I've had this old Power Mac G5 in my spare room for some time now so I decided to try my hand at modding it. The project didn't start until I finally had an idea of how I wanted to mod it. It had to have a custom water cooling loop in it as I wanted to use it as my first try a water loop so if I messed up horribly it was only going to hose my spare rig and not my primary PC
The design inspiration I settled with was the Dominator - the overkill weapon featured in the anime series Psycho Pass. For this I'd need to incorporate the teal glow, a dark matt finish and as a final addition wooden grips on the handle. So I titled the project "The Dominator" (original image
A big challenge for the mod was figuring out how to mount a standard mATX motherboard and PSU in the G5. An evening of pulling all the custom components and mounting points from the chassis allowed me to start determining how much space I really had to work with in there.
Putting a PSU in there with a motherboard made it obvious I'd need to limit myself to an mATX board to keep things in a BTX configuration as I felt more comfortable with the PSU above the water loop for safety given that this is my first custom loop.
Seeing as the original Mac I/O back plate was not going to work with my proposed set up I removed this and started figuring out just how the heck I was going to find or make a new I/O back plate. While I had an old case that I could tear down to give me the motherboard and expansion slot mounts it felt that adding the PSU mount to this would take more work again.
Fortunately this is problem that other smart people have figured out so I opened every ITX case on a local parts site until I found the case that could inspire me to find the solution. The I/O back plate of a CoolerMaster ITX case gave me this result.
The top panel of an old case gave me material to start making my custom panel that would be fixed in place with epoxy adhesive and probably riveted in place later.
I'd gathered a number of water cooling parts over the last few months including a 360mm radiator and two 240mm radiators so it only seemed fitting to try and get as much cooling in here as I could manage.
After cutting the 240mm floor radiator mounting point I gathered the parts I had at the time and tested how they'd fit in the case.
Turns out it was a lot tighter than I'd originally thought.
A random brainwave struck and gave me the answer to how I'd fit the 360mm radiator in the front. I'd need to fabricate a metal mounting piece that I could attach the radiator and its fans to and then screw the assembled group to the front floor of the case.
My EK DCP 4.0 arrived shortly after figuring this out and despite the measurements I'd used earlier to accommodate this pump I realised I'd underestimated just how big the pump was. The awkward inlet/outlet orientation wasn't going to help me either.
I'd originally thought I could use plastic cutting boards and epoxy adhesive these to the case and the typical stand-offs to the board but it seemed epoxy and polyethylene were not going to work well so I needed to scrap this idea. The project was held up until I could get a 6-32 UNC tap bit and start creating the motherboard mounting stand-offs.
I now have the tap and have continued. The back panel has been epoxied to the aluminium chassis and held in place overnight with weights to hopefully keep it locked together while it sets.
The stand-offs were then cut with the Dremel and the edges filed down. They just needed to be tapped and then I could start gluing them to the back panel. I'd need to have the motherboard and PSU mounting sorted before I could start seriously considering the component placement for the water loop.
Today I managed finish bending the motherboard stand-offs, drilling the pilot holes and tapping the 6-32 UNC threads.
I'll wait a bit longer before trying to mount the motherboard stand offs to give the epoxy adhesive more time to set.
That's it for now, more to come soon!