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Old 07-21-2009, 04:57 AM   #1
Yuri_Rage
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Default My $500 Mac (Semi) Pro

I'm posting from my new computer. It's a scratch built Intel-based PC running the latest version of OS X (yes, you read that correctly). I've been messing with Mac software via the OSx86 project for some time now, and I've been pretty impressed. I was due for a computer upgrade, so I decided to see if it was possible to get Mac Pro performance on a budget. Here's the breakdown (all from NewEgg):

COOLER MASTER Centurion 534 RC-534-KKN2-GP $44.99

GIGABYTE GA-G31M-ES2L Motherboard $52.99

XFX PVT95GYDQ3 GeForce 9500 GT 512MB Video Card $64.99

COOLER MASTER RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W Power Supply $34.99

Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 ST3500418AS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive $54.99

LG 22X DVD Burner - Bulk Black SATA Model GH22LS50 $27.99

OCZ SLI-Ready Edition 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 $45.99

Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 Yorkfield 2.66GHz $184.99

I used the guide at this link in order to install a legal retail copy of OS X. I even put an Apple label on the case in order to comply with the EULA (yes, I read it in detail). Everything is working, and it SCREAMS in comparison to my old AMD Athlon machine that was built on an Asus AV8 motherboard.



Here are the XBench results:
(at least as good as the average Mac Pro)

Code:
Results	175.07	
	System Info		
		Xbench Version		1.3
		System Version		10.5.7 (9J61)
		Physical RAM		4096 MB
		Model		MacPro3,1
		Drive Type		ST3500418AS ST3500418AS
	CPU Test	180.99	
		GCD Loop	313.48	16.52 Mops/sec
		Floating Point Basic	152.71	3.63 Gflop/sec
		vecLib FFT	126.30	4.17 Gflop/sec
		Floating Point Library	225.01	39.18 Mops/sec
	Thread Test	487.15	
		Computation	1068.86	21.65 Mops/sec, 4 threads
		Lock Contention	315.46	13.57 Mlocks/sec, 4 threads
	Memory Test	226.37	
		System	256.35	
			Allocate	344.11	1.26 Malloc/sec
			Fill	212.75	10344.56 MB/sec
			Copy	244.11	5042.05 MB/sec
		Stream	202.67	
			Copy	184.18	3804.14 MB/sec
			Scale	183.54	3791.89 MB/sec
			Add	226.44	4823.58 MB/sec
			Triad	225.10	4815.39 MB/sec
	Quartz Graphics Test	228.88	
		Line	185.56	12.35 Klines/sec [50% alpha]
		Rectangle	245.62	73.33 Krects/sec [50% alpha]
		Circle	198.43	16.17 Kcircles/sec [50% alpha]
		Bezier	186.81	4.71 Kbeziers/sec [50% alpha]
		Text	501.99	31.40 Kchars/sec
	OpenGL Graphics Test	105.25	
		Spinning Squares	105.25	133.51 frames/sec
	User Interface Test	383.75	
		Elements	383.75	1.76 Krefresh/sec
	Disk Test	86.87	
		Sequential	202.05	
			Uncached Write	228.77	140.46 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	211.55	119.69 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	148.16	43.36 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	253.20	127.26 MB/sec [256K blocks]
		Random	55.33	
			Uncached Write	18.73	1.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Write	251.60	80.55 MB/sec [256K blocks]
			Uncached Read	103.93	0.74 MB/sec [4K blocks]
			Uncached Read	188.54	34.98 MB/sec [256K blocks]
This was a pretty fun project. Next up is a Linux install, probably using some sort of virtualization scheme.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:36 AM   #2
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Did you run into any problems? I'd tried doing this with my office PC and ended up frying the MBR. The install kept looking for an IDE drive and I only had one SATA drive installed. I so want to try again though.

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:02 PM   #3
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No real problems here. I had to download the ethernet driver from Realtek, but otherwise it was pretty clean.

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Old 07-21-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
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I installed hackintosh on SWMBO's laptop back when OSx86 started, works without a hitch... although wireless doesn't work. She likes it though and she hasn't turned back. Last year I put leopard on there with vanilla kernel, I haven't bothered upgrading to recent releases.

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:09 PM   #5
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I've thought about doing this as well. How much HHD do you need to install OSX?

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Old 07-21-2009, 02:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Homercidal View Post
I've thought about doing this as well. How much HHD do you need to install OSX?
Depending on the install, up to 20GB, though 10.6 (due out really soon) is supposed to recover something like 5-10GB of that.
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Old 07-21-2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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That is sweet.

I have slowly drawn out of my computer geek mode, maybe doing this will draw be back in. Are there any blu ray rippers for mac? Also how does mac handled dual monitors or in my case dual projectors and a LCD?



I have one of the DVI outs going into one of the HDMI ins on my receiver. The problem I run into is that when my receiver is off, the computer no longer sees it unlike LCDs and CRT where it may not be fully running but the computer can still see that it is there. Anyways, I just have to turn on the LCD in the bedroom and setup the multiple display every time we watch something on the big screen. Does mac have a way to permanently set your output sources so they will just always output to that source no mater if it is on or not?

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:27 AM   #8
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So long as there is a suitable driver for your graphics card, multiple displays are supported just fine. I have no idea whether your current display issue is handled elegantly in OS X or not.

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Old 07-23-2009, 03:28 AM   #9
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I wish I were computer smart.

I used to be...

Then I blinked and the world passed me by.

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Old 07-23-2009, 05:28 PM   #10
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Nice, Yuri! Another (less legit) option is to download Kalyway: a version of OS X that's ported for PCs. You can download a torrent of it.

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