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[Build Log] Shifty G5/mATX Conversion

G5 Mod mATX

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#81
MiniHack

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:whistle: waiting patiently for this update!!


+ 1

#82
nickjf20

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my case cut me when I was taking it apart. Yes - I literally shed blood for my mod.

When I was cleaning my case, blood appeared on the wipe so I thought it would be a great idea to push harder to remove all the blood from the rut ... only did I realise I had slit my own finger wide open when I had a look and saw no blood anywhere on the PowerMac ...

#83
Baudouin

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PIx pix pix pls . WHaat's going on Marvin ? :wink2:

#84
Mr.D.

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When I was cleaning my case, blood appeared on the wipe so I thought it would be a great idea to push harder to remove all the blood from the rut ... only did I realize I had slit my own finger wide open when I had a look and saw no blood anywhere on the PowerMac ...


I am telling you, these cases are VICIOUS!
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#85
shiftysamurai

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Mega Update!

1st things first: I am posting from the new MATX Pro, so you should already see that as good news. Now I'll recap some of the things I went through and post I think 20 pictures of the build process. I had hoped for more pics, but it does become something you forget to do while you are actually working on something.

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So yesterday (Saturday, March 22nd) I got a package from Laserhive in the post. This is the last thing I was waiting for, so it's time to begin! I masked off the whole back of my case with blue painters tape to guard it from scratches in case my Dremel went all 1-man-fire-hose (out of control). I then placed the custom (and NICE, thanks David @The Hive :D ) rear I/O plate onto the case, lined up where it needed to go, and marked the outside of the plate with pen.

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I then marked where I would actually be cutting with a black pen, then a green pen, and finally a marker (outlined in red because my flash washed it out). Yes, I marked it three different times to make sure I would be cutting it correctly (more on this later...)

After marking, it's time for hardware modification:

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Those holes through the tape on the outside perimeter of the cutout are where the Rear I/O plate mounts to the rear of the case. Make sure you leave something for them to screw into. Be careful with your cuts, I can't stress this enough...

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Here is my initial cut (I had the WiFi antena on the rear left of the case. If you have a late-04 to early-05, you won't have this and don't need to cut as much). Please note that in my haste to get moving on this project I left the front panel board (in red) attached to the case. DO NOT DO THIS, take the 30 seconds to remove all of the pieces. I just had a brain-fart because it's covered in metal and I forgot about it. It would be bad if metal shavings from the back of the case shorted out your board.

Here's where we start the FUN part:

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Time Warp! Ok, so now I have the door latching mechanism rebuilt (that c-clip is a PITA), and you can see the basis for my modular HDD assembly. "What is this Modular HDD Assembly?", you ask. It's heavy-duty velcro. Now, before you say "That's Cheating!", I know :D

It helps me to be able to rearrange the interior of my case without making a lot of permanent, and irreversable, cuts, especially to the top tray. With this particular velcro I know that the adhesive will fail before the hook & loop will, and I also know that none of the pieces that I am "making modular" weigh enough to cause failure. Added benefit, The mechanical HDD now has a bit of a cushion against vibration.

However, cable management for the DVD drive, SSD, and HDD are making it a bit of a nightmare in the top shelf as shown in the next picture.

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As you can see, I have 3 SATA cables running up to the top shelf. These are 18 inch cables, because my initial plan was to put the PSU where the HDD is now located, and as such, are a bit (about 12 inches) too long and end up filling the top shelf. What you CAN'T see is that I am using 2 of the modular SATA power cables from my PSU. Each cable powers up to 3 SATA drives, and I only have 3 drives, why wouldn't I be using 1? Because of the way that my drives are spaced, I cannot connect the DVD drive to the same power cable as the storage drives.

When they are connected there is quite a bit of torque where the plugin meets the DVD drive, so in order to not cause damage to the cable (not a problem) OR to the power port on the DVD drive (would be a problem) I opted to use 2 cables.

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Next up I installed to front fan bracket made by Laserhive, I can't say it enough, MiniHack does some badass work, and these fans look like they are just floating in the case. Install seemed a bit tricky, but that's only because I was trying to mount it the wrong way. I was honestly fighting this thing for 10 minutes before I just let it do it's own thing. It's own thing, as it turns out, is the intended way for it to fit.... :wallbash:

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Here is most of my hardware in place. Please note that the red boxes indicate the fan power cables, and the green box is where they are supposed to plug in. Unless they can grow about an inch then they aren't going to reach. I have purchased a braided y-cable so I can run them both off of the same power. Also, since we are on the subject of fans.....

