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MAC PRO Case Mod


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#21
kdb424

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That's frickin awesome. I think that I'm going to have to make one of these! Where can you buy one of those cases?

#22
macfinity

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:) Where can I buy one of these cases? Thanks

#23
Black Knight

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:( Where can I buy one of these cases? Thanks


I've got one that I'm looking to sell. It's in great condition and in the USA. I'll sell it for $250 obo plus actual shipping. PM me if you're interested.

#24
_Wolverine_

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i think i will buy one...
can anyone tell me if i have to cut alot of my case?

#25
MacBookJoe

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Okay then people, Sorry I've not yet uploaded any type of guide.. I've been silly busy then stupidly poor and time ran away from me..

so.. I thought I'd do i quick photo guide from start to finish. All images were taken with my iPhone.. so they really could be better.

STEP1: The MacPro Case.
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STEP2: Basic mods

I started off with a M-ATX motherboard as you will see i later fitted a full sized ATX.
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I marked out around the rear IO and had a quick test with the dremal.. looking back i wish i had done this differently but i just wanted to get it built.
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The bottome right is marker pen, not a slip up.
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I attached some edging to hide the sharp edges.

STEP3: The Guts.

As i mentioned i picked a M-ATX mobo the DS2R is a popular choice for the MacPro case. I followed suit as Aqua-Mac had alot of success with this mobo. There is a Hiper 620watt PSU and a ATX to ATX extension cable. A must for the PSU ATX cable is too short to reach the mobo, it also allows for the front power switch to be wired up.
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I cut the back out and removed the top fan bracket to allow the PSU to fit. (was a bit of a nightmare)
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I bought a kettle lead and socket from maplins, then had a fella from work machine this bit to allow for more room for the PSU.. it was also the quickest and easiest option at the time.
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STEP4: Fitting the motherboard.

The MacPro had all the stock mounts for the Apple motherboard. these just popped off and come away clean.. they are the perfect hight for the motherboard (duh) so again.. was the simple option.
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I removed all the mounts in the way of the M-ATX and attached them to the mobo.
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I'm missing a couple photos here... I then used JB Cold Weld cleaned off the points in the case and sat the mobo inside. used a GFX card to hold it in place and then left it for a couple days.. (only needs about 12-18 hours)

STEP5: The Stock look.

Aqua-mac nailed the MacPro case mod long before I attempted it. He did such a great job i just had to give it a go! I wanted from the offset to keep the inside looking as stock as possible. This ment getting my hands on the bellow parts. WeFixMac is a UK ebay store and they are just ace! I bought the case from them for little over 100. They didnt list the below parts.. I sent them a message and they got me the bits i needed! not cheap mind! the RAM cage and front fans were 50 each and the CPU cover was 25.

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These parts needed modding to fit with the M-ATX mobo and my HSF. below is the Mobo fitted and the front fans in place.
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The RAM cage and CPU cover needed to be trimmed and parts removed in order to fit correctly.
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yeah... thats a laggy band holding it in place whilst the glue set.

The front fans were 4-pin connections and i lacked the knowledge at the time to put 3-pin fan connections on them and how to reduce the fan speed. so... I bought 3 x Noctua NF-P12 120mm Silent Case Fans and fitted them instead.
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Here you can see how the ATX cable was routed and where the power switch is wired in.
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So... I put that all back together and ended up with this.
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That ran great for a while! I was disappointed with the over-clocking abilities of the M-ATX mobo and my 7800GT was aging.. so i bought a BFG 9800GTX OC on release day (great card! just wish i had hung fire 4 months) i actually ordered the basic 9800GTX but OCUK sent me the OC! i love those guys! :-p
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fitted the 9800GTX and was flying high!
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STEP5: M-ATX to ATX

and.... yeah.... i blew it up! the DS2R died! and took my Crucial Ballistix Tracer 8500 RAM with it! RMA'd the RAM (although they sent me back the non tracer RAM requires a lower voltage.. so i was happy) and started looking at a new mobo.. at this point Aqua-Mac unleashed his MacPro mk2! a great piece of work! he went for the stock look (like to think i had a little something to do with that :-) ) but blew us all away with an ATX motherboard fitted in a Mac Pro..

With the disappointing OC results from my DS2R and a E8200 CPU just wanting to be run at 3.8ghz I thought I'd once again follow suit. this time.. I thought I'd go with DFI and in order to retain the stock look I'd wanted all along i went about it a different way.

