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Welcome to this Case Mod, in which I will be taking a Power Mac G4 and converting it to fit mATX and to accommodate 3x240mm radiators. Both exterior and interior will be painted in matt black and matt white. This will take place over the course of the next year or so (I hope it doesn't take any longer!) As I am a student and money is rare! Hopefully I will have finished the case completely by the time I can afford the Hardware itself which will most likely be around Christmas time. This build has evolved from initially being in a Bitfenix Prodigy then a Bitfenix Survivor then a Power Mac G5 and now finally the G4! This will also be a dual boot system

As it stands the hardware will be as follows

(got) Asrock Z87M OC Formula
(got) Intel Core i7 4770k
(got) OCZ Vertex 3 120GB
(got) Samsung Evo 250GB SSD
(got) AMD 7990
(got) 16GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
(got) Case: Power Mac G4
(got) Silverstone strider 850w (short edition)

(got) Swiftech MCP35x
(got) 2x Alphacool ST30 240mm radiators
(got) 1x Swiftech MCR220QP 240mm radiator
(got) EK CSQ clear blocks (CPU, GPU, DDC pump top and RAM block)
(got) EK 250mm reservoir
(got) Mayhems Sunset Yellow Pastel Coolant
(got) 6x Corsair SP120 quiet editions
(got) E22 Hard acrylic tube
(got) Bitspower C47 fittings
(got) EK ZMT Tubing

I have lots of ideas of little bits and pieces that will be implemented in the build which I must say are fairly unique as far as I know but they are a surprise for now...
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
reserved for final pics and other stuff

01. (04/27/13) Original radiator mounting 1(scrapped)
02. (04/27/13) Initial designs
03. (04/28/13) Original radiator mounting 2
04. (04/29/13) Original radiator mounting 3
05. (04/30/13) Bitfenix Recon mounting solution (scrapped)
06. (05/04/13) Laser cut front panels
07. (05/05/13) Original radiator mounting 4
08. (05/08/13) Photos of work so far
09. (05/11/13) Photos and disassembly of original Mac
10. (05/14/13) Modding rear panel
11. (05/15/13) Modding front panel
12. (05/16/13) Modding rear panel 2
13. (05/18/13) Painting
14. (05/18/13) Photos of painted parts
15. (05/21/13) More laser cutting
16. (05/21/13) Photos of laser cut parts
17. (05/22/13) Painting
18. (05/22/13) Photos of painted parts
19. (05/30/13) More disassembly
20. (06/03/13) Angle grinding case
21. (06/04/13) Front panel mounted
22. (06/04/13) Front radiator mounting
23. (06/05/13) Cutting radiator mounts
24. (06/06/13) Bottom radiator mount
25. (06/06/13) Radiator photos
26. (06/07/13) Cable management holes
27. (06/07/13) Angle grinding
28. (06/08/13) Cable management and painting
29. (06/08/13) Removing the Apple logo
30. (06/10/13) Rear IO and painting side panels
31. (06/11/13) Painting side panels and handles
32. (06/12/13) Painting main body of the case
33. (06/13/13) Completed painting and first assembly

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So here is the case as it stands, the Mac itself is still working perfectly but it is really slow and noisy!:

Sorry iPhone pics for now, SLR pics to come when proper modding starts, for now though work is in school workshops so I will be have to use my phone

First job is to make some brackets for 240mm radiator, first up we use the guillotine to cut the 1mm thick aluminium to size then we drill holes in the corner and use a jigsaw to cut out the majority of the waste, then I tidied up the edges with a file. More to follow over the next week!


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here are some mock ups from SketchUp just to demonstrate what I have in mind, these were done fairly early on in the process and a few things have changed since then but you should be able to get a good idea of what it might look like. The Red and Black colour scheme also is not permanent...


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Just got back from the school workshop, so time for another update, I have nearly finished making the radiator brackets, I made another 2 240mm brackets today as I wasn't happy with the quality of the first one.

At this point I have filed down one bracket so that all the cuts are flat and I have sanded it down using wet and dry, starting at 600 grit and moving up to 1200 grit. I used a 6 inch flat file for all of the filing which worked quite well. We had this clamp thing hanging around that no one was quite sure of the use it was intended for, but it worked pretty well as a guide for filing, you just slot your piece into it and adjust it so that the amount that you want to file away is above the "hinge" and then just file it down.

Still to do is order some hinges and sand down the other side of that bracket and file and sand the other one. It is unlikely that there will be another significant update before next weekend as I am in the middle of my GCSEs (important exams) so I only really have time at the weekends, but from time to time I may be able to do a bit of work during the week.

I also need to mark out and drill the holes for mounting the brackets to the radiator and once the hinges arrive I will be able to mark out the holes for those too.

Without further ado here are some photos:

The first attempt on the radiator itself, I won't be using this bracket in the final design as I wasn't happy with the quality

Using a pillar drill with a 3.5mm drill bit to mark each corner, this will make cutting between corners much easier.

