The Athlon G4 Project

Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 12/20/05 01:58 PM

Plans are now well underway (see this post). I've found almost all the parts I need, including a PCI express x1 FireWire 800 card. Cool!

One thing that's a bit problematic is the power supply; links to possible ones are at the bottom of post, but please: if you know something I don't, tell me. Preferably, it would be at least 500W, not too expensive, and only have a backside fan, which is what the G4 case will permit. It could also have an outside fan, for which I could cut a hole in the chassis, but not an inside fan, which would blow on the motherboard.

I'm thinking it could also use at least a top and maybe a bottom fan, with the top blowing out and the bottom sucking in. The space where the speaker used to reside will be taken up by an inblowing fan, and there will be a couple of outblowing fans at the back of the case. I was thinking of putting a fan controller in the 3.5" drive bay, maybe even a digital one with temperature readings.

But what about heatsinks, for the processor, chipset, and graphics card? I am quite novice in the art of building computers and anything to do with good performance. I'm pretty sure that I won't be able to do liquid cooling (price and case space), so please, don't suggest it, unless you believe differently. But please do suggest things that might work well.

SATA HD for sure... But what should I get? 250GB would be a good size. Keep in mind this will be basically a gaming-only machine, so high RPMs are not optional.

I have friends who swear up and down that Pioneer makes great optical drives, so I think I'll go with the one linked to at the bottom of this post.

And where should I buy my RAM?

As far as aesthetics go, I will definitely need to polish the outside of the case with some Brasso to get rid of the scratches and scuff marks. I was hoping I might also be able to replace the handles with ones from a Quicksilver or an MDD... Will that work? Are they compatible? They are so much cooler looking. If you have any, please PM me. I'm not decided as to the colors yet, but I know that there will definitely be black and perhaps metallic paint involved. As for the Apple logos, I'm not quite sure what to do. Give me your thoughts...

The PERFECT Motherboard:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/...MP=OTC-SHOPPING

Graphics Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814130238
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16814141014

Wireless Card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833338014

Optical Drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827129164

Power Supply:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817103940
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817162010
(would require SATA adapter)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817161008

Fan Controllers:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813999505
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813998804

And NO, I didn't just post all this because it would promote me to G3 Level. :P

EDIT: I forgot to ask about fans! What do y'all recommend?

Post edited by: JediJoker7169, at: 2005/12/21 04:34
Posted by: Draconis

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/20/05 02:39 PM

JediJoker your idea sounds awesome. Now, I don't have too much experience in building gaming machinies, but during the past month I did a whole lot of research on PC gaming hardware for my plan to build a gaming rig. For the cpu heatsink I would recommend either a Zalman 9500 or the Thermaltake Big Typhoon as those are the best two heatsinks instead of water cooling. The 7800 heatsink is supposed to be pretty good by itself. Arctic Cooling has an awseome reputation on their GPU coolers. You would be looking into their NVSilencer 5 Rev.3.If your looking for high rpm HDD's the most popular ones are the raptor series by Western Digital, but they are expensive. Below are links to the products I talked about and some good sites for reviews.

Zalman 9500
Big Typhoon
NVSilencer
Raptor Drives

Review Sites
PimpRig
Insanetek
ThinkComputers

Hope that helps!

BTW what cpu and ram are you going to use?

Post edited by: Draconis, at: 2005/12/20 22:48
Posted by: shadowboxer47

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/20/05 03:26 PM

JediJoker7169 wrote:
Quote:
SATA HD for sure... But what should I get? 250GB would be a good size. Keep in mind this will be basically a gaming-only machine, so high RPMs are not optional.


Really, you have quite a few choices here. I would go with Western Digital. I've never had problems with them. As for what size, if you're using this PC strictly for gaming, 250GB should be more than enough. The last gaming PC I owned had an 80GB HD which was plenty for me.

Quote:
And where should I buy my RAM?


Really, the question should be what brand of RAM are you going to get. I've continually used Corsair. I've only had one bad module from them--and I've used a lot--but they sent me a new one without any problem. Their lifetime warrenty is excellent. As for where, do some looking around. Prices will vary on sales, discounts, etc. Compare and find the lowest cost. Newegg is always a good place to start.

Quote:
What [fan] do ya'll recommend?


That depends on what you're going to use a particular fan for.

I did two articles a while back about fan cooling. Maybe they'll help you out:

Hands on Hardware: Fan Cooling Part 1

Hands on Hardware: Fan Cooling Part 2

Post edited by: shadowboxer47, at: 2005/12/20 23:29
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/20/05 04:57 PM

I know that I won't keep its uses to strictly gaming, and the drive will probably fill up quickly with large music and video files. So a 7200 RPM 250GB would probably be my best choice. And I think I'll probably get that Zalman if it will fit; it's gotten rave reviews. As for the processor, I'm leaning towards Athlon 64 X2 3800+ Toledo. My friend's dad works at sun, so he can get me good deals on AMD stuff. Anyone have a better, comparably-priced idea?