This is where I ask for a bit of help.

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You can see pieces of the Laserhive kit kinda plopped into place, but the metal part of the fan assembly (in the red box) is all that I got. I don't have the pieces that are supposed to attach to the pieces in the kit from Laserhive. That's not their fault, of course, and I am looking for this piece... If you have it, send it to me :D I also have no idea if/how I am supposed to mount my fans to the rear fan assembly that I currently have.

If you know, please let me know.

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This is another issue that I am facing. This is actually a straight on shot of the rear I/O panel, which sits about 1/2 inch inside of the case, and as you can see, sits a bit too much to the right. Did I just totally screw up on mounting this, or what? Currently there is no way for me to use an IO shield anyhow (it attaches to the fan bracket that I can't mount) but I would like to finish this area off in a cleaner manner.

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As you can see, the expansion slots line up almost perfectly (it looks SOOOOOOO nice), so I know that I am doing something wrong with the I/O shield.

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So now I have all of the parts in the case in the basic layout I am going to be using. I'm not a huge fan of the PSU sitting right under the RAM and CPU, but with the dual 120s (when I get them powered) I think I'll be ok heat-wise. Without those fans I am sitting at about 35c on the CPU, so I don't want to do a lot of intense stuff, but for browsing and whatnot I should be ok.

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This is about all I can do for cable management for now. I don't want to get too far into cleaning it all up (if I can) until I have all of my case fans up and running. Seriosuly, if you've been through this type of build and see something I have missed, and know how I can fix it, please let me know.

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I still need to make this extension cable for the PSU, but I don't have the piece that I will be mounting to the case. Hard to build without it. For now I am one of those dudes that just has the PSU power cable running out of the hole. :(

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Loading up Windows 8 (boooo... hisssss) nets me the following User Experience Index Scores. With the parts I selected I am not terribly surprised.

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And here it is up and running (ignore those lazy fans for now)! As you can see, the power LED doesn't stay on. I'm not sure if I've done something wrong with the wiring as it lights up only while it is being pressed, then it turns off. My front firewire doesn't work, but that's because I don't have a firewire connector. USB, Audio, and the switches all work, and the cable by BlackCH is super quality.

Today's Final Thoughts:

I have a few more things I want to accomplish, as listed below.

1. Get front fans working. (I ordered a Y splitter today, should have it on Tuesday. Thanks Amazon Prime)
2. Get I/O panel in the back sorted out. It works, but it doesn't look very "clean" right now.
3. Get Rear fans mounted and working.
4. Get front LED to light up when the system is on.
5. PSU to Case extension cable.
6. ...
7. PROFIT!

I'll be continuing my Build Log until I am complete, or until I run out of things I can do. Some people say that those are one and the same, but I think you guys know as well as I do that there is a big difference.

Thanks for following along, and thanks for the help.

PS: Buy Laserhive and BlackCH products. Their stuff is even better than you think it is.

#86
MiniHack

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Hi shifty,

Nice update.

On the I/O thing it does go bang up against the PCI slot area like you have it, otherwise the slots don't line up and you can't use 'em......so that's why the trim piece in the box that hangs off the fan holder (that you don't have) is a 3/4 trim bit and it fits fine if you have that fan holder...

Sometimes you may need to just shave a small bit off the right hand edge of the shield where it butts against the sidewall of the PCI slots just to make it wedge there, but you can arrange the trim piece to hide the space around the shield and suspend it in the right place. This little bit of hardware hacking is sort of the sacrifice you make to keep the original sexy Apple PCI slot area because Apple leave more space than would be ideal for us between their slots and the original G5 IO (don't know why they didn't plan ahead for PC owners....). By the way for those who have looked at my backplate kits and wondered why there is a little vertical strip between the PCI slots and the IO area that is there to visually hide the wall where the IO area meets the PCI slots and make it look nice from the outside - so it makes the whole area look nicer than if you could just look in and see the metal sidewall.

