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That is beautiful. This is just spit-balling, but how much would it cost me to purchase a similar case? With the anodizing.

Edited by n30p1r4t3

can you shorten the standoffs at all? one of the things I didn't do when I epoxied my standoffs was to remove the excess material from the bottom of the posts, since I was reattaching them on top of the aluminum not in the holes. Not much of a difference, but its about 2 mm - enough that I notice it when attaching a PCIe video card. Looks like you have a HUGE gap. If there is a way to easily shorten the standoffs, that would be my choice. I know you have anodized and painted most everything by now so this may not be ideal - but think about that misalignment if you ever get a video card that has plugs right up to the edge - you'll be unable to use it... and that would be a bummer.

 

you don't want my opinion on the USB 3.0 header - because I am firmly in the 'cut nothing' camp.

 

EDIT

 

why don't you attach those USB ports to a blank PCI bracket? the MacPro has 5 slots, your MB has only 4 - so you wouldn't be sacrificing a slot down the road, and you now have justification for keeping the original 5?

 

waddya think?

  • Like 1

Well, I can't shorten the standoffs, at least not in a manner that will maintain the integrity of the threads. To be honest though, the system I have going isn't so bad. With the flash photo I took above, you can really see it, but I'm looking directly at the case right now at eye level and I had to double-take because I thought it had fallen out (nope, just blends nicely). I know what you mean about the vid card issue, but my trusty 5770 has DVI and HDMI lower down, and this is my go-to card to be honest - I've been using them for three years, and since I don't game anymore I'm not too worried about replacements.

 

I know how you feel about the USB 3.0 header, and I would probably take it into a shop to have it done professionally. The only issue with your PCI bracket idea is that I already am using the superfluous bracket for USB 2.0. That said, what I might do (before I cut anything mind you) is to investigate using a USB pcie card for USB 2.0 (which has less compatibility problems with OSX) and keep the use the on-board USB 3.0 (known working) in the spare bracket instead of USB 2.0

 

Good thoughts - definitely good to talk things out!!! Good news: I got the motherboard plate attached!!! Pics to follow...

 

UPDATE

 

 

Well, after much fretting and frustration, I finally got the motherboard plate mounted, and more importantly - ALIGNED. As you can probably see from the images below, I had to drill several times for each point, simply because my tolerances are/were minute. A little too far up, audio ports would hit the PCI bracket, a little too far down, and the PCI cards wouldn't be aligned.

 

I finally figured it out, found a couple of gray screws with almost no protrusion that would interfere with the motherboard, and finally cut a hole for the H60 mounting bracket. Please excuse my terrible dremel work - I didn't sleep very well and my garage is around 18 degrees Fahrenheit right now...

 

 

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Once I have double-checked that everything fits, it's on to the power supply!!

cant modify the standoffs from the case to the tray - but what about using different standoffs from the tray to the MB? something like what you did for the radiator perhaps? turn screws upside down so the head is on the bottom of the tray, put a nut on the top side of the tray to secure it to the tray, then add washers as needed and use a nut on the top of the MB?? does that sound possible??

cant modify the standoffs from the case to the tray - but what about using different standoffs from the tray to the MB? something like what you did for the radiator perhaps? turn screws upside down so the head is on the bottom of the tray, put a nut on the top side of the tray to secure it to the tray, then add washers as needed and use a nut on the top of the MB?? does that sound possible??

 

Currently I am using no standoffs on the tray, the motherboard is screwed directly to the tray itself (with plastic insulating of course) and I still have an overhead of about 1/4". Honestly the only solution would be to replace the Mac Pro standoffs entirely with shorter ones (something I don't want to do). Even without the tray (which is quite thin) the motherboard would be too high with these standoffs. I believe they are the same height as the taller standoffs on the G5 (the ones everyone removes for this very reason).

 

Honestly in my mind, having this piece of inconspicuous rubber is preferable to JB Welding. They're both less than ideal, but in my mind fiddling around with new standoffs is even more so.

 

Just a quick test fit of everything - I'm loving how it's all starting to have some cohesion!

 

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What if you used the screws that hold in the top shelf to secure the a motherboard tray as well? Here's a graphic of it (attached). How raised does the mobo need to be?

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Edited by Ira Aduro
  • Like 1

What if you used the screws that hold in the top shelf to secure the a motherboard tray as well? Here's a graphic of it (attached). How raised does the mobo need to be?

 

Ira - thanks for taking the time to put that together. It's definitely an idea for the future, but is beyond my capabilities currently. Maybe I will ask David from The Laser Hive to custom-fab me one...embedding those motherboard standoffs in his motherboard trays is some sort of black magic to me ;)

 

Edit: just realized that didn't show my enthusiasm very well. This is more than likely the best way to go, and totally makes sense!

I know what you mean about the vid card issue, but my trusty 5770 has DVI and HDMI lower down, and this is my go-to card to be honest - I've been using them for three years, and since I don't game anymore I'm not too worried about replacements.

 

I have the 6770 - and that's just a tweaked 5770. I think its a great card, its cheap and it plays nice with OSX. A few years old, but still blows away the HD4000.

Yeah, it has definitely been the easiest experience for me - too bad about the TDP though, it's a little high for the performance you're getting.

 

Ok, so I'm off to mount the PSU and the proper motherboard, wish me a whole load of luck!!!

