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Power Mac G-QuHack MDD

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Joined
Jun 18, 2020
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17
Motherboard
Gigabyte Z390 M GAMING
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
  1. iMac
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
I had a Power Mac G4 MDD laying around for many years. I bought it for 40 $ when I was in school in 2008 when the graphics design department were upgrading their machines. At the time I upgraded the computer to its maximal capacity, with the Sonnet 1.8 Ghz dual processor, Shuttle power supply ATX mod and all. Unfortunately it was very noisy and unstable. I did a bit of audio editing with it, but after a few months I realized it was not worth putting any more money in it. My MacBook re-became my main machine and then I bought my current iMac in October 2010. I really liked the look of the MDD, so I kept it with the idea of doing a Hackintosh build some day. I finally decided to jump into the project this year, as my iMac was unable to get the latest update in the last few years, and as my new projects are requiring a faster computer.

When I did some research I was happy to find that I was not the first to tackle such a project, and that some people already faced and overcomed some difficulties we inevitably encounter when modding this case. My main source of help and inspiration came from the Laser Hive’s blog and the support David generously gave me. I also took inspiration on radiator mounting of the Power Mac i7 case mod which can be found on YouTube and on outcam.de/powermac. My build will never look as good as his but I have to give him some credit for the door mounted radiator, eliminating the flex on the tubes and the need to have long hoses.

The main issue we face when modding the case is that the PCI slots on the MDD are the other way around. To do a clean conversion, I chose to follow the guide on the Laser Hive blog and combine parts from the MDD and an old 4 slots graphite G4 I found for 50 $. The MDD door has 2 aluminum layers, I had to replace one of the layers with the old G4’s door and cut the MDD’s original back plate. I also had to remove the back of both aluminum cases and convert the fittings of the MDD’s back to accommodate the old G4’s back. A lot of dremmeling and riveting was involved.

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I drilled some additional holes on the side panel to improve airflow to the power supply.

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I modified a fan bracket from the old G4 to allow mounting of the radiator on the door. At first I wanted to drill a hole at the bottom of the case to suck in cool air as we see in some Graphite and Quicksilver mods. The small fan would have been positioned over the radiator to exhaust hot air at its exit. I finally decided to stay with the MDD’s original wind tunnel design (front to back air flow). I have a 120 mm Noctua fan at the front of the case to pick up fresh air. It is mounted with rubber mounts that came with the small fan at the bottom, and tie-wraps at the top. When the door closes, it blows cool air on the radiator and the Corsair fan that came with it helps exhausting hot hair to the back of the case. I am not sure if the smaller fan still has an effect, but I kept it and it is set to exhaust air.

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I wanted to keep the original mounting system for the hard drive. I fitted the bracket for the drive caddy that was below the optical drive bay on an empty space in the case. I used rivets and some leftovers standoffs from the old MDD to keep it flat in the cavity in the inner side of the system. There was no way to use the other drive caddy mounting near the bottom rear of the system ; the junction between the MDD case and the old G4's back makes it so there is some aluminum and rivets in the way. I might try to modify one of the drive caddy to make it work, or find another way to mount a hard drive there.
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The system is now running and 100% functional thanks to Pastrychef's Z390 M Gaming motherboard guide. I am currently working on making the original power button and LED work. I will replace the front Noctua fan because I mistakenly ordered a noisy industrial fan instead of a quiet computer fan. I am still waiting for my wifi-bluetooth antenna cable, and I would like to hide the antennas inside the door. At some point I would like to make custom cabling ; even though I have no problem closing the case with the current cabling, I would like it to look less messy.
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I will keep you up to date with the progress. In the meantime let me know if you have comments or questions !
 
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