing the following parts:

    Chasis\drive caddies\panels etc.

    All the led/power button/fan wiring etc.

    Backplane and processor board

    Heatsink for socket A and B (These things are damn expensive!! Why? it's just
    a heatsink ?? Any substitute for the apple factory ones?)

    32GB RAM 1333Mhz 8 x 4GB DDR3

    2x Westmere Xeon 3.4Ghz X5690 (I guess the retail all have IHS :-( )

    Factory PSU (Any other PSU worth looking at that can integrate with the mac pro case ?)

    Any optical drive will do? Or do I need Apple's superdrive ?

    RAID card (Should I go for the apple one or are some adaptec models also compatible and better value?)

    4x 2TB Hitachi Ultrastar in RAID5

    2x 256GB SSD (One for windows 7, one for OSX) Which SSD's are recommended for use with the mac pro?

    Graphics card (Any stock ATI 5770 -5870 should do I take it?)

    Screws, bluetooth header cable, speaker etc.

    Can you guys throw some links at me with the best
    online prices for these or maybe some small Apple resellers
    that can sell parts for cheaper.

  2. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    Honestly, if you already have the money to throw around for the components you want, do yourself a favor and just order it from Apple.
  3. fairbanx macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Afaik, the stock cpus in apples 2010 Mac Pro (single and dual cpu) come with IHS, so no problem. It was only the 2009 Mac Pro (dual) Logicboard without the cpu latches and IHS on the cpu.
  4. JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    I knew you'd say that :) I have about 6-7k or so to throw around not a freaking 14k or thereabout that apple would want for a BTO of such spec. Not to mention they probably don't use the X5690 yet.
  5. JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    That's good to know. Thanks.
  6. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    $14,000? Not even close.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139228 x8 = $552 for a memory upgrade to 32GB.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147064 x2 = $1000 for SSDs

    Don't forget, you're also receiving $300 worth of the "extras:"
    Magic Mouse
    Snow Leopard Box Set, ignoring iWork (as I'm fairly certain the upgrade disk won't work)
    PLUS a full year of a warranty that isn't just part-based, and the option to upgrade to full Applecare.

    Seriously. If you are throwing around that kind of money, do yourself a favor and get it from Apple.

    Attached Files:

  7. JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011

    These aren't exactly 3.4Ghz Westmere's though. The same build using sourced parts would cost approximately around 3,000 less. Not to mention the "fun" cough of building your own.
  8. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    I don't know what you're doing with it, nor do I care. However, my guess is that you're throwing around parts because it's what you "want," not what you actually need.

    Like I keep saying, if you are already throwing around that kind of money, do yourself a favor and get it from Apple. When spending $7000 on a machine, $3000 to ensure it works flawlessly with a complete warranty shouldn't be an issue.

    And I'm sorry, but it doesn't sound like "fun" to me to accidentally destroy all or some of the better part of $10,000 with a silly mistake when I could have easily gotten it from Apple.
  9. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    I'm guessing it is cheaper just to buy it assembled from Apple.

    Not to mention you will have AppleCare support out of the box.
  10. JollyJoeJoe, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

    JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    You are guessing wrong, not only do you pay something like $3,000+ more for the configuration in question but you also get slower westmere processors than these 3.4GHz once I want to use and that's BIG difference in performance, especially when it comes to video encoding times.
  11. kemperman macrumors regular


    Jul 15, 2009
    Also $3000 to avoid a potential lawsuit for loading OSX on to an unauthorised hackintosh. Just buy the Mac Pro and be done with it Jeez!!
  12. JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    An unauthorized hackintosh wtf! OSX will load on it because it's a real 5,1 Mac pro not a hackintosh if you even know what that means.
  13. Alaerian Guest


    Jan 6, 2005
    A barstool, Innis & Gunn in hand
    It's not a "real" Mac Pro. You WILL be building a Hackintosh. How do you intend on getting OSX installed? How can you guarantee that your parts will work together? You may think you're buying parts that will work, and you may think you're buying exactly what Apple would use in a MacPro, but you won't - I can almost guarantee it.

    Look, if you are deadset on trying to build your own Hackintosh, have at it. But I still maintain that if you are looking for an actual machine to do actual work and not just something to putter around with, get it straight from Apple and do some aftermarket upgrades. Unless, of course, you have no problem throwing away $10,000 if something goes awry.
  14. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    Seriously, what are you talking about? :confused:

    He said he wants to build a Mac Pro with Mac Pro parts! That has NOTHING to do with Hackintosh!

    @ OP
    Do yourself a favour and ask a mod to move your thread to the Mac Pro forums. You get help from actually experienced users there! People have done it successfully before. Just give the Mac Pro forum a try, you'll find everything you need there.

    There is no way to substitute the Apple heatsinks. They are custom made and the only ones that fit the daughter board.

    Don't worry about the IHS. All 2010 machines come with IHS equipped CPUs. The only machines that use custom CPUs without an IHS are the 2009 dual ones. So the X5690 work just nicely with the 2010's daughter board.

    You need the 2009's or 2010's PSU. Again, these units are custom and have nothing do with standard ATX PSUs. The logic board connectors are custom as well as the form factor. You also need the sensors included in the PSU in order to not screw up the machine's SMC.

    Any SATA drive will be fine.

