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Build Guide

Portable LAN Build

by ThoughtA

12
26 Comments
NOTE: A more recent version of this guide is available here.

Description

Preface

This build is intended to deliver high-quality gaming in a small, portable PC that you can take to LANs. With that in mind, a mini-ITX case and motherboard have been selected. A generic term for this kinds of PC is Small Form Factor, abbreviated to SFF.

CPU

At this budget, we're running an Intel i5-7500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. The i5-7500 includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. Since we aren't overclocking our CPU, the stock cooler will be sufficient in keeping temperatures acceptable.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric filter that will actively select the best-priced mITX motherboard with the B250 chipset. Since Kaby Lake is pretty new, mITX pickings are slim, so if there isn't stock in your region, you can check out motherboards with other chipsets. All motherboards in that filter will include at least one M.2 slot for storage. Fortunately, since we are going with a parametric filter, any mITX B250 motherboards added to the site later will be automatically entered into consideration by the filter for the part list. No revisions needed.

Memory

Since memory continues to come down in cost, we can comfortably fit 16GB of DDR4 RAM, which should provide some nice memory headroom. We're using a parametric filter to choose a 16GB kit of memory within Intel's recommended specifications at the best price.

Storage

We're using parametric filters to incorporate an M.2 SSD with at least 480GB. It's often a good idea to download your games prior to attending a LAN, so an SSD with some more space is a good idea. Bumping up to a 1TB SSD for these purposes isn't a bad idea, but to keep the price down, you'd want to consider a 2.5" drive instead of M.2, since 1TB M.2 drives are fairly new and expensive still. Everyone's storage needs differs, so feel free to change those capacities to your heart's desire.

GPU

For our GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1070 will provide a consistent 60fps on many demanding games like Battlefield 1) at Ultra at 1080p, and even 1440p for some games like Shadow of Mordor. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1070 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

If you'd like more room, there are a couple "mini" GTX 1070 video cards floating around. However, we specifically selected this case because it can fit full-sized video cards. Because of this, we've left the filter open to either size.

Case

Our parts are going into the Lian-Li PC-TU200B. This is a rugged case that comes with a carrying handle that will make transportation quite a bit easier. It features 2 USB 3.0 front ports and comes with a 140mm fan on the front. The TU200B can fit video cards of almost any length. Speaking of video cards, the case comes with a really cool feature for a LAN build - a graphics card holder that will help keep it in position in transport, helping to prevent the video card from bending or snapping or other verbs that will make you cringe and keep you up at night.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of a five well-reviewed fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build. These units are all SFX form factor, so they will fit in the case more comfortably. While we can fit ATX PSUs up to 140mm in length, the hard drive cage may have to be removed. This is an option that can save you a little money if you'd like, and the cage is removable, so it shouldn't be too bad if you choose to go that route.

Part List Customize This Part List

Warning: These parts have potential issues/incompatibilities. (See details.)

Estimated Wattage: 269W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU €182.00 €3.95 €185.95 PC Componentes Buy
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: Mini ITX
  • Chipset: Intel B250
€101.53 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime €101.53 Amazon Espana Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
€44.42 €44.42 Amazon Espana Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480GB - 525GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: M.2 (M)
€214.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime €214.99 Amazon Espana Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
€436.99 €5.90 €442.89 Electronicamente Buy
Case €142.56 €142.56 Amazon Espana Buy
Power Supply €13.75 €13.75 Amazon Espana Buy
Base Total: €1136.24
Shipping: €9.85
Total: €1146.09
* Using your selected merchants and only including nearby in-store pickup prices)
* Some physical dimension restrictions cannot (yet) be automatically checked, such as cpu cooler / RAM clearance with modules using tall heat spreaders.

Potential Issues / Incompatibilities

  • The Zalman - TX 600W ATX Power Supply length of 157mm exceeds Lian-Li - PC-TU200B Mini ITX Tower Case maximum of 140mm.
  • The motherboard M.2 slot #2 shares bandwidth with a SATA 6.0 Gb/s port. When the M.2 slot is populated, one SATA 6.0 Gb/s port is disabled.

