Building An All-in-One Desktop Out Of Framework Parts

The Framework laptop prides itself on having reusable parts, and hackers all around routinely challenge the claims by building projects reusing them. Yet again, [whatthefilament] puts the Framework hardware to the test, by taking all the laptop internals and building an AiO (All-in-One) desktop computer with it. Hot on the heels of his Framework tablet project we covered a few months ago, this desktop reuses as much as possible – the mainboard, the display and the expansion cards in particular, and even one of the hinges is reused for adjusting the monitor’s angle.

Of course, this build required a custom case – and [whatthefilament]’s design is fully 3D-printed, with STLs and assembly instructions available for anyone interested. Parts of the desktop are held by magnets for ease of assembly and maintenance, with a few parts requiring screws held in by heat-set inserts. Complete with a webcam, speakers and even a WiFi card, all it needs for completeness is an external keyboard&mouse combo, making for a sleek desktop that anyone in possession of a few Framework parts can build.

Laptop-to-desktop builds are nice – take the X-PC project, starting with a pile of school laptops and rebuilding them into colourful and sturdy desktops for classroom use. We’ve seen quite a few fancy Framework projects already, and that’s because they provided motherboards to hackers for specifically project purposes, kickstarting a fair few creations to grace our pages. Other hacker-friendly laptops didn’t lag behind, either – for instance, here’s the hacker favourite, Novena, getting the desktop treatment.

10 thoughts on “Building An All-in-One Desktop Out Of Framework Parts

  1. What’s the point? I do half of my computer work on a smartphone these days. The only reason I keep a desktop anymore is for the rare occasion that a smartphone app won’t do, such as writing code. But the need to know how to write code is diminishing over time, so effectively I’m running out of reasons to own a desktop PC. Most manufacturers don’t even offer desktop boards supporting more than 64GB of RAM, despite the fact that server boards have supported 1TB+ for nearly a decade now. It’s a dying breed of computing, sorry to say.

    Everything personal computing-wise will eventually become a dumb terminal connected to the cloud. And frankly I’m tired of maintaining my PCs anyway, so I welcome anything that separates me from the hardware. Good riddance to an inferior way of using computers, I must say.

    1. To state the obvious: the point is repurposing laptop components, themselves designed to be replaceable to facilitate exactly this kind of reuse, to get the all in one the creator wanted.

      Desktops aren’t your thing? You don’t need a computer to do what you do? Then this isn’t for you.

      Poor form to dump on someone else’s project just because it’s not your thing.

    2. If you’re going to come in and dump on a project, try not to reveal your lack of understanding of the capabilities opened up by having hardware on your desk instead of a phone and the cloud in a place where typical projects require you to make use of hardware on your desk. But on second thought, just try to be kind when you see something that isn’t for you.

    3. Needing more than 30GB of system memory is rather on the wild and unusual side these days – single user at a time on most desktop machines and with graphics cards having huge pools of their own that get used instead for many loads… There is not a great deal of need for massive RAM quantities in a desktop, and then there are always going to be workstation motherboards, the server grade gear with one of the larger standards of ATX layouts for those that do need it… Same as it ever was, and I really can’t see it ever changing – there will always been some users that no matter how connected and cloud everything else gets can’t tolerate the latency, lack of bandwidth, lower reliability and extra costs of a cloud provider.

      Plus I’ve not seen any board that doesn’t support 128GB+ unless its also mini-itx type tiny form factor – and if something that small is what you want there are always going to have to be trade off.

      Also say no to the damn cloud for most things, it is by its very nature buggier, less secure, expensive, and less performant. Maybe if you live practically on the doorstep of the remote server you are using with fast fibre links in use all the way it will be acceptable for things other than word processing and bulk storage. But everything needs to so perfect for making a cloud instance performant and functional enough for real work that you can’t rely on it…

      I also don’t see how you can use a phone for real work as it stands, yes for years now phones have had performance enough for many desktop users needs, on paper anyway – thermal throttling to be expected if ever in real use. But it is all shackled by Fruity or Borg nonsense – you can’t get the application past their store’s onto the device easily, the hardware is locked down and rather less universal, and the operating system running is missing some rather essential parts for most folks. Phones are so limited by their OS that they are fit for little but media consumption and email…

  2. Very nice

    Kinda reminds me of one of a iMac. Funny thing I was given an iMac and after going down the rabbit hole looking for upgrades I found a lot of people were slapping Intel Nucs into them. It got me thinking to do it with a Raspberry Pi but the iMac had a tragic death when I was moving.

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