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Build a Perfect Mac for less than $250


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#1
MrFlooD

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I have compiled this tutorial so anyone can have a perfect Mac for under $250.



Step 1: Hardware

The only crucial component is the Motherboard. Feel free to mix and match other components to your liking.



$69.99 (TigerDirect.com)

Intel D945GCLF Motherboard/Includes 1.6Ghz Intel Atom CPU - Onboard Sound, Video, Lan, USB, SATA, IDE, Sleep, Reboot, Shutdown all work out of the box.



$39.99 (NewEgg.com)

Coolermaster Elite 340 Black MATX



$29.99 (TigerDirect.com)

Ultra LS350 Lifetime Series 350W Power Supply



$20.99 (NewEgg.com)

Corsair 1024MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory



$39.99 (NewEgg.com)

Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 80GB Hard Drive



$23.99 (NewEgg.com)

Lite-On DH-20A4P-04 SuperAllwrite OEM DVD Burner



Grand Total: $224.94 + Shipping





Step 2: Software



1) Kalaway 10.5.2 Install DVD



- Use the OSX disk utility to partition and format the drive. Be sure to format as MBR

- Close Disk Utility and select the newly partitioned drive to install on.

- Select Customize and go to Patches. Now select Time Machine Fix

- Start instillation and relax

- When instillation is finished, resolution will be locked at 1024x768. We will fix this in a later step.





2) Kalaway 10.5.3 Combo Update **No Longer Needed - See Bellow to upgrade straight to 10.5.5



- First install the 10.5.3 update included in the package. DO NOT RESTART when finished

- Second install the 10.5.3 Kernel update included in the package. leave everything defult, which means both boxes unchecked. You can now safely restart




3) Apple Software Update 10.5.4 **No Longer Needed - See Bellow to upgrade straight to 10.5.5

- You can now use the built in apple software update to bump up to Leopard 10.5.4. You can also install any other updates listed. This step assumes you followed my instructions and are still using the vanilla Kernel.




4) Apple Software Update 10.5.5 - Using Biketown Method

- Visit http://mysticus.tita...com/update.html and download the Pre/Post Installer Patches and Combo Update 10.5.5 directly from Apple

- Run Biketowns Pre-Installer Patch. Close when done.

- Run the official 10.5.5 Combo update you downloaded from Apple. When Finished DO NOT RESTART. Force Quit installer (Click Apple on top left and select "Force Quit")

- Run Biketowns Post-Installer Patch **This can take a long time, do not worry it is normal**

- Restart the Computer - After the first restart the PC will hang at the grey apple screen. This is normal. Let this run for 30 seconds and manually restart again. OSX should now boot.




5) Graphics Fix



- I would like to thank "Charles vdg" for posting this fix in the InsanelyMac forums. Download the GMA 950 Kext package bellow and install the two included .Kext files. You can use Kexthelper if you are not comfortable installing manually.


Link to GMA 950 Kext Package

http://forum.insanelymac.com/index.php?act=attach&type=post&id=29965


Link to KextHelper

http://www.cheetha.net/Kext_Helper/Software.html


- After a quick restart you should now have full resolution and graphic support.





Step 3: Miscellaneous



This section is for small fixes that may or may not affect you.



1) Networking



Problem:

Losing Network after waking up from sleep mode



Fix:

Change network setting to DHCP Manual and assign a manual IP address. This should resolve the problem



2) Audio


Problem:

Microphone input does not work


Fix:

No fix currently



3) Restart


Problem:

After upgrading to Leopard 10.5.4, the computer hangs when restarting


Fix:

No fix currently




I hope this tutorial is able to help anyone looking to build an affordable Mac. Please feel free to contribute with new found problems or solutions.



Cheers,


#2
maclinux

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Nice little tutorial, but unless I'm blind, it seems you forgot the processor.
:D
Anyways thank you for the clear and concise instructions.
:D
Never mind, I looked closer, in the newegg page and the motherboard includes the processor. Maybe you should clarify that in the tutorial.
:wacko:

#3
MrFlooD

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Thanks for the suggestion. Post has been updated.

