The 22" dual-core all-in-one game PC for $765

The 22" dual-core all-in-one game PC for $765

Summary: What started out as a roughly improvised poor-man's all-in-one PC (See gallery here) hanging off the back of an LCD display has turned in to two detailed schematics painstakingly drafted with the proper measurements ready for the cutting table. Download the schematics below by clicking on the images.

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What started out as a roughly improvised poor-man's all-in-one PC (See gallery here) hanging off the back of an LCD display has turned in to two detailed schematics painstakingly drafted with the proper measurements ready for the cutting table. Download the schematics below by clicking on the images.

The first one is a modification and refinement of the of the first VESA mount PC using the miniature Intel D201GLY motherboard/CPU. The second one is an all new version that features full size MicroATX support, dual-core processor support, and full-sized PCI-Express support using a 90 degrees angle adapter for a full blown gaming or professional workstation.

Note: This entry is also available as a TechRepublic PDF download.

Mini-PC box: D201GLY with 1 half-height slot and 3 hard drive slots

This box when loaded with 3 hard drives when the D201GLY2 arrives with two SATA and one PATA port and a $15 gigabit PCI adapter would make a killer NAS (Network Attached Storage) and general purpose server. The box with only one hard drive is ~$200 and it will run faster than most NAS devices on the market at less than half the price. Using a one drive version for a poor-man's PC might be a little under powered and you may want to look at the much more powerful version below that only costs $200 more.

Professional or gaming workstation: Dual-core with discrete graphics

If you ever wanted a cheap powerful workstation that you can take with you without having to carry it separately from the LCD monitor, this is the box for you. This larger box will fit and hide behind a 20" or greater LCD display without being visible from the front and will only add 3.75" of thickness to the entire LCD. It will take any MicroATX motherboard with enough cooling for a dual-core processor and dedicated PCI-Express graphics card.

With the 220W SPI220LE power supply, you're limited to using 65W (Thermal Design Power) processors and graphics cards that pulls no more than 100W. Not to worry because you can get very powerful processors within the 65W power TDP such as the Intel E6750 2.66 GHz dual-core processor and the NVIDIA 8600GTS graphics adapter. We can load 3 hard drives, 4 half-height PCI cards, and use the on-board video card or we can load 1 hard drive and 1 full-height PCI-Express adapter. On the motherboard front, I look forward to reviewing NVIDIA's 7150 integrated graphics chipset with an impressive features list and price.

Part Price*
Gigabyte G33 MicroATX with HDMI/DVI HDCP $126
Intel E2160 dual-core 1.8 GHz (very safe clocking at 2.4 GHz) $85
SPI220LE 220W 1U compact 80 Plus power supply $60
1 GB DDR2-667 (two 512MB DIMMs) $41
250 GB Maxtor SATA hard drive $63
Sub total (before monitor and tax if applicable) $375
22" Acer DVI-D w/HDCP and D-SUB (*exposed* flat VESA) $234
Integrated graphics total (before tax if applicable) $609
NVIDIA 8600GTS $156
Dedicated graphics total (before tax if applicable) $765
* Includes shipping cost

Well there you have it, you have a powerful all-in-one workstation or LAN party machine. Get out your drill and saw and get ready for some fun!

Topics: Processors, Hardware, Storage

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47 comments
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  • Up the RAM and cost up to $800

    I wouldn't game with anything less than 2 GB. Not saying cutting edge, but many games that are unplayable on 1 GB with a weak proc come alive with 2 GB.


    This also applies to the video card though. Other than that, not bad. I was pretty proud when I had a Quad core rig built for around $700 dollars.
    nucrash
    • Metal Case Design

      It would be really nice if someone with design experience with protocase, or any other manufacture, could workup a metal case design and share it with the group.
      jmorey1
  • Other Comments

    Your board is an excellent choice. It can support pretty much any proc and video card. No SLI, but still, 1333 MHz Bus and Quad Core support... You can't fail on this model.

    Heat will get interesting.
    nucrash
    • You just keep it under the 220W budget and you're fine

      You just keep it under the 220W budget and you're fine on heat because there are 3 80mm fans. There are bigger capacity 1U PSUs though.
      georgeou
  • Well for gaming.. go with the Samsung 226BW

    That monitor rocks.. 2ms 3000:1 DCR
    Been_Done_Before
    • Problem is, does it have a flat exposed back?

