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[Build Log] Shifty G5/mATX Conversion

G5 Mod mATX

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#1
shiftysamurai

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That's right, it's yet another mod noob (me) trying his hand at turning the beautifully crafted G5 case into a mATX Frankenstein/Gaming machine. The awesome projects that I have seen here (and at G5 Modders) have made me think that I actually have a shot at making this mod come out not-to-horribly.


The Plan:
1) Install Laserhive rear I/O plate
2) Add Laserhive motherboard tray.
3) Build fan brackets for the front of the case. Bought Laserhive front fan bracket.
4) Install 92mm fans on Laserhive rear I/O plate.
5) Install front panel board
6) Install wiring adapter made by BlackCH
7) Install modular PSU
8) Fabricate female to male extension cable from PSU to existing rear port on case.
9) Install hdd tray behind fabricated fan bracket (Might reinstall HDD bay in stock location). New solution needed.
10) Run power cables from PSU to required areas


Parts to buy:
Intel i5 3750k (Thanks, Mr. D.!)
CPU Fan/cooler
Radeon HD 7870 (Original plan was for GTX 560 TI)
Corsair CX600M PSU (would a 550watt be sufficient?)
ASRock Z77M Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8gig (2 x 4gig) ram
2 x 92mm Arctic F9 Case Fans
2 x 120mm Arctic F12 Case Fan


I already own quite a few WD Black 1TB SATA HDDs, so I am not going to purchase new ones. If you have suggestions for parts, then by all means make them. I am really close to my budget for parts ($800USD), but if you see something better at around the same price, please share. :)

Here's my case, it's got a few minor scratches, but it's a beauty from 2ft away. :)

Posted Image

Also, here's some pictures of the disassembly process.

Posted Image

One other thing, I haven't seen this slot (the one under the lock lever) on any of the other cases.

Posted Image

I think the I/O Backplate will cover it, but I may have to do some metal massaging. Anyhow, I am now waiting for parts, but I want to thank all of the people who have done this before for so generously documenting the steps that they took and how to avoid some issues as well.

Hopefully I'll have some updates soon!

#2
Baudouin

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I got the same case. If I remember good, the wifi antenna was located there. I used it to locate the switch from the PC PSU.

#3
MiniHack

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I think the I/O Backplate will cover it, but I may have to do some metal massaging. Anyhow, I am now waiting for parts, but I want to thank all of the people who have done this before for so generously documenting the steps that they took and how to avoid some issues as well.

Hopefully I'll have some updates soon!


I guarantee the backplate will cover it......without any metal massaging.
:wink2:

#4
WhatTheTech

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Good luck - I'll be following along!

Can you take a close up of the interior of the front panel? That antenna hole indicates that you've got a late 2005 case, which may complicate the front panel cable from BlackCH.

#5
shiftysamurai

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Good luck - I'll be following along!

Can you take a close up of the interior of the front panel? That antenna hole indicates that you've got a late 2005 case, which may complicate the front panel cable from BlackCH.


Hey WTT, my case did not come with the front panel board, so after doing a bit of research (that I hope is correct) I picked up the G5 630-4805. From what I understand, the cable that BlackCH makes will plug into that board, and the board should fit with minimal (if any) coaxing onto my front panel.

Posted Image

Please let me know if I am wrong. :worried_anim:

Note to self: You put the FPB screws in the random screws tin. Don't forget.

#6
Baudouin

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I have the same case and the front board is the one you pictured and it is the front board presented by BlackCH. I still have two of them, but I am in Belgium.

#7
WhatTheTech

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Yep, you'll be totally fine! While they changed the cable/port/pin layout in late 2005, they didn't change physical dimensions (i believe) so even if you do/did have/had a late 2005 G5 you're good to go.

#8
shiftysamurai

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Case is all apart right now (except the read fan area). I think I'll keep the HDD bays, top shelf, and case bottom, but most of the other bits will be binned.

I also had the great idea to throw all of my screws and assorted small parts into one small container. Now when I reassemble it, it will be like a puzzle. :wallbash:

Posted Image

One more "THANKS" to G5 Modders for the tear down guide.

#9
WhatTheTech

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One more "THANKS" to G5 Modders for the tear down guide.


You're welcome :D

#10
Mr.D.

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The Plan:
1) Install Laserhive rear I/O plate
2) Add Laserhive motherboard tray.
3) Build fan brackets for the front of the case (not sure if 1 x 120mm fan will work, was looking to stack 3) to pull air.
4) Install 92mm fans on Laserhive rear I/O plate.
5) Install front panel board w/ wiring adapter made by BlackCH
6) Install modular PSU (probably into lower front part of the case)
7) Fabricate female to male extension cable from PSU to existing rear port on case.
8) Install hdd tray behind fabricated fan bracket.
9) Run power cables from PSU to required areas


Parts to buy:
Intel i5 2500k CPU
CPU Fan/cooler
Radeon HD 7870
Corsair CX600M PSU
ASRock Z77M Motherboard
Crucial Ballistix Sport 8gig (2 x 4gig) ram
2 x 92mm Arctic F9 Case Fans
1 x 120mm Arctic F12 Case Fan


Suggestion - Why SandyBridge? You can get an locked Ivy for 10 bucks less or an unlocked Ivy for 10 bucks more than that Sandy. Native support for 1600 RAM, Intel HD4000 integrated graphics, etc. etc.
Look here.