The metal cutting blade for the scroll saw has been fitted through one of the corner holes, so now I can cut all of the straight edges. I like to use the scroll saw as the level of precision is much higher that using a jigsaw or dremel, it may not cut as straight a line as a jigsaw but that can always be fixed with a file and some guides.

First one of the day cut out, the original on the right and the new one on the left, you can see that I have made the tabs for the middle set of screws much bigger as previously the screw holes would only just have fitted without breaking through the edge, it also exposed the bracket on the radiator itself, which I didn't like.

The hinge thing I was talking about, once clamped in the vice it doesn't let the bracket budge allowing you to file a nice straight edge, I then started to clean up with wet and dry while it was still clamped just to remove the marks made with the file.

All sanding completed, I have never felt metal this smooth, as I said earlier this is using 1200 grit wet and dry which makes for a really nice finish, I may need to rough it up a little further down the line when it comes to painting but for now I just want to remove any scratches etc. Any one know what sort of grit I should use for preparation for painting?

The color of the paper towel after a quick wipe down to remove all of the fine metal dust created by the sanding

Some masking tape to protect the surface until it is needed again.

BTW the wooden block you see in the background was clean before I started cleaning up the surface :/

Any name suggestions for the build would be awesome too

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay so today I managed to get into the workshop for an hour or two and have finished the cutting, filing, sanding and drilling of the brackets, just waiting on some hinges
I also test fitted the brackets on my Swiftech MCR220QP radiator and other than two minor tweaks on the second bracket they all went on pretty well. So what is next? Well I need to make a bracket so that the radiator bracket sits perpendicular to the door of the case, it also needs to be raised up by 3mm so that the acrylic panel can slide under it for opening and closing the door. Then I need to make a bracket to hold my Bitfenix Recon which is currently in my PC which is at my parents' so I won't be able to get that for a couple of weeks, I can still cut out and bend the bracket I just won't be able to cut out the hole for the Recon to sit in. Anyways on with the pictures

So I started by placing a piece of paper on top of the fins of the rad but below the shroud so that I could mark out exactly where the holes needed to be.

Then I taped it to the aluminium with Masking Tape and drilled out the holes with a pillar drill

Holes drilled, temporarily in place on the rad and all the holes line up!

ARGHHH sanding with wet and dry is so messy!

First bracket fully sanded down with holes drilled

Screws in place

All masked up

Slight issue on the second bracket, these two holes need to move further to the left, so I just drilled a 1mm bigger hole which will be hidden under the bolt head.

Problem solved

Thats all for now, more to come over the coming weeks

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Finished up the rad brackets for the time being today and moved on to the bracket to hold the Bitfenix Recon. I started up by drawing it up in Sketchup to work out angles then I transposed those into reality by using a bending brake, I overshot on one of the dimensions though so I wizzed the excess off with the scroll saw. I can't do any more work on this bracket until I get home and can take measurements of the Recon, as I need those to cut the hole in the front plate, now onto the photos:

Sketchup model:

First bend:

All bends complete and excess on the top trimmed off where I over shot by 20mm somehow (I think the brake stretches the ally for the bends)

And from another angle, still need to cut all the openings but I need measurements first

The ancient brake we have (there are no markings for angles so you have to guesstimate and then measure with a protractor - if you over shoot trying to bend the metal back evenly is a PITA!)

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quick update, need your opinions on designs for the front. On the G4 there is an area on the front panel that is just asking to be cut out, so far I have come up with one design for it, I can do anything as it will be laser cut, the one I have come up with is four groups of squares, each 2mmx2mm, although in reality I would probably make them about 5mm,5mm. I really want something a little more creative than this, however it does still need to provide airflow to one of the 240mm radiators so it is essential that it has quite a lot cut out. If you have any ideas your self then here is a template for the front panel so feel free to draw something in paint or if you are feeling ambitious you might do a little more than that!

My Design so far:


The front panel:

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Originally Posted by jamdox View Post

Super subbed. I built my server in this chassis, and am aware of some of its quirks, which I can share if anyone's interested. I'm not exactly sure how the final build is going to look from the designs so far, but I may pipe up when things get clearer
Originally Posted by rgwoehr View Post


I like that front panel idea. I wish I could do something like that with mine.
Thanks guys. Heres another design I came up with to match the design of the EK CSQ blocks that I plan on using:


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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Guys, I just had a fricking brainwave for the front panel, if I make several different ones, they can all be cut to exactly the same exterior dimensions on the laser cutter then I can mount them with Velcro and then mix and match between which one I want to use on a particular occasion, so I may have some clean ones and some more mesh-y "gamer -ish" ones. Thoughts?

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Originally Posted by DJCHUBBZ View Post

Subbed for looking gewd. I like the swappable front idea, but instead of Velcro what about using magnets?

My hard drive is gonna be mounted right behind the front panel so I would be a bit worried about magnets and there isnt any reason as far as I can see for not using Velcro?

PS will be going back home in about a week and a half so I can pick up the rest of the stuff that I need to work on at school, then when I get home for the summer holidays I can start cutting up the case and painting
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