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Graphite 5 (Apple G5 mod)

38 posts in this topic


Hello Everybody!

After long years of waiting I could get my hands on a PowerMacG5 chassis! I planed for a long long time to have one , but because of the price I coluld not get a chance. But in this July at a hungarian IT site’s advertise my friens saw one with a suprising low price, they called me and I negotiated with the owner in the next minute.I one week the chassis has arrived.
This is the chassis:









In the afternoon I removed all parts from the chassis. It was not an easy task, because I never worked with Powermac machines, I had to stop from time to time and had to think how to remove the next piece from its place..... but finally I has success and that was only important.
Pictures of taking apart the chassis:






I have succesfully removed all the screws, so I can moved out all the parts left in the case. Hurray!!
The case has been naked down totally. I can disable further to an inner core and an outer cover, but without the specific tools this is not gonna happen right now.The case has at least 3 types of screws, which need 3 different type of screwdrivers, so more is needed as a crosshead screwdriver.
My primary goal is to build a PC in this case , without modifying it too much, I am think of the backplate especially. I have to work out the fixing of the mainboard, the PSU and drives.

Thanks for reading!

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i've thought a couple times about taking apart an old g5 and modding it too... looking forward to see what you do... poison apple theme! or rotten apple... or the big apple skyline around the case with leds hopping around in windows.... tons of good ideas out there!

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I've also been looking at a G5 case, I'm gonna keep an eye on this project.



i've thought a couple times about taking apart an old g5 and modding it too... looking forward to see what you do... poison apple theme! or rotten apple... or the big apple skyline around the case with leds hopping around in windows.... tons of good ideas out there!



this should be interesting! Making things fit with minimal modding will be a challenge.


Thank for the feedback guys!



In my previous quote I promised to show how will I put the mainboard in place. Previously I saw a G5 case modification here on the Bit-Tech where the owner used the original spacers to put in the PC parts. I choose this too, in my opinion this is much nicer and stylish than installing a mainboard tray.I will do it with the help of one of my friends. Previous day I removed the mainboard spacers with a pliers to solder them back like an ATX format .For this operation we had to completely dismember the case to reach the solders.
First I removed the massive ventilation grid at the back, than the screws which hold together the case.The case stands together in 4 pieces the 2 side plates and the characteristic „ears” are one, the smaller side plates the front and back panel the bottom side are the other. This can be take apart to 2 other pieces. The elements are tithed together wit screws not with rivets.





To use the spacers I had to polish the surplus stuff off. My friend has a well equipped workshop in his house at the basement, there is a grinder wich has came very handy at this time.With this grinder I removed the surplus aluminium in no time.



I planned to flame weld the spacers to the backplate, for this we had to know the exact size and place of them.We searched out from the stock a not working atx mainboard and to expansion cards , mounted the spacers to the board, than greased the spacers with thermal conductive paste, put the board in the right place. The paste sticked to the backplate so we can draw around the soldering. My friend roughed up the surface with a Dremel, and after the cleaning he started the warm up of the surface.




After a few minutes we realized this will not work because the aluminium dispersed the heat on all over the surface, and did not warmed up the the necessary heat,and at the warming point it is became a little bit wavy. We stopped it immediately and tried to straighten the surface with weight. After the cool down , we tried to put the case together to see if the damage is acceptable. Fortunately with the screws we could pull it together.

So the soldering will not work. The solution will be the 2 component glue.


The next step to make the backplate (I/O panel , fan mounting). For this I have to cut the case, I hope this part (for me the most critical) will work out fine .
It was not an easy task to measure the exact place, but with the ATX standard and another case I worked out this problem too.
My first task was the remove the original plastic edge protectors.Later I will use them up.
After This I have measured the rectangles edge place. This was the reference later I measured to it everything.


To draw the exact sizes , I cut out the vent from cardboard, and draw it around with a rotring.


I sticked to the well known saying. Measure twice to cut only one. I measured at least 3 times before started to use the machine .Before the work to have enough space I taken apart the case to 2 pieces.





Looks like the vent is on the right place. The mainboard is not completely at his place but I hope I did not ****ed up anything! :rock:

Things to do:
- Stick the spacers into the case
- Create a backplate in it's original form or at least to build it back to look like the original.
- Cut a 12cm fan hole instead of the original two 8 cm.
- I have to make the outlet look good. Have to fill the vent at the black plate and between the outlet, I think a 20x20 mm L profile will do the work.

