Contribute
Register

PowerMac G5 Case Modding Project - mATX & ATX Conversion - Barebones - Mac Pro Alternative

Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
The “Empty Ones”:

This is what the 12 empty cases look like, that have some orange-peel skin:


Basicaly the underside of ALL cases looks like this - because they were placed on their feet for drying or Spraying. You will never see this when the case is standing on its feet.


An “empty-one” - ready for ATX boards.


Empty PSU-Enclosure is installed. Fan-bracket is in place. Sometimes still with apple fans.


A finished ”empty” mATX case


You can see some orange-peel skin or varnish-runs on the “Empty Ones”
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
I modded the 12 best-painted cases to create fully-modded Barebones:

Time for re-assembly:
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Fan-Bracket:


The Apple-fans were removed from the fan bracket. They were loud and needed re-wiring anyways. It is recommended to put more modern fans in there. I renewed the rubber-fixings where necessary. You do not need screws to put fans in. They are held in and decoupled by the rubber. Vibration is not passed on to the case.


I put the PCIe slot brackets back in (they were also painted, of course) using the rubber-headed HDD screws from other cases. In case you want to add more HDDs you have the right screws at hand.


The fan-bracket fits in its original position. That works fine for most Mainboards. If you have a Mainboard with very high VRM heatsinks or high I/O (e.g. with 6 stacked USB-Ports) you can either remove the fan bracket completely (I did that for my brothers build and just clamped some BeQuiet! Silent-Wings 2 - 92mm in) or move the bracket up a bit - by not inserting the hooks under the lip, but rather clamping the bracket above the lip (I did that for the Ryzentosh, it is also very stable).


The bracket holds two 92mm x 25mm Fans
My favourite: Noctua NF-B9 redux-1600 PWM - 92mm
They look like the original ones and are very quiet. (I used them in two projects)


Cheaper Arctic PWM Fans for testing
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Front-Panel:



The Power-Buttons needed to be painted, as well. Over time they lost some of their thin chrome coating due to touching. The 2-K varnish is thicker and will be much more durable.


Secured the power-buttons down using double-sided tape during varnishing


To make them fit perfectly again, I needed to scrape of excess paint from the sides. The buttons would get easily stuck otherwise.


The case without any front-panel board or power-button.

Half of the G5s I bought were “late 2005” models. The front-panel-boards of all G5s have the same size and fit in all the cases.
Only models before “late 2005” have a front panel connector-socket. So, I had 14 front-panels that could be used with BlackCH-Mods-cables, and 14 perfectly painted cases. That’s a match.



Re-installing the power-button board with its securing ring. This took a long time because every button had to be re-adjusted to work nicely again.
Also notice the rubber piece on the right-hand side. This is needed to support the front-panel board when plugging in the cable to the connector:


Installation of the front-panel board.


The housing of the front-panel board has also been painted.


The custom-made front-panel cable by BlackCH Mods. They were not cheap but they work.
I marked all the connectors on one of the cables to make them easier to identify.
Audio works perfectly even though there is a proprietary sensing pin on apples board. I recommend to set the front-panel type to “AC’97” in the BIOS / UEFI instead of the default “HD Audio”. That way the front panel audio is basically ON all the time and you can choose other outputs from the task-bar. I used Realtek drivers for Windows in my last two builds. For a Hackintosh you would need to follow BlackCH Mods manual or ask the community about the best settings.


Plugging in the mod-cable to the front-panel connector.


Securing the plug with the black cap. It is pushed down even further than shown in the picture – so it clipped on to the board itself to give the connector more pressure and therefore stability.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
DVD / Blu-Ray drive:



Eject the disc tray with a paper clip.


Unclip the front-plate, so it does not get stuck in the auto-opening Apple-aperture


Screw in the stand-off screws (I saved those)


Standoffs installed


Finally, slide the drive into the mounting-bracket and close the two little retention arms. Done.
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
PSU (Power Supply Unit):

I thought a long time about the perfect PSU.
I really wanted to re-use the original PSU-housing, because of the clever placement in the case. It sits flush with the mainboard at the bottom and the original power- socket is a MUST to reuse for aesthetics and stability.



The original Apple power-plug with Apple power-cable.

How do you get a new PSU into the original Apple PSU?
I did not want to crack open a standart ATX PSU and jerry-rig its sensible (and dangerous) electronics into the original PSU-housing.
So, I looked for a server-PSU that would fit inside the original housing completely with own housing and fan. Safe and sound.
Not an easy task setting those up, because server PSUs often have proprietary connectors.

Also, I wanted 600 Watts of output power to drive any overclocked CPU with a powerful graphics card like the GTX 1080Ti.


