Contribute
Register

Hopeful Cube build

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77MX-D3H TH
CPU
Intel i7-3770 LGA1155
Graphics
MSR GTX560 Twin Frozr II
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi all
I've been looking and searching and reading alot over the last 2 weeks regarding the Cube build. I seem to have found a Cube in good condition that does not work, but cosmectically should be in good nick. I've been promised that I can pick it up in 2 days' time. Naturallly i'm excited as I've seen some pretty awesome solutions on this forum. It is truly mindboggling how you builders all can dremel, cut, hack and tinker your ways to Cube Heaven.

Before I pick it up, could somebody please let me know if I need special tools to dismantle the Cube? Does it use Torx screws or just a normal philips head screwdriver ? I'll try and emulate the rest of you with pictures and progress reports, but if I'm able to just come within 75% of many of the builds I've see here, I'll be happy. The bar is indeed very high, which is good.

I plan to do the DQ77KB and the i3 processor for a low power solution. I already have another Hack-a-Mac running on a Gigabyte board so I'm quiiiiietly confident I can get it up and running.... It's the dremelling part that has me worried and how much hacking and drilling I need to do.

In any case, I won't know until I have the Cube, the mobo, processor and heat sink how I can make it all fit.

Team Molteni
 
Joined
Nov 25, 2010
Messages
1,210
Motherboard
MSI Z77MA-G45
CPU
i7-3770k @ 4.3 GHz
Graphics
R9 280X
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi Team, if you're going to use the DQ77KB, which is a great choice, I'd recommend grabbing one soon as they are discontinued and the prices are rising. If you need a guide to follow, I created one at this link. It's an i7 build, but could easily be adapted to an i3 project. This forum has a great compilation of ideas for the Cube. Enjoy every step of your build and post pics as you progress.

Cheers!
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77MX-D3H TH
CPU
Intel i7-3770 LGA1155
Graphics
MSR GTX560 Twin Frozr II
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Excellent, thanks guys. If the DQ77KB is being discontinued, are there other possible recommendations? I'll have a look at the local IT super mart when I indeed have the Cube in hand. One step, many more to follow. Esterhernd, I've downloaded your guide and will read it through. Cheers Team Molteni
 
Joined
May 27, 2012
Messages
767
Motherboard
DQ77KB
CPU
i7-3770S
Graphics
HD4000
Mac
  1. MacBook Air
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Excellent, thanks guys. If the DQ77KB is being discontinued, are there other possible recommendations
Gigabyte have a small range of these thin boards, but I don't know about suitability from a SW perspective. Of course any regular ITX board will fit but you need a Pico PSU which makes it harder to install, and one of the reasons the Intel board is popular.

http://www.gigabyte.com.au/MicroSite/324/images/model.html

Also I have created a post listing low CPU profile cooler options. With an Core i3 any of these will be suitable, you main consideration is size. The Zalman looks a good candidate, but untested on these forums (that I am aware of).

http://www.tonymacx86.com/hardware-parts/103860-low-profile-cpu-coolers.html
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2013
Messages
56
Motherboard
Cube H77N-Wifi
CPU
i3 3225
Graphics
HD 4000
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
I had a difficult time sourcing the Intel board a month or so ago. I got email from Newegg stating they were in stock again but they were gone by the time I looked again. Prior to the email I'd bought an H77N-Wifi. If the board is mounted in the stock position the use of a 24 pin ATX power extension is required. It's an easy fix, install the extension and relocate the Pico PSU. There is a post in one of the threads where the user built an extension (I bought one for US$4) with pics.

It's likely that there will be an Intel Z87/H87 model of that board. The PC hardware sites usually have a good heads up on what's arriving into the channel and when. Most everyone else still has mITX 1155 boards and have released mITX 1150 boards as well.

Cutting the chassis isn't as bad as it seems. I used a reciprocating saw on the heatsink and a cut off wheel and die grinder on the bottom plate (my battery powered Dremel wasn't strong enough to cut the plate). Mock it up and mark it well, take your time cutting and everything will be fine.
 

neilhart

Moderator
Joined
May 25, 2010
Messages
2,731
Motherboard
ASRock Fatal1ty Z270 Gaming - ITX/ac
CPU
i7-7700T
Graphics
GTX960
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
The Intel DQ77KB is a great mini-itx motherboard with many options and is what I call OS X friendly. And here at TonyMacx86 you have some very cube knowledgeable people to converse with.

