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    #1

    Article: Building a CustoMac: Buyer's Guide January 2013


    Welcome to our brand new monthly Buyer's Guide! When running OS X as you main operating system, supported and compatible components are extremely important. That is why we have created a large selection of pre-configured systems along with a list of choices.

    For maximum ease of use with tonymacx86.com guides and methods, we'll be revising this buyer's guide monthly with all of our current recommendations. These might not be the only components that work, but based on our research they're the easiest and best supported options. Use these as a shopping list or as a jumping off point. Either way you'll be supporting the site by purchasing through these links, so thanks in advance!

    Table of Contents



    CustoMac Mini

    The CustoMac Mini is a bare-bones CustoMac in a shoebox sized case featuring a H77 mini-iTX motherboard and a dual-core Ivy Bridge processor. The graphics are integrated, so there's no need for a power-hungry discrete graphics card. The case also includes a power-efficient power supply unit. Less parts, less power, less heat, less cost. Please note that the motherboard's Intel mini-PCIe card includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but only the bluetooth features are available under OS X. If you don't use the PCIe slot, we recommend the TP-Link PCIe card below for native Wi-Fi support. Also, there are a few native wifi-only Atheros mini-PCIe replacement card suggestions if you don't need bluetooth.

    CPU Intel Core i3-3225 Amazon Newegg
    Motherboard GA-H77N-WIFI Amazon Newegg
    RAM 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Case + Power Supply Apex MI-008
    (w/ 250W Power Supply)
    Amazon Newegg

    Storage SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Wifi Card TP-Link PCI Express
    Wifi Adapter
    Amazon Newegg
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac App Store


    CustoMac Mini Deluxe

    The CustoMac Mini "Deluxe" is a no-compromise build featuring a Z77 mini-ITX motherboard and a quad-core Ivy Bridge CPU. The BitFenix Prodigy case is a unique way of thinking about a mini-ITX system, as it's not exactly small. It's about the size of a mATX case, making room for multiple hard drives, and a full sized graphics card. The Z77 motherboard is also capable of overclocking if you use a "K" CPU, and there is even room for a water cooler for the CPU. Please note that the motherboard's Intel mini-PCIe card includes both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but only the bluetooth features are available under OS X. If you don't use the PCIe slot, we recommend the TP-Link PCIe card below for native Wi-Fi support. Also, there are a few native wifi-only Atheros mini-PCIe replacement card suggestions if you don't need bluetooth. If the BitFenix Prodigy is unavailable, we've listed some alternate cases below.

    CPU Intel Core i5 3570K
    Intel Core i7-3770
    Intel Core i7-3770K
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Motherboard GA-Z77N-WIFI Amazon Newegg
    RAM 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Case BitFenix Prodigy
    (No Power Supply)
    White Amazon Newegg
    Black Newegg
    Orange Newegg
    Red Newegg
    Power Supply Corsair 650TX Modular Amazon Newegg




    Graphics GeForce GT 640

    GeForce GTX 650

    GeForce GTX 660 Ti

    GeForce GTX 670

    GeForce GTX 680
    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Storage SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    CPU Cooler Corsair H60 Liquid Cooler Amazon Newegg
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac App Store


    CustoMac Budget mATX

    A powerful desktop build with budget-minded parts and no graphics card. This build contains a mATX sized motherboard, a dual or quad core CPU and Intel HD 4000 onboard graphics.

    CPU Intel Core i3-3225
    Intel Core i7-3770
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Motherboard GA-B75M-D3P (mATX)
    GA-Q77M-D2H (mATX)
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    RAM 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Case Fractal Design Core 1000 Amazon Newegg
    Power Supply Corsair 500 Watt Amazon Newegg

    Storage SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    CPU Cooler Corsair H60 Liquid Cooler Amazon Newegg
    Wifi Card TP-Link PCI Express
    Wifi Adapter
    Amazon Newegg
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac App Store


    CustoMac Budget ATX


    A powerful desktop build with budget-minded parts and no graphics card. This build contains a ATX sized motherboard, a dual or quad core CPU and Intel HD 4000 onboard graphics.

    CPU Intel Core i3-3225
    Intel Core i5 3570K
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Motherboard GA-Z77-DS3H (ATX) Amazon Newegg
    RAM 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Case Corsair Carbide 300R Amazon Newegg
    Power Supply Corsair 600 Watt Amazon Newegg

    Storage SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    CPU Cooler Corsair H60 Liquid Cooler Amazon Newegg
    Wifi Card TP-Link PCI Express
    Wifi Adapter
    Amazon Newegg
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac App Store


    CustoMac Pro

    These full sized ATX builds have quad-core CPUs, maxed out RAM, and lots of expandability. Well suited for any demanding uses. Each has few high-end graphics card options that work in OS X Mountain Lion.

