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Building a PC in a G4 Powermac case.

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June 25, 2008 5:39:35 PM

I have a G4 Quicksilver which is now dead, the PSU is goosed and a replacement Apple PSU is rare/expensive, and trying to get an ATX to Apple PSU adapter cable came to nothing.

So I've been looking into stripping out the Mac from the case and fitting it out as a Micro ATX PC, not upto dogs danglies SLI etc level, but enough to run games decently. I've looked around at several sites and forums and I know that it isn't a straight install and some cutting around will probably be needed on the case. But that hasn't put me off (yet!).

Anyway, I've got a parts list started, but not got everything I need sorted. Here's my list so far -

Gigabyte GA31M-S2L mobo - chosen for small size which would mean less hacking at the case internals.

Intel Q6600 2.4GHz Core2Quad processor - OEM G0 SLACR version (the one that overclocks)

Samsung Spinpoint F1 500 or 750GB drive

Corsair Twin XMS2 RAM, probably 2GB

Zotac 8800GT graphics card


I've got a DVD-R drive from the G4, a LiteOn 16x, it is short, about half an inch shorter than the G4's drive carrier. (this will hopefully help again with the motherboard/case issues you get with mATX G4 installs).

Thats as far as I've got, picked from being recommended elsewhere and reviews. The rest of the list (and the above if there's something glaringly obviously wrong to you guys) is where I need help.

PSU - I've heard good things about Coolermaster Silent Pro, but they seem to be new and I can't find them for sale on any UK sites. I'm not sure of the dimensions of my G4 PSU as I haven't stripped the case yet. Are ATX PSU's a uniform size with the fixings, fan and socket position the same? Another noob question :??:  , my Mac PSU has no power switch on the back, just the kettle plug socket for the mains supply, all ATX PSU's that I've seen do, what gives? Big pic of the back of a quicksilver similar to mine

CPU cooler - I've heard the standard Intel coolers are crap, so my plan was to get an Intel OEM without the cooler, and then get my own. With the G4's door closed, the CPU woulld be facing the power supply, so I'm guessing here that I'd need a 'low profile' cooler. Any recommendations?

This is as far as I've got so far, all help and advice would be appreciated :D  .

More about : building powermac case

June 25, 2008 6:25:54 PM

Looks like a decent setup and should be a fun project

Id probably pick up is a ATI 4870 over the 8800GT. Faster, and future proof. You also want a 2 slot video card so the heat from it gets vented out of the case, not left inside.

You should be able to get by with a 500 watt PSU. Id look at a PC Power and Cooling, or maybe a Corsair. You will probably have to cut a hole in the backplate of the case as big as the PSU. This will expose the venting on the PSU. Look at the back of a regular PC case and youll see what Im talking about.

Being that space is limited in the case, and airflow is probably low, I would stick with the stock heatsink and avoid overclocking. There are some good low profile heatsinks out there if your really interested. Look here: http://www.frostytech.com/top5heatsinks.cfm and pick a low profile type from the low noise column will probably work for you. The Zipang is probably your best bet.

Put some pics up. That will be the best way to get some help.
June 25, 2008 8:01:33 PM

I'd love to see some pics of this project. I've got an old G4 that is just rotting in my spare room that i've debated doing something similar with. Please post how it goes if you don't mind.
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June 25, 2008 10:01:15 PM

Thanks for the tips Kaldor. The 4870 is above what I want to pay for a graphics card, the Zotac 8800GT is available for about £100, the 4870 is at least double that from what I can find, a 4850 on the other hand looks very good for a litle more over the 8800, might go that way as the 4850 is a newer card.
June 25, 2008 10:21:33 PM

Maybe a couple of pci slot cooling fans might be in order. I think your hardest parts will be mounting the mobo, wiring the power/reset buttons, and perhaps psu mounting.
June 26, 2008 8:37:02 AM

I've found this motherboard that 'might' be an alternative to the Gigabyte, its an Asus P5B-MX/WIFI-AP. It is a similar price and 1cm longer, but has built in Wifi, so would save a Wifi PCI card, everything else seems similar spec.

Good idea or stick with the Gigabyte?
June 26, 2008 2:57:23 PM

If you need wireless, buy the ASUS. I personally dislike wireless for my desktops as when I need to move big chunks of info across the network, I dont want to wait forever.

!