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

Ready For Desktop Productivity

The tradeoff, of course, is that the Mac natively runs OS X, while the PC is Windows-based.

How much does doing this all yourself save? Well, if you use the Loop chassis, the Core i5-2400S, 4 GB of DDR3-1333, Intel’s DH61AG motherboard, a low-profile cooler, an 8x DVD writer, the WiFi Link 1000 card, a 500 GB Western Digital Scorpio Black hard drive, and Logitech’s MK250 wireless keyboard and mouse kit, then you’re spending around $780. The cheapest iMac costs $1200, or $420 more.

Use some of that savings to grab a small mSATA-based SSD, an operating system, a slim Blu-ray drive, or just pocket the difference.

Intel tells us the Thin Mini-ITX form factor will continue evolving. Particularly in the face of Windows 8, touch-based screens, WiDi, 7-series chipsets, and more comprehensive support for the Ivy Bridge architecture (and its improved graphics engine) should augment the integration of all-in-ones even more.

  • clownbaby
    Nice build. Are there any similar chassis with a touch screen?
    Reply
  • no one tried to hackintosh this?
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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...
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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 :)
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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).
    Reply