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G5 Hackintosh (mostly done)


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This is going to be my work in progress page. I decided to post it here rather than on a blog, mostly because I am vein and I want people to actually see what I have done/am doing.


I acquired 2 PowerMac G5s, both dual PPC @ 2GHz, both working systems, and it also came with a 23" Cinema Display. Long story short, it was a gift for a misunderstanding a few years back. Its good to have friends.

Pic of inside tower wide angle.jpg


I have searched and searched and then searched some more for what to do with a Hackintosh. There are a lot of good posts out there, and some really creative solutions that people have come up with. So I don't think there is a single original idea in my project, I just cherry picked what I liked the best from other mods.


I decided to go with a mATX motherboard because I wanted to cut as little as possible, or not at all. I also decided to go with the best chipset (for LGA1155) that is available right now, the Z77. So mATX and Z77 really limited me to Gigabyte, Asus, ASRock and *ugh* BioStar. I compared the boards available and settled on the ASRock Extreme4-M. This gives me PCIe 3.0, 3 full length PCIe slots (so if Apple ever gets off heir collective duffs and supports SLI or CrossFire, then I could upgrade. It also give me USB 3.0, support for SATA III, native support for DDR3 1600 and of course, an IvyBridge Processor.

The MoBo Box.JPGThe MoBo 2.jpg


I decided on an i5-3570k. This is the best i5 that I could get at the time, and I really like that it comes with the Intel HD4000 graphics - which is what I'm going to use for the time being, mostly because I'm cheap.

The Beast.jpg


For RAM I choose Crucial Ballistix Tactical Tracer 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 1600 - I was distracted by the blinking lights so I must NEED them...

Blinky RAM.jpg


I bought an el-cheapotm case that came with an el-cheapotm PSU just to get Windows installed and make sure I am not retarded and can still build a PC. All of the above producs, including Windows, I bought from Newegg for around six hundred dollars. I bought a refurb Samsung Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1 Terabyte 1TB SATA / 300 7200RPM for less than seventy bucks from Computer Geeks. So for less than seven hundred dollars, I have a fully functional, near top spec machine. Now all I have to do is get it all in the case.

Gutted Case.JPGThe MoBo placed near where I want it.jpgBACK I-O Ports.jpg


I am working on an issue with motherboard sizing right now (see my other thread), but once I fix that, the JB weld comes out and I start to glue stuff down.


More to come very soon.

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Saturday, Aug. 11


I have resolved my MB sizing issues (see my other thread) and I have moved onto installing some parts.


I decided to mount the motherboard at the expansion slots rather than 'float' the motherboard in the middle for two reasons:


1) The one pro audio card I was considering using is a PCI, and only comes in PCI flavors. I already own it, its the M-Audio 2496 card. Its a sweet card and I got it years ago for a steal (less than you can buy it for new now, which is a hundred bucks). My motherboard does not have PCI slots (oversight on my part... oops) and so the only way to make this card work is to get an adapter. They make cheap PCIe to PCI adapters, but they only really work with low profile PCI cards, and my audio card is very much not low profile. There are also two companies that I found that make flexible PCIe to PCI adapters One is here. I really think this is a pretty elegant solution. They have an adapter that expands 1 PCIe to 2 PCI as well.


It also costs 50 bucks.


While talking to a friend who also has DAW capabilities, he asked if my MB has SPDIF out/in. My MB has out, but not in. For ~$20, I can get a card that has both. He suggested that I offload all of my A/D-D/A conversion to an external processor, and eliminate any noise that may be generated by my motherboard, PSU or other components. Good idea. Twenty bucks is cheaper than fifty, and its a better solution. I'll miss that card though.


2) By keeping the motherboard in that corner, I can reuse most of the internals from the G5, including the PCI divider, the CPU fans, the speaker, etc. This will keep the look as close to original as possible. If I floated the motherboard, I may not have been able to reuse some or any of those parts.


So its time to break out the JB Weld.


When I attached the CPU heatsink, it warped my MB a small amount. Not that big of a deal, but a pain when I'm trying to glue the standoffs back onto the case. What I ended up doing was a glueing few at a time, and putting some weight on it to press it down. Once those cured, I'd move onto others, but only reattaching the motherboard to one or two of the post set up previously. This allowed me to get the standoffs in the right place. It took two days to do it, but my time is free, and I'd rather do it right than right now. That also allows me to install a different motherboard down the road and not have to warp that one to the shape of this one.