Aqua-mac fitted his ATX by removing a thin piece of the base (from the case) in order to line up the the PCIe slots to allow for 2 graphics cards.. he had to do this because of the mobo layout. it also ment that his first graphic card slot was the second expansion slot on the mobo.. meaning the GFX card did not fit flush against the RAM cage as it does in the Mac Pro. i wanted to retain that look. on the plus side for Aqua-Mac he'll be able to drop a X58 mobo in his case with no further mods are they share the same layout as his ASUS. i just gotta keep my fingers crossed.

so.... I removed the top self. measured up and removed a part of it.. allowing my new DFI mobo to fit in behind it with obstructing anything else.
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I cut that out with a jigsaw... you can see that i can still use the first 2 drive bays with the apple supplied SATA connectors. i can also still use the second two bays using right-angled SATA cables.

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I used a old ATX asus p4 board (used on my first hackintosh) to line up the mobo mounts and once again attached them using JB cold weld.
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I had alot of issues with dust! i live with a bunch of friends and we just dont clean! lads will be lads! so my case just sucked it all in.. so i bought two of these and fitted them.
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I went with a DFI Lan Party LT X48-T2R it was the best X48 motherboard available with the layout i required and DDR2.
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So swapped out the old for the new and all was well. i also loved the separate sound card. i problem i had with the DS2R was my rear IO cut out was a little too low and so i had to cut down the speaker cable to fit it. this way my rear IO is plenty roomy and the daughter board is great!
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With the shelf cut out slightly i was able to route my cable alot better as you can see its not to shabby.
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I found this little ThermalRight SLI cooler to be great on the southbridge.
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And there it is! almost complete... but will it ever trully be.. X58 round the corner! and i'm eyeing up a 280GTX.
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I got back in touch with my ppl at WeFixMac and they hooked me up with a faulty Mac Pro 1000 watt PSU... 45 its the most ive paid for a little piece of alu... but completes the stock look.
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So thats it... for now..

All in depth info can be found over at Aqua-Mac Forums. we have the best bunch of MacPro modders over there that are producing some really great work.

My next steps are simple.. more storage. i hope to use all 4 bays with Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB drives and a single Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB sat in a Zalman ZM-2HC2 Silent Hard Disk Heatpipe Cooler above my DVD drive.

Hope you like it.

share your thoughts.


Joe.

#26
pirloui

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Looks great, lucky you :(

#27
dark4181

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freaking awesome dude, wanna build one for me? haha

#28
dudecuda

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Good choice on the DFI board. I see many people recommending gigabyte boards due to their good compatibility for hackintosh projects, but DFI boards are even better. Crazy overclocking abilities too. I've built 3 hacks using all DFI boards: one LT P35 and two DK X48. I could not be happier.

#29
dark4181

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I've got an extra g5 case, if anyone wants a partial trade for a mac pro case.

FYI, g5 cases are HEAVY on ebay right now

#30
Black Knight

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I've got a Mac Pro case that I'm trying to sell, but I don't need a G5 case.

#31
dark4181

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Do you have all the bits and bobs that come inside it? All the front panel stuff, HD racks, psu and drive bay shields and air zoning baffles?

#32
Black Knight

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Do you have all the bits and bobs that come inside it? All the front panel stuff, HD racks, psu and drive bay shields and air zoning baffles?


All of the wiring & front panel is included, the PSU shield is actually part of the PSU so it is not included, the DVD/CD tray is included, and it has the HDD trays for disks 1, 3, and 4, but not 2, and it is missing the front & rear fans and ducting. Basically it is the same as you typically find on ebay since that is where I bought it from.

It's in great condition though and is for an 8-core mac. If you do want it and need to get the ducting and such, make sure you buy the parts for the 8-core as they are slightly different.

#33
dark4181

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If I did buy it, it would be for a Hackintosh project. I wouldn't rebuild a Mac Pro

Let me see if I can unload my spare g5 case first

#34
Black Knight

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I figured you meant it would be for a hackintosh, but I'm saying you'd need the 8-core Mac Pro ducting since the mounting for the RAM cage is slightly different. If you don't plan on using the ducting, then it doesn't make any difference.

#35
dark4181

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Well, I'd want it to look as close to stock as possible.. Unless I bling it out, Cyprio-style O.O

#36
Black Knight

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I hear ya on Cyprio's, his is unbelievable. www.welovemacs.com has the duct parts that you'd need.

#37
masfet

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I am looking for a good Mac Pro case. Any one has one to offer??? Please PM me. Thansk

#38
MacBookJoe

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THE HOW TO:

The move to water-cooling.

So this should give you an idea of room I've got to play with. The Rad is mounted on the roof of the case externally, the tubes are routed in then out the back side of the case and back in as shown below.

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Then i have to install the RAM cage, the below image shows how much height from the waterblock the tubing will have to turn around and connect to the next water block.

