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Keeping the case as original as possible - 03/05/18 - PCB Arrived !

Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
CPU
Core i7 3770k
Graphics
GTX 750Ti OC 2Go
Mac
MacBook
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android
1) the 3D drawing shows a CPU-cooler that has it's airflow pointed to the back, but the GPU airflow is pointed up. Is that because you can choose the direction of the CPU-cooler yourself? Is this not fixed by the design of ATX-cards?
The installed cooler (Hyper 212 Evo) can be rotated 90° if needed. For CPU coolers, the standards define the position and size of the holes for the fixation system (depends on CPU socket), and then every vendor can design a fixation system around those. It's quite an old build (Core i7 3770k on LGA1155 socket), so even though this cooler for this socket can be rotated, it's not necessarily sure you can do that for your own cpu / cooler combination. You should check that in the installation documents for your cooler of choice, but I guess it's now pretty common since in some combinations, the fan could hit the RAM sticks (especially for RAM sticks with huge aluminium fins).

• It looks from the 3D drawing that the GPU-card airflow is bottom to top.
• It looks from the photo that the CPU cooler airflow is front to back (of the case).
• PSU is not visible but the airflow usually goes top to bottom (and can leave the case front and back underneath the PSU-cover)
The PSU got a cutout to fit the 120mm fan that was in the original PSU case, the only destructive operation in this whole process :) The two 40mm fans that are on the PowerMac PSU would have been really loud and I didn't want to risk frying my PSU.
About airflow : I'm not a huge gamer or overclocker, so I don't really drive my components to the limit. When I bought the components, I was doing a lot of video, graphic design, and such, and I needed some beefy stuff. Nowadays, I'm mostly doing electronics, programming and some CAD modeling (and once in a while, I'll play Just Cause 3 or some other game). I never really took into account the whole "airflow" stuff, just a tiny bit to have a cool and silent work computer, so some decisions might not be the best cooling wise but it has worked for me :)

2) Why not turn the motherboard 90º counter clockwise? Then the cables and the card would have more room, and not so tight on the PSU cover. Also, the airflow of the card and CPU would be more in line.
It'd been a long time since I designed that solution, so the details are a bit murky, but the fit is actually a bit tighter than what the renderings are showing. For example, the top of the PSU case almost touches the bottom of the mobo, maybe 7 or 10mm gap, way less than what can be seen on the first post. From what I remember : it was impossible to fit an standard ATX card rotated 90° without cutting the top shelf or the PSU.
I think it also had to do with the Aluminium G5 cover : I wanted it to fit over the CPU and the GPU would be in the way.
But I might be wrong, I'll have to rebuild the case in a couple weeks, so I'll check this time (and grab pictures).

3) Exactly what PSU did you use: The be quiet! Power Zone 750W, the Dark Power Pro 11 or the Straight Power 11 750 W?
I used an older model, bought in 2013 or 2014. It's a Pure Power 530W actually (I thought it was a 750W) model BN106. I'm not 100% sure about the internals, but since the ATX form factor for PSUs is defined, I'm guessing most of them have more-or-less the same layout inside and should fit inside the stock Powermac PSU.

4) I noticed that several G5 builds left out the original fans. Did you use any case fans or is the case cooled enough as it is by the CPU/GPU/PSU fans? Does the PSU fan provide extra airflow / cooling that in the original case was provided by the front and back fans?
The Hyper212 EVO CPU cooler is a beast : I've never had any problem with it, lots of cooling, and even at 100% CPU load (benchmarking), it never went above 60°C. The 120mm PSU Fan provides a bit of airflow too, grabbing some cool air on the front of the case, sending it inside the PSU, and it goes out the back without leaving the PSU case.
I used the 2 case fans in the back, but I kept only the plastic housing, removed the stock fans and replaced them by 2 92mm BeQuiet fans, as in this thread. I had a weird rattling noise at first, but the fan were mounted backwards (blowing air inside the case), but since I inverted them (blowing outside), everything as been running fine.
If needed, I have a 3D model for a bracket I could 3D print and that would fit on 2 of the original case pegs. This bracket could hold a 140mm fans just behind the front grill and provide a bit of complementary airflow, but I never needed it until now.
I think most people do that kind of thing because the pinout on the Apple Fans is kind of weird and it's hard to get variable speed, they might even be 12V instead of 5V for standard fans, and they are loud as hell.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
CPU
Core i7 3770k
Graphics
GTX 750Ti OC 2Go
Mac
MacBook
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android
So, I've been a bit busy : I sent the PCB for fabrication to ALLPCB. I'm used to working with seeed or elecrow, but allpcb was new to me, and to be honest, it's beyond me how those chinese PCB house can even make a profit... I ordered 5 pieces for a double sided 186.7x44.1mm board, and I paid 22$ including shipping (3-5 days TNT worldwide). I should receive them in a couple of days.