P.S.: Does anyone know how to remove the ports/slots plastic panel on the back of a G4 case? I figured it out, but it seems to be impossible to untab it at the top of the PCI slots.

EDIT: A really cool idea just struck me: I could make the left side clear and cut out a window in the metal chassis. That would show off the Zalman nicely, and I could also then consider perhaps cold cathode or LED lighting. I might want to up the voltage on my PSU then, though, which means more money... *Sigh* frown

Post edited by: JediJoker7169, at: 2005/12/21 02:46
Posted by: RedDrag0n

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/21/05 12:34 AM

OK, a few things, the DFI motherboard is cool, but it won't fit. Unless you plan on relocating the CD Rom drive altogether because of the excess ram slots. The best thing to do is find a board that has 2 ram slots and that would properly fit in the case your going to be using. Here are a couple of links that have recently done 2005 PC in Mac case mods
Steve's WinMac
http://homepage.mac.com/steve.smedley/PhotoAlbum8.html (Athlon Based)
My Frankenmac
http://members.shaw.ca/the_red_drag0n/Specs.htm (Intel Based)

You wanted to know if the handles from a Quicksilver & MDD would work? The answer to that is yes, all handles from the B&W to the MDD 800 are all interchangable.

Post edited by: RedDrag0n, at: 2005/12/21 09:12
Posted by: maestro

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/21/05 06:23 AM

You need to untab the back plate from the inside. Take your time, it can be tough. I believe you may run into issues having an optical bay in it also. Go with an outboard one, you can use the empty area for hd space. The G4 case is cramped, luckly Apples engineers are excellant at fitting parts, but that just makes the mod more difficult.
-maestro
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/21/05 02:24 PM

Well, I got the back panel off. In terms of parts interfering with drives... Is there any more detailed information I can find anywhere? I've looked, but I can't seem to find things I found long ago that I know would help. I was also wondering whether or not the power/reset/other fuction (what is it?) would interface without modification. Will they? And what do you mean, RedDrag0n, by "DFI?"

(P.S.: Can anyone figure out what the differences are between this TForce and GeForce, other than the mobo color and that the TForce comes with an S/PDIF cable?

http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails.asp?model=tforce+6100-939
http://www.biostar-usa.com/mbdetails.asp?model=geforce+6100-m9)

Post edited by: JediJoker7169, at: 2005/12/21 22:48
Posted by: maestro

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/21/05 04:30 PM

You wont be able to use the Mac's power/reset block. You can modify the buttons to work with a pc's switches thouch. DFI makes PC motherboards if Im not mistaken.
-maestro
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/21/05 07:01 PM

maestro wrote:
Quote:
You wont be able to use the Mac's power/reset block. You can modify the buttons to work with a pc's switches thouch. DFI makes PC motherboards if Im not mistaken.
-maestro

A'ight, I think I'll try to do a button conversion. As far as DFI making PC motherboards, I see how that comment relates, but what I'm looking at is from Biostar... Or is Biostar a DFI brand? I'm so confused... :S
Posted by: RedDrag0n

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/22/05 06:00 AM

JediJoker7169 wrote:
Quote:
In terms of parts interfering with drives... Is there any more detailed information I can find anywhere? I've looked, but I can't seem to find things I found long ago that I know would help. I was also wondering whether or not the power/reset/other fuction (what is it?) would interface without modification. Will they? And what do you mean, RedDrag0n, by "DFI?"

DFI is the brand name on the motherboard you were looking at getting. As for interferance with drives and ports, look at the board itself. According to Apple and the way they built their cases, you would need an extremely small CD/DVD rom to fit in there. Myself, i have an LG dvd burner that measures 170mm compared to the Pioneer DVR-109 drive which is 180mm. The smaller the better to get past IDE, power and ram slots. Also, on that DFI board, look at where the power plug is, that will surely interfere with the closing of the case. Unless you want to run an external DVD rom.
maestro wrote:
Quote:
I believe you may run into issues having an optical bay in it also. Go with an outboard one, you can use the empty area for hd space.

The ram slots are going to be a big problem too. Unfortunatly if you want to run dual channel ram, you might want a G5 case, but for the G3 to G4 cases, 2 ram slots are needed or removal of the optical drive is needed.

(edit) Sorry, my bad, i thought that board was a DFI, but i noticed it was a Biostar board instead. Again, my bad.

