Project Blue Dreamer (dual mainboard)

Discussion in 'Apple Collectors' started by snooziums, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. snooziums macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Evergreen State
    #1
    Here we go again.... after my project Evergreen, I realized that the case was just too large, so I decided to try a dual mainboard system in a mid-size case. Thus, the idea for project Blue Dreamer was born.

    This crams two mainboards, both upgraded to g4 processors, into one case. Wait a minute... G4 processors? Yes, this uses one Apple mainboard and a Apple clone mainboard, and both run Mac OS X (and can run 9 or earlier).

    Now these are not small mainboards. In fact, one of them is 12 inches by 13 inches, yes kiddies, that is an Extended-ATX mainboard, and it has six, yes six PCI slots. So where does one find a case that fits one of those? Well, some large server cases will work, however I did not want a large case. So I took a standard case and took out one of the hard drive supports to allow the mainboard to fit along side of the hard drives. Yes, things are tight.

    So how did I fit two mainboards in? Well, with the other mainboard flipped over, its PCI slots are above the first mainboard's non-PCI slot area, creating a very tight sandwich. So where the fans should go above the I.O panel, there is the PCI slots for the other mainboard.

    What about heat, you ask? Well that is a challenge. Because there is just about no room for fans, lower-speed G4 processors were used, both running at just under one gigahertz. One of them has a very high-speed fan on top of it that actually blows air over the second processor's heat-sink. And on top, there is a blower forcing the hot air upward and out of the case. So aside from the two power supply fans, there is only one 80mm CPU fan and one 80mm blower, and that is it!

    How did I mount the other mainboard? Well, I removed the Plexiglas window and drilled holes in it, then mounted spacers. So the one of the mainboards is on the window itself, providing a nice view of the bottom of it.

    What else is there to do? Actually, lots. The second mainboard is going to be powered by a mini power supply running off the first power supply, which is 650 watts. Also, while one side has one gigabyte of RAM already, the other side needs to be upgraded to that. Also, the old ATi 3D Pro video card has to go, and it will be replaced by a 9200. And maybe a third hard drive will be installed.

    Okay, what about pictures? Well, here you go....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Want some tech specs so far? Well, here they are....

    Xlr8 Processor Upgrade Daughter Card (times two, one for each mainboard)
    PowerPC 7410 (G4) “Nitro,” including the AltiVec "Velocity Engine" vector processor, in a ZIF socket. Hardware-selected bus ratios for different speed processors. Processor speed of just under one GHz, backside speed of half that. 64 kb level one cache, one megabyte backside level 2 cache, 64-bit data path.

    Power Computing Power Tower Pro “Tsunami” Mainboard
    Processor in daughter card for upgradeability, 50 MHz mainboard/lookaside bus, with a 64-bit data path. Four-megabit bootstrap/firmware ROM size. Eight 168-pin FPM DIMM 5 volt memory shots supporting 70ns ram modules for one-gigabyte total ram, one gigabyte installed. Uses the HammerHead IC memory controller, which enables memory interleaving. Six PCI expansion slots for superior expandability. Dual on-board SCSI-II channels, one at 10 Mbps, the other at 5 Mbps, both 50-pin, plus an external 25-pin SCSI port on channel 2. Includes two serial ports with RS-422 “GeoPort” mini Din-8 connectors, and onboard 10-Base-T RJ-45 and AAUI Ethernet for networking. 20-pin auto-eject floppy drive connector onboard.

    Apple PowerMac B&W “Yosemite” Mainboard
    Processor in daughter card for upgradeability, 100 MHz mainboard/lookaside bus speed with a 64-bit data path. Uses Grackle MPC 106 memory controller and PCI bus interface and Paddington I/O device controller and interrupt handler. One-megabit bootstrap/firmware “NewWorld” design ROM plus 3mb toolbox instructions loated into RAM. Four SDRAM memory slots supporting 168-pin 8ns 100MHz 3.3 volt PC100 ram modules for a total of one gigabyte of ram. Three 64-bit PCI slots and one 32-bit 66 MHz PCI video slot. Dual IDE channels, one Ultra ATA-33. Onboard 100-Base-T RJ-45 Ethernet port. Bootable USB with two separate USB 12 Mbps controllers to better balance the throughput requirements of the individual USB devices on the bus. FireWire board expansion module with two FW400 ports, modem card port built-in.

