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Project: Mac Daddy


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#1
craterloads

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Project: Mac Daddy

Hey guys and gals welcome to my project, hope you enjoy and offer some advice down the road.

After being inspired by some awesome projects on here thought I would have a try myself, doing a Mac Pro mod. Was going to do a G5 case mod but they have been done to death so have decided to go with the new 2010 Mac Pro case. Case was delivered on Friday and have to say what a beautiful case! very happy. It was £200 brand new (from the bay) including PSU, and personally would choose any day over similarly priced cases such as the 800D.

Anyhow enough of me blabbing on. Aim of project is to keep build as original as possible whilst keeping any modifications subtle. Will probably watercool a little down the road as there is potential for stealth water cooling, see how it goes.

Build consists of:

• Apple Mac Pro 2010 Case
• Intel i7 950 3.06Ghz CPU @ 4Ghz+
• Asus Rampage III Gene
• 12GB Corsair Dominator 1600 CL7
• Asus GTX 470 V2
• Samsung 64GB SSD PB22-J (OS)
• 1TB WD HDD
• Corsair HX1000w PSU Fully Braided
• LG Blu ray Drive
• Samsung DVD Drive

Tools / Accessories

• Dremel 300 – 55 Kit (got 10% discount for damaged box ;) )
• 2 Kits of MDCP-X Sleeving Kits
• Sunbeam pin modding tools
• JB Cold Weld
• Various Screwdrivers & Bits
• Some second hand tools bought from the bay including Jigsaw, Drill & a Heat gun (£8, cant go wrong)

oh and my budget was £600 whilst in planning stage which was blown away within the 1st day of getting carried away :)

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Sorry about quality of pics. Camera not very good without any natural light. Will get some better pics in morning.



Ok heres a small update

Had to remove all internals first
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Theres a metal diverder up top which had a fan attched to it which has to be removed so psu will fit. Its riveted in!!!
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Also need to remove a small section of this glider thing on bottom, so motherboard will fit. Have masked it off ready for cutting. Wish me luck 1st time using dremel!
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Update:

this is the hardest thing ive ever done!! well case modding wise. Heres what that top diveder looks like now :D
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Had to drill out the rivets, problem was it was a round shaped rivet so drill would just slip off. After using dremel to make a groove of some sort manage to drill them out. Even after drilling the 2 rivets the divider still would come out. There happens to be 4 bolts on the top and another 2 rivits on the opposite side!! could not get to them with the drill nor the dremel so basically used a flat head screw driver and chiseled the heads off. After a lot of bending out it came :cool:

heres it removed
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Nex cut out a section from the bottom glider. This was quite easy as the dremel made light work out of it. Quite impressed since this was my first time using a dremel. Cut is smooth and straight, just need to grind down to make perfect.

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Heres section that was cut out. Again this was riveted by 3 rivets to the case but they easily chiseled off.
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Will be using this section later to add support to the guide that was cut. Just need to modify it a little but will do once motherboard is marked up in case.



Update:

Today has been a awesome day, got loads done.

First mounted motherboard. Using the original stand off's, they just snap off using pliers. Sanded flat side of stand offs to help with adhesion. Did the same on the back of the case. Once sanded, screwed stand offs into motherboard and applied some JB weld. Placed in case and mounted graphics card to ensure perfect alignment and for some pressure. After a day of drying where here:
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Really impressed with this JB Weld. Much better than some stuff i bought from B&Q. Can lift the whole case off the ground whilst hold 2 stand off's so a motherboard will not be an issue.

Next needed to modifty the front cage thing as the I/O stuff, ram and cpu were in the way. Slid cage in and marked off, masked up where cuts need to be made. Heres what was cut:
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Quite a lot actually, had to re do it a few times as something would catch but best to cut less rather than to much!!. End result:

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Really really please with the result. Fits like a glove and the cuts are just perfection, cant believe it really, looks factory cut. Came out a bit rough with dremel but the file was a god send. Spent about an hour filing making all lines/cuts smooth. Then used a round edged file in the corners to give a rounded factory look.

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Even though the cuts came out perfect may use this edge trim (thanks to essexraptor) as i think it looks better with it, not sure yet though. Wish i had more of the stuff.

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Only got enough for the top edge at moment. Would like to cover the bottom edge aswell but will have to see if Andy can send me some more:(

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This is what it looks like when the cage is fitted.

