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PowerMac G4 Gigabit Ethernet in a 9600 Case
Or Beige Is Beautiful!
By Robert C. Word
Published 9/22/2002

Parts and Budget

Here is a breakdown of the major parts that I used.

Power Macintosh 9600 Case

Of course to put a G4 in a 9600 case I needed to buy the case! An 8600 case would have worked, but this one appeared on eBay with all of its parts intact and in perfect shape! A Beige G3 case might work, but they are a little shorter, don't have a hard drive mounting plate at their base, and I would have had to make a custom bracket to deal with the personality card slot. Price with shipping: $78.62. Shipping was half the price here.

G4 Power Supply

Not just any power supply will do. The G4 gigabit ethernet logic board requires a special 22-pin 28-volt trickle power supply. This is the hardest part to find. I had to wait patiently until one appeared on eBay. Price with shipping: $81.00.

G4 Logic Board

For some odd reason there is a steady supply of these boards on eBay. The older AGP board is fairly rare. So is the newer Digital Audio board. The newer DA and Quicksilver boards have their CPU's in an inconvenient place so neither would do for this project (except that maybe PowerLogix's new upgrades have short enough heat sinks?). Price with shipping: $158.00.


I bought a Sonnet Duet dual G4 500 for $462 shipped brand new from someone on eBay. I had been leaning towards the Powerlogix G4 800, but then I spotted the Duet. I'm glad I did. Dual owners are not kidding when they say their machines rarely stutter in OSX.

Dual CPU heatsink

I picked up an Apple Dual CPU heatsink for $23.96 shipped from MacResQ. A single CPU heat sink would work here since Sonnet includes an adapter with the Duet. I figured that a larger heatsink can't hurt so I didn't bother with the adapter.

Other Parts

I transfered my Radeon PCI, Adaptec 29160N Ultra160 SCSI card, CDROM, and SCSI drives from my Beige G3 to this new G4. Yeah, I know, an AGP video card would be better, but I'm going to wait on that for now.

Custom Hardware

The next page has a list of the custom-made parts required to finish the project. I made a lot of trips to the hardware store and to my local RadioShack to make these parts. Let's say I spent about $50 on custom parts.

Total cost of the project

I ended up spending about $900 on my "new" Dual G4 500. If I had to buy a hard drive and video card the price would jump up to about $1100. Not surprisingly, this is about what a refurb dual G4 500 would cost! My point? Don't think you will save any money by building your own. The cost of the CPU will kill you.


G4 Gigabit in 9600 Case Article Contents:

Page 1: Introduction

Page 2: Parts and Budget

Page 3: Custom Parts

Page 4: Installing the Power Supply

Page 5: Installing the Logic Board

Page 6: The Final Product


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