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I started this MOD as a result of my desire to utilize an iconic case and my desire to run OSX. It took some serious thought, a lot of hard work and a lot of time consuming elbow grease, as there were several factors that came into play with the formulation and completion of this MOD. (No true MOD is ever really completed. It is, and always will be an ongoing project)

I started out with an PowerMac G4 case (Yes, I know it has been done perhaps a thousand times before, BUT not in this fashion) as I liked the design and it has attained the reputation as almost a work of art. My feelings were that Apple may have missed the mark slightly by not offering any “Bling” or customization on this case. All of the cases that I have come across browsing the web that were painted had the paint applied to the outside of the case. Nice, but it took away from the depth of the appearance of the case. I fixed this. All it took was countless hours (over 65) of wet sanding and polishing of the original polycarbonate case. (No… you cannot use paint strippers or lacquer thinner or other such chemicals as it would fog the plastic almost instantly) I took the 4 corner pieces and cleaned them masked off the “inset stripe” areas and shot them with high gloss white and then covered it with high gloss black IMRON. (All of the painting was done to the inside of the components.) I applied 1/8th pin striping tape to the area around the relief for the apple appliqué and masked it off. I shot the rest of the inside with the same gloss black paint as before and removed the masking and the pin stripe tape and shot it with a “frost” paint to give the area a frosted look. (This is the area around the apple and leaf appliqué) so that I could give it some indirect backlighting. That was the hard part. Now I was ready for the easy stuff. I removed all of the interior components, trimmed off a corner of the CD/DVD carrier (that would interfere with the placement of the new motherboard), removed the original motherboard stand offs in lieu of new ones placed to meet the requirements of the new motherboard. I shot all of the interior and exterior metal components with flat black paint as well as the rear plastic panel. The front plastic panel was painted in both high gloss and satin black paints to give a slight contrast. Green LED’s were placed behind the front apple logo as well as on the original power button. (Both the power button and the reset button are functional with the modding to the circuit I did) Holes were drilled and cut outs made to accommodate a front panel audio out / line in ports as well as 2 USB ports. (Got this nifty little setup from an old HP that was laying around) After placement of the new motherboard standoffs and cutting out for the back plate I modded the white plastic closures slide for the new standoffs. After determining the location of the fans I made the cut outs for them and airbrushed them gloss black) (Yeah, Noctua fans are normally a hideous tan and bone color) The plastic back cover was trimmed by the power plug to allow the use of my power supply and holes were made in the plastic cover to accommodate the wireless antennas. Perform touch up paint on the case, sleeve the wiring, mod the Hard drive mount on the bottom to accommodate the SSD, Protect the wires and cables inside the box with rubber and plastic edge guard moldings, Detail cable and zip tie the whole works after installing 2 green 4”CCF lights on the exterior metal sides ONLY after installing reflective foil tape on the sides. (To reflect the green lighting to the outside)


That was the looks … as for the hardware; I used what I had as I am on a budget until I find employment, so it is truly Old School Retro with the components as listed below.

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-G33M-S2L

Processor: Intel E8600 (Overclocked @ 4GHz.)

Memory: 4GB GSKILL DDR2 PC2-8500

Video: NIVIDIA 8800GTS 512

Drives: HDD1=Kingston V100 96GB SATA SSD (OSX install)

HDD2= WD1.5TB SATA HD (Windows 7 install)

Optical= Toshiba SATA CD/DVD

Power supply: Thermaltake Purepower RX-550

Processor cooling: Scythe Big Shrunken 2 Rev. B

Case Cooling: Noctua NF-P12-1300 120mm Fans

Wireless: Mini PCI-E to PCI-E adaptor with Atheros AR8131 chipset

USB: 10 ports (2 Front, 4 Rear + 4 via PCI interface card)

Audio: Front: Lline out and Mic in, Rear Line out and Mic in.


I run it a 4GHz (1.33125Volts Vcore1.3160) all the time and idle temp is 33C and at 100% load (Orthos 6 hours) it goes to 54C. (@26C ambient temp) It pulls an 11.809 1M calculation in superpi-mod v1.5. It is pretty snappy with 10.6.8 and Windows 7 x64 Pro.

