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Let’s make an EFIX, by Eduard Ros



Let’s make an EFIX, by Eduard Ros

I don’t know what you will think of this mysterious company called EFIX that intends to release an “EFI” USB to turn a PC into a MAC, but the idea appeals to me. Now I’ll tell you why…

Those of you who still read me will know that I modified my Intel Mac Mini to get more out of it, because Apple doesn’t make enough models, from my point of view. I would like to have a Mac that could be expanded, with a PCI-Express slot, several SATA ports, with a 3.5″ hard drive, without the need for the power of a Mac Pro and WITHOUT A BUILT-IN DISPLAY. In the assortment of Apple products, for a long time, there is nothing like that. Modifying my Mac Mini improved its performance but it is still limited in other areas such as graphics.

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An EFIX can provide a team that best suits my tastes/needs. Taking into account prices of PCBOX and APPINFORMÁTICA we are going to design an EFIX:

On the website of this manufacturer they list the components tested and that are compatible with your USB device, so far and they will be the ones we will look for in these stores. I will not take into account the price of the EFIX device since the current price is indicative and they promise that when it is mass-produced it will be cheaper. When the time comes we will see which version interests us more.

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Motherboard: GIGABYTE EP35 DS3P ATX S775. In App it costs €104.30. And summarizing:

– Supports Intel® Core™ 2 Extreme/ Intel® Core™ 2 Quad/ Intel® Core™ 2 Duo/ Intel Pentium Extreme Edition/ Intel® Pentium D/ Intel® Pentium 4 Extreme Edition/ Intel® Pentium 4/ Intel® Celeron

– Chipset Intel® P35 Express Chipset

– 8 channel ALC889A Audio Controller

– Front Side Bus 1600 (OC)/1333/1066/800 MHz FSB

– Memory Dual Channel memory architecture 4 x 1.8V DDR2 DIMM sockets with support for up to 8GB of DDR2 1200 (OC)/1066/800/667 MHz memory

– 1 x IDE

– 1 x IEEE 1394a (Firewire)

– 2 x USB 2.0/1.1 on motherboard

– 8 x SATA 3Gb/s (same as Mac Mini)

– Expansion Sockets 2 x PCI, 2 x PCI Express x16, 3 x PCI Express x1

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– 8 x USB 2.0/1.1 rear

Processor: At this point I don’t need anything fancy, as the motherboard can accept processors from various “epochs”, it will allow me to change it in the future, if necessary, and even use a higher bus speed. So I choose, for quality/price ratio, an INTEL CORE2 DUO E4600 2.4 GHz PROCESSOR with 800MHz 2MB DUAL CORE bus for €92.39 at PCBOX. Processor far superior to the one that the Minis bring, and even superior to what can never be put on the Intel Mac Mini. Also with 800MHz bus, although there are currently CPUs with faster buses, it is better than the 667MHz bus of the Mac Mini. And what I mentioned before, in the future, a faster bus processor can be purchased and the motherboard will support it.

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RAM: Although the motherboard is designed for Dual Channel, to begin with we will choose a single 2GB DIMM, and in the future we will see. I choose 2 GB DDR2 800 KINGSTON on PCBOX for €37.12.

Graphic: At this point, each one must choose according to their needs. Mine are not very high, but they are higher than the prehistoric GMA950 that still equips the Mac Mini. Starting from the list on the EFIX website, I choose the 256MB XFX 8600GT PCX DDR3 *** GRAPHICS CARD for €69.33 at PCBOX. We will sacrifice a bit of memory size in favor of this being DDR3. For those who want, for similar prices there is this graphic with 512MB DDR2. To everyone’s taste.

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Source: In this you have to spend a little bit if your machine is going to consume and you want to take care of its components. I choose a 520W TACENS RADIX II also in PCBOX for €56.95.

Caja: I don’t put much emphasis on this, since I don’t value aesthetics. In my case I choose a GIGABYTE GZ X1BPD 400 BLACK GLOSS for €33.30 in App.

Hard drive: This is fast: WD Caviar SE16 WD3200AAKS, 320GB, 7200 rpm and 16 MB buffer memory, for €63.63 at PCBOX.

Recorder: PIONEER DVD-R/+RW SATA 215D 20X DLX10 BLACK for €31.43. Of course SATA, I no longer trust the ATA bus with OS X and Intel after the problems I’ve had on the Mini. (Someday I will tell you).

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Let’s add, let’s see, 104.30 plus 92.31 and I’ll take one…. it remains at €448.45. Let’s say the same as a new Intel Mac Mini, but no point of comparison.

If EFIX really allows us to natively install OS X without patching, and with future compatibility, I think I’m going to buy my first PC…. And I have to confess that I had my first Mac in 1992 and it had never crossed my mind that I would buy a PC, but if Apple has focused all its efforts on satisfying the switchers and on the iPhone, and on leaving aside People like me, who gave them money when no one believed in them, will have to survive as best they can….

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I like OS X.

Now yes, you can encourage yourself to leave the usual comments, that the components are of poorer quality, that it is not a Mac, that it is not posh and it does not look good with the decoration of the room, blah, blah, blah….

Eduard Ros has his own blog in entremaqueros, visit it and you will be able to see the links to the different sites and the comments that this entry aroused.