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Photos: The polycarbonate all-in-one LCD PC

I built my latest space-saving PC out of 3/16th-inch jet-black polycarbonate, which makes the chassis look like the material from a grand piano.

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Topic: Hardware
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1 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
The last time I built a wooden all-in-one 19? LCD PC, my family wanted it in the kitchen and my mother wanted it in hers. To keep everyone happy, I built my mother another one out of 3/16th inch jet-black polycarbonate, which makes the chassis look like the material from a grand piano.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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2 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
Cutting this material was fairly simple with wood-cutting and drilling tools. Just be careful to slow down on the table saw so you don’t chip the polycarbonate. I had initially avoided putting in vent holes in the back but the CPU fan and the PSU fan dynamically ramped up in RPM because of the increasing temperature and caused some noise. Once the 4 holes were put in the back, the CPU fan stayed at lower RPM and remained fairly silent even if I stress loaded the CPUs.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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3 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
This time I mounted the on/off switch up top along with two USB ports which makes it easy to access and comes in handy for the webcam. I just wished I had a webcam that did away with the cable and just had a down-facing USB port so I can just plug it in right on top of the case. The other USB port is convenient for plugging other devices such as USB memory sticks or other devices I want sitting on top of the chassis
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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4 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
As usual with these slim custom chassis, I used a slim 1.75? 1U Sparkle SPI220LE 80 Plus 220 watt power supply. The idle power consumption on this computer is 43 watts and 63 watt under peak CPU loads generated by WPrime. The motherboard is an ECS 945GCT-M which came bundled with an Intel Celeron 430 CPU (Conroe-L 1.8 GHz single-core) I got at Fry’s for $70. I put in an Intel Core 2 Duo E2140 dual-core 1.6 instead and kept the lower-profile CPU fan which came with the Celeron 430. That lower profile fan came in real handy since it fit inside my 3? thick chassis which is even less space inside because of the thickness of the walls. This chassis has plenty of room for additional devices such as a slim optical slot-loaded drive.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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5 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
This 3-inch thick custom chassis is no where near as thin as commercial all-in-one computers, but it makes up for it in flexibility since you can use any monitor of your choice and the price is right ($500) for those who are willing to build it.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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6 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
You can see the power plug reflected in the polycarbonate back. One thing I wish I had was a belt sander to smooth out and polish the edges more. It not only makes a better finish but it makes it easier to glue the joints together.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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7 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
The webcam comes in handy for Skype. This is the older Logitech Quickcam Fusion so it can’t be used for high-quality video mode in Skype but still looks decent. The keyboard and mouse is the Logitech EX110 ($30-$40) which uses 27 MHz with shorter range but it isn’t susceptible to Wi-Fi interference.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.
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8 of 8 George Ou/ZDNet
From the front, you can’t see the computer behind the display at all which is the whole point. This computer takes no more space than the display and the wiring is all self contained which avoids cable clutter.
For more details, see George Ou's blog post.

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