My Mac Pro Hack

Discussion in 'Mac Pro Mods' started by Kingzone, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 3, 2015 at 9:05 PM #1
    Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Just in the middle of a Mac Pro mod at the moment so I thought I would share.

    Components:

    New Apple Mac Pro Empty Case (lucky fleabay find)
    MSI Z97M Gaming Motherboard
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150 CPU
    16Gb Corsair RAM
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb Graphics Card
    Corsair CX600 PSU
    Corsair H60 CPU Water Cooler
    500Gb Samsung EVO SSD
    1Tb Western Digital HDD
    DVD RW
    Apple BCM94360CD BT4.0 / WiFi Card With PCI-E Adaptor
    3 Noctua 120mm Case Fans
    Lycom ST-187 Dual SFF8088 – SFF8087 SAS Converter Board
    SAS SF8088 – 4 SATA Cable
    NewerTech AdaptorDrive 2.5” – 3.5” Drive Converter
    Apple Wireless BT Keyboard & Mouse

    Untitled-8.jpg
    (some items not pictured as they have not yet turned up)

    I was lucky to come across a NEW unused Mac Pro Case on fleabay which still had it's protective plastic film attached so I snapped it up for the asking price of 35GBP.

    For this conversion I decided to purchase several parts from David at The Laser Hive. A front panel conversion, mATX motherboard tray and a low 120 backplate. The parts are of great quality and very well manufactured (shameless plug for David)

    So my first job was to fit the LH parts.

    IMG_1.jpg Untitled-1.jpg Untitled-2.jpg Untitled-3.jpg Untitled-4.jpg

    SAM_0343.jpg

    L to R: Rear of case cut ready for rear 120 panel: Supplied template used to mark where to cut for front panel conversion: Front panel fitted: Rear of front panel conversion (not fully tightened): Rear 120 now fitted: Inside showing motherboard tray with a faulty mATX board fitted to test fit.

    More to follow......................
     
    yoyuv and mpompeia like this.
  2. Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 5, 2015 at 8:23 PM #2
    Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    ...............

    A quick word about motherboards.

    I had specific requirements when it came to a motherboard for this build. Unlike my first Apple Mac case mod, a power Mac G5 the Mac Pro has the four hot swap drive bays which I wanted to retain, this meant that I could not cut the double skin top shelf of the Mac Pro to allow a full size ATX motherboard to pass behind as there is not enough space behind the hot swap assembly so I had to opt for a mATX board.

    This board had to have two things to meet my requirements, 5.1 sound from the rear (with 3.5mm jacks) and a PCIe x1 slot for the Apple WiFi/BT4 card. On a lot of motherboards the PCIe x1 slot is not available if a dual slot graphics card is used but I did find a board which met my criteria and that was the MSI Z97M Gaming.

    I have also never liked the idea of trying to shoehorn a regular ATX power supply into a Mac case so like my G5 mod I gutted the Mac Pro PSU and installed the circuit board from a Corsair CX600 into the now empty Mac PSU. This has the advantage of not having to mod the rear of the case as it re-uses the mains input socket. It is also a well designed enclosure having good ventilation and an external cooling fan which allows for straight-through ventilation, I just swapped the Apple fan for an ultra quiet 120mm Noctua.

    Here are some photos:

    SAM_0340.jpg SAM_0341.jpg Untitled-6.jpg Untitled-7.jpg

    You have to make sure that the cables exit as close to the back of the PSU as possible as space is tight and the cables have to pass behind the fan at the rear of the case.

    Here it is installed.

    SAM_0351.jpg

    If you keep the cables tidy as can be seen they easily fit in the space behind the optical drive bay when it is installed. Just a couple of points to note, the hole in the top tray where the cables pass through is not very big so be gentle when threading the cables through. Secondly because of the cable path through the case I found that the cables that supply power to the eight pin CPU connection and the graphics card were not long enough and I had to get extensions as will be seen in some upcoming photos.

    Here is the case with the modified PSU and optical drive bay installed.

    SAM_0354.jpg

    More to follow.................
     
  3. Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 6, 2015 at 5:02 PM #3
    Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    .............

    I had left a few old motherboard stand-off's on the left side of the case so I decided to mount a couple of pieces of 5mm clear acrylic over these stand-off's, this would serve to keep most of the cabling in the case tidy and gave me a mounting surface for the SDS - SATA adaptor, so it was out with the faulty motherboard and time to install some new parts.

    Untitled-10.jpg Untitled-9.jpg

    The board was mounted to four 3.5mm threaded holes in the acrylic.

    More shots of the case with the components going in.

    Untitled-11.jpg Untitled-12.jpg Untitled-13.jpg Untitled-14.jpg

    The front fan unit installed with the Apple fans replaced by two Noctua 120mm. This unit obscures most of the cabling for a neater look.

    Untitled-16.jpg Untitled-15.jpg

    Now on with the old Apple CPU heatsink cover.

    Untitled-18.jpg

    Just got to work on fitting the old Apple memory riser board surround/cover around the radiator and it's associated pipework and then it will be almost finished. I've just got to wait for the SAS cable to arrive to complete the job, so more to come with fitting that and installing the OS.

    More to follow................
     
