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[Build Log] iMac Lampshade Retrofit

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
This is one of my 2 new PC projects I currently have on the table. For this project, I have acquired an old iMac G4 aka "Lampshade." I like the unique designs that Apple Computers have had, such as the G3/G4/G5 PowerMacs, The G4 Cube, and the original iMac. I also like a challenge. Anybody can bolt a motherboard into a box and call it a day. I think it's fun to go beyond that and make my own current day creations inside of these oddly shaped relics. This isn't the first PC I have done like this. My current sig-rig is built into a modified PowerMacG5/Mac Pro case, and before that, it was in a PowerMac G3 case. This build will require all new hardware to meet the tight space requirements.

I really like the fact that this was an all in one PC, and had that easy to position swivel LCD screen. That, and the round base.

My goal for this build is to create an sandy/ivy bridge PC that fully fits inside the iMac, making it look and work as stock as possible(including keeping the I/O ports on the back) while still being a usable, modern computer.

More updates, plus pictures soon!

As always, your input and help is greatly appreciated!

Web Gallery(for image hosting)

Index:
  1. The Teardown
  2. Some Research
  3. The Fittings, Part 1
  4. The Fittings, Part 2

Edited by eovnu87435ds - 9/14/12 at 11:11am
M8
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M8
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post #2 of 24
subbed! you should use a itx board, also check for tonymacx's blog; i cant link other forums.
 
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Pur Esprit
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OSX Sierra Retina Display 13" Happy Hacking Keyboard Professional 2 Magsafe 2 60W 
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MacBook Pro Retina 13" MX Master QCK JBL Flip 3 
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Karakao H1 Bluetooth  Status Audio CB-1 TechnoShield Blue Marble Skin Magsafe to Magsafe 2 Adapter 
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Thunderbolt Ethernet Adapter Apple Mini Displayport to VGA Adapter Griffin Mini Displayport to HDMI/DVI Adapter 
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Pentium G4560 B250i Gaming Pro AC GTX1050Ti 4GB Vengeance LPX 2x8GB 2666MHz 
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Samsung 840 Pro 256GB Sandisk Ultra II 480GB Sandisk Ultra II 480GB BarraCuda 2TB 3.5" 
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Cryorig H7 NZXT Grid Windows 10 Education Insignia 39"  
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post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'm also a member there. That's where my power Mac g3 build log is located! I am looking at the mini ITX, as well as a mobile board, as they can be as small as 2" x 3". Actually, if anybody has An unused or dead mini ITX board I could do some fitting with, it would really save me big time!
M8
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M8
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post #4 of 24
Are you going to be using the stock LCD?
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Big Lian Li
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post #5 of 24
Subbed, I got an old iMac g4 like this that I would like to mod too. Good luck!
post #6 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lowfat View Post

Are you going to be using the stock LCD?

Yes. Right now the parted iMac has a 15" 1024x768 display, but I am in the process of trying to find the 17" 1440x900 or 20" 1680x1050 display.
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M8
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post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by famine125 View Post

Subbed, I got an old iMac g4 like this that I would like to mod too. Good luck!

Same here. Would love to get some ideas! Can't wait to see some progress!

post #8 of 24

Oh god... these things are fun to service.... 

 
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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Oda'maksv
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Samsung 850 Pro 1TB Seagate 2TB H105 EVGA Hybrid GPU cooler 
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Asus 1080P Crap TX 750 HAF 922 G400s 
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
The Teardown

And so just as any good project begins, I start by tearing everything down!

imac%204.jpg

Before even taking anything apart, the first obstacle will be the size of the base. It's small and round... Not very friendly of square PC components. As you can see, we are only looking at 9" outside diamater.

imac%25206.jpg

A few screws later and the bottom separates from the rest of the hub. Note the processor with the heat pipe actually was thermally pasted to the steel chassis, using the entire thing as a heatsink.

imac%25207.jpg

I almost figured Apple would use a round motherboard...

imac%25208.jpg

As you can see here, the HDD and CD-ROM are stacked right ontop of each other, directly above the motherboard. It was a tight fit.

imac%25201.jpg

Apple was so confined on space, that their PSU was actually split into two pieces and straddled the hard drive! I don't know if I will keep this(not sure of it's power rating), or if I will have to do an external PSU.

imac%252015.jpg

And at last, I have gotten to the one and only 80mm fan that cooled the entire computer.

[/IMG]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ma_HL5xGnRo/UDLRr-mjvXI/AAAAAAAAAi0/eB0f83O0GOg/s800/imac%25202.jpg[/IMG]

All that was left is the base of the mount for the swivel arm. Note how Apple even designed a custom wiring harness that splayed the wires out where it matched up with the fan brackets, to prevent any further loss of airflow.

imac%252010.jpg

And now, with everything removed, I have my canvas

imac%252013.jpg

I have a lot of work to do, and a lot of decisions to make. I like the tongue-like disc drive, but in order to use it, I'd have to use a full size disc drive. Maybe I could put I/O ports or a card reader or something. Other than that, whatever I choose for a motherboard will have to be small, and I'll be planning on removing the I/O ports from the iMac logic board, gluing them into place, and using them as a port replicator, connected to the motherboard's actual ports. 2.5" HDD is a must.
M8
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M8
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Intel Core i7-875k Asus Maximus Gene III Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 EyeFinity 6 Sapphire ATI Radeon HD 5870 EyeFinity 6 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
12 GB DDR3 Toshiba Q Series HDTS225XZSTA SSD Seagate Barracuda STBD2000101 Sony BWU-200S bluray burner 
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Windows 7 Ultimate x64 
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post #10 of 24
Here is a sandy bridge all in one retrofit of a 20" iMac g4 with lion hackintosh with videos sang guide. There is a guide for two versions of the 17" iMac g4, but only the pin out for the 15". The tricky part is the display but there are step by step guides and parts lists

http://www.dremeljunkie.com/2012/01/20-imac-g4-all-in-one-genuine-sandy.html

http://www.dremeljunkie.com/2011/11/all-in-one-20-imac-g4-genuine-tmds-to.html

On TonyMac:
http://legacy.tonymacx86.com/viewtopic.php?f=76&t=42147&start=20
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