Power Mac G4 Cube Teardown

Teardown

Teardown

Teardowns provide a look inside a device and should not be used as disassembly instructions.

The Infamous Powermac G4 Cube, Apple's original failed attempt at a compact G4-Based Macintosh. Released in 2000 at a cost of $1599, the cube was considered too expensive, and too slow. The Cube Unlike many other computer's uses passive cooling, where there is no fan. This was a big mistake on apple's part, because G4 processors run very hot!

The Cube boasted a 450MHz or 500Mhz G4 CPU; not very fast. Back then, they had 1Ghz Pentium III's. The cube is virtually silent, except for the original 5400 RPM hard drives. After one year of production, Apple put the cube "On Ice." The Cube is also a popular candidate for macquariums. It also has an internal fan hookup, but it isn't used by Apple. If you want, you can buy a fan, and connect it to the 12V 2-Pin connector, and find somewhere to put it in the cube; this is a popular mod to cool overheating cubes.

It was replaced by the Mac Mini in 2005, 5 years later. At a later time, I will re-post this as a repair guide.

Edit Step 1 Power Mac G4 Cube Teardown  ¶ 

Image 1/3:

Edit Step 1 Power Mac G4 Cube Teardown  ¶ 

  • The Cube!

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Next, push on the handle, it should pop up.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • To Start The Dissasembly, Flip The Cube Upside-Down, and unplug it.

  • Next, push on the handle, it should pop up.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/3: As you might notice, the cube's guts only go in one way, the ports facing the back of the enclosure

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Now, pull up on the cube by the handle, all of the guts should come out.

  • As you might notice, the cube's guts only go in one way, the ports facing the back of the enclosure

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Start by fliping the cube so that the side with the graphics card is faceing you, you may want to push the handle back in.

Edit Step 4  ¶ 

  • Removing the Ram

  • Start by fliping the cube so that the side with the graphics card is faceing you, you may want to push the handle back in.

  • There are 3 RAM Slots, they are Standard PC100 Ram. The cube can support up to 1.5GB of ram, that's a 512MB Stick In All 3 Slots.

  • Remove the ram, just like any other kind of ram.

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The Cube Uses the standard PCMCIA 802.11b Airport card commonly found in macs from 1999-2004

Edit Step 5  ¶ 

  • Airport Card

  • The Cube Uses the standard PCMCIA 802.11b Airport card commonly found in macs from 1999-2004

  • Flip the cube to the side with the airport card attatched. Remove the antenna cable, then grasp the card by the plastic tab, and pull it out of it's socket.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

Image 1/3: The Cube came standard with a Mac ATI Rage 128 Pro 16MB AGP Card. ATI Radeon (32MB) and nVidia GeForce 2MX (32MB) cards were BTO options.

Edit Step 6  ¶ 

  • The Graphics Card

  • The Cube came standard with a Mac ATI Rage 128 Pro 16MB AGP Card. ATI Radeon (32MB) and nVidia GeForce 2MX (32MB) cards were BTO options.

  • There are few Cube compatible mac cards, due to the cube's small size, heat dissipation limitations, and limited power supply capabilities.

  • Remove these T10 screws:

  • Then, pull the top piece of metal off of the computer,

  • There is a small fragile cable coming from the top if the cube for the power button/LED, before fully removing the piece, unplug this cable from the logic board.

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

Image 1/2:

Edit Step 7  ¶ 

  • And These T10 Screws...

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Oops! Oh well, even without the brittle plastic tab, the card isn't going anywhere.

Edit Step 8  ¶ 

  • Now to free the card, pull this tab towards you and with some persuasion, the card should come free.

  • Oops! Oh well, even without the brittle plastic tab, the card isn't going anywhere.

  • Then, remove the card and set it aside.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Pull the card out of the PCI Socket, and no, unfortunately, you can't use this to put an AGP card in a PCI slot in a PC.

Edit Step 9  ¶ 

  • Removing the AGP Riser card

  • Pull the card out of the PCI Socket, and no, unfortunately, you can't use this to put an AGP card in a PCI slot in a PC.

  • Once the card is free, mind the 3 cables attached to it, remove these 2 cables first.

  • The third cable is glued to the AGP board, unplug it from the logic board instead.

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

Image 1/2: Remove the 2 T10 Torx Screws

Edit Step 10  ¶ 

  • Removing the 56K Modem

  • Remove the 2 T10 Torx Screws

  • Then, pull the 56k modem out, there is a socket on the back of it, so be careful!

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

Image 1/3: This board is called the DC/DC board, or the Voltage Regulator Module. It takes the power from the power brick and regulates the power to different components of the Cube.

Edit Step 11  ¶ 

  • Removing the Voltage Regulator Module.

  • This board is called the DC/DC board, or the Voltage Regulator Module. It takes the power from the power brick and regulates the power to different components of the Cube.

  • First, disconnect the power connector.

  • Then release the white clip on the connector socket, which is accessed from the side of the core.

  • With a little persuasion, the board comes out of it's socket(it's hard to show how the board comes out, but in person, it's pretty self explanatory)

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

Image 1/1: Unfortunately, this as far as I am going to dissect my cube, partially because I still use it frequently, but here is an overview of the cube.

Edit Step 12  ¶ 

  • The Logic Board

  • Unfortunately, this as far as I am going to dissect my cube, partially because I still use it frequently, but here is an overview of the cube.

  • 450Mhz or 500Mhz PowerPC G4 Processor

  • Shipped with 64MB ram, supports up to 1.5GB of PC100 or PC133

  • One PCI Slot(Converted to AGP via adaptor)

  • No Onboard Audio.(Unfortunately)

5 Comments

This is great! What a beautiful machine that was.

Kyle Wiens - Reply

Awesome teardown, Chris! Thanks for posting it.

Miroslav Djuric - Reply

Worst pictures I've seen in a teardown in a long time…

candelabre - Reply

"This was a big mistake on apple's part, because G4 processors run very hot!"

How was it a mistake? Mine still runs fine after all these years.

Maxim - Reply

the plastic cracked around the top screws (when stepped on by Wozniak)

max white - Reply