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[Worklog] Granny Smith - Full ATX Powermac G4 Mod

Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
39
Motherboard
GA-Z77X-UP5 TH (F12) / Powermac G4 case
CPU
Core i7 3770
Graphics
MSI GTX 670
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
  2. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
[Complete] Granny Smith - Full ATX Powermac G4 Mod

20121120145409.jpg
My intensions for the mod are very simple: to build a modern full ATX "Pro" Hackintosh while maintaining as much of the original design as possible. I'm trying my best to route cables such that I will maintain optimal airflow (which will include routing some cables in the space between the chassis and the plastic shell). The Hack is intended for video editing and some gaming, as well as a general workstation for my home business and writing. Additionally, I intend to either paint it or wrap it in vinyl towards the end of the project.

Many of the components were chosen very specifically for their dimensions, so as to fit in the case with as little modification to the chassis as possible.

Primary components:
º Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UP5 TH
º Intel Core i7-3770K (I may choose the standard 3770, as I'm thinking it unlikely that I'll ever have enough cooling to overclock)
º MSI GeForce GTX 670
º Komputerbay 32GB ( 4 X 8GB ) DDR3 PC3-12800
º Crucial M4 256GB SSD
º OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W PSU

Other components:
º Xigmatek Praeton LD964 Low Profile CPU Cooler
º COOLER MASTER R4-BM9S-28PK-R0 Blade Master 92mm Fan (upgrade for Xigmatek cooler)
º COUGAR CF-V12HPB Vortex 120mm case fan
º Silverstone FF121 120mm fan filter
º Vantec USA NexStar SE Dual 2.5-Inch SATA Hard Drive Rack with Memory Card Reader and USB 2.0 Ports
º SILVERSTONE SDP08 3.5 to 2 X 2.5-Inch Bay Converter
º TP-Link Wireless N Dual Band PCI Express Adapter
+ Various extension cables, as the PSU ends up being pretty far away from the motherboard when the case is open

Tools and other stuff I already own:
º Mac OS X Mountain Lion
º Power Mac G4 w/ digital audio (2000)
º Magic Mouse & Magic Trackpad
º das Keyboard for Mac
º ASUS PA238Q 23" IPS monitor (I may add a second monitor before the end of the year, maybe even a larger one)
º Kensington K33348B Bluetooth 2.0 dongle (worked without added drivers on said Power Mac G4 with Leopard installed)
º Dremmel with metal and plastic cutoff wheels
º Current versions of Unibeast/Multibeast, etc.

-----WORKLOG



I used the Dremmel to cut a corner off of the PSU/optical drive bay tray to:
a) allow my OCZ PSU to fit, which is a bit bigger than the stock PSU
b) allow room for the door to close once RAM is seated on the motherboard (which should now work, according to my measurements calculated in Photoshop)

PSU fits nicely, and the stock screw points for the PSU on the Powermac G4 case are standard, so they align perfectly. There is about an inch of space on the intake side of the PSU, but I will also add some venting wholes on that side of the chassis to allow the PSU better airflow.

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Cutting the stock 5.25"/3.5" removable bay to accomodate the motherboard with RAM seated.

20121113114815.jpg


Now with the Vantec 2.5" bay converter installed. (I chose this exact Vantec peripheral because the corner that will interfere with the RAM is only a bracket, which I plan to cut off once I have the motherboard in hand.)

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Cut to better accomodate the PSU rear.

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Added a bottom side vent port to install the 120mm Cougar fan. The placement of this actually reduces the stock capability to install HDD trays from 3 possible spaces to just 1. However, I thought out the shape of the hole such that with a little more cutting and bending, I could sink the fan lower to get one of those spaces for a tray back. Also, I expect to only need two 3.5" drives at most, and trays can be found on eBay for these Powermacs that can hold two 3.5" drives on a single tray. Room for two SSDs are to be had with the Silverstone Bay adapter being placed in the 3.5" frontside removable bay (the swappable Vantec bay is actually intended for swapping, and will not be used for system files).

As of right now, this is my only planned case fan (apart from the air that the PSU will pull). I will see how hot the case gets once everything is installed, and I'll add fans accordingly if necessary. There are many spots where 40mm fans make sense, but that's about it. So for the sake of keeping the computer as quiet as possible, I'm waiting until I can make a guess as to how much additional airflow I'll need.

