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Power Mac G4 "Rainbow Apple" Build

Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
20
Motherboard
Asus Sabertooth X79
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i7-4930K
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Asus ROG STRIX Geforce GTX 1070
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  1. Mac Pro
Hi Guys

Yet another Power Mac G4 build :D!

For right now, I don't actually have any plans to put a computer inside, this is more of just a fun project to learn and develop my skills. Eventually, this will replace my 2010 Macbook Pro, which I use as a daily desktop replacement. But it is getting on a bit, and when it eventually packs up, then I will most likely put a computer into the G4 case. But for now, it's just a fun project :)

I bought the G4 back in Jan 2016 for 99p from eBay. A bargain, as it was in pretty good condition!




First thing to do was strip it out.



Then Cut out the side fan hole, which was a bit messy (will be cleaned up later).




Next to cut out a side hole for any future power supply




This hole came out much better


Next a fan mount for underneath. This will either be for a water cooler radiator, or just another fan, I've left the options open.



Included a dust mesh protector to collect the inevitable floor dust and dust bunnies


I also cut a hole in the front for some front mounted USB and Audio ports



Using the G4 mATX kit from The Laser Hive, I drilled the holes and cut off the old stand offs for the new mATX setup.


Using an old donor computer I had laying about, I test fitted the motherboard


I wanted the side panels to be coloured white, but I wanted to do something different from all the other Stormtrooper style case mods. So I set about removing the silver paint from behind the side panel. The first panel I sanded it all off, which took a LONG time!



Masked up ready to paint


4 light coats later


I always loved the old rainbow apple logo. It always brings back fond memories from my childhood, so I wanted the side logos to be the same retro design. I printed out a test image to stick to the side to see how it would look with the new white side panel, and I really liked it!


The second panel I used Methylated Spirit to remove the paint, which to be honest, was just as hard as the sanding :banghead:!


Had some professional decals made up for the rainbow apple logo


Really happy with how they turned out


Next step was to get the front power switch to work with a conventional mother board.
Following some google searches I found which cables did what and soldered on the connections.




The power button worked first time to my surprise. The only problem was the reset button doesn't work. I put this down to it sharing the same ground wire, so I may have to solder it direct to the board to get it to work possibly.


Next are painting the top and bottom panels. I wanted them to be the same satin texture as from factory, so I painted them Satin Black:



I also painted the power button housing and the inside fan housing. Forgot to take pictures of the end result



That was May 2016, I then went through a rather nasty break up, and just lost all interest in the project.
And it lay boxed up in my attic for a good year before I stumbled upon the project photos while having a computer clean up and I then decided that I really wanted to finish the project that I started with such enthusiasm before :).

So down it came, and I started the project up again.

Next, I wanted to have a front intake fan for better cooling. The CD/Zip drive bay was almost exactly the same size as two 80mm fans, so I bought two ARCTIC F8 80mm fans and two 80mm guard covers. The guard covers were too wide to fit in the hole left by the CD/Zip drive bay, so I had to trim and sand the sides down to fit. I then used some P40 that I had left over from a car project and I bonded them together as one cover




I then glued it into the front panel. I'm really happy with the fit



I decided that I didn't like the front USB/audio ports, it didn't look as professional as the rest of the build, so I decided to fill in the holes before the front got painted.


Tried P40 first, but it didn't give a smooth enough finish for the holes to be unnoticeable after painting, so started agin with some P38 instead


After sanding


Had to cut out a lot of the front section of the metal case to get the two 80mm fans to fit


I then had to fill in the holes I cut for the front USB hub on the metal case as well

P40 for the outside



P38 for the inside



I plan on painting the whole of the metal case Satin Black as well, so the filler won't be noticeable on the final result.

As I had completely taken the metal casing apart, rivets and all, and there has been a lot of hole cutting and metal bending, I wanted to be sure that everything fitted back together properly before doing any more work on the case.
So I put all the unfinished parts back together to test fit it

It looked really weird, but after a small amount of panel bending, everything fitted back together ok :)


The inside with the fans and painted parts


I then put my donor computer in just to make sure that everything worked fine, as I had been dismantled and sat in an attic for a year. Everything worked fine



I decided that I wanted to paint the handles as well. But I wanted to do the same thing as I did with the side panels and paint the inside rather than the outside for something a bit different.




