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G5 Casemod - my implementation

Discussion in 'Modding Worklogs' started by mrbean_phillip, Sep 24, 2006.

  1. mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Hello,
    So starts my 1st Project Log Down Under. Greetings from Melbourne.

    It has always been a dream of mine to convert a X86 System into one of the newer generation PowerMac boxes, having admired the sleek, curvatious body...err...I mean cases for a very long time.

    On relocating to Melbourne from sunny South Africa, I had the opportunity to get a brandnew PowerMac G5 case of Ebay, it was an impulsive buy, ok, as most of my purchases are But, it came with 600W Apple PSU, some cabling, drive trays etc, and I saw in it an opportunity to at last get my hands on this case.

    Goals:
    1st SLi capable "PowerMac" in the world - I have 2x 7800GTX BFG OC's, watercooled, that will go in here.
    Dualcore 4800+ AMD CPU
    2 gig OCZ 2-2-2-5 TCCD memory

    Special Micro-ATX eVGA SLi motherboard, 1st of it's kind in the world.

    Utilizing standard Apple 600W PSU

    Biggest goal, and challenge, would be NOT to butcher the rear of the G5 case, as I have seen done on each and every X86 conversion so far. I want a clean, basic look, without hacking everything to bits. If I have to mod the std rear, which ultimately I think I will have to, I want to make it neat, factory-like, and it must enhance the rear of the case, not bolz it up

    So, by utilizing the eVGA micro-SLi mobo, I hope to use the same 4x PCI-slot standard as on the back of the G5 case, and do the cutout for the rear ports using std ATX backplate - I should be able to even retain the original G5 fanholes/guards, for that clean, original look.

    System will be watercooled, using BIX II 2x 120mm rad, DD5 Laing pump, and customized Antarctica waterblock for the cpu.

    DVD writer is a multiburner, std ide style - it will mount same position as original, and retain the very unique PowerMac slide-down front bezel plate - spiffy design by Apple, I must add.

    Harddrives are 2x WD Raptor 74gigs, in Raid 0, and I will have a Firewire external 250gig for large storage capacity, if required.

    This PC will be my main racing sim rig, and with the hardware, will be up to the task for at least another 3years or longer.

    Tonight I will start posting some pictures, I have stripped the case bare, and started with planning - usually this takes me a couple of hours just staring at the empty case, and visualizing the end result.

    I need to rewire Apple PSU, as the ATX-plug is wired totally different to X86 ATX standards, but, I openend it up, had a quick look, and all signals I need are available, so I will "code" the ATX plug to conform to X86 standard. I would luv to keep this supply, as it is low-profile, and blends in nicely with G5 case, giving me the looks I am after.

    BIX rad will go up front, vertical next to front-panel port/switch unit, hopefully I can manufacture a custom shroud to get a clean transition from rad->fans->cpu area, similar to PowerMac look.

    Harddrives will stay where they are in original PowerMac position, upper rear of the case, with the 2x center fans providing cooling for them.

    Front panel connector will be fully functional, incl Firewire ports, USB/Audio and power LED - board requires 25V to function, but that I can take from Apple PSU.

    Well, be certain, I will give it my best shot, and hopefully end up with a very unique hybrid.

    Feedback would be appreciated.

    Br,
    MrBean
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2006
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Onto some photos, this the case in it's original incarnation:

    Here is a close-up of the powerswitch, and ports...

    [​IMG]

    Side shot - both sides appear similar

    [​IMG]

    From the rear....

    [​IMG]

    Close-up of fangrills - yes, they're metal, and they're held in place by small screws....

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    a Shot of the latch - very nice construction, solid aluminium, with a nice meganism on the inside....



    [​IMG]

    Shot with the airbaffle open....

    [​IMG]

    Airbaffle in normal position......

    [​IMG]



    600W PSU mounted in the bottom - very neat, notice 2x 60mm fans in the front for cooling - I like this design, about the size of 120mmx2 rad, just wider

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    2x 3.5" harddrive cage - see the locks on the right side - here they're open.....

    [​IMG]

    And here they're closed/locked....

    [​IMG]

    Here is the fans mounted to cool harddrives down....



    [​IMG]

    Here is a close-up of front powerswitch/ports viewed from the inside...