I also ordered the necessary components to solder onto the board at Mouser. I should have enough to make 2 boards (except for the original Apple back panel plugs and Bluetooth Module, I only got one of those). If anyone is interested, tell me, we can find a way to send you either a semi-populated board or an empty one. I'll let you know if everything works first, of course.

If we only count the components, that puts the price of the board + components at around 20$, but that's mainly because I bought gold-plated "dupont" crimp contacts and housing (actually Harwin M20 series components) from Mouser. Buying those on amazon, ebay, ... would lower the price significantly, but I'd rather pay a bit extra and have the real deal, it's a pain in the ass to work with sub-quality (or at least untraceable) parts, especially when dealing with wiring.

Finally, I ordered an Engineer PAD-11 crimping tool to make the "dupont" cables. (btw, those are the headers on your motherboard for USB, audio, Front Panel, etc...) If you're in the market for a good crimping tool, you should look into this one. I've heard good things about their PA-09 & PA-21 pliers for making "dupont" cables : apparently the dies are way better quality than the chinese SN-28B pliers you can find for 20-30$. I bought those on HobbyKing for 39$ + 6$ for the complementary PAD-12S dies (not really needed for this project, but oh well). Seems to be a limited special price, they were at 70$ and 22$ respectively.

I'll have to test this tool, but I bought it because it should also be able to crimp the plugs on ATX PSU cables (everyone calls those connectors Molex, but it doesn't mean anything, Molex makes thousands of different connectors). I hope one day to recable my PSU to clean up the mess and make custom length cables.

Once I receive all that, I'll start soldering and crimping, we'll see how it goes.

NB1 : The modding world is crazy. A lot of people are paying crazy prices for basic tools, connectors, contacts, etc... just because, well, everything is a mess : no one writes the real manufacturer ref for the components, sellers are reselling chinese-made tools for 2 or 3 times the price, same with the plugs, etc...

NB2 : I'm not making any money from those suppliers, just wanted to let you guys know about some good deals. That's why I didn't put any links.
 
Joined
Mar 27, 2017
Messages
57
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 5-Clover
CPU
i7-8700
Graphics
VEGA 56
Mac
MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
Classic Mac
LC, Power Mac, PowerBook
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iOS
First of all, thank you for your answers :) I think it's so cool hackintosh builders can exchange idea's here.

Sorry I didn't answer sooner, I thought I had already posted a 'thank you', but apparently something went wrong.

The PSU got a cutout to fit the 120mm fan that was in the original PSU case, the only destructive operation in this whole process :) The two 40mm fans that are on the PowerMac PSU would have been really loud and I didn't want to risk frying my PSU.
I don't understand this one, I think. (Some photo's really would help a lot, can't wait for them!) The original G5 PSU case can't possibly have had a 120 mm fan, so you must mean the G5 PSU plane got a cut-out. I've seen that a lot, yes.

since the ATX form factor for PSUs is defined, I'm guessing most of them have more-or-less the same layout inside and should fit inside the stock Powermac PSU.
I'm in doubt between using 1) your approach – which is the easiest to build, but in that case: Why not leave out the metal PSU-bottom-sheet completely, since the original look is gone anyway. The only reason would be to stick with the better / separated PSU airflow. Or 2) honoring the 'separated PSU airflow' by choosing a PSU that fits in the bottom compartment (after removing it's fan / maybe even it's case) and putting one or two small, new fans in the bottom as well. But that would probably make more noise.

