Custom Macintosh Builds

I offer to build custom-made Macintosh compatible computers where you save around 40% compared to the Apple-made equivalent.  For a generic comparison, lets say you wanted a modern iMac:

  • 2.5GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i5
  • 1920 x 1080 resolution  21.5″ Screen
  • 4GB (two 2GB) memory
  • 500GB hard drive1
  • AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB
  • $1,199.00

With slightly better hardware, I can build a new, Macintosh OS X Snow Leopard compatible computer for approximately $750.  This includes all fees except shipping.

Pros and Cons

The benefits of buying my Mac compatible computers are:

  • Better or equivalent operating performance for a lower price
  • Direct support
  • Custom appearance and hardward
  • Easily upgradeable at an affordable price
  • Almost any physical size you want

However, there are some downsides:

  • Potentially slower boot speeds
  • You can not use Apple for support
  • You will not be able to use the latest updates from Apple
  • The computer can not be sold with the operating system pre-installed.  This includes you re-selling the computer with Mac already prepared.
  • The computer must be branded with the Apple logo (if you consider that a con)

Solutions to the Disadvantages

Boot speeds are only affected by the chosen hardware.  The more your computer is built like a Mac, generally it will boot faster.  Note that just because the computer boots slowly, it doesn’t mean it is slow; it could actually outperform an Apple-made Mac in nearly any task.

Installing a Mac on a non-Apple made computer violates the Mac OS X license agreement.  This contract violation is not illegal, but voids your options for relying on Apple for help.  However, this only voids your support for the computer as a whole.  If an Apple program such as iTunes has an issue, you are still allowed to contact Apple for support.  But, if the entire OS crashes, you cannot use Apple for support.  If you have any questions about what you can and can’t contact Apple about, feel free to contact me first.

Due to Apple’s lack of approval for installing their OS on a non-Apple machine, they tend to release OS updates that can prevent your computer from booting anymore.  You will be able to safely update everything except for the “Mac OS X” updates.  In these situations, I will do the best I can to give directions on how to perform OS updates without any issues.  I intend to sell these computers with the 2nd last major release of Mac, so you shouldn’t encounter these issues anyway.

Although having a retail copy of Mac OS X on a non-Apple manufactured computer is not illegal (it is a contract violation), to my knowledge, it is illegal to sell a computer that has Mac OS pre-installed on it.  Considering that installing the OS is not a very user-friendly task, what I can offer is a set of two separate client transactions.  One will be for building and selling the computer by itself.  You will be able to purchase the installation CD yourself.  The other transaction will be the service of me installing the OS.  A receipt will be given to show that you possess ownership of the computer before the OS was installed.

When buying a retail disc from Apple (which costs about $30), I believe it comes with two Apple stickers.  One of these stickers will be used to brand the assembled computer.  As far as I’m aware, this is actually a legal restriction (It is unlawful to limit an operating system to a specific hardware manufacturer, so Apple was left with putting limits on branding).