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Figuring cooling needs on PMac Graphite case?

Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
61
Motherboard
GA-Z170M-D3H
CPU
i5 6600 3.3Ghz
Graphics
Intel 530
Mac
iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Classic Mac
20th Anniv. Mac, iMac, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Hello all, first post here. First attempt at building ANY computer. I've been a professional mac guy for 20+ years though. Handy in the shop, I have lots of tools.

What I don't have is a handle on things that long time builders probably know in their sleep: how to determine cooling needs.

I'm going to put an i5 on a M-ATX motherboard off the compatible list, and I'll use onboard graphics at least initially but never plan to go heavy duty on a GPU. Not planning any need for it as this system will mostly run Indigo home automation software and iTunes whole house audio via AirPlay. I'm replacing a Late 2009 Mini that's stock and almost keeps up with my needs, so you can see I don't require a lot.

I've poured over the PowerMac G4 builds here and gotten a lot of good ideas and insights. I've also stripped down the old G4 case to get familiar with its layout. I have no need for an optical drive at all in this build, which makes lots of thing easier.

My goals with this build:
  • Minimal cutting or drilling. Preferably zero mods to the outside of the case aside from the IO panel on the back.
  • Reuse the case's drive locations, PSU location, hopefully even original case cooling fan location and the metal panel for it.
  • No blinky lights of any kind that don't show some status.
My initial questions are pretty basic:

Any tips or tricks for figuring out whether or not a given component (especially CPU coolers) fit in a modded case?
How can I determine how much cooling is required before buying parts
, and what is the optimum CPU temp range, anyway?

The original PowerMac PSU had a rear mounted fan and blew air out the back of the case. The only example of an ATX PSU I can find like that is suspiciously cheap at <$20. Anyone know of a reliable modular PSU with power location compatible with the Graphite case and with a fan that blows out on the same face of the PSU as the power plug?
 
Joined
Dec 27, 2016
Messages
61
Motherboard
GA-Z170M-D3H
CPU
i5 6600 3.3Ghz
Graphics
Intel 530
Mac
iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, Mac mini
Classic Mac
20th Anniv. Mac, iMac, Plus, Power Mac, PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Here's what I'm currently thinking of for parts:

StarTech.com 400 Watt ATX Replacement Computer PC Power Supply (Rear fan on this. But I'm concerned about it not being 80+ rated.) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000FAMUF8/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

Noctua Low-Profile Quiet CPU Cooler for Intel 115x Based Retail Cooling NH-L9I (This was as low profile as I could find with reasonable reviews.)

GIGABYTE GA-H170M-D3H (rev. 1.0) LGA 1151 Intel H170 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Micro ATX Intel Motherboard (straight from the guide.)

And some i5 from the list. This choice will be driven by sale prices. Same for RAM & SSD, plus I have some regular HDDs I'll put in the case.
 
Joined
May 12, 2012
Messages
107
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-B75M-HD3
CPU
i5-2500K
Graphics
GT 710
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Welcome to the forums! My G4 hack has been out of commission for a while now (parts are living in an old G5 tower), but I used to use an Antec Earthwatts 380w PSU with a 80mm rear fan similar to this one...

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002UOR17Y/?tag=tonymacx86com-20

The green case looks a bit off in the otherwise grey case and the 380w can leave you a bit wanting in the power department if you're looking to drive a hefty graphics card and CPU. I have recently seen this baby on NewEgg if you're still looking...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...gclid=CPi8yMaosdECFQ90fgodr9IG2Q&gclsrc=aw.ds

It's grey! 430w. 80 Plus rated and Haswell compatible too. The 80mm rear fan, power connector and switch layout mean that it should line up perfectly with the existing exhaust and power holes on your Graphite G4 without any cutting! I'm actual half tempted to get one myself for the future. Would love to hear my Graphite G4 baby that I originally bought waaaaay back in 2000 purring again.
 
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