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The RAM cage has no back so it will slid in and cover the loop (its very effective at keeping the heat from the GPU away from the CPU. you can see in the below image with the CPU cover (Apple part name) in place it creates a tunnel from front to back with a 120mm Noctua fan at each end.

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I cant draw with a mouse... or at all even.. but its the idea...


It Begins,

Chilled PC we're a real star! helping me out loads! I had to split my first lot of items between ChilledPC and WaterCooling UK. Mainly because I'm impatient and didn't want to wait.

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and I'm still looking over my second order from WaterCooling UK.

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The Noctua P12 fans I already owned and have been cooling my Case mod since the begining.. I'd used them with a volt mod cable to lower the RPM. The build quality of Noctuas fans blew me away so I stayed with them.

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HERE:

I moved the three cooling my case to the RAD and used three of these in the case.

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HERE:


Once my parts started to arrive I got a little camera giddy and took alot of photos.. The annoying thing with this build was the waiting.. I spent along time picking out and planning what parts to use and had alot of help form the forum member over at Clunk.org and Tom from ChilledPC.


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At this point I had to turn off my Rig (first time in months as its Folds solid for Custom PC's team).

I went withFeser One UV (Blue) as my fluid and i picked out blue as i liked the look my Zalman HSF LED gave the case. I also knew at this point that my fan controller was gonna be glowing so thought it best to stick to the same color.

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I drew a sketch on the back of a receipt as i needed to get the "HOW" out of my head and onto paper.. I had a hard time explaining the idea to some folks so I drew this in PAINT lame huh.. but it helped.


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At each red ring the loop exits my case, I wanted a clean fitted look so opted for the bulk heads, with high flow barbs on one end and the rotary elbows on the other I hoped to minimise any negative effects so I went for a 18w Pump.

Tom from ChilledPC really helped me out when it came to what waterblocks.. This is my first attempt at a water cooling loop and knew next to nothing! Tom was able to order in anything i wanted and found me these blocks for Northbridge and MOSFETS.


Northbridge.

MIPS DFI LANparty P35 / X38 / X48 Northbridge Freezer Nickel
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MOSFETS

MIPS DFI LANparty P35 / X38 / X48 Mosfet Freezer Nickel
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CPU

D-Tek FuZion™ v2
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Now i went for the D-Tek over the GTZ for one reason.. STOCK! Chilled PC had them in and i was ordering the others so why not.. When i placed my order i also picked up the nozzle kit and paid to have my CPU lapped.. but I didnt use the nozzles nor (although I've paid for it) did i send the CPU to get lapped. I think I'll keep that paid service until i move this rig to i7.

I've also lined up the 3x Noctua NF-S12 800rpm fans to replace my current case fans and a bunch of other stuff.. coolant and noise damping for the pump some heat-shrink and cable braid.

At this point i needed a RAD! and only two were viable options for me. the ThermoChill PA120.3 and the FESER TFC 360. The WORLD seemed out of stock and I ended up waiting for weeks before i could place an order.

The iPhone camera is {censored}! but its all i have so it'll do. The MIPS blocks arrived along with a bunch of other goodies from ChilledPC. the MIPS are great looking! you can really see the craftsmanship. lol sounds like i know what I'm talking about.. These are the first blocks I've ever got my hands on.



Just losly thumbed on the barbs and Bitspower 45's for this photo. The reason i got the 45's is the rear 120mm fan in the MacPro (RAM cage) currently had to have the housing cut away to accommodate the PWM heatsink on the Mobo. Without the 45's I'd not be able to tube them. This was VERY correct and even with the 45's I still had to cut away some more.


LOL... It got to this point and my heart skipped a beat! I panicked as my bank was taking a SLAPPING! Below is almost everything i bought for this single loop and a aftermarket cooler for the GPU.


I went with the ThermoChill PA120.3. I did this because i sent Simon at Thermochill an email.. its was the last part I needed and I just couldnt find stock! so i went direct to the manufacturer. I sent him an email explaining what i was doing and asked why i couldnt find one of there products in stock anywhere! I told him how it was a toss up between there PA serrirs or a FESER 360 and gave me this response.

Hi Joe,

We have none left from last week but we have a new production run finishing this week. If you place an order for your radiator I will be able to get one shipped out for you on Friday for delivery early next week.
Don't worry about mentioning our competitors, just be careful and find out which country they are made in. I don't agree with paying a lot of money for something that is made in the far east.

Kind regards

Steve Verity
www.thermochill.com


That made me smile and i liked the idea i was buying British!

It begins...

I gutted my MacPro case (needs a good clean) and rigged up my PC on my desktop using an mobo tray i once wrapped in Akasa sound matting and screwed my first Hack to the wall with it.