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Might need to cut some more out here later as want to fit the silver ocz ram cooler.

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Will be changing cooler at end when i know how much space i have. Might do water cooling as have some cool ideas.



Update

next job was the rear fan (as will be rewiring and re-using, fingers crossed). The fan housing was too big when fitted and would come into contact with the i/o stuff. Had to cut about an inch off the fan housing. Again came out awesome after some filing

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This is where i am up to now. Will begin i/o panel tommorrow. Any tips/recomendations welcome.

#2
rorydaredking

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From the look of your mod, I am a bit disappointed I couldnt stretch to affording a mac pro case as I would have loved to have 4 removable drives. I am going for the same mobo and PSU on my G5 mod. But only 6GB RAM, and I already have a Blu Ray RW drive. You tried OS X on the mobo yet? Couldnt find any info on it, hacknitosh wise, but I think it should be ok, based on Gene II info.
Also, what you got planned for the back panel? Cutting?
Great job so far!
Rory

#3
craterloads

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From the look of your mod, I am a bit disappointed I couldnt stretch to affording a mac pro case as I would have loved to have 4 removable drives. I am going for the same mobo and PSU on my G5 mod. But only 6GB RAM, and I already have a Blu Ray RW drive. You tried OS X on the mobo yet? Couldnt find any info on it, hacknitosh wise, but I think it should be ok, based on Gene II info.
Also, what you got planned for the back panel? Cutting?
Great job so far!
Rory


Thanks Rory,

Havent tried OS X as of yet but will do once build is complete, but like you said should be ok based on the gene II.

I/O shield is a major headache. May be easier to just buy a whole motherboard tray instead of cuttting original panel. Problem is no matter how you position motherboard, unless you lower it a little but would the lose 1 pci-e slot plus other isues including making contact at bottom of case, the audio input box makes contact with the lower pcie slot. So will have to take about 5mm out of the pci bracket aswell. Ive done it now anyways, will copy and paste over my progress for today.




Update:

Havent got much done so far today as of 8 oclock. Have been working on the i/o shield which has been time consuming. As you can see needs cutting.

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Problem here is that the audio input box is making contact with part of the lower pci slot bracket, so will have to take out 5mm there so it clears!!

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Next masked up

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ended up pritty good, still needs filing down to make spot on

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Will probably need to take 2mm off bottom and 1mm from bottom right hand side

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As you can see i/o panel on motherboard is about 1.5cm away from the case (mac motherboard i/o bits stick out about an inch) So will need to make a recessed i/0 shield for it to fit flush.

i would love to be able to make this, but sadly i dont have the skills!!

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but i have a plan :D going to get some of this stuff from the bay and have the seller make one edge 2-3mm and other 15mm.

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aluminium angle. then can cut to make a hollow rectangle to fit the hole in i/o panel, cut down my original asus i/o shield and insert to complete. Spray silver to hopefully replicate the above i/o panel.

Anyhow thats going to take a few days to order so will leave this part alone/ Might aswell work on psu in mean time.

Want to transfer the corsair psu into the original mac psu to keep original look. As need the 3 pin socket to be in the center of the psu unlike standard psu's.

#4
Zoran Bogunovic

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Mac Pro Case!.... OH SHI-! :(

Wanted to do the same but found it hard with me wanting SLI graphics.

I watch with anticipation.

#5
malar

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Looking good I am doing a Mac pro intel case mod myself. Can you tell me how you are sorting the psu. I have a corsar psu with a top mounted fan. I am hoping the space above where I am going to mount the pus will let the air flow in. I then there should be 3cm

#6
Griffwill

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Have you seen these?

#7
malar

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Ordered one of these http://www.kustompcs.../info_2014.html will let you know how it turns out

#8
ejlml

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Hi, here is mine!
Buy in China, only around US$40

More picture from the seller

Attached Files



#9
nerdalertdk

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Hi, here is mine!
Buy in China, only around US$40

More picture from the seller


Link to sjop/buyer

#10
craterloads

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Looking good I am doing a Mac pro intel case mod myself. Can you tell me how you are sorting the psu. I have a corsar psu with a top mounted fan. I am hoping the space above where I am going to mount the pus will let the air flow in. I then there should be 3cm



Have you seen these?


Sorry for the slow update/replys guys, been really really difficult.

@ Malar - Ive nearly finished my PSU and will update tommorrow some time on that. I am reverse mounting mine, fan facing down for various reasons which i will cover in tommorrows update. Will be cutting a hole for fan aswell.