    Adaptec is not compatible due to missing EFI firmware. The Apple card is a piece of crap, don't buy that one. Recommended cards are ATTO and Areca. nanofrog can help you with all RAID related questions in the Mac Pro (but again, only in the Mac Pro forum ;)).

    Intel, Sandforce, you can pick whatever you like. Personally, I prefer Intel due to their unbeaten reliability. The brand new Sandforce 2200 drives, however, perform considerably better (given that you have a SATA 6Gb/s controller).
    Bear in mind, that the Mac Pro has only 6 internal SATA ports. If you use a third party RAID controller for your data array, you'll have all 6 available for your SSDs and optical drives. This requires special drive sleds, however.

    If you use PC graphics cards, you need to use injectors to make them work.

    Again, please ask a mod to move this thread!
  15. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    You would need to buy OEM parts from repair sites and it would end up costing you 3x more than if you just bought the computer new, then youd have to find broken mac pros on ebay to fill the gaps. Imagine building a car from parts you buy at the dealer. OEM parts are extremely overpriced, the motherboard alone will probably take up 2/3 the cost.
  16. wordoflife, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

    wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    Buy it from Apple. It is guaranteed to work. What happens if you order all those parts and it doesn't work? Its not as generic as a PC when it comes to parts.
    The extra price from Apple should be worth the warranty, software, mice/keyboard, etc.

    What will happen if you actually manage finding all the parts, putting it together, and it works, but then it breaks down in the future? Apple won't help you.

    Look how elegant it looks when it comes from Apple. Not saying you can't do it, but it will be very hard :


    Now I want a Mac Pro! :p But I'll stick with my much more affordable laptop ;)

    Oh if you need something cheaper, look into Apple refurbished : http://store.apple.com/us/product/G0LG1LL/A?mco=MTk3NjkyMjE
  17. GLS macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2010

    Maybe the OP is on to something.

    Anyone know the best place to hunt for parts so I could build my own MacBook air (11") so I can stick a Core i7 in it...just because Apple doesn't make it?
  18. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    If your in the UK I could point you to a supplier?? I'm at work at the mo on a break but have the link at home. Are you in the UK?
  19. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

    May 24, 2009
    I build my Mac Pro 2008 from scratch and it works ;)

    You can buy whole cases for Mac Pro 2010 with fans, wires etc. and power supply. Other PSU's won't work. It must be Mac Pro PSU.

    Then you need to buy a CPU tray, CPU backplane and processor board, two heatsinks A and B (really expensive !!!), any DDR3 ECC 1333 MHz memory will work, 2 CPU's, Apple Radeon HD5770 or HD5870 or any flashed card, any SATA optical drive will work, don't buy Apple RAID card from Apple is too expensive and give nothing, Adaptec won't boot into OS X, buy Areca RAID card,

    Then you only need some screws. You should get Bluetooth and Airport cables with the case already mounted inside. If you want so many drives you need an SSD backplane inside second optical bay.
  20. JollyJoeJoe, Apr 4, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 4, 2011

    JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    Transporteur and spacedust thank you for the much helpful replies. I knew I would have to stick to apple Heatsink and PSU, just thought I would ask in case some 3rd party out there perhaps started making anything compatible with the mac pro line, the heatsinks are absurdly expensive!! After all they are just copper or aluminium etc.

    The most curcial part I must prioritize if I am to do this is to make sure the SMC\EFI firmware version and Part no: all match and are compatible with respect to the processor board/backplane and PSU. When I inquire to the sellers about these what serials/codes should I ask them to forward so I can check whether parts will work together 100% ? As I understand I won't be able to flash the SMC and EFI myself so they have to be right on from the start.

    For instance

    backplane: Apple Part #: 661-5706

    And processor board: Board, Processor, Dual (without processors), Version 3
    Apple Part #: 661-5708

    This is not enough information to judge whether the parts are compatible I take it? Is it possible to get the seller to tell me the SMC ver/code and EFI ver by just reading something off the parts ?

    @Apolloa I am not in the U.K, but shipping to Australia from the U.K is not more expensive than from the U.S so I am prepared to order from the U.K provided prices are good. Here in OZ sourcing OEM/2nd hand mac pro parts is extremely difficult.

    Any place you know that sells the cases with the PSU inside and
    bluetooth cables etc. ?

    With SSD's I would rather not take up the 2nd optical bay slot and
    instead maybe use back bracket mountable 2.5" drive holders. They go over the slots where you normally insert the PCI/PCIE cards.
  21. Hastings101 macrumors 68020


    Jun 22, 2010
    I really doubt Apple is going to go hunt him down. It seems more and more apparent, at least to me anyway, that they don't care about the hackintosh community as long as it's not for profit and the hackintoshers are legally purchasing OS X.
  22. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  23. JollyJoeJoe thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 3, 2011
    Yes, I am keeping this option open.
    It seems the best way to go is to either source one
    that has no processors and RAM inside which I won't find of course.

    Or the 2nd best option is to get the chasis with PSU and bluetooth cables etc. all wired up. Installing the other large parts and trays should not be difficult.

    I would have to sell all this if I went with that option!

    Two 2.93GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon "Westmere" processor
    6GB (6 x 1GB) of 1333MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    1TB Serial ATA 7200 rpm
    18x SuperDrive (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 with 1GB GDDR5 memory
  24. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!

    Here you go, pretty sure I have used them but it was a while ago:


    loads of spares for you to look through. But looking at it looks like they only go up to a 2009 model? Still, may be of use?

Share This Page