Hello! As soon as I obtained my first stable configuration of OS X, i decided to have a
case similar to a real Mackintosh, and I was in love with old white line of iMacs, so
why don't build a pretty white, plastic case for my hackintosh?
And so the challenge began...
My hardware is based on a standard micro-ATX ASUS motherboard and an E2160 Intel CPU,
wich measured about 20x25x7 cm including the cpu heatsink, so the final dimensions
shouldn't have deviate much from that, that's all, let's go work!
1) The major issue in containing dimension was the POWER SUPPLY UNIT, a Mini ITX one
measures 15x8x4 cm, it was too much for me so I decided to try with the PICO PSU 160-XT
thati is a 12V DC-DC converter for mini itx PC, it's a small piece of integrated
hardware, fanless, it widths as the 24 pin ATX connector and is few cm high, so it
doesn't take space inside the case. Howewer it can give a power of 160 W continuous and
200 W peak. The issue was also if 160 W was enough for my hardaware, well, the power
consumption of my hardware is about 60 W !! measured with watt-meter and a standard 500w
ATX PSU; the real consumption witn pico psu is 35 W peak !!!
2) Another issue was the GRAPHIC CARD, I have an NVIDIA 8400 GS that is tall more of 7
cm, so I decided to mount it orizontally connecting it via a 16x PCI-E RISER CARD, the VGA
port was removed to reduce width.
3) Temperature and fan noise: i was afraid for high temperature inside the case and after some tries
i found a good solution with three fans, two 40 mm ones pumps in fresh air from lateral vents, and a
stronger 60 mm one pumps out hot air from inside. When the system is working hard I reach 56° C
stable for the cpu, and 41° C stable for the hard disk. The fans are very silent, the 40 mm only 11 db,
15 db for the 60 mm one. The BLACKSILENT XR2 60x60x25 mm fan is the most noisy in the
system (also more than 10 cm cpu fan) and is only 15 db!
4) At last the dvd writer: i decided for a SLOT-IN DVD-RW for portables, is 14 mm
height, ad is similar to the real iMac.
Other issues was related to the position of the 2,5" HARD DISK, the fans, the various
cables (yes, also cables take space!) and many others.
I began with a 4 mm height sheet of white POLIVER (polistyrene), I wrote out cutting
lines on it and made me cut. So for the lateral part (was an 8x100 cm strip) i used an
hot-air gun for folding, dremel-like tool for the rectangular windows for dvd, usb
ports, motherboard mask and video card connector, also a cordless drill for holes.
INSIDE THE CASE
motherboard: ASUS P5Q-PLAM
cpu: INTEL CORE 2 DUO @ 1.8 GHZ, (E2160)
video card: PALIT NVIDIA GEFORCE 8400 GS 512 MB
power supply: PICO PSU 160-XT 12V DC-DC CONVERTER + 12V 16A EXTERNAL AC-AC ADAPTER
ram: 2GB ADATA DDR3 @ 800 MHZ
hd : 2,5" 250GB 7200 RPM SAMSUNG SATA HD
dvd: SAMSUNG SLIM SIZE SLOT-IN DVD-RW
fans: 2x NOISEBLOCKER BLACKSILENT XM1 40x40x10 mm 11db
1x NOISEBLOCKER BLACKSILENT XR2 60X60X25 mm 15 db
OSX: SNOW LEOPARD 10.6.8 RETAIL
FINAL DIMENSIONS 285X215X80 mm