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Here I am with a minor update from the powercoating

I' we tried to find the best and the cheapest way to paint the case. The powercoating is makes really strong surface, easy to make it and quite cheap process. So I search for someone, who have the proper equipment for this in my town. I surprised that how close it that shop: this is in the next street of mine.

On 31.08.2012 I bring the case in this shop and started to work. Firstly, we prepared the surface with sandpaper. It was fun to remove the apple logo :lol:


After this my friend Chris screwed in the screws wich I have brought and did the suspension from copper wire. Than the two parts was hanged up to the frame.



Before painting he washed up the full surface with white spirit to remove all staining and dust, and started the paint job. While he was painting I was filming the whole thing.


A video from the painting process:


When he finished , the next step was the burning in the furnace. It takes about 30 minutes on 200°C


Then, after the burning the surface looks lik this:



Maybe you can ask a question: where is the another part of the case? Well, I have work with that, so I paint it after all.

Thank for Watching!

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After the powder coating I payed attention to the backplate. I cut out a big piece from the chassis and stated t make my own PC compatible version. Let the pictures speaks for themselves:




Cut out a hole for the 12cm fan and use 10x10x1,5mm L bar for the edge:



How its fit in the case:


Cut out some extra steel pieces.


I buy a two component epoxy glue. Stick the pieces to the chassis and also I glued the motherboard standoffs into the case after the powdercoating :



L bars in position. Fix them temporary with masking tape:


For the perfect final result I need to make another L bar thing to here:





Test fitting, perfect so far:


Make 3 holes for te screws:






When I finish this I glued every piece into position:



After that the glue has dried I use fiberglass bondo to fill the gaps between the chassis and the steel plate:


The bondo has dried, so its time for sanding...


After the fourth layer of the bondo I thought i get a proper surface so I paint it with prmer:


I fit the mobo and some cards into the case to check my work. I was so happy when I saw the results::clap:






One of the hardest part of the work is finished.

Thanks for reading!

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Super job so far. Thanks for sharing.


I know it's late and all but did you ever loo more in to welding aluminum?  Cause I found http://www.alumiweld.com/  it looks promising.  Also they take international orders.


Thanks Dooglo! This site is very promising, maybe I use these goodies in the future. 

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Sorry guys for the lack of update, I was very busy for a wile! 

So, there is the some great news about the case! The Nvidia is support my work!


I've got a Geforce GTX 650 Ti videocard from them!
Thank you Nvidia and also thank you Ramiris Europe Kft for sending me this great card!








If you are think that is the full story, you are wrong! I've got another package of goodies!
PC Gear, one of the biggest hardware store in Hungary sent me a beautiful XigmateK Dark Knight - Night Hawk Edition CPU cooler!






Thank you Pc Gear!




The courier has arrived to me with 2 big boxes of components.



In one of the boxes was a Cooler Master GX520w PSU from the CM.





Thank you Cooler Master!


The second box has arrived from the Austrian company Noctua. I use the Noctua fans for long years and I am very satisfied with their products, this why I have contacted them if they can provied me some of their items. They were very gentle to send me 2 NF-S12B and 2 NF-A6x25 FLX fans. The first two will provide cooling for the case , the 6 cm fans will cool the PSU.









Noctua, thank you!


The 3rd package has arrived from a Hungarian pc component shop , the PCX.hu.



They provided me an Asrock FM2A75 Pro mainboard. Great!





Thanks yor the sponsorship PCX!


In the last days has arrived the package from the last sponsor. This time it has come from England, from the headquarter of Kingston Technology. The careful packaging has contained two sets (16gb ) Kingston DDR3 Hyperx 10th anniversary memory, witch will be more then enough for me. In an other package has arrived a 120Gb SSD also from the HyperX3k series.






Thank you Kingston Technology!


I want to say Thank You for all the sponsors from here too.

I did a picture with all the sponsored components on it. When I have started searching for sponsors I never imagined to win so many supporter for this project I am very happy to see this outcome.


Only one thing was needed from here to complete the machine. I needed a CPU. This one I have bought from a shop.
I have chosen a Athlon II X4 -750k CPU, I think this is perfect in this configuration.


