El Capitan on a Power Mac G3 (Blue and White)?!!

Discussion in 'Completed Mods' started by ulisch, May 19, 2017.

  1. ulisch

    ulisch

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    May 19, 2017 at 6:38 PM #1
    ulisch

    ulisch

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    Some Background
    I am putting together "hacks" for quite a while and successfully worked through a lot of glitches thanks to this great forum!
    Apple´s case designs always have been "different" than the standard PC boxes and some, like the Power Mac G3 are eye-catching till today, so when I stumbled over a G3 empty shell for a bargain of a few Euros I decided to give it a try and put some new life into it. And here we are:
    Mac G3.JPG
    My Hardware Built
    Most of the PC components have been „leftovers“ from other upgrade jobs, yet good enough for day to day purposes:
    • MSI G41m P25 uATX Socket LGA775
    • Intel Core 2 Quad 2.6GHz processor
    • Scythe HTC cooler
    • 2*2Gbyte DDR3 RAM
    • AMD Radeon 7750 (Verde chip) SILENT graphic card
    • No name Firewire PCI card (NEC chipset)
    • Samsung DVD writer (bulk) [/SIZE]
    • No name PSU, 450W[/SIZE]
    • 500G Toshiba HDD (2.5´)[/SIZE]
    • 120mm Noiseblocker fan, operated with 5V tap directly from PSU
    • 128G SanDisk SSD (the only component I had to buy in for my built)
    Power Mac G3 Case Modification
    The G3 I had available has been an aged empty shell and the upper blue front panel pieces was already missing, so I had to find a blue-isch replacement of some sort, not perfect in color and structure, but working. Maybe an original piece flies my way some other day!

    Those of you who have tried to fit ATX type of HW into this case may have figured, that there are a few severe challenges:
    • usually the DVD drive collides with the motherboard
    • ATX supply with silent large fans (120mm side panel mount) face to the “wrong side”, so airflow is obstructed, or you have to mount it upside down and worry about the back panel openings no longer fitting.
    • Tray type metal frame under the power supply collides with motherboard
    • CPU cooler hight will collide with tray and ATX supply, so stay as LOW as possible
    • Backpanel opening interferes with audio connectors typically
    • none of the mounting standoffs fit standard ATX positions, you´ll have to place new ones.
    • general airflow through the G3 is not designed to handle 200..300W of dissipation
    So I opted for some modifications helping the above without killing the looks of the G3 and keeping the fan noise level very low:
    1. eliminated the tray metal altogether, yes the frame looses a bit of structural stability, but I can live with this and get unconstraint flow of air.
    2. Pushed position of the DVD drive all the way UP and created a custom tray opening around the little Apple logo. (see the picture) I should have taken a GREY front bezel for the DVD drive! Mac G3 open DVD.JPG
    3. Perforated the bottom of the case with a circular grid of holes to mount a 120mm silent fan to help getting fresh air Mac G3 disk and fan.JPG
    4. Accepted, that only three of the audio connectors (line in, line out, mic in) are accessible, the other three are covered up. Mac G3 back.JPG
    5. Stayed with a regular no name ATX supply with rear fan, I picked a unit with low noise quality fan though.
    So the G3 looks almost untouched (front and rear) !

    Electronics
    Rewired the original power button, power light to comply with ATX standard.
    Extended ATX supply wiring to reach the motherboard connectors also in “service position” , side door fully open.
    Placed HDD and SSD to the bottom of the case and routed the SATA wiring to be unconstraint for opening the case and still cleanly tugged away.
    Mac G3 open.JPG
    Installation
    There´s not much to say, follow the guides in this forum, El Capitan is running flawlessly, other than:
    I had to put in an old nVidia 8400 to get off the ground till I found the appropriate “Verde” kext to enable my Radeon 7750, installed the kext, switched the graphics card and voala, the built is running with the 7750. Even the no name firewire card (NEC chip) worked out of the box and I have successfully used it with external pro audio gear (Presonus Firepod).