By the way Shifty I do have a few of those fan holder things - I mean the original rear fan assembly not the front fan holder - and for anyone reading this who doesn't have one and who is buying the mATX original kit (and which needs one of them), let me know and I can include a holder in the box when I send the kit out. Drop me a PM shifty and I'll happily send you one if you pay the shipping.

BTW if you can't wait for shipping then if you can find a way to fix your 2 92 mm fans to the bit you do have (the dual 92 grill) you could probably construct a "tongue" to attach to a couple of the fan mounting holes and then drill that tongue to suspend the trim piece (and then the IO shield) from. It'll not be something where I can tell you exactly where to drill the holes (so no little handy template like in the kit) but with about an hour of swearing and drilling stuff you should be able to figure one out.

Good luck!

...Oh and one more thing.

For the very brave here is an unofficial tip to buy more space on these kits for the IO shield. It is possible to remove the moulded plastic piece from the PCI slot holder (the light grey thing with the slot numbers on it) intact. You can then actually dremel away the metal side wall of the PCI slot area to gain the 1.5mm of taken up by the metal wall and then afterwards replace the moulded plastic bit and then the IO shield will sit very nicely.

I don't say that in the kit, because I can imagine all sorts of things going wrong with dremel slips and I wanted the kit to be as noob friendly as it could be. However, if you are up for it and after getting the fan holder and everything in place you then still think things are a little too "tight" there then it is something you can try out - if you feel lucky. In all cases I've had so far this final little mod has not been needed.

#87
Dschijn

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Great work! Keep it up :)
Like the front fan holder, I am currently thinking about something similar.

#88
Mr.D.

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Very nice work so far - its nice to get the machine up and running at last. I can tell you though that after I got mine up and running, I have done at least 2 complete tear-downs because I wasn't happy with one tiny stupid little thing. Its just the way of the perfectionists.

So why did you choose the lower route for the PSU over the upper route? did I miss a post about that?

#89
Baudouin

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Nice job. The back rear I/O plate seems not too complex to install. Do you already have an idea to finish the I/O panel in the back to get it looks "clean" ?

...Oh and one more thing. For the very brave here is an unofficial tip to buy more space on these kits for the IO shield. It is possible to remove the moulded plastic piece from the PCI slot holder (the light grey thing with the slot numbers on it) intact. You can then actually dremel away the metal side wall of the PCI slot area to gain the 1.5mm of taken up by the metal wall and then afterwards replace the moulded plastic bit and then the IO shield will sit very nicely. .


You can find pix in the How-to section : http://www.insanelym...om-the-g5-case/

#90
shiftysamurai

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Very nice work so far - its nice to get the machine up and running at last. I can tell you though that after I got mine up and running, I have done at least 2 complete tear-downs because I wasn't happy with one tiny stupid little thing. Its just the way of the perfectionists.

So why did you choose the lower route for the PSU over the upper route? did I miss a post about that?


Mine will probably be coming apart again. :D

That's the big reason why I didn't go top route with the PSU. Testing for temps (after I hook up my fans) before I chop up that top shelf.

Also, that shelf is some stout stuff. I think I'll want my drill and jig instead of my Dremel.

#91
MiniHack

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Mine will probably be coming apart again. :D

That's the big reason why I didn't go top route with the PSU. Testing for temps (after I hook up my fans) before I chop up that top shelf.

Also, that shelf is some stout stuff. I think I'll want my drill and jig instead of my Dremel.


Dremel all the way...... -_-

#92
shiftysamurai

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Got my front fans working, AND I got the power LED to work....


...by following directions from BlackCH. :D

#93
shiftysamurai

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So... I know that this is a MAC forum, but I am smashing my head against a wall here.

I get my OS and some games installed, install XBMC, and I get non-responsive crashes. If I try to play Need for Speed: Most Wanted, and I get a non-responsive crashes.

At first I thought it was an underpowered GPU, so to test, I opened TombRaider and put it on Ultimate +TressFX, and... no problems. BioShock Infinite plays no problems on Ultra @1080 for over an hour.

I load up FurMark and hit 73© degrees until the default test completes. Load up Prime95 and the test doesn't even seem to start before the PC shuts down.

