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MrFlooD

Build a Perfect Mac for less than $250

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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.titanous.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,

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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:

 

0703080017xf2.jpg

 

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

 

0703080028hu4.th.jpg

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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,

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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?

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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,

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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

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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?

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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 wouldn’t 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,

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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?

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