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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Swap G4 P-mac innards to Intel?


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patenter

 
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Got a PowerMac G4 Desktop. Beautiful machine, want to keep it. But with modern innards. Does anyone sell a mainboard I can put into it (even if mounting adapters become necessary), which will support a fast Intel processor that will handle OS 10.7? If it needs a new power supply, HD, whatever, I can do it. The mainboard is the real question. Anyone know of any?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
Does anyone sell a mainboard I can put into it (even if mounting adapters become necessary), which will support a fast Intel processor that will handle OS 10.7?

Anyone know of any?
Nope...Macintosh computers really don't work this way.

If you want a Macintosh with a fast Intel processor that will handle OS 10.7...you purchase it that way...you really don't build them.

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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patenter

 
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I get your drift, but I'm going to keep trying to find some way to get past the "not really" class of answer. I don't want to be driven into the "hackintosh" group, but I've got a thing of beauty, which no longer works adequately, and "just throw it away" is not an answer I'm going to accept readily. The goal is to solve, not just shrug and surrender.
Anyone else know of any good leads I should check into?
BTW - it's the Quicksilver case, in case that makes any difference.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
I get your drift, but I'm going to keep trying to find some way to get past the "not really" class of answer.
Don't get me wrong...it can be done...it's just not financially worth it. Sure you can find an Intel Macintosh logic board, a power supply, and custom fit it into a Powermac G4 case. But when all is said & done...it will most likely cost you more than purchasing the proper (already assembled) "Intel Mac".

Macintosh parts are not like Windows computer parts...they are not a cheap. A 100% working Macintosh Intel logic board capable of running OS 10.7 will probably cost you $200+...then add the cost of the rest of the parts (wiring, cooling fans, hard drive, etc.).

Your choices for logic boards capable of running OS 10.7 would be from an iMac or a Mac Pro (neither will be cheap)...since folks with iMac's and Mac Pro's looking for replacement parts have to spend a pretty penny for them. In many cases...it's not even worth it for a person who own's an Intel iMac or Mac Pro to replace their "busted" logic board...so it certainly wouldn't be worth it (financially) to try to custom fit an Intel logic board into an old Powermac G4.

Of course you could also try putting an Intel logic board from a MacBook or MacBook Pro...but this would also be expensive...and a bit silly...since you would lose the "compactness" of a laptop.

My main point is...from a financial standpoint...it would probably cost less to just purchase an already assembled Intel Mac...then trying to "adapt" a Mac Intel logic board into an old Powermac G4. Also...that Powermac G4 (if it was working 100%) is worth about $25 bucks. If it's not working...it's certainly worth less.

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Originally Posted by patenter View Post
I don't want to be driven into the "hackintosh" group...
Great. We don't allow this sort of discussion anyway!

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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patenter

 
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Nick -
Many thanks for the second reply. Cost isn't that much of an issue. Instead, the Q's become:
(1) where do I find "a 100% working Macintosh Intel logic board capable of running OS 10.7"
for somewhere in the range of $200 (or more, if required)?
(2) what type of board should I be looking for? What would be "the best fit" for turning a G4, into a modern machine?
(3) since I know that my MacMini has an Intel I5 64-bit, and works fine, is that a fair and reasonable "target" for the type of CPU I should be looking for?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
Many thanks for the second reply. Cost isn't that much of an issue.
Great to hear that cost is not an issue. Many times it is for many folks. But if someone sees this project more as a "challenge"...than a fiscally responsible endeavor...hey no problem! I only mentioned the cost aspect...just in case the $$$ were important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
(1) where do I find "a 100% working Macintosh Intel logic board capable of running OS 10.7" for somewhere in the range of $200 (or more, if required)?
e-Bay.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
(2) what type of board should I be looking for? What would be "the best fit" for turning a G4, into a modern machine?
Depends what you mean by a "modern machine". The more "modern" the logic board...the more $$$.

What you mainly need is a "core 2 duo" Macintosh logic board to run OS 10.7. These first became available in 2006. So the older the "core 2 duo" logic board...the less it will cost. The newer...the more expensive.

Also remember that in ALL Macintosh logic boards (except for the Mac Pro)...the graphics hardware is basically integrated into the logic board. So when you buy a Macintosh logic board...not only are you buying it for it's non-upgradeable cpu (in 95% of models)...you're also buying it for it's non-upgradeable graphics hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
(3) since I know that my MacMini has an Intel I5 64-bit, and works fine, is that a fair and reasonable "target" for the type of CPU I should be looking for?
An Intel Mac-Mini logic board would probably be the best bet in terms of cost...but if you want better graphics abilities...an iMac logic board would be better (better graphics hardware)...since iMac logic boards usually have dedicated graphics hardware.

You also have to keep in mind how much ram you eventually want installed. So a newer logic board will be needed if you wanted 4gig or 8gig of ram. Some older core 2 duo logic boards are only capable of 2gig to 3.25gig of ram max.