Install method for OSX was found here on Insanely Mac : http://www.insanelym...e-ga-ep45-ds3l/ with the necessary changes to work on my specific motherboard as well as a custom modded DSDT.


This is not the fastest or the most powerful system here, BUT it is affordable and it meets the criteria of a MODDED BOX. IMHO a mod is not just spending tons of money bolting together a bunch of hardware of the latest and greatest to get a supercomputer that will more than likely be underutilized but rather the customization of a system that has your own signature on it and it works well when you need it to and does what you want it to.


There are systems here that would make Apple itself drool as they are very impressive and they cost substantially less than an Apple equivalent and they are exquisite in their own way. My goal was to make an affordable system that will work well with what 90% of all Mac users utilize their systems for.


I had 10.7 installed as well as a problematic 10.8 on this originally but neither performs as well as the 10.6; and as the almighty Apple goes, the newer software is almost forcing you to buy (Their) newer hardware. It is Apple’s way of perpetuating sales of their hardware. I will now get off my soapbox….. and ask What’s your MOD?



















  • Like 4

Thanks BALDY_MAN, It was a lot of work. When I was a kid I was a hot rodder who had a 14 second 4 cylinder street driven car, and I learned one thing at that time; The devil is in the details. Thanks again.

I've considered modding one of these cases for a while as I always preferred them over the cheesegrater. Did you have to do anything special for the IO panel at the rear? The pics are a bit small to make it out.


I noticed that the PowerMac boards tended to have the IO ports extended a little from the rest of the board, making it difficult to just drop in a standard PC board.

  • Like 1

I am unaware that one can just drop in a standard PC board as the mounting stand-offs for the motherboard are in the wrong location for an mATX board. (It would have made the build go a little easier had it been so.) On my build I wound up driving the old stand-offs out, then using 1/4" (6.35mm) spacers under my motherboard i located where my motherboard had to be placed for my motherboard backplate and my pci/pci-e slots to line up properly. I then marked out the area on the case "backplate area" for cutting to install my backplate. I then cut out the area with a dremel to install my backplate and inserted it. Keeping the spacers under the motherboard i then marked out the location for holes to be drilled for the mounting of the motherboard. Then using machine screws, lock nuts and nylon spacers I was able to mount the motherboard at the proper height and location. I encountered no problems with the IO ports needing any kind of extension.

Thanks for the details. I'll have to dig out my G3s and have a closer look at them. I'm working from memory but I think there were variations between the G3, G4 and MDD cases as far as IO ports and PCI slots go. The MDD case seeming to be the most difficult to work with. Which is a pity as I have a dead MDD that would have been a good hackintosh candidate. Still, I prefer the G3 case colours.

Nice and elegant! Though you could probably paint the I/O back plate in black too. IMO it "sticks out" from mainly black back surface of the case.


Hmmmmmmmmm you are right. Well as I said before. You are never really done with a MOD. Thanks for the suggestion. I post an updated pix as soon as it is done.

You get my vote!! - A modded mac?!? Whoda thunk it?


I will always vote for somebody who mods a mac over a custom build. Not only is it a G4, but its a very well done G4. Kudos on a excellent modded mac.

Thanks Mr. D. I appreciate it. I am in the process of removing the motherboard so that I can paint the backplate black as suggested by 3.14r2. I agree that it would look better black. I will repost a new and improved back picture as soon as I can. Thanks again.

  • Like 1

Thank you BALDY_MAN I appreciate it. After some very minor tweaking I was able to get a slightly higher Geekbench score. The link is : http://browser.prima...kbench2/1303818. Not a big difference but I am having some overclocking difficulties with OSx. Win7 overclocks fine and stable to 4.5GHz on air. but in OSx with -x -v @ boot it shows a freeze with the USB and wake from sleep state. I believe that I need to look at my DSDT for the answer. I did get the backplate painted and for the moment it is done. (A temporary state as with all mods) The picture is below. Thanks again.