      Problem is, does it have a flat exposed back for VESA mounting this box?
      georgeou
  • RE: The 22

    Looks like the sweet spot to me.
    paron
  • Message has been deleted.

    kapilkhannain@...
    • And the Home of the Brave

      nt...
      nucrash
    • this is not an international politics site

      in case you did not notice, this site is for technical people not for political activists!
      Linux Geek
  • Cool Acrylic housing

    I think you can switch the hardboard & MDF with clear [i]acrylic or Perspex[/i] material. The 4mm acrylic is tough enough for the base & surrounding enclosure. The price wouldn't be much different here with the wood. Then you can use the neon / LED fan to fancy the entire setup.

    --measaura--
    dinas1
    • It's a preference thing

      It's a preference thing and this is the nice thing about building it yourself. If you can work with the material, you can build it.
      georgeou
  • Built-in speakers and air flow.

    George, in order to keep the external wires to a minimum why not build a pair of speakers into the sides? I'm sure you could bolt a cheap pair of laptop speakers onto it. Or you could extend the speaker output to a convenient spot so one could plug in a pair of headphones.

    On another point, you have 3 fans designed into your micro-ATX case which appear that they would be blowing out the top of the case. Thats a good design point since the warm air will rise to there. However you may consider designing some air input vents that direct air over the highest heat generating components. You could do this simply by drilling an array of small holes into the side of the case nearest those components. This will likely improve your airflow as well.

    Ian.
    burtoni
    • You'd have to expose the sides and make it wider than the display, but like

      You'd have to expose the sides and make it wider than the display, but I like where you're going with this and I definitely think having built-in speakers is a good thing. What?s the point of having a beautify iMac all-in-one if you got clunky cables going to the speakers?

      We could do a small car amplifier and car speakers internally. I guess they could face outwards unless we expose the top a little and face forward. The entire PC chassis would essentially become your speaker enclosure, but there?s some concern about shielding here because any kind of RF noise will get picked up by the speakers.
      georgeou
      • Why reinvent the wheel?

        You can get LCD's with speakers already built in, like this Acer model at Newegg: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16824009109
        Drew F.
        • That is probably a better option

          That is probably a better option.
          georgeou
          • I like the idea

            of using a car amplifier and speakers built into the case. Somehow it is more in tune with the character of this project.
            burtoni
        • 2 Watt speakers...

          That is a good idea for getting some speakers in the deal, but 2 watt speakers always sound like they're under water. I have some 2 watts on my Sceptre 20.1in and they are horrible. Your on the right track on this I think. Built in speakers sounds like more of a plus if you were building this set-up on to the back of full blown HDTV with more like 35 watt speakers built in.

          On that note, building something like this into a home entertainment "Media Center" sounds like an awesome idea! Or at least another article for George to tackle. Have you seen the prices on nice MC cases? They get real ridiculous real fast. The cost saved on this solution makes just as much sense as the portability of this system.

          You don't need to by some over rated MC case if you building out of sight on the back of the TV, And you gain a LOT of building room. Who doesn't have a ton of space between there flat panel and the wall?

          I would love to see this all planned out! I have been thinking about a Media Center in my living room, but I don't yet know if the PS3 will satisfy my requirements and then some. The idea of a computer built onto my TV running Windows Home Server, sound pretty cool to me too. Who doesn't want to play with Home Server, Dual booting Suse as well of course! (Pipe down Linux Junkies! Im one of you too!)

          I don't normally write in on articles here, unless there is something I just feel strongly enough about. I also don't tend to go back and read replies to what I post for that matter. But I do make an effort to read almost all of the articles posted on this site! Great subject George!

          Wes
          wesmantx059
  • Be careful with contrast ratios

    Make sure you are comparing the right contrast ratio. That Samsung monitor still has a static contrast ratio the same as the Acer monitor that George is using (700:1 for both) at a fraction of the price ($119.99 vs $319.99). The Acer monitor doesn't quote a dynamic contrast ratio, presumably because it doesn't vary the power to the backlight. I still think the Acer monitor is the best value price-wise.

    Ian.
    burtoni
  • Seen it before!

    That is more or less what they do with railway station plasmas (and now LCDs) in the UK. They take a commercial plasma (Fujitsus mostly), flatten a rubbish PC on the back without even opening the Plasma case and then they have a custom made tin rear made which covers the PC and PSU and provides the mounting points for the pole/wall mount. Unfortunately due to the fact these plasmas are already heavy and they are duplicating all the mounting hardware (they don't take the old rear off the plasmas, just clad another over it) they are incredibly heavy. One we were repairing was 110kg! These a phenomenal bits of kit to shift to maintain. Thankfully they are using LCD's with remote multi-head PC controllers now so they don't suffer from the same level of burn on and the mass failures due to the heat of the plasmas and the temperature high in the station on a sunny day..
    peter.knapp