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Model A1419 / Ende 2013 / 3,2 und 3,4 GHz Core i5 oder 3,5 GHz Core i7 Prozessor, ID iMac14,2

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Convert 27" iMac into 1U rack case

Hello good people.

My last question was not understood, so I will try to formulate it in detail.

I am a musician and electronics engineer. I have my own music Studio. I want to get iMac 27" 2013 in a 1U rack case.

Let me explain why. All devices in the Studio are in a rack stand. In addition I don't like the Apple displays. Preference is given to the LG 34 (21:9).

If it's not possible to fit into a 1U, can it fit into a 2U unit? I was unable to find on the Internet information about the overall size of 27" iMac 2013 logicboard and power supply.

If you have such information please reply. Photo attached.

Sorry for the quality of the translation. Thanks in advance. With respect.

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I feel your pain! I would love to have a 1 or 2 U height Mac system. Sadly, Apple has long since gone a different direction.

If you can find one of the last Xserv systems you should be able to do what you want. Here is a good write up: Xserve.

There is no means to reconfigure the iMac logic board and its sub systems to fit into a rack mount chassis. The system is based on a stove pipe design so the logic board & power supply heat is carried up in the vertical position. Lastly, Apple designs its own parts as such you can't use off the shelf parts except the HD & memory.

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Yeah I did that too.

Found a 2013 27" with a dead display/broken front glass and a beat-up chassis. Gutted the machine, mounted logic board, graphics card and power supply on small risers inside a 1U rack case with a mesh front and all sides/top/bottom vented. Kept the original fans in their places. I then extended all the ports to female panel mount connectors on the back panel of the new rack case - three USB 3.0 on the back, one on the front, extended the Ethernet port to the back with a female-female panel mount, and one of the Thunderbolt as well (panel mount). The second TB port was not extended as I use that internally in the new case with a mini DP>VGA dummy display adapter, so I can screen share in a useful resolution.

Power button was extended to the mesh front by drilling a hole and adding a small momentary button, connected to the original power button cable. I'll soon add some kind of white led to the front of the case so I know if it's on.

Runs El Cap server, has 8GB ram and a small SSD. If I can get my hands on a small (cheap) PCIe SSD that'll fit in the socket on the board, I might use the now-occupied SATA port for a back panel eSATA port.

Used as iTunes and Time Machine server.

Didn't document the build with photos unfortunately, and I'm traveling for the next few months so I can't snap a few to show here. When I get back I might update this post with pics.

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I would suggest that you consider the early 2014 Mac Mini i7, since you don't care about the display. Same compute power with a much smaller size. I use one as a server, and it is excellent.

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I have a MAC MINI, but I don't have 16GB of RAM.



Neat idea, but I just don't know. I would *guess* that it would fit in a 2U, as the case is less than 2U, but you have to leave room for the mounting points and a plate for them for the heatsink you identified in the photo.

Sorry I can't be more helpful.



Hi, Arcady!

It's possible. I did it with 2012-2015 boards. There are some small secrects ... but it works fine. You don't need any screen. My imacs-mini are placed at book shelf :)


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as Jakob described, one solution is using iMac 27" logic board + utility to disable iMac's original display...

I would say this is more then else "soft(ware)" solution.

I went a bit further. I find out where the hack is ... missing communication with some sensors placed at the display's logic board. If Firmware (not OS) detect there is no respond at request then iMac reduce the performance on 10%.

To replace the missing sensors I used small microcontroller. Beside original display I removed also fan.

New box has dimensions 27x21x6cm, almost A4.

I extended my iMac with capacitive button-switch instead of power button, microcontroller is driving small 1sqr inch tft white/blue display showing the status of 4 on board LEDs and some other informations about imac. Both placed in front of mini imac.

The best comes ... I built second graphic card in the mini imac box (geforce 1080) and 512gb pcie ssd (Samsung 950 PRO with transfer rate 1.5gb/sec R/W) - using TB channel.

Mini iMac is fully loaded 32gb ram, 2tb sata ssd, 1tb pcie ssd, 512gb nvme ssd + nvidia geforce 1080, i7 at 3.5ghz and internal graphic nvidia geforce 780/4gb ... and new cooling system.

The difficult part was replacing missing sensors and fan.

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Wow, Daniel... That sound great. Good engineering!

I just needed a network server for iTunes and backups. Plus, as an engineer by education myself, I couldn't resist a build like that.


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@gmm67857 Well this has been years since doing this, and I didn’t write anything down or take pictures. I also don’t have this anymore, as I replaced my rack iMac with a Mac mini in a diy Ubiquity rack case.

But I didn’t have to disable or spoof any sensors to get the iMac project working. I just turned it on without the display connected, connected a mini DisplayPort to HDMI cable to an external display, and it worked. This was since replaced with a small miniDP emulator from eBay, to make screen sharing better.

I just took all boards out, and added low profile threaded mounting points in the bottom of a 1U case. Mounted everything as it was mounted in the iMac chassis, except the display of course.

I cut the power button cable, and extended it to a momentary button with a blue light. The light in the button did require 5vdc, so I just found somewhere on the logic board near the button connector that had 5vdc when the power was on, and soldered a wire from there and dc ground. Button would glow blue when the computer was on, and was mounted in the front panel of the 1U case, which was vented with lots of small holes. The bottom plate was also vented, as were the back.

I installed short adapters for the rear in/outputs (USB etc.) that had panel mount female ends, and those were installed in holes cut in the rear plate, along with an AC panel mount female connector.

I just used mine with Ethernet and Bluetooth only, but you can transfer the WiFi antenna to the 1U case and attach them the same way in the 1U case with hot glue. If you get a steel case, you’ll cut down a little on WiFi range. One solution could be using a plastic or aluminum case.

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Arcady wird auf ewig dankbar sein.

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