MB jammed up against stupid plastic.jpgTest Fit 1.jpgTest Fit 2.jpgTest Fit 3.jpgTest Run with AGP card.jpgTest Run with AGP card 2.jpgGlue 1.jpgGlue 2.jpgGlue 3.jpg


Yes that is an ISDN modem box, with the actual ISDN modem inside that I am using as a weight. Also, for good measure, I used the guts out of the TeslaConverter as weight.


MB standoffs attached and MB screwed in place.jpgMB standoffs attached and MB screwed in place 2.jpgMB standoffs attached and MB screwed in place 3.jpgPCIe Video Card used for test fit.jpg


So now I decided to dry fit some of the other components. I'll take them back out at the point when I decide what to do about running power up there. I also bought a USB motherboard header to USB A adapter, for when I get WiFi and Bluetooth. By putting them inside the case, I'll reduce the range (don’t need it the wireless access point will sit on top of the computer), and I retain the clean look on the outside. I have an Airport extreme card, and I may tinker with that down the road, but for now, just 2 dongles in the case.


SuperDrive.jpgNew DVD Drive.JPGMB screwed in place with HDDs loaded and new DVD Drive fitted.jpg


And now, I have to decide what to do about power. My current idea is to unsolder the cables from the TeslaConver guts and then use those as adaptors to the new power supply - which I haven't bought yet. I'm going to put that ATX PSU into the TeslaConverter shell, so it needs to be a top mount fan PSU for sizing. I still haven't decided on modular or not. I have decided that ~500w will do, I want a single 12v rail, and I'm not spending more than a hundred bucks on it. Suggestions anyone?


More to come soon...

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So now I'm dealing with power.


I have purchased this PSU. It looks like "Bob's Pretty Good Power Supply Company" to me, but at least I only spent 40 bucks. Its modular and has two (2) 12v rails @ 24a = 288 watts per rail.


I am trying to reuse as many of the original cables as possible, including the SATA data and power cables. I have bought these as extensions to reach the SATA ports on the MB. I bought this so I can run the HDMI cable out the back while I decide what to do with the I/O port area.


I also bought one of these to cut and splice onto this:


Snipped off HDD power cable from org PSU.jpg


I also decided to replace the original 12v fans with standard 5v ones, and I bought them all here.


Orginal fan assemblies attached to divider.jpgDivider standoff that I shouldnt have removed.jpgRoom for the 24pin ATX connector.jpgAssmbly hovering over motherboard.jpg


With the front panel usb/firewire/audio cable that I will be getting soon from BlackCH, I should have enough to start it up.



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So all the parts are in, except the cable to turn it on (BlackCH I am sure has dozens of orders), but all the rest of the stuff I believe is here.


Antec Replacement Fans.jpgNew PSU.jpgNew PSU 2.jpg


I am replacing the fans with 5v 3 wire fans from Antec. I thought about reusing the original 12v fans, but a lot of people have said that they are loud and don't move as much air as newer fans do. Since the original fans are standard sizes (80mm, 92mm and 60mm) I ordered a bunch of replacements. I'll still use the original holders, keeping the look nearly the same, but using more modern, efficient fans - kinda like I'm doing with the system board and such.


PCI Fan with Speaker Orginal.jpgReplacement Fans 1.jpgTwo Fans.JPGSpeaker with new fan.JPG


One of the things I must do to keep the look as original as possible is reuse the PCI divider bracket. This screwed into a standoff in the front and to the motherboard the length of the machine. Obviously moving the motherboard mounts to accommodate an uATX board means that I cant reuse the motherboard mounts. Also, its quite in the way of some important things - like the ATX 24pin plug and the ram - two kinda big things. So - out comes the Dremel!


I placed it carefully, so the clear plastic side panel can still fit. One of the things I'll probably do is run this system occasionally with the aluminum side panel off - just to show off my work. I cant do that and maintain airflow without that clear acrylic side panel. As you can see, I lined it up so that everything still fits.


