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stormy

Best G4 Cube in the world (probably!)

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(Moderators please could you delete all the images past the 'Thank you' at the end, I don't know why but it throws every single image in a row there, I tried deleting them but they keep coming back.)

 

I've been working on a G4 Cube lately and I have finally finished the project! Here are some photos and the final specs:

 

   
CPU G4 Sonnet 1.2Ghz 2MB L3 Cache
RAM 1.5 GB of CAS2 SDRAM
Internal Storage 2x 120GB SSD's on the IDE bus, 1x 32gb USB on internal router
Removable Media 1x Fire-wire 400 CF card reader, in replacement of the CD-ROM
Graphics XFX NVIDIA 6200 w/ 256mb RAM, core image and quartz extreme supported
Sound External USB DAC with analogue & spdif output
VRM High power G4 Cube VRM from Stratos technologies
Wifi Internal AC750 travel router wired to Ethernet w/ hardware kill-switch
Cooling Internal CPU fan and GPU fan connected to potentiometer for control
OS Tiger on one SSD, Leopard on the other
 
   
   
   

Removable Media -

Firewire CF card reader installed in the CD-ROM bay, the CD-ROM was removed because it didn't eject anymore and also optical media is kind of obsolete these days. The FW CF drive is super fast (can easily max out the fastest available CF card) and is fully bootable. This makes it extremely easy to quickly write installation media and even having a spare CF with a bootable OS on for system recoveries if something goes wrong.

FWcard1.jpg
........................................................

Graphics card

The XFX NVIDIA 'WANG' AGP graphics card. The fastest card available for the G4 Cube and conveniently one of the smallest. Core image and Quartz extreme fully supported. It is a PC card that needs to be flashed with a modified Mac bios, I used the 300mhz down-clocked rom for cube use, I did test a regular speed rom but the card would easily overheat and produce artifacts. All information about flashing this card can be found on the Mac Elite site below:

The cooling heatsinks suitable are:
Titan TTC-CUV3 (Available in USA) or Evercool VC-RF (Available in EU)

 

GRX1.jpg

New high power VRM unit from Stratos -

Stratos Technologies high power G4 Cube VRM, highly recommended as using a stock VRM and upgrades can cause complete system failure. I firstly modified my stock VRM with extra MOSFETS and fitted heatsinks - but I still ended up getting the Stratos one as I'm a little paranoid about these kinds of things.

(I e-mailed the designer asking for a discount and he kindly gave me free postage from Japan, he told me he'll do it for anyone who asks and I can tell people about it)
New VRM.jpg

Fans, cooling and resistors

I installed resistors to control the speed and volume of the fans. The CPU fan was already installed due to the 1.2ghz CPU upgrade. The Stratos VRM actually has a heat sensor to adjust the voltage output for the fan, but it only supports one fan at a time so I decided to just use my own method. I used 82 Ohm resistors on the +V rail of each fan, this reduced the speed and noise levels to the perfect amount that I required.

POT2.jpg

SSD's

Here you can see the internal SSDs mounted just below and above the CD-ROM area at two separate right angles. Removing the CD-ROM freed up one extra IDE port so I could run two drives. Since the SSD's are so small and use low power, they're actually much better for the Cube than old spinning disks.

SSD2.jpg

Removal of the PCMCIA port / Airport and replace with AC750 travel router

I installed a TP-Link TL-WR902AC in the CD-ROM bay area, wired up it's micro usb power into the Molex 5v of the SSD and routed the cable internally and out through a hole created by removing the old 56k modem. The Wifi router also has a USB port so I installed a 32GB usb drive to be a local network share between the Tiger and Leopard OS's. Handy for Cube specific files and system tools, OS X images etc.

Wifi2.jpg

Side view

Here is a side shot of how it all fits together, the FW CF reader at the top, then the wifi router and SSD's. The white cable is router much neater after I took this photo.

Wifi3.jpg

Kill switch

Hardware kill switch for the internal wifi router. As there are times I might prefer to connect directly to a local Ethernet, it is nice to be able to turn the little router off to save power and reduce heat.

Switch.jpg
 
   
   
~ FINISHED ~

(the cool light effects weren't planned, they just happened due to the mods I installed, I don't mind them!)

 

 
Finished1.jpg
 
 
Finished2.jpg


Thanks for reading!
 
   

underfan1.jpg

underfan2.jpg

Cablesout1.jpg

Cablesout2.jpg

diskbench1.jpg

diskbench2.jpg

diskbench3.jpg

diskbench4.jpg

Finished1.jpg

Finished2.jpg

FWcard1.jpg

FWcard2.jpg

GRX1.jpg

GRX2.jpg

New VRM.jpg

Old_VRM.jpg

POT1.jpg

POT2.jpg

Sonnet_CPU.jpg

SSD1.jpg

SSD2.jpg

Switch.jpg

USB1.jpg

USB2.jpg

USB3.jpg

Wifi1.jpg

Wifi2.jpg

Wifi3.jpg

Edited by stormy
too many photos

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Very cool, impressed how you packed everything in there!

 

Is any of what you installed compatible with OS 9?

 

 

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:57 AM, joshc said:

Very cool, impressed how you packed everything in there!

 

Is any of what you installed compatible with OS 9?

 

 

Os9 emulation and games work fine in Tiger, but Os9 itself runs in software mode.

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