Back to the Future Skylake Mac Cube mITX Build *REBORN*

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by ToroidalZeus, Oct 23, 2015.

  1. ToroidalZeus macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #1
    I wanted to make a small and powerful mITX rig. So I choose the coolest case I could find, a 2000 Power Mac G4.

    [​IMG]

    Original Specs were:

    CPU: 450 Mhz PowerPC G4
    GPU: ATI Rage 128 Pro
    HDD: 20-60GB (Missing)
    Ram: 1GB PC100
    Monitor: VGA something

    New Specs are:

    CPU: i5-6600k
    GPU: GTX 950
    SSD: Samsung SM951 PCIe AHCI - not NVMe :(
    Ram: 16GB Crucial DDR4 2133 OC'd to 2400
    CPU Cooler: Prolimatech PRO-SAM17
    Monitor: Crossover 404k 40" 4K

    2.jpg

    3.jpg

    4.jpg

    5.jpg

    6.jpg

    8.jpg

    New Setup:
    First.jpg

    Next step is to install OS X.
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #2
    I'm sort of half way through doing a cube, Mac mini hack. Haven't had time to finish it though unfortunately.
     
  3. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    Looks like the typical half-baked hack job with rough cut outs along with the ports and big bundle of wires hanging out the bottom. I hope those loose wires don't get cut/shorted when they rub against the rough edge left by the Dremel on the case bottom. I'm glad your happy with it, but I don't think you'll get a lot of praise from me.

    I've seen some well-done modifications to Cubes(again, not my taste, but I can still appreciate them) but they all did things like clean up their cuts and even mill plates for the port covers. What you've done just looks you rushed through modding the case.

    Much of the beauty of the original Cube was its elegant simplicity. An "ideal" Cube set up will have an ADC monitor(which, btw, is a type of DVI port). Most of mine only have two wires going in the bottom-one from the power brick and the other going to the monitor. Sometimes I'll plug in an ethernet cord and/or the USB plug for the speakers, but just as often I plug the speakers into the monitor(admittedly I like to leave one monitor port open for flash drives).
     
  4. MikeatOSX, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015

    MikeatOSX macrumors regular

    MikeatOSX

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  5. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #5
    Good luck getting OS X installed on that skylake platform... Skylake has very limited support in 10.11.1 and requires alot of work and hacks to get it installed on such a system. also Yeah No i dont like this hack Job at all... im not a fan of G4 cube mods but I have seen better ones (also looks like your Mobo PCB is flexing... thats one way to snap all the Lead free BGA balls on your chipset ) If you are going to do this dont post it here... we made it clear to you quite a few times that you are not welcome here with this and your hack everything attitude... so please leave.
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #6
    It seems pointless to me to spend time dremeling out an enormous hole and then not spend 5 minutes with a file to actually make the cuts clean and straight.

    But, then, I guess that's the watchmaker perfectionist in me-I'm one of the guys who's spent several hours polishing and chamfering a low grade steel part to go under the dial(i.e. be hidden) on a high grade watch. Yes, no one's going to see it unless they take the watch apart, but I know it's there.
     
  7. ToroidalZeus, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015

    ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #7
    @bunnspecial
    Maybe you are a color blind but all the wires are sleeved in paracord. And running the wires outside the case is a design choice because it allows off-the-shelf PC PSUs. So no DC-DC convertor to fail and if the PSU ever fails it's an easy fix.

    Milling a plate might look nice but functionally it's a terrible idea because it traps the heat. All the people that did that before me were running much weaker setups; most without a dedicated gpu. You probably missed it but this setup is more powerful than even a brand new retina iMac. In the future I might replace the entire bottom with new mesh screen tho.

    And an ADC monitor, really? I saw the Steve Jobs intro, part of the coolness of this PC was running a top of the line 22" flat-screen monitor. So I'm running a top of the line 40" 4K flat-screen monitor in homage. Your love for the ancient hardware is futile. With a 450mhz G4, this PC couldn't even go on YouTube when I got it.

    @LightBulbFun The mounting screen for the wifi antenna is what causes the board to slightly flex. I originally fixed it by relocating the bracket but the mobo actually fit bettier with the slight flexing so I left it in. The chipset is on the exact opposite end so it's perfectly fine. Plus that screws acts as the chases ground and enables the original touch sensor to work.
     