Assmbly hovering over motherboard.jpgGlueing PCI Divider Standoffs.jpgPCI Divider with Replacement fans.jpg


So now comes the PSU. I stated in my profile that I'm not afraid to cut, bend, scrape, and occasionally let the smoke out of a few chips to get the job done. So the first thing I did with my new PSU was void the warranty. Man that felt good. I have seen in other mods where people reuse the bottom of the PSU, but I don't like that look. So I went to the hardware store to buy some binding posts (which is Lowe's speak for standoffs). I got 3/16" high and JB welded them to the bottom of the TeslaConverter shell. Once that dries, I'll post pics of what it looks like.I also need to decide what to do with the modular plug from the PSU. Modular is cool because I can only plug in the cables I need. Modular is bad because I need to mount the modular plug assembly somewhere.


New PSU 2.jpgNew PSU Guts.jpgNew PSU Modular Plugs.jpgVoided the Warranty Already.jpgCable to power HDD befoer I cut.jpgShrink Wrap.jpgCable for HDD done.jpg



Still giving that a good think. Any suggestions people?

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Thanks for the kudos nick!


I am thinking the same thing, I'm just having a hard time with cutting yet another thing on the case. I really like the stock look, but I think this might be an area where it'll function better.


Thanks for the input!

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Which area are you looking to cut out next?


IT's beyond me how I never saw this thread since you've been updating it a lot but I normally don't float so far down the forums all the time but glad I did to find your build log. Going strong so far although you're in a bit of a decision phase on whether to take away from the stock look for a bit more functionality.

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welllll... I think I might take nick's suggestion and cut the top of the TeslaConverter shell. its either that or mounting it somewhere inside the shell, then running the cables out one of the existing holes or *ugh* cutting another hole. If I test fit this out and I end up needing to cut that hole, then I'll definitely mount the modular plug.


I did cut the plastic fan grill holder in the back - the part on the bottom that bumped up against the I/O port goodies on my motherboard and has the slots to hold the fan assembly. I am pretty sure I'm not putting those fans back in the case, even though I bought replacement ones. I can't believe I haven't taken a picture of that yet - and since I have a bad phone camera and its night, I'll add that to my list of photos to take in daylight tomorrow and I'll post.

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I am definitely going to follow this thread very closely.


I had just purchased the exact same hardware for a PC build....

I then "Came into" 2 Intel Power Mac shells and 1 complete G5 this week.

I am not 100% what my plans are at this point. I think i will mod at least 2 of these cases into Hack's. Possibly one into a file server.. Time will tell.


I Was going to pick up another mATX board that was on another forums recommended list, If you can get the ASrock up and running, I'll use the same board also. Possibly borrowing some of your build for other things also.


Do you plan to try to reuse the CPU covers and drive trays? I want to try and keep my build as stock as possible looking, even on the inside. however, I am not against cutting the back of the chassis for the I/O panel just to keep the inside less cluttered from cable extensions.

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Glad you like the mod john.


I am planning on reusing the CPU cover. The one G5 case I kept has the two G5 covers that were fitted directly onto the humongous heat-sinks. I could have kept the large singe G5 shield that is held on by that funky plastic retaining clip that was on the G5 I sold, but the kid who bought it was smart as a whip and asked if I had it. With this smaller one (2 actually) I have a little more flexibility on mounting.


With regards to the drive trays - I have the G5, not the MacPro. one of the big differences between the two is the drive mounts. My G5 only has a spot for two HDD, and its at the top of the case behind the SuperDrive. The MacPro has spaces for up to four HDDs and they line up under the shelf that the SuperDrives and PSU are on. If I could have used a MacPro case - I woulda. I prefer them for two reasons: 1) More HDDs 2) More optical drives. I am a FIRM believer in the theory that more is more.


I liked the ASRock because it gave me the most bang for my buck. I haven't even started the OS stuff yet, but this forum is the place for getting help with it. I am not going to dual boot my machine as I have some personal requirements that will not allow me to do that. However, I do plan on running ML in a Virtual Machine - which may end up be even trickier. When I get the system up and running, I'll start a new thread in one of the MountainLion topics on my efforts to virtualize the OS.

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I know what you mean about the bigger is better. I was asking about the drive bays because I was interested in how you would tackle wiring them up. The MacPro's 4 Drive sleds look to be pretty straight forward to wire up. I was planning to start with the G5 mod first because my G5 is a bit dinged up. My MacPros are brand new with the shrink-wrap still on them. Good luck with the build!

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More pictures as promised.


First of all, the rear fans. In the last picture, hopefully you can see where I cut the bottom mounting shelf/bracket/thingy. That was getting in the way of the Audio stack and the USB & PS/2 stack. It was pretty darn close to the D-SUB15 and another USB/NIC stack as well. So I cut it off all the way to the retaining slot on the left (when looking from the back/top). The fan assembly wont fit however. I'll keep that in my box of goodies, in case I ever change the internal config of my case and want to reuse it.