I like my computers silent so I'd rather use your approach or 3) even use a fan-less 'titanium' PSU. I don't think it's a good idea to put that in the small bottom compartment though, without any fans… So if I go for a fan-less PSU, I'll just put it in the main compartment. Or leave out the original G5 PSU metal sheet. I'll decide on that later.

I used the 2 case fans in the back, but I kept only the plastic housing, removed the stock fans and replaced them by 2 92mm BeQuiet fans, as in this thread
Again, it's a bit hard to see anything of the fans in the back, on the photo, haha. Looking forward to your pictures even more.

If you're in the market for a good crimping tool
Is there really so much quality difference? I never used one before, never needed it because I never did a project that required it, but it looks practical. I see there are a lot of size and types of these pins... What size/type did you use? I assume isolated? Is there a standard type / thickness for ATX boards? Or doesn't it matter, als long as you use isolated pins? Any tips?
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
CPU
Core i7 3770k
Graphics
GTX 750Ti OC 2Go
Mac
MacBook
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android
First, let me start with a bit of warning :
If you've never worked with potentially deadly or fire starting currents, I strongly advise you not to try to recable your PSU or even the small low current connectors. The lowest risk is damage to your computer in part or in whole, the highest being a really really bad electric shock, potentially death.
A computer PSU can easily send upwards of 40 amps of current, your heart won't like that.
Be cautious, don't be dumb, start small.


That being said :

But that would probably make more noise
Exacty, noise is a big factor, I'm working on my comp almost 10 hours a day, so a noisy one isn't gonna cut it.
The fanless approach might work, but I'm not sure about the thermal design of those : are they designed with big heatsinks and efficient components (which could work in a G5 PSU), or is there some weird passive airflow cooling designed in the case (and you'll have a hard time replicating it). From what I saw of those, they have grills all around to let the hot air go away, nothing too fancy, but the G5 PSU case might be a bit too tiny. If you have the cash and feel a bit adventurous, I'd say go for it, worst case is the PSU over-temperature protection would kick off from time to time and your computer would shut down. If it happens, you can then either put it back in it's original case or add a fan to the G5 bottom shelf.

Is there really so much quality difference?
For that particular tool, I don't really know. Andreas Spiess made a nice video comparing the cheap SN-28B and a Japanese Engineer PA-09, same make as the one I bought. You can clearly see in the video the difference in the dies, they are really nicely machined.
From other tools I got (another type of crimp, screwdrivers, etc...), having the right tool is just so satisfying, but I'm a tool nerd.
Since I'll be crimping connectors for the USB cables, Networks, etc, I don't want dodgy connections, so I'd rather have a "serious" tool and be sure that my connections are nice and solid than having to pull everything out every 6 month to redo the cabling just because a pin came loose... As I plan in the future to recable my PSU too, it's even more critical to have a tool you have confidence in, because if a short occurs, there are tens of amps potentially waiting to have a party in your computer...

But just to be clear : I'm gonna crimp my own USB / SPDIF / Front Panel / Ethernet cables, but it's not absolutely necessary, you can either buy long internal cables with female headers on both side, or just cut one side and directly solder the wires to the custom PCB. Same with the PSU, you can by extensions, or roll them up somewhere hidden if they are too long.

-----------------------

A small tutorial on cables & connectors :

Disclaimer again : if you've never worked with potentially deadly or fire starting currents before, I strongly advise you to not try to recable your PSU or even the small low current connectors. The lowest risk is damage to your computer in part or in whole, the highest being a really really bad electric shock, potentially death.
A computer PSU can easily send upwards of 40 amps of current, your heart won't like that.
Be cautious, don't be dumb, start small.

Most of the time, you have 3 types of connectors you can wire / crimp yourself in a computer : the motherboard headers, the fan headers, and the power connectors.

