Segunda Hackintosh: proyecto "FrankenMac"

Lately I’ve been pondering the idea of ​​changing my PC. Although most Macs home we still need to have Windows machines, mainly for work, and especially for running applications that only exist for this operating system.

I have long been a “tower” Dell with a Pentium 4, quite dated, with a pair of internal hard drive running Windows XP and 7 respectively.

Over the years it has become more and more slowly, but rarely use it and I have few programs installed, I thought that it will be time to replace it.

After the success I had created the Hackintosh laptop, I decided to make me a “monster” that has the capacity of a G5, a fraction of the cost and ability to run other operating systems. With all that I have examined and read, I decided to put it together bit by bit (no hurry) and buying the pieces when I have money or find good deals.
The goal is to build an Intel i7 Intel i5 computer in the “box” of a G5, video card capable of supporting two monitors – now almost all do – a couple of hard drives (one for OS) and DVD , though the latter is hardly ever used.

My goal is to buy a used G5, preferably broken down, and clean, prepare and adapt it to my liking. The main thing is I want to preserve as much as the appearance of the box, front and rear ports to the extent possible. This means adapting the inputs of the motherboard to the case. In some places the card fit by cutting a hole, but I want to keep the whole box, so I’ll have to adapt the connectors with cables, a little complicated but more aesthetic.

Another problem I face is the power, I use the same as the G5, but from what I read is to use a commercial PC.

Eventually I hope to finish with a “FrankenMac” powerful, 16GB of memory, a pair of hard drives (SSD partitioned into two operating systems, and TB for applications and data) and all kinds of connectors: USB 3.0 to Firewire from but I still think that both will have these connections last several years if I have not used.

The most important thing is to keep costs down. If a last generation G5 equivalent costs about $ 2,500.00, the cost of my “FrankenMac” must be less than $ 800.00.

Estimated Cost of components:

Partes Costo
Caja G5: $89
CPU i5: $199
Tarjeta Madre: $109
RAM 8GB: $49
Fte. Poder 750W: $54
HD500GB (reciclado)
Disco 128 SSD: $129
Tarjeta Video: $54
Total: $683

Obviously the more expensive the CPU at any given time I can turn down the i5 and save $ 100. The price of SSD is based on an offer, but with the advent of SATA 6G III and whenever I see most of those prices. Prices are based on Amazon, but in places like NewEgg or Fry’s you can find discounts, and if not looking at sites like Slickdeals and FatWallet.

A good guide to build a Hackintosh is on LifeHacker, and I also like to multi-boot, there is another guide from the same site.

Well, that I’m at the moment, I hope to win an auction of G5 soon, we must be careful because many are in very bad shape, battered and bent, or asking too much for an outdated computer and slow processor.

Update December 29:
The computer I bought on eBay arrived 3 days ago, I took to empty:

The first thing I did was replace the power supply with new, original drawing, cleaning and adjusting the space

the new fits perfectly, and I hope that the two fans are enough…

The next step is the motherboard (Motherboard) and I want to keep the back intact, I plan to do some “surgery”:

Next step: replace the USB ports, audio and ethernet ones that work, really wireless, firewire, and others do not use …
The ethernet port replaced it with a wall jack, then cutting it to edit it to have the same height and width as the original, actually cut and paste the frontalpara that looked identical.

USB ports to use a cable bought at CompUSA internal quad, which I cut to mold and to enter into the right place:

For audio, it was only a matter of soldering wires directly (could have done the same for others?)

After hard work, all set! Installed in the MacPro.

Accommodating the components to assemble “the beast”.

Be tested as the motherboard inside the case.

Another problem is the start button, as having no basis or conventional computer box, the cable with the power button is not included. The problem was solved by placing a screwdriver between the connector for a second.

The test was successful, the system boots, I made some adjustments to the BIOS, follow the guide to create the hackintosh of lifehacker.
I proceeded to create the usb drive with unibeast and Lion. After hours of frustration trying to solve an installation problem “waiting for the device to mount.” After much research, changing cables, disks and internet searching, I read that someone had problems with certain brands of thumb drives, so I changed the drive by Kingston and Sandisk ‘voliá’ installed with no problem.
A few minutes later saw first Lion in my “monster”!

Update December 31:

Everything works perfectly, I had a little problem with the network, but Multibeast “was responsible for adding the” driver “(or Kext) correct. Audio, video, monitor, everything works and is recognized. The system tells me the correct numbers.

Well, after that everything works is not only begun to assemble and put everything in place. To accommodate the motherboard I bought a strip of aluminum and made holes that match the original screws MacPro, then placed on the aluminum base screws that hold the new card. Once this is done, is working on special cables to connect the fans. I will adapt to make them look as much like the originals. The hardest part will be the cable for the power button, because there are not many electronic supply store and mail order involves waiting several days. I have to adapt or find connectors between my cable boxes.

