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

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epic job and super clean. Was the Aluminum paint you used something off the shelf?
No.
I tried off-the-shelf Spraypaint (1 Component / 1 part) varnish but did not like the result. The nozzle of cans is just not professional
Then I got my own 2-Component / 2 part varnish mixed (semi-matte) and used the compressed air spray gun...
 

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Any requests to purchase these cases will be removed as this violates forum rules on selling.
 
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epic job and super clean. Was the Aluminum paint you used something off the shelf?
It is RAL 9006
semi-matte
2-component varnish (hardener + varnish)
 
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8-Core Workstation for Audio Production:


Before starting on the “26 PowerMac G5 Case Modding Project“ I did a couple of prototypes to figure out the best varnish, cooling and PSU design.

I wanted to build a machine for a music production studio of a friend, because his machine was older and had only 4 cores.
An 8-Core with 32GB of RAM will be the successor.



I am a big fan of ECC RAM for productive systems.

There is no ECC RAM with heatsinks on the market. So I put my own heatsinks / Aluminium coolers on the RAM to keep it cool even in a very silent, low-airflow environment.
 
Joined
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ASUS Strix Z370- Wifi
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i9-9900K
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First Iteration (oldest):




mATX Board in an ATX Modded case. Not all mainboard-holes on the top have a screw, because the case was modded for full ATX sized boards. But that does not really matter. It is held in - safe and secure with around 6 screws.

  • spray can varnish (1K): It worked. But it turned out to be NOT the best solution. The uniformity of the varnish using a can-spray-head is not as good as using a professional spray-gun & compressor. So, I switched to using a compressor, later.
    Also, the 1K-Spray-can-paint is not as sturdy as 2K varnish. So, I changed that later, as well
  • Watercooling (CoolerMaster AiO) – a bit overkill for this 95W TDP processor, that will never be overclocked. The music-studio requested an air-cooler, anyway. So, I changed that later for a big air-cooler and saved the water-cooling for another case. It was good that I installed the water-cooler on this test-case.


You could see the radiator through the front on the first test-build because I used a grey silicone on the front, covering some holes and the radiator was placed very close to the front.

I changed that on the later builds. There I will use a black foam-seal to get some distance to the front. Also, no silicone on the front. Only at the top and sides.

This is then invisible. Glad I tested this before modding all 6 mATX barebones.
 
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Second Iteration:



Modded mATX Barebone Case for the second iteration.


Everything is the same as in my final mATX barebones, except for the PSU.
I was still working on the final PSU design at the time.
This one has a BeQuiet 600W PSU.


The finished first Iteration of the build.


I did not like the PSU very much. It had to be glued in (silicone) and was non-removable. Then, the worst-case scenario happened. The fan suddenly made rattling noises and I had to remove this PSU again to return it.

That was the moment I decided to re-use the original PSU-housing on the bottom - and no more glue.
 
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Third Iteration (Final Build):


Varnished with the spray gun and compressed air. Even on the inside.
DVD-Drive installed.


2,5” to 3,5” adapter to put an SSD into the Apple HDD Caddy. Later even three SSDs in RAID5.


BeQuiet Dark Rock Pro 3. One of the biggest and most powerful Air-coolers on the market. These PowerMac cases can virtually fit any cooler - no matter how big.


It also works out with the Aluminium coolers on the ram. Very lucky.
Also: Always be grounded when handling electronic components.


Still plenty of space left between door and cooler.
The fan bracket is fitted with two NoiseBlocker 92mm fans.


The empty Apple-PSU housing before modding.
See the previous posts for details of the PSU-modding


New NoiseBlocker Fans (BlackSilent Fan XR-1 - 60mm)


Finished second iteration Build with new supermicro PSU in the original housing.
GTX 1050Ti
DVD drive
3x1TB SSD RAID5

Most cable-management can be done under the mainboard.


Super-silent Air-cooling. 8 fans in total. All run near minimum speed.


The back of the modded Case.
This one has antennas build in and a C19 power-plug.
The mainboard I/O is slightly set back from the case.
Everything is accessible.
Only the Ethernet-cable can be a bit tricky to remove on this particular build. Ethernet cables have this little barb on it. You need to press it down before you can get the cable out. The barb is hard to press because everything is recessed a bit. For a desktop computer this is totally fine. Other mainboards have the Ethernet port in a different position (not on the very top), so they will not have this “problem”.
The barb is easily accessible when opening the door of the case and removing the back-fan bracket (that is clamped in).
The LAN-cable will only be plugged in once, so it is fine. The machine will not be moved to a different room very often.


No more dents or stains on the case. Freshly varnished.


No more Apple-Logo on the side after painting. Just a clean silver look.


That’s it for this build. I learned a lot and could improve the quality of all other barebones. Especially PSU-wise, as you can read in the first posts (page 1 & 2).
 
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thank you so much for posting this, these cases you modded are perfect. absolutely perfect. so clean and minimal, the paint looks better than the standard case almost! its even better that you did it 26 times, and thank god you did because these are the cases every fabricator day dreams about. I wish i could dremel that straight
 
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I am looking to mod a mac pro case as well for a hackintosh. I'm concerned about the standoff positions and sizes. Did you reuse the standoffs it came with or got new ones? If you resued do they come off easily or did you have to grind them off?
 
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@wise-rice I just bought an A1177 G5 case yesterday, I am stuck on a few things. My board is a mATX board but I don't want to butcher the case and I want to keep the same style of the case. I also cant use the stock power supply. I used another guide of yours HERE for the power supply but I need to put an atx power supply in to connect to the cable. I do not want to buy a server PSU. I mainly need help with the motherboard mount, i/o shield, and the front Power/usb. The front power and usb is an issue because it connects to the board not with wires but with contact pins on the board itself. (Picture attached below) It is tricky because I can't use the cables you used in this guide for that, unless there is another cable that I can't find online.

386966
386965


I was going to buy a kit for the rear i/o and motherboard tray but they are expensive. Any advice or resources you can share or point me in a good direction? Please help.

Sincerely,

Devin
 
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