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New Computer, have budget, will spend

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About 6 months ago I bought a Dual Core 1.66ghz Mac Mini, I upgraded it with 2GB ram, however the speed was not as fast as what I imagined when I bought it. I have also been annoyed with only one drive and have also bought an external hard drive for it.


But alas, I am still not happy. I was told by a friend that I could run Mac OS on a PC (YAY!). I put together a list of parts I was going to buy but having learnt here that only some hardware is compatible :(


Here is the list of hardware is 'was' going to buy:

- CPU: AMD X2 6000+

- Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-M55SLI-S4 nforce4 Socket Am2

- Ram: Generic (2gb+)

- Graphics: 7600GT


As far as I can tell none of these components are compatible with X86 Mac OS X (except the graphics card) :(


Can someone please give me any suggestions? Any would be very muchly appreciated!


Thanks again

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go for intel, runs smoother...


CPU: Intel Pentium D, Pentium 4HT, Core Duo

Mobo: Intel D945GCCR, Gigabyte GA-945GZM-S2

RAM: Kingston 1GB x 2 DDR2 533mhz

Graphics: Nvidia 5500TC

Sound: Creative USB Live! 5.1


Both works fine for me...

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Check out the wiki...http://wiki.osx86project.org


Go to the HCL component list for 10.4.8


What works very well is intel sse3 cpus, like core 2 duo, pentium d and pentium 4, geforce 7-series gfx cards, 915, 945,965,975 and p35 chipset motherboards, it seems.


At your budget i'd get a core 2 duo e6420, and stick with the 7600gt, maybe the 965p-ds3 for a motherboard

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Yes, if you are building this machine to strictly run OSX86, then do some research before buying. The HCL component list is a good place to start, but once you've gotten some ideas, search this forum for additional info on those components. One person's idea of 'working perfectly' is not the same as someone else's. If you're not intending use this as a PC, there's no need for the latest, greatest of everything. Almost invariably, that will lead to incompatibility. Building from scratch, you can put together a very compatible machine. Go for it.

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Thanks for all the help/support its really appreciated.


Have read a few more threads on the 965p-ds3 motherboard - it seems to be the preferred one. I am a bit concerned about IDE/SATA compatibility but it seems to be fine.


So I think these are the components I will use:

CPU : Intel E6600 or Intel E6420

Motherboard : Gigabyte 965p-ds3

RAM: Generic

Graphics: 7600GT



So any offers on my Mac Mini :)


Thanks again.


And other comments?

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Well, Fry's occasionally has the BFG GeForce 7900GS for $100 after $50 mail-in rebate which should be a decent bit faster than the 7600GT (which is more along the lines of a 6800 Ultra, whereas the 7900GS is a little slower than a 7800GTX). Some BFG 7900GSs use binned 7900GT cores which means there's a chance of unlocking the 4 pipelines that separate the two.


I'm also looking to build a Core 2 box, but with a Q6600 (~$280) and hopefully that 7900GS I mentioned (which is now back at $200, but has dropped to $150 + rebate twice over the last month). I figured I'd mention this because (according to Newegg) most 7600GTs are around $100 anyway.


Q6600, Gigabyte GA-965P-DS3 (unless someone knows of a better LGA775 board), BFG 7900GS, and hopefully 2x2GB OCZ DDR2-800 (~$155 after rebate).


EDIT: Now I'm wondering whether it's worth it to get the X1950XT, considering it smokes even the 7900GT for only about $60 more. I say this only because it's recommended by Apple for Final Cut Studio... Either are better than the stock-7300GT for the Mac Pro, though...

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Thanks for the comment on the graphics card - GT sounds faster than GS to me :D


I will probably get most of my components off eBay as it is vastly cheaper than shops over here (I am in New Zealand (group of islands near Australia)).



One last question, I see you are using nice OCZ Ram. Is it better to have say 4GBs of generic stuff or 2GBs of good stuff?

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. . . . One last question, I see you are using nice OCZ Ram. Is it better to have say 4GBs of generic stuff or 2GBs of good stuff?
. . if "good stuff" = boutique DDR2 with shiny heatspreaders requiring more than the JEDEC-standard 1.8v to run at a standard speed, then no.


Strongly recommend from firsthand experience cheapo Kingston or Elixir branded Nanya PC6400 [Nanya is a major supplier to Kingston, Elixir is a Nanya own-brand: both these brands of PC6400 stuff have properly programmed SPDs, unlike a lot of boutique memory].


4x1GB of this stuff runs hassle-free & cool at 400MHz & 1.8v; allowing ample overclocking headroom if you go for a 6420 or 6600 [3.2GHz ie 8x400 is about the realistic max ambition for current B1 6420s].

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The OCZ 6400 4-4-4-12 rated stuff is great.


