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G3 Powermac


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I posted this alredy on the Tonymac forum so apologies if you have already seen it...


A couple of years ago I picked up a couple of G4 Powermacs and a G3 Powermac from Ebay for about £10 each. I have built one Hackintosh for a friend and one for myself from the G4's and decided to assemble a budget backup/test rig Hackintosh for myself from the G3.

I acquired most of the parts again from Ebay including an Antec 500W PSU for £15, an AsusP5g41T-m LX for £20 this mobo takes DDR3 RAM which is cheaper and will take a max of 8GB, I also managed to pick up 8GB (2 x 4GB sticks) of DDR3 RAM for £27 and a socket 775 2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo for £25

The other parts I happened to have lying around were a 9800gt video card and a Gentle Typhoon 120cm fan.

I wanted the finished article to look as much like a stock G3 as I could manage and along with current thinking I decided that an optical drive would not be required.


First job was to strip the G3



The problem with the G3 is that the side panels are translucent and when you drill out the old mobo mounting studs you'll be left with holes all over the inner sides and they will be visible. The lettering was carefully removed and retained for later use.



Lining up the new mobo to determine where the standoffs should be positioned.

The holes for the old mobo mounts can be clearly seen in this pic.

I junked the sliding plastic tray latch mechanism and now the top locking bar is used to secure the side door closed. I reversed the spring on the locking bar so now it's springs into the lock position automatically unlike originally.



Next job was to fill all the unwanted holes. The G3, G4, Quicksilver and MDD powermac cases are all riveted together so the rivet heads were all filled as well.



The inside of the panel after filling.



The plan was for an SSD boot drive to be fitted in the 3.5 drive bay and a card reader fitted were the optical drive used to be. The optical drive carrier was cut down so as it's just long enough for the reader and drive mount. A G5 Powermac drive cage is for extra storage.



The power switch module from a G4 is simpler to hotwire than the G3 item.



Once all the holes were filled a couple of coats of Ford Moondust Silver were applied to tidy it up.



Getting some airflow through the case was solved by putting the Gentle Typhoon fan on the bottom where it won't be seen and it can then blow over the Arctic Cooling Accelero cooler on the 9800GT.



Fan and drive cage seen from the inside.



Card reader in postion.



Mobo and graphics card test fitted.



As you can see the Accelero cooler just clears the inner panel when the case side is shutting.



Cooler sits nicely directly above the fan and also clears the drive cage.



The original side lettering was re-attached.



The card reader and USB hidden behind the optical drive bay door. Probably won't get used much but it's hidden away and might save grubbing around behind the back trying ti find USB ports.



Trimmed the plastic grill away from the PSU outlet for smoother airflow and therefore less noise. Also had to trim some material away form the Euro plug connector.



Nothing changed at the front.



You can see here where all those ugly holes would be visible if I hadn't filled them.



Looking pretty original.



I've put in an OCZ 90GB Agility SSD drive for the OS, a 1TB Samsung for general storage and a 500GB Western Digital drive as I am dual booting Lion and Snow Leopard (Snow Leopard because I need it for the Canon scanner that I have as there is no Lion driver for it)

I also replaced the temporary Intel cooler with a Scythe Kozuti low profile cooler.



The Kozuti is only 40mm tall so there are no clearance problems in a G3/G4 case



I also made myself an Airport card from an Apple PCI-e wifi card and a mini PCI-e adapter bought from Ebay, seen here next to the graphics card.

Due to the position of the PCI-e slot on the mobo I had to separate the backplate and make a small bracket to support the card.



Recognised OOB in OSX




The backing plate is mounted in a lower PCI slot.



Getting good wireless speeds from it too



Forgotten I had this keyboard and graphics tablet but they match the G3 perfectly



Am pleased with how it turned out and it should last a year or two as a backup machine and to run the scanner from.

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