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Mini Cube — H110MSTX-HD3 — i3-7100 — RX 560 — OC Big Sur

Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
1,025
Motherboard
GA H110MSTX HD3
CPU
i3 7100
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
MMC.jpg


Background:

I was looking for a vintage Apple case for my next build and found this fine specimen, a late 2009 Mac mini empty case in perfect condition, there seems to be an IO board and a cable for the front switch. Very excited to see what I can do with this, especially after seeing some of the mods here. $25 including tax and postage!.
At the time of purchase I didn't really have a motherboard in mind but, it was the time of COVID, there would be plenty of time for research. Phunguss suggested the H110MSTX measuring, 147mm x 140mm, a perfectly small motherboard that fits inside the 2009 Mac mini case. The project quickly progressed to involving 3D printing for the rear IO and would later print part of the case mod to incorporate a graphics card which, at the time we didn't know was possible. So I purchased a second 2009 Mac mini case.


Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 6.55.14 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 6.55.01 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 6.55.11 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-04-05 at 6.58.16 PM.png


Components:

Motherboard: GA-H110MSTX-HD3

Processor: Intel i3-7100

CPU cooler: Thermaltake Engine 27 1U Low-Profile

Memory: Crucial 8GB DDR4 2400 (PC4 19200) 260 pin SODIMM

Hard drive: Team Group MS30 M.2 2280 256GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Graphics Card: MSI AERO RX 560 4GB OC

Cable: R53SR M.2 WiFi A.E key converter to PCI-E 3.0 x16 to wifi akey Flexible Flat Cable.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Messages
195
Motherboard
NUC5i5MYBE
CPU
I5-5300U
Graphics
HD 5500
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac mini
  5. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
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YES! Mini-STX fits great, the only problem is the vertical SODIMMs make it difficult to include a slot load DVD. If you don't care about the media drive then not a problem. If you do, there are some low profile sodimms out there, but they are expensive.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
1,025
Motherboard
GA H110MSTX HD3
CPU
i3 7100
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
YES! Mini-STX fits great, the only problem is the vertical SODIMMs make it difficult to include a slot load DVD. If you don't care about the media drive then not a problem. If you do, there are some low profile sodimms out there, but they are expensive.
Thanks phunguss!. I’m not planning on using the media drive, I thought it would be better if the case had slightly more airflow. I saw a video where someone converted a Nintendo Game Cube into a gaming PC. A lot of cutting was involved. That’s where I got the idea from. This case looks perfect for a mini Hackintosh. I can’t tell if the white IO at the back is removable.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
195
Motherboard
NUC5i5MYBE
CPU
I5-5300U
Graphics
HD 5500
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac mini
  5. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Classic
  3. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
The back is not removable on the 2005-2007 models, don't think it is on the 2009 either. You will just have to cut it off and 3D print a new one with white media (I used PLA and glued it on).

mmh07b.jpg


mmh08.jpg


mmh06b.jpg
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
1,025
Motherboard
GA H110MSTX HD3
CPU
i3 7100
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
The back is not removable on the 2005-2007 models, don't think it is on the 2009 either. You will just have to cut it off and 3D print a new one with white media (I used PLA and glued it on).
If I don't have access to a 3D printer, could I use ABS and cut a back IO from it?.
 
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Joined
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Messages
195
Motherboard
NUC5i5MYBE
CPU
I5-5300U
Graphics
HD 5500
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  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac mini
  5. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Classic
  3. iMac
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Certainly, I don't see any reason why you couldn't. Just make sure you find a glue that sticks to both surfaces adequately. Since it is the back of the machine, hopefully not too many people will see it anyway.
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
195
Motherboard
NUC5i5MYBE
CPU
I5-5300U
Graphics
HD 5500
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac mini
  5. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Classic
  3. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
And what about power?. A quick search on ebay shows two flavors!. There are internal PSUs and external ones. would an external PSU be the answer to this build?.

That is going to depend on your motherboard. Most of the mini-STX that I have seen take a 12v or 19v external power brick. The amperage depends on the CPU Thermal draw. My i7-7700 uses the 6.3Amp and my i5-6500T use the 3.4A model. I don't recall seeing any power input on the internal side of the mini-STX motherboards, most of them are external.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2017
Messages
1,025
Motherboard
GA H110MSTX HD3
CPU
i3 7100
Graphics
RX 560
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Screen Shot 2020-04-07 at 3.51.00 PM.png


With the above information and the Mac mini case due tomorrow, I have been researching motherboards and specifically the H61 chipsets. It occurred to me that I already own a Dell Inspirion One 2020, Link to owners manual, which has the same chipset, H61. I could probably save myself some money and effort by using parts from the 2020. It also has a 20" flat panel display which might come in use in the future. The 2020 has an i3-3245, 4GB DDR3 SODIMM and a Dell 1703 mini wireless card. Haven't found a board thats the right size yet.

Capture.PNG
 
Joined
Apr 10, 2013
Messages
195
Motherboard
NUC5i5MYBE
CPU
I5-5300U
Graphics
HD 5500
Mac
  1. iMac
  2. MacBook
  3. MacBook Pro
  4. Mac mini
  5. Mac Pro
Classic Mac
  1. Apple
  2. Classic
  3. iMac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I am pretty sure the only motherboard you can fit in there is Mini-STX, or a NUC. Right now, the only Mini-STX I see on eBay is this one which is ASUS. I see a couple of AsRock DeskMini on Amazon, but I bought two used and both motherboards were bad (I don't like their micro sata connectors either). I own four GigaByte Mini-STX boards and they have all been solid (Standard SATA ports as well as M.2).
 
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