How can I make a thing fit in this thing

So due to circumstances I have a combination of money and free time coming up, it appears.

SO, I’m considering building a PC, most likely to dual or triple-boot as some combination of:

  • Something that will run Skyrim/Fallout (So some version of Windows)
  • SteamBox
  • Hackintosh (Home-brew Mac OS X machine)

My first idea was to get a small LCD monitor and put the whole thing in a Classic Mac enclosure with the small LCD as a secondary monitor, but that’s running into difficulty finding a source machine cheap.

My second idea is to use a case like this from MonoPrice. It’s a 2u case with a wood front bezel, and would look cool in the musician gig rack I use as my primary computer storage. Everyone knows cool-looking cases run 10% faster, right?

The main question is if/how I can get a semi-powerful modern video card to fit in that 2u rack-mount case. Am I SOL and would need to use on-board or a special selection of video cards?

I was fiddling with the rest of the build, here:

Although that’s by no means final. I’d consider if nothing else adding a second SSD so each OS could have its own.

(Note: I highlighted the main question as I know I am rambling.)

For a Hackintosh in a derelict Compact Mac case, here is an (admittedly rather old) example that uses a Mac Mini as internals, I’m sure one of the NUC or Brix machines would be an equally good fit! Some of the larger Brix machines have actual real graphics cards in, or so legend says.

Also for Hackintoshing, even if you’re going to be gaming on a Windows partition, I’d strongly recommend 16GiB RAM. I’m running a 2011 MacBook Pro with 8GiB and I’m starting to find myself running out when I’m working on projects. You can tell it’s the future when 8GiB RAM is starting to show limitations!

As for your bolded question, I honestly can’t answer. Neither of those links will open successfully for me – I’m guessing because of region?

I did a couple quick searches and didn’t see any remotely current and/or high end video cards that come in low profile.
You’re going to need a bigger case.

Ah, well. There goes that idea. I thought there was a way to use a riser that might work, but I’m quite possibly wrong.

I’ve seen the ‘Macintosh SE/X’ and was thinking of something similar, albeit with keeping the shell the original color. May still to it. My plan is to hack the hell out of the rear panel accommodate the cable connections and probably a couple small fans, but even with fitting a small LCD in (which I’ve got tentatively sourced) it’s pretty roomy, actually.

I was essentially replicating the ‘build’ from here for the hardware. 16 gigs of ram certainly wouldn’t hurt… My 2011 Mac Mini has 8 and it’s getting a little cranky. My wife is still using a 2006-2007 Macbook! I may try to upgrade her machine first as it’s got some ‘concerns’ like being abandoned for upgrades.

Although, I should probably worry about getting my new job rolling first…

I like this idea for a build. I agree that you might have to bite the bullet and get a bigger case. I think you might be overlooking something though, the onboard video. It’s going to be as great as a dedicated card but maybe you can find a MB with a decent integrated video card. I know my old POS game box motherboard can run Skyrim pretty well on it’s own. The MB runs DDR 2 ram so that should tell you how old it is. It’s due for an upgrade in the coming months.

You just need to find a 2u case that uses a PCIE riser card. I know they make them for 1u configurations.

Yeah, but then he would need to find a server class motherboard, or possibly re-purpose one from a SFF chassis from HP or Dell, but that could introduce all new headaches.

Maybe best to wait and work on the Mac case. That solves most of the problems, as there’s actually quite a lot of space in a Classic Mac enclosure once you dump the CRT in a dumpster somewhere.

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Why dump the CRT when you can have infinite fun turning it into an oscilloscope?

Or just overvolt it and watch it implode! :smiley:

KY Jelly…

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One of my delays for this build is finding a host case cheap. I’ve got an old Mac Classic on the shelf and only a few remaining threads of nostalgia about it: It theoretically works (did last time I tried!) and so there’s a few people who’d actually want the thing (check on reddit’s /r/vintagemac) even if I find anything without a proper modern ethernet or wifi interface to be beneath my interest. I’ve missed the peak period for availability for these, as schools got rid of their 80s PCs years ago. Also, did I mention yard sales make me break out in disinterest?

So it looks like I’m putting this on hold as I wait for money to come in and look for a suitable enclosure. I figure once I find a ‘host’ I’ll toss the guts and make an acrylic rectangle to act as a non-conducting base for the motherboard, and build everything else off of that.

I’ll buy the Classic off you for the price of shipping :smiley: I grew up with one but it died about a decade ago, I miss the lil bugger.

I think it’s strange you’re having trouble finding a broken one to salvage, eBay UK is packed full of broken ones for ~£50. And working ones from between £50 and £5000… some people don’t understand comparing prices before they sell things hehe

I’d sell it, but shipping these is a huge pain, especially overseas!

Can’t you just email it?

Sure, if you want to reactivate the MCP to digitize it into the system. That didn’t work out so well last time though.

End of line.

It’s computer stuff. You can email computer stuff!

With these new-fangled 3D printers, I’m sure you probably could email some of it…

I got a Classic off eBay, so it looks like I may actually try to do this early next year. I think the next challenge is to get the LCD panel I’m using for the secondary (small) monitor and start working on how to fix that in the case.

I’ll have to start taking pics as I work. I think what I’ll do is replace the Mac motherboard with a piece of acrylic that is as thick as will fit in the provided slots, and drill to mount the modern (but tiny) motherboard to that. Even with some of the ‘heavy’ stuff in a modern DIY PC, I’m thinking it’ll be a net loss of weight.

Definitely a net loss overall: The CRT itself is probably 6+ pounds of the roughly 16 a Classic is rated at. After that the biggest chunk is probably the power supply, which will remain hefty, but I think a modern ‘mid range’ supply is lighter than the combined analog board (power supply and feeds the CRT) in the origional-style one-piece Macs.

One issue I’m considering is what to do with the floppy slot. Putting a slot-style optical drive in would make the most sense, I think. I have zero interest in a working floppy drive…

Once the machine comes in I’ll strip it of old hardware and start documenting. No need to rush here.

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Install a cup holder.


In a what?

(I haven’t had one of those for a good number of years - I suspect that when I buy my next PC I’ll be tossing up whether to include a DVD drive :smile:)