Here's my build:
i5 3750k - stock clock
XFX Radeon HD 7850 2GB - stock clock
ASRock Z77 Pro4-m
CX600M
2 x 4GB GSkill RAM - stock clock
1 x 60GB SSD
1 x 1.5TB HDD

Things I have tried:
1. Clean installs of Windows 7 and clean install of Windows 8.
2. Windows memory tests - Passed, no errors
3. Removed RAM and tried with each stick individually, in all 4 slots.
4. Tried using Intel 4000 video
5. Pulled each HDD and used different SATA cables.
6. Flashed MB BIOS to newest version.

Video of what happens:


I am STUMPED.

#94
WhatTheTech

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Could it be a faulty CPU? I know this mostly skipped over simply because Intel has STELLAR quality control, but it's a possibility...

You have tried everything that I would have suggested...no crashes during BIOS? The thing I have started more recently to do is to run Stress Linux. It's a bootable OS that you can write to USB, and has plenty of tools that might help you: http://www.stresslinux.org/sl/

#95
MiniHack

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Tried removing the cooler and re-seating it? Had one cooler I thought was evenly attached but just one corner wasn't seated properly and that quickly overheated and shut down. Visually it looked okay, but so wasn't.

Good luck.

#96
nickjf20

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With Need for Speed, it always crashes on my PC.

It's something to do with the Apple Keyboard layout, but if you have any non-standard keyboard I'd try temporally changing it and trying NFS again.

#97
shiftysamurai

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@WTT - There was a day when I built a 64bit Arch installation. I knew all of the things that needed to be done inside of Linux to be (self proclamed) Mr. Linux in my area. That day was long ago. I was checking out the link and had to stop when it said "Knowledge of linux console required" as I can't remember ANY of that stuff...

Except I STILL type "ls" instead of "dir" when working in a Windows console.. :P

Super Update (with no value):

Things I have tested:

RAM - (only on THIS board as my old one is only DRR2) - Passed Memcheck

Both DIMMS Passed Memcheck.

Tried both DIMMs in all four slots individualy (It is Dual Channel RAM)

Tried both DIMMS in all 4 dual channel configurations


HDD - Boots and runs programs on my other PC, no issues

Chkdsk shows no errors or bad sectors

Tried known working SATA cable


DVD Drive - It's a DVD drive. It works. Tried without the drive connected. Crash


SSD - Boots and runs programs on my other PC, no issues (Only as SATA2)

Chkdsk shows no errors

Tried known working SATA cable


GPU - Plays everything like a beast my other PC

Furmark benchmarking/Stresstest yielded 73c temp after 30 minutes - no crash


PSU - Runs my other PC without crashes


OS - I've installed 2 different Operating Systems 6 times. Tried from DVD, USB, and direct download versions. Same result


That leaves me with a few other options:

CPU - I have no way to test my CPU as my other PC is for an AM2/3 chip.


MotherBoard - I think this is the culprit. I've been getting device errors on all of my SATA drives (only on this PC) at the times of the crashes.


The only thing that has me thinking that maybe it is NOT the problem is that it's only certain programs that crash the system, though these are programs that run perfectly on my other PC.

I am going to RMA the MoBo, but if anyone has any other suggestions, I am ALL EARS/EYES.

:D


EDIT: So, I am going to be "That Guy" tomorrow and swing by the local TigerDirect and pick up this not super expensive board. This will let me test the CPU in a different MoBo to make sure my CPU and RAM works.Then... I will be taking it back. Yes, I am gonna be That Guy.

#98
WhatTheTech

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Lol - loving all the modification happening! Too bad about hardware, but honestly with the speed with which manufacturers are bringing out new boards, I can't say I'm surprised. Used to be that a bi-annual board launch was a big deal....

Hoping a new motherboard fixes your problems!

#99
shiftysamurai

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Motherboard did nothing for me except make me use the last of my thermal compound...

Banging my head against the wall here. No clue as to what is going wrong.

#100
Mr.D.

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a few suggestions:

try one stick of memory in each of the 4 slots on the motherboard one at a time. try with the other stick if necessary
try one storage drive at a time in each of the SATA 3 ports on the motherboard (not the superfast SATA 6), again one at a time
try a different PSU - odd as it seems it may be a voltage regulation issue under load

I had a funky hard-to-track-down problem with my system that involved 2 CPUs, 2 months, 200+ emails with the chief Product Support engineer at Intel - and it turned out to be an issue with Intel's sloppy implementation of VESA support with regards to HDCP and a stupid el-cheapo left angle HDMI adapter from monoprice.





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