    [​IMG]

    Here is a shot of the cdrom front stealh tray - it actually moves down when cdrom opens, and back up when cdrom retracts - cool!

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

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    a Final shot of the open side, with neat cable tray in place.....

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok, a small update - firstly, been stripping the case to prep it for little cutting/machining work.....

    Also ended up at Dick Smith Electronics, and found this:

    [​IMG]

    Going to be used as a mobo tray for this setup, as exsisting G5 mobo standoffs differ from ATX format - a pity, but a nice challenge.

    [​IMG]

    Next to case to show size...

    [​IMG]

    Where will it go....

    [​IMG]

    a Set of Torx keys, to disassemble this case.....decent quality at Aud $10- , from Dick Smith.....

    [​IMG]

    Case from the rear, with fanguards removed...

    [​IMG]

    Fanguards.....

    [​IMG]

    and finally, a shot showing my plan for the rear, purple areas will stay, but blue will be removed - I will customize a rear port plate out of same alu, and bolt it in place with tiny screws, to keep Apple neatness factor...

    [​IMG]

    More to follow soon.....
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    I re-thought my mobo tray setup, and changed my plan a little - instead of using 300x300 backplate and trim it down to fit mobo's 245/240mm profile, I will use a much larger backplate, to cover all the studs etc in the G5 box....

    It will basically become a 2nd sidepanel, with approx 10mm gap between exsisting panel and new one, with new panel bolting to original - albeit shortened - Apple mobo studs, and then drilling and tapping new holes to mount new X86 mobo.

    This will create a very smooth interior, creating the illusion of an original G5 side without studs. The 10mm gap between mobo tray and sidecover will still house the original G5 cable duct, see 1st pictures with grey cable duct.

    Then, I will probably mount my Enermax 600W PSu into the G5 600W housing, as I doubt the 600W Apple PSU has enough vooma to supply 7800GTX SLi - it has 3x 12V rails, 13.5A, 9A and 13.5A respectively, which won't cut it.

    I have checked, you can easily fit 2x ATX supplies into the G5 PSU housing, and height won't be a problem either, even though the G5 PSU's housing have a lower profile. I will leave G5 PSU cooling fans on the front to ccol Enermax electronics.

    This will save me a lot of rewiring, making up 6-pin gfx power plugs, etc.... and will work a lot better
     
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    mrbean_phillip

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    a Few photos of the mobo as promissed....

    Comes in this non-descriptive brown packaging, oem style, but Duane at SEA apologized for this, as eVGA have not finalized retail box for this yet......

    [​IMG]

    No worries for me, as I am more excited to what's in the box.....

    [​IMG]

    Quite a good bunch of goodies for OEM anyway, small manual, SATA Raid drivers, SLi bridge, rear I/O port plate, 2x rounded IDE cables, and of course the mobo itself.....a shot of the rear I/O ports...

    [​IMG]

    Angled view of the board.....

    [​IMG]

    Top view of the board - nice and compact, and by a quick estimation, it seems I should be able to retain stock G5 PCI rack, and fanholes in case - just need to modify rear I/O port plate in the case...but that was to be expected....

    [​IMG]

    Board is 24.5cm X 24.0cm, same width as a std ATX board, but lower in height due to 2 to 3 PCI slots less. 2x Yellow Sli PCI-Express ports are 8x, but middle blue one is 16x.....which will anyway not be useable once 2x GFX's are fitted.....

    Now to do some planning, and rethink motherboard tray plate, as I need to buy the sheet metal tomorrow, and want to make sure I buy exact size needed, maybe slightly bigger, so I can trim to my liking....
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Basically the red block is the 300mm sheet I got from Dick Smith's, but, after some deliberation I decided to use a larger sheet, to cover all the ungainly G5 mobo studs, and have the tray go behind the psu all the way to the bottom of the G5 floor - or at least, close to the floor.

    This would round of the looks quite a bit.....the plate will go between the rear side wall, and PSU, there is a 1cm gap...

    See this piece of photo-editing brilliance....


    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Then, on top off the PSU, front to back of the case, and the width of the PSU, basically covering the complete top of it, there will be another aly sheet, bolted to the lid of the PSU, and isolating the PSU air stream from the rest of the mobo compartment.....