Comments Sorted by:

JvK 2 points 7 months ago

Why does everyone use intel processers?

Razr_beam 1 point 7 months ago

Because they are the best company for processors...Ryzen might kill it though

JvK 1 point 7 months ago

But AMD!

ordinarypanda36 1 point 7 months ago

I like amd to its my favourite :), well for my build I am using it.

JvK 0 points 7 months ago
WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Inspired by this, huh? ; )

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 8 months ago

Nope. We'd actually already been planning some stuff around the case, probably only a few days before that was posted. That definitely got our attention though. It's really cool!

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Nope. We'd actually already been planning some stuff around the case

When you like something before it's cool.

It's really cool!

Agreed!

AyJaySea 1 point 8 months ago

I'm new to all of this but is there anything that could improve this build even more for an additional $60 or less?

Razr_beam 1 point 7 months ago

Maybe get a cpu cooler?

xavierland 1 point 7 months ago

cool

elizinside 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

Hi. Really interesting build. I have a question: does the motherboard have wireless support? The spec sheet doesn't seem to tell.

Nalpa 1 point 7 months ago

Hi, I'm a complete rookie at this sorry if this a silly question but would it be possible to upgrate to an i7? Would that make sense? I want to build a portable pc for gaming as well as video editing. Thanks!

Thorin__ 1 point 7 months ago

Yeah, just don't buy an I5 and buy the I7 instead. it's completely up to you what you put in your pc.

Slurth 1 Build -1 points 8 months ago

Why not get a conventional SSD and HDD and use the money you save to get an i5 7600 w/ a less noisy, better cooler? Also, BF1 is out, fix that please.

InvaderGir 1 point 8 months ago

The 7600 isn't worth it over the 7500. And how do you know it has a better cooler?

Slurth 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

I was meaning to say get an aftermarket cooler... but good point w/ the 7600 not being worth it. Just wanted to give some upgrade paths.

InvaderGir 1 point 8 months ago

Oh ok, it sounded like it. The i7-7700 would be a better upgrade.

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

get an i5 7600 w/ a less noisy, better cooler?

It's just the Intel stock cooler. The i5-7600's cooler isn't going to be any better than the i5-7500's...

Slurth 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

I was meaning to say get an aftermarket cooler...

WirelessCables 1 Build 1 point 8 months ago

Well, my response was basically going to be the same as Invader's, word-for-word...

The reason there's no HDD is because I think the HDD actually blocks GPU airflow.... Don't quote me on that, but I think the mounting is weird.

ichabodshuite 1 point 7 months ago

HDD actually blocks GPU airflow

I'd love some confirmation on this: thinking about doing this build but with some hdds in there for some heavy file lifting

WirelessCables 1 Build 2 points 7 months ago

In this case, I think the mounting is ok, if you're using 1 or maybe 2 drives. You might get away with 3, but I think filling up all 4 would be too restrictive.

elizinside 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

What would you suggest as a third-party cooler that would fit into the case? I like the Noctua D14 but it's probably too big.

Also I agree some price could be cut on certain part. Maybe a GTX 1060 for people who don't necessarily want the high end graphics (and a 430W power supply should be enough), it will still play everything, and a 250GB SSD instead of 500, if you don't need to install that many games/software. Of course, it's totally down to a personal choice.

Anyway, I like the portable concept.

Slurth 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

I would suggest the Noctua L9x65 as it is small yet beefy for good performance. The smaller disk space is a bad idea personally, as I have already used up 500GBs on my main rig and plan to use more.

elizinside 1 Build 1 point 7 months ago

The problem with smaller fans is that it makes more noise. It's probably better to use watercooling then, and the money saved on various components makes for the price of the watercooling. Someone used the Corsair H100i on a Mini ITX and it seems to work perfectly. (https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/b/kctJ7P)

As I said, most of the changes I suggested are mostly a personal preference. I would rather use external HDD for data than the system SSD.

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