How to Disassemble a Liquid Cooled Power Mac G5

Written by ezekiel james
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How to Disassemble a Liquid Cooled Power Mac G5
Disassemble your liquid cooled Power Mac G5 (mac background image by haruspex from

Dismantling your liquid cooled Apple Power Mac G5 allows you to troubleshoot, clean and maintain your computer's internal cooling system. A liquid cooling system is essentially a radiator-like cooling device that sits directly on top of your computer's processor chips. While not every Power Mac G5 sported this system, most G5 towers manufactured from June 2004 to late 2005 included liquid cooling.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Static-free plastic bags
  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • ESD wrist strap

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  1. 1

    Power down the computer and unplug the power cable. Disconnect and remove any peripheral devices. Rotate the computer and position it so the back panel is facing toward you. Touch an unpainted metal surface to discharge static electricity from your body before dismantling the computer.

  2. 2

    Disengage the small retention latch on the left side of the back panel. This secures the left-side access panel to the computer tower. Remove the side panel to reveal the inside of the computer. Relocate the removed panel to a padded surface to avoid scratching the outside of the panel. Lay the computer tower horizontally on its right side.

  3. 3

    Remove the plastic air reflector from the exposed side of the Power Mac's casing. This is the main plastic piece covering the computer's internal components.

  4. 4

    Locate the hard drive attached to the front panel of the computer. Disconnect the power and data cables from the back of the drive. Rotate the hard drive's retention clip upward, and pull the hard drive out of its slot in the drive bay. If there are multiple drives installed, remove the bottom drive first. Disconnect and remove all hard drive cables from the G5's logic board.

  5. 5

    Locate the CD/DVD drive attached to the drive bay on the computer's front panel. Unplug the two ribbon cables from the back of the drive. Disengage the two retention clips fastening the drive to its compartment. Carefully pull the drive out the drive bay and set it aside.

  6. 6

    Grasp the front handle on the inlet fan attached to the computer's front panel. Lift up on the handle firmly and pull the fan assembly out of the computer. Store the fan in a safe place.

  7. 7

    Remove the memory modules situated on the lower right corner of the logic board. Each module is secured to its memory slot by two, spring-loaded retention clips. Store all removed memory modules in static-free plastic bags.

  8. 8

    Remove all PCI expansion cards attached to the computer's rear panel. Loosen the single, Phillips-head screw mounting each card to the back panel. Pull straight up on each card to disconnect each card from its corresponding connector on the logic board. Store the removed PCI cards in static-free plastic bags. The Nvidia FX 4500 graphics card is actually mounted to the back panel with two, small Phillips-head screws.

  9. 9

    Spread apart the retention clips on each side of the coin-cell CMOS battery. Lift the battery out of its socket near the memory module slots on the logic board. Spread apart the retention clips on each side of the AirPort card situated in the upper left corner of the logic board near the back panel. Lift the card out of its logic board slot and disconnect its antenna cables. Remove the card from the computer.

  10. 10

    Disconnect the two speaker and case fan cables extending from the case fan to the logic board. Grasp the case fan and remove the fan from its compartment on the computer's back panel.

  11. 11

    Locate the heat sink cover near the centre of the logic board assembly. This is the large, aluminium cover that conceals the liquid cooling and fan assembly. Use a thin, flathead screwdriver or utility knife to pry the securing rivets off the heat sink cover. Slide the aluminium cover off of the heat sink cooling assembly to reveal the liquid cooling system.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear an electrostatic discharge (ESD) strap while working inside your G5 computer.

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