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Small space available, CPU thoughts??!

I have an idea for a custom built 'sleeper PC" where I use a "Bubble iMac", without the built-in screen of course, to house a full PC, including a DVD Drive, if I can find a laptop drive that's the same size, and compatible with the iMac cd-drive bezel, or close enough, to be juryrigged at least, with a little glue or something...

 

My question is, if I want to go through with the idea, do I want to go with a CPU or an APU??? Also, how new do I want to go with the processor???

 

What I know for sure about the proposed build is that it would likely be a M-atx or M-itx board with either 8 or 16 Gb of ddr4 RAM, and that the newer you go on ryzen, the less power you consume, therefore the less heat you generate, in general, but I also know that a GPU would add a lot of heat to the system, and so I would probably want a older graphics card if I went with a dedicated GPU, probably a 10series Nvidia, unless I wanted to really use an AMD card... Any ideas of a good cheap motherboard and CPU combination, that would work, and possibly a GPU if you deem it necessary??? It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just something with built-in wi-fi, and an m.2 slot,(or 2) perhaps something from the ASUS "TUF" lineup, and an appropriate CPU... Motherboard doesn't necessarily have to be available right now, just needs to be in production, and selling a good amount of product...

Picture of a case like mine is below (picture from wikipedia)

.

1280px-IMac_G3_Bondi_Blue,_three-quarters_view.png

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It's doable with an ITX system, but a GPU, i don't know unless  you use a low profile or single fan, which usually hard to find for a decent chip.

I suggest getting an Intel chip like 10100 and a cheap RX560.

This combo will do Macos Big Sur like a champ.

For the PSU there's no option but to use external PSU.

 

Ryzen 3600 @ 4.5ghz all cores | Asrock B550M Steel Legend | Radeon RX580 | 2x Samsung 16gb c-die 2666 @ 3600mhz cl16 | 500gb WD SN750 | 9 TB HDD | Deepcool Gammax 400 w/ 2 delta 4000rpm push pull | Antec Neo Eco Zen 500w

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42 minutes ago, Wiebenor said:

I have an idea for a custom built 'sleeper PC" where I use a "Bubble iMac", without the built-in screen of course, to house a full PC, including a DVD Drive, if I can find a laptop drive that's the same size, and compatible with the iMac cd-drive bezel, or close enough, to be juryrigged at least, with a little glue or something...

 

My question is, if I want to go through with the idea, do I want to go with a CPU or an APU??? Also, how new do I want to go with the processor???

 

What I know for sure about the proposed build is that it would likely be a M-atx or M-itx board with either 8 or 16 Gb of ddr4 RAM, and that the newer you go on ryzen, the less power you consume, therefore the less heat you generate, in general, but I also know that a GPU would add a lot of heat to the system, and so I would probably want a older graphics card if I went with a dedicated GPU, probably a 10series Nvidia, unless I wanted to really use an AMD card... Any ideas of a good cheap motherboard and CPU combination, that would work, and possibly a GPU if you deem it necessary??? It doesn't need to be anything fancy, just something with built-in wi-fi, and an m.2 slot,(or 2) perhaps something from the ASUS "TUF" lineup, and an appropriate CPU... Motherboard doesn't necessarily have to be available right now, just needs to be in production, and selling a good amount of product...

Picture of a case like mine is below (picture from wikipedia)

.

1280px-IMac_G3_Bondi_Blue,_three-quarters_view.png

I have the same mac in storage as well. Never could bring myself to mod it though. But I did some measurements. If you remove the CRT monitor, you gain some room. However, the original iMac is cooled by a single white, I believe 80 or 92 mm fan. There are intake holes at the bottom where the small clear feet are underneath the optical drive (standard 5.25" btw. replaced mine with a DVD+RW from LG, just take the front cover off the new drive and it will fit just fine). 

Connecting the onboard audio should not be that difficult either.

What is difficult however, is fitting a power supply. Again, I have not made it that far and back when I thought about it, SFX PSUs were only good for 250 Watts, limiting options to a Celeron processor. I would probably go with an AMD APU if I were to actually build one (kind of want to do one right now, thanks for inspiring me). That way you can get away with a smaller PSU and cooling will be less of a concern. A full grown GPU will likely overheat or clock down below base clock, making games unplayable. Cutting holes in the plastic is very difficult, not only is it ugly but the plastic shatters quite easily when drilling into (know that from a friend who tried adding a  usb dock underneath the motherboard tray. 

