In theory, I like the idea of all-in-one PCs like Apple's iMac. By packing everything behind the screen, you end up with a system that has a minimal footprint and can even be mounted on the wall. The all-in-one approach also reduces the number of connections and cables for users who tend to be intimidated by such things.
All-in-one PCs are usually quite slim, making it especially difficult to cool their internals, especially if one wants to do so quietly. That's put a bit of a damper on the level of hardware available in current designs, although to be fair, Apple's latest 27-incher can be configured with a quad-core Core i7-930 and Radeon HD 4850 graphics. The smaller 21.5" iMacs are limited to dual-core CPUs and graphics options that top out at the Radeon HD 4670.
But what if you could liquid cool an all-in-one desktop? Asetek built a prototype system to answer that question, and it's been revealed in a nifty YouTube video that I've embedded for your viewing pleasure.
The prototype in question is based on a 24" screen and has the "same profile" as an iMac. Behind the screen sits a Core i7-920 CPU and a 75W "GTX 280" graphics chip, which is presumably the GeForce GTX 280M mobile GPU. Each chip sits under a water block that's tied to a radiator housed in the display stand.
All told, the liquid-cooling system should dissipate over 200W, and Asetek says it does so without compromising noise levels. With Intel's Core i5 line of quad-core CPUs topping out at just 95W, the design should be able to handle an even beefier graphics component. There's no word on when or if the prototype will make its way into production, though.