  • Like 2

Hey Guys, it's great that we're saying - "Nice," "Great Work," "Amazing" and whatnot, but if you want anybody to get voted on, PLEASE SAY - YOU GOT MY VOTE. Which by the way is what I'm saying - YOU GOT MY VOTE !!! Great job on the build !!! :-)

Can I vote twice?? I think an actual modded mac deserves two... no THREE votes from me!


... vote early, vote often...

Thanks PunkNugget. Your vote as well as everyone’s is appreciated. Mr.D, your enthusiasm is appreciated as well. BTW I like your choice of ever changing avatars. I have another Powermac case and I'm thinking of making another one next year sometime with newer components if it is feasible. I would like to use a dual loop water peltier cooling set up. All enclosed in the case with no radiator hanging out the back. I’m just thinking about the details at the moment. This one is currently being used for some video editing at the moment and it smokes my 2008 17” MacbookPro Thanks again.

Do you just have Powermac cases lying around? *oh how I envy you*


Water AND Peltier cooling!! I see you are using that on your 'SYSTEM 1' listed in your signature. Now that is some hard core OCing mi amigo. With all the room in the Powermac case I suspect it'll be quite clean. I also modded a Powermac case, but just using air cooling. If you do go that route - PLEASE post your progress in the mods and overclocking topic with lots of pictures!


Do you have a delayed start for the peltier to prevent condensation? haven't kept up with that for several years now as my needs have been served with air cooling.

I got the first case at a yard sale with everything but the memory and the hard drive at a yard sale for $10.00. The other case came from my cousin who picked it up at from a guy he knew who was throwing it out! My cousin is TOTALLY computer illiterate (read: idiot) and assumed that it could be a gem I might want. At the time I did not want it but I took it and thanked him and told him I might be able to do something with it. Little did I know.......



As far as the delayed start on the peltier the answer is no. Even though I live in one of the most humid states in the US I have found balance points regardless of the ambient temperature and humidity. No, I am not defying the laws of physics but rather using a combination of things to prevent the condensation. Peltier supply voltage is controlled by 2 sensors, a custom built micro controller board (by my friend) some modified software code and a BIG ASS room dehumidifier and a fairly constant room temp of 78F. The latter two of these items have the greatest impact. At 20% relative humidity and an ambient temperature of 80F the “dew point” or condensation point is 36 degrees F. At a higher relative humidity or a higher temperature the dew point rises. Case airflow is important as well as the air HAS to be moved. I know that this will be a problem as the powermac case was not designed for massive airflow. I got some ideas on how this can be remedied and still be quiet. This current build is very quiet and has adequate airflow but I do not believe that it is enough for the water/pelt build. I just got to go back and work on the numbers….OH boy! Fun wif numbers again!

The disadvantage of the low humidity levels are: (1) static electricity (2) premature aging of plastics and cables (3) printer cartridges have a VERY short lifespan (fixed by using a laser printer) and I’ve had to replace my speakers 3 times in 4 years. The good thing is that there is never any mold!

When you pass a certain point in overclocking there is always a trade off. It is generally a matter of how far you want to go.

Hey Guys, it's great that we're saying - "Nice," "Great Work," "Amazing" and whatnot, but if you want anybody to get voted on, PLEASE SAY - YOU GOT MY VOTE. Which by the way is what I'm saying - YOU GOT MY VOTE !!! Great job on the build !!! :-)

OOPS! Missed that, sorry!. I was under impression that "Like this" button is a way to vote... Might be we need a "Got my vote button" or poll option for topics like this to make the things more obvious?

OOPS! Missed that, sorry!. I was under impression that "Like this" button is a way to vote... Might be wee need a "Got my vote button" or poll option for topics like this to make the things more obvious?


Wish we did, but don't - need to read the rules so you know what to do when it comes to voting... Later... B)

Thanks 3.14r2. Your vote is appreciated! I will be getting a G5 case after the first of the year and I got some pretty radical ideas on the mods for it. Who would have thought……. A modded mac? True to spirit. Thanks again!

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