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Turn a Raspberry Pi 3 into a desktop PC

Probably the cheapest desktop PC you can make.
By Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Contributing Writer
Building a Raspberry Pi 3 desktop PC
1 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Building a Raspberry Pi 3 powered desktop PC

Assuming you have a Raspberry Pi 3 -- and the new Model B+ is perfect for this -- then what you need to transform that into a desktop PC is a conversion kit, and one of the very best out there is Element 14 Raspberry Pi 3 desktop PC kit.

More than just a case
2 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

More than just a case

You might be thinking that $49.99 is a lot for a case for a Raspberry Pi 3. And you' be right, but this is much more than a case. The kit also comes with an add-on board that acts as a power controller, a real-time clock (RTC), and a high capacity Solid State Drive (SSD) expansion card for additional storage.

You also get heat sinks and stand-offs to accommodate the Raspberry Pi 3 board (sold separately) in the kit.

Up to 1TB of storage
3 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Up to 1TB of storage

The add-on board can take an mSATA drive up to 1TB in capacity. This gives you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to storage.

Optional camera module
4 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Optional camera module

Want to add a camera to your Raspberry Pi desktop PC? No problem! There's a slot built into the case to accommodate this.

Set up
5 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Set up

There's a fair bit of setting up to do, but fortunately there's plenty of resources on the web that will guide you through the setup process (don't be intimidated by this, it's all pretty straight forward and easy).

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6 of 6 Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Stylish case

As cases for desktop Raspberry Pi builds go, the Element 14 kit is both stylish and well thought-out. The buttons and ports are all clear and easy to use, and there's even a port for the optional Raspberry Pi camera.

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