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stiligFox's PowerMac G7

Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
395
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
CPU
i7-4790K
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RX 580
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MacBook Air, Mac mini
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iOS
stiligFox’s PowerMac G7
Hello everybody! I have finally finished my first Hackintosh build, and would love to share it with you all!


I have spent the last couple months putting this baby together, and I have to say I’m extremely pleased. It’s not quite finished yet, but the last couple things are very small. I want to say right off the bat, thank you to the wonderful community here at TonyMacx86. I couldn’t have done it without you all!


There are going to be a lot of pictures through out this post; they aren’t exactly in the order that I did them. I have arranged them in a more organized manner.


Table of contents:
[post=952379]Case Modification[/post]
[post=952380]PSU Modification[/post]
[post=952381]Miscellaneous modding[/post]
[post=952382]Component Installation[/post]
[post=952383]Software Installation[/post]


Final Build:
Here are some pictures of the final build in all its glory! The only thing missing from here is a working wifi card, which I still am waiting on from China.


I tried to keep it as clean and original looking as I could. My goal was to modify it as little as possible, leaving the inside and outside looking as much like the original PowerMac as possible. I wanted to leave the original fan slots in place, as well as leave all of the internal components where they go. This also required modifying the power supply into the shell of the original Apple PSU. Thanks to TheLaserHive I was able to make this vision a reality! The main issue I have, that I will fix someday when I feel like pulling the whole thing apart, is that the IO shield on the back of the motherboard didn’t fit. I may make a custom one out of aluminum sometime, but that is for another day :p



(I am very happy with how these cables came out; making my own SATA power cable worked so nicely!)

(There is a whole bunch of cabling to hide inside, due to the way the motherboard is laid out. Using SATA sticky clips helped a ton!)


(showing off that awesome panel from TheLaserHive)

(Was also very happy with how these came out after modding them)


http://imgur.com/a/eOCuW


What remains to be done:
Updated 11/21/15


  • The Power LED light is always on. Wether the machine is powered on or not, as long as it is plugged into the wall, the light is lit. I tried switching the cable that connects to the motherboard around, so that the ground and positive wires are flipped. In this position it only lights up while the button is pressed; it turns off as soon as I let go.

  • Fixed this - had to adjust the power settings in BIOS to not allow the USB ports to stay on when computer was shut off.
  • Install the BCM94360CD Wifi/Bluetooth card. I am waiting on a specific card adapter to come from China that will working in any slot besides the 1x slot.
    Card arrived and worked great out of box, unfortunately unavailable for purchase now. Will update if I find one that works outside of x1 slots again.
  • This is a software issue, but Audio after sleep is not working.
  • Gave up on this - bought a Schiit Magni 2U and Modi 2 DAC and Amp set up, they work great with no sleep issues.
  • iMessage/FaceTime - which is not a currently fixable issue.
    This issue was fixed a while back when iMessage started working again on hackintoshes.

Benchmarking:

Parts Used:



And many more parts from FrozenCPU and ModBunker for all the many custom cabling tools and pieces!




Credits:
neilhart and minihack for their invaluable advice
The entire TonyMacx86 community
TheLaserHive
Newegg and Amazon
FrozenCPU and ModBunker
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
395
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Case Modification
Here is the beginning of the build! It seems so long ago now that I’m looking back at this pictures. I didn’t take many pictures of the taking apart or cutting process since it’s pretty well documented. My dad helped me with the cutting part since I didn’t have any practice using a jig saw type tool. (We used pretty much this exact tool - http://imgur.com/JhAXRB0 )


Insides initially ~ I sold the singe CPU and heat sync on eBay for 99 cents + 12 dollars shipping. I was surprised how little of a market there is for those things!



This image is after the initial gutting. I had a slightly modified backplate made by TheLaserHive (note the fox logo) that didn’t quite fit - in the end it turned out that the logo was going to be coverd.



In the beginning I printed out scale paper models of the motherboard and GPU to see how things would fit.



Pre cut. It’s amazing how elegant these things really are! Almost a shame to cut into it…




Disassembled and ready for cutting! I should note that this thing is really freaky trying to get apart. If you’re reading this looking for advice, the best I can give is to be brave. The only way to really get it off is to pry the top and bottom of the outside frame over the inner frame. My Dad and I put towels in between the layers as we pulled it apart so not to scratch the finish. It feels like you might bend the frame but it’s a lot sturdier than it looks.



