1. Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6
    System
    2010 HacMini
    CPU
    i3-3225T
    Graphics
    HD4000
    Geekbench Score
    6
    Online
    leigh103 is offline
    #1

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    Hi there - this is my first post, so hopefully I've put it in the right place.

    I've been using Hacintoshes for a year now, and I thought it was time to post something . This is my 2nd Hacintosh, the first being a full ATX gaming rig - but I thought it was time for something a little less PC and more Apple.

    Starting with the board - I got the Intel DH61AG motherboard with an i3-3225 CPU (55w TDP), 4GB Ram, 128GB mSATA SSD, half mini PCIe Wifi and an external Dell laptop power supply. It's all been working well with Mavericks (apart from sound for some reason) without a case, but a few Googles confirmed that thin mini ITX boards fit into the newer Apple MacMini chasis.

    Luckily, I was able to find one on eBay last week - it's a 2010 model, with a CD drive slot. Would've prefered one without, but I just wanted to give this a go, and give my little Hac a home. There's not much information about fitting a mini ITX board into these cases - I've seen a few posts on different sites, including this one, but a lot of the pics are missing - so I thought I'd document it as I went along, in case anyone else wanted to try it, or had questions. I have some questions of my own, which I'll put at the end - but this is what I've got so far...

    As I've already shorted out one of these boards, I took no chances with this one. I started out coating the inside of the chasis with electrical insulation tape - 3 layers in total.



    My initial attempts at inserting the board showed the heatsink didn't quite fit with the right side mount - so this was removed (requires sanding, it's really sharp).



    Inserting the board - fits well...









    One of the heatsink mounts also needed to be removed (this is a Silverstone 23mm heatsink), so it fit snugly. With my genius, I removed the wrong one - hence 2 missing in the pic



    The heatsink mount under the board was a little too thick, so I removed the screws in the corners so I still had something to screw the heatsink into



    Heatsink screwed in place



    Sticks out a little bit, which I was expecting



    All working







    Ok, so to sum up... this is a great case for this board. Fits well, the ports at the back look like they should be there and overall it does feel more like an Apple product than any Hacintosh I've used. But I'm not totally satisfied with that heatsink and I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions.

    Mainly due to the fact the mount it screws into doesn't fit in the case, means that it doesn't really screw in properly. I'd also prefer something that doesn't protrude out the bottom of the case, but this was the lowest profile heatsink I could find (23mm). Aparently this CPU can run ok in a fanless chasis, so I'm thinking maybe a laptop cooler would work better - more like the real MacMini. Again, I've seen a few posts on this site linking to suggestions, but the links don't go to current listings.

    Anyone have any tips?


    EDIT: been testing with the fan unplugged, and the temp only increases 20degrees, to 58 - from an avg of 38 with the fan running. Looks like using a heat sink with a laptop ducted fan might work.

    Additionally, it looks like fan control might have issues on the motherboard, as the fan speed and CPU temp in the BIOS is a bit sporadic. It also defo sounds like the fan is on 100% when it's running, which I realise is common thing with Hacintoshes - but just wondering if anyone else has had similar with this board? I've had a search around - sounds like a BIOS update is the most likely cause - but mines defo upto date.

  2.   
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    32
    System
    Intel DH61AG
    CPU
    i7 3770S
    Graphics
    GeForce GT630
    Online
    kajaba is offline
    iPhone Mac Mini
    #2

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225


    realy nice mod.. I too have tried this concept with the same MB, but I wanted discrete GPU and SATA disk (even when I have SSD). Look here:
    Mac mini duo

    As for the sound, use multibeast without DSDT realtek ALC892, and try to boot with UseKernelCache=No
    As for the fan, I have no issues with that. PWM fan works fine. In my mod, the loudest part is SATA disk

  3. Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6
    System
    2010 HacMini
    CPU
    i3-3225T
    Graphics
    HD4000
    Geekbench Score
    6
    Online
    leigh103 is offline
    #3

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225


    Quote Originally Posted by kajaba View Post
    realy nice mod.. I too have tried this concept with the same MB, but I wanted discrete GPU and SATA disk (even when I have SSD). Look here:
    Mac mini duo

    As for the sound, use multibeast without DSDT realtek ALC892, and try to boot with UseKernelCache=No
    As for the fan, I have no issues with that. PWM fan works fine. In my mod, the loudest part is SATA disk
    Wow - thanks for that! I thought I'd seen all the MacMini mods on this site, but I must've missed yours. 2 cases - that's an awesome idea

    I've defo installed the ALC892 drivers, but not tried the UseKernalCache flag, so i'll defo give that a go tonite.

    As for the fan, it's much better now for some reason. The mobo still looks to be getting sporadic readings for the fan, but in OSX it just idles now, even when I'm doing a video encode. Temp goes to 58degs max and it's fairly quiet which is a massive improvement.

    Moving forward, I've got some ducted fans from a G5 iMac I bought (I'm currently using the aluminium iMac stand with my monitor, which you can just see on some of my pics) and the ducted copper heat sink, so I'm gonna get the dremel out and see if I can improve the cooling situation.

    The G5 heat sink is far too long, so I plan on cutting it down but this means I'll be able to make a custom fit heat sink - rather than using north bridge heat sinks, which look a little small. Plus, as everything is ducted, I'll be able to push the air out the back of the case. At the minute, the fan sucks air in from the bottom, and then just blows it randomly around the inside - so I have to have it upside down, or stood up on one edge. If I can utilise the DVD slot as an inlet, I should be able to direct the air to flow right through the case - front to back.

