Rebuild Imac into a PC All-in-one?

Hi there,
So I know I was just on here around 9 p.m. e.t. asking about a laptop vs. DIY PC, but like I said in my previous post, I thought that I might have some old computer-junk from before my time (I'm in High School), I even referenced an old IBM PC that my dad used to have. While I found out that that PC was given away, I also found out that my dad still has our two old Apple Imac G3's (circa 2000/2001) All-in-one's, and I thought of a very unusual idea.

First, I'd gut both completely, and see how much space I'd have to work with. After that I'd add new, nicer LCD screens, and I'd buy new Motherboards, HDD's and all other essential parts. I'd basically take it from an all-in-one Imac to an All-in-one PC, which I thought would be pretty cool.

The point of this thread is just to see if anyone here has any thoughts, experience, or just general comments about this idea of mine. I think I'll end up doing it, depending on the budget my parents give me for the project.

In addition I'm definitely going to take that old laptop and upgrade it completely for my mom, who is in need of a work computer for her new business.

Any comments/discussion/thoughts on my idea are always appreciated

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  1. Nice, building a PC in one of those old Bondi Blue iMac's.
    Always good to see case mods.

    I personally haven't done any mods, so not a good source of info on this kind of stuff, however I can direct you to people who have. Contact Motopsychojdn and amuffin (who is actually making a hackintosh inside on old Mac Pro), they are pretty prolific modders and would be able to help you.

    Some issues I can see going into the mod. The Bondi Blue iMacs used a round motherboard to accomodate the shape of the chassis, I suspect that you will run into issues fitting anything larger than an ITX motherboard into that. And due to the curved shape you wouldnt be able to fit in a graphics card either without compromising the back slope.

    As well as just the general dimensions inside there, gonna have to arrange things very efficiently to fit it all in.
    Best of luck to ya!
  2. First off, thank you very much for your advice, I did not know about the curved Mobo.

    Would these parts work for the money and for basic gaming capabilities? Remember I'm in High School and still learning. This will be my first Build ever, so I figured I'd do something out of the ordinary... The brand for the Mobo is supermicro so I figured it would be smaller.... Item=N82E16813182239]

    Also, from all my research on sites like, it seems like for an HDD, Seagate is the way to go for a budget,
    is this a decent HDD?

    Thanks for any and all advice!
  3. Thats an 1156 board, doesn't fit modern CPU's. Also I suspect Supermicro is just the name, it is actually of M-ATX size, which is larger than the I-TX I recommended.

    Wheres the link to the rig?

    Its an older Barracuda drive, you can get the newer version for $10 more.
    Though that drive should be pretty good.

    Though in such a small case, it may even be worth getting a laptop 2.5" drive or an SSD instead.
  4. Okay, I think I've got the basic idea down now... I'll probably stick with the HDD I posted due to the price, I'm on a fairly tight budget, looking to avoid anything above 750 dollars...
    I did some more research on newegg, and found what you were describing for a little bit outside of my ideal price range... I obviously can't compromise on size so I'll just have to make do, and buy other discount/clearance parts... --> this is the ITX ASUS Mobo I found that seems like its the best available, so I'd probably buy it.

    Are there any other I-TX Motherboards you might suggest looking into?

  5. Either of these seem pretty good.

    Also I would bust open that G3 and measure its actual size, it might even be big enough to fit a Micro-ATX motherboard.
    And no doubt that with the old CRT screen taken out and replaced with a slimmer LED panel, you will free yourself a bit of room as well.

    Knowledge is power, especially here where the budget and sizes are tight. Again, ask Moto and amuffin about case modding, they will be able to help you the most. They can usually be found around the water-cooling forum.
  6. Just found a mod on Mactech for installing an LCD/LED screen, looks like it frees up a significant amount of space. --> let me know what you think!

  7. Nice, good to know that it has been done successfully before I bet.
  8. So the basic idea here is new Pc's in the old cases?
    I think once you gut the old screen you will find you have a lot more space than you may think, its just utilising it to the best you can,
    fabricate up a fake mobo and graphics card to gauge space and alignments, remember you can get 90' Pcie adaptors and extender ribbons so you could move the gfx card if required,
    so that means you aren't going to be hampered by a card at 90' to the mobo :P
    I'll check in tomorrow because I have to get ready for work right now, but the key point here is think laterally, decide where you want things and then figure out how you are going to make that happen,
    The main 'worry' I'd have is the Psu, but if you make up a box type affair for the main unit to stand on, you can mount a Psu in there with plenty of ventilation,
    we'll get there :)
  9. Alright, I think I may have it figured out to fit my parents budget.
    Here it goes:
    Supplies Needed