The final result



Next was trying to smooth out the scratches and marks on the inner door from removing the old standoffs and drilling the new ones
Sanded as best I could


Sanding was taking too long, so I got out the P38 and just filled in the deep marks, also filled in the screw holes that weren't needed anymore while I was at it :)



And that is currently where the project is up to.
I will update this thread with any future developments.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Looking nice! Can't wait to see the final results. I've got a Quicksilver I'm eyeing up for a build like this and even though I like the default stylings of that case, I have to admit that rainbow logo is tempting...
 
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I love the way the side panels look with the old rainbow logo!
 
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
20
Motherboard
Asus Sabertooth X79
CPU
i7-4930K
Graphics
Asus ROG STRIX Geforce GTX 1070
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Looking nice! Can't wait to see the final results. I've got a Quicksilver I'm eyeing up for a build like this and even though I like the default stylings of that case, I have to admit that rainbow logo is tempting...

Thank you, It might take a while to complete, probably another month or two, but I'm really looking forward to the final result as well :D!

I love the way the side panels look with the old rainbow logo!

If people are interested in doing the Retro Apple Logo themselves, here's the custom template that I made specifically to fit the Apple Logo on the side panels:



Just ask any decal printing company to print this in 11x11cm and it will match up perfectly with the apple logo on the G4 side panel :).
 
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
20
Motherboard
Asus Sabertooth X79
CPU
i7-4930K
Graphics
Asus ROG STRIX Geforce GTX 1070
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
Latest Update

Had a few weeks off work, so I've had the time to crack on with the build and make some good progress.

Painted the front panel Satin Black, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. The Merge of the two fan houses wasn't 100% smooth, but I'm happy with it none the less :).

All primed ready for painting:


Painted with Satin Black Paint:


You can ever so slightly see where I cut the holes for the audio/USB ports, but it's barely noticeable, so I'm happy with it :)

The front with the plastic Apple logo installed and the power button which I sanded down the front of as the green didn't really go with the black:


I also painted the inside of the side handle white in keeping with the rest of the build:



Next was the rear panels.

The plastic that surrounded the I/O & PCI slots posed a problem, as the plastic strip that separated the I/O panel and PCI slots covered about 8mm of the I/O plate, and meant that any port in that area would be covered.
I really wanted the flush look, but also didn't want any ports covered. So I decided to remove the strip and fill/mould the cut off areas around to look more natural.

Cut off the plastic, no going back now:


First step was to fill the inside of the holes with P40 filler to give it a strong back:


Then fill over that with P38 to give a nice smooth sandable finish:


I rounded off the corner to give a natural finish in keeping with the standard look.

Both back plastics now sanded and ready to be primed:


Primed and ready to paint:


The painted Satin Black final result:



I then had a change of heart about the front power switch. I wanted to use the programmers button as a HDD LED, seeing as the button was redundant. Also the reset button didn't work when wired to the standard apple wiring, because they all share a common ground. So I scrapped that and bought a new ATX cable and wired it direct to the board.

First step was to cut off all the original circuit routes and drill the necessary holes:



The cable came with the power LED and HDD LED already wired in, so I thought it would just be easier to drill the holes for them and just glue them into place.

Power and reset switches wired in place and the LEDs routed underneath and glued in place:



I really love the classic Apple chime when you boot up the computer, so I wanted to recreate that with in the build.

I ordered a USB Button activated playback board that you find in music gift cards. I then wired it to the original G4 speaker.
I'm going to eventually wire it to the power switch when I figure out where I'm going to hide the board.

I got hold of the Apple Chime sound online, then I edited it to add a 3 second delay between hitting the button and actually hearing the sound, like it would be with a real Mac.

And here's the result (Click the image to watch the video):


A little OCD, but I think it adds a nice authentic touch :)!


Probably one of the biggest jobs was getting the inside metal case all sanded down.
Took nearly a day of hard work to get to the stage where it is prepped and ready for primer.
All the unnecessary holes were filled in and sanded:



Next step was to prime all the metal with etch primer to ensure a good adhesion to the metal:



I then realized that one can was just not going to cut it, and I ran out half way through priming.
So I've ordered another can, and I'm just waiting on it to arrive before I can do any more painting :(!
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Asus Sabertooth X79
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i7-4930K
Graphics
Asus ROG STRIX Geforce GTX 1070
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  1. Mac Pro
Another big update:

Got the Etch Primer and now finished priming all the metal case parts:


All the parts painted in Satin Black. Had just enough paint to finish all the panels:



The very last thing to paint was the screws for the case:



