webPC - iMac G3 Modernization

Discussion in 'Finished Projects' started by XCVG, Jul 21, 2013.

  1. XCVG

    XCVG ModRetro Legend

    So, one year after I asked the question of whether an old iMac G3 could be turned into a modern PC, it's finally built.





    The screen is a 15" Dell LCD. Has a new IO panel with 4 USB, HDMI, and gigabit ethernet. Webcam where the microphone was, new microphone is a few inches to the side, both work. New DVD writer, works. AMD A6-5400K and 8GB of DDR3-1600. Big blue LED Bitfenix Spectre Pro fan for cooling. It also has wireless-N but I prefer not to use it.

    It has a few issues- the audio amp is a noisy piece of flax and needs to be replaced. The hard drive is slow as Heck and really loud- I'll probably replace it with a hybrid drive when Seagate launches their 3.5" ones. But it works well enough- it was originally intended as a lanparty machine and runs everything my friends and I play fine, and also Skyrim. Runs cool if you don't cover up the vent like I did- then it smells like burning.

    It's an LCD because I hate CRTs (I'm one of those people very sensistive to flicker) and it's next to impossible to fit a PC in the bottom of a slotloader- all the original CRT builds I've seen are trayloaders. I'm running Windows 7 because I hate Mac OS X and all our games are for Windows- like I said, lanparty machine.

    Worklog, such as it is, is here: viewtopic.php?f=41&t=10647
  2. thatguythere

    thatguythere Member

    Nice work. I was thinking of making a HTPC sized computer myself so I can bring for lan parties...but I just never got around to doing it.
  3. Basement_Modder

    Basement_Modder He who mods in thy basement.

    And I JUST tossed my old imac G3 housing...
  4. samjc3

    samjc3 #1 Female Member

    Makes me want to build a second computer now. Not sure what housing I'd go with, but I've got a pile of extra hardware, so it could be good.

    Really like how that turned out, though I still say it needs a subwoofer.
  5. Noah

    Noah Frequent Poster

  6. XCVG

    XCVG ModRetro Legend

    If I were to build another PC in a Mac, I would do it with a Power Mac G3 Blue and White. Unfortunately, they are extremely hard to come by, and I have neither the time nor the money for such a project.

    As for the subwoofer: it needs an amp that isn't utter flax first. I do have a pair of Cambridge Soundworks subwoofers with integrated amplifiers (for a PC, got them without the other parts), hmm...
  7. Prog

    Prog Moderator Staff Member

    I wonder if my elementary school still has like five of those lying around...
  8. Kyosho

    Kyosho NOT KYO

    Nice project. I wanted to try something like this a few years back. I had a pink G3 that I got from a friend's father for $10. I used it stock, for a short period, as just a second computer set up next to my main PC so I could look flax up while gaming (walkthroughs if stuck, etc.). But it was really underpowered, and I realized how much I really hate the Mac OS, so I just kept it around hoping to basically do what you did. However, when I moved out of that apartment, I decided to leave it behind. It was an eyesore (I really hate pink, man), and I didn't have the money for the project so it was just sitting around anyways.

    I was going to try and keep the CRT, because it actually had a nice picture, but your LCD method makes much more sense these days. I'm sure it made it easier to fit stuff inside as well. Great job, man.

    Also, a small tip, don't carry the thing by just the handle. I don't know what they were thinking. Mine cracked, and I had been carrying it with two hands (one on the bottom). If I'd been carrying it by just the handle, it would've broken and hit the cement.
  9. Aux

    Aux Well-Known Member

    Is this true? Man, I have at one at my parents' house that's destined to become a storage ottoman, whenever I remember to pick it up. I also have two of the original G4s (though one is a mini-kegerator now), a G4 Quicksilver, and one of the sweet aluminium body G5 towers. Pro tip: if you ever get the chance to handle computer recycling for a college, but they don't mind if you recycle them into your living room, it's totally worth the dehumanizing tech support portion. At least for a little while.

    Disclaimer: your boyfriend might not appreciate that the majority of your side tables are Dell Optiplexes.
  10. SonyQrio

    SonyQrio Frequent Poster

    Looks sûper nice. I love it. I really do.

    The only thing is that

  11. XCVG

    XCVG ModRetro Legend

    For the record, I did consider putting Linux on this machine, but then I decided I wanted something I could actually use, especially for games.

    I've never seen a G3 Blue and White in real life, and I've seen only a few on eBay. My friend has an early G4 that's he's PC-ifying, but he's too cheap to buy the computer to put in it, since the one he had for the project was too big or something (I've never actually seen it).
  12. strelock

    strelock Newb

    I have been wanting to do this for a long time. I have a question on the motherboard fitment though. My local MicroCenter always seems to have a special where you can buy an AMD CPU and get a mobo for free. I can get an A6-6400k with an MSI FM2-A75MA-P33, trouble is the motherboard is 21.6 cm wide where the one you used is 17.3 cm wide. Do you think the larger board will fit? How much room is between the motherboard and LCD? Maybe I can move this board forward a bit and still have it fit behind the LCD. Thanks for your help!
  13. XCVG

    XCVG ModRetro Legend

    The motherboard I used is basically the biggest one you can fit in there unless you do something weird. You can maybe get a few more centimetres in the front-back direction, but because the case is curved, you run into width issues- this mobo is already pushing it.

    With that being said, a cursory glance shows maybe an extra cm of width on each side, an 2-3cm between the motherboard and LCD. If you drop the rear fan, you gain maybe just over a centimetre on the back, and if you use a thinner LCD or remove the outer metal casing, you get 2-3 more. So you might be able to fit that thing in. My advice is to make a paper template and try jamming it in there.

    On a side note, you can actually get Seagate 3.5" hybrid drives now. I'll probably pick one of those up when I have money... tomorrow :trollface:
  14. strelock

    strelock Newb

    Sweet thanks for the reply. I will give the cardboard template idea a try when I get home from work tonight. I have 2 of these iMacs, one works and the other does not. I think it would be a really cool idea for a LAN party machine. Not the best gaming performance, but you can carry it with one hand! This would be cool cause my tower is pretty big and heavy.

    Do you have any top down pictures with the upper shell removed?
  15. DuHasst0

    DuHasst0 Well-Known Member

    XCVG, I have 4 on my porch, all 4 are blue and white. If your interested let me know I can snap some pics.
  16. XCVG

    XCVG ModRetro Legend


    Things are probably insanely expensive to ship, but I'd like to see pics anyway because I'm curious as to why you have four on your porch. :dah:
  17. DuHasst0

    DuHasst0 Well-Known Member

    Your right they probably are but, I could always gut the heavy flax so it's lighter.

    I got these when the computer store that used to be under my apartment closed due to the owner getting terminally ill and the guys who were leasing him the space became huge assholes. They left those outside when they cleaned the store out.

  18. XCVG

    XCVG ModRetro Legend

    I was talking about the Power Mac G3 Blue and White, not the iMac G3. Those are common- I saw a Snow one on Craigslist the other day. They're useless as computers, way too old and slow, but you should do something cool with them, like make them into aquariums or Dreamcasts or something.
  19. DuHasst0

    DuHasst0 Well-Known Member

    Ah ok my bad, thanks for the clearing that up. I want to do something pretty cool. Though odd you said dreamcast cause I have a friends here, he wants to make it portable but maybe we do that instead.
  20. Kyosho

    Kyosho NOT KYO

    Looks more like turquoise to me.

Share This Page