Here is the cut middle shelf. Since my goal was to keep it as original as possible, I wanted to leave the mounting points for the fans in place. In hind sight I didn't need to cut so much off; if I ever come across another shelf I will probably remake this. The only part that really needs to be trimmed is the back side where it would hit the RAM slots of the motherboard.



It was while the case was apart that I had the idea for a second backplate that would sit on the original stand offs in front of the motherboard. I wanted something to hide all of the extra cables, and hiding them behind a sheet of metal seemed like the best approach.



Here you can see where the bits fitting together:



Annnnd the cut back! The jig saw tool was super hand for cutting the back, if not a bit nerve wracking. Dad showed me how, so we each cut about half of it out! The backplate from TheLaserHive screwed in nicely, so clean looking!

 
Joined
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Messages
395
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
PSU Modification
This is actually one of the first things I planned out, even before I started building the inside of the case. I found out the hard way that only certain power supplies will work - at least, without doing major resoldering. I bought a modular Corsair RM750, and tried to install it. That turned out to be a big mistake. So if you’re reading this looking for advice, please! Do your research. Many people here can recommend PSUs, and there are many websites online that take these things apart when doing reviews of them. The problem I ran into is that the daughterboard that had the modular ports on that PSU was fixed to the main PCB - I couldn’t move it anywhere, which made it too tall for the Apple PSU case. The SeaSonic semi modular PSU had a free daughterboard, as you’ll see, which worked wonderfully! I ended up reselling the Corsair PSU but for really cheap, since it was bent up a bit when it was opened.


I want to say this was the longest and hardest part of this whole build - In the end I spent over a week on this alone. After finishing it up, I hooked up a bunk HDD to it and let is run for a few days solid to make sure nothing went wrong. This was also the most nerve wracking bit, since after all, if this broke, there goes all those components!


Pre disassembly:



Hello in there!



This is after disconnecting the ground. The power plug and switch are free from the main PCB, but they are inside the metal frame. I’ll cut this out in a later step.



Sorry for the blurry shot but this caused me a bit of a headache - When taking the whole thing apart there is a screw in the middle of the bottom on the PSU. The little plastic clip you can see in the middle of this picture is what the screw mounts to, and it will spin freely. I had to use needle nose pliers to hold it in place while trying to take the screw out from the bottom.





These are some cutting shots after I took the insides out: The main goal here is to shorten the whole thing to fit inside the Apple PSU.







It (still) fits!




On the Apple PSU one of the original mounts (there was one between the two screws) had to be removed so the new PSU would fit:



All ready to go with fans installed!



At this point I tried one way of gluing the the modular panel down so it ended up looking like this:


But that severely restricted the airflow when I got it all sealed up, so I ended up redoing it.


This is where a hole was cut to go through the back of the PSU, the side that faces the back of the computer. It is near the front of the PC, if that makes anysense. I used this to allow the main 24 Pin cable to come through and fit into the free space behind it. The way the case was designed, there is about a half inch of space there. It was a very tight squeeze and made installing the PSU tricky, but visually it makes it look splendid! The rubber grommet comes from Corsair; you can buy them in a package of like 10 grommets for around 15 dollars.





Using super hot glue seemed like the best way to fasten the PSU down so that it wouldn’t move. Before glueing the front little panel down, I inverted the standoffs that were originally holding the daughterboard in place, and screwed them in so that it could hold the daughterboard in place firmly.








Making an adapter was fairly easy but also frustrating. While removing the original filter from the Apple plug, I melted the prongs out of the white plastic block. They are now hot glued in place and very secure, but it’s not as clean looking as I’d’ve liked…




A little heat shrink goes a long way!




The ground extender:



This is where things got really fun. With all of the tools that I got from ModBunker and FrozenCPU, making these little wire adapters was a ton of fun. I wired the two front fans to use the 5V rail so that they run silently. I would have used the original fans but the bearings inside them were very rattly.



Almost done!




The custom SATA ends:



Here are the cables coming out from the backside:




And here it is in place!



Routing the SATA power cable for the HDD’s was very weird. Since the top blower fan wasn’t there anymore, I routed it through there, but needed to place some padding along the way since the cable has to go though a couple of tight bends. There is also a curl in the back of the bay (which you can see in this first picture) so that there is play in the cable when removing drives.




All taped up and ready to go, just waiting on that custom backplate!
 