    It will butt at right angles to the new mobo tray, acting as a false floor, and hiding PSU below it......

    So, something like this.....please, no comments on my l33t editing skillz.... ;) I know, you would like to know how to do it, but for now I'll keep it a secret...rofl...

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Been doing some thinking, most importantly on how to keep internal layout and looks clean as Apple intended - even though I am refitting with watercooling, 2x 120mm rad, reservoir, pump, and X86 components.

    So, with that in mind, I decided to keep original Apple 600W psu housing, which looks like this on the inside....note the monster pcb, with very large heatsinks - bigger than anything I have sen on any ATX psu up to date...

    [​IMG]

    This is what it looks like naked...

    [​IMG]

    And maybe we can fot both ATX internals, as well as bayres inside - should look very clean, and do away with bulk res would add to inside of case...

    [​IMG]

    This is the ATX candidate...some would recognize it from my previous Project Supercool ;)

    [​IMG]


    and this is what this one looks naked....yay baby...come to daddy...

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

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    The 220Vac filter I am going to transplant to Apple plug-connector...

    [​IMG]

    a Little soldering later, and it fits here....

    [​IMG]

    See how small ATX internals is are compared to original Apple 600W unit.....and this is the Enermax 600W unit...wow...tiny...

    [​IMG]

    This is how I plan on fitting reservoir and psu internals into the apple casing....with space to spare...

    [​IMG]

    Here is another image from the top....

    [​IMG]

    I need to redo wiring completely, so this will be a purpose-wired setup, getting rid of unwanted/unused wires, and making setup modular, like those fancy psu's you can buy nowadays - I want to do this myself, so....

    Fan will go on top, on the outside of the psu housing, blowing into the housing, cooling the heatsinks directly underneath. a Decent 120mm fan spinning at around 8-9V should do the job quite nicely....

    I will do some more work on the weekend, was waiting for some minor hardware things, like more alu plate etc....

    Let me know what you think ;)

    For those that don't know, here are the specs for the Enermax 600w unit....

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Will see how this is going to turn out, with reservoir going into psu housing, and 120mm fan on top, I can remove 2 front psu fans (obsolete now) and thermochill 2x 120 mm rad fits like a glove in front of case....

    But, this is just an idea, I might even have a surprise with 3x 120mm thermochill raddy.....

    I have both lying side by side, and checking to see which one I will use....

    This is what I got from PcCasegear ....2x Lian-Li PC70 blank alu sidepanels, to use for motherboards tray, rad shroud, psu cover, etc.....they come very well packed, decent foam support etc....pity I have to cut these up :(

    [​IMG]

    Then, 4x of these Scythe S-Flex SFF21F 120mm fans with fluid bearings, 150k hours life (or 17 years ) super quiet, producing 63.7cfm at 28db only.....noice.....they're 25mm thick, which is good...

    [​IMG]

    a Decent 24pin ATX psu tester, can test all voltages fom your supply....

    [​IMG]

    another angle, out of box....

    [​IMG]

    and another 1....

    [​IMG]

    and from the other end...

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    a Multi port adapter.....

    [​IMG]

    and another angle....6x led ports, 4x 5V fan ports, 4x 12V fan ports

    [​IMG]

    and a beautiful 2x 120mm black aluminium fan grill - will go nicely with black and alu theme...

    [​IMG]

    Ok, now onto the more serious hardware.....

    The now standard (for me) Swiftech 655 pump, exactly the same as Laing DD5 unit.....here you can see the specs....

    [​IMG]

    and another view to give idea of the size - approx 1/2 of Eheim 1048 - but a few times more powerful.....

    [​IMG]

    This little bugger I will try and squeeze between the 2x SLi 7800GTX cards, it should just fit on the eVGA mobo (hopefully) - it is a Swiftie Chipset block - nice and cute - I was amzed at the size....

    [​IMG]

    and it's bigger brother, the G4 Storm, for the cpu of course....note the jet-plate inside...

    [​IMG]

    and here are the 2 side by side....

    [​IMG]

    and a last shot to show-off the tiny little cutie chipset block......hehe

    Let me know what you guys think so far - now I can start modding seriously.....was waiting for the alu-sheeting to start in earnest.....

