HTMac Project

Posted by: MDC

HTMac Project - 05/28/07 02:23 AM

Alright, so I've wanted to start this project for a while, but I know I will need some big time help. No better place to get it right, right?

Alright, so here is the idea:

A Mac in a Home Theater PC style case (to be placed with my Home Theater Equipment) that will be upgradeable (PCI slots, 2 5.25" slots, and lots of hard drive space.) I want to be able to start small (case, hard drive and board/processor,) and inexpensive. Eventually I want it to be a monster. High Performance audio/video, tuner/dvr capability, dual boot (maybe), with tons of storage space.

Crazy? Impossible? I don't know, I've never done anything like this before.

I have a <a href="">case</a> in mind which meets my expansion needs. However this presents a couple questions.

1. If I use an Intel, do I have to buy a "mac" intel chip and board?
2. If I do, then will that fit in this case?
3. If not, are there only some boards/chips that mac os will run on?

If anyone can help me out on those I would be very grateful. smile

As far as processors go I want better than average but not the best. Sad to say, I don't even really know what that is these days. Suggestions?

I already have a few HD's lying around that I can use.
For audio I am thinking of a <a href="">Revolution 7.1 PCI Card</a>
Video I will probably need to do thing basic and cheep at first. (I don't want to worry about tuner/dvr at all at the beginning.
I will have my router right there, so I won't need wireless for a while.

Alright, thats the basics I guess.

Comments, questions, suggestions PLEASE! This will be a long project, but I am ready to get started. Thanks in advance.

Posted by: zib_redlektab

Re: HTMac Project - 05/28/07 03:23 AM

Hai. Just to start off, I am a complete and total n00b when it comes to mac mods. The most I've ever done is repaired my macbook pro's superdrive.

But I can tell you that pretty much any Intel chip will work with Tiger, it just has to be a cracked version, which is not hard to find. I have a Dell under my desk running OSX.
Posted by: MDC

Re: HTMac Project - 05/28/07 03:33 AM


Forgive my ignorance, but does that meant that there are cracks out there for some processors, and not others?

Posted by: manhackman

Re: HTMac Project - 05/28/07 03:57 AM

Yup! check out osx86 on wikipedia... You can get a complete list of compatible systems.
Posted by: MDC

Re: HTMac Project - 05/28/07 04:13 AM

Ahh. Ok. I think I get it.


Posted by: anil8tor

Re: HTMac Project - 05/28/07 11:58 AM

Sound like a great project !  :compute:
Keep us posted on your progress. And don't hesitate to ask for help! There is a lot of talent here in the forums, ranging from maestro, who has been here forever, to mxlews who did that great mod for Macworld.
And I have a little experience building a media center PC, but mine runs Linux. Good Luck!
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: HTMac Project - 05/28/07 05:49 PM

I always thought it was the chipset/motherboard which was the trickiest part to pick for hacked x86 box.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: HTMac Project - 05/29/07 01:51 AM

Pretty much now and X86 compatible system will run OSx86 but needs a hacked kernel with the proper drivers and to disable SSE3.
Posted by: MDC

Re: HTMac Project - 05/31/07 05:03 AM

Awesome. I've started looking at some mobos and chips. It is a little more difficult to find what I am looing for that I thought. hehe. Anyone have any brands that they feel are better than others? ASUS Seems to have a few that have what I am looking for. Thanks for all the advise so far. smile

Posted by: macDeviant

Re: HTMac Project - 06/04/07 01:09 AM

i looked into that 7.1 and even the 5.1 card, and you have to have atleast a 733mhz Quicksilver g4 to use either card. when i called up m-audio to find out if processor upgrades were supported they said officially they are not... so you might buy it and try it. personally i'm uesing the griffin firewave, which uses firewire for 5.1 separation.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re: HTMac Project - 06/04/07 11:22 AM

Too bad people don't really make 3rd party drivers for hardware on macs these days. It would be cool to be able to use my soundblaster live card again in my sawtooth. So far the only way is using macDeviant's setup or pay a ton of cash for a surround sound system that emulates 5.1 or 7.1 though a mono or stereo setup.
Posted by: MDC

Re: HTMac Project - 06/04/07 01:40 PM

Hmm. Interesting on the M-Audio. I'll check into the Griffin thing.

I've been looking at a lot of motherboards, and it seems many of them have a dig. coax, or optical built right in. Which is actually good for me on the condition that it will pass through multichannel without much processing. I have a decent amp which I want to do the processing for now.

TCP, I totally agree.

I was really surprised to see so few sound cards for the mac (besides really high dollar ones).
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: HTMac Project - 06/04/07 07:20 PM

There hasn't been much of a market for Mac sound cards for years, simply because for the vast majority of users the on-board is good enough. Only the Protools crowd these days tend to use any internally fitted sound hardware. I can remember reading about big-time international record producers who recorded (big artists) straight into a PowerMac 9600. I can't remember the list of artists though. I think Sting was one of them.

As for 3rd party CPU upgrades, the only potential issue is latency. And if the upgrades screwed that up at all, then no-one in the audio sector would ever buy them. I'm not saying they do, but if you can find any audiophiles who recommend them, then I would guess you are safe.