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View Full Version : swap powermac g4 case to a standard atx one




mmcxiiad
Nov 2, 2006, 05:19 PM
ok, i know that this may sound very crazy. I am wondering if it is possible to take everything out of a powermac g4 computer and put it into a standard atx case. i am trying to make a huge data server and need a lot of drive bays. i found 2 that i am considering:

coolermaster with 11 bays (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811119093) or lian li huge case (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16811112054)

one other thing- is it possible to use a regular power supply or is that propriatary? I think with all of the drives i am going to put in it, i am going to need a more power.

any help would be great.



livingfortoday
Nov 2, 2006, 05:48 PM
Yes, it's been done a lot, even I am in the middle of doing so right now!
http://flickr.com/photos/livingfortoday/sets/72157594288433277/

Here's the best example of a conversion that I've seen, done by a fellow MR member:
http://www.macmod.com/content/view/779/221/

lmcintyre
Nov 2, 2006, 06:01 PM
if anyone does this and wants to sell me the g4 case, give me a pm

mmcxiiad
Nov 2, 2006, 06:09 PM
i definitly will once i get the g4. should be here in a few days

velocityg4
Nov 2, 2006, 06:36 PM
What model of G4 are you modding? Some of the later models may give you a power supply headache as the mother board requires one 28 volt connector. I think this connector is there to operate the ADC connector in video cards. So you would only be able to use the VGA connector.

Here is a link to the different G4 pin outs
http://www.outofspec.com/frankenmac/wire.shtml

mmcxiiad
Nov 2, 2006, 07:45 PM
thanks for the info. little things like this is good to know to save myself from a future headache. anyone know how (or point me to) how to make an ATX extender cable? the guy who made this mac to pc components mod (http://www.macmod.com/content/view/779/221/) talks about making one.

livingfortoday
Nov 2, 2006, 07:47 PM
anyone know how (or point me to) how to make an ATX extender cable?

Here ya go:
http://xlr8yourmac.com/systems/ATX_G4_AGP_conversion/G4_AGP_to_ATX_case_pg2.htm#next

mmcxiiad
Nov 2, 2006, 07:54 PM
nice - thanks

mmcxiiad
Nov 2, 2006, 09:21 PM
that last link talks about converting a pre-sawtooth powermac. anything on a mirror door powermac or a quicksilver one?

livingfortoday
Nov 2, 2006, 09:35 PM
that last link talks about converting a pre-sawtooth powermac. anything on a mirror door powermac or a quicksilver one?


I would look through here, there's a lot of good info:
http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems.html#g4

velocityg4
Nov 4, 2006, 03:06 PM
Since you appear to be using either a mirror drive door or quicksilver mac.

You can get one of these extension cable so you don't ruin your power supplies Mainboard's connector. When you are figuring fiddling around with the cutting and splicing.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16812198007

This page lists the pin out diagram for a standard ATX 24Pin connector.
http://pinouts.ru/Power/atx_v2_pinout.shtml

The trickiest part is the 28volt rail. I have read about people successfully using 24/25 volt transformers. Just the cheap ones from radio shack or walmart.

livingfortoday
Nov 4, 2006, 03:31 PM
Hey, I don't know how far along you are with this, but I'd love to see any progress pictures if you have 'em! I finally got mine done (still needs some aesthetic work, but photos at same link as above), and I'm curious to see what approach you're taking to this.

mmcxiiad
Nov 4, 2006, 07:31 PM
Thanks for the info about the motherboard power extention cable. That will definitly make it easier. I just purchaed a quicksilver g4 on ebay. It is a dual 800mhz cpu. I really wanted the power of a mirror drive model. But after really thinking about it. I decided that the quicksilver was going to be a lot easier for 2 reasons. First it seemed like the power adapter would be easier to do on this one. But second, and FAR more importantly - the motherboard has the same layout as a atx motherboard (the mirror drive ones are backwards - to save myself the a lot of work, i opted for less power and less headaches).

Well, that being said when the parts come i will make a little docu-hack-a-mentry. I already have twelve 400gb sata drives to use in in this. It is going to be be used as a databack up, file sever, media server and a few more roles. hopefully things go well.

velocityg4
Nov 6, 2006, 12:56 PM
:eek:JUMPING JEHOSHAPHAT, TWELVE 400GB SATA HARD DRIVES!!!:eek: Can the PCI Bus even keep up with that many Hard Drives? Are you attempting to see if you can make a Quicksilver G4 cry?:p Can't wait to see pics.

