Rotten Apple G4 Cube Project Log | Updated 10/22/2016 **On Hold**

Discussion in 'PowerMac G4 Cube' started by lee.iii.will, Feb 2, 2016.

  1. lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    Feb 2, 2016 at 9:21 PM #1
    lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    Hello again Tonymacx86 forums, it's been too long since my last post(All six of them, I know!)!
    This will be my second Power Mac case mod: some of you may remember the G5 Case that I did last year Rotten Apple G5 Case Mod. I decided to do this project with a log because of the advice that I always see on these forums. I'm hoping I can give some insight as well as potentially ask the thoughts of modders with more experience with G4 cubes.
    I've been toying with the idea of building another computer for the past few months and finally caved last weekend. The reason I have been wanting to build another computer is that my G5(although I love it) is just huge!

    I wasn't initially going to be doing another Apple case mod. I had picked up an Arctic White BitFenix Prodigy(ITX) case on Criagslist and was about to pull the trigger on the project, but something just didn't feel right. The Prodigy is very similar in design to the G5 and just wasn't different enough for me. I also started heavily looking at the Phanteks Enthoo Evolv iTX, but in all reality, it is still a big case and its not what I want or need.

    In comes the G4 Cube
    I always liked the idea of the G4 Cube because it is small, looks great on a desk and feels akin to something out of a Syfi movie when you open it up(insert rolling fog on open:O). I tend to be a bit of a hardware snob when building computers for myself, but when it comes down to it, I can fit everything I need into the Cube and (hopefully) not want for more.
    This build takes a good chunk of inspiration from a modder by the name of Shuntong at ChipHell.com and his Mac Cube X99. While I love how his build came out, I love originality as well! I plan to take elements inspired by his build and put a bit of spin on them!

    Hardware
    (Build Plans have gone through a large change(See later posts)! While I have the parts list ironed out, for the most part, I'd like to keep some mystery to this build log! When I get hardware I'll update the list below with exact part and a link!)
    Motherboard: -- ASRock X99E-ITX/ac - Still using Socket 2011-3!
    Processor: -- Intel Xeon E5-XXXX ES - More than 6 Cores at 2.2Ghz. More information later!
    Heat Sync: -- Stock Heatsink with Custom Heatpipes
    Video Card: -- PNY Quadro K1200
    Memory: -- Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) 288-Pin DDR4
    Boot SSD: -- SAMSUNG SM951 M.2 512GB
    Storage: -- 2x 2.5 inch HDD/SSD
    Power: -- 250 Watt HDPLEX PSU
    Disk Drive: -- Panasonic UJ-240 6X 3D Blu-ray Burner

    Anyone here have experience in custom heat syncs?

    Here are a few pictures of my new cube! Other than the normal hairline fractures around the top mounts, it's in excellent shape!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Open to any questions! I'll try and check in on the thread a few times a day when possible.


    --Word to the wise: This will be a slow build log!
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2016
  2. AppleMann

    AppleMann

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    Feb 3, 2016 at 1:14 AM #2
    AppleMann

    AppleMann

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    Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 1.45.21 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 6.39.40 PM.png
    My two designs, the right one taking advantage of the original vent.
    NH-L9i Low-Profile CPU Heatsink
    750ti sized graphics card

    Assuming you want to keep the original handle

    Give me some feedback :)
     
  3. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Feb 3, 2016 at 3:34 PM #3
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Hey you have my attention as G4 cubes are one of my favorite systems. I have one working in tact cube and one hack at this point. Anyway a X99 system will be a real challenge to cool,

    Good modding,
    neil
     
  4. lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    Feb 3, 2016 at 6:14 PM #4
    lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    I'm going to be using a design similar to your the one on the right, taking advantage of the original vent. I'm going to do my best to stay away from cutting any additional holes in the case, as part of the reason for this case is the original design. The NH-L9i is a bit small for what I'm going to need to dissipate the 85 Watt TDP(Vs the 35W TDP of the processor you're thinking of using) of the Xeon E5-2620 V3. The NH L9x65 is about twice as thick as the L9i and has four heat pipes vs the L9i's two.

    Glad to have you watching, Neil! Can't hurt to have your advice with how many mods you have under your belt! My cube is 100% functional...but I can't imagine any use for a cube with only an 800Mhz processor. What do you use yours for, Niel?
    I'm hoping cooling shouldn't be too horrendous. I should be right about 220 Watt power consumption with the processor running at about 90% TDP and a 45W SFF Quadro video card. What do you think about reusing the stock cooler with some heat pipes to the processor? Since it is originally a passive cooler, how do you think it will perform as an active heat-sync?
     
