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Thread: G4 airflow hacks!

  1. #21
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    All the holes were de-burred after drilling/cutting. The case metal is easy to work with, but is very prone to flash. I'm generally impressed with quality of the metal work on the G4 case (the ATX cases I've seen are cheap junk in comparison) so I don't want to ruin the theme. Besides sharp edges suck. Being a guitarist I value my fingers.

  2. #22
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    Wow!

    Brane, its like modding a car huh

    Metall work, cool stuff!

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  3. #23
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    Thumbs up Good Stuff.

    I like it. Assisting the normal process of heat rising, not trying to fight it.

    Very similar to what I had in mind.....cool air intakes at the bottom/front, heat exhausted from the top rear, as well as extracting more heat at the source rather than spreading it around inside the case. Simple and functional.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #24
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    Wow again.
    I like your idea, well planned. I like to see to how the additional PSU works. If you can keep us posted how both will work upon boot up if connected to hard drives. Regards - Gerry

  5. #25
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    Herein lies one advantage of the GigE over the DA. The DA's CPU is at the rear of the logic board and won't allow M.Brane's mod. But I'm watching this one with interest. My 733DA is just sitting around doing nothing at the moment. The Dual 1.33 Giga I had in it (Randy's now) worked great, and the temp's in the case, while elevated, weren't scary; my problem was the noise. That's a big part of the reason I went to a G5. I think M.Brane's on the right track with this. The problem with cooling the upgraded machines seems not to be getting air in, it's getting air out. In the stock machine, most of the cooling air is exiting via one 80mm fan in the PSU, so it's running an inadequate and noisy full-tilt boogie all the time. I'd like to put another Giga upgrade in the DA, but only if I can figure out how to move more air more slowly through the case, or go liquid-cooled. The CPU's heat sink in the DA is hard up against the PSU with the case closed, and with the best will in the world, the airflow there has to be less than stellar, making cooling difficult. I do have a redundant ZIP drive bay which could accommodate a 1-PCI-slot blower, could probably surrender a PCI slot for another, and I reckon there might be room underneath the ZIP bay to fit a liquid-cooling radiator if it came to that. A combination of these and the removal of all fan grilles might go a long way in an attempt to double the speed and halve the noise. Meantime, I'm watching with interest. M.Brane, did you by any chance record the case temp's with the Giga installed before you started the mod?
    "illegitimis non carborundum"

  6. #26
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    Herein lies one advantage of the GigE over the DA. The DA's CPU is at the rear of the logic board and won't allow M.Brane's mod.
    Yeah but the DA has an advantage that there are already holes in the back for a fan.

    Mentioned before, but I did cut temps a bit using a QS fan in my DA:
    http://www.macgurus.com/guides/giga_da/part2.php

    Mind you I bet you could move more with a bit of cutting, since in the DA you're trying to force air out of a cheese-grater. Make a hole like M. and put some mesh and I bet you could push more air out of the case -- particularly the hot air coming off the CPUs. Just a thought.

  7. #27
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    The Dual 1.33 Giga I had in it (Randy's now) worked great,
    And FedEx just dropped it off to me. I had to send it to Giga. When my QS mobo went seems the Giga did too. They said it's running fine with a 133 MHz bus and Dual 1.33. Ready to get it going again.

    Brane, when your done you should edit the BS crap out and get this thread in a good FAQ spot. It will be a great reference. - Randy

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicolas
    its like modding a car huh
    Yeah only on a much smaller scale. Even smaller than bike work. In fact that's where my Giga's fans may end up. My igniter, and regulator get very hot, and could use some air movement. Noise is not an issue on the bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by unclemac
    Assisting the normal process of heat rising, not trying to fight it.
    Exactly! Convection works for Cubes without fans so power-assisted convection should work well enough for a tower.

    Quote Originally Posted by Disc2
    I like to see to how the additional PSU works. If you can keep us posted how both will work upon boot up if connected to hard drives.
    I'm still exploring possibilities for the second PSU. At this point it looks like I may just use a Micro ATX, and tie it in to the power-on signal from the logic board. That's down the road a bit at this point.

    Quote Originally Posted by biggles
    did you by any chance record the case temp's with the Giga installed before you started the mod?
    Yes with the most accurate device I have available: the back of my hand.

    Seriously I've been thinking about installing some sensors so I can check temps without opening the case. Need thermocouple sources, and wiring/readout strategies.

