Update 1: Power Mac G5 Arrival & Current Plans The wheels are turning! The centre of attention arrived today, the Power Mac G5 itself. It's a Rev.A with dual 1.8GHz G5 processors, 4GB of RAM, the Nvidia GeForce FX5200 (64MB) and 2x 80GB Apple branded Seagate drives. So, all in all, a very nicely specced G5!
(Unfortunately) it's in perfect working order. I preferably would've liked to have bought in a broken unit, and the thought of ripping apart a fully working system is making me cringe already. The plus side to buying in a working unit though is that I can almost definitely part it out and make the money I spent on the G5 in the first place back.
I categorically decided that I absolutely needed to buy a G5 that was shipped in it's original box. I've owned 3 G5s and 1 Mac Pro in the past and all but one of them arrived with damaged feet as a result of inadequate packaging. Mercifully, this G5 arrived in it's original box, safe and sound.
It's in mint condition. Not a dent, scrape or scratch anywhere. Virtually unheard of for a 10 year old lump of anodised aluminium. The insides are also completely dust free. Even the majority of the protective plastic that they covered this thing in when it came out of the factory in 2003 was still there. I got massively lucky with this guy, all for £23.
Now this is where I'm currently at in terms of plans. First off - I'm going micro ATX. I'm going this route for a couple of reasons. 1; I want to reuse the original hard drive caddy and optical drive in their original locations, and 2; I want to rehouse my power supply in the existing G5 PSU casing.
I'm going to be buying the 92mm mATX kit from The Laser Hive, along with a modified dual 120mm intake fan bracket (thanks to David). If I was going for absolute silence then yes, of course I'd pick up the 120mm version. But as I said in my original post, above all else I want to keep this thing looking as stock as possible from the outside, and using the original rear fan assembly will allow me to achieve that. And regarding the intake fans - I don't like the ridiculous amount of space a lot of these G5 case mods leave at the front of the system, so the 2 intake fans should help fill that gap somewhat. My components probably won't necessarily need them, but if it makes the G5 look like more of a complete system, then I'll be happy. I plan on running all 4 system fans at 5V to keep noise down.
I'll be wiring up the front panel board myself, but will probably leave out audio and FireWire. I'm a bit of a cable management freak so the (redundant) front audio cable would drive me insane, and I don't have a FireWire header on my motherboard (not that I need it anyway) so that's a no-go as well.
I will be mounting my power supply (Corsair CX500M) in the G5's original PSU casing. I'm not 100% on how I'm going to attack this but the plan is to cut away the minimum amount of metal possible. If feasible I would still like to keep this PSU in a 'replaceable' state' (ie. be able to unplug everything and remove the whole PSU from the G5 without much hassle). I'm going to run 2 60mm fans as intake (I've seen other builds do this so cooling should be adequate) and I'm also going to wire up the original power socket.
The only thing I'm a bit unsure about is my SSD placement. I'm going to be running 2 hard drives (1 for OS X storage and 1 for Windows) and 1 SSD as my OS X boot drive. Until I get everything in and can see how much physical space I have in various places inside the case I'm going to leave it as a 'cross that bridge as a come to it' kind of deal.
Here is my current shortlist of components (subject to change):
- Gigabyte H81M-H Micro-ATX Motherboard
- Intel Core i5 4570S Quad-Core 2.9GHz Processor
- Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO CPU Cooler
- 8GB (2x4GB) HyperX FURY DDR3 1600MHz Memory
- Gigabyte Nvidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB GDDR5 OC-Edition
- 60GB SanDisk Pulse 6Gb/s SSD (OS X Boot)
- 1TB Seagate Barracuda 6Gb/s HDD (OS X Storage)
- 500GB Seagate Pipeline HD2 3Gb/s HDD (Windows)
- TP-Link TL-WDN4800 802.11ac PCIe Wireless Card
- Corsair CX500M 80-Plus Bronze Certified Power Supply
- 2x 120mm Arctic F12 Fans (Intake)
- 2x 92mm Arctic F9 Fans (Exhaust)
- 1x Molex to 4x 5V Fan Splitter (System Fans)
- 2x 60mm Gelid Silent 6 Fans (Power Supply)
- 1x Molex to 2x 5V Fan Splitter (Power Supply)
- Some 3M Vinyl Wrap (for the inside panel. Black motherboard, black cables, black surrounding!)
And there we are. Man is this all adding up! I cannot wait to get stuck in now. I'm still currently plucking up the courage to disassemble this beautiful G5 though, so I could be here for a while. 'Til next time guys!
Update 2: Power Mac G5 Disassembly & Final Plans Earlier this week I got around to disassembling my G5. It was a relatively easy job all things considered. A lot of people bang on about how much of a pain in the backside they are to gut, but aside from the top shelf/door locking mechanism it was pretty much plain sailing all the way.
What's this? A second G5? Well, yes. After I gutted my G5 I could finally begin visualising where cables could & couldn't go, and it quickly became apparent that it would quite frankly look a mess internally if I went ahead with my original plan. So, I went back to the drawing board.
After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I decided the best way to keep my hack looking both clean & organised, and as original as possible, was to reuse the G5's internal structure (in the way of intake fan assemblies and the middle PCI divider/shelf).
But, as I want everything to be as perfect as possible, I decided against using the two G5 heatsink covers and original intake fan assembly that came with my original G5, and instead decided to opt for the cleaner, more refined looking internals of a Late 2005 Power Mac G5.
The beaten up 2005 G5 sans heatsink cover, intake fans & divider shelf.
And there we are. The 2003 G5 with the newly installed internal fittings. Much better!
And here are my modified plans. The dual 92mm and single 80mm fans will eliminate the need to have a dual 120mm bracket made for me, and will (as I said before) keep the hack looking as close to stock as possible. The dual 92mm intakes, along with the dual 92mm exhausts should also allow me to now run a totally passive CPU cooler (I'm thinking Zalman FX70) as well. And, of course, the massive G5 heatsink cover will cover up nearly every unsightly socket, port and cable. If all goes well, the only cable that will be visible in the main chamber will be the graphics card power cable, and potentially a couple of SATA cables. Updated component list:
Yep, lots of progress! Since my last post I've bought in, modified & assembled a fully working G5 Hack. I originally intended on snapping photos & posting here alongside recording & uploading the videos to YouTube, but with my only decent camera working hard on the video side it was pretty difficult to do the two simultaneously. I'm currently rolling out the videos on YouTube, and intend on doing a nice write up with high quality pics for the Completed Mods forum alongside the release of Part 5 in a couple of weeks time.