Thanks for all the encouragement everyone!

 

A small update: I have everything mounted, tested and am very pleased overall! The H60 is NOT as loud as everyone made it out to be, so it's definitely a keeper. The PSU that I sleeved for project gravitas has a new home in the Mac Pro, and the colors are looking fantastic.

 

Left to do:

 

- Permanently affix the rear PSU plug

- Decide how and where to affix HDD cages

- Maybe put a fan grill on the top fan?

- Reassemble front DVD mechanisms

- Install front panel USB 3.0 mod (when it gets here)

- Take some KILLER pictures

Well as promised, here are a few pictures. This is still a work-in-progress, but should give you a good idea of cable-management and general mods done.

 

Let's start with the ugliest part: the top shelf.

 

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As you can see here, the bulk of the modding that remains lies in this section. The power supply needs to be affixed to the case so that it's not just resting on the top shelf (luckily there are holes underneath for screws). I also need to find a stock Mac Pro PSU for parts, as this whole section is usually cordoned off by an aluminum shield. Moving left you can see that cable management up top is lacking. I mean, it's not a tangled mess, but I still want to streamline a few things. I also need to put a grill on that fan. The HDD enclosure is also in need of some permanent modding so that it's not just resting there, although some industrial-strength tape might do the trick. You will also notice that I haven't replaced the DVD mechanism yet - mostly because I'm a little tired today but also because I haven't figured out whether I should paint the bezels or leave them silver.

 

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The back of the case is getting there. As you can tell, I painted the USB PCI bracket to match the theme, and on my to-do list are the other brackets shown in silver. Up top you will notice that the power socket hasn't been fixed yet, something that will probably involve some serious disassembly, JB Weld and a couple of clamps. It's definitely a part that takes a lot of strain when inserting a power cable, so it needs to be well attached. Finally the rear I/O remains un-cut, and will probably stay that way. I am waiting on some right-angle USB 3.0 cables to attach to me USB 3.0 panel mount female ports - these will allow me to have USB 3.0 in the stock USB cut-outs. I am also waiting for some 3.5mm female panel-mount jacks so that I can have audio without having to wrangle the audio plugs through a hole.

 

Finally, the part I am most pleased with:

 

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As you can see, the single-sleeved power cables that I did for an earlier project are looking totally rad in gray. I love how the Corsair fan tones in, and I think I've done a decent job of wire management so far. The white USB cables will be sleeved as soon as I feel like messing around with little pins, and that will be the last major modification to this area. I like Father-Time's idea for spacers, and if I don't find anything better it's definitely on the list of possibilities! I'm currently using that little G5 Processor cover to hide the PSU - it's ok, but as I already mentioned the stock Mac Pro divider would be better.

 

Thanks for watching - I'll be updating again soon!

 

  • Like 1

what I really wanna know is if you have any film for that EK4 you have back there...

mmm sexy sexy sleeved cabling. Instead of having to buy a macpro psu enclosure surely it wouldn't be hard to make one or at least the facade. If you are intent on buying one powerbookmedic probably has them for a reasonable price.

mmm sexy sexy sleeved cabling. Instead of having to buy a macpro psu enclosure surely it wouldn't be hard to make one or at least the facade. If you are intent on buying one powerbookmedic probably has them for a reasonable price.

 

It wouldn't be hard, but it would be hard to do right. I noticed on one of aquamac's mods that he used a second DVD carrier instead of a PSU shield and it seemed to fit - since those are only $20 I might consider doing the same.

 

*EDIT* here's the link: http://www.s155158671.websitehome.co.uk/macprohackintosa.html

 

*EDIT 2* I actually have one of these on hand: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-Apple-Mac-Pro-Memory-Cage-922-8539-Fan-922-8521-/400418045179?pt=US_CPU_Fans_Heatsinks&hash=item5d3ac67cfb

 

It's kinda big, but I might be able to cut it without making it look too ugly....

bonus on that link - there is a macpro front panel pin-out, something that was requested here not too long ago!

  • Like 1

Aquamac was basically one of the pioneers of modding mac towers - in our conversations he told me that he doesn't know if he was the first to do some of those mods, but he definitely was one of those who popularized it in the beginning.

  • Like 2

Aquamac was the first to give special attention to the esthetical aspect of the mods, starting with the G4 Quicksilver and G4 Mirror (MDD), when he overclocked and watercooled them.

 

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  • Like 1

Well a small plans update. I was thinking about the Mac Pro aesthetic and I realized that I really do love how the top is sectioned off with aluminum shields. I also realized that with my current hard-drive placement, I wouldn't be able to have a DVD/blu-ray drive without some serious cutting to said shields, something I don't want to do!

 

Luckily, my Lian-Li PC-V353 is donating yet another part - the hard-drive cages. With only minor modifications (two holes to drill), I can attach this cage to the top shelf with the handy standoffs already attached! It should look something like this (excuse the picture lighting):

 

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With this solution I can maintain the top aesthetic (once I save up for the top shields), have a blu-ray drive (or two!), as well as have easy access to the hard-drives. I also have space to the right of this location for a second cage when I need it, as the Lian-Li has two. I'll be having the shields anodized once I purchase them to match the outer gray, further emphasizing the synergy of the two tones!

 

Right now I'm waiting for some spray-paint to dry, after which I will drill the two holes needed and post some picture updates! Thanks for watching.

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