PC that will mount to the back of a monitor?

12
Found 22nd Feb 2016
I am a bit of a novice when it comes to building PC's so I would greatly appreciate some advice. I would like to know whether it is possible to build a PC that is reasonably powered (i.e. 'proper CPU') that will fit in a HTPC case and mount to the back of a monitor for a reasonable price. This is the kind of thing I am looking for:

hothardware.com/art…jpg

Is it possible to use standard components in these PC's and therefore have it perform as well as a full sized counterpart. I like the idea of having a all in one like PC that can be upgraded as and when needed.

Thanks in advance?

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12 Comments

What do you define as a proper CPU? and what do you want to use it for?
You wont get a decent GPU in a tiny package like that and a decent CPU might be out of the question due to cooling

Original Poster

jimhuf

What do you define as a proper CPU? and what do you want to use it … What do you define as a proper CPU? and what do you want to use it for?You wont get a decent GPU in a tiny package like that and a decent CPU might be out of the question due to cooling



Thanks for replying, I mean I would like a CPU that is designed for a desktop PC and not something like an Intel Atom processor that is often found on tablets etc. I would mainly be using it for general browsing, emails, YouTube but would also like it to handle a bit of light to medium gaming. Perhaps something like an AMD A10 APU would be suitable with stock cooling?

Also, if that chassis is too small, can slightly larger ones still be mounted to the back of a monitor?

chris75319

I am a bit of a novice when it comes to building PC's so I would … I am a bit of a novice when it comes to building PC's so I would greatly appreciate some advice. I would like to know whether it is possible to build a PC that is reasonably powered (i.e. 'proper CPU') that will fit in a HTPC case and mount to the back of a monitor for a reasonable price. This is the kind of thing I am looking for:http://hothardware.com/articleimages/Item1738/small_zbox-nano-14.jpgIs it possible to use standard components in these PC's and therefore have it perform as well as a full sized counterpart. I like the idea of having a all in one like PC that can be upgraded as and when needed. Thanks in advance?



Urmm what reason does it have to be mounted for?

A Nuc? or just get an mac mini

Original Poster

whelan189

Urmm what reason does it have to be mounted for?A Nuc? or just get an mac … Urmm what reason does it have to be mounted for?A Nuc? or just get an mac mini


Just for aesthetics, I like the look of all in one PC's but want to be able to upgrade components over time which you cannot do on all in ones. I don't want a mac, and as far as I'm aware, NUC's use mobile processors, unless I'm mistaken, so would not be very powerful.

im not sure you will be able to get anything with any decent grunt thats upgradeable. You might be able to buy a pre-build industrial PC with say a i5 or i7 in a heatsinked case, but that will be expensive and not upgradable.

Have you considered a wireless kb and mouse and a long hdmi or dp cable? might sound daft but you will have only a monitor on your desk and you can put the tower anywhere you want. Think some hdmi or dp also send usb signal so you could plug into your monitor as if it was an all in one.

Original Poster

jimhuf

im not sure you will be able to get anything with any decent grunt thats … im not sure you will be able to get anything with any decent grunt thats upgradeable. You might be able to buy a pre-build industrial PC with say a i5 or i7 in a heatsinked case, but that will be expensive and not upgradable. Have you considered a wireless kb and mouse and a long hdmi or dp cable? might sound daft but you will have only a monitor on your desk and you can put the tower anywhere you want. Think some hdmi or dp also send usb signal so you could plug into your monitor as if it was an all in one.



​Thanks again for the reply, I already have a wireless keyboard and mouse, but my tower is huge and no matter where I put it it seems to be in the way. If this setup is not possible I would get a mini itx case, I would have just preferred a smaller case. Is it possible to mount a larger case to the back of a monitor or will it be too heavy?

you can get a nuc with plenty of power. But it's not really upgradeable unless you mean ram and hdd. Then you have those steam machine type mini itx, also not really upgradeable but maybe a bit more power. Or a proper mini itx which is completely upgradeable but way bigger.

Yes and no.

There are plenty of cases that take standard Mini-ITX and even Micro ATX motherboards that'll mount to the back of a monitor. They will all be substantially larger than a Zbox nano though. Instead of 12.7cm x 12.7cm x 4.5cm you're looking at a minimum of 20cm x 20cm x 5m, probably more like 25cm x 25cm x 9cm if you want a proper PC with the expansion slots accessible, power supply on the inside and so on.

That's still a fifth of the size of a normal tower, and half the size of a slim tower so it's not a big machine but a long way from the likes of a Zbox nano, and two or three times the size of the smallest prebuilts using desktop CPUs.

Someone may mention Thin ITX, or 5x5/Mini-STX and while they may satisfy your criteria, they don't have the momentum to know if they'll be around in three or four years time. Mini-ITX is the smallest standard that's got a good chance of being able to swap the motherboard/CPU for a 2019 platform.

Original Poster

EndlessWaves

Yes and no.There are plenty of cases that take standard Mini-ITX and even … Yes and no.There are plenty of cases that take standard Mini-ITX and even Micro ATX motherboards that'll mount to the back of a monitor. They will all be substantially larger than a Zbox nano though. Instead of 12.7cm x 12.7cm x 4.5cm you're looking at a minimum of 20cm x 20cm x 5m, probably more like 25cm x 25cm x 9cm if you want a proper PC with the expansion slots accessible, power supply on the inside and so on.That's still a fifth of the size of a normal tower, and half the size of a slim tower so it's not a big machine but a long way from the likes of a Zbox nano, and two or three times the size of the smallest prebuilts using desktop CPUs. Someone may mention Thin ITX, or 5x5/Mini-STX and while they may satisfy your criteria, they don't have the momentum to know if they'll be around in three or four years time. Mini-ITX is the smallest standard that's got a good chance of being able to swap the motherboard/CPU for a 2019 platform.


Sorry for the late reply, just finished work and thanks for the detailed response. I would be happy to have a larger tower that would fit to the back of a monitor if that's possible, could you perhaps point me in the right direction as to which cases would mount to a monitor and still be upgradable. Thanks in advance.

chris75319

could you perhaps point me in the right direction as to which cases would … could you perhaps point me in the right direction as to which cases would mount to a monitor and still be upgradable. Thanks in advance.



Most stores don't list them seperately so you'll have to look through listings.

Anything that says it's VESA mountable can be attached to the back of a monitor, and anything that says it takes a Mini-ITX or Micro ATX motherboard is upgradable.

For small cases you also can't assume support for anything is included. Plenty of small cases don't provide space for a power supply, expansion cards and DVD drives. Some of them even leave out support for hard drives now SSDs are moving towards cards attached to the motherboard (mSATA/M.2). Be sure to check that any extra hardware you might want to accommodate is supported by the case.

If you want an example then something like the In Win BQ656 is about middle of the road size-wise. You get an internal power supply, DVD drive and 2.5" laptop hard drive (or SSD) bay but no expansion card support:
kustompcs.co.uk/aca…tml
The front ports are only USB2 but I'm guessing that's not too much of an issue with it behind the monitor, you're likely to be using a USB hub.

Lenovo do a great tiny pc and mount kit - v powerful for the size (an dyou can get double depth for the more upgradeability iirc)
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