webPC

webPC is an iMac G3 mod. The iMac was gutted almost completely, and a new computer installed inside. The CRT was replaced with a much smaller LCD and the new microATX motherboard was installed on a tray behind it. The optical drive and hard drive are both new, but sit in the same spots as the old ones. The port panel is new as well, though the power jack is original. Oh, and there’s a huge fan in the top to keep the thing cool. It took about ten months on and off to finish, starting in September 2012 and finishing in Summer 2013. Total cost was around $400-500.

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webPC was originally intended as a lanparty machine, which is why it uses an AMD APU and runs Windows. I considered using Windows 8, but ended up using Windows 7 because it’s actually usable. Joking aside, the themed Aero Glass matches the look of the case extremely well. It was never used for its intended purpose, because I got a much better laptop. I was too cheap to buy Apple peripherals, even if I didn’t hate them. The keyboard is a generic “for Windows Vista” unit, and the mouse is a cheap but usable Microsoft.

webPC had some serious problems as originally built. The hard drive I used was a piece of junk and made the computer slow to boot and extremely sluggish. The audio was extremely noisy and not very good quality. It also ran extremely hot, despite the huge fan. In Spring 2014, webPC was upgraded. The hard drive was replaced with a Seagate 1TB Desktop SSHD, which greatly improved responsiveness. The audio issue was partially solved by replacing the amplifier with a TP2024 based board and adding an isolation transformer- it’s less noisy now, but still not perfect. The thermal problems were the easiest to fix- the only problem was the CPU fan curve.

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That’s what it looks like on paper. As for actual performance, it boots fast and is nice and snappy on the internet and in productivity software. It can play modern games fairly smoothly at low-medium settings. It only has a DVD drive but it can stream HD video, although there’s not much point on the 1024×768 monitor.

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