  5. AppleMann

    AppleMann

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    Feb 3, 2016 at 6:51 PM #5
    AppleMann

    AppleMann

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    You're right about the heatsink, my build is trying to reduce TDP in every possible way.
    The difficult part is aiming my gpu heatsink toward the center, do you or neil know if it's possible to use 2x PCI extensions together to reach the other side of my card?
    Thanks
     
  6. lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    Feb 3, 2016 at 7:44 PM #6
    lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    I wouldn't recommend daisy chaining PCI extenders, if anything I'd try and find a longer insulated extender. From what I understand from reading other build logs on here and Bit-Tech, they can be touchy as is with signal. Any time you're dealing with electric signal the shortest path is the best!
     
  7. neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    Feb 4, 2016 at 9:05 AM #7
    neilhart

    neilhart Moderator

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    OS X and building hacks is my hobby so my systems are setting powered off for the most part. I sell off a few now and then to gain back the space. So other then updating the OS a few times a year my hacked cube sits on a display shelf.

    I see each G4 Cube hack as a science project. The example, Shuntong at ChipHell.com, is a great example of resource management and materials magic... And very well done documentation.

    Anyway I have made a mental note to get my original G4 Cube out and fire it up.

    Good modding,
    neil
     
  8. macaddict71

    macaddict71

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    Feb 5, 2016 at 9:42 PM #8
    macaddict71

    macaddict71

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  9. lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    Oct 8, 2016 at 4:52 AM #9
    lee.iii.will

    lee.iii.will

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    Time for an Update!
    Before anyone gets super excited, I haven't touched my Dremel! This is strictly a hardware update and a heads up on plan changes. To start, here is a teaser picture before I continue.
    [​IMG]

    UPDATE PART 1

    So last week I met up with another TonyMacx86er, JRDN! He actually has a G4 Cube mod that you should check out called G4^3. I Actually had my G5 case up on Craigslist and he ended up shooting me an email letting me know that we live in the same city! Small world! Really cool guy with LOTS of hackintosh experience. He has a fully finished G4 cube(above), a G4 Tower, fully functional G5 and some other projects that I believe he is keeping under wraps as of now.

    Anyways, I ended up making a trade with him for another G4 Cube that is in great condition! So without further ado, here are some pictures of them together.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    He also was nice enough to give me his scrap heatsink core that may end up playing a part in the mod. I'll go into more detail later about changes to the plan of this build.

    [​IMG]

    UPDATE PART 2

    I also happened upon the heart of this new build! This happens to be one of the most expensive parts of the build and I'm glad that I found it and have this out of the way, partwise!

    I got a Xeon for the Rotten Apple G4 Cube!!!

    [​IMG]

    Not going to go into extreme detail on the processor just yet as I'd like a bit of mystery! I like the whole Intel Confidential aspect of the processor, so if you really want to know...Google. Hint: It has more cores than the Xeon I mentioned in my first post.

    Here's some more beauty shots

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    Details on Build Plan Changes


    As I mentioned above I plan on making some big changes to the whole build schematic that I laid out before. I'd really like to focus on keeping the original heatsink intact and do my best to explore any way of dissipating > 85 Watts of heat with it. I've been playing with the idea of a 'Cooling Dock' that uses the same idea as a Laptop cooling dock to force air through the vents with greater efficiency than the internal fan as well as at a lower Db level. My plan is to cut a hole in the desk and cover it with a metal grate to make things look nice. Under the grate will be a 200mm fan attached to pressure sensors under the grate. Essentially, if the cube is on the plate the 200mm fan will be on.

    I am currently still trying to procure a good chunk of the parts and don't want to give away too much information with this post. I will let you know that the Quadro, Noctua cooler and the x99 ITX/ac(maybe more)are all out of the plans!! :eek: That's all I'm saying in this update.

    Keep posted for more updates and pictures! I'll be doing some cutting as soon as I get the MB(which should be up next!)
     
    kungpaogao likes this.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016
  10. kungpaogao

    kungpaogao

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    Oct 18, 2016 at 3:43 AM #10
    kungpaogao

    kungpaogao

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    Ooooo, that dock idea seems really cool! I look forward to seeing how you pull that off!
     

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