The guy I bought from reckons he can get 3-3-3-15 stable @ 800mhz / 2.3v on an Nvidia MB.


Personally I couldn't get it to run quite that well on a D975BX2 (it boots and MacOS seems fine, but memtest gives me a handful of errors on each cycle), it also runs very hot at those voltages and needs a dedicated ram-cooler fan thing, but I'm getting a lot more than I paid for - and it OC's as far as I need to go with 4-4-4-12 timings without any errors.


Good value ram though - I'd buy it again.

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From reading your spec, I'd probably avoid generic.



That's the stuff I bought - 4GB of it.


It runs very well for me and it'll give you enough head-room to let you play with overclocking (and you almost certainly will, if you want the most out of a Core2)


Hell, even if you don't want to play with overclocking, I'd still recommend setting the ram to run at 4-4-4-12 T1, which it's rated for - as it can give a noteworthy performance improvement.


The only word of warning is that if you want to up the voltage to 2.3v (which the OCZ warranty covers) those suckers get HOT and need active cooling.

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Stay as near as possible to Intel.


945 chipset , Any SSE3 intel , DDR2 , onboard will do if you do not need any big graphics card , else go for any Nvidia.


SATA hdd work on 945.


HCL on osx86 is superb. Use 10.4.8 as most of the patch found on this forums are for 10.4.8 .

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As far as CPUs go, stick with Intel, specifically the 65nm series (Conroe). Essentially that's an Apple bit without the brand name sticker. If you're able to splash the budget, get a Core 2 Quad or Quad Extreme, and you're on par with a $3k Mac Pro.


Any mainboard with a pure Intel chipset will work, the Intel Desktop Boards are very popular, but as far as the messages go here on the BBS, most boards from ASUS will also do fine.


Memory-wise, I'd go for DDR2-800 or faster if your board supports it, and either 2GB or 4GB. Get a board with 4 slots, and get a matched pair of 2 sticks.


Graphics: NVidia is OK, since Apple uses the very same cards (even in 'bigger' Apple boxes, they are just loose PCIe x16 cards, so you can easily throw in another)


HDD: If you're really into video/DVD/HDV editing, get a board with a hardware RAID controller, and two WD Raptors for the system partition (striped), along with a duo of Samsung T166's for a full TB of storage. Putting them in hard RAID would eliminate any boot issues with OSX.


OC, cooling, mods: Dependent on your application, I'm guessing you will be using your "Mac" in a studio environment or any place where noise may be an issue. You could go crazy and splash on water cooling (or a ready-made water cooled case) or use the passive and heat pipe cooling systems like the Zalman series. I've had a very good experience with the CNPS9700, even my dual Presler clocked at 3,2 will never pass the 40C at full load.

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If you're looking for single core, the only conroe core that's single core is Celeron Conroe L. Overclocks nice from what I hear, and 800 mhz FSB, which for a celeron that's rated pretty DAMN good. It's I think $70 for the 1.8 ghz model.

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Cool, I was looking for a E6600 and I believe that is Conroe, I might upgrade to a quad core later.


I am not planning on overclocking just in case I damage something, I think it should be fast enough without it.


And motherboard wise, I have found a GA-965P-DS3.


Regarding the graphics card, I would like dual monitor and be able to play Battlefield 2 :) I am contemplating getting a 7900GT or GS. Whst do you use?


Thanks for bringing up the cooling issue, I am using a Mac Mini and I love the lack of noise it makes, I was planning on putting a Thermaltake Typhoon or similar on the CPU, and buying a nice case. I don't really have the time or the experience with water cooling.

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I have the GA-965P-DS3, and it's been a *major* headache!


I get crashes/freezes during any heavy I/O activity, and the only way around it is to run in "Safe boot". But then, there's no audio, printing, etc...


Doesn't matter if I use an IDE or SATA drive, result is the same. Tried kernels 10.4,8, 9, and 10, and it didn't make a difference. I'm still trying to sort this out, but my advice would be to keep looking. And if anyone out there has any advice for me as to how to eliminate the bad kext, I'd really appreciate it.

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I was using JaS 10.4.8, and then upgrading, but I decided to reinstall, this time using uphuck 1.4i. The crashes are gone, but so is support for the IDE connector!


I have external enclosures, but they aren't recognized by the BIOS, and I have a SATA disk, but it's Western Digital, so it's not recognized by the BIOS either! I had to break up my RAID array to make a test install, but once I did, it works fine.


Quicktime is crashing now, but it might be due to my using the Migration Assistant to bring over applications from my MacBook. I'm going to have to reinstall to find out.


Let me know how things go with you. One more thing I noticed, by the way: the CPU fan stops occasionally. I don't know if this is normal behavior or not, but you might want to watch for that.


Good luck!

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