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Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

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    Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

    I've always liked the look of the Powermac cases, and I've wanted to do a G5 Case Mod for some time, as I was about to build a new system to replace old, I thought it would look good housed in a G5 Case.

    Managed to pick up a clean (non working) 2004/5 G5 for not a lot of money





    Before I got onto the mod, I stripped everything from case (and what a long job that was, they are well put together)





    My intention is to retain the bare bones case, I did consider utilising some of the components from the G5, but because the system that is to be installed is relatively high end, I decided on all new components, just retaining the G5 front panel switches, (Power switch/USB/Firewire port)

    My planned build components:-

    Motherboard-Asus Sabretooth X79 Socket 2011
    Processor-Intel I7 3930K
    Graphics-Geforce GTX 670
    Hard Drives- Sandisk G25 Extreme 120GB SSD x 2
    2TB+1TB HDD
    Memory-Corsair 16GB DDR 1600
    PSU-Corsair CXM 750W Modular
    Cooling- Corsair H60 CPU water cooler
    Dell 30 inch & 24 inch monitors
    Last edited by Les McLean; 03-05-2013, 17:39.
    Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
    Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

    #2
    Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

    The Case Mod

    Before installing all the components, the case itself needed a few alterations to enable installation. I wanted to retain the 'look' of the G5 as much as possible, so any modifications had to be minimal.

    Because the rear panel of the G5 case is not non apple Motherboard friendly, I decided to use an old ATX case frame I had along-with the ATX motherboard tray to replace part of the G5 rear panel.

    Rear panel plan




    Motherboard tray

    Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
    Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

      The Mod Continued

      Tools/Equipment used

      Hacksaw
      Drill
      Tin snips
      G Clamps
      Metal files
      Emery Cloth
      Silver Gaffer Tape
      JD Weld
      Halfords Very High Temperature Aluminium Paint
      Elastoplast x 3
      Expletives x 127

      First Job was to cut the G5 rear panel to enable fitting of the ATX rear panel, and the cutting out of the ATX rear panel/MB tray, and then setting up a bespoke spraying shed to spray the ATX rear panel/tray. And for anyone considering a mod like this, I found the Halfords High Temperature Aluminium Paint an excellent match for Apple G5 colours, not perfect, but near enough.




      The cutting of both the G5 and ATX frame was straight forward, but labour intensive, using a combination of power drill, hacksaw, snips, pliers, file and an abundance of expletives.
      Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
      Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

        Cont.....

        After cutting out the rear panel etc, and carefully measuring to ensure the Asus MB would fit, I used J-B Weld Epoxy Resin to fix the ATX rear panel/MB tray to the G5, using spacers behind the MB tray, because of the design of the G5 the tray needed lifting away from the side panel a little more than usual. Silver Gaffer tape, and a final spray to the rear panel/inside and the mod installation was ready to rumble





        I then came to my first real pitfall, I temporarily fit the MB, and connected most of the components to ensure fit and everything worked, and I was chuffed when the BIOS screen appeared on my monitor, showing everything connected as should be, unfortunately it was showing 2 DIMM slots as 'abnormal' not recognising the memory inserted into those slots. After swapping memory around, using different sticks, the DIMM slots were still showing faulty (The memory is good and correct type), so the MB has been returned as faulty, a replacement is arriving next Tuesday.
        At least it gave me the opportunity to ensure everything went together OK, the only exception is the Water Cooler radiator, which I was going to vent via the rear panel, unfortunately, when in place it covers a MB Dimm slot, so would need to remove the radiator/fan to get at the Memory. So I'm going to place the radiator/fan inside & against the front panel.

        The delay means I can crack on with the next part of the mod, in that I'll be replacing part of G5 top tray and fitting hard drive cages on the top tray, behind where the original DVD drive was.
        Also looking at the G5 front panel switches (power/USB /Firewire) and sorting out the wiring to connect them to the MB.
        The whole process has been quite a challenge, but loads of fun, although I'm no expert when attempting something like this, it's immensely satisfying when you do get a few things together and working.
        Last edited by Les McLean; 03-05-2013, 17:52.
        Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
        Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

          sounds like my system except the graphics card, monitor and watercool bit.
          I use a Cooler Master HAF case and Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold 700W Modula PSU.

          Looks an interesting project, good luck with that.
          Please note: I do not have or use Photoshop
          Also note: I currently do not own a camera, hopefully will be back in 2022


          flickr

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

            Good job Les.
            Canon EOS 5D Mark III, EF 135mm F/2 L, EF 16-35mm F/4 L, EF 50mm f/1.8, EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, EF 28mm f/2.8
            http://www.aveyardphotography.co.uk
            https://www.flickr.com/photos/aveyardphotography
            https://www.facebook.com/AveyardPhotography

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

              The project rumbles on, finished cutting the 2 holes at the bottom of the case, to allow airflow for the CPU (black grill) and the CPU radiator (sllver grill)





              My hard drive racks arrived this morning, so will be installing those over the next couple of days.

              Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
              Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

                Almost complete


                Everything in, and apart from a couple of jobs, running sweet and incredibly fast.





                The build went without any major hiccup (except an initial faulty MB)


                Always a bit anxious about cooling as it's not a stock kind of case, so I have installed 2 fans behind the front grill, 2 exhaust fans, and on the cpu radiator at the bottom, I have a push/pull with two fans either side of the radiator. So it keep temps at good cool levels (35C at idle, 40-50C on load)


                Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
                Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

                  3 jobs to finish the project
                  First is to wire up the front panel (on switch/reset/USB), at the moment I'm using a panel switch trashed from an old case (see image)
                  Second is to do something with the power lead at the rear of the case, I think I'll solder in a common rear case power socket you see on most cases?
                  Finally, remove everything and a final internal spray job.





                  The setup runs incredibly fast, at stock speeds I'm getting a geekbench score of around 15K, with a modest clock increase to 4.3Ghz it's at 22K, so I'm well pleased, considering my geekbench scores were 9k/11k on my old i7 860 system.





                  Total cost (excluding monitor & two hard drives) was just under 1200, which is expensive, but they are good quality components and hopefully will last me a few years.


                  As a comparison, Novatech have a similar specced setup at 1714.99 , and Apple's mighty Mac Pro, a similar specced machine to mine would cost $4524 (2987)
                  Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
                  Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Power Mac G5 Mod to Intel I7 3960

                    6 months down the line, and it hasn't missed a beat, taken everything I've thrown at it, and keeps cantering along.

                    The only thing I've changed is upgrade the memory from 16GB to 32 GB.

                    The only thing I would do differently if I build another G5 mod would be be to use a more robust donor frame for the MB/rear panel, the one I used was a bit flimsy, but has done the job.
                    Concentrate on equipment and you'll take technically good photographs. Concentrate on seeing the light's magic colours and your images will stir the soul. - Jack Dykinga
                    Light makes photography. Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography- George Eastman

                    Comment

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