  8. bunnspecial, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015

    bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
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    #8
    It doesn't change the fact that the entire thing looks like a piece of crap because you cut a hole worse than my 5 year old nephew cuts with scissors. Would it really have been that much effort to take a file and make your cut look like you actually cared? Aside from that, regardless of what your wires are insulated in, it's still a bad idea to have them rubbing against an unfinished metal edge.

    Look, you like what you like and I like what I like. I enjoy using older hardware but it doesn't mean that I dismiss new stuff. Look, I'm typing this post from an i7 powered 15" MBP.

    Saying that my love for older hardware is "futile" is a pointless and idiotic statement to make-I collect Macintosh computers from all eras and enjoy using them as they were made to be used. I actually grew up when a lot of this stuff was current and completely un-obtainable to me-I like being able to do the things now that I dreamed of doing back then. Maybe one of these days you'll grow up and understand this.

    BTW, one of my Cubes IS hooked up to a 22" ADC flatpanel. I'm going to haul in a 15" for the one in my office to match the advertising poster that's hanging above it.
     
  9. ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #9
    It would an hour or two to file down all those aluminum edges till they are perfectly flat; so YES wayyy too much effort given that the hole is completely out of sight.

    BRB Says he likes using older hardware.
    BRB Writes post on modern hardware.
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #10
    Again, there's this thing about pride in workmanship-maybe you'll understand it when you get older. Quality work doesn't just focus on what you can see from the outside-it's one of those things that's been a hallmark of Apple design from the beginning.

    As it sits now, it's just UGLY and as I said it's trouble waiting to happen regardless of your insulation. Plus, @LightBulbFun already pointed out that it looks like you have the board flexed to get it to fit. Again, another bad idea.

    And, just to prove a point, this post was typed from one of my Cubes using a 17" ADC display. I'm now going to watch some Youtube videos on it while I take a Mini apart for a CPU upgrade. Picture 3.png
     
  11. ToroidalZeus, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015

    ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #11
    Smart engineering is knowing when to go the extra mile and when to cut corners. Maybe you'll understand that when you get older.

    Plz tell me how that computer runs 4k videos.
     
  12. LightBulbFun macrumors 6502a

    LightBulbFun

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2013
    Location:
    London UK
    #12
    With the right formatting it prolly can Play 4K video (iv seen an IBM 5160 XT play motion video... LOL ) also with a Dual link DVI video card a Cube can drive a 4K display at 30hz.... also Regarding the Motherboard flexing its Just not good for it... wether it be your chipset that pops off or something else bending the PCB is a sure way to break something as it heats up and cools down. A 22 Inch cinema display matches the athetics of a G4 cube... your 40inch LCD does not... I have a 20 inch cinema display that goes nicely with my top of the line 2.7Ghz G5 with its X850XT video card it powers through the web nicely (I had it crunch about 30 tabs in tenforfox once) also while the R9 M395X in a retina iMac might thermal throttle at times It is faster then the GTX 950 in ur system...
     
  13. A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2015
    Location:
    Boston
    #13
    Your initial post said you wanted the coolest looking case, which leads me to believe you're interested in aesthetics. Well, first, the case is a hack job and second, the monitor, mouse, and keyboard do not match. For someone interested in taking a classic and beautiful aesthetic design and turning a modern computer, in my opinion you've failed at the primary goal.

    And did you really go out and buy an working and complete G4 cube setup just to hack it up? It seems like the logical thing would have been to take a G4 cube case and buy a pair of HarmonKardon SoundSticks if that's the look you really wanted.

    Throwing a black monitor (as nice as it may be) and black + red keyboard & mouse really just throws off the entire presentation.

    To each his own though. There's no accounting for taste.
     
  14. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #14
    "Smart engineering" means knowing that running wires against what is effectively a knife edge isn't smart.
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #15
    This is what Steve envisioned the Cube looking like(I will add parts to match the poster as I get them hauled in from home)


    IMG_2008.JPG
     
  16. ToroidalZeus, Oct 24, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2015

    ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #16
    A puny 19" low-res gateway monitor that was low-end even it's time, a budget membrane keyboard and what looks to be a ball mouse. From top-of-the-line PC in 2000 to below even the most basic Mac Mini today. Sure it's more "period correct" but it's not true to the heart and soul of the machine i.e. most powerful components in the smallest chases.

    It never came with the AC adapter or HDD so it wasn't working.

    Then you don't know anything about taste.

