Take That, iMac?: Build Your Own All-In-One PC

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Chris Angelini

Chris Angelini is an Editor Emeritus at Tom's Hardware US. He edits hardware reviews and covers high-profile CPU and GPU launches.

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  • cangelini
    baddassngno one tried to hackintosh this?

    And unleash the wrath of the Apple haters?
    Don't the guys who want Apples just buy iMacs? :P
    23
  • clownbaby
    Nice build. Are there any similar chassis with a touch screen?
    20
  • abhijitkalyane
    Nice build for a second surfing/media machine. If a similar mobo is available for AMD APUs, it could make a decent low-end gaming machine too. All in all, it is good to know that there are options to build an all in one DIY style. Kudos to Loop for the nice chassis.
    13
  • Other Comments
  • clownbaby
    Nice build. Are there any similar chassis with a touch screen?
    20
  • Anonymous
    no one tried to hackintosh this?
    -2
  • cangelini
    clownbabyNice build. Are there any similar chassis with a touch screen?


    Not that I've seen, but I'm waiting for Intel to get back to me on this prior to the Win 8 launch.
    8
  • cangelini
    baddassngno one tried to hackintosh this?

    And unleash the wrath of the Apple haters?
    Don't the guys who want Apples just buy iMacs? :P
    23
  • abhijitkalyane
    Nice build for a second surfing/media machine. If a similar mobo is available for AMD APUs, it could make a decent low-end gaming machine too. All in all, it is good to know that there are options to build an all in one DIY style. Kudos to Loop for the nice chassis.
    13
  • CaedenV
    That looks great!
    Throw in an i3 Ivy bridge, 4GB of ram, and a small SSD and you would have the ultimate office machine. With the onboard video output exposed you can even hook up a 2nd monitor to this and have what would appear to be 2 tethered monitors without a PC...
    9
  • razor512
    the stock intel boards are generally easier to hackintosh since the board in an actual imac is more or less a stock intel board with a custom PCB layout to fit their cases and a special DRM chip added. other than that, they have a few minor firmware changes which gives the board a more MAC style ID.
    3
  • nukemaster
    A review of the screen quality would also be nice. I am betting at the price its TN.

    very nice to see Intel make that cooler to help anyone looking to go super low profile/all in one.

    caedenvThat looks great!Throw in an i3 Ivy bridge, 4GB of ram, and a small SSD and you would have the ultimate office machine. With the onboard video output exposed you can even hook up a 2nd monitor to this and have what would appear to be 2 tethered monitors without a PC...

    Now if you could get a second loop monitor only. That would look very different at the office :)
    0
  • Yargnit
    I'd be curious if you could under volt a standard 77w Ivy bridge CPU enough to fit within the cooling capabilities of this unit? (Once the BIOS issues are solved anyways) Without being able to fit a discrete GPU, getting HD4000 in there vs 2000/3000 would at least open up some low end casual gaming if you could. And from what I recall the IB CPU'S under volt fairly well at stock frequencies.
    4
  • cangelini
    Now that 55 W i3s are available with HD Graphics 4000, you could go that route as well (like you said, once the firmware issues are rectified).
    4
  • joytech22
    Interesting.. If I hadn't filled the house up with like 10 computers that I never use maybe I would try this out. lol.

    For now.. I'll enjoy those 10 computers gathering dust. :\
    6
  • army_ant7
    I wasn't aware such a form factor existed and that consumers could directly buy parts like this. It's very nice that this is possible and it looks interesting to build! It's pretty similar to the internals of a laptop really... :)
    Are some parts like the Wi-fi card OEM or are they really sold directly to the public?

    Some peculiar things I just happen to notice:
    1) Why does the first picture say "Casper" on it? The following pictures of the screen have "Loop" on them.
    2) On Picture 8, it was said that "Intel’s DH61AG features one half-length mini-PCIe slot and one full-length interface, both of which we populate during the process of our build. " Is the full-length one the normal looking PCI-E slot on the board which is perpendicular to it? How was it populated?
    3) How was the webcam plugged in? I'm guessing using some of the USB headers just like how I know MMC readers are plugged in.