You do however get a free Intel t-shirt with the Sandy... which is cool if you are desperately in the need for another free tech t-shirt!

I have an ASRock Extreme 4M motherboard and am quite pleased with it.

Good Luck with your build! Keep up the pictures! I always love to see a former Mac being re-purposed for bigger and better things!

#11
shiftysamurai

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Suggestion - Why SandyBridge? You can get an locked Ivy for 10 bucks less or an unlocked Ivy for 10 bucks more than that Sandy. Native support for 1600 RAM, Intel HD4000 integrated graphics, etc. etc.


A good question that I don't have an answer for, and a great suggestion that I will probably end up using. Thank you, I'll most likely end up using the i5 3750k

#12
Mr.D.

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but no free shirt!!!!!

Posted Image

#13
shiftysamurai

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Also, wanted to note that I got my case from PowerbookMedic for like $54 shipped. I really thought I was going to have to end up painting it when I ordered it, but there are only 6 *very* minor scratches on the case. Not a bad route to go if you are looking for a case.

Also, and I know that some find this subjective, what do you guys think the best choice is between these cards:

XFX Radeon HD 7870 FX-787a
Galaxy GTX 560 ti

They are close to the same price, but the Radeon has more stream processors and comes with a few games as well. It's the direction I am strongly leaning, but it HAS been a few years since I have built a rig and I'm not sure which would be better for gaming/video editing.

#14
WhatTheTech

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Also, wanted to note that I got my case from PowerbookMedic for like $54 shipped. I really thought I was going to have to end up painting it when I ordered it, but there are only 6 *very* minor scratches on the case. Not a bad route to go if you are looking for a case.


That's not bad at all! I bought two G5 cases for $39 shipped from Gainsaver, but they were stripped of nearly everything (including front panel), and VERY scraped up. I'm resorting to use them for tutorials/practice, but still a disappointment! I'll have to check PBM out, thanks!

#15
Mr.D.

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The first thing I suggest you do - with regards to those GPUs - is look at the wiki and the graphic card sub-forum. This will tell you how hard it'll be to get each card working in OSX. I have, and will always prefer, ATi/AMD video cards so I'll put the effort into making what I want work. Start there - if nothing else it'll give you some ideas about what not to do!

#16
shiftysamurai

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The first thing I suggest you do - with regards to those GPUs - is look at the wiki and the graphic card sub-forum. This will tell you how hard it'll be to get each card working in OSX. I have, and will always prefer, ATi/AMD video cards so I'll put the effort into making what I want work. Start there - if nothing else it'll give you some ideas about what not to do!


I know that I am on a Mac forum, but I'll most likely be running some flavor of Windows. I work in the games industry as a community manager, and I typically need to be able to do some game-play events with the PC and console crowds every once in a while (from home). The titles our studio has coming out haven't been announced for Mac, so Windows it is.

If it's any consolation, my wife has been demanding a 17in MacBook Pro for the last 4 months (with a retina display) and hopefully it shows up in her March Christmas stocking.

#17
Mr.D.

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Good luck with the 17" mbp w/ retina since Apple stopped making the 17" anything in 2011. I understand totally about Windows - that is my boot OS.

#18
shiftysamurai

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You're absolutely right. It's the 15 inch, I don't know why I keep saying the 15 is the 17 and the 13 is the 15.

#19
Mr.D.

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Guys *always* exaggerate size... It's in our DNA

#20
shiftysamurai

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Mini Update: Got the front panel board in today. Had a few slight issues.

1. RF shielding was bent, making installation a bit awkward.


2. The screws that I took out of my machine wouldn't fit in the spaces on the FPB. Luckily the seller included ONE of them, Need to take it to the hardware store and find another one.


3. Plugging in the power button required tweezers (for me). Would probably be better/easier without the RF shielding, but I wanted to make sure that the ONE USB on the front panel would work as well as possible.


Other than that, it wasn't too bad. A bit more than I anticipated for what I assumed would be one of the easy parts, but all I underestimated was the time that would be involved in making sure it was done correctly.

From the Outside.
Posted Image

From the Inside:
Posted Image

I spent a bit of time refitting/adjusting the shielding to the FPB, It's not perfect, but I think that if I keep manipulating it, I'll just end up making it worse.

I'm not going for an over the top mod. No LEDs on the inside, no windows. I want people to question whether anything was even done when it is finished, and that's going to take a lot of time and attention to the little details. That's also the reason why I ordered one of BlackCH's FPB to ATX adapters, from what I can tell (and what I have heard from users here) they are a much better quality than what I would ever be able to do.

Also, I have quite a few parts that I will not be using left over from my tear-down. Because you guys have been an awesome help, I'll give (for FREE) people any parts that I have left over that they need, if they want to pay shipping. Sadly, I can not guarantee that the parts will work as I haven't been able to test them. :(

They haven't been cleaned, either. Anyhow, this is what I've got.

Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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I am looking at reusing the HDD bays. Not sure if it will work how I want it to, but let me know if you need any of the things pictured above (or if you think I will need them later in the build).


EDIT: Damn. I spent a bit of time using editing the size of those pictures inside of the post, and now they are all their default size. Sorry about that.





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: G5, Mod, mATX

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