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I will continue to update the thread as I make additions. The motherboard is coming in today, and I expect to have all the parts in hand soon, such that I should have the project finished within 2 weeks (I may even finish with everything except cosmetics by the end of the weekend, if all goes to plan).

Thanks for looking
 
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
39
Motherboard
GA-Z77X-UP5 TH (F12) / Powermac G4 case
CPU
Core i7 3770
Graphics
MSI GTX 670
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
  2. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS


After removing the old standoffs, I actually used the board itself as a template to add new standoffs; I would not recommend doing this, but I was careful and patient. The rear I/O lined up pretty well, after minimizing the support bar that was between the I/O and the PCI ports.

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All other parts arrived. Everything installed, but it took a lot of tinkering to get everything to fit in smoothly. I got my Hack running with 10.8.2 fairly without too much trouble; installing OS X with Unibeast and getting stuff working was easy.

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I began routing cables between the chassis and the plastic shell where possible. I also cutout room for USB 3.0 header I decided to add to the front at the last minute.

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Example of the painting/masking job. I only had a couple of hours to paint each day because of the temperature, so I didn't have much time to both paint and take pics of everything.

****************************************************************************************************

FINISHED





I had to place a couple of strategically hidden rubberband pieces and painters tape to eliminate some fan vibration noise, but it was easy once I figured out the causes. I have yet to add working power/reset buttons to the case (the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH has power/reset buttons on the board itself) or add a fitted lexan I/O shield I'm sizing, but I'm basically finished.

Some gratuitous pictures:


 
Joined
Apr 5, 2011
Messages
190
Motherboard
Gigabyte GA-Z68MA-D2H-B3
CPU
G620
Graphics
GTS 250
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
I'm digging the color scheme you used. What type of paint did you use, and did you have to do a lot of sanding to get the paint to stick properly?
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
907
Motherboard
Z68MX-UD2H-B3, DQ77KB, NUC DC53427HYE, NUC D54250WYKH
CPU
i5-2500K, i3-3225, i7-3770S
Graphics
HD 3000, HD 4000, HD 5000
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. iMac
  2. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Awesome! :thumbup:

This guy even modded his iPad to match the G4's color! :headbang:
 
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
39
Motherboard
GA-Z77X-UP5 TH (F12) / Powermac G4 case
CPU
Core i7 3770
Graphics
MSI GTX 670
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
  2. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
Sorry for the slow response, folks.

I'm digging the color scheme you used. What type of paint did you use, and did you have to do a lot of sanding to get the paint to stick properly?

I sanded all painted plastic with 1000 grit, though I should have gone with 800 grit, probably. I went with Valspar Paint for Plastic, and as a precaution I also applied Valspar's Plastic Primer prior to painting (the only paint I've had good luck with on plastic without adhesion promoter of some kind is Duplicolor Vinyl/Fabric paint, but the color selection there is extremely limited).


Awesome! :thumbup:

This guy even modded his iPad to match the G4's color! :headbang:

Yeah, that was actually a coincidence. Months ago, I smashed up my iPad's glass around the bezel, so I found a screen protector that had a bezel so as to cover up the shattered glass. The paint color of the case was intended to reflect the name; I actually wanted a slightly bluer, more pale green, and dark graphite as the secondary color. But I was forced to settle with this green and black. After finishing the paint job, I was like "OH..." and just left it on my desk for that picture ;)
 
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
39
Motherboard
GA-Z77X-UP5 TH (F12) / Powermac G4 case
CPU
Core i7 3770
Graphics
MSI GTX 670
Mac
  1. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
  2. PowerBook
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
hey man great build whats your heating situation like. I have a very similar build with a g4 unfortunately i have to open the door to let out the heat

A benefit that I didn't initially realize about the design of this particular motherboard, the GA-Z77X-UP5 TH, is that it helps to keep the CPU running much cooler than your average motherboard (something about the performance of the CPU MOSFETs, or something; here is an excellently geeky breakdown of the architecture of the board). As a result, the CPU stays quite cool, though I have done minimal testing at full load. That said, the only thing I really have to worry about is GPU, and it does a decent job of pushing its hot air out the back of its own I/O vents.

About the only places to simply add outgoing ventilation would be to add 40mm fans (up to x3) in the grated area to the right of PCI slots when looking at the closed case from the rear. Also, depending on how you shield the open space that is not needed for the motherboard's rear I/O, you could allow venting ports there.
 
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