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Quick idea - I am doing some planning wrt psu setup, and maybe I will redo stock Apple PSU housing out of aluminium, make it a little higher, so I can fit a single 120mm fan horizontally across the heatsinks?

    So, I buy a sheet-metal brake, I have enough alu sheeting, and I manufacture an exact apple replica, but around 4cm higher, and slightly shorter in length, so as to better fot the rad, and it's fans.

    Should look very good....now to find a decent sheet-metal brake on ebay.....some good ones for around Aud $95, that will work perfectly...

    The idea is something like this over at Bit-Tech, where Ggnome made a decent motherboard tray - I would be using same method to do a decent psu housing
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok Boys and girls....been doing a bit of modding lately, had to run around to get small bits and pieces from Bunnings, like taps and dies, some rubber standoffs etc....and of course metal blades for my Bosch Jigsaw - with the relocation mine got packed in somewhere, and I just couldn't find it.

    anyway, this is what I have been busy with....

    [​IMG]

    Here is a close-up shot of the new motherboard tray, with brass standoffs fitted. take note that mobo-tray will be secured with allan-cap stainless steel screws, those used is just for testing purposes....

    Formed the tray to blend in nicely with the top tray, looking very good.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a close up shot of the rear, showing that I will be using original pci-slot integrated plate of G5 case. The I/O plate will be changed though, I will dremel that out later, but again, as mentioned earlier, I will not butcher the case, even the original fan holes will remain :) And yes, the system will be SLi of course.

    Here I have test GFX cars, ATi X600 Fitted. Also note the 108Mbit D-link wireless card...

    [​IMG]

    And, here's a shot of the motherboard test fit, with gfx card and motherbaord mounted to motherbaord tray....

    [​IMG]

    And here is a head-on shot, showing a little more detail.

    [​IMG]

    As mentioned earlier, original G5 psu housing will be retained, but fitted out with Enermax 600W internals.....This will go in the area immediately below the motherboard....

    Let me know what you think so far, progress is slow, but hey, I need to do a lot of planning here to maintain simplicity/uniqueness/neatness ;)

    Beanie.
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok, just to show you where rad, and psu fits in the picture (no pun intended)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And a nice angled shot from the rear, giving you an idea of the real-estate available in the case....remember, reservoir will fit inside psu housing too, and then harddrives and cdrom will fit in original Apple positions, on the top tray......

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

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    Ok a short update - got home late from work today, so only a tiny bit....psu work of course.

    Here is the front of the stock supply, showing mounting location of 2x 60mm (original) fans. This will change.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the top where 2x 120mm fans will be resting, the one on the left is towards the rear of the case, and will suck through the psu housing, where the one on the right will blow into the housing, to create proper aeration.

    [​IMG]

    Don't worry, it makes sense to me, and will work a charm....I will run fans 8v or so, have them very quiet, but still have better-than-stock cooling/flow across the heatsinks.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a last piccie (for now) to show where the Enermax electronics will be located - you can see where I installed the threaded inserts (rivnuts they are called) to mount the electronics.

    [​IMG]

    Don't worry about the color, etc, there is a lot to be done before psu is finished, eg good spray, etc.....some filing, dremel action, making holes for fans....all in good time.


    To explain airflow a bit better, look at my artistic rendition of airflow into housing, flowing left-to-right across electronics, and being evacuated by the rear fan - don't worry about actual directions, but the principle is simple :) Then, once the hot air is evacuated, there will be 2x 92mm rear case fans, mounted in original Apple location, that will exhaust it from the case.....

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Hello Guys,
    Ok, this is a better idea of what I am planning for the inside. To the left is tray holding rad, bottom plate is for covering stock G5 PSu and 2x 120mm fans, and the side plate is for the mobo cover, having access slots for ram cooling to the left, and then the holes to allow watertubing to cpu, and 2x gfx cards...

    Not the best effort, but anyway here goes.....

    [​IMG]
     
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    mrbean_phillip

    mrbean_phillip Member

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    Ok, here is a little refined version, with some breathing for mosfet vregs....

    [​IMG]

    and here you can see the image from another view....

    [​IMG]

    Things will change a little, closer to real-life, I will make necessary adjustments to sketch and post updates. This way we cansee if I stick to design, and what it should look like in real life....

    Let me know what you make of it....
     

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