#4
Dammacx

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Hmmm, this might be a good build for a newby like me to cut his chops on. While not as powerful as I want it would be good practice for the price.

#5
hashholly

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Does the 950 package fix the fixed resolution AND artifacts?

#6
MrFlooD

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Does the 950 package fix the fixed resolution AND artifacts?


The GMA950 included on the board has had zero issues with artifacts, before or after the updated drivers. I call it the perfect Mac for a reason :( .

I am sure this rig has 1 or 2 surprise problems up its sleeve, but as of right now its flawless.

#7
orakle

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Great tutorial. You might want to add a note about using Hiren or another bootcd to make your Mac partition active, so it'll boot without the CD. I was stuck on that for a little bit.

I followed your instructions up until the reboot after installing the 10.5.3 combo update and the vanilla kernel, but now my system hangs on boot this a little "no" symbol on top of the apple, like this:

Posted Image

If I boot with "-v update" as suggested in some other posts, I get this:

Posted Image

What am I doing wrong?

Here's my setup:

Intel D945GCLF w/ Atom 1.6ghz Processor
2GB DDR2-667 RAM
80 GB Western Digital SATA HD
16x ASUS SATA DVDROM

Thanks.

#8
thefinalprophecy

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Is your hard drive plugged into the SATA port or the PATA port? If it's PATA then that might be the reason. That was my problem a couple years ago whenever I would get this error.

#9
orakle

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Is your hard drive plugged into the SATA port or the PATA port? If it's PATA then that might be the reason. That was my problem a couple years ago whenever I would get this error.


It is indeed plugged into the SATA port, as is the DVD-ROM.

#10
SWN_Hellzone

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Great Find for that price. Might as well use a media center case much like this one. http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811164098.
or this one which i like better http://www.newegg.co...N82E16811190017 you use that and you have ur self a mac mini :)

#11
bibendum

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I've put together a similar list - $202.95 - there's a $10 instant savings with that board and case purchased together...

http://secure.newegg...tNumber=7936671

Patrick

#12
MrFlooD

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@orakle

Mac partition active? Why would you need to do this? This was my first OSX86 build and it went flawless using the instructions I posted above.

Sorry I don't know why your system wont boot after the update. Have you changed any settings in the BIOS? or have any other hardware in the build?

Also, I installed off an IDE DVD Drive, not SATA. I don't know if this would make a difference.

#13
MrFlooD

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orakle When you installed the Kernel update did you select one of the Kernals from the list to instal?? If so, this is your problem. You are supposed to leave everything defult, which means both boxes unchecked.

Hope this helps.

cheers,

#14
orakle

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Mac partition active? Why would you need to do this?

My system wouldn't boot from the hard drive otherwise. I had to boot from the CD.

orakle When you installed the Kernel update did you select one of the Kernals from the list to instal?? If so, this is your problem. You are supposed to leave everything defult, which means both boxes unchecked.Hope this helps.cheers,

Oh, yeah I selected the 9.3 vanilla kernel. So how do I recover from this? Do I have to reinstall everything?

#15
MrFlooD

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I am new to the OSX86 scene, so I am unsure if there is a way to role back the Kernel. Starting from scratch would probably be your best bet.



That was my fault; I will update the tutorial to make that part more clear.



Thanks,

#16
orakle

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Thanks for your help! Everything works now. Posting this from OS X 10.5.4 on my Intel Atom!

#17
completing

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Wow.. the price is tempting.

I can't believe that motherboard has everything on-board!

#18
biasx31

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amazing! Everything working fine except mic in.

thank you so much for the tutorial.

edit: even sleep works as intended wow :rolleyes:


wonder if the tut works the same way on my msi wind :) hardware is nearly identical

#19
sklarsky

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sounds like a great machine...two questions. 1) do you really need a 350w ps? seems like overkill for the atom. think a 60w would suffice?
2) think this thing could handle any hd content?

#20
biasx31

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60w should do the job. at least in windows 720p works perfect. 1080 is a little sloppy





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