    Quote Originally Posted by rwm
    when your done you should edit the BS crap out and get this thread in a good FAQ spot. It will be a great reference.
    Not a bad idea, but I kinda like the BS. Keeps it real.

  9. #29
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    Not a bad idea, but I kinda like the BS. Keeps it real.
    Defiantly does that real good. The Guru's touch.

  10. #30
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    Default Fan replacement

    The stock fans were good in their day, but are getting old, and noisey. Time for some fresh replacements.

    The case fan's original mounting assembly was previously removed, and the fan mounted directly to the side of the case like a traditional ATX case fan. This seemed to drop the exhaust fan temp, but I was concerned that the drives may not be getting enough air flow. The previous mods should help, but I won't be sure until I get 'er going again, and check temps. In the meantime the original NMB case fan gets replaced with a Vantec Stealth 120mm double ball bearing with custom fabbed isolation mounting. The white stuff on the fan is foam weatherstrip available at your local home improvement center. The selection of case quieting materials at the local Fry's is pathetic at best, and unfortunately I'm at loathe to order from most on-line vendors (host vendors excluded due to the lack of a true credit card.

  11. #31
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    It's hard to see, but there is a silicone washer on that fan mount screw courtesy of the Vantec 80mm fan isolation kit I'll be using on the PSU fan.

    It says in the Vantec lit to use either the isolation mounts or the screw washers, but not both. Personally I don't see why not as the screws have little chance of working loose from their interference fit in the fan casing.

    Besides I'm not using their shock mount on the 120.

  12. #32
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    One thing I don't like about the G4 case is the amount of resonance the case produces. The internal metal case rings, and rattles loudly when you tap it. I'll be adding some strips of foam to the inside of the case to help kill some of that resonance. There was also a rattle that began to drive me nuts while working on the case. After some investigation I found the culprit, and removed it with extreme prejudice.

    I'll never use it anyway.

  13. #33
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    Back to the fan.

    Here's what it looks like mounted up. You'll notice that I didn't remove the grill in front of it. Axial fans don't work well unless there's equal resistance on both sides i.e. no excessive backpressure or suction. Since I'll eventually be ducting it's output to a smaller opening (the Giga sink) I left it for now.

  14. #34
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    Default PSU Fan

    The PSU fan is a bit tricky. There are delicate components that are glued to it, and the back needs to be bent considerably to get the old fan out. I used an Exacto knife to cut the glue loose, and brute force to bend the case. Care is required here as it would be real easy to bend it too much. The exhaust grill was removed previously with my trusty dikes (remember those?), but I took this opportunity to clean up the opening a bit since it's visible from the outside. The unit was cleansed with a good dose of compressed air afterward to ensure no metallic residue remains.

  15. #35
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    The fan simply plugs into a small board on the bottom of the unit. Be sure to keep track of polarity as these are DC fans, and will spin backward if you reverse the leads.

    I added a Vantec silicone fan isolation mount. It was a tight fit to stuff it in there without tearing it up. I also added the silicone washers to the mounting screws like they tell you not to do.

  16. #36
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    Well that's it for now unless my partner in musical crime cancels our session this weekend. I need to get off my ass, and re-assemble this beast. I would like to take this opportunity though to thank the Gurus for the hosting/Giga/RAM/not throwing tomatoes, and my two assistants though they didn't really offer much real help just moral support.

  17. #37
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    Helper #2

  18. #38
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    Ooops almost forgot about the other side of the PSU (got a phone call while posting these). I actually removed this grill some time ago with the dikes. I didn't clean up the edges for two reasons: there are components very close to the grill that I didn't want to risk hitting with the grinder, and you can't see it from the outside anyway. Just need to be wary of those sharp edges.

    To be continued................

  19. #39
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    Thumbs up Oh yea baby! Talk about it!............

    Excellent work brother!
    I take a set of them there plans when your finished!
    Both thumbs up!
    hazkell

  20. #40
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    The plan basics are just common sense airflow management gained from working with vehicles for many years. Air doesn't like to make sharp bends or travel over rough surfaces. Done a bit of porting in my adventures.

    The details are improvised during the actual execution depending on the materials, and tools available at the time. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants kinda guy.

    Besides if I could afford a new Mac believe me I'd rather just plunk down the cash, plug it in, and go. Not in the budget.

    Well the scheduled recording session got cancelled so on to more hacking adventures.

    I used one of mankind's greatest inventions ever to cover some of the factory holes to make sure that air is not getting recirculated. I also covered all the holes on the back in similar fashion so that no exhaust air get's back into the case.

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