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PowerMac G4 Quicksilver Casemod

Joined
Feb 2, 2021
Messages
1
Motherboard
MSI H110M Pro-D
CPU
i5 6400
Graphics
GTX 1050 Ti
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
This PowerMac G4 Quicksilver stood around in the basement for quite a while. When I looked around what to do with it, I found this forum with all these nice inspirations, so I thought I'd add my build to the list.
The PowerMac before starting
Unfortunately, I only started taking photos later in the process, so feel free to ask if you have a question.

My goals for the build were:
  1. Obviously put my PC in the case.
  2. Keep the original parts where possible, e.g. most of the rear side. I did not use a kit from The Laser Hive as I wanted to keep the 5 PCI slots (a full-size ATX-board could fit inside). I might also be able to keep the DVD drive, but I'll only know after removing parts of the DVD chassis.
  3. As few apparent modifications as possible
For initial disassembly this teardown from ifixit.com was quite helpful:

The empty case

I then continued by drawing a template with measurements from https://www.protocase.com/resources/how-to-design-for-motherboards/.
The article was very helpful, especially for the IO-panel cutout. Also, an old expansion card comes in handy for the alignment with the PCI slots.

templateold PCI expansion card


For the cutout I used a Dremel and a LOT of time. I'm quite happy with the result.
IO panel cutout without...... and with the IO shield

Next, I used my template from before to drill holes for the new standoffs. According to the link from above you need 1.7mm space between the motherboard and the rear case. When the DIN-A4 sheet with the template lies flat against the mounting holes for the door lock mechanism, this creates a gap on the other side with the needed size. It's a bit hard to explain, but with the photo it should be clear.
drilling template in place
For the standoffs I used mostly 10mm, the one near the PCI slots is only 8mm long as there is an extra sheet of metal underneath. I then put the motherboard in place and to my surprise I was able to just lay it down and screw it in place.
motherboard mountedIMG_20210131_222514198.jpgIMG_20210131_222541047.jpgIMG_20210131_222546494.jpg

I continued by drilling the necessary holes into the plastic sheet for the door.
IMG_20210201_181149685.jpg

I then followed this tutorial for the power switch. Make sure the trace connected to pin 5 is actually broken. At first, I did not break it completely, so the PC would boot immediately after turning on the power supply.

I also used a small protoboard as a breakout board for the ribbon cable. From there I can connect to the motherboard with jumper wires.

IMG_20210202_123227939.jpgfrontpanel IO breakout board

This is my current progress. Yesterday I decided it was time to try a first boot. I did not connect any storage or display, so the motherboard flashed its "VGA" debug LED, but i interpreted this as a good sign for now.

The next steps are (not in order):
  • shorten the DVD chassis to see whether I can keep it inside
  • modify the plastic cover on the back to make room for the new IO panel
  • mount SSDs/HDD
  • drill some venting holes next to the PSU
  • front panel IO in place of the zip drive
I think that's it for now. I'll probably post some updates in the following days.
 
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