    PCI Cards Installed
    Tempo Trio adaptor combo card. Dual ATA-133 channels, with two drives per channel (support for drives over 137 gb), dual USB 2.0 ports, and dual FireWire 400 (IEEE 1394) ports.
    Adaptec PowerDomain 3940UW fast and wide UltraSCSI controller. Dual 16-bit channels allowing for 15 devices per channel. Internal and external 68-pin connectors for both channels. Maximum of 30 devices. Up to 40 mb per second synchronous rate, and up to 133 mb per second burst rate. Bus master DMA interface protocol.
    OrangePC 660 Windows compatibility card. 12” full-length card. Supports Socket 7 processors including: AMD K6-II and K6-III running up to 450 MHz, Intel MMX up to 233 MHz and Cyrix 6x86. 100 MHz accelerated board and bus speed. Two 3.3 volt PC100 168-pin SDRAM slots, up to 128mb modules for a total of 256mb RAM possible. 512kb 5ns synchronous pipelined burst level 2 cache greatly enhances processing speed. High Performance nVidia RIVA 128 2D/3D graphics video accelerator including 4mb SDRAM with a 128-bit, 100 MHz memory interface, maximum resolution 32-bit color up to 1152 x 864 DirectX 3D video support, maximum resolution 16-bit color up to 1600 x1200 DirectX 3D video support
    Sound Blaster Live! 32-bit audio card. EMU10K1 DSP Supports EAX and OpenAL, reverb capability, latency of 23ms. Midi input and output.
    ATi Radeon 9200 PCI video card. 250 MHz core engine speed.128 mb DDR memory, 128 bit memory interface, 200 MHz memory speed. True-color 32-bit 2D or 3D graphics up to 2048 x 1536, 4-pixel pipeline architecture. Hardware accelerated vertex and pixel shaders. hardware accelerated Transform and Lighting, and 62.5 million triangles per second transform rate. VGA 15-pin, DVD-I, and S-Video (NTSC & PAL) outputs.

    Orange Grappler Plus PCI card. Single-channel SCSI-II, 50-pin internal, 25-pin external, 10 Mbps transfer speed, supports seven devices, allows for bootable SCSI drives. Two serial ports with RS-422 “GeoPort” mini Din-8 connectors.

    Yamaha CDRW4416S-NB Compact Disk burner. Writes at quad speed, rewrites (overwrite) at quad speed, and reads at 16x speed, SCSI-II 50-pin interface, 2mb buffer size, 11 watts power consumption.
    Seagate Scorpion STD224000N DAT Tape Drive. Up to 24GB capacity per tape with hardware data compression, 12 gb native capacity. DDS-3 format. SCSI-2 interface. Fast transfer rate (up to 132-MB/min.) backup speed. 2mb buffer memory size. 10 watts power consumption.

    Western Digital Caviar SE WD1200JB harddrive. 120.0 GB storage space, 7,200 RPM, 8mb buffer, ATA-100 interface. 8.9ms average seek time.
    IBM Deskstar 120 GXP harddrive. 123.50 GB storage space, 7,200 RPM, 2mb data buffer, ATA-100 interface, 6.2 watts at idle. 8.5ms average seek time.
     
  2. applemacdude macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow
    #2
    looks nice

    what about some pics with the whole thing closed and runnign?
     
  3. snooziums thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Evergreen State
    #3
    Update: I have received in the mail the RAM for the B&W mainboard, so now both mainboards have one gigabyte of RAM.