Now time to put everything back together again.
First was the side panel with all the motherboard standoffs and IO plate:


Next was wiring in the audio playback deice for the apple startup sound:


Then for the front Apple logo, I wanted to have an LED light.
Originally I just drilled one hole in the middle, but I found that it didn't illuminate the apple logo the way I wanted it to. So I drilled 4 holes around it to house the LEDs to better illuminate it:


I bought some Rainbow effect LED's that cycle through the colour spectrum to continue with the rainbow theme:


I wired them to fit a standard Molex connector so I could connect it direct to the power supply.
I originally wanted to wire it to the power on LED, but I was told by the seller that I couldn't do that because it has a chip inside the LED. So wiring it to the 5V on the power supply was the 2nd best option:


Glued into place:



Tested the LEDs by connecting them up to an old computer, and they worked perfectly:


The picture really doesn't do it justice, it looked so nice!!


Next was to rivet the case back together. To save my self some painting, I bought some black rivets, which matched the paint job perfectly!:


Skip forward to the case all riveted together. I'm really happy with the result!:



And now for the grand unveil after putting all the case back together again:


I'm really happy with the end result. I've still got some small things to do, like polish the side panels and the handles, as they aren't completely shiny after being sanded down. And side apple logos still need redoing. But apart from that, it is basically finished!

I had another G4 lying around, so I took some pictures next to it to compare the difference:


This project took a ridiculous amount of time, but I learned so much from doing it that I can't say that wasn't worth the 100+ hours I put into it.
I look forward to my next project :D!

Any questions about the build feel free to ask :)!
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
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Long time lurker 1st time poster, I had to make an acc just to make sure you know that there are some of us wanting to see this build finished.... i mean with hardware inside and booting... so please make sure to continue ... Thank you , and great build.
 
Joined
Feb 24, 2018
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Late 2008 MacBook
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Just made an account for the same reason. This case is amazing! I recently salvaged a Powermac 3,3 that I've been researching mods for. I found this case and was amazed! I won't steal the design (my inner artist won't allow it), but I love the rainbow decal.
 
Joined
May 3, 2015
Messages
20
Motherboard
Asus Sabertooth X79
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i7-4930K
Graphics
Asus ROG STRIX Geforce GTX 1070
Mac
  1. Mac Pro
So finally a long awaited update for this build. It's not a Hackintosh I'm afraid, but those of you who wanted to to see it finished, here you go.

For the last 3 years, the case has been sat, unused, on a shelf, just as an ornament until I decided what to do with it. I did consider selling it at one point, but I had put so much work into it, I knew a time would come where I would finish it, and that time came in the form of COVID-19, more importantly, the lockdown.
I had already sold my old Hackintosh a year ago, as fun as the Hackintosh project was, the main reason I switched to Mac in the first place was the reliability and ease of use of MacOS, and even though I got my Hackintosh to be pretty stable and reliable, it was always one update away from not working, and I just decided to stick with a genuine Mac in the form of a Late-2013 15" Retina, which is my daily computer, and I love it.

During the Lockdown, I rediscovered my passion for gaming, and the old Hackintosh was a pretty good gaming machine, but I had sold it, so I thought about building a new Gaming PC, but one on a tighter budget (£1000), and aim for a Mid-Range machine rather than the all out power house I built before (i7 4930k, 32GB RAM in 2015).
So, with the restriction of an mATX form factor, and only the ability to use a 120mm AIO water cooler, I settled on these specs:

AMD Ryzen 5 3600 Processor
ASUS Dual GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER EVO OC Edition
MSI MAG B550M MORTAR WIFI Motherboard mATX
Crucial Ballistix 16GB 3600MHz CL16 DDR4 RAM
Be quiet! Pure Power 11 600W CM PSU
WD Blue SN550 1TB High-Performance M.2 Pcie NVMe SSD
Noctua NF-F12 PWM chromax black Fans x2
EZDIY-FAB Sleeved Cable extension kit

20201025_193309 EDIT.jpg


Test fitted the motherboard, and after a bit of tweaking, it fits perfectly

20201017_164607.jpg


Ordered a Corsair TX650M Power supply, because it looked like the switch and plug would line up perfectly with the original holes in the case. Turns out it didn't! So I'm ordering a different power supply, and I'm going to begrudgingly cut the case to fit. I wish I had cut the case when I was originally making it, but you live and learn.

20201019_120515.jpg


I thought I would plug everything in and test it all works.
Everything works perfectly
! I love that PC building is so much easier these days. Everything just plugs in and works!!

