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PowerMac G5 Late 2005 ATX/mATX Mod

Mac Pro PowerMac G5 OS X 10.7 10.8 Hack Pro ATX mATX Mac Pro ATX Mod Hackintosh

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#1
TechiEmmanuel

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Hi! I'm planning on building a Hackintosh, and it is my first time building a computer from scratch. I have taken apart a computer and put it back together successfully quite a few times. Although I have no experience with Hackintoshes, I have been doing by reading.

Anyways, I plan on building my Hackintosh into a PowerMac G5 chassis. I have little (very, very little) experience with rotaries and soldering, and no experience with hardware modding. These are the parts I plan on using:

Intel DZ77GA-70K Motherboard
EVGA GeForce GTX 660 SC 3GB (Yes)
Intel Core i7-3770K Processor (Yes)
Intel 330 Series SSD - 240GB
LG BH12LS35 Lightscribe Blu-Ray Writer
Corsair 500W Modular PSU
Corsair Vengeance 8GB 1600MHz DDR3 RAM (Yes)

Aluminum Apple Cinema Display 20" (Yes)
Apple Bluetooth Module
Apple WiFi-N Module (Yes)

Feel free to make any suggestions as to the parts I'm using. What I'm mainly concerned about is the front and back I/O panel. Can somebody write a step-by-step guide as to how to make the case fully ATX-ready? Is there someone who could also make a cover for the bottom where it has to be cut, and make the cover look Apple-like?

Thank you very much.

Edited by TechiEmmanuel, 15 February 2013 - 01:17 AM.


#2
djohnsto77

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I was thinking about doing that with my dead Mac Pro 1,1. It would be a computer with an Apple label on it so I guess it would be legit for running Mac OS X on even with a generic PC mono. Right now I have a Mac Pro 3,1 I bought used when the 1,1 died and I have it pretty decked out, by slots are full, in fact sometimes I have to swap cards.

#3
Mr.D.

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If you look in the Mods and Overclocking Forum, you'll see a whole lot of peoples efforts in this area - mine included. This thread is more for people with original hardware that are keeping it original, or at least apple approved upgrades.

Good luck with your mod!

#4
PookyMacMan

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Moved to the Mods forum. Post any modding threads here from now on. ;)

The difficulty of the mod really depends on whether or not you're concerned about the looks of the back. If you're going for a "vanilla" look, many dudes will just cut a little bit out of the back just for the I/O panel. But, Mountain Mods makes motherboard trays and backplates that work great in the Mac Pro; they require a bit more cutting, but really are easier to do; it just won't look "perfect". :)

A suggestion for you: if you are going to use the Mac Pro case, get a mATX motherboard. A standard ATX board will fit, but it would be much more difficult as you would have to cut out two of the HDD bays to make it fit. IMO if you want to use a full size ATX board, do a G5 mod, as the PowerMac G5 case can easily fit a ATX board without interfering with the case operation.

For the front panel: if you look there is a thread for actually ordering G5 front panel connectors for a standard mobo, or you can easily make one yourself. If you do a Mac Pro front panel, you have to do something along the lines of splicing a USB header and a SATA cable together. But if you google or look around here on the forums, I think you will find the info you need. :)

#5
Mr.D.

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The mod approach I took was quite minimalist. I wanted to retain as much of the original look as possible. I haven't cut anything on the back. I had to cut the PCI divider bracket shelf thingy only because I wanted to keep it in the system, but the location didn't line up with the µATX board that I, or anyone who goes my route, installed. I lined up my board with the PCI slots that were existing, giving a space for me to connect stuff to the I/O port area in the back without having to cut.

Pokey is right - the MountainMods MB tray is a good solution if you're going that way - also you can order Lan-Li replacement parts that work as well. Search here or with Google and you'll find the right parts - I remember something about the 80mm not the 120mm fan option being the best, but you better search yourself.

I bought the cable for the G5 from BlackCH - he includes a well illustrated .pdf with your purchase on how to hook it up. Its worth the ~$30 for the cable in my opinion. I say around $30 because he lives in Spain, and it depends on the $ to € exchange.

#6
TechiEmmanuel

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Thanks for the replies! I settled on a G5, and I will be buying the Front Panel cables from one of the board members. A question - does anyone know if the Bluetooth 4.0 module in the Retina MacBook Pro is Mini PCI-E? I know that IOGEAR makes a USB adapter, but I prefer an original Apple part.

Thanks! =D

#7
PookyMacMan

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iOSAddiction,

The Bluetooth module is built into their AirPort Extreme cards (at least it was for the "old" Unibody models). So if you will be using the AirPort Extreme card, you will probably be getting the Bluetooth module as well. But, in the rare scenario that it is not built into the AirPort Extreme card, I can tell you that the Bluetooth module would be a proprietary interface.

#8
JamesLittler

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I have a pre-modded G5 case for sale if you want it. It fits ATX or M-ATX
Where are you in the world?

#9
TechiEmmanuel

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@JamesLittler, it's fine. I'll take the DIY route. Thanks anyway.

Thanks for the heads-up, @PookyMacMan. =D

#10
eep357

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Thanks for the replies! I settled on a G5, and I will be buying the Front Panel cables from one of the board members. A question - does anyone know if the Bluetooth 4.0 module in the Retina MacBook Pro is Mini PCI-E? I know that IOGEAR makes a USB adapter, but I prefer an original Apple part.

