1.   
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    80
    System
    Ivy Bridge Powermac G4 mod
    CPU
    i5-3330
    Graphics
    GTX650 Ti
    Geekbench Score
    8351
    Online
    dj_aris is offline
    iPhone MacBook Pro Mac Pro
    #1

    OSXBox 360


    Hi there! Thought I should share my latest mod. The idea was to make a small, cheap but yet capable machine, mainly intended for usage under a TV set.

    So, my basis was an Xbox 360 case, which was stripped and then re-filled with x86 parts. It's far from perfect, but I had some standards I'd like to meet and I think I've done it:

    1) It must have an internal PSU
    2) It must have a discrete GPU (sorry Intel HD, you're just not enough)
    3) It should run as quiet and cool as possible while being frugal!

    The hardware used is:
    - XBOX 360 case (obviously). The metal cage was cut and drilled, but the top metal case was scapped altogether cause the parts wouldn't fit.
    - Gigabyte B75N
    - Celeron G1610 w/ stock cooler
    - 8GB RAM DDR3 @ 1600MHz
    - Sapphire Radeon 7750 1GB DDR5 Low Profile
    - Kingston SSDNow 120GB 1.8" (tiny!)
    - Mini-PCI wifi card scrapped from an old macbook
    - a generic tiny cheap Bluetooth adapter
    - Seasonic SS-250SU 250W Flex ATX PSU

    Build process:
    After clearing all the old console hardware, I dressed the metal case with duct tape (so that the motherboard's backplate wouldn't short circuit) and then I fitted the mobo. The PSU was placed next to it and secured in place with a couple of screws and some double-sided adjacent tape. The SSD was stored in a corner (and again secured with double-sided tape, after all it's very light) and finally the GPU was laid flat on the PSU after using a PCIe riser cable. The only unplanned modification was the large "X" grille I had to add on the side, purely for ventilation reasons but I tried to make it as pretty and stylish as possible (ie instead of cutting a rectangle I chose the X shape)!

    Software-wise, Mavericks works like a charm, everything seems to be in order. A minor issue is that I need to set the BIOS to boot with the iGPU active (or I get kernel panics), so until OSX boots there is absolutely no video (since my video cable is connected the GPU). But since I've set this in the first place now it's no big thing.

    Tests & behavior:
    OSX runs smoothly, albeit with some occasional hiccups , but nothing too serious or unbearable. Don't forget it's only a humble Celeron inside. 8GBs of RAM are essential when you have such a lowly CPU. The system is relatively quiet but not as quiet as I'd like. The CPU and GPU fans are inaudible in idle / light use, but the PSU fan isn't. Unfortunately I expected more but then again the PSU was selected based on pricing and availability as it's a rare piece of hardware anyway. Performance-wise, 4K youtube video is not a problem for the CPU and also it's capable of 720p gaming as I've discovered.

    Benchmarks & stats:
    Geekbench 3.0 32bit single: 1919pts
    Geekbench 3.0 32bit multi: 3483pts
    Sunspider 0.9.1: 340ms
    3D Mark Ice Storm (default settings under Windows 7 64bit): 54247pts
    3D Mark Cloud Gate (default settings under Windows 7 64bit): 5737pts
    3D Mark Fire Strike (default settings under Windows 7 64bit): 1941pts
    Power draw (idle / max load - Furmark): 42w / 91w
    CPU temp (idle / max load - Furmark): 25C / 55C)
    GPU temp (idle / max load - Furmark): 32C / 65C)

    And now some pictures!
    OSXBox 360-photo-3.jpgOSXBox 360-photo-2.jpgOSXBox 360-photo-2-1-.jpgOSXBox 360-photo-1.jpgOSXBox 360-photo-1-1-.jpgOSXBox 360-02_mobo-psu-2-.jpgOSXBox 360-photo-4.jpg

    Feel free to comment!
    current build: Haswell mini-ITX in a "HiRise" custom case!
    next build #1: Broadwell thin-mini-ITX in a NES custom case!
    next build #2: Skylake thin-mini-ITX in a N64 custom case!
    next build #3: Cannonlake thin-mini-ITX in a Dreamcast custom case!

  2.   
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    376
    System
    Gigabyte GA-Z77-DS3H Powermac G5 Case \ G4 Cube Intel DQ77KB
    CPU
    Intel Core i7 3770K \ Intel Core i3 3225
    Graphics
    Evga Geforce GTX660 FTW \ HD 4000
    Geekbench Score
    13226
    Online
    rick26 is online now
    iPhone MacBook Pro iMac PowerMac
    #2

    OSXBox 360


    The only thing missing now are the LED lights!

    Great job fitting a pc in there!

    Rick,

  3.   
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    80
    System
    Ivy Bridge Powermac G4 mod
    CPU
    i5-3330
    Graphics
    GTX650 Ti
    Geekbench Score
    8351
    Online
    dj_aris is offline
    iPhone MacBook Pro Mac Pro
    #3

    OSXBox 360


    Thanks Rick! My initial plan included an apple-shaped white-backlit cutout window, but I had to let go because of ventilation problems, not to mention that it's already very cramped inside the case and there is very little room to play with extras such as lighting.

    After a lot of research I have come to realize that we are very limited by the power supplies form factors; the evolution here is very slow, considering the boom in mini-ITX demand lately. I mean, nowadays you can find an ATX-sized PSU delivering 650w easily. Shouldn't the 200w PSUs be much much smaller? (even smaller than TFX). I'd even be willing to build my own PSU to save some space if I could find blueprints for a tiny form factor for my next project.
    current build: Haswell mini-ITX in a "HiRise" custom case!
    next build #1: Broadwell thin-mini-ITX in a NES custom case!
    next build #2: Skylake thin-mini-ITX in a N64 custom case!
    next build #3: Cannonlake thin-mini-ITX in a Dreamcast custom case!