Joined
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Messages
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Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
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i7-4790K
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RX 580
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Miscellaneous moddingHard drive cage and SATA power cable


Putting this cage and cable together was a whole lot of fun, even though I had to redo the cable a couple times due to miscalculating the length of the wire I needed. There is just something so pleasing about the way the cable fits where without any slack! (I ended up not using this SSD in favor of a Samsung and a OWC SSD.)













The DVD drive swap was of course painless. The newer one was shorter, which is nice because it affords more room for cabling to go later. What I didn’t realize at first though is that facade on the front of the DVD tray on the new drive needs to come off, otherwise it will get stuck in the PowerMac’s tray mechanism when it closes. I peeled off the facade from the Apple drive and used double stick tape to fasten it to the new ASUS drive. It works like a charm!





Front Fan assembly


The front fans were very satisfying to fix, if not annoying. (I still can’t get them to work 100% of the time; I need to rework the adapter I made.) Originally I was going to leave the wires the original length and coil them up to hide them, but in the end trimming them made the whole unit look so much nicer.



Trimming and crimping on the new fan connectors!



All done, neat and tidy!
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
395
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Component Installation
Here are a couple pictures of most of my components ~





This is the new motherboard tray and the custom panel from TheLaserHive! The aluminum panel is designed to replace the front part of the original motherboard. To figure out where to put the screw holes so it could be mounted to the original standoffs, I scanned the G5 motherboard at the local library!



Here it is all ready to go with the Corsair grommets installed!



So many parts!



Fitting the parts in place. Imgur didn’t save the orientation of my pics - sorry they are sideways >.< You can see here though how the cables are hidden underneath the panel and behind the PSU.






It’s such a mess at this point!



Here it is all tidy :D




The size difference of the coolers is amazing. With the Intel cooler I was getting 49 degrees Celsius average, and with any kind of hard load it would hit 100. With the new cooler it sits at 25, and hits 55 max!
 
Joined
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Messages
395
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
RX 580
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MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
PowerBook
Mobile Phone
iOS
Software Installation
Software installation went off without a hitch; I installed Windows on the Samsung SSD, and this went pretty much as normal.


For OS X, I followed this guide, as it was pretty much my exact same machine! <SUCCESS> Gigabyte Z97MX-Gaming 5, i7 4790k, 16 GB 1600 Mhz DDR3, Onboard Graphics Using Clover
MG
. It worked flawlessly! The only difference was in order to install OS X, it was necessary to remove the GTX 970, follow the whole installation process, install nVidia’s web driver, and then install the card back into the machine. Attempting to install OS X with the card in just didn’t work.




And that’s everything! So far I love this machine! Thank you to everyone for reading, and much more for the help!
 

neilhart

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stiligFox your project and documentation are great. I really enjoyed reading your thread and checking out the photos.

Very good attention to detail and craftsman ship. An example is this:



The power harness is perfect and the dual drives per slot is a new one to me.

Good modding,
neil
 
Joined
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Very nicely done.:clap:
I really like the custom aluminum panel from The Laser Hive, :thumbup:
and the Corsair grommets really nice way to hide the cables:thumbup::thumbup:
and give you something to mount other parts to.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

Something to really be proud of and will last a life time.
 
Joined
Jul 17, 2014
Messages
395
Motherboard
ASUS Maximus VII Gene
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
RX 580
Mac
MacBook Air, Mac mini
Classic Mac
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Mobile Phone
iOS
Hello again guys! I got the Wifi/Bluetooth card and adapter from China - It works great both bluetooth and Wifi - except Handoff. I'm still trying to get it set up, I think I have to do some resetting of settings and such.

Does anyone have an idea of what might fix the power LED issue? I can live with it, but having it one 100% of the time is a bit annoying...


stiligFox your project and documentation are great. I really enjoyed reading your thread and checking out the photos.

Very good attention to detail and craftsman ship. An example is this:

The power harness is perfect and the dual drives per slot is a new one to me.
Thanks Neil! That means a lot! It was very satisfying to make that in a way...

Very nicely done.:clap:
I really like the custom aluminum panel from TheLaserHive, :thumbup:
and the Corsair grommets really nice way to hide the cables:thumbup::thumbup:
and give you something to mount other parts to.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

Something to really be proud of and will last a life time.
Thanks! Yeah this whole thing wouldn't be possible with out the LaserHive hehe!

Perfect build, good attention to detail and keeping internal appearance , also a very nice witeup.

Kiwi
Thanks you ^u^
 
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