    System Performance
    Given the type and age of the processor / chipset remarkably well! In fact geek bench and rendering benchmark were almost in reach to my genuine MacPro 5.1 (quad core), so good enough for every day type of work.

    Noise performance
    Personally I am very pleased with the result, round about on the same level as my genuine MacPro 5.1., so you notice, that the system is on, that´s it. The ATX supply fan noise (the smallest fan in the mix) is "dominating" the profile.

    Bottom line
    I am pretty happy with the net result, will swap in a grey front bezel DVD when I run across it. If you don´t have basic hardware sitting on the shelf like me you will certainly be better off with a state of the art mATX motherboard with integrated graphics and get decent performance at a lower power budget, thus more "compliant" with the constraints of the G3 original case.
     

    Attached Files:

    • Mac G3 DVD.JPG  (100.6 KB, 793 views)
  2. yangbao111

    yangbao111

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    May 19, 2017 at 8:34 PM #2
    yangbao111

    yangbao111

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    nice and clean.
     
  3. demonknight9

    demonknight9

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    May 23, 2017 at 9:31 AM #3
    demonknight9

    demonknight9

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    very nice :)
     
  4. nean

    nean

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    May 23, 2017 at 11:57 PM #4
    nean

    nean

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    reminds me somehow to my second hackintosh, but that was for a different purpose :p

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    ulisch likes this.

    Attached Files:

    • IMG_0762.jpg  (1.4 MB, 114 views)
    • IMG_0766.jpg  (1.5 MB, 117 views)
    • IMG_0768.jpg  (1.8 MB, 119 views)
    • IMG_0769.jpg  (1.5 MB, 112 views)
    • IMG_0770.JPG  (2 MB, 107 views)
  5. wow456

    wow456

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    May 24, 2017 at 2:40 AM #5
    wow456

    wow456

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    Is the case ATX? I believe it is
     
  6. DavNeil

    DavNeil

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    May 24, 2017 at 7:48 PM #6
    DavNeil

    DavNeil

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    I have MDD G4 shell lying around will that work (it is in pristine condition)? LB/MB and CPU socket were damaged in CPU upgrade?
     
  7. ulisch

    ulisch

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    May 25, 2017 at 10:39 AM #7
    ulisch

    ulisch

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    Well, the G3 is NOT an ATX standard compliant case, but with a series of modifications, specifically revised mounting points and some backpanel adjustment you CAN accomodate a mATX standard board in this case like I did. There are a bunch of posts in this Forum and elsewhere in WWW describing different methods to fix the motherboard in place.
    But some serious metallwork is required! Good luck!
     
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  8. ulisch

    ulisch

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    May 25, 2017 at 10:46 AM #8
    ulisch

    ulisch

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    Yes, indeed I think so! I have no G4 at hand myself, but I saw several posts stating this. And you may be lucky with the additional fan assembly and be able to repurpose that with a silent new fan and avoid the heavy duty drill job I had done to the bottom of the box to accomodate the 120 mm fan. The constraints with stackheight and DVD drive and so forth will be very similar and require cutting some metal. I´ve seen using laptop DVD drive, which are SHORTER than standard drives to reuse the original front panel positions! Good luck!
     
  9. ulisch

    ulisch

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    May 25, 2017 at 10:48 AM #9
    ulisch

    ulisch

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    LoL
     
  10. roto31

    roto31

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    May 25, 2017 at 4:42 PM #10
    roto31

    roto31

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    Very nice work!! I always like seeing when someone does it well and doesn't screw up the outside of the case. I did a similar build with a dead Sawtooth G4. It came out pretty well. It's been awhile since I touched mine and am looking for upgrades and improvements to it. I'd like to upgrade it to a newer board as the currently installed MSI board is stuck at El Capitan. But, it runs great as the machine I have hooked to the TV running all of my emulators.

    Clicking on the "Sawtooth Build" link in my signature will take you to the work log with pictures and updates.
     

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