    I am still waiting on the second power supply, as well as another hard drive.
     
  4. snooziums thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2004
    Location:
    Evergreen State
    #4
    New update: Second Power Supply Installed!

    Well, it came in the mail, a mini-ITX power supply. This power supply was designed to power Shuttle PCs off a 12-volt source. However, I am powering it from the 12-volt source from the main power supply. I also cut off the negative-five-volt for use with the B&W mainboard. So the main power supply (being 650 watts) powers the primary mainboard and all the drives, as well as powering the second mini power supply (200 watts).

    Some pictures of the mini power supply attached to the B&W mainboard as well as the power connecter to the back of the main 650w power supply are below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #5
    Niiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiice.

    :D

    So basicilly you crammed into one standard ATX casing 2 450 MHz G4 systems and a PC! Nice job!
     
  6. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #6
    OMG!! Nice setup! How loud is it all??? And does the case get hot??
     
  7. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #7
    Please forgive my ignorance, what is the point of this thing? I mean it is cool but really?
     
  8. Counterfit macrumors G3

    Counterfit

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Location:
    sitting on your shoulder
    #8
    PLEASE tell me you're using XGrid! :D
    Er, it's two G4s:
     
  9. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #9
    I'm a bit confused as well...
     
  10. Lollypop macrumors 6502a

    Lollypop

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Location:
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    #10
    Its simply to proove that it can be done IMO, 2 completely independant and completely functional machines in one single case is very hard to do and have many challenges. The fact that both machines have been upgraded so much simply adds to the technical challenge.
     
  11. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #11
    Its a PC as well as she has an OrangePC card in it.
     
  12. Spock macrumors 68000

    Spock

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Vulcan
    #12
    Its not a PC its a Mac and a clone all in one. Or am I missing what a OrangePC card is?
     
  13. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #13
    OrangePC 660 Windows compatibility card. 12” full-length card. Supports Socket 7 processors including: AMD K6-II and K6-III running up to 450 MHz, Intel MMX up to 233 MHz and Cyrix 6x86. 100 MHz accelerated board and bus speed. Two 3.3 volt PC100 168-pin SDRAM slots, up to 128mb modules for a total of 256mb RAM possible. 512kb 5ns synchronous pipelined burst level 2 cache greatly enhances processing speed. High Performance nVidia RIVA 128 2D/3D graphics video accelerator including 4mb SDRAM with a 128-bit, 100 MHz memory interface, maximum resolution 32-bit color up to 1152 x 864 DirectX 3D video support, maximum resolution 16-bit color up to 1600 x1200 DirectX 3D video support

    An OrangePC card is basically an entire computers guts jammed onto a little board, and with its software, it allows you to run Windows in a window, almost as fast as a real full blown PC, sharing the Macs HD, CD-ROM, and floppy drive.
     
  14. madmax_2069 macrumors 6502a

    madmax_2069

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Location:
    Springfield Ohio
    #14
    yea i have a orange micro pc 660 also but it has a 333mhz AMD in it, you can put a AMD K6 III 500-550 in it if you buy the power converter to plug the cpu into all it looks like is another socket 7 slot that plugs into the socket 7 slot on the board and you put the cpu on the converter.

    cause the only reason that you cant orignaly put a 500-550mhz AMD K6 III in it was the power requirements of the cpu that the board dont go to and that converter will allows the proper volts to put that CPU in it. i wish i could give you the link to the site that sell's them but that got lost when i was stupid and didnt backup my bookmark's.

    but yea i have the pc 660 and it rock's. to bad it wont take XP on it. i also have a 7" apple dos compatibility card with the cyrix 5x86 100mhz but only with 16mb ram so far in my AIO, and a 12" apple dos card with the intel pentium 166mhz with no ram in it right now not being used. got all 3 of them just for shipping of $17 wich was a great deal.

    the pc 660 is going into my Yikes system im building.
     

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