So my recommendation is a mini-ITX board. For office tasks, an Intel bases system would be plenty powerful and cooler than an AMD one. If you want to play games as well, an AMD APU (the ZEN 2 based ones that go up to 8C) will be the way to go. You will however have to figure out how the rear IO fits with the layout of the iMac. You will have to mod that part for sure with some cutting tools. Remember that you will need the iMac's motherboard tray or at least it's outlines to slide back into the case later on. Of course you could mod it even more and plac the motherboard at an angle like in a normal pc. I would definitely try to keep the crt side panels to cover the new hardware up so you can't see what's inside. I have seen people take of the crt front mask (glass screen) and put in a lcd. It looks odd and is only good for a showpiece you won't work on. You will have too look for a monitor that fits that size (4.3 aspect ratio) and maybe take off the bezels to make it fit. Also get some black foam material and try to mask the gaps that form due to the lack of curvature. If you can find a glossy lcd panel, that would make it even better. 

 

And als always, show us your progress along the way. 

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On 3/7/2021 at 2:39 AM, Applefreak said:

I have the same mac in storage as well. Never could bring myself to mod it though. But I did some measurements. If you remove the CRT monitor, you gain some room. However, the original iMac is cooled by a single white, I believe 80 or 92 mm fan. There are intake holes at the bottom where the small clear feet are underneath the optical drive (standard 5.25" btw. replaced mine with a DVD+RW from LG, just take the front cover off the new drive and it will fit just fine). 

Connecting the onboard audio should not be that difficult either.

What is difficult however, is fitting a power supply. Again, I have not made it that far and back when I thought about it, SFX PSUs were only good for 250 Watts, limiting options to a Celeron processor. I would probably go with an AMD APU if I were to actually build one (kind of want to do one right now, thanks for inspiring me). That way you can get away with a smaller PSU and cooling will be less of a concern. A full grown GPU will likely overheat or clock down below base clock, making games unplayable. Cutting holes in the plastic is very difficult, not only is it ugly but the plastic shatters quite easily when drilling into (know that from a friend who tried adding a  usb dock underneath the motherboard tray. 

So my recommendation is a mini-ITX board. For office tasks, an Intel bases system would be plenty powerful and cooler than an AMD one. If you want to play games as well, an AMD APU (the ZEN 2 based ones that go up to 8C) will be the way to go. You will however have to figure out how the rear IO fits with the layout of the iMac. You will have to mod that part for sure with some cutting tools. Remember that you will need the iMac's motherboard tray or at least it's outlines to slide back into the case later on. Of course you could mod it even more and plac the motherboard at an angle like in a normal pc. I would definitely try to keep the crt side panels to cover the new hardware up so you can't see what's inside. I have seen people take of the crt front mask (glass screen) and put in a lcd. It looks odd and is only good for a showpiece you won't work on. You will have too look for a monitor that fits that size (4.3 aspect ratio) and maybe take off the bezels to make it fit. Also get some black foam material and try to mask the gaps that form due to the lack of curvature. If you can find a glossy lcd panel, that would make it even better. 

 

And als always, show us your progress along the way. 

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to do it, but it IS already gutted specifically for that purpose... I'm not sure, but I may not even have to go 4x3... I might be able to find a 1080p portable monitor small enough to fit, and basically those have the same setup, just prebuilt, the only bit I'm not sure on, is how I'd manage the letterbox gaps on the top and bottom... Probably a piece of black hard plastic, I reckon would work... That way it's 16X9 which I love, but it still has a clean look to the edges... Also, it's not a white fan, although the size you stated is correct... My fan, is black, just for reference, although I would probably replace it with a grey Noctua REDUX fan, and add 4 more of those fans hanging down in a single layer, by the top handle holes... I would have to figure it out how to do it, but it shouldn't be too hard... Maybe I'll find a way to put a piece of plastic under the lid form fitting it to the curved rear, with 4 fan holes carved into them for hooking up fans, and use fan splitters where needed, as needed... Also, I would likely have an RGB strip in there as well, if I could get something that supports it... As to the person who said I couldn't get a PSU to fit, I have a few ideas that might fit, and to that same person, I don't want an apple OS, or I would have left those crappy components in there... I want windows, and at least as far as newer stuff goes, you can get cooler systems using AMD, because of how hot Intel is purported to get... I'll show you all a photo of what it looks like gutted, once I get around to taking one, so you all can see what a huge undertaking, even just cleaning up the case will be as there's a few drops of stain on it that ran a bit at some point... Oh, and as for IO, I'm just going to use panel jacks for most everything I would want to hook up...

Edited by Wiebenor
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  • 1 month later...

Sorry it took me awhile, but here's the pictures of my case... The outside definitely needs work, but the inside looks good stillPXL_20210411_013805152.thumb.jpg.c62bd098a4301fa5a4b28add3884b38a.jpg

PXL_20210411_013943914.jpg

PXL_20210411_013823799.jpg

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