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lol... i used to have this screwed to my wall using a bunch of parts i found in my attic! that was my first Hackintosh.

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And here we have my gutted totally empty MacPro case it never been so gutted. Next it was time to work on the bulkheads.


Things are moving along...

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Choose this fan controller due to its Watt per channel over the Zalman i was eyeing up, it was alot deeper due to the heatsinks on the board so made it a little tricky to find somewhere to fit it.

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My case sits on my desktop just to the left of my monitor so I thought there would be a good place (lol... the only) to mount it.

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I measured up and pulled out my Dremel.

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Dropped it into place and put on its knobs to see how it fits... Not bad huh.. each one of them lights up blue, so that should light up the total underneath of my case.

I'll be mounted it to the front of my case using the raisers it was using to attach to its 5 1/2" bay mount. I then used J-B Weld to fit it in place. Once fitted I am now able to remove the controller by its screws :-p.


I left the J.B Weld set over night.. and... sorted! that isnt going anywhere!

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Once the RAD turned up i was so supprised by it SIZE!!! I'd never seen these rads or any watercooling component for that mater.

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The holes were not threaded which made mounting my Fans using the Feser shrouds a bugger. so i bought a tap and die set.

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The Feser shrouds although great looking are NOT greatly put together.. I could not push the supplied bolts through all the holes on ANY of the three i bought.. I had to drill them out.

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..

It took rather a while working out where the holes needed to exactly go but I'm VERY pleased with the end result.

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All bulkheads, elbows and barbs fitted (not tightly)

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Again this isnt the final fit but its a great fit.

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I gave the fan controller a quick test run as i HAD just hacked it up to mod fit it.. I'd have been gutted if I hadnt of worked when i came to turn it ALL on for the first time.

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The black tubing here was just some test cut pieces.


Next I had to look at fitting my RAD, I had some problems here.. if you look at my doodle you'll see I grossly under estimated the length / size of the rad. The Triple RAD was to bit to fit between to two handles of the MacPro case. but I had some ideas of how to get around this. Make my own raisers. . .

I measured out the top holes for mounting the Rad.

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Then I used some M4 threaded bar and some Alu tubing to make some external mounts. I bought some hard drive rubber washers to help absorb any sound from the Fans.

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Then I put the gasket on the Rad and started attaching my fans.

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Then I dropped it into place upon the top of my case and bolted it firmly. its a great fit. no wobble (well it takes some force for to move and i doubt the RPM on those fans will shift it.).

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I bought a Corsair 850 watt PSU as i hope to upgrade my GFX in the summer and left my trusty 620 watt Hiper wouldn't be enough to power a flagship GPU come JULY. So once that turned up I started to tighten everything up and look at leak testing. I

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I stripped my Motherboard down and applied my MX-2 to the CPU, NB and a tiny bit on each PWM.

First attempt at tubing.

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All tubing, ready to be dropped into the case and connected to the loop.

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Overview with the mobo mounted.

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Hooked up and ready for coolant!!

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I double treble checked everything a littered the inside of my case with kitchen roll.



Fingers crossed.



Well... It worked YAY!! (DUH) All leaks were addressed mainly hose-clips being tooooo tight and slight to high on the barb. The last bits of air trapped in the Rad and bubbling were removed by gently (ish) SHAKING!!! the case...
heres some photos.

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Here it is. . .

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A view of the loop. (Res)
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Water blocks (cant really see them huh)
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Just gotta hope I've not knocked anything lose when fitting the remaining hardware.. Would hate to wake up to a puddle.


So temps....


I dont really know.. lol.. the gpu is great! 51-55 underload now (folding) used to be 78-80 so thats a result! Everest reads my CPU at 29-31 idle (ish) thats at 4.11ghz and I've not seen it break 35 yet.

I'll do some real testing soon. Its all about how well it handles heat to further i push it. I'lll try for 4.2- 4.3- 4.5 and beyond (if I'm super lucky in a few days).

I'd love to clean up the Alu and have it photographed professionally good lighting and a white backdrop. It just looks fab!

Attached File  test2007.jpg   335.66KB   28 downloads



What do you think?

J.

#39
stellarola

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Posted Image

#40
Thath0r

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I have to admit... This looks terrible. ;)


Although functionality for sure is another point. Functionality: :D , Appearance: :wacko:
At least, you did everything very clean. So it just looks kinda special and no longer like a real Mac Pro but then I think that was actually your idea, right?

Anyway, nice work, the result is a little bit..uhmm..questionable (from my point of view, but I'm sure you disagree)



/Thath0r





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