Rear Fan Asasembly.jpgRear Fan Cut 1.jpgRear Fan Cut 2.jpgRear Fan Cut 3.jpg


The PSU is mounted finally. To get the look I wanted, I had to spend nearly 10 bucks on hardware from Lowe's. *ugh* I retained the original Mac power plug and soldered that onto the wires from the new PSU. I removed the physical PSU power switch. I like the idea of a switch, but I dislike the idea of a cutting ANOTHER hole in my machine to accommodate it.


Open PSU.JPGThe Merged PSU Shut.jpgMerged PSU with molex cables.jpgThe Merged PSU cable hole with room.jpg


Because of the modified cable that I made to adapt the 8 Pin power plug from the HDDs and the SuperDrive, at this point I only need one extra cable coming from the PSU. I am very much loving the modular design right now. I don't have a GPU yet so the PCIe cables stay in the box. I only have one (yes one) molex plug to connect. The only non-clean thing about this power cable set up is the fact that the original black cables and that adapter I made a a little stiff, and I'm not sure I can bend them the way I want.


My Adaptor.jpg


That's it for now... just some cleaning up and other miscellany is left to do. When I get my front power/USB/Firewiere cable from BlackCH (next week it should be) then I can actually hit that power switch.


@johnm: I'm just reusing all of the original power and SATA data cables. If I wanted to get crazy, I could replace the SATA data cables but I opted instead to just use small 9" extenders.


SATA extender.jpgSATA extender in place.jpg


This is just mocked up right now. I'll have better pictures when everything is installed.

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mocked everything up, plugged in the PSU outside of the tower just to make sure no smoke came roiling out, and all was good. when I finally turned my tower right side up, the PCI divider shelf drooped. I knew I needed to attach this in the back somewhere, I just havent designed an elegant solution yet. In the mean time, I needed something non-conductive to prop up the CPU fan assembly. I looked and I looked... untill I found this:




Bonus points to ANYONE who can identify what I am using. I will be VERY impressed, both with your power of observation, and with your knowledge of the item in question.



Off to go camping this weekend. All that's left to do to power it up, is get the power/usb/firewire cable so I'll post more then. Hopefully by next weekend.

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I got my G5 in the post on Monday. Unfortunately it suffered damage in shipping. The bottom feet were a bit smashed and it suffered some case separation along the bottom of the door...

I think it still has 3 or 4 good screw posts on the bottom, they didn't all pop. I think it can be fix. it will just be a PITA. On top of this.. it is also quite a bit scuffed up..

The good news is. I scored another gutted G5 shell for $15 off craigslist. I can start with that one while deal with shipping disputes to try and get a refund for the damages.

I’ll probably start a new thread myself for my project over the weekend. I’m still trying to gather up parts for my build to get “all my ducks in a row” before I kick it off.

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Hopefully the shipment was insured. Me personally, I don't care about surface scuffs and such. Bent things and dings and gouges however I would definitely care about! By the screw posts on the bottom, do you mean the MB standoffs? Those'll have to come off anyways when you put the ATX or uATX MB in. If you mean the bottom, where the PSU is - then having those screws messed up is kinda bad as those screw thru the case into the PSU shell itself.


Good luck with the cases. Good score with the craigslist find - they're so much better than ebay in my opinion. I'll look for your project when you start it!

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machine is up and running!... sorta



stupid adaptor.jpg



SO I bought this funky 270º HDMI adapter because I am so damn stubborn that I didn't want to cut my case. Well, that adapter seems to be causing me problems with my video signal. It worked before when I had the guts in ElChepo case, and the only two things that have changed that the MB would care about is the PSU and that adapter. The system boots fine and I can RDP to it no problem, I can even boot into safe mode, but it no likey the standard desktop. I guess there is an off chance that its a driver issue, but again, the driver hasen’t changed. I'm thinking that the adapter doesn't send all the content protection {censored} that HDMI requires, and so my Sony PlayStation 3D Display craps out.


But once I get that all sorted, off to the top of the forums page (software) I go to get my Virtual Box running.


I'll put one more post in here when I get that all sorted out and then I'll put this in for the mac mod of the month contest. Thanks all who followed and made suggestions!

