The G4 Renovation Project


Back in 2003 I thoroughly treated myself, and bought an Apple PowerMac G4 (the FW800 model) with Dual 1.42GHz processors. It's been a wonderful machine: the first Mac I've owned and a marvelous piece of technology. Almost three years on and a few upgrades later, this is still a very capable bit of kit.

Late in 2005 I decided to do a bit of renovation, spurred on by this news on Someone had managed to shoehorn liquid cooling into a PowerMac G4 without any case modifications, so I thought I'd send out an email to see if any parts were available.

As it turned out, Steve Smedley, responsible for the original watercooling, was a thoroughly nice chap who did indeed have custom-made parts available to transform an Aquagate Mini R80 into something capable of cooling two Freescale (nee Motorola) 7455B processors. In fact, he said he could fit it and overclock the module too. Not having done any SMD board work before I figured this would be a cunning plan, so I started gathering parts...

Pump Block and ModuleIf you have a look at the links to the left, you'll see that things have been broken down into sections to show how this whole renovation project has gone. Part 1 is the first version, which worked very well with no case modification at all, but did have its drawbacks. Part 2 shows the new setup; a combination of light case alterations, beefed up radiator and big, quiet fans.

There are a few downloads along the way too, particularly my little processor control apps, which can be used to turn nap mode on, off, or switch between single and dual processors (on a dual processor machine, of course). You can also check out Steve's AquaMac site for full details on the design and fabrication of parts to hook up the liquid cooling.