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A Simple G5 Case Mod

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Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
356
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Centris
  3. LC
  4. Plus
  5. Power Mac
  6. PowerBook
  7. SE
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I wanted to explore the idea of a simple G5 case mod. The spectrum of difficulty for a G5 case mod is very broad ranging from water-cooled, powder-coated, and tricked-out to something simple. This mod explores the simple end of the spectrum. This case mod was completed in one day, once I had obtained all the parts. Also, I had a bunch of "spare parts" lying around that I wanted to put to good use.

Parts
- Intel Core i3-2120 Dual Core LGA1155 3.3Ghz Sandy Bridge (had lying around)
- GigaByte GA-B75M-D3H motherboard (bought new for this build)
- 2x4GB Kingston HyperX DDR3-1600 XMP Dual Channel RAM (bought new for this build)
- Gigabyte Radeon GTX 520 (stole from Eerie Blue Glow...Eerie now runs Mountain Lion and HD 4000 graphics)
- 500GB Hard Drive (was in the G5, originally)
- LG 24X SATA DVD Writer (bought on sale a while ago for $9)
- Corsair VX550W (bought on sale a while ago)
- Corsair Front Panel Kit (had laying around for projects just like this)


People love pictures, so I will spare the dialog. Feel free to ask questions, leave comments, etc.

All the parts.
IMG_1708.jpg



An empty canvas, er.. I mean case.
IMG_1728.jpg



Test fitting the motherboard.
IMG_1733.jpg



Using the shorter standoffs, sets the graphic card height perfectly.
IMG_1732.jpg



The edge of the board is tight up against the top shelf.
IMG_1734.jpg



Attaching the shorter standoffs to an old mATX board for glueing.
IMG_1730.jpg



Another view of the standoffs, along with the bottom tip of the graphics card.
IMG_1731.jpg



Mounting the hard drive on the top shelf.
IMG_1738.jpg



I drilled 3 holes in the top shelf to secure the hard drive (one was already there.)
IMG_1739.jpg



And the cables fit nice.
IMG_1736.jpg



Another view.
IMG_1737.jpg



The cut-out on the rear panel.
IMG_1740.jpg



Close up.
IMG_1741.jpg



From inside.
IMG_1743.jpg



Installing the top shelf.
IMG_1747.jpg



Lined up where the standoffs will connect to the G5. I used masking tape to limit the glue.
IMG_1748.jpg



Roughened up the bonding surface.
IMG_1749.jpg



Gluing the standoffs.
IMG_1750.jpg



While the glue dries...


Made the front panel cable. USB, Power switch, and Power LED only.
IMG_1746.jpg



Made a power cord pigtail using the original G5 power socket.
IMG_1744.jpg



Prepared the motherboard.
IMG_1755.jpg



Installed RAM, CPU and stock heatsink.
IMG_1756.jpg



...And the glue is dry!


Standoffs are complete.
IMG_1751.jpg



Glued the power pigtail.
IMG_1752.jpg



Installed motherboard.
IMG_1760.jpg



I used industrial strength velcro to mount the power supply.
IMG_1753.jpg



Velcro on the PSU.
IMG_1754.jpg



I flipped the G5 case upside down and completed installing the top shelf.
IMG_1761.jpg



Installed the PSU.
IMG_1759.jpg



Installed the "special" screws onto the bottom of the optical drive.
IMG_1758.jpg



Installed the optical drive.
IMG_1763.jpg



After some (minor) cable management.
IMG_1770.jpg



Tidied up the PSU cables.
IMG_1771.jpg



Some shots of the completed build.
IMG_1764.jpg



Front panel cable neatly hidden behind the motherboard. I can't say much for the other ones.
IMG_1762.jpg



Rear panel.
IMG_1767.jpg



Close up.
IMG_1768.jpg



Installing Mac OSX Lion

1) Used "Install Max OS X Lion.app" v 10.7.4 and built a UniBeast USB Installer on a 16GB USB Flash Drive
Building the UniBeast installer took 12 minutes.

2) Download BridgeHelper5 and Install onto USB Flash Drive. This provides support in Lion 10.7.4 for Ivy Bridge Processors
using the Native mach_kernel vers 11.4.2

3) Enter PC Bios and Load Defaults and ensure SATA mode is set to AHCI
Ensure High Precision Event Timer (HPET) is enabled. (This was the default)
Save bios settings

4) Insert the USB stick into PC and Boot and Install onto PC (this is detailed in step 1 instructions)

5) Do a Software Update to latest version (10.7.5) ** for some reason, the Ethernet jack is working! **

6) Reboot the USB stick, and choose to boot into the Lion Installation.

7) Use MultiBeast 4.6.1 to install the following

- UserDSDT Install
- Kexts & Enablers/Network/Realtek Gigabit Ethernet 2.0.6 for 10.7
- Kexts & Enablers/Audio/Realtek ALC8xx/Non_DSDT HDA Enabler/ALC887-888b
- Patched AppleHDA/ALC88b-887/v100302 Current
- Kexts & Enablers/FakeSMC
- Kexts & Enablers/FakeSMC/Motherboard Plugins
- Kexts & Enablers/FakeSMC/HW Monitor Application

8) Reboot, Set Boot order in BIOS

9) Install Software: GeekBench, Temperature Monitor, TextWrangler, Carbon Copy Cloner



What Works
- Sound
- Networking
- Sleep-Wake
- Speed Step
- Monitor Resolution Changes
- VGA, DVI
- USB 3 ports (not tested at USB 3 speeds)

Happy Modding!
chaos
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
ASRock Extreme7 X79
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Intel Core i7 3820
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That sure was simple if you were able to do it in a day! Now let's see that Mac Pro mod we talked about! ;)

Jeffinslaw
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
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Motherboard
15" Retina MacBook Pro
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Impressive. Makes me feel bad for having an old gutted G5 case laying around!
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
356
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Centris
  3. LC
  4. Plus
  5. Power Mac
  6. PowerBook
  7. SE
Mobile Phone
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That sure was simple if you were able to do it in a day! Now let's see that Mac Pro mod we talked about! ;)

Jeffinslaw

Yes, this G5 mod would be at the opposite end of the spectrum from yours.

