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Intel Hardware

Thin Mini-ITX Platform Enables DIY iMacs 206

crookedvulture writes "Shipments of all-in-one PCs are growing exponentially faster than those for typical desktops. Unfortunately, highly integrated systems like the iMac have traditionally made it difficult to replace or upgrade parts. And forget about assembling an all-in-one for yourself. Now, however, Intel has developed a Thin Mini-ITX platform that allows system builders and end users to put together all-in-one systems with standard parts. This hands-on look at Thin Mini-ITX pieces together an ersatz iMac using off-the-shelf components, and the process is pretty easy. While the end result isn't quite as slick as one of Apple's creations, parts can be swapped out with ease, and the configuration can be tailored to suit one's needs."
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Thin Mini-ITX Platform Enables DIY iMacs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @02:44PM (#40908205)

    You're advocating violating the OS X EULA!

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Theoden ( 121862 )

      You're advocating violating the OS X EULA!

      Pretty positive TFA is about building an all-in-one similar to an iMac, not installing OS X. :P

      • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @04:00PM (#40909135) Homepage Journal

        Pretty positive TFA is about building an all-in-one similar to an iMac, not installing OS X. :P

        Then it's hardly an iMac, now is it? You might as well say your Linux desktop is a Mac. If it's not running Windows it's not a Windows computer, if it's not running Linux it's not a Linux computer, and if it's not running OSX it's not an iMac.

        A computer is a lot more than just hardware.

        • They're just using the iMac brand to promote their computer kit. There have been a lot of all in one computers that have been built into the LCD display. If I recall correctly, there was a $99 machine around 1999 that ran a locked down, proprietary OS, and was subsidized by a bundle-in ISP. I believe the company failed, but the units did sell out pretty quickly, proving it to be a very popular form factor.
        • you could make a hackintosh, but whats the point.

          I like my tower hidden under my desk the way it is.
    • by ( 2589739 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @02:48PM (#40908251)

      Which is legal in a lot of countries! For example Europe!

    • by imamac ( 1083405 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @02:49PM (#40908261)
      It didn't look like they were talking about installing OS X on it. But, it does use the Intel DH61AG motherboard, which is easily used for a hackintosh.
  • by doti ( 966971 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @02:49PM (#40908259) Homepage

    are growing exponentially faster than

    you keep using that expression... it does not mean what you think it does

    • I know that ITX cases almost always have fans. I just threw that in there because Steve Jobs made the same mistake in like 1982 as he did in 2011 with style over function causing severe overheating problems.
    • are growing exponentially faster than

      you keep using that expression... it does not mean what you think it does

      Introducing: FRACTIONAL EXPONENTS! Try our patented Zero over ONE!!!1!!

      Also try our small line of negative exponents.

    • If the quantity (sales of product X) / (sales of product Y), plotted over time, forms an exponential growth curve, it seems entirely reasonable to say that "sales of X are growing exponentially faster than sales of Y." Note that I have no idea if that's the case for this particular example, just noting that the phrase itself isn't inherently unreasonable.

  • This is kinda like a kit-car Lamborghini set that people like to put together. Now you too can have a lamborghini, with a chevy V8 on a chevy frame!

    • Gutting older Jaguars and installing Chevy V8's is fairly common actually. It's a reliability thing.
      • It's also a weight thing. The old 327 Chevy or 289 Ford V8s are considerably lighter than the Jag inline 6. This was also a pretty common swap out in Austin-Healey 100-6 and 3000 roadsters. Not only did you save considerable weight, but you could easily get 400 hp out of the V8s. Of course the extra power meant you should swap out the entire drive train also.
      • jaguar != lambrotghini

        the jaguar was a terrible fucking car.

        I think the comparison is apt. Take your fancy jaugur and trying running it against a peroid chevy or ford with a good engine, perhaps with a motorhead who knows how to tune it with some work into.

        You see fancy get out performed.

        This generation we can run a BMW 3 series against a dodge SRT4, a 5 series against an SRT 6/8, and a 7 series/anything BMW has vs a dodge viper.

        There are plenty of good ITX cases, and some manufactures make OEM all in one P
    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Except the distance between a Hyundai and a Lamborghini in this case is nothing more than a single chip that prevents the Hyundai from acting like a Lamborghini.

      In all other respects they are identical.

      This comes in real handy when you're running Linux or Windows on a Mac.

  • Not Hackintosh/OSX86 (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    They aren't talking about building Hackintoshes here, just DIY PC-in-a-monitor.

  • by alen ( 225700 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @02:55PM (#40908325)

    i don't have an imac but i've ready that apple uses very high quality displays for them and that dell sells a similar monitor for $800 or so

    sure you can build something cheaper, but you aren't saving anything if you cheapen out on the monitor

    • You're right... it's kinda like people painting their impala with a certain design and saying they have a dale earnhardt sr racecar.

    • A 1920x1080 video is a 1920x1080 video. The video won't look any better just because you up the monitor resolution higher than those specs.

