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Phunczz's G5 Homage Project

PowerMac G5 modding casemodding PowerMac G5 mATX microATX NAS

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#1
Phunczz

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So I got a hold on a pretty complete and OK state PowerMac G5 case, without the logic board and no PSU, although the PSU casing is present. I actually didn't know what to do with it when I bought it, all I knew is wanted to do a project with a Mac Pro or PowerMac G5 for a very long time.

Here are some photos:

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In the foto's above I removed the optical drive since I'll probably not use it or replace it with a SATA one, it's just not a priority at all. It also has no physical damage except some scratches. I don't know if I'll leave it like that or I'll treat it with a new coat of anodising, it's also one of the last things on my mind.

The plan now is to make it into a NAS, since I need lots of room for disks and this case can supply me with that space. I want to get about 8 hard drives in there as a starting point in the same way as another modder did. But I'm contemplating on using the Mac Pro hard drive brackets with a custom-built system to hang them all horizontally, in a vertical arrangement.

If anyone has the exact measurements of those Mac Pro HDD trays, I owe you one.

I'm also planning of putting the entire motherboard inside, using a seperate custom board for the connections on the back. I saw that someone was making them as a project, but it didn't include the FireWire or optical ports, which I intend to do include. I'm still not sure if this is doable but this project doesn't need to be finished any time soon, so I'll probably get this done later anyway.

As the PC hardware goes, nothing is set in stone. It depends when most of the work is complete and how much disposable income I have at that time I guess. At the moment I'm thinking it will be my retiring current system, which is the following:
- micro-ATX Asus P5E-VM HDMI (onboard video)
- Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6850
- 8GB Corsair Dominator DDR2 PC2-8500
- bunch of 3,5" hard drives

I also have a Scythe Mugen II CPU-cooler somewhere that I never got to install due to my current case not having enough room.

As the power supply I'm not sure what I will do, except that I will use the hidden compartment and the case of the original PSU to get one in there. I have an Antec NeoPower Blue 650W PSU and a Shuttle PC50 250W PSU (very compact), not sure which one to use yet but I have options.

Also something worth mentioning: the standard 120mm fan is specced at 12V and 0.37A, while the two 60mm fans in the Apple PSU case are specced at 12V and 0.17A each. This results in a nice 0.34A when both are connected, so the PSU can use them without a problem.

This is what I'm planning for the PSU:

The original PSU:

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Placement:

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What I'm going for:

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The plan is to have the modular ports exposed so I can easily add cables. Not certain about this though, but it's an option.

Since I'll only need two SATA powercables for the Corsair SATA backplane kits, I decided it was easier to just solder the cables to the PSU PCB:

Posted Image

I also connected the fans which just work because they have a comparable power draw (12V 0.17A x2 vs 12V 0.37A) as the Antec's original fan.
You can also see I provisioned a connector for the PSU, should I ever decide to change it, it will be easier.

And this is how it looks with the shelf on the PSU:

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I also put the rear fan frame in for reference.

Fans:

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2x Noctua NF-B9 fans and 1x Noctua NF-R8 fan to replace the original fans. I needed the included rubber mounts for the 80mm fan as I managed to break off two of the 10-year old original ones. Luckily they won't be in the direct line of sight when you open the case. The ones on the 92mm fan bracket I managed to preserve.

Posted Image

2x Corsair SATA 6Gbps Upgrade kit for 800D. This is basically a very cheap and elegant solution to add multiple SATA ports, only uses one port for power and comes included with a nice male-female cable. I plan on using these in the front of the case.


On the overall look, I want to keep it as clean as possible and as original as possible. When all the preparations are complete, I'll likely include the G5 shield to cover the motherboard. I've already ordered replacement fans (from Noctua) and two 4-port SATA backplane kits from Corsair, along with the front-panel I/O cable from BlackCH.

Any thoughts and suggestions are welcome !