The Mac Pro mod is scheduled for some time in the future when a Mac OSX compatible motherboard is available that supports two 10-core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge CPUs. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

chaos
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
356
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Centris
  3. LC
  4. Plus
  5. Power Mac
  6. PowerBook
  7. SE
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Impressive. Makes me feel bad for having an old gutted G5 case laying around!

Stay focused on your cube mod. It will be very rewarding! Save the gutted G5 for a rainy day. ;)

chaos
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
761
Motherboard
DQ77KB
CPU
i7-3770S
Graphics
HD4000
Mac
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  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi Chaos

Love the work as always, one day is impressive. Not wanting to add considerably too much, this is meant to be minimum build after-all, would you consider he following improvements to the build. Your call.

  1. HDD Mounting: Any reason why you didn't re-use the apple HDD mounting frame, not that its technically needed, but keeping it doesn't add any time to the build does it?
  2. IO Port Access: I would suggest trimming off the bottom few millimeters of the plastic fan bracket (see picture), this is a trivial cut compared to cutting the aluminum. It should only take a minute of so to do this, and depending on the MB, gain access to a few additional ports.
    A Simple G5 Case Mod - Reply to Topic-1.jpg
  3. Cooling: I notice you don't have any case exhaust fans, how are the temps inside the case? Two simple suggestions to improve this.

  • Use thin cardboard to create a cowling for the PSU, so that air is sucked in/out of the case rather than just recycled (see picture). Cut and fold the cardboard, Use sellotape to attach to the PSU. This should be trivial and could improve temperatures.
    A Simple G5 Case Mod - Reply to Topic-2.jpg
  • Mount a single case fan, screwed directly to the mounting bracket in your pictures. This just requires the purchase of a fan, four holes drilled through the plastic bracket, four screws and attachment to power. Easy.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2012
Messages
147
Motherboard
ASRock Extreme7 X79
CPU
Intel Core i7 3820
Graphics
Diamond AMD Radeon 7970 x2
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Yes, this G5 mod would be at the opposite end of the spectrum from yours.

The Mac Pro mod is scheduled for some time in the future when a Mac OSX compatible motherboard is available that supports two 10-core Xeon E5-2600 V2 Ivy Bridge CPUs. :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

chaos

That would most likely be an HPTX motherboard which would fit in the case but would require removal of everything essential of the Mac Pro case like the drive sleds and the position of the power supply.

Jeffinslaw
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2012
Messages
356
Motherboard
GA-Z87X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4770K
Graphics
GTX 960
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Centris
  3. LC
  4. Plus
  5. Power Mac
  6. PowerBook
  7. SE
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi Chaos

Love the work as always, one day is impressive. Not wanting to add considerably too much, this is meant to be minimum build after-all, would you consider he following improvements to the build. Your call.

  1. HDD Mounting: Any reason why you didn't re-use the apple HDD mounting frame, not that its technically needed, but keeping it doesn't add any time to the build does it?
  2. IO Port Access: I would suggest trimming off the bottom few millimeters of the plastic fan bracket (see picture), this is a trivial cut compared to cutting the aluminum. It should only take a minute of so to do this, and depending on the MB, gain access to a few additional ports.
    View attachment 40255
  3. Cooling: I notice you don't have any case exhaust fans, how are the temps inside the case? Two simple suggestions to improve this.

  • Use thin cardboard to create a cowling for the PSU, so that air is sucked in/out of the case rather than just recycled (see picture). Cut and fold the cardboard, Use sellotape to attach to the PSU. This should be trivial and could improve temperatures.
    View attachment 40258
  • Mount a single case fan, screwed directly to the mounting bracket in your pictures. This just requires the purchase of a fan, four holes drilled through the plastic bracket, four screws and attachment to power. Easy.

Hi kiwisincebirth,

1. The reason I didn't use the original G5 drive cage is because I used it in one of my other G5 mods, and this build is for my 74 year old father who thinks 500GB is utterly huge! Also, those hard drive rail mounting screws are worth their weight in gold, so I will be using them in another build as well.

2. I was thinking the exact same thing.

3. I gave this a lot of thought. Keeping the build modest also kept down the heat generation. The temps are great! It idles between 32 and 37 degrees C, and peaks at 50 during a Geekbench. The G5 case is amazingly porous. I'm only running an i3 and I am not over clocking, so not much heat is generated. There is so much open open space in the case that no heat can really build up. It simply flows out. The power supply is idling for the most part and is cold to the touch. The warmest part is just above the passive heat sink on the graphics card. I have yet to do a full heat test, but I don't think I will need to add a fan. If I have to add a fan, I will probably use the original real panel exhaust fan mounts as you suggest. I really do like how silent it is.


Thank you for your well thought out suggestions. Your cowling suggestion is one I might implement if heat does become an issue.
Much appreciated!

chaos
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2012
Messages
37
Motherboard
15" Retina MacBook Pro
CPU
2.6GHz i7-3720QM
Graphics
Nvidia GeForce GT 650M
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Stay focused on your cube mod. It will be very rewarding! Save the gutted G5 for a rainy day. ;)

chaos

Yes the Cube is my "budget" mod. I was saving the G5 for when I want to drop over $2,000 on a computer and get dual monitors and go all out.
 
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