    I've also done further tests with the fan unplugged - a video encode took the temp into the low 70s, which I didn't think was too bad really. It's great with it totally silent, but I do want some cooling in there to give my hardware a longer lifespan. But it means any fans I have can be turned right down... if I ever get control of them

  4.   
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    32
    System
    Intel DH61AG
    CPU
    i7 3770S
    Graphics
    GeForce GT630
    Online
    kajaba is offline
    iPhone Mac Mini
    #4

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225


    Yes, the cooling was little bit pain...As you can see from the attachments, When Im playing a game (trine2) my CPU temp is about 60C. Then right after stopping the game, the temp drops to about 50C. And when I start the comp it is about 42C. The cooling is a bit problem, but on the other hand it is super silent. I can't hear the fan, only when its cooling the 60C hot CPU When you would like to do the tunneling, there will be lots of fans, but let me know how you solved it and what are your temps

    Thanks mate!


    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod-highusage.jpg

  5. Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1
    System
    Mac/PC
    CPU
    i5
    Graphics
    6850
    Online
    rpowell138 is offline
    #5

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    Is that a cinema display stand hooked to your Samsung monitor? Is there an adapter I'm not aware of that lets you convert the stand to normal VESA?

  6. Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    14
    System
    10.8.2
    CPU
    i3-3220
    Graphics
    XFX ATI 5750 1GB
    Online
    toxicfusion is offline
    #6

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    Hi There

    great build. I'm curious though, would you be interested in trying to use a different motherboard rather than the INTEL? We all know the intel boards have issues while running OSX properly (Audio)

    Gigabyte makes a Mini ITX Board 6.7" x 6.7" with similar layout, but better Realtek ALC chipset

    Board: GA-H81TN

  7. Administrator
      
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    6,302
    System
    GA-Z87X-UD7-TH
    CPU
    i7-4770K
    Graphics
    GTX 770
    Online
    tonymacx86 is offline
    iPhone MacBook Pro Mac Mini Apple PowerBook
    #7

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    Quote Originally Posted by toxicfusion View Post
    Hi There

    great build. I'm curious though, would you be interested in trying to use a different motherboard rather than the INTEL? We all know the intel boards have issues while running OSX properly (Audio)

    Gigabyte makes a Mini ITX Board 6.7" x 6.7" with similar layout, but better Realtek ALC chipset

    Board: GA-H81TN
    The thin-mini itx boards from Gigabyte are great- I have tested the ivy bridge version- check out this post for details:

    Thin Mini ITX Tester: 150W External PSU - i3-3225 - GA-B75TN

    Eelhead also used a thin mini for the playstation mod here:

    Playstation One Case Mod [Work Log in Progress]

  8. Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    14
    System
    10.8.2
    CPU
    i3-3220
    Graphics
    XFX ATI 5750 1GB
    Online
    toxicfusion is offline
    #8

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    I'm interested in seeing that gigabyte board used in this same style build, inside the mac mini chasis (modified).

    Also found another silverstone cooler that may have a slimmer profile, Otherwse might have to use a 1U copper heatsink with laptop style fan & shroud?

    Fan: Silverstone AR04

  9. Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    6
    System
    2010 HacMini
    CPU
    i3-3225T
    Graphics
    HD4000
    Geekbench Score
    6
    Online
    leigh103 is offline
    #9

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    Thanks for the replies guys...

    yeah I have actually been looking at other boards, especially the NUCs. I didn't realise gigabyte made similar boards, I do normally prefer gigabyte over intel, so I might put some thought into it. Only reason I went for intel this time was availability, couldn't get a gigabyte thin mini-itx when I bought it.

    Still not getting anywhere with the audio - kernel cache = no, doesn't boot, so maybe another board would make it easier.

    As for cooling, a copper fin heatsink with a laptop fan seems more and more like a good idea. The sink I've got is too loud, and the protrusion out of the bottom is more of an issue than I thought. Luckily I have these things to hand, just need a bit of spare time to work on it.

    on the whole it's working for me as it is, but it needs refining to finish it off.

    the monitor is a samsung 22" taken off its stand and bolted to a G5 iMac stand. I got an iMac off eBay for 8, so taking the iMac off the stand leaves a mount plate - which I bolted to the back of the monitor. I have plans to replace the font bezel with a Perspex sheet, with a black enamel bezel painted on it, so it looks like a Thunderbolt Display.

  10. Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    14
    System
    10.8.2
    CPU
    i3-3220
    Graphics
    XFX ATI 5750 1GB
    Online
    toxicfusion is offline
    #10

    2010 HacMini - Intel DH61AG i3-3225 - Mac Mini Casemod


    Does that INTEL motherboard let you control fan ramping within the BIOS? Should be able to set fan speed percentage? Or 'normal', silent, full fan speed.


    I think this is completely duable (hackable!!) Possibly someone take a give with gigabytes mini ITX thin boards, to assure having proper audio / network. Install a copper 1U heatsink with fan shroud, and then modify an I/o shield

    I'm thinking back about the posts on here regarding the Mac Pro 2010-2012 cases, where someone built a direct Pin mapout to the default Mac Pro I/O Shield.. this could be possible with this motherboard, have a pinout to the regular Mac Mini IO. *dreams*

    EDIT: I have a gut feeling Apple is going to scrap the current mac mini design? Leaving us to be open to new ideas in custo mac mini

  11. Similar Threads:

Page 1 of 3 123 Last