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So I got my Snow Leopard CD in the mail today. Gonna try to Virtual Box that.


My video is still not resolved. Some people think its a bad chip, others a driver. I am not sure but you can check out THIS and THIS thread to see what I'm dealing with. This is a problem with the Intel HD4000 video, specifically it blanking out when I install their driver.


When I solve that, then my build will be complete.

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Ouch.. I have not seen this issue yet. I have 3 boards with the HD4000 and no issues yet. All 3 have run Win7, Win8 and Mountain Lion.

All 3 are also ASrock.

1x z77 PRO4 M w/ I5 3570k,

1x z77E -ITX w/ I7 3770k

1x H77M-ITX w/ I5 3570k.


(I thought I had an Extreme, but I have the PRO. That's one reason I was pretty excited about your build.. still should be usable)

GL with this issue. I cant wait to see the finished build.

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  • 2 weeks later...

OK - the physical mod work is very close to done.


With regards to the video, I worked with the chief Product Support Engineer at Intel for their desktop Processor line, including them developing a test driver specifically for my (and a few others) issue, and exchanging the processor out for a new one. They have my old one at their labs and tested it - with no problems. Yet with my system, it was causing problems. We finally narrowed it down to a right angle adapter that I mentioned above not passing all the HDCP info, and the HD4000 driver being dependent upon a return verification of that HDCP compliant components. My nice new Sony PlayStation 3D display also does not play well with non-HDCP signals. Once the offending adapter was removed, all worked according to spec. The problem for Intel is that unless the signal is carrying HDCP source material, the driver shouldn't require it - thus the problem that Intel is working on now. Also, my problem is that in order to use the on board graphics, I MUST use that right angle adapter as I haven't (and don't really want to) cut the case in the back.


So I got THIS guy to put in there instead:


ATI 6770.jpgATI 6770.JPG


Got a good deal on it (70 bucks) and it blows away the performance of the HD4000. Since I'll be running OS X in a Virtual Machine, I didn't need to worry about down flashing the GPU BIOS or EFI strings or kexts or only support in Mountain Lion and such. And it looks pretty cool in my rig.


So here is a few HQ pictures of my system:


IMG_0032.JPGon black 1.JPGon black 2.JPG


Time for me to move up to the top of the forums now. Talked with one of the moderators about doing a WIP page for my software attempts to get OS X running in VirtualBox and he thought it was ok - So look for me up THERE. I have gotten 10.6.8 working in Oracle VirtualBox and I have 10.8.2 working in VMWare Player.


Thanks all for following my progress - its been fun and challenging and I learned a lot along the way.

Thanks to all those who followed this thread and to those who contributed ideas and suggestions!

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  • 3 months later...

a video of my hackintosh in action with the blinky ram playing a quicktime file in the VM.



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  • 2 months later...

Hello Mr.D,


Excellent & useful posts, many thanks!


With regard to squeezing an ATX PSU into the G5 enclosure, do you have any details on hooking up the existing G5 PSU enclosure fans to their new PSU? (where to connect up the leads to....)


Thanks again,



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Omg, i didn't saw your work till now, it's impressive and almost identical to the kind of look i wanted to accomplish with the "Talulah" project. Close to stock as possible. Very nice work and lighting effects with the RAM and btw, i hope the PSU was totally discharged after leaving it for applying pressure lol!


For the PCI divider i kept the 3 original standoffs close to the front of the case, and put some rubber spacers between standoff and bolt. Then the back is laying pretty much on top of the rear fan mounting. Though that, i didn't balance it very well, needs to be better measured because it's falling 1-2 mm, when i continue with it, i'll let you know.




Btw, it's finished or are you improving anything else?



Edited by SirKeldon
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thank you!


... and with regards to the connection of the old TeslaConverter fans to the new PSU, I would assume that most PSUs (ones that cost over 30 bucks that is - and mine only cost 40) have a 2 pin connector for the fan that came with that PSU. I just cut those wires off at the fan and joined the wires from the original fans to those wires. A good place to see this would be here, or here. The first link is to the [Tutorial] on PSU conversions, and the second is a thread that someone had asked me a similar question.


Replacing those fans are the next thing on my list to do for this build - they are too loud. I could under-volt then, or I could just buy 2 new fans for 6 bucks that are quieter, move more air and more energy efficient. I am also lazy and the existing set-up works right now so I'm in no hurry.


Hope that helps!

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