Thanks! =D

Don't know about new retina versions, but there is no reason to get that model as it would probably cost an arm and a leg and not readily available, plus the whole "might not work" thing. The older apple airport PCI-e modules work just as well with a PCI-e to mini PCIe adapter card with antennae. The adapter is like $10 and airport card can be found for under $20. Bluetooth can also be older unit, it runs on USB interface but is a proprietary connector, so some modding is needed and possibly soldering depending on which one you get, but either way you can plug it into USB mobo header using same type of cable that your front panel USB's connect to mobo with and you should have an extra unused header on the mobo to use. Also can be had for under $20, I also got separate bluetooth antennae from an imac or something like that from China for $5 delivered. Apple Bluetooth modules run at 3.3v and not 5v like other USB, so a voltage regulator is also needed, it can be bought prebuilt, I made my own though. Part #'s of modules I used are in my sig along with link to pictures, you can only see the wifi antennae as the rest is hidden away.

#11
TechiEmmanuel

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I can't seem to find any 5v to 3.3v converters, such as the one in @Swhay's guide.. Do you know a site that would sell them?

Thanks!

#12
eep357

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There are many different types, one of these should work fine and less than two bucks https://www.sparkfun.com/products/526

#13
TechiEmmanuel

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Exactly how would I hook those up? There are only three pins. N00b question.

#14
eep357

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one pin get the 5v+ from the usb, other pin goes to the 3.3v+ input on bluetooth module and 3rd pin goes to a ground. Of the 4 wires that go to bluetooth module from mobo usb, only the voltage needs to go through it, the other 3 wires(data,data,ground) can go straight from USB header to bluetooth module. You could probably have the voltage regulator and the bluetooth module share the same usb header ground wire though.

#15
TechiEmmanuel

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Cool!

#16
TechiEmmanuel

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My PowerMac G5 is coming in in a few days. Yay! :)

My mobo doesn't have TOSLINK in. Do you know any USB solutions (maybe USB to audio in, and mini-TOSLINK to TOSLINK)? As for the USB , can I just strip a USB extension cable and solder it to the bottom of the logic board? I really don't want to cut out the I/O panel at the back.


Thanks!

#17
Mr.D.

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I didnt cut mine either, and I like the look. Of course, I have nothing functional back there and that is really killing me right now only having the front USB single port as my entire USB connectivity options. By solder it to the bottom of the logic board, do you mean this:
Posted Image

If you do, check out this thread. or this thread.

My motherboard doesnt have toslink in either - only out. I couldnt find any uATX that had the optical in. I have been told there are PCIe cards that just have optical in/out for 20 bucks or so. I have searched high and wide and cant find anything other than this for that price. I am doing DAW work with my machine, and I had a really nice M-Audio 24/96 card - but its PCI only and my MB has no PCI slots. A friend suggested that I do all my DAC outside of the case, and he may be onto something as I have seen numerous posts on audiophile sites that people have had issues with noise created by internal components of their computer - especially if their card is near their video adapter.

You can also go the USB route that you mentioned, but the problem with that is the DAC is done on "Bob's pretty good DAC chip", rather than a good TI chip. That's why they're so cheap.

If you are looking to hook your PlayStation up to this - no problem, spend as little as possible. If you are looking to do any kind of audio work, I suggest the SYBA card I linked to above. Want this to be fully compatible with Mac OS X? Check this out, this out and if cost isn't an issue, check this bad boy out! Got mad coding skilz? Write your own driver here!

Hope this helps some. I'm doing all my DAW work currently in Windows7 so driver issues arent... um... an issue for me. But I may want to later try using OS X. It'd sure help me out if you found a good card and did the leg work on getting it to work... hint hint, wink wink, nudge nudge

#18
eep357

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If by "Logic board" your referring to the separate rear IO panel board (what ever it may officially be called idk) then YES. That's pretty much what I had in mind for every connector. As I mentioned, you may need to sever the connection from the port to all the other stuff on the IO board, but maybe not since your not plugging that existing harness in to power keeping it passive. Since you don't have TosLink, do you have coax digital out on your board? Id so you could easily desolder the Toslink input (since almost no board has Toslink in) and glue or solder a RCA input there and use it for digital coax. Cut, strip and solder a extension to it as mentioned for USB, it's a 2 wire connection, positive is the cable's core wire and the shielding is the negative.

#19
Mr.D.

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actually epp - I was referring to iOSAddiction's question, and I think he was referring to the original logic board and the cut like I posted. If however, he was referring to a 'new' logic board, you and I got that covered with both our posts!

Personally, I'd love to have a 'new' PCB to run back there like described in one of the posts I listed - that would be awesome and really complete the look of my case. Some people just cut away the old logic board from the G5, like in the picture and solder onto it. I could do that, but I really don't have the room - I need something that is about an inch wide - maybe less, or it'll hit my uATX board.

There are thousands of debates out there regarding coax vs toslink S/PDIF. Most say the coax (RCA cable) has a tendency to pick up jitters over longer distances (longer like more than 3 feet). However, it all depends on what your level of audio quality you want to obtain is, your resources, and your laziness. Me, I'm lazy - except when it comes to sound - which is why I do all my DAC outside of the box to eliminate any digital jitters that may be picked up from RF interference on unshielded components in the case. I also use reference parts for doing the DAC.

#20
eep357

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We were talking about the same part I just don't know the official name (I think we are, the apple part with the plugs on it :) ), I wouldn't solder anything to my actual motherboard





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Mac Pro, PowerMac G5, OS X, 10.7, 10.8, Hack Pro, ATX, mATX, Mac Pro ATX Mod, Hackintosh

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