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Building a Mac/Windows system for the first time

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Hi I started out with Apple and always prefered it... then during a certain very dry spell in the mac world, I went over to windows and now have a fair amount of data and software for windows xp.


Well my desktop computer is getting up in age and its time to either gut and upgrade it or just replace it.


I've made the decision, I don't want vista and want to come home to the Mac. Here is the kicker though, I've looked at the retail available macs and what I want isn't being made. To get the kind of multi-platform, upgradable, gaming capable system I'm looking for...I'm going to have to build it.


I have a target budget of $800.00 to $1000 dollars and I'm buying the componants piece-meal so reasonable upgrading can always occur leter or by waiting for a few more dollars to be available. What I can NOT afford is 3000 for the only mac that lets me upgrade :D


I know this computer will exist in a grey area but am willing to do this as legally as possible in that I will buy a legal copy of the MAC O/S (Leopard is the one I want right?) and either use my existing windows XP or a new one there as well. I understand that adapting a real CD of Leopard maty be a challenge without an existing mac at my disposal...open to suggestions there :)


The computer I am looking for such be at least duo-core, quad-core would be great but may be beyond my finances

Have a good graphics card for gaming with some video ram

Plenty of RAM

Have USB and Card Slots (Lots of USB would be good but I can always use the expansion hubs)

CD/DVD drive

Good sound Card for gaming

Be compatible with Ventrillo and similar products

Run both MMORG (City of Heroes/Villians is the game I currently play) and CD based windows games

Be capable of running video/picture editing software

Be capable of running a good writing suite of some sort (I do creative writing and business projects a lot)

Be capable of interphasing with Motorola Surfboard and a Voip Box

Be capable of participating in a home network

Have some music editing/recording capability.

Be able to interphase with a scanner/printer/digital camera/digital music device...and if possible a television set.

Have an easy to assemble/upgrade case

Talk to my backup battery

Be able to take my existing hard drives or new ones

I can use my existing monitor (provided this machine has no problem with it in the short term)


Be stable



Easy to build

Light enough for a fairly strong girl (me) to move around, build, and upgrade:)


I also need to know just how bad assembling and getting this baby up and runnign is going to be.


This is only the second computer I have ever built (I'm typing to you on the first one :) so any help/guidance would be greatly appreciated. I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty but please remember this is the first mac I have ever built and the operating system itself was VERY different the last time I owned one.


Help me come home to the Macintosh and keep everything that actually matters from the windows world :)


Thank you much,



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way to long post, didnt read it all but this is the best mobo i found http://forum.insanelymac.com/index.php?showtopic=112708 also best guide ever...


it will support the latest and greatest of everything, everything works almost out of the box, but the guide covers it all!!!!


btw that post is worth a read, you will learn, and parts can be had for alot less than 800

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I have two GA-EP35-DS3P's motherboards for sale these boards are completely compatible and pcwiz~ has a guide to get everything working. A link to the marketplace ad for my motherboards is in my signature.



EDIT: btw the guide is in the genius bar

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You might want to try this build out it is fully compatible, and great for gaming as well.

MOBO: Gigabyte EP35-DS3P; price 100

great mobo, retails for $150 but I have a brand new one for sale for $100

CASE/PSU: Antec Sonata III w/ 500 watt Antec EarthWatts Power Supply; price $124.99

great quiet case powerful powersupply


VIDEO CARD: XFX 8800 GT; price 179.99

great card very good price to performance


CPU: Intel e8400; price 189.99

great overclocker, just plain fast


CPU Cooler: Arctic cooling freezer 7 pro; price 31.99

great cooler, you might be able to take the e8400 past 4 ghz


RAM: G.Skill 4GB DDR2 1066 ram; price 89.99

fast ram so you can overclock


Harddrive: Western Digital 320GB 7200rpm; price 64.99 x2 = 129.98

large HD, you'll want two, one for xp/vista and another for osx


OPTICAL: ASUS lightscribe DVD burner price; 34.99

it's a fast dvd burner with light scribe



TOTAL: $881.88

You just need to add a copy of osx/ windows xp/vista and you have a dual boot pc





here is the guidehttp://forum.insanelymac.com/index.php?showtopic=90795

the motherboard I have for sale is just like the one keypox posted except mine has another pci express x16 slot for crossfire, more usb ports, and firewire.


I just re-read your original post and if you want to do video editing you need the firewire port

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Check my thread here:





I just finished up with it.

I'm running Final cut, cs3, etc, etc with VMWARe fusion for windows (I don't need windows...so I didn't want to dual boot).


I have a QuadCore Q6600 CPU. With a GA-EP35-DS4 motherboard + GeForce 8800GT.



Read through the advice people with more knowledge gave me. My system is running extremely smooth, and the benchmarks turned up great! Also, minimal patching is required, and LS8's guide to install Leopard from retail DVD is just perfect.

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