So the list of components:

Mainboard: Asrock FM2A75-Pro4-M

CPU: AMD Athlon !! X4-750K @3,4 GHz + Xigmatek Dark Knight Night Hawk Edition

GPU: Nvidia Geforce GTX 650 Ti

Memory: Kingston HyperX 10th Edition 4+4 GB DDR3 - 1600MHz CL9

SSD+HDD: Kingston HyperX 3K 120 GB SSD + Samsung 320 GB 7200 rpm HDD

PSU: Cooler Master GX 550 Bronze



 I have started to shape an inner cover plate.This has two main reason.
The first is that the case almost no cable management. I did not wanted the cable to go in chaos in the inner section, this why I have decided to make these cover plates.
The other reason , witch was a problem at the mainboard too, that the usual fixing points are missing from this case. They are needed to fix the drives , fan controls , fans .... etc.
So I decided to solve the two problems in one step, they will work as covering plates and they will hold the consoles for the components to be buld in.
In the beginning I planned to create 3 plates. One horizontal to the mainboard, on this one I wanted to fix the fan controller and maybe the SSD. One other behind the front panel to fix the fans.
The third one was to do as the bottom plate to cover the PSU cables and to hold the Himuro with the HDD.





Fortunately the CM PSU is fits to the G5’s original PSU box so it can go back to it's place and I can use the original cover plate too. With this I will get closer to my goal to use as many original components as I can during the rebuild.

After the making of the cover plates I have to mention one more thing. Thanks to one of my good friend the case has a new front panel, witch is special because the original functions works on the PC too!(Meaning the power button, FireWire,USB). This has been upgraded from USB 2.0 to 3.0. Thank you very much Bari!





On the remaining parts I had to do some more modding to be usable on my later work.
The first mod was the place of the turn on panel.
The plexi was in the way so I have to cut it out and now the covering parts can be put to place.





The other task is with the board. The board wich was used as a model is not as wide as the final Asrock board so I have to cut a piece from the cover plate again to fit the board to it’s place.




Finally I had to do an ear with I can fix the plate behind the front panel to the horizontal plate to avoid its side swing.


The unnecessary drilled holes will be covered with some kind of stickers so they wont worsen the final look.

The next task was to fix in the Himuro to the case.
I have thought about it very much. I had 2 plans. First I wanted to turn it on the side and wanted to fix it on the Psu’s cover plate. The second plan was to fix on the vertical plate ,parallel with the mainboard.
The best choice was the 2nd plan.
I wanted to make a frame for the fixing witch I can move in and out from the case without taking out the Himuro from it and without taking apart the whole case again.
For this I had to ask for help again, because I don't have any tool to bend metal.
My friend could do it for me in no time, so I could moved on with the work.


I made 4 ears than I have drilled the holes for the rubber bands. At the probe everything was at place, so I made the 6 drill to fix the frame. First I merged the place on the plexi, after it I strengthened together the 2 pieces.





At this point I made one mistake, the screw’s head was too large so if the Himuro is on it's place I can not screw out the frame.


Fortunately with the change of the mounting sequence I could fix it.
The pictures are shows the right sequence:








Thats all for now. I hope you like it!

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Hello Guys! Thank you for your positive feedbacks! :)


There was a lot of little things that I had to work out on the case, but I got a job (finally!) and I didn't get enough time for it, just at the weekends and in the evenings.

First, I "carbonized" my cover plates:



I've made some mistakes, but after the photo I solved them with the heatgun.



The next step was to customize my PSU. As you can remember, I've planned to mount the Cooler Master PSU's PCB into the Mac's original PSU case. I proudly says, It's working :)
I made some standoffs to mount the PCB into the case:



I glued them into the house. As you can see, the distance between the cover and heatsink is just about 2millimetrs:


After that I started to customized the power supply' cables. The original state:



Cut the cables to the proper size:


Finished product:


After that I made some modifications on the PSU' cover plate. First I cut out this ugly bump, and the holes for the cables both on the PSU house and the cover plate:



This was very simple idea, so I decided to make 3 plexi squares to hold the cables in position.


To remove the cover plate easily I have to expand the holses:


This is how it looks right now:


The last thing that I' ve made is an extension cord betveen the PSU and the original Mac's socket.


"Yeah, it's made in Ghetto style" you might say but it works perfectly :)


After That I put my rig together temporary:


Try to put the plexi plate into position....


....and it didn't work. Something is wrong! Grrr

The VGA's power cable is the culprit, I have to fix it:


Thats for now, thanks for watching!

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Nice update. Getto psu/ac is good, besides, it's covered up. Tight squeeze! CF-noc is going to look sweet in this build.

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Hello Everyone!

Finally I have got a few moments, so I can update the blog. In this scenario I show you the final movements of the Graphite5 modding.
Last time I have finished the update at the point when I have put together the machine to do some testing. After the subscribing of the errors and thoughts, I disassembled it, and next day I started to paint the remaining parts of the frame and the smaller parts.
It was a great weather outside, ideal conditions to work on. I prepared the surfaces, the roughening and the masking of the plates. On places where I found damage on the surface, I repaired them with fiber repair kit before putting on the primer. After the 2 primer layer has dried I used the Maestro paint again and It was perfect again, I got a beautiful homogene surface. The parts received 3 layers of painting , between the layers I left them dry for 10-15 minutes, it was enough time in the sunshine to be touchable.