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Power supply was a bit too long for the original bracket, so I had to cut the raised end off for it to sit properly. Luckily I had some satin black metal paint, so I could at least hide the cuts.

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Power supply now sits flush on the bracket

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I didn't have the heart to cut the outside of the case, so I cut the inside enough so that the power switch had enough room to fit

20201024_142358.jpg


I'll survive without the use of the switch, I'll just turn it off at the wall.

20201024_142311.jpg


Had to order extension cables for the power supply, so thought why not go for ones that match the colour theme of the build.

20201025_132057.jpg


To keep all the cables tidy and organised, I decided to make holes in the case to route the cables through, so they can be hidden between the chassis and the outer plastic casing. I added some rubber edging to neaten up the holes, but also to protect the cabling from catching/ripping on the metal.

20201026_000516 copy.jpg


Also made holes under the motherboard to route the various cables.

20201026_000702 copy.jpg


Made a cardboard prototype for the custom radiator/fan bracket, before ordering the aluminium part.

20201023_133843.jpg


Aluminium bracket arrived and fitted to the case so I could measure the exact position of the fan placement and cut accordingly

20201026_123133 copy.jpg


Had to use the angle grinder to cut the metal, as the Dremel was just taking so long. I used the Dremel to finish off the cuts and then filed and sanded down the edges to give a nicer finish.

20201027_123841 copy.jpg


Now time to start organising the cabling. I really love the white power cable extensions with the cable combs

20201028_103802.jpg


Organising the cabling ended up taking a lot longer than I was expecting. And when I finally got it organised, the plastic side panels just wouldn't fit on the side of the case. So it looks like I will have to take it all out and rethink my strategy to make the cables fit.

20201028_103807 copy.jpg


To route the cables a different way, I decided to route the main large power connector through the radiator mount, so it didn't have to go behind the side panel, and there would be enough room for the side panel to fit correctly. I made a cut out on the radiator bracket to allow the cabling to pass through, along with a little hole to fit a cable tie through to secure the cabling.

20201107_123143 copy.jpg


A new hole had to be cut to route the cables through, so I had to dismantle the case again and get cutting. I decided to use some more rubber edging to tidy up the fan holes as well.

20201107_123206 copy.jpg


The power cables were so large and the tension very tight, I thought the adhesive cable tie mounts wouldn't stay stuck to work well in this gap, so I cut holes in the case for the cable ties instead, as I knew there was no way they could come off this way.

20201108_111928 copy 2.jpg


Cables now all neatly organised at the back, and the panel screws on with only a small resistance

20201108_174711.jpg


In keeping with the theme of the build, I used some Satin Black wrap I had to cover the 1TB hard drive I would be using as the backup drive, so it was nicely hidden and didn't ruin the aesthetic.

20201110_140951 copy.jpg


And finally, I used my Dremel to cut a gap in the bottom of the plastic side panel to allow for better air flow. I don't know how much difference it will actually make, but in a closed case like this. I'll take all the air flow I can get!

20201111_210103.jpg




And now for what you've all be waiting for, the pictures of the finished build:
IMG_6592.JPG

IMG_6584.JPG

IMG_6593.JPG

IMG_6615.JPG

IMG_6604.JPG

IMG_6612.JPG

IMG_6621.JPG



The temperatures have been pretty good. Using prime 95 synthetic load, It hit a max temp of 69'C, and under real world load, a max of 62'C, so not bad for a G4 Case.
I really wanted to go with an air cooler, but the biggest I could fit in the case would be a Noctua NH-L12S, which scored worse in cooling tests than a corsair H60 (with a Noctua 120mm fan), so I knew I had to go with the water cooler.

Quite a few people mentioned that I shouldn't have mounted my radiator at the bottom. Aparently a video came out a few months ago basically stating how it was bad, as the trapped air in the AIRO would settle in the pump on the CPU (rather than the radiator) because it was higher, causing poor thermal performance, and overtime, failure of the AIO, so I may have to look at different options for placing it. God knows where it's going to go in such a small case, but I will try and work it out.
 
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Joined
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Messages
74
Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-H270N-WIFI
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Intel i5-6500t
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Nvidia GTX 1050-TI
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looks really nice! the aluminum bracket looks great- the whole system is solid.

how are your temperatures? I have a similar build I'm working on squeezing into a quicksilver case and I'm not sure if I need to go with a closed loop cooler or if traditional coolers are good enough.
 
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