Hey guys. New to the forum, but been lurking around awhile. Wanted to post my iteration of a simple G5 hack with no major cutting or case destruction. Unfortunately I don't have step by step images, just the final -- rather almost final, as I feel I'll always be tweaking it -- build.
I primarily use this machine to game and mess around with hardware and overclock tweaking. My primary machine is a Westmere 6-core "Mac Pro" built with the help of the great guys at this forum and over at Tonymac.
Motherboard: MSI 890FXA-GD65
Processor: AMD Phenom II 955BE X4 3.2GHz (OC'd to 3.8Ghz)
Graphics Card(s): 2x Sapphire Tech ATI 5830 Xtreme
Memory: 3x 2GB of some random DDR3 1333 Samsung chips
CPU Cooler: Zalman CNPS7X
PowerSupply: Antec EarthWatts 650W
HDD: Intel X25M SSD 160GB
HDD: Samsung 250GB (still need to hook it up)
DVD: Generic Optiarc DVD-ROM
I mounted an acrylic sheet to some of the existing case standoffs (I did not even have to take them off.) Motherboard went on top of the acrylic, though I wish I had used a slightly thicker acrylic sheet, mine had some bend when installing the RAM and mounting the cooler.
2x NZXT 140mm intake fans installed using bolts and nuts. I actually liked the idea of the screws being visible in the front of the case, but that's a personal preference and a lot of people might find it offensive :-) But it was the easiest way I could think of to mount two fans to the front. There are some rubber washers between the fan frame and the front case mesh to add some spacing and cut down on vibration and noise. These fans are awesome, draw in a lot of air.
The two rear 92mm exhaust fans are wired to the 5V power to reduce noise, but they still perform very well. The original G5 fans were not working properly.
One caveat with this design is the CPU cooler cannot be large. But the Zalman at about 130mm height performs perfectly for this case, and easily lets me OC the processor to 3.8Ghz.
The front panel works perfectly, thanks to everyone on this forum that posted diagrams and such. No Firewire as the mobo has no Firewire support.
For the rear panel I just crazy glued in the ports I would need. This turned out to be a pain in the butt so I just connected the rest of the USB and audio to the rear PCI brackets. I used a Levitton RJ45 keytone jack for network, and ran it back to the mobo port.
I crazy glued a PCI bracket with holes drilled into it to the top of the case interior to support the 2 gfx cards. Those 5830s are badass in xFire and run the stuff I like to play (Dirt2, Dirt3, BFBC2) at max setting on a 19x12 Dell 24". Those NZXT fans really help keep these cards cool, especially that top one which is right up against the roof of the case partition.
I did not rewire the small fans in the HDD area. I remember when the G5 was running MacOS, those fans would make a lot of noise, so I decided to skip them.
Well there you go, my idea for a very simple, clean looking, and highly capable G5 case mod. Thanks to everyone on this forum that posted their ideas and incredible works of case modding art. All that information was extremely helpful for me to set up this build.
Let me know what you think and what I could have done better.