Headless iMac G5

Posted by: nufanec

Headless iMac G5 - 11/08/05 02:19 PM

Well, just got myself an iMac G5 motherboard (1.6GHz model) and am going to attempt a headless iMac G5 system. To begin with I intend on just sticking it in a cheap PC case until I can fabricate one of my own design.

Before I do this, does anyone know if a standard PC power supply will work with the iMac G5 motherboard, or whether it would require an Apple spec PSU? Also, for when I start fabricating my own case, are there any "slimline" PSU's available on the PC market that would do the trick?

Secondly, I know heat will be somewhat of an issue, however I want to make the system as quiet as possible. Do you think just good quality fans and ventilation would do for this or would water cooling be the way to go?

Posted by: oojacoboo

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/08/05 02:57 PM

sounds like a cool project. I am not certain about the PSU for the imac. I don't see why you wouldn't be able to use a standard PSU, if you have the right pin out configuration.

As for heating, I think some good fans would probably suffice if the case is large enough. However, water cooling would be uber cool wink
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/08/05 03:11 PM

Hate to be a potential downer, but this is one of those projects that looks irresistable at a glance, but often tends to end up quite expensive. I don't happen to know the pinouts for the iMac PSU, but I'd wager they don't run on ATX or ATX2 or anything else standard.
The reason it might add up, is that you will probably end up needing a few extra bits and pieces which you can only get from Apple. This is what happened to my Xserve G4 project. I bought the logic, CPU and PSU for 67. I was fortunate enough to pick up a drive interconnect board for nothing, but I had to pay another 67 for the ATA controller (Its tiny. About 5cm square). I still need the front panel board and its cable and an optical drive cable before I can even boot it. Drive modules are ludicrous prices, as is the case from Apple. Those other cables are 20-40 each.

Having said all that, you may only need a cable or tow if that. Looking at some take apart pics...
Posted by: whitlock

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/08/05 06:34 PM

It should be the same on all the iMag G5's, but here is a PDF link for how the P/S looks like so people who don't know how it looks can participate if they've done similar projects.

...like me.

Posted by: iBookdude458

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/08/05 10:45 PM

where did you get the imac g5 logic board

iBook G4 1.33 GHZ 768mb ram 80 gig hd running 10.3.9
Powermac G3 350mhz running10.2.3
IIsi 60mhz
macitosh SE30 in pieces
Posted by: nufanec

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 06:31 AM

Got the mobo on eBay. Only cost me 43.00 including delivery (thats about $75 US) so I think its a reasonable deal.

Biggest problem I'm seeing so far is that the optical drive (and possible hard drive, I'm not sure) dont use standard connectors since they are meant be be a kind of snap in and out type system. Looks like I'll have to get an optical drive from an iMac and then stick in an IDE extender cable to mount it in the case.

Not a major deal since they are now shipping Dual Layer burners, and I intend on it being slot loading in the final case anyway. Main annoyance is if the hard disk doesnt use a standard connector. I've got a spare 60Gb disk with Tiger preinstalled that I pulled from my eMac when upgrading it. Would be nice to be able to use that (temporarily obviously since more storeage will be required in the long run) to get the system up and running.

Does anyone have a pin out for the iMac power supply, or would anyone with an iMac G5 be willing to take theirs appart and find out what the pin outs are? :p I know in the past the pin outs have been slightly different between Mac and standard ATX powersupplies, and would like to make sure before I go frying a mobo or powersupply!
Posted by: griffer

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 08:55 AM

Uhm, i think the connector on the HD is standard, it's just SATA and not IDE, like the emac uses...
Posted by: maestro

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 09:32 AM

The hd is sata. The optical drive comes from a laptop, so purchase one of those. They should
have the connector you speak of. I am excited to see this build up, good luck.
Posted by: nufanec

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 10:11 AM

Oh well, I had hoped to get some use out of that disk... not to be I suppose.

Finally finished my design for the custom case I intend to build. Will post a few pics once I can get them modelled and rendered - probably the weekend! Going to start looking for materials for the case later this week. The outer shell is going to be made predominantly from moulded perspex (I have access to facilities to make this quite easily) and the inards will obviously be made from sheet metal. The colour scheme will be mainly black and white.

Does anyone know where I can pic up a power button? I've been looking around and can't seem to find any online. Preferably one with a reasonable sized cable as I want the power button to be mounted on the front of the case, not on the sides (where the ports will be).
Posted by: hookem2oo7

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 11:36 AM

you can buy a SATA to IDE adapter...
Posted by: nufanec

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 11:53 AM

hookem2oo7 wrote:
you can buy a SATA to IDE adapter...

Yeah, I had a look at those, but I'll probably just sell the hard disk and buy a SATA drive to take advantage of the extra speed. Think the disk I've got is only ATA-66 or something like that.

On a side note, this is a picture of the optical drive connector. It doesn't look like a standard connector that I've seen before. To my thought it looks like apple have made this connector in order to make it easier for the user to swap without sending in for service, or harder for the user to swap for third party products... Any help with this would be fantastic as it has me a bit flummoxed. Are there optical drives that run on SATA or would one of those adapters allow me to use an optical drive on the SATA bus?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 05:23 PM

From memory, that looks very much like the standard optical notebook ATA connector. I have never seen a cable which uses these on both ends though. It shouldn't be too pricey to get the original cable/caddy from Apple. So long as its the only one you have to buy.
Posted by: TCPMeta

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/09/05 07:48 PM

You could hardwire it but it would be a major pain to do it and a lot of time.
Posted by: nufanec

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/10/05 08:48 AM

Looks like it is a slim ATAPI connector. There are some adapters available online, but due to it being right next to the airport slot, I'd rather not risk the orientation being the wrong way round on it. Good news is however that Apple do have male-male cables for this port as it is also used in the current iBook. Have a look here! If I'm not mistaken, thats one of the cables I'm looking for right there

So far so good then. Motherboard gets here tomorrow or Monday, and I should be able to get a cable for the optical drive relatively easily. I'll try a few local shops, but otherwise I'll have to find one online somewhere. Biggest problem is still going to be the Power Supply. Might have to resory to just buying one of the stock Apple parts. It will be about 40 more than I could get away with by using a stock PC part, but for peace of mind it might be worth it... That is unless anyone could get me the pin out wink
Posted by: maestro

Re:Headless iMac G5 - 11/10/05 09:40 AM

As for your power button, you are in luck, I just happen to have a G5 power button. You will need
to lengthen the wires though.