@ Griffwill - Yes ive seen these plus others but wanted to keep this build as original as possible. In hindsight i would probably buy one of these as the work and costs required is not worth it.

My tip to anybody considering a Mac Pro build is to buy one of these motherboard trays, will save you a LOT of trouble.

Anyhow on to my update: -



Update: This project has helped me realise, i have too much time on my hands!!

Sorry for the slow update for those interested. Got bogged down a bit so took a week out to clear my head. Also room had got too messy as you can see :mad:

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Anyhow cleaned up, took a week out and got back to work a few days ago. This i/o plate is finaly finished, took me 4 days to complete :eek:

Started with this, aluminium angle

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sorry couldnt be asked taking step by step pics to finished product as had about 4 attemps at getting it right, been an absolute nightmare. But am please to present: -

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which i am genuinely proud of considering the lack of tools/workshop and first time attempting anything like this.

Heres a few pics of plate fitted

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Fits really well, have apoxied it now to the case. With this done, hopefully can get cracking as this was probably the most difficult part of the build.

#11
Zoran Bogunovic

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very tidy mate :) well done

#12
RouteZeroDesign

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Very impressive build so far, I especially like the rear I/O port that you made.

Could you let me know which shop on ebay you bought the case from?

Also, how come you decided not to use the power supply that came with the case?

#13
craterloads

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Very impressive build so far, I especially like the rear I/O port that you made.

Could you let me know which shop on ebay you bought the case from?

Also, how come you decided not to use the power supply that came with the case?



Hey thanks.

Heres link to where i bought case: - http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item255dbbb6e1

The sellers got both the 2009 & 2010 chassis. Get the 2009 one as you get an extra center fan for free. Both cases are identical.



You cant use the apple psu with standrd PC hardware.





Update:

Finaly got PSU finished!! I know i said the i/o shield was the hardest part of the build but boy was i wrong.. This whole build just seems to get more and more complicated every second.

Anyhow heres the braiding, would like to take credit but i didnt do the braiding. Goes perfect with the rampage iii color sceme.

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Now this was once a Corsair HX1000W, looks more like some sort of frankenstien thing right now...

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Yes they are motherboard standoff's, will explain later

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Removed on/off switch and had to relocate the socket to the center and have it sticking out an inch!! extented cables for the socket.

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This small circuit had to be removed so could relocate the 3 pin socket to center. Couldnt get back in so had to extend wires and mount on the outside. Made and aluminium rectangle, wrapped in electrical tape and screw into existing holes on PSU.

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Had to use motherboard standoff's (which was a stroke of genius, after hours of headscratching. Solved 3 problems at once!!) to raise psu, to allow clearence for the 3 pin socket to be placed in the middle. Also will allow some airflow as the fan will be facing down blocked by a metal panel. Furthermore allows me to secure psu down as theres no where else to screw in. Have drilled holes underneath psu so can screw into the standoff's!!

I know it looks ugly but you will not be able to see any off this at all as will be covered by the original aluminium panel. You will see in next update what i mean.

#14
craterloads

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Update: Opinions please!

Ok got a small box of goodies today

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Thermaltake HR-02 cooler, 40mm fan and 8 pin extention cable

Can fit cooler 2 ways but not sure which way round to fit. What do yu thinks looks better?

Method 1- fits as it is with no modication
Was going to run it passive but fortunatly its so close to the rear exhaust fan will proably reverse and turn in to an intake with fresh cool air from outside the case.

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Boy was i lucky, if it was 1mm longer would not fit!!

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or Method 2 which require some further cutting to case and rear fan.

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Really not sure which way round to mount. With method 2 i suspect better cooling as more surface area available for rear fan (which will be used as a intake) + i think?? it looks a little better but not sure. Also if i choose method 2 theres no going back as will will have to cut case..

What would you suggest

#15
bonestonne

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With a case like this, you should really keep the front to back airflow. I would recommend using the second way to mount the heatsink, but as you said, it would require more cutting.

To be honest, I would have gone with a heatsink like the Thermalright HR-01, or the Scythe Ninja, rather than that.

I'm also going to point out that using the first way of mounting the heatsink could interfere with your RAM. So I'm not sure how you're really feeling about that either.

Is that bottom piece of metal really the floor of the case? I would just chop that up a little more, and let the heatsink be close to the exhaust fan, doesn't it have a guard anyway?

