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MAC PRO Case Mod


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After being inspired by AquaMacs great Mac Pro case mod i joined up in his forum and began my own.. My goal was to create a OSX86 Mac Pro using all the Apple cooling found in the real deal. Aqua Mac has been a really big help providing me with wiring diagrams and help when i needed it most! Its far from done but looking great.








What do you think?


Head over to the AquaMac forums for lots of photos...


AquaMac Forums




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Looks good man, cant wait to get mine working.


Any more photos that you can post? along with details on how you did it? any problems you encountered? etc..


I know i could just go back over to the aqua forums(i was on there 5-minutes ago) but for the benefit of people on here you should post some stuff up.

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I'll put together a guide once its further along. Its tricky... lots of cutting and modifying cables.. but lots of fun. It should be looking better come the end of the week. I intend to take some better photos (iPhone cam is not great) I'll pull it apart and take some of the assembly with guide on how to achieve each part.



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  • 2 weeks later...

All the cabling is very well done.. I've just picked up a better digicam and im waiting on some MOSFET heat sinks.. I'll be taking it apart to install my new bits. I'll take step by step photos of it being put back together. INC the back...


Yeah i do have the side panel.. but for now.. i just like to look at it. These photos are hold now... since these i have installed 3 Noctua 120mm case fans a Noctua North bridge cooler and Thermalright Northbridge SLI cooler on the Southbridge and some Zalman Fan mates for the GPU and CPU.


More photos are coming.



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Thanks Panik,


I'll be working on it tomorrow during the day so i'll post some back panel images then. I removed the MacPro back panel with a dremel and used some rubber edging to smarten it all up. I'm working on a way of attaching my MOBO IO plate to the back to seal it all off.


There are plenty images over at the Aqua-Mac forums.



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  • 1 month later...

OMG! I just came across this Mac Pro mod. Things just keep getting better and better. Just when I think, darn that is the best looking Mac Pro mod I have seen, somebody goes and makes it look even more stock. By the time you Mac Pro modders are done with this nobody is going to be able to tell that you have a hackintosh in Mac clothing. Now why is it that all of the best Mac Pro mods are from the UK? Is there some sort of conspiracy here? ;-)


MacBookJoe, I can't wait for that guide that you are going to put up. I have not sunk my teeth into a hackintosh YET, but if I do I want to give it a real go at a really nice looking Mac Pro mod.


Currently I am trying to do some research to decide which motherboard is the best for a Mac Pro modded hackintosh. Originally I wanted to use an Asus P5K3 Deluxe WiFi motherboard for my hackintosh; however, it looks like all of the Mac Pro modders have stuck to micro ATX motherboards to keep it looking as stock as possible. Which boards do you suggest I look at. I don't want any board that has legacy useless ports on it like parallel printer ports.


Speaking of which, what are the maximum dimensions for a motherboard that fits in the Mac Pro case without modifying the enclosure at all? It sure would be nice to keep it stock.



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Here is the link to the topic I started when I began searching for an appropriate motherboard for this project. If any of you all have any ideas I would appreciate it.




Hmm, the S2 model would also work. I guess the ASUS P5B-VM is possible, but I am not sure the onboard RAID works well.



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Man, the Mac Pro case just looks so damn nice. I would just grab the case if I wasen't interested in Osx86. :huh:


I'm sorry, I don't understand. Why would being interested in OSX86 keep you from building a machine with the Mac Pro case? Isn't it a nice case for any machine whether it is a hackintosh or regular Macintosh? Now that a new one can be had for $199 I don't see the major obstacle as many nice aftermarket PC cases are close to that price. The challenge is finding the right motherboard and components that would work well with that case. It seems like people would want to do the hackintosh thing in hardware as well as software if at all possible. Macs are beautiful after all.

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I think that's what he's just agreeing and complimenting. The MacPro case is so nice, you don't even really need to be interested in Tiger or Leopard to want to mod one to use as your main machine case. It just so happens that the OS is awesome too.


Now if only I didn't have to harvest my kidneys to BUY a real MacPro!! ;)

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Why don't "Modders" ever show the back of the G5's???

I personally would like to see how the cabling is done!

Is it a fact of "out of sight out of mind"? ot does it look like a mess most of the time?




Well I guess you have a point about the back and the cabling but if you see this




and this





you might understand that some of these mods have been done really good, inside and outside.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ahh, AquaMacs work is the very best.... Mine has changed a little... I've installed a 9800GTX addes a north and south bridge HS and have started work on a plate to cover the hole in the RAM cage.. I'm making this out of Alu with the help of some engineers at work.. My intention is to fill the hole flush with thumb screws holding the RAM cage in place..


My guide is coming.. I'm just silly busy atm.



Head over to AquaMac's website for other MacPro case mods and great photos..




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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • 3 months later...

Okay then people, Sorry I've not yet uploaded any type of guide.. I've been silly busy then stupidly poor and time ran away from me..


so.. I thought I'd do i quick photo guide from start to finish. All images were taken with my iPhone.. so they really could be better.


STEP1: The MacPro Case.





STEP2: Basic mods


I started off with a M-ATX motherboard as you will see i later fitted a full sized ATX.


I marked out around the rear IO and had a quick test with the dremal.. looking back i wish i had done this differently but i just wanted to get it built.


The bottome right is marker pen, not a slip up.


I attached some edging to hide the sharp edges.


STEP3: The Guts.


