by Brett Thomas
Several things come to mind when I think of a clean mod - attention to detail, function that does not sacrifice form, clean lines and an overall attractive design. Yep, when I think of a clean mod, I think of a Mac - the G5, in fact.
Of course, I say this and several of you immediately turn up your noses. But let's be honest - the G5 case is probably one of the most attractive cases that has been created. PC modders have been attempting to master the case for their own purposes ever since its introduction. Some have been successful, others...well, not so much. Out of the successful ones, many manage to maintain that G5 look - which can easily register as an impressive accomplishment unto itself. However, very few actually add to the form of the case by adding something unique.
Out of these few successes sits one that is beyond impressive - the Apple Core Duo mod by bit-tech community member Cyprio, aka Stavros Stavrou. It's been a long time in the making - over a year, in fact. But we've been keeping an eye on it the whole time, and we've got the official log for its creation.
So, let's hand this off - you didn't come here to listen to me, you came here to see some modding! Stav, the floor is all yours...
Modding an Apple G5 case had been a dream of mine for as long as I set my eyes on it. In my opinion it is the ultimate case. Minimalist but memorable. Sleek yet solid. Sexy yet... you get the point right? When I found one on eBay for a very reasonable price, I snapped it up immediately and then proceeded to stare at it for hours on end every day after work. I would ask myself how one could take a Dremel to it and not ruin its minimalist, sleek and sexy form... so begins the story of what has taken over an enormous amount of my spare time over the past two years.
It has been quite a journey. Being new to modding I made quite a few mistakes along the way. I learnt from these however and came back with even more determination to get it right. Those of you who have been following the project will have seen that I went through two different front panel designs, had to redo the rear of the case after my initial attempts failed and also got through three mirrored perspex side panels due to 'chipping issues'. You will see two completely different perspex Aquaero mounts and radiator covers and a lot more perspex mock-ups that didn't make it into the final build. I even changed hardware and watercooling components after I got sponsored... almost a year ago. Heck, i've even moved house twice in the process!
Obviously, this was not your usual PC case - so every thing had to be worked out and made from scratch. That includes things we usually take for granted, like brackets, mounting for the hard disks, etc. I think this is what made it a lot of work!
I would like to thank Pascal at Aqua-PCs and Eddy at EK for being the first people to believe in me and offer a GFX block in sponsorship. A huge thanks also goes out to Tom at Chilled-PC for never tiring with my endless modding questions and for helping me out with the MB watercooling blocks. And Brett, thanks for picking out AppleCoreDuo for the mod of the month competition and the support (and the gentle 'reminders') along the way.
Abit, BFG Tech and OCZ you guys rock! Last but definitely not least a huge thanks of course to all the bit-tech readers for the encouragement when things went horribly wrong and all the positive feedback when things went as planned.
The Future Former G5 case...
The Apple G5 case is basically made up of three main sections: an 'inner cage', an 'outer cage' that wraps around this and the case door.
The case I received had very few original fittings so all I had to remove were a fan and the HDD racks. The much bigger task was dismantling it, something that the engineers over at Apple obviously didn't want you to do. If I remember correctly there must have been over 30 Torx bolts in very hard to reach locations.