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Build a Perfect Mac for less than $250


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#21
MrFlooD

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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?


You can definitely use a smaller power supply. I simply picked the Ultra because it is a decent affordable power supply. I am actually planning to purchase a 100watt Pico-psu and install this unit into an old Nintendo case.



I have not tried HD media yet. I will get some HD content tonight and let you know the results. I wouldnt get your hopes up :wacko:




I have updated the original post with the new mic input problem. If anyone finds a solution please post it.

Thanks,


#22
macboots

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all i can say is wow. this is really something great. great job in getting this together! i'm one click close in buying this. not for me, but for my girlfriend's younger brother. how do you think this will handle officie and photshop? will they be ubber slow or acceptable performance?
the truth is that can't complain for the price, and also can't ask for much. but i don't want to leave the poor kid with a pc that makes his basic homeworks a nightmare. if someone could post some basic performance benchmarks (no pc tests on anything like that, just honest coments about their experience) that would be awesome and i'll probably buy 2 of this badboys.

#23
MrFlooD

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all i can say is wow. this is really something great. great job in getting this together! i'm one click close in buying this. not for me, but for my girlfriend's younger brother. how do you think this will handle officie and photshop? will they be ubber slow or acceptable performance?
the truth is that can't complain for the price, and also can't ask for much. but i don't want to leave the poor kid with a pc that makes his basic homeworks a nightmare. if someone could post some basic performance benchmarks (no pc tests on anything like that, just honest coments about their experience) that would be awesome and i'll probably buy 2 of this badboys.



I currently have Mac office 2008 installed and it runs it perfectly. I am pleasantly surprised with the performance of this little system.



I think Photoshop is asking a little too much. However if you want a powerful photo editing software, Adobe Lightroom should run well. It requires far less system resources and is the software of choice for professional photographers.



I will be installing Lightroom tonight or tomorrow, and I will report back on performance.

#24
macboots

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I currently have Mac office 2008 installed and it runs it perfectly. I am pleasantly surprised with the performance of this little system.



I think Photoshop is asking a little too much. However if you want a powerful photo editing software, Adobe Lightroom should run well. It requires far less system resources and is the software of choice for professional photographers.



I will be installing Lightroom tonight or tomorrow, and I will report back on performance.


that's great news. lightroom is great software, my girlfirend is a photographer and we use it quite often. although there are some things that have to be done in photoshop, although nothing that this build can't handle i guess. in any case i'll build one with 2gb ram, so it'll have little more power.

let me go how lightroom goes. thanks mate this is all good news!

#25
xSNOWCAT

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Wow i was building my computer and now i'll do it this way great tut. thanks

EDIT:

BTW what will i get out of the CPU? Just basic browser and IM on OSX or can i use stuff like iTunes and like 3 programs at once or will i have to sacrifice on that stuff?

#26
NickF123

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Doesn't that dvd burner only have generic drive support?

#27
MrFlooD

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The Atom has hyper threading so is able to handle multiple applications quite easily. I often have Itunes, Mozilla, Email, ETC open at the same time.

Doesn't that dvd burner only have generic drive support?






I am unsure about the DVD-RW Drive. I simply selected that one because it was the cheapest. In my actual system I am using a spare Pioneer burner I had around.

#28
xSNOWCAT

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The Atom has hyper threading so is able to handle multiple applications quite easily. I often have Itunes, Mozilla, Email, ETC open at the same time.







I am unsure about the DVD-RW Drive. I simply selected that one because it was the cheapest. In my actual system I am using a spare Pioneer burner I had around.

http://www.tigerdire...e...190&CatId=4

That seems like a pretty good drive, burns DVDs and CDs

#29
anibalin

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Great thread I think cheap ass components should be added to the list as soon as users test them.
Keep it up.
Respect.

#30
macboots

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did somebody say youtube video? haha not relly though that would be really nice (booting up and stuff). i'm up with the idea of posting comments on cheap hardware so we can have a really good cheap build.