  4.   
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    29
    System
    GA Z77X UD5H
    CPU
    i5-2500k
    Graphics
    Radeon HD 5770
    Online
    seth125 is offline
    Phone (other) iMac
    #4

    OSXBox 360


    Well, the X on the side was an actually nice touch.
    In a world without walls who needs windows?

  5.   
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    291
    System
    ASRock H77N-ITX
    CPU
    Ivy Bridge i5 with HD4000
    Graphics
    PNY GTX 660 Ti
    Geekbench Score
    10357
    Online
    MAD AUDI SCIENTIST is offline
    iPhone MacBook MacBook Pro Mac Mini Mac Pro PowerMac
    #5

    OSXBox 360


    Great Mod.

    I completely understand your frustration with the size of the PSUs available out there.
    Here is what I use in my small builds. They work great.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817338081
    SAMSUNG 7 SLATE: i5-2467M | HD3000
    G5 HacPro Case Mod: GA-B75M-D3H UEFI | i7 3770K | EVGA GT640
    Bitfenix Prodigy Case: ASRock H77N-ITX UEFI | i5-3570 | PNY GTX660 Ti

  6.   
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    80
    System
    Ivy Bridge Powermac G4 mod
    CPU
    i5-3330
    Graphics
    GTX650 Ti
    Geekbench Score
    8351
    Online
    dj_aris is offline
    iPhone MacBook Pro Mac Pro
    #6

    OSXBox 360


    It definitely seems to be a better quality piece and it's wattage is much bigger as well (400w vs 250w) than what I've used but the size issue remains; actually it's a bit bigger: 3.2" x 1.7" x 6.0" while mine is 3.2" x 1.6" x 5.9".

    Thing is: with a system consuming a peak of 80-90w I think we could be using half the volume PSUs; after all we only need 150w tops I reckon.

    My latest idea is to use a 150w picoPSU, but since these have a usually a 12v DC in, combine it with a custom open frame AC-DC 12v adapter, if I could find or build one. Then the total PSU volume would be reduced to the 12v adapter (picoPSU size is irrelevant since it hooks on the motherboard).

    I might need the help of an engineer though, regarding the adapter specs: 110-220v input, 12v output, but what about the w or the Ah?
    current build: Haswell mini-ITX in a "HiRise" custom case!
    next build #1: Broadwell thin-mini-ITX in a NES custom case!
    next build #2: Skylake thin-mini-ITX in a N64 custom case!
    next build #3: Cannonlake thin-mini-ITX in a Dreamcast custom case!

  7. Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1
    System
    Asus P8P67 Pro
    CPU
    Intel Core i5-2500k
    Graphics
    Radeon HD 5770
    Online
    Flykai is offline
    #7

    OSXBox 360


    @dj_aris: It's from the german Amazon Website but do you mean something like this:

    http://www.amazon.de/Netzadapter-12V.../dp/B00EHJJ4JS

    It would have helped me alot with my PSU Problem and the old classic xbox, but now hopefully it will help you, my project is more or less stopped because of this problem...

  8. Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    29
    System
    Windows
    CPU
    Core i7 4770k Haswell
    Graphics
    EVGA GeForce GTX 780 Ti SC
    Online
    reconalpha is offline
    iPhone Mac Pro
    #8

    OSXBox 360


    This is one of the coolest mods I've ever seen, makes me want to try it too. Good job.

  9.   
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    80
    System
    Ivy Bridge Powermac G4 mod
    CPU
    i5-3330
    Graphics
    GTX650 Ti
    Geekbench Score
    8351
    Online
    dj_aris is offline
    iPhone MacBook Pro Mac Pro
    #9

    OSXBox 360


    @ Flykai: Well, the little yellow 24pin picoPSU part is indeed what I have in mind. You plug this in the motherboard and you are ready to go. But one of my goals (already achieved with this mod, but difficult to achieve with even smaller cases) is to have an INTERNAL PSU, which means no external power brick. Unfortunately all picoPSUs are DC-DC (usually 12v input to triple 3.3v, 5v, 12v outputs for 24pin + 4 pin mobo and an additional molex/sata).

    So right now I'm looking for a decent AC-DC adapter, 220v to 12v, at least 8A and at least 150w, as small as possible. I think these figures should be enough to feed a core i3 "T-series" and a 750Ti which seem to be in the sweet spot of performance / power draw at the moment.

    @ seth125: I agree! It would be dull otherwise!

    @ reckonalpha: Thanks! I have saved a few pictures from the process, if you need any help feel free to ask!
    current build: Haswell mini-ITX in a "HiRise" custom case!
    next build #1: Broadwell thin-mini-ITX in a NES custom case!
    next build #2: Skylake thin-mini-ITX in a N64 custom case!
    next build #3: Cannonlake thin-mini-ITX in a Dreamcast custom case!

  10.   
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    75
    System
    Asus Maximus V Gene
    CPU
    Intel 3770K
    Graphics
    Asus GeForce GTX560 Ti
    Online
    shokka9 is offline
    iPhone MacBook Pro Mac Pro
    #10

    OSXBox 360


    This is awesome; challenging yet rewarding.

    Nice and different type of build

Page 1 of 2 12 Last

Tags for this Thread