So after the success of my previous build, I got bored!
So I decided it was time to make another machine, this time smaller, more compact and fully portable.
This machine is the result of seeing a few postings on here regarding briefcase builds and such.
The entire point of this machine is to build a somewhat lightweight, portable gaming machine, and to provide more firepower than any laptop for roughly the same price.
So let's start off with the parts.
CPU: AMD FX-6300 - I used this in my previous build, and it provides more than enough punch for this purpose. CPU Cooler: Stock. It was originally a Cooler Master Seidon 120V but that got re purposed to Black Rose
- May end up replacing it with a compact air cooler such as Silverstone AR05
Motherboard: Asus M5A78L-M LX Plus - wasn't looking for anything particular, Asus is used at my work and are quite reliable. Main factor was it had to be Micro ATX. Mini ITX would be nice for space but the difference in size is not that major, and the cost of them is ridiculous.
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3-1600 - This was originally the memory in my main build, and the memory in that was here. They got swapped because the Sniper series is faster and black.
- Western Digital 750GB HD - Had it lying around.
- Samsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB SSD - As per the comments, price difference isn't much for a decent performance gain.
GPU: EVGA GeForce GTX 650 Ti SSC 1GB - nothing fancy, certainly not allowed to be better than my main system. Bought it off a friend.
Power Supply: Corsair 430W - it makes the juice.
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit - it does the programs
Wireless Networking: Edimax EQ-7811Un - this was a pretty important requirement. It needs to have access to wireless networking because I can't just bring an ethernet cable everywhere. Size was also a factor, and this is tiny.
- Tek Republic TUH-200 - 4 port USB hub. This motherboard only has 2 ports on the rear. 1 gets taken by the Wireless Network adapter, the other by my wireless keyboard. Needed extra ports for USB's, mouse etc.
Obviously this is a work in progress. When I decide to go to school I would like this to become my "laptop". With more than enough horsepower and cheaper than any laptop with equivalent power, it will be awesome.
Added in the Asus VS198D-P 1440x900 VGA monitor for the build. I had specific requirements for the build to work, had to be ~18-19", flatscreen, as close to flat at the back as possible, and fairly thin overall. This monitor does all of that. The VGA input and the power input are at the back however, which will be fun to work with.
I already got a 90 degree Power cable to limit the exposure there. VGA is next...
Bought the VGA coupler to move the VGA cable around to save space. May need to cut out a hole in the top of the case for the power plug and vga adapter to stick out.
Mounted the monitor to the case, currently held in with 2 screws so that I can use it.
Removed the 750GB HD in favour of a 320GB 5400rpm drive I had for weight saving. This thing is getting heavy, which I don't like, so I'm trying to save weight where possible. Unfortunately that means reinstalling the OS and programs, drivers etc. the 750GB HD may go back in again one day, hard to say.
Obviously looking at it, the GPU cannot stay upright with the screen in place. Now I do have a PCI riser ribbon cable, which may have to be used.
Additionally, the PSU may not fit either, so I may need to thing of something to do with that.
Also added more pictures because Y[e]
I ended up having to use the PCI ribbon cable, and I used an older 500W PSU from a case I had, cut it up and made it smaller. Now everything is low profile enough to allow the case to close, without anything pushing on the screen of the monitor.
As of right now the PSU does not have a fan, that will change. I will either get a small ~80mm fan, for a low profile 120mm fan.
I cut out two holes in the back of the case to allow access to the VGA and Power ports. This was the best way I could think of due to the design of the monitor, everything is on the back.
Temps look good so far.
Bought a Kingston HyperX Fury 120GB SSD to solve boot times, this thing has a 500MB/s read and write time so the OS boots lightning quick now.
Also bought an Athena Power 400W Server PSU. At 1.57" tall this will fit well within the case and it will make the build look less butchered, and safer. It hasn't arrived yet but it should this week.
After that is set up, it should be Plexiglass and a couple case fans for cooling and cleanup, check my wires and hopefully GG.
The power supply didn't work for me the way I wanted it to and I have abandoned that approach. I instead took the original Corsair 430W and I chopped it down to size. There is now nothing to the PSU short of the bottom plate, screwed to the case, the PSU mainboard, screwed to that bottom plate, and the 120mm fan plugged into the PSU, and resting atop the heat sinks. The entire shell of the power supply is gone to facilitate fitting it into this case.
I had to purchase another PCI-E ribbon cable, as the one I had did not work with my setup. Because my GPU takes a 6pin power, it draws more power through the PCI bus then normal. As such, the GP was not getting enough power through the PCI bus, causing it to make a low pitched electrical squeaking sound. Once I got a PCI ribbon cable that had a molex cable for power, that problem vanished.
I added in a 120mm case fan, set for exhaust, in the top-right corner of the case. This is the hottest spot on this case, as both the GPU and CPU exhaust there. This fan then sucks all of that hot air and exhausts it. This will overall help with my cooling. Still considering a possible change to the CPU cooler.
Plexiglass has been acquired and is being worked on. It has been cut to size, holes have been drilled for the 4 fans, and notches cut out for the briefcase locking mechanism. Holes still need to be drilled to mount the PSU and case fan to the plexi. Slots should also be cut out for access to the top left corner, which will be access to the SSD and video/monitor power cable.
I have wired up a nice push power button for the case, powering the machine on and holding it will power it off. This will be mounted probably on the right side of the case, on the outside.
I have acquired a 2 port USB hub that connects to one of the USB headers on the motherboard. A hole will be cutout for the USB's to get to through the case, and holes for the screws which will mount this to the case.
I have also purchased a Power Cable Splitter, which will take both the PSU power cable and monitor power cable, and allow me to connect them to one power cable, using only one outlet to power this machine.
I under-clocked the CPU from 3.5 to 3.0, as this will still be more than enough power with the 6 cores, but it will improve temperatures.