imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo?

Posted by: PhotonBoy

imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/21/08 12:18 AM

I have an imac G4 "lamp" with a 20" flat screen that I really love and don't want to part with. I think it's the most beautiful desktop system Apple has put out to date. But it's starting to show it's limitations. I have an enormous itunes library and when itunes is open my system bogs down to a crawl. Is it possible to internally modify my machine into an intel core2 duo and add around 4gig of RAM while I'm at it? I asked the folks at Daystar, who offer an imac upgrade ( ) but they say no way, never. They won't say if it is technically impossible or if they have some corporate/political reason they can't do it. It seems to me that since a mac mini is smaller than the base of my computer that it should be possible but I've never tried anything like this before. I have a feeling there are a lot of G4 imac owners out there who would love this too. I've searched the internet high and low but can't find any discussion of this type of mod. Ideas? Thanks.
Posted by: oojacoboo

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/21/08 02:32 AM

you could def get a mac mini in there. I don't think you would really have any problems. Its just a matter of gutting the imac and the mini and putting the parts into it where they fit. The only issue will be the LCD. I don't know how that connects to the board on the imac... If you can get the pin-outs though, you could just rewire it.

This is def do-able, and not really that hard...
Posted by: soundmann18

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/21/08 05:28 AM

It would be serious surgery ... By 'not really that hard' Jacob means nothing terribly technical with the exception of the LCD. I imagine that the LCD is attached similar to a laptop, so it would probably not be easy to do, if you look up using a working screen from a busted laptop on another computer, you'll find tons of results that basically say it is prohibitively expensive to do.

To make it a bit easier on yourself, you could buy a 20" monitor and a mac mini, completely gut both of those and finagle them into the iMac case. But at that point, you may as well buy a busted iMac off eBay, and re-install OSX on your other one to set up as a kids machine or something ...
Posted by: flippy10

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/21/08 01:33 PM

20" monitors really aren't even that expensive these days, so it might be a worthy option. Plus you can sell the 20" panel from your iMac and make back some of the cash. This is a very interesting idea though, it would be cool to move those iMacs to C2D or CD. And it's future proof! Just replace the mini inside with a better one, and BAM system upgrade. ;D
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/21/08 09:42 PM

A good idea, but be careful with the neck if you swap out the LCD. The LCD cables run through the neck.
First of all, you need a special tool to undo the neck. I believe you used to be able to buy them but they are not common. We had ours made though.
Now the important warning: Undoing the neck is potentially dangerous, there is a spring in it under incredibly high tension. These things literally explode when they take a hefty whack in transit.
It took two of us to put one back together, and I weigh over 200lbs on my own.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/21/08 09:52 PM

Maybe.. it might be a better idea for your iMac (and you) if you leave the internal cable alone and just run it on the outside... >.< or perhaps wire the new monitor onto the old cable.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/22/08 05:57 PM

You can't use the existing LVDS. Thats why you'd need to open the neck.
Posted by: flippy10

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/22/08 06:48 PM

If you used the old LVDS to transport the signal from the panel to the panel controller, and then soldered the panel controller onto the output from the Mini.. it could work if there were enough available wires in the existing LVDS...Sorry, I wasn't specific enough about what I meant.

That way you wouldn't have to open the neck and won't worry about screwing up the panel while attempting to make it compatible with the existing setup. Only problem is that doing it could be a real headache.
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/22/08 08:45 PM

Yeah too right. I don't think I'd have the patience.
Posted by: Protocol6v

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/22/08 10:54 PM

Just found this...

Seemingly you can open the neck without disturbing the spring. Hope this help with your project...
Posted by: modyourmac

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/28/08 05:26 PM

While its an interesting notion, it sounds like a whole lot of effort for minimal return. Figure that you're going to have to gut the entire display assembly and remove the neck. Then you'll have to gut the base, and remove the neck from the base. Once you've done that, you'll have to gut the neck.

Now figure that you need to work out how to get a mac mini wedged in there correctly, with none of the mac mini's ports lining up with the iMac's bottom pan. The optical drive wont be in the right place, and since its a slot loading drive, it wont kick out the optical drive door on the imac housing. With the display, you've got to procure another vendor's display, and gut it. then you've got to get it to fit in place, and run the video and the power cabling down through the neck, and into the base. Once thats done, you've got to hook the display into the Mac Mini's DVI port, and figure out how you're going to run your power.

The long and short of it is, the new display may not fit in the display pan without some serious modification and gluing, the cables unless you remove their protective shroudings may not fit in the neck, and in order to get it all to fit in the bottom of the machine, you're most likely going to have to rout out the back of the unit's base.

Given all that, while I think its a great idea and it would be cool. However, if faced with all of this, just for aesthetics of an iMac G4, or a new screen and mac mini, I'd shelve the idea and stick with the mac mini smile
Posted by: Waragainstsleep

Re: imac G4 "lamp" to core2 duo? - 04/28/08 06:59 PM

Its been a long time since I had a neck open. I hope there is something else holding that spring in place on those pics. If that thing came loose while the assembly was lying on a desk, its only going to fly in one direction.