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DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:02 pm
by jakegub
Hello LegitReviews,

I haven't built a new computer in over 5 years (which is about 5 times longer than my previous average).

My wife hates my full tower computer even though my lighting is subtle and my fans are quiet and my cables are very well routed. She thinks my next computer should be an iMac or "One of those HP computers like an iMac".

Someone out there knows my pain. I honestly wouldn't mind an all-in-one PC because their monitors are plenty nice and any computer based on Intel's Ivy Bridge is good enough for internet consumption. My issue is that I play PC games. I think I've come up with a solution and would love input on the idea as well as suggestions for how to overcome the forseeable problems.

What I want:
24 or 27" LCD
Very small desk footprint (preferably no bigger than the size of a monitor stand)
Replaceable/upgradeable graphics
One plug to the wall outlet

My thought is that I buy a mini-itx case and modify it so it has a built-in VESA mount sticking out the top of it. I take the monitor off of its factory stand and mount it by VESA.

How then do I get the machine so that it has just one plug going from computer to the wall outlet? Has anyone tried this? Is it possible to do it and not have it look like some Frankenstein's monster of a computer?

Re: DIY All-in-O pne

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:13 pm
by DJ Tucker
you can get these all in one pc's. it's a monitor with a pc in the back and many can be upgraded very much like a laptop :)

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:41 pm
by jakegub
I think I've seen the current offerings although I'll go searching again. I'm not interested in the ability to upgrade CPU, Mem, HDD. That's basically a given. I'm looking for upgradeable graphics (which can extend the life of your PC by years)

My current desktop is a C2D and has had 3 graphics upgrades which has allowed me to keep it for more than 5 years and still play new games.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:49 pm
by Major_A
Bottom line: it isn't going to happen. Even if you bought an AIO with a discrete GPU you can't buy a "laptop" GPU anywhere to my knowledge. If you want to get it out of the way, so to speak, then look for VESA cases where you can build your own rig and mount it on the back of the monitor. I know that Antec sells one and it seems like Shuttle has barebones cases that can also do this.

Maybe this will help get you going in the right direction.
http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=704515&fid=288
http://us.shuttle.com/barebone/Models/DS61.html
Then you're still limited to half height video cards and those are usually lower end cards.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:23 pm
by jakegub
Major_A wrote:Bottom line: it isn't going to happen. Even if you bought an AIO with a discrete GPU you can't buy a "laptop" GPU anywhere to my knowledge. If you want to get it out of the way, so to speak, then look for VESA cases where you can build your own rig and mount it on the back of the monitor. I know that Antec sells one and it seems like Shuttle has barebones cases that can also do this.


You're some kind of genius. I had never thought about mounting a case to the back of a monitor. That seems simple. I think they have some decent half-height cards, or at least a year or two ago they had a GTS 250 that was half-height, and that card was mid-high end range at the time.

Newegg has this, which would certainly be adequate for the games I'm currently playing. I guess I could hope as new cards come out, they start making half-height options based on the new architecture.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814202002

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 10:40 pm
by Major_A
That should work. Keep in mind that at your resolution you're more GPU bound than CPU bound. Meaning getting a faster CPU probably won't translate to much higher FPS.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:26 am
by KnightRid
Major_A wrote:Bottom line: it isn't going to happen. Even if you bought an AIO with a discrete GPU you can't buy a "laptop" GPU anywhere to my knowledge. If you want to get it out of the way, so to speak, then look for VESA cases where you can build your own rig and mount it on the back of the monitor. I know that Antec sells one and it seems like Shuttle has barebones cases that can also do this.

Maybe this will help get you going in the right direction.
http://www.antec.com/product.php?id=704515&fid=288
http://us.shuttle.com/barebone/Models/DS61.html
Then you're still limited to half height video cards and those are usually lower end cards.


That

PLUS - if you try and mount a lcd display to a case, using the case as a stand, you better reinforce that case something fierce. Even though lcd displays are not very heavy, they are when you stick them on flimsy metal ;)

Major_A has the perfect solution. I actually looked at doing this in the bedroom for the 32" lcd I have but never followed through because I have the lcd hanging on a wall swivel arm and the cases I saw did not have any way to attach to the lcd and then to the mounting plate :(

I would also figure out if you want touch screen or not. Touch screens do not seem to be real cheap by themselves so an all-in-one solution may end up being cheaper.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:11 am
by INeedAFnSuffix
At least if you do buy one (which i have been very very opposed towards) buy Acer because i can really vouch for their reliability even with the A8-3420M
I (not exactly me, but someone in my family) had several HPs ("Business" or not) over the course of years and they just suddenly die every 3 months even if it's a intel

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 12:01 pm
by Razorbacx
I actually own an All In One HP Touchsmart PC and I hate it. I had to turn off the touchscreen, which was really money wasted, as I rarely used it and it was starting to glitch on me. They're not upgrade friendly and Major was dead on when he said that you'll not be able to upgrade the gpu as I've already gone down that road. After a year you're stuck with an Internet machine. If I could just shake my gaming bug I'd have bought an iMac as they are just a better built machine that appear to outlast their usefulness.