Motherboard connectors for USB, front panel, audio, etc... are using rectangular headers with a pitch of 0.1" or 2.54mm. They are commonly known as "Dupont" headers. They are made for smallish wires : usually 24AWG, but you can go up to 23AWG.
I'll be using the Harwin M20 series housings and contacts in my build, but this ref is not absolutely necessary, if you search for dupont connector on ebay, amazon, etc... you'll find suitable components.
View media item 190202View media item 190203
Motherboard connectors for Fans have 4 pins and are of the Molex KK series. Like the other motherboard headers, the current going through them is quite small, so 24-23AWG is enough.
View media item 190205View media item 190204
Next are the power connectors from your PSU. Those can carry quite a lot of current, so 18AWG is a minimum, but bigger is better. Some people even go as high as 16 or 15AWG, but the crimp terminals are a bit difficult to find.
All those are Molex Mini Fit Jr series housings and contacts. Some have 24 pins (Motherboard power), some have 8 pins (ATX12V, the secondary, smaller, power connector on your motherboard, providing power to the CPU), some have 6 (the standard PCI Express power connector "low power" GPUs). On some graphics cards, you have an 8 Pin power connector, but it's a bit of a hard to find part, it looks like a modified Molex MiniFit Jr 8 pin housing.

Finally, you can also recable the SATA power cables either by buying IDC connectors, or crimp connectors. On some PSUs, they use IDC (insulation displacement connector), and if you pry them open carefully, you can reuse those without a hitch (but a brand new one costs something like 1€...)
 
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
9
Motherboard
Gigabyte H270M-DS3H
CPU
Intel Core i5-7400
Graphics
Intel Core i5 HD630
Amazing mod! Thanks for the insights.
Can you share the CAD files for the ATX motherboard mount supports? Thanks in advance.
 
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
CPU
Core i7 3770k
Graphics
GTX 750Ti OC 2Go
Mac
MacBook
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android
Hey, Steeg.

Here you go : http://a360.co/2GfSDiA
This is a link to Autodesk A360, where you can download the whole project for use in Fusion 360 if you want to modify it. Fusion 360 has a free limited version, but if you're a student, you just have to register on Autodesk Education Portal and you get a free 3 year license for the complete version. Fusion 360 works on both Windows and Mac.

If you just want to print the files, here's a pack with the STLs :
https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2823013

Off to work !

Edit : ATX dimensions and mounting points are standardized, so it should work with any motherboard. The only bracket that might not work for you is the one for the graphics card. I mounted my GPU on the innermost PCIE slot because that's where my PCIE-16X slot is, it might not be the same slot for your motherboard.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 7, 2010
Messages
9
Motherboard
Gigabyte H270M-DS3H
CPU
Intel Core i5-7400
Graphics
Intel Core i5 HD630
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
CPU
Core i7 3770k
Graphics
GTX 750Ti OC 2Go
Mac
MacBook
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android
Look what the mailman brought in today ! I also received the components to solder, but I'm still waiting on the crimper. I may try to solder the board after work, and test the connection using jumper wire, before crimping my own cables as soon as I receive the tool.

Boards seems to be of a pretty good quality, the silkscreen is a tad bit offset but for the price, I really can't complain. Also, I got 8 instead of the 5 I ordered :)

 
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
18
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD3H
CPU
Core i7 3770k
Graphics
GTX 750Ti OC 2Go
Mac
MacBook
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
Android
Ok, there are some problems :) I'll make modifications to the CAD file, but in the meantime, I'll try to correct the mistakes on this board to see how I can salvage it. It's kind of a pain to solder, so I'll probably keep this one in my computer, but if I need to make another mod, I might order new PCBs.

So far, I know that the USB ports are routed completely wrong, (GND on VCC, D+ on D-), so it's obviously not gonna work. I thought I tested the connections, but looks like I didn't, I remember I followed some datasheets for similar components, but now that I think of it, those datasheets might have been for ports with the "top" side of the connector the other way around... Well, I'll keep you posted anyway.

The 3.3v LDO seems to be working good, but the bluetooth module is not detected or recognized, I'm wondering if it's the module that is fried or if I have a problem with my internal USB headers.

I didn't have time to test the jacks & optical out, and I need to make an Ethernet cable. Also, I didn't test the physical layout yet.

I'll keep you posted.
 
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