    I have a Corsair K70 keyboard with Cherry MX switches; it's probably the best keyboard on the market. And backlit too.
    The mouse is made by Roccat and optical so again top of the line.
    Likewise the monitor 40" and 4K @ 60hz over DP 1.2 (or HDMI 2.0) with 4:4:4 chroma. And on top of that it's AH-VA which results very almost ink-like blacks. It's 3 times the contrast ratio of a typical IPS display.
     
  17. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

    Joined:
    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #17
    The Gateway is connected to a beige G3 upgrade with a 1ghz Sonnet G4. The keyboard on it is-IMO-the second best of all time-the Apple Extended II. It uses cream Alps key switches. I'm also using the ADB II mouse that was pretty much ground breaking in terms of ergonomics.

    The Cube will soon be getting a 15" ADC flat panel along with a Pro Keyboard and Pro Mouse-it currently has a "Bondi Blue" G3 USB keyboard.

    BTW, I'm using an IBM Model M on my Mac Pro-THE best keyboard of all time(and still in production) regardless of what others might claim.
     
  18. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #18
    Seriously, it looks like you took a Sawzall to a computer case, and threw in a logic board (that doesn't even fit...). I've seen well-done projects that were made using old computers. This is not one of them, so don't attack others for pointing it out.
     
  19. MisterKeeks macrumors 68000

    MisterKeeks

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2012
    #19
    BTW what PS2/USB adapter do you use for the Model M. I have an el-cheapo one from China, and it works, but if I plug it in to a Macbook Pro it doesn't work unless I plug it in while the computer is off or asleep. If on, for some reason dashboard pops up.
     
  20. ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2009
    #20
    A 15" monitor that you gotta squint to see.
    A one-button mouse that requires holding control on the kb just to left click.
    A keyboard without backlighting.

    Come' on man, there is no pride in a terrible user experience.
     
  21. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    May 3, 2014
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #21
    I just bought a cheap one from Staples and it works fine, although sometimes I have to unplug it and plug it back in. It's connected to one of the USB ports on the back of my Aluminum cinema display.

    I have a 1991 Model M and a 2002 Unicomp, and both work fine with it. I'm a huge fan of Unicomp and honestly was treated like a king when I took my 2002 model in to get some keycaps and other parts for it(it's the University of Kentucky edition, and they told me they still get regular calls asking for them).

    One of these days, I'm going to buy a Spacesaver M
     
  22. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #22
    Your eyesight must be pretty bad if you can't see a 15" monitor(which is lower PPI than most modern monitors) or a full-size KB without a backlight.

    The 15" monitor is perfect for what I do on the Cube. When I doing real work-like putting together spreadsheets with values and information from multiple documents or writing exams where I have to pull information from various sources-I use a G5 or Mac Pro with dual 23" Cinema displays.
     
  23. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    Apr 26, 2014
    Location:
    Florida
    #23
    I'm guessing you don't realize the point of this section of the forums. Personally, I think you are trying to piss people off, and guess what? It's working! No one here likes your little "hacks" and sometimes I wish there was a dislike button. Go to a hackintoshing forum like tonymacx86... This is about 1/4th related to PPC Macs and all your threads should be removed. Also, back to my original statement, the point of this thread is to push these older Macs to their limit, and if that means using "a 15in monitor that you gotta squint to see. A one-button mouse that requires holding control on the kb just to left click. A keyboard without backlighting." I could care less. I have new and old Macs, I use them both as much. I use my DLSD PowerBook more than I use my MBP. Older things did it better than newer things. ALWAYS. Cars, Computers, Radios, Cameras, and about everything else. These things were made wen manufacturers actually cared about the quality of things. Things were unique, and carried a sense of pride from their owners. That is out goal, to continue their legacy. People like you come along and ruin a perfectly good Cube, which by the way, can fetch around $200. Anyhow, enough of the rant, just stop posting please
     
  24. ToroidalZeus thread starter macrumors 68020

    ToroidalZeus

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    Dec 8, 2009
    #24
    Steve Jobs' vision was all about going forward with technology and creating the best user experience possible. He was the first person to ditch the past and one of the reasons the G4 Cube was even created was because he removed the floppy drive which was soo common on machines of that era. Ironically enough clinging on the obsolete was completely against the Apple founder's design philosophy.
     
  25. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    Apr 26, 2014
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    Florida
    #25
    Apparently you have no idea what you are talking about. The Cube was forward thinking in a major way... Fanless and the power of a PowerMac G4 shrunken down into a little cube. Also, they engineered the DVD-ROM drive to function in a vertical manner at good speeds. You view PPC Macs from today's standards and don't appreciate what they truly were when they were released
     

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