As i mentioned i picked a M-ATX mobo the DS2R is a popular choice for the MacPro case. I followed suit as Aqua-Mac had alot of success with this mobo. There is a Hiper 620watt PSU and a ATX to ATX extension cable. A must for the PSU ATX cable is too short to reach the mobo, it also allows for the front power switch to be wired up.



I cut the back out and removed the top fan bracket to allow the PSU to fit. (was a bit of a nightmare)



I bought a kettle lead and socket from maplins, then had a fella from work machine this bit to allow for more room for the PSU.. it was also the quickest and easiest option at the time.




STEP4: Fitting the motherboard.


The MacPro had all the stock mounts for the Apple motherboard. these just popped off and come away clean.. they are the perfect hight for the motherboard (duh) so again.. was the simple option.



I removed all the mounts in the way of the M-ATX and attached them to the mobo.



I'm missing a couple photos here... I then used JB Cold Weld cleaned off the points in the case and sat the mobo inside. used a GFX card to hold it in place and then left it for a couple days.. (only needs about 12-18 hours)


STEP5: The Stock look.


Aqua-mac nailed the MacPro case mod long before I attempted it. He did such a great job i just had to give it a go! I wanted from the offset to keep the inside looking as stock as possible. This ment getting my hands on the bellow parts. WeFixMac is a UK ebay store and they are just ace! I bought the case from them for little over £100. They didnt list the below parts.. I sent them a message and they got me the bits i needed! not cheap mind! the RAM cage and front fans were £50 each and the CPU cover was £25.




These parts needed modding to fit with the M-ATX mobo and my HSF. below is the Mobo fitted and the front fans in place.



The RAM cage and CPU cover needed to be trimmed and parts removed in order to fit correctly.


yeah... thats a laggy band holding it in place whilst the glue set.


The front fans were 4-pin connections and i lacked the knowledge at the time to put 3-pin fan connections on them and how to reduce the fan speed. so... I bought 3 x Noctua NF-P12 120mm Silent Case Fans and fitted them instead.



Here you can see how the ATX cable was routed and where the power switch is wired in.




So... I put that all back together and ended up with this.



That ran great for a while! I was disappointed with the over-clocking abilities of the M-ATX mobo and my 7800GT was aging.. so i bought a BFG 9800GTX OC on release day (great card! just wish i had hung fire 4 months) i actually ordered the basic 9800GTX but OCUK sent me the OC! i love those guys! :-p



fitted the 9800GTX and was flying high!







and.... yeah.... i blew it up! the DS2R died! and took my Crucial Ballistix Tracer 8500 RAM with it! RMA'd the RAM (although they sent me back the non tracer RAM requires a lower voltage.. so i was happy) and started looking at a new mobo.. at this point Aqua-Mac unleashed his MacPro mk2! a great piece of work! he went for the stock look (like to think i had a little something to do with that :-) ) but blew us all away with an ATX motherboard fitted in a Mac Pro..


With the disappointing OC results from my DS2R and a E8200 CPU just wanting to be run at 3.8ghz I thought I'd once again follow suit. this time.. I thought I'd go with DFI and in order to retain the stock look I'd wanted all along i went about it a different way.


Aqua-mac fitted his ATX by removing a thin piece of the base (from the case) in order to line up the the PCIe slots to allow for 2 graphics cards.. he had to do this because of the mobo layout. it also ment that his first graphic card slot was the second expansion slot on the mobo.. meaning the GFX card did not fit flush against the RAM cage as it does in the Mac Pro. i wanted to retain that look. on the plus side for Aqua-Mac he'll be able to drop a X58 mobo in his case with no further mods are they share the same layout as his ASUS. i just gotta keep my fingers crossed.


so.... I removed the top self. measured up and removed a part of it.. allowing my new DFI mobo to fit in behind it with obstructing anything else.



I cut that out with a jigsaw... you can see that i can still use the first 2 drive bays with the apple supplied SATA connectors. i can also still use the second two bays using right-angled SATA cables.



I used a old ATX asus p4 board (used on my first hackintosh) to line up the mobo mounts and once again attached them using JB cold weld.



I had alot of issues with dust! i live with a bunch of friends and we just dont clean! lads will be lads! so my case just sucked it all in.. so i bought two of these and fitted them.



I went with a DFI Lan Party LT X48-T2R it was the best X48 motherboard available with the layout i required and DDR2.



So swapped out the old for the new and all was well. i also loved the separate sound card. i problem i had with the DS2R was my rear IO cut out was a little too low and so i had to cut down the speaker cable to fit it. this way my rear IO is plenty roomy and the daughter board is great!


With the shelf cut out slightly i was able to route my cable alot better as you can see its not to shabby.



I found this little ThermalRight SLI cooler to be great on the southbridge.




And there it is! almost complete... but will it ever trully be.. X58 round the corner! and i'm eyeing up a 280GTX.



I got back in touch with my ppl at WeFixMac and they hooked me up with a faulty Mac Pro 1000 watt PSU... £45 its the most ive paid for a little piece of alu... but completes the stock look.





So thats it... for now..


All in depth info can be found over at Aqua-Mac Forums. we have the best bunch of MacPro modders over there that are producing some really great work.


My next steps are simple.. more storage. i hope to use all 4 bays with Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB drives and a single Western Digital VelociRaptor 300GB sat in a Zalman ZM-2HC2 Silent Hard Disk Heatpipe Cooler above my DVD drive.


Hope you like it.


share your thoughts.




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