    1- Apple IMac G3 All-in-One desktop (already owned)
    2- BIOSTAR A68I-350 Deluxe AMD Fusion APU 350D AMD A68 Mini ITX Motherboard/CPU Combo → $80
    3- Western Digital WD Blue WD5000AAKX 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive → $70
    4- Vengeance Low Profile- Blue 4GB Dual Channel Memory System DDR3 RAM → $30
    5- CORSAIR Builder Series CX430 V2 (CMPSU-430CXV2) 430W ATX12V v2.3 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC Power Supply → $45 ($35 after rebate)
    6- 15" NEC MultiSync 1560M DVI Rotating LCD Monitor → $48

    Total Pricing (not including wiring) → $263

    Basically, the LCD monitor is so that I can remove it's screen and put in in the Imac, and that was the cheapest thing I could find for 15 inches considering I couldn't find any just plain old LCD screens anywhere online... and I assume that's because they just don't sell them :wahoo:

    I also found a mod on mactech that included a picture of the final product, with the outer shell of the g3 removed to free up more space... I thought it might be a cool idea to have an open air all-in-one

    here is the backshot of the finished mod I found on Mactech:

    And here is the front shot:

    Do you see any potential risks to that? Obviously it wouldn't be exposed to any water or anything that could instantly harm it... I'd keep it safe :whistle:
    Thanks for all the advice!
  10. Size is your biggest concern.

    Get smaller parts! :D
  11. Ok So I've taken apart the case, and have the raw CRT (discharged of course!) sitting on my kitchen table inside of the case... but I can't figure out how to remove it completely. I'd like to take out everything and just keep the case, but I doubt that I can tonight, unless anyone can help me out ASAP...

    Is it a good idea to just take the CRT and Screen out completely? just keep the case and then get the parts and put it all together?

    Any and all advice helps as I am in freak out mode :ouch: (I'm new, bear with me!)

  12. Alright nevermind, got it figured out... I have the case itself plus the speaker board all in seperate parts, and am going to reassemble them tonight, minus the top piece of the case, I'll leave that undecided in terms of whether or not to put that on top of the rig...
    Thanks for everyone's help! I've really appreciated all the advice!
  13. I'd have the cover on it, one to finish it off and two to help keep it clean,
    Sorry I couldn't get on last night to help with them removal but you seem to have managed :)
  14. All is well, I understand completely.
    I've been thinking the same thing, I slept on it and it just wouldn't look right without the full, finished look.
    Thanks again for all the help, I'll try to get pictures up today of where I am in the process, and step by step when I get to building!
  15. Cool, I'll check back in the morning when I get in from work
  16. Alright, everything seems to be in place, once my check clears next tuesday I'll be able to order all the parts and get to building...
    For now I thought I'd upload some pictures from the actual case, with the speakers put back in (I felt like having the built in was a nice perk).

    First a picture from the front:

    And now a picture from the back view:

    You'll notice that I didn't put the outer shell on, I will eventually, I still measured the parameters with it on...
    The parameters that I'll be working with will be fairly cramped... with the height being roughly 5.2 inches, and the length being 15.1 inches..

    My question today is: should I skip the speakers, add a new headphone input, and basically free up even more space, or can I make it work with the space I've got?
    Any and all suggestions help!

  17. aaaaaannddd the pictures didn't upload... sorry about that.. Please just copy and paste the link!

  18. Dont think you can link into what appears to reside in your Gmail account.
    What I do is upload it to Photobucket, then paste the direct link in between those image brackets.
  19. Well I'm back, with a new budget and updated List of supplies. I've been doing a ridiculous amount of research and I think with a bundle on the PSU and RAM I may be able to pull off an economically-sound Gaming Rig
    My Budget is roughly 400 Dollars, not including shipping.
    Here it goes...
    1- BIOSTAR TH61ITX+RCH LGA 1155 Intel H61 HDMI USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard with UEFI BIOS → $80

    2- COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus RS-550-PCAR-E3 550W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Power Supply, bundled with: 1x Patriot Gamer 2 Series 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM --> $71

    3- Intel Pentium G860 Sandy Bridge 3.0GHz LGA 1155 65W Dual-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics BX80623G860 → $75

    4- ZALMAN CNPS5X Performa 92mm FSB (Fluid Shield Bearing) Powerful Cooling Performance CPU Cooler → $22

    5- Seagate Barracuda Green ST1000DL002 1TB 5900 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Bare Drive -Bare Drive → $60

    8- Microsoft Windows 8 Professional Upgrade → $70

    Total Pricing: $379
    I looked up the best gaming CPU's under 100 dollars and the G860 topped the charts, as well as the CPU Cooler, and Mobo for the price.
    my only question tonight is this: Windows 8 or Windows 7? I know, I know, Windows 8 is a big disappointment for all the hype, but its far less expensive than 7 Home Premium, so I figured I'd give it a shot.
    Let me know what everyone thinks, any and all advice is greatly appreciated!
  20. horrible PSU.......

    You can get a Corsair CX430V2 and 8BG of ram for the same price.

    You also might want to consider using the stock cooler, pentiums run very cool.
  21. Win7 in addition to Muffins wisdom :)
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