#2
Phunczz

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First update:

Today I emptied the entire case and I started work on the PSU. I have an Antec NeoPower Blue 650W PSU as a donor and it fits. Also something worth mentioning: the standard 120mm fan is specced at 12V and 0.37A, while the two 60mm fans in the Apple PSU case are specced at 12V and 0.17A each. This results in a nice 0.34A when both are connected, so the PSU can use them without a problem.

This is what I'm planning for the PSU:

The original PSU:

Posted Image

Placement:

Posted Image

What I'm going for:

Posted Image

The plan is to have the modular ports exposed so I can easily add cables.

#3
Mr.D.

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I'm always a fan or reusing the original TeslaConverter shell. I had that big debate of should I modify the shell for the plugs, or just tuck it all inside the shell. I went with tucking it in the shell, because those cables are long so it helps with management, and also - how often will you be changing/adding/removing those cables? I can anticipate me adding maybe two more cables ever (one for more HDD and one for a second GPU) - and those are maybes. If you are going for the clean look, I would suggest you think about your future potential for this machine before you cut something. If you aren't worried about the stock look, then cut away!!

#4
Phunczz

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Yeah like you said: I'm not entirely sure I'd ever NEED the capability to add or remove cables. Because it's going to be a NAS for probably it's entire lifetime, I won't be messing around with GPU's and extra fans that would potentially need more cables. Also the Corsair backplane kits only need one power plug for four disks, so I can basically use one SATA-power cable, the 24-pin plug and the 4-pin plug to power the entire system.

The easier way is to just leave everything inside, as it requires zero modification. I'll post what I'll decide to do.
Basically, I don't have most of the hardware available yet to finish the computer part inside the case, I'm just preparing for "it's arrival" :) But I'll need plenty of time to figure out the drive cages anyway because I want a reliable and "worthy" solution.

#5
Phunczz

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Another update, some ordered parts have arrived:

Posted Image

2x Noctua NF-B9 fans and 1x Noctua NF-R8 fan to replace the original fans. I needed the included rubber mounts for the 80mm fan as I managed to break off two of the 10-year old original ones. Luckily they won't be in the direct line of sight when you open the case. The ones on the 92mm fan bracket I managed to preserve.

Posted Image

2x Corsair SATA 6Gbps Upgrade kit for 800D. This is basically a very cheap and elegant solution to add multiple SATA ports, only uses one port for power and comes included with a nice male-female cable. I plan on using these in the front of the case.

#6
WhatTheTech

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I really like the SATA solution you have chosen, looking forward to more updates!!

#7
Phunczz

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Thx I actually found them through another G5 modder !

Since I'll only need two SATA powercables for the Corsair SATA backplane kits, I decided it was easier to just solder the cables to the PSU PCB:

Posted Image

I also connected the fans which just work because they have a comparable power draw (12V 0.17A x2 vs 12V 0.37A) as the Antec's original fan.
You can also see I provisioned a connector for the PSU, should I ever decide to change it, it will be easier.

And this is how it looks with the shelf on the PSU:

Posted Image

I also put the rear fan frame in for reference.

#8
MiniHack

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I really like the SATA solution you have chosen, looking forward to more updates!!


These are the same Corsair plates I use in my hotswapper.....

Posted Image

Need to be very precise with the alignment of the disks to the SATA plugs, but they are definitely the way to go. Not found any better. I only managed to squeeze 7 of the 8 though in the case between the top shelf and the power supply [I cut the bottom SATA connector from the board].

They have quite a lot of spacing between disks and so are easy to keep cool too.

Phunccz - I like the way you are going with your build. Looks very good and clean.

#9
Phunczz

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Thanks, I do find it strange that you could only fit 7 of the 8 drives, to me it seemed like 8 would fit. But I'll have to double-check that again. Thank you for your contribution to the community with your solutions, yours were the first I was looking into.

#10
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Thanks, I do find it strange that you could only fit 7 of the 8 drives, to me it seemed like 8 would fit. But I'll have to double-check that again. Thank you for your contribution to the community with your solutions, yours were the first I was looking into.


