I've always loved the all aluminum industrial look of Apple PowerPC G5, and the pre-2013 Mac Pro. It's simply a solidly built, beautiful computer. The problem with the G5 is the hardware is completely outdated, and a later model Mac Pro with decent specs is still pretty expensive for near 6 year old hardware.
My solution was buy a A1186 Model Mac Pro, gut it, and put all new hardware in it. My goal was to make it clean, and look like factory, but add some modern flare like RGB fans and watercooling. I chose the A1186 model because of the fan configuration and price.
Cooling: I used a Corsiar H100i v2 AIO. The factory Mac Pro used two 120mm fans mounted to a plastic assembly. In order to fit the radiator I had to cut some of the plastic assembly, but with some work the radiator fits great. The only downside is I wasn't able to use the HDD bay directly above the radiator, leaving 3 of the 4 usable. I have a single 120mm fan for exhaust, and in addition there is a 120mm fan behind the power supply. The RGB fans i used are Corsair LL120RGB. Pictures don't do justice how bright and colorful these fans are.
Case: 2008 Apple Mac Pro; A1186. I purchased this on ebay for $30.
Motherboard/Mounting: Micro ATX boards are perfect size for the Mac Pro. I did build my own I/O Shield brackets out of a sheet of aluminum. It's not perfect by any means, but it does the job. I used some 1/2 inch standoffs from Mc.Master Carr and JB welded them to the bottom of the case. I used some pliers to remove the old standoffs as they are not in the correct location. Tip- Screw in all the standoffs to the motherboard. Apply a drop of 5 minute epoxy on the standoffs and set the motherboard in the case. Once the epoxy dries remove the screws and motherboard and then surround the base of the Standoffs with JB Weld.
Power Supply; I used a Corsair 650W power supply. I mounted the PSU in the foward bay (where the DVD drives use to go) because I didn't want to have to lengthen the 24 pin power connector.
Storage: I used a SAS to SATA Converter and then tied in power. All the Hard Drive bays work perfect. I have a Samsung 240GB SSD, two 3TB HDD's, and a Samsung 960 EVO M.2 drive.
Front I/O: I was able to get the front I/O working with the exception of firewire. Considering I haven't used a firewire device for 10 years I decided to not get that working. The power button and light work as it normally would.
I overclocked the 8600K to 5ghz. I could have pushed it to 5.3ghz, but for my basic workload and occasional gaming 5ghz is plenty, and keeps my computer silent.
Overall I'm happy with how it turned out. Eventually i'm going to paint the sides of the case matte black, but for now i'm happy with it. If you have any questions please comment and i'll do my best to answer.
This processor is a beast! It easily overclocks to 5.0 GHz, and with some tuning i wouldn't be surprised to see 5.2-5.3 GHz. It runs cool, and for the money I couldn't be more happy with it. I don't regret getting the 8600K over the 8700K. For a gaming/everyday use machine this processor is great!
Overall I'm happy with this cooler. It keeps my overclocked 8600K at 55-60 degrees C. The quality seems great, which is what i'd expect from Corsair. The pump makes quite a bit of noise on performance mode, but on quiet mode you can hardly hear it. I didn't notice much of a difference in cooling performance between the two so I've kept it on quiet mode. The Corsair Link Software is good, not great, but good. Overall i'm really happy with this cooler, especially considering the price!
I am pretty happy with this Motherboard. The UEFI works flawless, and is very intuitive. Overclocking is simple. I like the LED lighting on the back of the motherboard. They aren't RGB but look great anyway. On-board WiFi/Bluetooth courtesy of Intel has been incredibly reliable. The only real problem I have with this motherboard is all the software MSI wants you to install. I only ended up installing the drivers and opting out for all the other software.
Super fast, competitively priced, and looks great!
This GPU is fantastic. Fortunately I purchased this before the GPU prices went from high to ridiculous. I was able to get a modest overclock out of this card, and pretty much handles every game I throw at it on ultra settings at 1080p.
These fans are amazing. They are very quiet and pictures truly don't do it justice how bright and colorful they are. I couldn't be happier with these.... Well, unless they were cheaper, that would have been nice.