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Steroid eMac: GA-Z97X-UD3H | i7 4790 | GTX 970 Mini ITX Overclocked

Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
3
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Teemuee's Steroid eMac Build:
GA-Z97X-UD3H | i7 4790 | GTX 970 Mini ITX Overclocked


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Components

Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H Motherboard
https://www.gigabyte.com/Motherboard/GA-Z97X-UD3H-rev-10#ov

Intel Core I7 (4790K Quad Core 4GHz) Processor
https://ark.intel.com/content/www/u...-4790k-processor-8m-cache-up-to-4-40-ghz.html

Kingston 16GB (2x8GB) HyperX Savage DDR3 1866MHz
https://www.kingston.com/dataSheets/HX318C9SRK2_16.pdf

Gigabyte Nvidia 970 Mini Itx Graphic card
https://www.gigabyte.com/Graphics-Card/GV-N970IXOC-4GD#ov

Superflower 650W Leadex, 80Plus Gold °F14MG PSU
https://www.amazon.de/-/en/Flower-650-%C2%B0F14MG-Leadex-Modular-80-Plus/dp/B00OT5LJCA[B][/B]

Samsung 250GB 850 EVO SSD (reserved for Os X 10.11.6)
https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-2-5-Inch-Internal-MZ-75E250B-AM/dp/B00OAJ412U/

Samsung 128GB 850 PRO SSD (reserved for Windows 7 Ultimate)
https://www.amazon.com/MZ-7KE128BW-Internal-Solid-State-Drive/dp/B00LF10L02/
2TB HDD (shared between os's)

TP-LINK TL-WDN4800 N900 Wireless Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-TL-WDN4800-Wireless-network-Adapter/dp/B007GMPZ0A

LG BH16NS40 16x SATA Internal BD-RW Retail Kit - Read, Write, Bluray
https://www.amazon.com/LG-BH16NS40-Blu-Ray-RW-Laufwerk/dp/B00AK29B26

Hydro H80i v2 cooler
https://www.amazon.com/CORSAIR-Radiator-Advanced-Lighting-Software/dp/B019954Y2Q

HP vs17 17" Flat LCD Panel
https://www.amazon.com/hp-vs17-17-flatpanel-lcd-monitor/dp/B00094NNJM/



Already Owned

eMac chassis



Comments

I needed a fast and powerful computer for work. I had had a MacBook Pro for five years, and I was already comfortable with OS X, but I wasn't comfortable with the prices of Pro models, which I thought that I needed. The old MacBook Pro started to run slow. That's when I found you guys here, and you had excellent guides and recommendations for components. I went with somewhat high end and with the ones that were most compatible just to be on the safe side. This build doesn't have any revolutionary ways to improve the guides. So there's probably not much new with this post to add. But maybe someone gets some inspiration out of this build.

During that time I got one eMac for free. It was way too slow for anything useful. It kept hell of a noise and weighted somewhere around 25kg/55lb. So I got this crazy idea to rip it to pieces and see if I manage to rebuild it with some new components. The old tube-type panel alone weighted 12kg/24lb, so I managed to get the weight of the whole unit down quite a bit. I had a few 17" LCD monitors/panels lying around, and I had to rip those apart, too. The first one I accidentally broke, but luckily as the HP vs17 survived the process.

One CPU cooler I ordered was too big to fit so I wasn't crazy about it and assembled even bigger one. This cute beast has been serving me well for 5 years now, and, since all the components are from 2016, it's probably not the fastest build around anymore. My philosophy with it has been that if I manage to make something work, don't touch it anymore.

Things that work, well, pretty much everything. Even the small speakers and the small white light at the front.

Things that aren't really working are, when I start the computer, I have to wait until the login screen without the LCD panel comes on, or it goes to panic loop. There's probably easy way to fix it, but as my philosophy goes, I haven't bothered to look out since the nuisance is rather small. So when I start it, I keep the LCD panel off and wait for it to go to login screen. This might have something to do with Macs not being OK with VGA. The panel is connected with DVI/VGA adapter to GTX 970. For the pictures I took a 28" Samsung 4K monitor off the table, which I use mainly, and the HP 17" panel in the chassis mostly serves as a just a second screen.

What I would do otherwise. I would cut some holes to chassis a little nicer, and, even though I managed to fit a full ATX motherboard, it would have been easier to go with mini ATX.

Hopefully, this inspires you to build to a not so usual chassis, if one lands on your hands.










Whatever comes to mind or if you want to know more, feel free to ask.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 13, 2015
Messages
58
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i7 4790K
Graphics
Intel HD 4600
Mac
  1. MacBook
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Rocking High Sierra ?
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
3
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
Rocking High Sierra ?
El Capitan :) For a while El Capitan was the latest I could get since the computer was configured to be iMac from 2011, as the guides instructed. I guess it could be updated rather easily now by following another guide. Updating to High Sierra is one thing more I haven’t bothered to do since “if it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it.”
 

trs96

Moderator
Joined
Jul 31, 2012
Messages
19,360
Motherboard
GA-Z97X-UD3H-BK
CPU
i5-4690K
Graphics
HD4600 / RX 570
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
  2. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I'm not seeing how you were able to fit that Gigabyte ATX motherboard into the eMac case. It must have been a major challenge. I didn't think that Apple ever followed the ATX standards set by Intel. Then also fitting in a PSU and optical drive sounds quite challenging. Please post pics to show how you pulled this off.

1619865750813.png
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 27, 2021
Messages
3
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD3H
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
GTX 970
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Classic Mac
  1. eMac
I'm not seeing how you were able to fit that Gigabyte ATX motherboard into the eMac case. It must have been a major challenge. I didn't think that Apple ever followed the ATX standards set by Intel. Then also fitting in a PSU and optical drive sounds quite challenging. Please post pics to show how you pulled this off.

Good question there. I had a spare ATX chassis, and I cut a backplate of it for the motherboard so the motherboard won't bend. The original eMac motherboard was actually quite big. So I thought that it would be the easiest way to use similar parts as what there were. That was a mistake, and it definitely would have been easier to go with smaller size motherboard. But I managed to fit it in anyway. Optical drive was easy; the old drive and new drive were almost the same size. With the PSU you're right, it was quite a challenge.

There's now a few pictures at the gallery from the times I was building it. Luckily I still had them.

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