Soldering on the new -internal- power-cable to the original power-socket in the Apple PSU housing.


Shrink-tube protects the soldered joints.

The cable will be connected to the new PSU inside. As an extension.
The input-filter is still connected to the socket.


The Apple power-cord.


I found the perfect PSU. A 600W PSU by Supermicro.

Supermicro is a very known brand in the professional server market. So, I can trust those PSUs to constantly deliver real 600Watts. They are designed to run under full load for years. Hence, they can be really expensive.
Many cheap PSUs just claim to be 600W but struggle to hold that power up for longer periods of time (or they degrade). This will not happen with a Supermicro PSU.

The 600W PSU comes with a 80+ Platinum rating.
That is one of the highest Energy efficiency ratings available.
Higher than 80+ Gold, Silver or Bronze (which is kind of the standard right now)

80+ Platinum means 92-94% of the Input-power is delivered as output. Only 6-8% is transformed into heat. That was important to me in order to keep the PSU quiet.




All PSUs before they were put in


It has the 1U form factor. So, you could actually fit two of them in the housing.


The 600W PSU plugged into the extension cord.


Securing the PSU in place


The 2005 Powermac Models have a bigger server power-plug (C19) suitable for higher power delivery of over 1000 Watts.
Almost half of the cases have this kind of plug.
They also have a bigger input filter.


Soldering the extension on.


Finished housing with server power jack (C19) on the outside and standart plug (C13) on the inside


PSU inside the original Apple-Housing


All the cables come out near the back of the case.


I created bigger openings for the cables to feed through.


All PSUs are prepared


The PSUs and their connectors have been tested with a PSU-tester.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
These Server PSUs still have some proprietary connectors (and some cables, that are a bit shorter than usual), So, I bought different adapter-cables and extensions for the PSUs to make everything universal.


PSU-Cables:

- PCIe 8-Pin (2x) for graphics cards (over CPU 8-Pin adapter)
- CPU (1x 8-Pin, 1x 4-Pin) – actually there is one more 8-Pin, but it is occupied by the PCIe-adapter. So, it is possible to do a dual-CPU setup with a small graphics card, that does not need a dedicated power plug, as well.
- Molex (2x) (6x over SATA-Adapter)
- SATA (5x) (over Molex adapter), black sleeved
- 24-Pin ATX (20 Pin is possible) + Extension (black) + Dual PSU connector
- 12V Fan (4x over Molex Adapter), black sleeved



Different types of cables and adapters (in an mATX Case)

You can hide most cables behind the PSU-housing and under the mainboard, as the standoffs that hold the mainboard are quite high. That is the biggest benefit over using one of those tray-adapter-plates that would use up the space behind the mainboard.








The cables in an ATX Case (not hidden / cable-managed)
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
HDD-Caddy:


The original Apple 2-Bay HDD-caddy was glued into its new place to be out of the way. Only necessary in the ATX-Cases to fit the bigger ATX Boards in. Using high-temperature silicone.


Molex Power provided by adapter (if needed for 3,5” drives, most new 5400 rpm HDDs don’t even need Molex anymore)


ATX Case with a bit of cable management and the HDD-caddy in place
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Finished ATX Barebones:



Finished ATX case with all equipment and the server power-cord


Finished ATX case with the Acrylic cover


Different finished ATX Case with cover and cable management
 
Joined
Aug 26, 2015
Messages
87
Motherboard
ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
CPU
i9-9900K
Graphics
Vega 64
Mac
MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
Power Mac
Mobile Phone
iOS
Watercooling (mATX Barebones):


Now that the “Empty Ones” and the ATX Barebones were finished It was time to mod the mATX Cases.

I added watercooling to the mATX-Barebones:



Best place for the radiator is the front. Here it will blow the hot air directly out of the case.


This is the 240mm radiator for the watercooling of all mATX cases


To decouple the vibration of the loop from the case I used a foam seal on the front of the radiator and a thick silicone-seal on the sides and the top


Gluing the radiator in with special high-temperature silicone. (This Silicone is usually used to attach the IHS to a CPU or to seal an exhaust pipe) – good for temperatures up to 329°C


Radiator in Place. Thick silicone seal is decoupling the vibration of the water-pump that travels through the loop.


The 240mm radiator fits right in between the PSU and the top-compartment.

The mounting kits for this Cooler Master AiO support all modern processors and sockets (775, 1150, 1151, 1155, 1156, 1366, 2011, 2011-3, 2066, AM2, AM2+, AM3, AM3+, AM4, FM1, FM2, FM2+)


Two 120mm high static pressure fans come with the watercooling loop. They blow out.
You could of course turn the fans around to suck air in (positive pressure).
 
Top