After 1 day drying I stared to put the case together. I covered the critical parts with masking tapes to prevent problems. Unfortunately at 2 or 3 points I scratched the painting but I repaired them with brush. This small mistake did not spoiled my mood, because with the assembling the case was ready for use!:clap:



At the same time the sleeves has arrived. On the package a small drawing, yes this is Nil’s work, I will use MDPC sleeving. :naughty:


I ordered the package with my two friends. I planned triple colour sleeves in the case, and because the Noctua fans has off white and brown colours the sleeving will be white-brown and titan grey.


Instead of using the traditional shrink tube method I wished to use the sand shrink way.
Nils was kind to send some plus sleeves to practice .


After I could use the technique properly I started to sleeve the cables. I tried to figure out the model the way use the sleeves at the same amount.
The sleeved filaments first I had to drill through a plexi part, and after it I could put the spikes back to the connector, ensuring that all the spikes go back to their original place.
Tha display cards connector was mentioned in a previous entire, because of it I could not put to place the original plexi cover plate. I figured out to cut out a smaller pieces of the connector case , so the cable could be bend in a smaller radius.After making the move this worked out as I expected, the sleeved cables could be bended back in better way, but at the final assemble came out that tech connector case is still not letting the plate to its place ,so I had to pack it and take it away because I could not use it.:blah:





The Optical drives front plate had to be modified a bit too.In the original G5 case drive’s plate was fixed with a double sided sticker on a plastik plate, which after the aesthetic look was used to open the cover door.
This plate I removed from its place , the unnecessary glue I removed too with heating up and with diluent, and with a two sided sticker I fixed my optical drive.



The PSU cable sleeving was finished in 2 days afternoon, after it I concentrated on the lights of the case. Because the case do not have any side window or „roof” window, I did not plan a big light inside, you can not look into the case unless I remove the side plate.
I had some led lights left from my previous projekt which I could use at the G5 too. I did the circuit from the previously purchased black colored 2 wire cable, which can be switched on with a switch on the back. Its get power from directly from the PSU.

-------- === --------

The first „final” assemblement was taken place on Wednesday's midnight. In two hours the case was out together. I made two pictures at night, the first one shows my work corner during the assemblement, the other is a quick picture of the work. :rolleyes:



After the work done the power on was the next step but it is delayed a bit because unfortunately a wire was broken in the front panel, so the machine did not started. Quickly I put an other switch on the mainboard , with it I could started the machine, but the HDD did not whispered nothing. :eeek:
After a quick dismantling I put together the machine on the table with shaking hands. I hoped that my storage drive did not died. With a huge luck the drive was ok. Maybe I just connected the sata cable in the wrong way .:sigh:
Thursday morning I started gain to put together the machine, 3 times checking everything not to case any trouble again. The front panel I repaired the wiring and started to hope that everything will be all right this time.

And not.

Turn on doesn't work again.:wallbash:

Relax – told myself- you triple checked everything , start with the other switch on the board, if it still not work you can start worrying.

Fortunately with that everything worked great, system started and the machine was ok. The panel witch was made by Bari for me never been tested before so the error could not be occurred.So for now I have to use the backup switch, but finally I have finished the project.:clap:

-------- === --------

Thursday afternoon I brought the G5 to my photographer friend’s studio to make some picture of it. :hip:
























-------- === --------

On the 27th of April with my girlfriend and with the finished case we departed to be a part of the Veletech2013 modding competition, which is Hungary's biggest modder event and which is organized by the Prohardver.



I had a great time there, I enjoyed all to moments. A lot of people was curious to see the G5, and I have spoked with a lot of visitors. It was great to meet , to see and to meet again with the other modders, with the most of them I can only meet one time in a year. There was a lot of nice modded projects, and builded cases to see by the public on this Sunday , and I think all of us can be prod of ourselves. :)

Now I finishing this enrty , the modding of the case – not to mention some minor repair work – is finished. This was a little bit long work, but from the September of 2012 to the January of 2013 I had to learn and to pritect my degree. An old dreem had come true , I always wanted to have an Apple G5 case witch have a PC inside. :lol:
At this moment I wish to thank all the supporters who has supported the building this machine:


So this is the end. Thanks to you to read this worklog, I hope you enjoy it!


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