Keep the front to back airflow for heat purposes, your GPUs will exhaust towards the back, so you shouldn't have airflow be wishwashy all around, keep it uniform so that it's quiet and predictable, it will honestly work better for you.

I just built a computer in the Antec LanBoy Air, and airflow is a terrible, sloppy mess, don't cause unnecessary work for yourself by thinking that fans will give you the airflow you want, you have to direct the airflow, and all components have to be taken into consideration. Power Supply, hard drives, graphics, CPU, RAM...you have to have them all exhaust air in the same place or hot air from one area will enter cool air of another, just heating it up. Just from looking though, it seems like you're having the PSU exhaust into the case, which I'll be honest, isn't that great. Granted, it's a 1kW, so you're barely going to give it enough load to ever heat it up (lets be honest, that setup might use 500W under a full load)....

I wouldn't say that cooler was the best choice, but if you're willing to keep modding, it could be used.

#16
craterloads

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With a case like this, you should really keep the front to back airflow. I would recommend using the second way to mount the heatsink, but as you said, it would require more cutting.

To be honest, I would have gone with a heatsink like the Thermalright HR-01, or the Scythe Ninja, rather than that.

I chose the HR-02 because its passive, didnt want any fans attached to it. Purely for cosmetic TBH

I'm also going to point out that using the first way of mounting the heatsink could interfere with your RAM. So I'm not sure how you're really feeling about that either.

Yes it does interfere with 1st slot buy not an issue as can trim a little off fins

Is that bottom piece of metal really the floor of the case? I would just chop that up a little more, and let the heatsink be close to the exhaust fan, doesn't it have a guard anyway?

Its not the case floor, just the cpu cage which ive all ready cut to fit motherboard. Its not a big job to cut some more, just want to be sure if i do.

Keep the front to back airflow for heat purposes, your GPUs will exhaust towards the back, so you shouldn't have airflow be wishwashy all around, keep it uniform so that it's quiet and predictable, it will honestly work better for you.

Good point reagarding airflow. I was hoping since cpu/heatsink is in the cage below it would act as a wind tunnel so overal direction wouldnt be a problem as it all in seperate compartments?

I just built a computer in the Antec LanBoy Air, and airflow is a terrible, sloppy mess, don't cause unnecessary work for yourself by thinking that fans will give you the airflow you want, you have to direct the airflow, and all components have to be taken into consideration. Power Supply, hard drives, graphics, CPU, RAM...you have to have them all exhaust air in the same place or hot air from one area will enter cool air of another, just heating it up. Just from looking though, it seems like you're having the PSU exhaust into the case, which I'll be honest, isn't that great. Granted, it's a 1kW, so you're barely going to give it enough load to ever heat it up (lets be honest, that setup might use 500W under a full load)....

PSU's actually exhausting out the rear. Fan is sucking air in from the case out the rear. Cut a hole above hard drive cages, which will be empty.

I wouldn't say that cooler was the best choice, but if you're willing to keep modding, it could be used.



Hoping to get a few opinions before i start again. If popular choice is to replace heatsink will do so. Thanks for the input some good advice there.

#17
bonestonne

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#1 reason I would strongly advise setup #2 is because the air will travel better though the fins. Those 6 heatpipes will act as a wall for the exhaust fan causing extra turbulence, creating unwanted noise, and also poor cooling performance. There just isn't enough space between the heatpipes for the first idea to work well.

The slits in the fins will also create a wall that will be hard to deal with.

Once again in life, it is the little things that count the most.

#18
ivanovitch_k

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i would choose solution 2 too,

first it's more aesthetic and second, like said before, it'll get you a better airflow / cooling performance .

#19
craterloads

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Finished :P (Or just about)

Sorry for the delay, just wanted to complete this project as was taking forever (1 month!!) so havnt got any pics of what ive done since last update.

Anyhow here a quick few snapshots, will take some better ones in morning with some daylite..

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Just a need a hdd cage for the ssd to be mounted in lower compartment, could just use the trays above but i think that space is screaming out to show off the lovely brushed aluminium ssd.

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#20
Jonta

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Really awesome job, love the final pictures.

Im just waiting for my case to arrive (from same UK seller), but I have order a 2008 model, since Im planning to WC and the front fan stand is ideal for 120.2 rad.

Im also planning on preserving back panel and will make extension cables & couplers.





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