Contribute
Register

G4 Cube Build Advice

Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
15
Motherboard
GA Z170N-Gaming 5
CPU
i7 6700T
Graphics
MSI RX 460 2G
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
  1. Classic
  2. iBook
  3. iMac
  4. Power Mac
  5. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Hi all!

After months of lurking these forums, I've finally decided to take the plunge and turn my G4 Cube into a hackintosh. I've read through quite a few threads, and think I've figured out exactly what hardware I'd like to use. The Cube will be used mainly for web/software development, and casual photo/video editing. Before I start buying anything, I'd appreciate if you wouldn't mind checking my list over for anything that might not work or may cause me grief during my build.
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-6400T
  • CPU Cooler: Noctua NH-L9i
  • Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H170N-Wifi Mini ITX
  • Internal Storage: 120GB Kingston SSD (for now, since I have this lying around)
  • RAM: Crucial 16GB (2x8GB) DDR4-2133
  • Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2GB (chosen because of price, size, and that it's powered solely via PCIe)
  • PSU: one of these 19.5V 240W Dell-compatible chargers, chosen because it was recommended for the following DC-ATX board
  • DC-ATX: HDPLEX HiFi 250W DC-ATC (nanoATX Series)
  • Wifi/Bluetooth: Broadcom BCM94352Z
My main worries are:
  • power: according to a PSU calucator, the total estimated max TDP is 146W, but I've also read that with the video card it's recommended to have at least a 300W PSU. Can someone please confirm this?
  • my selected PSU and DC-ATX board: I believe someone recommended that board in an earlier thread (apologies for not linking to it), but does anyone have any experience with it? Or would anyone care to recommend a better alternative?
  • video card: should I use a PCIe cable extender, or a riser? Any recommendations for either?
Thank you all so much for creating such a great and helpful community! Cheers :)
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Joined
May 21, 2015
Messages
77
Motherboard
HP Elite X2 G2
CPU
i5-7600U
Graphics
HD620
You are more than fine with that PSU. I am running something similar, with beefier components and no issues. (i7 6700 + RX460).
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,728
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Just giving this a quick bump. Anyone have any thoughts about the PSU?


Well for my 2 cents: A Cube is a tough nut and the main issue centers around dumping the heat generated by the CPU and GPU and PSU... So the lowest power that you can live with, the more likely you are to have a success. If you read up on the Cube, even Apple had issues and added a fan bracket to the bottom plate. The only Cubes that really work well for me use "thin" motherboards (meaning the power brick was external).

For what it is worth, you can use "Search" to find my build documentation.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
Nov 21, 2016
Messages
15
Motherboard
GA Z170N-Gaming 5
CPU
i7 6700T
Graphics
MSI RX 460 2G
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
Classic Mac
  1. Classic
  2. iBook
  3. iMac
  4. Power Mac
  5. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Thanks for the replies, everyone! I really appreciate it. I was busy with exams and then Christmas, so I haven't had the chance to get back to this for a while.

@neilhart thank you for letting me know about "thin" boards! I hadn't heard of them before, but I searched through a couple of your previous mods and the ability to use a laptop power brick with them is very appealing. However, as I would like to do video editing with my machine, I would like to add a dedicated GPU, and will therefore require a board with an expansion slot. None of the Thin Mini-ITX boards I've seen have expansion slots, so I assume it's just not part of the spec for them.

Bearing this in mind, I think (when I have saved up enough to proceed with the project) I'll go with the regular Mini-ITX board I listed. Unfortunately that means I'll have to deal with additional heat from power supplies, but I've chosen a low TDP processor and a low TDP graphics card so I think with adequate cooling I should be fine.

Neil, I know you've had prior experience with PCIe cable extenders, but from what I've read you haven't used them recently. From your prior experience, what do you think I should look for in choosing a cable?
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,728
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Neil, I know you've had prior experience with PCIe cable extenders, but from what I've read you haven't used them recently. From your prior experience, what do you think I should look for in choosing a cable?

I am located in the US and I use Amazon Prime where ever I am un-sure about a part just because of the return policy. If you can find an understanding supplier that will take back parts that cause problems then buy and try the extender cables.

Years ago the cables were not well made and I even recall re-soldering pins to cable wires... not my best work for sure. The ones that I tried two years ago were much better made and low cost. However I still had Video issues related to the cables.

Good modding,
neil
 
Top