      • Which is fine if all you ever do is watch videos. Some people like to do other things with their computers. Don't even get me started on the problem with widescreen monitors in general. Very few monitors can be flipped on their side, even though that's their most useful orientation for a lot of tasks.
      • A 6-bit TN panel is not as good as a 10-bit IPS panel. It's about color quality, and ability to calibrate to get a nice picture.

      • Blacker blacks, better veiwing angles, more vibrant colors, better coverage of the standard color gamuts?

        Also, a high resolution monitor does allow the user to spread out his work. If you're' programming, it's helpful to have enough space for editors/debuggers/IDEs/shells and a couple of web pages/pdfs/dvis for documentation.

      • Yes but it's not just about the resolution. Contrast and color depth are very important for some tasks. My iMac has an external display and, when seen side by side, it's obvious which one is better. Even putting the same background wallpaper and comparing them shows that the iMac screen has truer colors. The sky looks like a real sky. Grass looks like real grass. By the way, the second monitor is an AOC LED 21 inch model. It's a decent monitor but try as I might I can't get the display to look as lifelike a
    • That's a very good point. On my iMac at home I have an external monitor. It's a decent monitor but the display on the iMac is vastly superior. I'd go as far as to say that the iMac has the best display I've ever used. I'm sure there are monitors that rival it but they are not your $100 Fry's specials. Apple makes extremely good displays, both on the iMac and the MacBook.
  • Let's hope that some of the major retail PC makers pick up on this, and start making their own.

    I love Apple, but I'd also love to see some competition out there for them in areas like this, to ensure that they always have a good reason to be keeping one step ahead. ;-D

    Dan Aris

    • Acer made a shockingly similar one several years ago but with an Atom chip (so no overheating problems, lol) and it was slow, the touchscreen was sluggish, and overall it sucked lol.
      • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

        Get a Zotac low profile machine. They come in various shapes and sizes. Many are Atoms but some are not.

        Then use the VESA mounting kit they give you.

        Except for Flash Games, an Atom based (ION) machine does pretty well as a AIO desktop actually.

    • by kidgenius ( 704962 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @03:04PM (#40908447)
      Vizio just came out with one. Looks pretty nice too []
    • Am I the only one suspecting that the delay in the iMac lineup may be the result of Apple responding to something like this by revamping the entire line so that the sorts of things possible with this thin ITX board seem trivial in comparison?

  • This could be WAY bigger than just making iMac clones. Combine that with the new video hardware coming onto the market that permits greater than 1080p resolution displays, and that this new form factor could be made dirt cheap, this could usher in the era of interactive wallscreen devices.

    I always figured it would be great to have some cheap tablets mounted into walls for various applications, for example, being able to quickly check the weather report before heading out the door. But something like this

    • I've yet to find a nice small form factor PC that supports any sort of high end graphics (3D gaming/rendering... not video). Most of the SFF machines have built in crappy video cards and/or have no PCI-Express slot capability. It would be nice to have a motherboard with the ability to plug in a graphics card on the edge parallell to the mainboard itself. Unfortunately, the way the cards are designed, the heatsink would be under the plane of the motherboard unless the PCI-Express slot was moved to the oth

  • by StripedCow ( 776465 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @03:02PM (#40908419)

    Nice to see Apple losing their prime advantage: looks.

    Now we just have to wait until Intel comes with DIY phones.

    • It's not just about looks; it's about desk space and portability. I'd be far more inclined to try putting my computer and desk in a new location if it wasn't such a pain in the ass to move.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Nice to see Apple losing their prime advantage: looks.

      Now we just have to wait until Intel comes with DIY phones.

      Apple's lost that advantage last year when Intel finally got fed up and spent at least $100M doing the R&D for all the ultrabook manufacturers. Now all we need is Intel to spend another $100M doing all the R&D for everyone eles to clone the iMac.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @03:03PM (#40908435)

    WTF does this have to do with iMacs?

  • MAFIAA logic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by firesyde424 ( 1127527 ) on Tuesday August 07, 2012 @03:03PM (#40908437)

    [sarcasm] Breaking news: Intel sued by Apple for patent infringement. Apple has sued CPU manufacturer Intel claiming infringement of their patent on the design of small, compact, all-in-one devices that can run OSX. Apple filed the lawsuit in a federal court located in western Texas. They are asking for an injunction against Intel as well as an award of $5,000 for each device sold by Intel. Apple has claimed that the only reason people buy something other than an Apple device is because they can and therefore every sale of these devices by Intel represents a lost sale for Apple. [/sarcasm]

  • "Made in imitation; artificial, especially of an inferior quality."

  • Please stop feeding Apple's "we invented everything!" hubris. This is just a computer attached to a monitor, which is an obvious combination that has been around since there have been computers small enough to attach to monitors.
  • Not going to lie, I thought they were going to review a thinclient...kind of seems like a better idea, with the space constraints.

Garbage In -- Gospel Out.