Why not just go the way of a small form factor system? You can in most cases install a full length graphics card and they are very aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. There are plenty of manufacturers to choose from such as Shuttle, Thermaltake, Antec and I believe that CoolerMaster has one as well. Good luck!

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 1:06 pm
by INeedAFnSuffix
iMacs? Bitch please. It's far overpriced.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:52 pm
by Major_A
If you want a "real" computer check out the mITX route.

See example here:
http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1922/1/

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:24 pm
by jakegub
I've been shopping out the mini-itx machines. They would be a perfect option if I could really find a way to make sure it's invisible, but I think the VESA mounted computer is the best idea I've heard. I'm going to really start looking into my options.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 6:38 am
by KnightRid
Razorbacx wrote:I actually own an All In One HP Touchsmart PC and I hate it. I had to turn off the touchscreen, which was really money wasted, as I rarely used it and it was starting to glitch on me. They're not upgrade friendly and Major was dead on when he said that you'll not be able to upgrade the gpu as I've already gone down that road. After a year you're stuck with an Internet machine. If I could just shake my gaming bug I'd have bought an iMac as they are just a better built machine that appear to outlast their usefulness.

Why not just go the way of a small form factor system? You can in most cases install a full length graphics card and they are very aesthetically pleasing as they are functional. There are plenty of manufacturers to choose from such as Shuttle, Thermaltake, Antec and I believe that CoolerMaster has one as well. Good luck!


cut a hole in your kitchen countertop and mount it underneath so you can use it for recipes/video watching/etc while cooking. I think this is one of the coolest things i have ever seen, especially if you like to cook a lot. It isn't real easy to do if you have granite countertops or even some of the solid ones. With the regular particle board ones you can do it pretty easily though.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:49 pm
by jakegub
cut a hole in your kitchen countertop and mount it underneath so you can use it for recipes/video watching/etc while cooking. I think this is one of the coolest things i have ever seen, especially if you like to cook a lot. It isn't real easy to do if you have granite countertops or even some of the solid ones. With the regular particle board ones you can do it pretty easily though.


I think you missed the part about my wife not liking my computer. I can assure you that she won't find cutting a hole in our kitchen counter a reasonable alternative.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 9:13 pm
by XstollieX
jakegub wrote:
I think you missed the part about my wife not liking my computer. I can assure you that she won't find cutting a hole in our kitchen counter a reasonable alternative.

It's easier to ask forgiveness than for permission :lol: :lol:

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:36 am
by KnightRid
XstollieX wrote:
jakegub wrote:
I think you missed the part about my wife not liking my computer. I can assure you that she won't find cutting a hole in our kitchen counter a reasonable alternative.

It's easier to ask forgiveness than for permission :lol: :lol:


Perfect statement.

You want to cut a hole, she doesnt want you to cut a hole. We say CUT THE DAMN HOLE, so majority rules and you cut the hole. Let us know how it turns out or if you need to borrow a tent or sleeping bag :mrgreen:

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:43 am
by Sparky
KnightRid wrote:
XstollieX wrote:
jakegub wrote:
I think you missed the part about my wife not liking my computer. I can assure you that she won't find cutting a hole in our kitchen counter a reasonable alternative.

It's easier to ask forgiveness than for permission :lol: :lol:


Perfect statement.

You want to cut a hole, she doesnt want you to cut a hole. We say CUT THE DAMN HOLE, so majority rules and you cut the hole. Let us know how it turns out or if you need to borrow a tent or sleeping bag :mrgreen:



Yeah, great advice for a happy holiday! I'd error on the side of caution and come up with plan B myself.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 12:48 am
by lordvic
Have you considered building a mini ITX system...say inside a BitFenix Prodigy case?

You can pack a beast into these tiny cases, yet, they are stylish and take up very little space.

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 8:49 am
by Apoptosis
lordvic wrote:Have you considered building a mini ITX system...say inside a BitFenix Prodigy case?

You can pack a beast into these tiny cases, yet, they are stylish and take up very little space.


Example - http://www.legitreviews.com/article/2096/1/

Re: DIY All-in-One

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 9:56 pm
by jakegub
I read the article.

I love the mini-iTX format. I'd still like it attached to the monitor and with a single plug to the outlet if possible.

Has anyone seen this?
http://www.maingear.com/custom/desktops/alpha24/