    CPU Intel Core i5 3570K
    Intel Core i7-3770
    Intel Core i7-3770K
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Motherboard
    GA-Z77X-UP5-TH
    GA-Z77X-UD5H
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon
    Newegg

    RAM 8GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    16GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Case Corsair Carbide 500R Amazon Newegg
    Power Supply Corsair 650 Watt Modular Amazon Newegg




    Graphics Card GeForce GT 640

    GeForce GTX 650

    GeForce GTX 660 Ti

    GeForce GTX 670

    GeForce GTX 680
    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Storage SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Wifi Card TP-Link PCI Express
    Wifi Adapter
    Amazon Newegg
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac App Store


    CustoMac Pro Socket 2011

    These rigs are the most powerful single CPU systems you can build. Warning: Power Management is NOT working, and may not ever work. This means no speedstep, sleep, etc...

    CPU Intel Xeon E5 2609(4 core)
    Intel Xeon E5 2630(6 core)
    Intel Xeon E5 2640(6 core)
    Intel Xeon E5 2650(8 core)
    Intel Xeon E5 2690(8 core)
    Intel Core i7-3820(4 core)
    Intel Core i7-3930K(6 core)
    Intel Core i7-3960X (6 core)
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Motherboard GA-X79-UD5 Amazon Newegg
    RAM 16GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    32GB 1600Mhz DDR3
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Case Corsair Graphite 600T Amazon Newegg
    Power Supply Corsair 750 Watt Modular Amazon Newegg




    Graphics Card GeForce GT 640

    GeForce GTX 650

    GeForce GTX 660 Ti

    GeForce GTX 670

    GeForce GTX 680
    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Amazon Newegg

    Storage SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Amazon Newegg
    Operating System Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion Mac App Store


    Graphics Cards

    One of the most important components in a custom build is the graphics card. If you're building a CustoMac, it's an especially tricky decision. Not only do you have to worry about what will be a good performer for the cost, but you also have to be informed about what is fully supported, and what is not. The following graphics card examples are all natively compatible without modifying drivers. Each gives a range of port options, install compatibility, and is known to work with minimal configuration. Furthermore, it's now possible to use multiple NVIDIA cards in tandem- dual and triple cards are enabled by default.

    GeForce GT 640
    PCIe-powered
    900 MHz Clock for low
    power & quiet use.
    ASUS Amazon Newegg
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    PNY Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg
    GeForce GTX 650
    Mid-range card with high
    performance.
    ASUS Amazon Newegg
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    PNY Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg
    GeForce GTX 660 Ti
    Mid to high end performance card.
    ASUS Amazon Newegg
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    PNY Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg
    GeForce GTX 670 Standard
    High end - our top recommendation.
    ASUS Amazon Newegg
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    PNY Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg
    GeForce GTX 670 Upgraded
    Higher graphics clock speed.
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg
    GeForce GTX 680 Standard
    The top end card.
    ASUS Amazon Newegg
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    PNY Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg
    GeForce GTX 680 Upgraded
    Higher graphics clock speed.
    ASUS Amazon Newegg
    EVGA Amazon Newegg
    MSI Amazon Newegg
    Zotac Amazon Newegg


    CPUs

    We recommend these specific Ivy Bridge CPUs for Socket 1155 motherboards because they feature fully working HD 4000 integrated graphics.

    Intel Core i7-3770K
    3.5Ghz
    4 Cores / 8 Threads, Turbo
    Unlocked for Overclocking
    Amazon Newegg
    Intel Core i7-3770
    3.4Ghz
    4 Cores / 8 Threads, Turbo Amazon Newegg
    Intel Core i5-3570K
    3.4Ghz
    4 Cores / 4 Threads, Turbo
    Unlocked for Overclocking
    Amazon Newegg
    Intel Core i3-3225
    3.3Ghz
    2 Cores / 4 Threads, Turbo Amazon Newegg


    Motherboards

    We recommend these specific Gigabyte 7-series motherboards because of native power management support, network, and audio. They are the most compatible with OS X and are the easiest motherboards to get up and running for first time builders.

    Gigabyte
    GA-Z77X-UP5-TH
    ATX, VGA, DVI, HDMI
    Dual Thunderbolt, Bluetooth/Wifi*
    Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte
    GA-Z77X-UD5H
    ATX, VGA, DP, DVI, HDMI Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte
    GA-Z77-DS3H
    ATX, VGA, DVI, HDMI Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte
    GA-Q77M-D2H
    mATX, VGA, DVI, HDMI, DP Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte
    GA-B75M-D3P
    mATX, VGA, DVI, HDMI, DP Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte
    GA-Z77N-WIFI
    mini-ITX, DVI, HDMI
    Bluetooth/Wifi*
    Amazon Newegg
    Gigabyte
    GA-H77N-WIFI
    mini-ITX, DVI, HDMI
    Bluetooth/Wifi*
    Amazon Newegg
    *Wifi not working in OS X. Native wifi PCIe adapter listed below.