Yes, you might be right there.

I was limited by the materials and solution i adopted as for my acrylic holder i am using the fixing points of the fans to secure some of the HD rails in position and had to juggle the dimensions a little. The config. I settled on gave a nice fan mount plus disk storage compromise. If you are not limited by that then you could push the top plate up a little more than i have it and close the gap between the two SATA backplanes and it may just fit all 8 in that space. Also I have a 5mm acrylic slab top and bottom so take those away and there is another 1 cm to play with. I didn't bother trying harder to get the 8th drive in because I figured a mobo is likely to have 8 SATA ports and seven HDs plus 1 SATA DVD is 8....

#11
Phunczz

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I might have found something useful for the HDD mounting at my local hardware store:

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It's an anodized aluminium beam meant as a curtain hanger. It roughly matches the interior color (different texture) but only to the keen eye. I'm pondering this as a good way to mount the hard drives with some rubber "wheels", but it could also be used to attach the SATA-backplane I guess. Still not sure what I'll do with it, depends on how easy I find something useful as a harddisk suspension mechanism.

#12
MiniHack

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I might have found something useful for the HDD mounting at my local hardware store:

Posted Image

Posted Image

It's an anodized aluminium beam meant as a curtain hanger. It roughly matches the interior color (different texture) but only to the keen eye. I'm pondering this as a good way to mount the hard drives with some rubber "wheels", but it could also be used to attach the SATA-backplane I guess. Still not sure what I'll do with it, depends on how easy I find something useful as a harddisk suspension mechanism.


That may do it.

This is what I made my first one out of (before I got the cutter).

Attached File  p8180088w.jpg   308.1KB   25 downloads

Basically channel, plus some vertical bits and a couple of Phobya fan shrouds.

Worked well.

#13
Phunczz

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Yeah that's what I'm thinking about although my mind is still set on using the Apple Mac Pro hard drive sleds, but they will probably require some decent amount of work to fit. Maybe if I find a Mac Pro case for cheap... But those tend to be rare.

#14
MiniHack

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Yeah that's what I'm thinking about although my mind is still set on using the Apple Mac Pro hard drive sleds, but they will probably require some decent amount of work to fit. Maybe if I find a Mac Pro case for cheap... But those tend to be rare.


I just happen to have a set of four of those here that I am not planning on using at the moment.....

#15
Phunczz

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I sent you a message :)

#16
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Not much happened in the last week as I was focused on my ICT admin education. Today I received the front-panel I/O cable from BlackCH, looks very nice ! I'm also awaiting a package from MiniHack, who happened to have a set of Mac Pro drive sleds he wanted to part with. Once these arrive, I can start thinking about the 7 or 8 disk storage bays I want to fabricate !

Still looking for some random hardware to stress-test the PSU, because it was modified, I want to make sure it works properly before I fry decent hardware.

#17
Phunczz

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MiniHack: I'm contemplating the motherboard tray again and since I want to use the original port locations (maybe a homemade PCB, not sure yet), I thought I couldn't use your motherboard tray. But looking at your website I'm in doubt, maybe it just might still work ! apparently I can !

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With your motherboard tray, would I be able to still put a small & thin PCB were the original back I/O connectors used to be ? And if so, how much room is there ?

EDIT: nevermind, I didn't see the image above but now I see this is going to work. Excellent, I'll place my order soon !

#18
Phunczz

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Today I received four Mac Pro hard disk sled, so I can start contemplating a system to store the hard disks. When I have the time, I'll post my findings !

#19
MiniHack

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Tray is on the way to you now.....

:)

#20
Phunczz

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Great, looking forward to it ! It would be a nice change to just bolt something without problems, at the moment I'm struggling with an SSD that started to spew "bad sectors" at me and I managed to destroy the network stack (couldn't even ping itself !) from a more complex setup in my training. Casemodding seems so easy and straight-forward sometimes :hammer:





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: PowerMac, G5, modding, casemodding, PowerMac G5, mATX, microATX, NAS

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