  4. JaggedAce

    JaggedAce

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2015
    Messages:
    29
    Mobo:
    GA-Z97X-SLI
    CPU:
    I5 4690K
    Graphics:
    EVGA 750TI SC
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 6, 2015 at 10:28 PM #4
    JaggedAce

    JaggedAce

    Joined:
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    Mobo:
    GA-Z97X-SLI
    CPU:
    I5 4690K
    Graphics:
    EVGA 750TI SC
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sweet deal on the case and the project is looking awesome!
    Quick question what are those connectors in a row at the top of the case for?
    Looking forward to more updates keep it up!
     
  5. Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 7, 2015 at 9:17 AM #5
    Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    It's the connectors for the four hard drive bays.

    400px-MacProHarddisk.jpg
     
  6. n3oNLit3

    n3oNLit3 Moderator

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    Mobo:
    GA-Z77X-UD5H
    CPU:
    i7-3770K
    Graphics:
    2x GEFORCE GT 640
    Mac:
    iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 7, 2015 at 10:27 AM #6
    n3oNLit3

    n3oNLit3 Moderator

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    2x GEFORCE GT 640
    Mac:
    iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    GD this thing is sweet:thumbup:. Really nice cable management btw... Wish I had the skill to pull something like this off.

    Nice work :clap:
     
  7. JaggedAce

    JaggedAce

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    Mobo:
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    EVGA 750TI SC
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 7, 2015 at 5:48 PM #7
    JaggedAce

    JaggedAce

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    So do you then have to connect your hard drive cables to those connectors or do they come with cabling?
    About your psu mod which looks (fantastic btw) I'm guessing you can't fit a standard one in there can you?
     
  8. Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2015
    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 8, 2015 at 8:52 PM #8
    Kingzone

    Kingzone

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    141
    Mobo:
    MSI Z97M Gaming
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 4790K s1150
    Graphics:
    Asus Strix GTX960 2Gb
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro, Mac Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    1: Yes a little conversion is required, this is the end of the drive bays wiring loom. These two connections serve all four drive bays:

    r1wvb8.jpg

    The data plug is an SAS type, this needs to be converted to four SATA connections that then plug into the new motherboards SATA headers.

    The power socket needs rewiring (the eight pin power plug seen above serves the four drives in two pairs) I cut of this plug and replaced it with two Molex male plugs that each connect to two drives in parallel (a four pin Molex can be used because the Apple system does not need the Orange 3v connection to the drive)

    Some problems are being experienced with this conversion at the moment which can be followed here:

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/mac-pro-m...ld-mac-pro-hackintosh-conversion-problem.html

    2: A standard ATX PSU won't fit inside the Apple PSU casing. The ATX PSU must be gutted and transferred to the Apple PSU enclosure.

    I have more or less finished my build. Below are some more pictures. I'm having problems with the conversion of the four drive bay connections so this will be an ongoing challenge to find out why the drives are not being recognised. If this can't be resolved the Apple drive bay wiring loom will be stripped out and the drives connected in the standard one data and one power connection per drive configuration.

    Untitled-19.jpg

    Even though the above seems to be the correct configuration HDD's and SSD's are not recognized (work in progress)

    Untitled-21.jpg Untitled-22.jpg Untitled-23.jpg

    So this is the final look of the build, the two separate cooling zones still work as Apple intended (with the side cover on of course) and work well to keep all components cool.

    Untitled-20.jpg

    Now time to remove all of the plastic protection film from the case!! I'll report back when the HDD connection problem has been resolved, in the meantime I will install the OS with the SSD connected in the conventional way.

    Kingzone
     
  9. rick26

    rick26

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    Mobo:
    Gigabyte GA-170X-UD3\ Define R5 Case\ HP 8200 Elite SFF
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 6700K \ i5 2400
    Graphics:
    Evga Geforce GTX970 FTW \ MSI GT710
    Mac:
    MacBook Air
    Classic Mac:
    iMac, Power Mac
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    Sep 8, 2015 at 11:06 PM #9
    rick26

    rick26

    Joined:
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    Mobo:
    Gigabyte GA-170X-UD3\ Define R5 Case\ HP 8200 Elite SFF
    CPU:
    Intel Core i7 6700K \ i5 2400
    Graphics:
    Evga Geforce GTX970 FTW \ MSI GT710
    Mac:
    MacBook Air
    Classic Mac:
    iMac, Power Mac
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Great looking mac pro man!

    Nice that you keep the original look to it.

    To give you a tip uhm maybe its cool to put some plastic glass into the mac pro pice that covers the cpu to that you can still look inside but still keep the airflow there.

    Rick,
     
  10. JaggedAce

    JaggedAce

    Joined:
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    Mobo:
    GA-Z97X-SLI
    CPU:
    I5 4690K
    Graphics:
    EVGA 750TI SC
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    Sep 9, 2015 at 6:01 PM #10
    JaggedAce

    JaggedAce

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    Mobo:
    GA-Z97X-SLI
    CPU:
    I5 4690K
    Graphics:
    EVGA 750TI SC
    Mac:
    MacBook Pro
    Mobile Phone:
    iOS
    That wiring looks complicated good luck with getting it all working.
    As for the case amazing job and is that cover in front of the cpu windowed from factory or did you put it in?

    Last thing I think would be awesome would be a windowed side panel with some lighting and maybe no stickers for a cleaner look but thats just personal preference.

    Again great build and very entertaining to read thanks for sharing :thumbup:
     

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