The CPU choice for this board is key to a good experience. The board is "3rd generation" and you should choose an Ivy Bridge CPU. I went with the i3-3225. The CPU of choice needs to support Intel HD 4000 graphics and should not exceed the power delivery capability of the on board PSU.
Intel maintains a list of supported CPUs: http://processormatch.intel.com/CompDB/SearchResult.aspx?BoardName=DQ77KB , however there is an i7-3770t that is not on the list that is a low power CPU (45W) that has been used successfully.

One note is the mSATA does not support SATA III.

My final project with this motherboard is here at: http://www.tonymacx86.com/others/89452-neilharts-scratch-build-case-2-a.html

Good modding
neil
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77MX-D3H TH
CPU
Intel i7-3770 LGA1155
Graphics
MSR GTX560 Twin Frozr II
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Hi fellow modders. Thank you for all the encouraging posts. I managed to pick the Cube up yesterday for the equivalant of 35 Euro and it is in very good cosmetic condition. SCORE. I have started the tear down. Thank you for the links.. they are all proven useful.

When I have worked out how to post jpg's on the forum, I'll do that. I have a preliminary idea regarding hardware, but all ideas welcome at the moment. All I know is that it will have to be low power.

The DQ77KB is indeed a great solution from what i've been able to read up on on this forum, but it has increased, not decreased in price and is hard to come by. I'm leaning towards one of the Gigabyte ITX boards at teh moment. I've succesfully managed to install OSX on a Gigabyte mATX the tonymac way before, so I'm somewhat comfortable with that part of the process.

I also have a rough idea of what the end product will look. I hope to post some of those ideas for eval after I come back from holidays in a week.

I cant tell you how excited I am. As I've previously posted, you guys have set the bar high. I'll try my very best. After all I believe the Cube deserves it.

Cheers Team Molteni
 

Attachments

  • G4 Cube.jpg
    G4 Cube.jpg
    66.8 KB · Views: 238
Joined
Jul 8, 2013
Messages
9
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
Another smaller, lower powered possibility (which I am looking into) is one of the Intel NUC boards. There is a new i5 board just released with a full-size SATA port, also a Thunderbolt board. And rumoured updates to Haswell later in the year.

Just an alternative to Mini-ITX. Others on the forum have explored these both in the Cube and in other formats (including Esterhernd's empty Cube power brick.) Great stuff.
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z77MX-D3H TH
CPU
Intel i7-3770 LGA1155
Graphics
MSR GTX560 Twin Frozr II
Mac
Classic Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Well, I've done the tear-down and my new tool set with torx bits came in very handy, ha ha. I work in a school on the administration side of things and our technology dept has a laser cutter. It gave me an idea....

I am going to build an Imperial Death Star Cube. My plan is to leave the cube in it's present acrylic form, but build a black acrylic bucket type sleeve that wraps around the original Cube acrylic. I could then relatively easily create themed "sleeves" if I wanted to. The template would be stored probably as a cad drawing of sorts... I'm not sure what program the tech guys use for controlling the laser cutter. I'll find out after the long weekend here.

I'll have to fiddle with the proportions of the Imperial logo for the front. The front logo would have white vinyl as the contrasting colour behind the black acrylic and the top logo would be cut out to allow for air flow. Of course also a slit for the DVD drive. I'd like the touch sensor to be behind the front logo, but that is probably asking fortoo much.

I'll ask my tech guy, but I'm determined to retain the curves, so this means bending one long sheet of black acrylic into having 4 corners. I hope to bevel the top at 45 degrees to be able to put the lid on so it looks flush like the original. My plan is to keep it minimalist... no other writing or engraving... an homage to the Cube's elegant simplicity.

Hardware wise... let's see. I might wait for Haswell to be implemented.... All I know is that I'll need the picoUSB thingo, the Edisen sensor and some form of Bluetooth for keyboard... which I'll have to make black....

let me know what you think. Any of you have templates for photoshop or cad drawings of the Cube? In any event, I'll meet with my tech guy next week.
 

Attachments

  • Cube in bits.jpg
    Cube in bits.jpg
    613.1 KB · Views: 303
  • Before and after Cube.jpg
    Before and after Cube.jpg
    51.2 KB · Views: 243
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top