Power Mac G5 Processor and Cooling Unit Replacement

Student-Created Guide

Student-Created Guide

An awesome student from our education program made this guide. It is not managed by iFixit staff.

  • Author: Nolan
  • Time required: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Moderate

This will overview the process to remove and replace the Cooling and Processing unit of the Apple G5. Due to design restrictions of the device it is difficult replace the just processors without permanently damaging the entire unit. So this portion of the guide will only overview removal of the entire unit.

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Edit Step 1 Side Panel  ¶ 

  • To avoid electrocution, shut down the computer. Do not open the computer or attempt to install any items inside it while the computer is on.

  • To avoid being shocked, wait at least 10 minutes to allow the computer's internal components to cool.

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Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • Remove all the cables, including the power cables before opening the unit.

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Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Lift the tab to unlock the side panel.

  • The panel should fall out. If the panel does not fall out by itself pull a little from the edges.

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Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Remove the air deflector (the clear plastic cover) by pulling on the handle.

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Edit Step 5 Front Fan Assembly  ¶ 

  • Locate the front fan assembly.

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Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • Pull the fan assembly out; it should slide out easily.

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Edit Step 7 Bottom Right Cooling Fan Unit  ¶ 

  • The cooling fan unit is located on the bottom right of the Apple G5 Desktop.

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Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Remove the G5 metal cover from the processing/cooling unit of the computer. NOTE: Apple inserted a rather fragile plastic pin that inserts through the top divider shield and clips into a tab on the hidden ledge of this CPU shield. Removing this pin, certainly voided Mac's warranty - but more appropriate for now, voids most after-market insurance plans. A replacement pin (new) is hard to get ahold of, and very few are talented and patient enough to remove this pin without damaging it. Just something to keep in mind. If you have no warranty any longer or don't care, please continue...

  • Pull the metal plate to the left and outward to remove the plate from the processing/cooling unit.

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Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Locate the bottom right fan.

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Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Unplug the fan's power cable from the upper rightmost corner of the motherboard (connection J45). If there is a video card in place, carefully pull the cable plug down between the back edge of the video card and the motherboard. Note, the photo shows the unplugged cable and the area it plugs into outlined in yellow. No video card is shown in this photo.

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Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Locate the tabs on the fan unit.

  • While pushing in on the tabs, highlighted in yellow, pull the fan back towards the cooling unit.

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Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • After the latches are out, pull the fan out.

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Edit Step 13  ¶ 

  • After removal of the bottom right fan the space should look like this.

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Edit Step 14 Processor and Cooling Unit  ¶ 

  • Locate the Cooling Unit on the Apple G5.

  • Put the CPU case on its back with the opening facing up to make the next steps easier.

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Edit Step 15  ¶ 

  • Unscrew 8 T10 screws from the cooling unit. NOTE: these screws are acctually allen keys. The prefered tool will be long handled allen keys. t10 are 2.74mm (closest allen key is 2.5 or 3mm) and t15 are 3.27mm(closest allen key is 3mm and 4mm). You may strip your tool or the actual screws themselves. Use a set of high quality long handled allen keys.

  • The screws are somewhat hidden, so they cannot be see in the picture.

  • To visualize the location of the screws look 3 steps ahead.

  • The screws will loosen but will not come out, they are designed to loosen the unit, but remain in place.

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Edit Step 16  ¶ 

  • Pull the cooling/processing unit straight up to prevent damage to logic board

  • This will require some effort and should be done with caution to avoid damage.

  • The sleeves around the 6 screws may hold it in, if so just take a pair of needle nose pliers and gently squeeze the sleeves until it releases.

  • Pull the bottom, then side towards the bottom of the CPU case, first to move around the bottom coolant sleeve around the heat sinking bracket. *heat sinking bracket not in picture*

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Edit Step 17  ¶ 

  • Disconnect the cable.

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Edit Step 18  ¶ 

  • NOTE: Here are the standoffs without the cooling unit installed to make it easier to understand where the screws are located. Remove the bottom 2 standoffs so it is easier to remove the power supply.

  • Check the pin connections for any damage. All the pins highlighted in yellow should appear straight up and not appear bent. DON'T TOUCH THE PINS. A bent pin will result in your computer not powering on.

To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

For more information, check out the Power Mac G5 device page.

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Comments Comments are onturn off

This is a great teardown/guide! you should email one of the iFixit staff members and have them post it so the whole community can see it!

Chris Green, · Reply

maybe you can replace the pin and get away with it

Nick, · Reply

The whole pin assembly acts like a miniature toggle bolt. The inner part of the pin assembly is actually a short stubby cylinder. When the pin is inserted into the sleeve, it presses on the sleeve and expands it slightly in the processor shield, locking it to the top divider shield.

I took a tiny drill bit and spun it into the center of the pin just enough so that I could insert a small sharp screw (I used a cup hook) into the pin. All it needed was just a slight tug, and the pin came out of the outer locking sleeve. I used the same screw to remove the outer sleeve.

Steve, · Reply

Before pulling fan, you must unplug fan power cable from upper right-most corner of mother board (connection J45). Carefully pull cable down past the video card's back-side.

Sam Taylor, · Reply

Thank you for this mention. It seems important, do you have a snapshot of it?

Is it hard to find/reach?

And plugging it back in with the new one, any problems?



that looks completely different and I can't unscrew it :/

grze, · Reply

Very difficult on some models.

Nate Aguilar, · Reply

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