    Drives

    We recommend using a fast solid state drive for your system drive. Choose a 1TB or less hard drive if planning to use Chimera/Chameleon as your bootloader. Also, choose 512B format drives. 4K advanced format drives will not work with the bootloader without workarounds. Note that this is only applicable for the boot drive, whereas your storage drive can be any size. The following drive examples have been hand picked to work without issues.


    SATA 6Gb/s 500GB HDD Amazon Newegg
    SATA 6Gb/s 1TB HDD Amazon Newegg
    SanDisk SATA 6Gb/s 120GB SSD Amazon Newegg
    SanDisk SATA 6Gb/s 240GB SSD Amazon Newegg
    SanDisk SATA 6Gb/s 480GB SSD Amazon Newegg


    CPU Coolers

    Corsair H60 Liquid Cooler Amazon Newegg
    Thermaltake Performer 2.0 Water Cooler Amazon Newegg
    Thermaltake Frio Air Cooler Amazon Newegg


    Power Supplies

    Corsair 500 Watt Amazon Newegg
    Corsair 600 Watt Amazon Newegg
    Corsair 650 Watt Modular Amazon Newegg
    Corsair 750 Watt Modular Amazon Newegg

    Cases

    The case is one of the most universal parts, although you need to make sure that your motherboard and chosen parts will fit. Each link refers to the details of the product, where you can see what sizes are recommended.

    mini-ITX Apex MI-008
    (w/ 250W Power Supply)
    Amazon Newegg
    mini-ITX CoolerMaster Elite 120 Amazon Newegg
    mini-ITX Thermaltake Element Q
    (w/ 200W Power Supply)
    Amazon Newegg
    mini-ITX Silverstone Sugo SG07B
    (w/ 600W Power Supply)
    Amazon Newegg
    mini-ITX BitFenix Prodigy White Amazon Newegg
    Black Newegg
    Orange Newegg
    Red Newegg
    mATX Fractal Design Core 1000 Amazon Newegg
    mATX Silverstone PS07 Amazon Newegg
    mATX/ATX Corsair Carbide 200R Amazon Newegg
    mATX/ATX Corsair Carbide 300R Amazon Newegg
    mATX/ATX Corsair Carbide 500R Amazon Newegg
    ATX/E-ATX Corsair Graphite 600T Amazon Newegg


    Accessories

    These parts are known to work well with CustoMac desktops. If planning to use Bluetooth exclusively, access to a USB keyboard is also helpful to get into the UEFI and to access the bootloader menus.

    8GB USB Flash Drive Amazon Newegg
    Sony DVD Optical Drive Amazon Newegg
    LG BluRay Optical Drive Amazon Newegg
    Apple Wired Keyboard Amazon
    Apple Wireless Keyboard (Bluetooth) Amazon
    Logitech Wireless Keyboard K50 Amazon
    Logitech Wireless Mini Keyboard K60 (Bluetooth) Amazon
    Apple Magic Trackpad Amazon
    Apple Magic Mouse Amazon
    IOGear Bluetooth 4.0 Adapter
    (10.8 Mountain Lion Only - Wakes from Sleep)
    Amazon Newegg
    IOGear Bluetooth 2.1 Adapter
    (10.6+ - No Wake from Sleep)
    Amazon Newegg
    TP-Link PCI Express Wifi Adapter Amazon Newegg
    Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet Adapter Amazon
    Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire Adapter Amazon
    Seagate GoFlex FreeAgent Thunderbolt to SATA Adapter Amazon
    Apple Thunderbolt Cable (2.0m) Apple
    Apple Thunderbolt Cable (0.5m) Apple


    Remember, when building and configuring your own computer, it's easy to get frustrated- don't give up! There are users with similar specs here at tonymacx86.com to help you out if you get stuck.

    Oh, and don't forget, if you end up buying anything, click through one of the links here. That way, you'll be supporting the site, as well as getting the best prices. Thanks in advance! Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

    Last edited by adamsmasher; 12-01-2014 at 05:34 PM.

  2.   
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    #2
    Cool nicely done!

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    #3
    very nice overview

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    #4
    Great guide.

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    #5
    Great job guys and many thanks.

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    #6
    OMG best buyer guide EVER

  7.   
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    #7

    Article: Building a CustoMac: Buyer's Guide January 2013


    Quote Originally Posted by rick26 View Post
    Cool nicely done!
    hey, can anyone confirm that the gigabyte gtx 650ti 2gb will work, same as the 1gb ? I have it, and it is crashing my machine with the nvidia driver - but only using chrome web browser(and watching video). i have read about chrome crashing macbook pros on mountain lion, and google admit that it is their code, and a combo of apple drivers... not sure to see if it is driver related or app related.

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    #8
    Thanks for this, very much appreciated!

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    #9
    Thank you for popping the products up in a new page too!

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    #10
    Thanks a lot ! Merci beaucoup !
    (why no Ati/amd cards?)

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