    With some of those questions, I may have just missed something. Sorry about that if ever, and I'll be looking forward to a reply. :D

    Thanks for the article Chris, and I have a feeling that you'll be doing either or both the FX-Piledriver and the possible Desktop Trinity remake article once they come out. So I'll be looking forward to those. :)
    2
  • JOSHSKORN
    This is something I've been waiting for, for about two years. Two questions, though.

    1. First of all, I missed the part about the graphics. Is it integrated?
    2. With whatever graphics card or integrated graphics that was used, how would the gaming performance be?

    I would LOVE for my next gaming machine to be something like this and just get rid of the desktop. The only problem I could foresee is limited USB ports. As it is, I personally need about 6-8. I don't own anything that uses USB 3.0 yet.
    0
  • cangelini
    JOSHSKORNThis is something I've been waiting for, for about two years. Two questions, though.1. First of all, I missed the part about the graphics. Is it integrated?2. With whatever graphics card or integrated graphics that was used, how would the gaming performance be?I would LOVE for my next gaming machine to be something like this and just get rid of the desktop. The only problem I could foresee is limited USB ports. As it is, I personally need about 6-8. I don't own anything that uses USB 3.0 yet.

    Graphics is integrated, yes. Supposedly, Gigabyte has a version able to take dual-slot graphics cards, but I don't have it yet. As of now, gaming performance is going to be lackluster with HD Graphics 3000 or, given improved firmware, support for HD Graphics 4000.
    6
  • cangelini
    army_ant7I wasn't aware such a form factor existed and that consumers could directly buy parts like this. It's very nice that this is possible and it looks interesting to build! It's pretty similar to the internals of a laptop really... Are some parts like the Wi-fi card OEM or are they really sold directly to the public?Some peculiar things I just happen to notice:1) Why does the first picture say "Casper" on it? The following pictures of the screen have "Loop" on them.2) On Picture 8, it was said that "Intel’s DH61AG features one half-length mini-PCIe slot and one full-length interface, both of which we populate during the process of our build. " Is the full-length one the normal looking PCI-E slot on the board which is perpendicular to it? How was it populated?3) How was the webcam plugged in? I'm guessing using some of the USB headers just like how I know MMC readers are plugged in.With some of those questions, I may have just missed something. Sorry about that if ever, and I'll be looking forward to a reply. Thanks for the article Chris, and I have a feeling that you'll be doing either or both the FX-Piledriver and the possible Desktop Trinity remake article once they come out. So I'll be looking forward to those.

    Very observant ;-)
    We built up two systems, hoping to get Ivy Bridge support working after a motherboard swap. The first one appears on page one, and the other one appears throughout the rest of the story.
    Both of the PCIe slots mentioned are mini--just different lengths. When you see the card-based SSD and wireless module, those both plug into the mini-PCIe slots. The standard slot remains unused.
    The webcam is attached via USB header, yes.
    2
  • idroid
    Nothing like a true iMac.
    -12
  • Vorador2
    Looking at the Intel catalog, it seems that there's no possibility of installing a discrete graphic card, not even a laptop card. Such a shame since it's the only glaring fault in this build.

    It would be interesting to make a similar build in the future based on the upcoming AMD Trinity architecture.
    0
  • cangelini
    Vorador2Looking at the Intel catalog, it seems that there's no possibility of installing a discrete graphic card, not even a laptop card. Such a shame since it's the only glaring fault in this build.It would be interesting to make a similar build in the future based on the upcoming AMD Trinity architecture.

    I've asked AMD if they have any plans to support this form factor. Company representatives seemed interested, but not particularly sure if AMD would ever pursue channel-enabled all-in-ones. We'll almost certainly see Trinity-based tier-one boxes first.
    5
  • Menigmand
    Would it be possible to build something like this with dedicated graphics? Are there alternatives with more space for a graphics card?

    Doesn't have to be top of the line, but better than integrated..
    1
  • cangelini
    Working on it :)
    5