I checked e-Bay...and here's a core 2 duo Mac-Mini logic board for $199:

Mac Mini Logic Board 661 5290 2 26 GHz | eBay

Here's an i5 based Mac-Mini logic board for $269:

Genuine Apple Mac Mini A1347 2011 i5 2 3GHz Logic Board 631 1739 820 2993 A | eBay

Believe it or not...here's a core 2 duo iMac logic board on e-Bay for just $.99 cents ($40 bucks buy it now):

Apple A1208 17" iMac Logic Board 820 2052 A with Core 2 Duo 2 GHz CPU Working | eBay

But this logic board may have limitations (ram, graphics, etc.). You really need to search to find exactly what you're looking for.

HTH,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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patenter

 
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Terrific; many thanks! Almost there. Two main questions left:

1. I assume the big advantage of using a logic board from a Mac Mini is to guarantee that it will fit in the G4 case. But, that will almost certainly lead to a cobbled-together arrangement, with loose wires/cables running through empty slots/holes in the back of the case. Is there any place where I can find reliable dimensions and photographs, showing the sizes and arrangements of any "full size" logic boards, in the hope that I might find a full-size board that will be at least moderately compatible with my G4 Quicksilver case?

2. I also assume that a "logic board" does not include the actual CPU. If I buy a standard Intel i5 CPU, will that be compatible with a standard Apple logic board designed to hold an i5? Or, is there any special class/series/label of i5 processors that I need to focus upon? Now, I'm aware of various factors, such as bus speeds, etc, which will be printed on the CPU box. Clearly, those will need to be compatible. The Q is whether a standard i5 will work with a standard Apple board, assuming that the operating parameters are within compatible ranges.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
1. I assume the big advantage of using a logic board from a Mac Mini is to guarantee that it will fit in the G4 case.
This wasn't my intention. You mentioned "Mac-Mini" in one of your posts...so that got me to thinking that a newer Mac-Mini logic board would be a less expensive approach. When a computer (a Mac-Mini) costs $499-$599...the logic board usually costs less as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
But, that will almost certainly lead to a cobbled-together arrangement, with loose wires/cables running through empty slots/holes in the back of the case.
You're going to have this problem regardless of what Macintosh Intel logic board you put into a Powermac G4 case. Nothing is going to fit to make things look "clean". Apple is always redesigning the boards...changing port locations...and changing the type of ports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
Is there any place where I can find reliable dimensions and photographs, showing the sizes and arrangements of any "full size" logic boards, in the hope that I might find a full-size board that will be at least moderately compatible with my G4 Quicksilver case?
Not that I'm aware of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
2. I also assume that a "logic board" does not include the actual CPU.
The logic boards do include the cpu. In almost every case (there are a couple exceptions on some older iMac's and Mac Pro's of course)...the cpu is soldered onto the logic board...and is not upgradeable or replaceable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
If I buy a standard Intel i5 CPU, will that be compatible with a standard Apple logic board designed to hold an i5? Or, is there any special class/series/label of i5 processors that I need to focus upon? Now, I'm aware of various factors, such as bus speeds, etc, which will be printed on the CPU box. Clearly, those will need to be compatible. The Q is whether a standard i5 will work with a standard Apple board, assuming that the operating parameters are within compatible ranges.
Short answer to a long question...almost every logic board you will come across...the cpu is not upgradeable or replaceable.

Let me add...the only "real" logic board that you will come across that comes even close to resembling what you may think you're looking for is from a Mac Pro (earlier model Mac Pro's). Mac Pro's are Apple's top end computer. These logic boards are:

- not cheap
- the cpu's have LARGE heat sinks that would not fit in a Powermac G4 case
- you would have to do some serious power supply modifying (the Mac Pro power supply would not fit)
- and most importantly...the ram is on separate daughter cards (again...would not fit in a PM G4 case).

You're logic board choices are:

- Mac Mini
- iMac
- MacBook
- MacBook Pro

These are all "odd" shaped logic boards...with (in most cases) non-upgradeable or replaceable cpu's or gpu's. And none of these logic boards will fit "neatly" in a PM G4 case.

HTH,

- Nick

- Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
- Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
- Apple Battery Info. Battery
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If cost is a non issue, you're better of spending it (and your time) on finding a used intel Mac..

As Nick has been elaborating, anything is possible but being worth the effort is a different story..

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Good points from both staff abopve, but i think you might find this interesting reading from M-F Archives Intel processor upgrade for Powermac G4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by patenter View Post
Cost isn't that much of an issue.
Then why do this? If cost is no issue, buy an Intel Mac. This way, you get the warranty and more importantly, you can be assured that the machine is built to accommodate all of the hardware. In trying to build a "franken-Mac", you lose any reliability and sense of assurance not to mention a machine that could go at the drop of the hat since you're cobbling together a computer that wasn't meant to be.

I suppose my advice is this. If this is a pet project, go for it. If you need a machine to do any sort of work reliably, buy an Intel Mac.

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