Mac mini to cube converstion...

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by XNine, Jan 26, 2006.

  1. XNine macrumors 68040

    XNine

    Joined:
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    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    #1
    So, I was looking at Cube kits today online. I really did the whole look. I was wondering if it would be pretty easy to get the guts of a mac mini in there?

    Anyone have experience pulling a part a cube and a mini? Any idea if this will work?

    I'm just thinking about this since both machines have slot load drives, and the cube has more space which would allow for a larger size (and faster) HD.

    But I'm not sure if the ports would be a major issue.

    Any ideas?
     
  2. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #2
    I'm sure it's doeable, though you'd probably need to be good with a dremel (to cut out port holes) and a drill (to mount stuff in there). If you take out the large Cube heatsink there's a lot of room inside of there, and since the Mini has stuff like a soldered on video card (as opposed to the Cube using a full size one) it could conceivably work. The Cube is also 7"x7", while the Mini is what, 6.5"x6.5", I wanna say? Should fit.

    If you do decide to try this, definitely take photos and keep us informed on your progress, it sounds very interesting!
     
  3. shadowmoses macrumors 68000

    shadowmoses

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    #3
    Its definatly do-able surprised no one has done it yet, but keep us posted on how it goes if do decide to go ahead with it...

    SHadow
     
  4. Arcus macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Cool idea!!! If you do it take pics and keep a blog of the process. Id love to see it!
     
  5. CubeHacker macrumors 65816

    CubeHacker

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    #5
    Overall its not really worth it. The Cube's CPU can be upgraded well past the Mini's (I believe they are up to Dual 1.8ghz G4's now), and not to mention, the cube can have its video card upgraded since it uses an AGP slot - thus allowing you to use something far better than a 32mb Radeon 9200.
     
  6. livingfortoday macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I do agree with you there, but there are some advantages to the Mini. For one, it has USB 2.0 instead of 1.1. It also used PC2700 RAM and has a 166Mhz bus (I think?) which is fast than the 100Mhz Cube which uses PC100 RAM.

    The downsides are as you listed, though. Built in video card, no CPU expansion, and limits of 1GB RAM. If you just have a Cube chassis, though, it would be cheaper to stick a Mini in there than buy all those Cube upgrades.

    Of course, if you want to upgrade, I will have a new Dual 1.5Ghz G4 Cube upgrade card comin' to me within a week...
     
  7. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #7
    A loaded Mini will cost under $800. A maxed out cube wil be a few hundred more than that, plus it will require plenty of work to put together...

    While a Cube can be upgraded with dual 1.8s, a Radeon 9700/9800/Geforce5200, new SuperDrive and whatnot, it will cost more than a Mini by a good margin. But it is a better computer for a tinkerer, and can potentially achieve higher performance.

    The problem with putting a Mini in a Cube enclosure is that the Mini's achilles heel (video card) still can't be upgraded. Yes, you could switch to a 3.5" 7200RPM hard drive, which is nice, but IMHO the whole thing is not worth it from functional standpoint. If you're just doing it as a "case mod" for fun though, that's fine.
     
  8. Choppaface macrumors 65816

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    SFBA
    #8
    the only thing I've been able to find is a couple pages about stuffing a mini-itx mobo into a cube, like this one:

    http://www.epiacenter.com/modules.php?name=Sections&sop=viewarticle&artid=46


    I'm itching to get a core solo mini and turn it into a NAS/webserver kinda thing (plus solo-->duo upgrade), and I want to use a standard 3.5 inch hard drive and not over firewire. has anybody tried stuffing an intel mac mini into a g4 cube case? the SATA support makes it an attractive project... and the mini's stock optical drive should fit in the cube slot, no?

    plan B is to do something like this:
    http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/addonics/mini/

    except the Addonics case is ugly as hell so it would need a repaint at least... anybody know if the intel 945G chipset in the mini has SATA support for PM (Port multiplier)? I want to possibly run an eSATA cable out of the mini into an Addonics SATA 5-port multiplier to a bunch of SATA drives... wondering about the feasibility
     
  9. Gordy macrumors 6502a

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    May 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #9

    I've done the pc conversion of the mac cube.

    My log is here http://www.gordyhand.co.uk/maccube.htm

    Personally I have both the cube and the mini and I prefer the size of the mini the cube is just a touch too big hehe.

    Fun project to try tho.
     
  10. Amuraivel macrumors member

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    Jan 31, 2006
  11. Choppaface macrumors 65816

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    SFBA
    #11
    wow, very thorough and nice pix!!

    so without the heatsink you could fit three hard drives in there with room to breath, eh?

    do you think it would be hard to custom-build an insert, for say a mac mini? it looks like building something simple to fit that locking mechanism/inner cage wouldn't be too much trouble...?
     
  12. Gordy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 22, 2005
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #12
    Thanks.

    I think 3 hard drives would be pushing it, not in terms of space but in terms of heat. It gets quite toasty with two in there, admittedly the motherboard anc cpu I am using is 100% passive heatsinks so it adds to the heat.

    You should be able to slide a cube inside as long as its under 16.8cm in width.
    The mechanism for holding the chassis in place is very important without that it simply would fall out each time you put the chassis in place hehe.

    :)
     

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