Post edited by: RedDrag0n, at: 2005/12/22 14:20
Posted by: RedDrag0n

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/22/05 06:07 AM

Also forgot. You can run the original power-on board from the case, but you will have to solder new wires to where the original buttons and LED's are. Reference pics following will show what i mean.
G3 B&W front power-on board
G3 B&W rear power-on board
G4 DA rear power-on board
G4 DA front power-on board

Post edited by: RedDrag0n, at: 2005/12/26 15:10
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/22/05 01:49 PM

I think that's what I'll do for the power board. It doesn't look too hard. As far as the RAM slots go, could the two front ones be removed? It seems to me that that would solve the problem, and I'm sure it's doable. It's just a matter of how doable. If I have to, I can get a slot-loading drive and mount it above where the normal optical is, like in one of the mods I saw, I forget which one.

I've pretty much decided to do everything black. "No colors anymore: I want them to turn black." The Apples, however, could be done in a different color, maybe blue or red. But how can I remove them from the sides? As far as the front Apple goes, It's either being replaced by a fan or an optical drive, so...
Posted by: RedDrag0n

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/22/05 03:22 PM

Removing the ram sockets might be harder than you think. Desoldering would be the way to go on that one, or you could just shave the one side of them down so that the door would be able to close.*Reference pic* You can mount the CD rom higher, but that would require some mods that should be easy to do. Here are pics of what someone did to acomadate the lack of CD rom room, and they made it look flashy too.CD rom reference**Slot load reference*
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/28/05 12:39 AM

Again, how do I remove the side Apples? I don't want this thread to die!!!
Posted by: destructospin

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/28/05 03:10 AM

i think you gotta pry them off because they're glued
use a blowdryer to warm it up and gently pry them off
its what i did to remove the jewel on the top of my xbox!
Posted by: RedDrag0n

Re:The Athlon G4 Project - 12/31/05 02:15 PM

If you want, go with the blow dryer idea, as for mine, i did it the hard way. Pry them off hopeing they don't break. Enclosed is a pic of the inside side panel. There are 2 small holes that i used to put a small poke instrument in to push off the logo's. One in the leaf and one in the upper portion of the apple.
Side panel reference


Post edited by: RedDrag0n, at: 2005/12/31 22:19

Post edited by: RedDrag0n, at: 2005/12/31 22:20

Post edited by: RedDrag0n, at: 2006/01/13 14:15
Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 02/26/06 04:25 PM

It's been a long time since I posted in this thread...

Anyway, do you think that this Apple-branded SuperDrive will have Windows drivers? I hope so, because it would actually fit in the optical bay without modifications.
Posted by: maestro

The Athlon G4 Project - 02/26/06 06:51 PM

It will. More than likely it is a Pioneer Dvd burner. It could be a Sony one too, but that should work.
Posted by: oojacoboo

The Athlon G4 Project - 02/26/06 07:07 PM

windows has drivers for nearly everything.. Plus, maestro is right, prob pioneer or sony.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 02/27/06 02:01 AM

I thought as much. Is there some catalogue of Apple parts I could purge and find out what it really is, and get the drivers?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

The Athlon G4 Project - 02/27/06 11:04 AM

At 16x DL, it is most likely a Pioneer DVR-110 (Or maybe a 109 - the biggest difference is firmware anyway). It could be a different one, but why not just get a standard DVR-110? They are cheap at the moment, the drivers are probably on the Pioneer site, and it will work fine if you later decide to pull it for use in a Mac.

I suspect some kind of burning app like Nero, or something from Roxio would certainly be able to run it under Windows.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 03/02/06 02:57 AM

I've had this bookmarked for quite some time: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16827129164. Could it be the same or a similar model?
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

The Athlon G4 Project - 03/02/06 09:53 AM

Thats the one. Not sure what the D on the end means, but the BK just refers to the colour of the bezel.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 03/02/06 05:16 PM

Cool.

How should I go about getting scratches and scuff marks off the case? Will Brasso or Silvo do the trick?
Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 03/08/06 10:17 PM

Please? Somebody? Anybody? I'd like to know before I just start scrubbing away...

And I'm assuming paint designed for scaled model and remote control cars will work just fine for a new paint job... Am I correct? There's a hobby shop conveniently located where I could pick some up. Or do I need special stuff like Krylon?
Posted by: JediJoker7169

The Athlon G4 Project - 03/16/06 05:15 PM

I just discovered that I will most likely be required to go with watercooling, unless there's a good enough fanless hetsink, which I doubt. I hope I can find a kit that will fit internally. I guess my best bet is probably to wait until I have everything else put together in the case.
Posted by: JediJoker7169

Re: The Athlon G4 Project - 09/23/07 10:58 PM

Well, this thread's getting pretty dusty.  I have pretty much abandoned the project now that I have an MBP.  I still need to install Windows, though.