#31
defn

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Is there a similar mother board with a bit more speed, or is this currently our only option if we want out of the box support for all of the aspects you listed above?

Either way, thank you for the information. My girlfriend is looking for a new machine, and I didn't think a mac would be possible until I found this.

Thanks,
defn

#32
macboots

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hey guys what about firewire? the mobo doesn't includes one, but i've seen pretty cheap pci ones in newegg, since this mobo has one pci slot. firewire = time machine (been using it with an imac, already saved me twice big time, also makes switching macs a breeze). what do you think? is time machine working with osx86?

#33
Cave Man

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2) think this thing could handle any hd content?


There are a lot of variables that go into this, including bit rate. Not all HD files (even at the same size, such as 720) are equal. I suspect it would have some difficulties with high bit rate movies, whether in 720 or 1080.

#34
MrFlooD

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Alright, so light room has been installed and tested. Verdict.... works great!

I was using 3mb Jpeg files (I think using RAW files would be a little to much) and it was handling them no problem. I applied filters, and checked and slid every option i could.

Most things rendered instant, but nothing had be waiting for more then 1.5 seconds to render.

I also installed ilife yesterday. I am going to play around with a couple of the software packages and see how that goes.


Also just finished my HD content test.

I used the Wall-E trailer from apple.com/trailers

480p - Ran perfectly no noticeable problems
720p - Ran perfectly no noticeable problems
1080p - Very Choppy, Slow and clearing skipping frames.

Looks like 720p is the systems sweet spot.

It is worthwhile to note that different HD formats may perform different. If anyone tests another format, please post an update.

Hope this helps,

#35
Cave Man

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I used the Wall-E trailer from apple.com/trailers

480p - Ran perfectly no noticeable problems
720p - Ran perfectly no noticeable problems
1080p - Very Choppy, Slow and clearing skipping frames.

Looks like 720p is the systems sweet spot.

It is worthwhile to note that different HD formats may perform different. If anyone tests another format, please post an update.

Hope this helps,


Apple trailers are generally at a moderate bit rate (Wall*E 720 is at 5800), which is usually fine but can have pixelation during high-motion scenes. Did you use Quicktime for this assessment? It's not that great of a decoding app. You ought to try X Box Media Player for Mac - it is easily the best playback software for Macs, at least as far as decoding high bit rate, high resolution video without dropping frames.

#36
macboots

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great news that lightroom runs fine. guess its a buyer then. i'll order my parts tomorrow monday. thanks guys!

#37
Cave Man

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great news that lightroom runs fine. guess its a buyer then. i'll order my parts tomorrow monday. thanks guys!


Just remember what MrFlooD said - he did not try a raw file. My suspicion is that you might be a little disappointed if you're going to be working with 12- or 14-bit raw files.

#38
lh99

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Thanks for putting together this guide! I just finished building up a system based on this board using a vanilla Leopard Retail install with very few issues. I am having problems with graphics (Screen Sharing causes a kernel panic) though, so I'll give the patched kexts a shot.

More info: http://forum.insanel...mp;#entry808296

#39
urig-herb

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I've got the system running perfectly. Everything works with vanilla kernel 9.4.0.

Unfortunatly, there I get kernel panics while running time machine. Sometimes after a few minutes, sometimes after a few hours. Since I disabled time machine I got no kernel panic so I guess it' the issue. Any advice?

#40
MrFlooD

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I've got the system running perfectly. Everything works with vanilla kernel 9.4.0.

Unfortunatly, there I get kernel panics while running time machine. Sometimes after a few minutes, sometimes after a few hours. Since I disabled time machine I got no kernel panic so I guess it' the issue. Any advice?


Hmm,

I haven't been using Time Machine, but I just turned it on. I will leave it on all night and see if I experience a Kernel Panic.

I have found a new issue though. My restart is no longer working (I used to work perfectly) Not big enough of a problem for me to start messing with thing.

I am using Darwin Kernel 9.4.0





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