Update January 8:

I have finished the important thing, I just need to install the DVD that came from factory: the motherboard only accepts SATA and my DVD is ATA, so I had to make the decision to buy a new SATA DVD, which I hardly use, or get an adapter. The new DVDs are priced from $ 20 to $ 50 and $ 19 adapter, which I found it expensive. after searching a while, I found on eBay adapters SATA -> ATA from $ 2.50! I bought one for 4.50 with shipping included.

All this time I was working on what it cost me more than all the conversion work: the front panel cable.

The custom cable has a connector for front panel, so you have to cut the cable to change. On the Internet you can find some versions of the configuration and how, you just have to find “G5 front panel cable.” There are also people on the forums that sell ready-made cables, but the price ranges between $ 40 and $ 50. These cables are very well done, but are intended to include Firewire motherboards, which mine does not have, and really does not bother me as long I do not use the interface.

With this in mind, I decided to make my own cable. after much effort, I got two internal USB cables (one for USB and one for audio, are equal) and two of three and two connectors for the power button and LED.

Based on internet diagrams and manuals for my motherboard made my own day

program for the cable. After analyzing a few times to avoid mistakes early on a Saturday I started the task. After hours of welding, gluing and test meter connections, the cable was ready.

When I saw the front panel LED lit by pressing the power button, I was very happy. my cable was a success.

Now we just need to wait for SATA adapter to install the DVD, and you’re ready. I decided not to activate more than an original fan, as they are quite noisy, which surprises me. Instead I installed the big fan that came with the power supply, which is very quiet and powerful. I will be monitoring the temperature with “iStatPro” to see that do not rise much, but I think at the moment are good.
Later I will play with the processor speed and memory, it can be easily modified. First I finished optimize and install applications, and then proceed to make a backup, to have to come back in case of loss.

Update January 12:
Yesterday I received the adapter SATA. immediately install it on the DVD (very small!) and connects to the computer. Nothing. The DVD does not open when I press the front button, no signs of life, although the adapter is lit LCD. I have to find another way to test the DVD, or even with another unit.
Update: complete failure. The DVD drive is not responding. remove one from the old PC, connect it and not recognize it. I have to buy a specific SATA DVD, but there is no hurry, do not use.

Software: but in the end everything works fine on OSX, has been a rough road. I can say that the first installation was

a success, but after adjusting the system I’ve had enough “Kernel Panics” when booting. Two very important things I learned from this: to avoid headaches, we must support the folder or folder “Extras” that resides on the boot disk. Here are kept many of the preferences and files that support booting, sometimes it is useful to restore them, when all else fails.

In a couple of occasions I had to reinstall the system, thinking he would lose all my applications and improvements made to the system but did not. After reinstalling, everything worked as before, so I made the subsequent reinstatement without fear. The only time I did not recover after installation remove the hard drive, connect it as external to my Macbook and replace the folder “Extras”. With the CPU fan that came from the same factory the temperature fluctuated between 55-65 degrees Celsius. speed up the system as planned (overclock) buy a “cooler” (heatsink) larger, with a couple of fans, which cost me $ 30. After installing the CPU temperature under 25 degrees (!) A big improvement. I proceeded to speed up the system basically changed some numbers in the BIOS, after reading people say that it is stable around 45 GHz. I chose to keep it to 43 and the memory speed from 1300 to 1600. The system is stable and Geekbench went from 9500 to 12400!

The next problem was the noise. more fans by having the Mac sounded like a jet. I found a link that talks about how to change the voltage from 12 to 5 volts and reduce the speed of them. I modified a cable that feeds all the internal fans, and is now much quieter. complete with the overclocking and temperature change in ventilation between 30 and 35 degrees, quite acceptable.

Update January 20:

After much blood and sweat (no tears) the “Frankenmac” is a success. The installation part of the system was more complicated than I expected, I had to reinstall last two systems, audio and lost it after a week of changes in drivers, kexts, BIOS and CMOS, I found that the cable connected the internal audio (which connects with the front panel) was not causing any sound. When disconnecting everything worked great.

What I learned: The Lion OSX is a very tough, the configuration has to be done down to the last detail. It should be very calm, composure and not despair when you leave a “kernel panic”.

The build your own machine gives you a more direct view of the components and configuration options of the same, the ability to increase their capabilities in an easy (via “overclock” or components faster) than an original Mac does not allow. At this point I can add a new CPU (i7) video card or RAM without problems, increase the hard drives and keep your computer running at an acceptable temperature.

I bought a super silent fan (10 dB) and installed it on the disk bay. I replace the original rear fans are a bit noisy.

3 Comments on “Segunda Hackintosh: proyecto "FrankenMac"

  1. Buen aporte,yo he optado por cortar la parte trasera y la parte de los discos duros,mi placa base es bastante mas grande es una asus z68-v pro a ver si consigo una caja vieja tirada por mi barrio un saludo.

    • Gracias por el comentario Jose Luis, yo preferí mantener la caja como original por estética y porque los cortes siempre dañan y hacen la caja menos resistentes. He visto algunas excepciones donde logran hacer que parezca original, y otras que le ponen una placa de aluminio cubriendo todo.
      El espacio dentro de la G5 es bastante grande, habría que ver.

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