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M1 iMac G4 with HighRes Screen

Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
2
Motherboard
MacBook Pro 2016 Logic Board
CPU
2,7 GHz i7
Graphics
Radeon Pro 460
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
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  1. iOS
Hello everyone!
I've had my old 17" iMac G4 standing in storage for quite some time now and I think it's time to work on it. Considering that there already are some successful builds using the M1 Mac Mini I thought about putting one in my G4. The small form-factor of these parts would be ideal, I think.

I also plan on replacing the 17" screen panel with one with a higher resolution. Though, it's not that easy to find 16:10 panels these days especially because I'd want at least a resolution of 2560×1600. A classic 1920×1200 wouldn't do the M1 power justice.

So far my favourite option would be a screen from a Dell XPS 17 9700 laptop, which is available with a resolution of 3840 x 2400. (https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/13/21257006/dell-xps-17-15-redesign-specs-features-update-2020) I've seen used ones on eBay for around 250€. I plan on connecting it via HDMI but would also do USB-C. However, I would like to control the display brightness on the mac itself, like one usually would with a normal iMac.
Any suggestions on possible display controllers to make this possible?

Also, the Mac Mini's physical power button wouldn't be accessible once the parts are inside the G4. I was looking into options for external power buttons but didn't find anything yet. Alternatively, I would use the MacOs planned wake-up function. (https://www.macrumors.com/how-to/schedule-sleep-wake-times-mac/)

Luckily the Wifi module is not on the Mac Mini Logic Board itself, it should be easy to get an extension antenna cable and place the module underneath the G4, where the AirPort card would have been.
Regarding the proprietary ports, I plan on using male-to-female cables.
I also thought about keeping the optical drive for the fun of it but replacing it with a modern one. Though that's the least of my priorities, so I might just remove the drive.

I will first get a replacement screen and matching controller before continuing with other parts of the mod since this might be the trickiest part.

I am looking forward to suggestions and feedback on my build plan.
 
Joined
Aug 8, 2017
Messages
25
Motherboard
Gigabyte H110M-A
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i5-6500
Graphics
RX 570
Mac
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  4. Mac mini
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For a second I thought the brightness would be controlled as normal but then I remembered that it wouldn't be connected to an apple branded display. Maybe there's a way to fool it into thinking so?

Honestly, I'm excited to see where this might go. Best of luck to you!
 
Joined
May 6, 2021
Messages
2
Motherboard
MacBook Pro 2016 Logic Board
CPU
2,7 GHz i7
Graphics
Radeon Pro 460
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I currently am still looking for a display controller solution, as mentioned I am not that familiar with them. I do have the display information (17inch, 3840 x 2400, 16:10), but I could not find a matching controller yet... likely due to the scarcity of such displays. Now I am looking into ways of getting custom display controllers. I'll keep you posted.
 

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Joined
May 21, 2021
Messages
1
Motherboard
Board 820-2828-A
CPU
CPU i7-2600 3.4 GHz
Graphics
AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2GB
I am not sure if have seen this video, I would follow it as closely as I can.
 
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