Bye the way are you installing a third party CPU upgrade?

adamfilip
Nov 6, 2006, 01:34 PM
IMHO - I find that a stock G4 or G5 looks much nicer then the crappy cases most PC's come in. even some of the higher end cases look cheap..
I think it would be a better idea to modify the current case then to just transfer the guts.

oh and i cant stand those lit elements with the little cheap lexan windows..

The PowerMac G4 case is really great,

To each his own.. i suppose.

mmcxiiad
Nov 14, 2006, 09:18 PM
well, it has been a few days since i have told my little story. i think i have finally picked out a case. (http://www.supermicro.com/products/chassis/3U/932/SC932T-R760.cfm) You can see a simular on on newegg. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/ShowImage.asp?Image=11%2D152%2D067%2D02%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D03%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D04%2Ejp g%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D05%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D06%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D07%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D0 67%2D08%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D09%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D10%2Ejpg%2C11%2D152%2D067%2D11%2Ejpg&CurImage=11%2D152%2D067%2D05%2Ejpg&Description=SUPERMICRO+CSE%2D932S1%2DR760B+Black+3U+Server+Case+%2D+Retail) (the difference is the one on newegg has an external scsi connector.)

velocityg4 - i don't think i am going to do a cpu upgrade, although i am puttiing in 1536MB of ram which should help. I don't know if the cpu upgrade will really benifit me. I have no idea if the pci bus is going to cause a bottleneck. I am cuppling this with 2 highpoint rocketraid 2220 cards. they can do raid5 across 8 drives. you can also link two of them togeather to do the raid5 on up to a 16 drives.

(long exhale... here comes the story)

initally, i purchased a norco ds-1220 and even though it says it will work on a mac, i ran into all sorts of problems using it. (it is quite the story, let me know if you are interested in hearing that one.) from that point, i have been looking at all sorts of solutions (xraid, prebuit nas appliance, or a custom built NAS freenas using naslite, unraid and even an opensolaris nas so i could do xfs which ikeep teetering back and forth on - xfs sounds really cool).

I even though about buying a atx case with 11 5.25 bays and putting all the drives in those using swapable enclosures. then run sata cables to the mac. i really don't want to do this though as it would require 2 cases (the atx one would be less 25% utilized) and require twice the power use. really you wouldn't believe all the ideas i have thought about trying to make this work.

but the big problem that i keep coming back to is from the sata drives. i am WELL beyond the return period on them and everything seems to be able to run a lot better has i just gotten ata drives. and it doesn't seem like i am going to gain very much by using sata... oh well live and learn.

So here is the dilemna: and opensolaris xfs array or run it on mac. I am not a genius using the terminal.... probably more like advanced novice. nut i know how to learn so i am not scared. but i keep thinking that in the long run i am going to wish that it had been on a mac server. thus my desire to integrate this all into a g4.

i keep thinking that the new version of OSX server will really make me glad that i am doing this on a mac, especially since apple is thinking about incorporating zfs support into the os.

adamfilip - i too think that the g4 case looks a lot better then most pc cases. I am not into the modded pc look. i really want something to look very clean. obviously, the case i linked to in this post is anything but clean. but the functionality and ability to hotswap is more important.

honestly, i can't think of a logical way.... or even one dealing in my fantasies that could accomidate the number of hard drives i want to put into this project and incorporate them into a g4 case. dual 533 g4 that has 4 sata 320gb hard drives in a raid5 array and there isn't a lot of space left in that case. i can't imagine fitting 8 more drives into it. have a if you, or anyone else, has any ideas i am all ears.

I am still not sold on the overhaul job i am undertaking. it is a lot of work, that is somewhat risky. Ultimately, i want something stable that will a part of our small... very small companies backup system (along with an iomega rev drive and dvd+r dl disks).

So that is where i am. I have 13 sata drives (one is for drive failure) and the dual 800 g4... and i am just not sure which way i am going to go. And the worst part is i am running out of time to get this done.

mmcxiiad
Nov 14, 2006, 09:23 PM
two quick things about hardware compatability:

i have come to learn that rocketraid cards by highpoint are the only sata cards that support raid 5 on OSX. MY HUGE COMPLAINT is that OSX does NOT support software raid5. i am hoping that this will also be resolved with 10.5.

also if you want to add gigabit nic to a mac and don't want to shell out a lot of money use a netgear ga311. (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833122133) though they don't say that is supports macs, go to realtek's site and you can use thier OSX driver. it works perfectly.