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Build Guide

Portable LAN Build

by ThoughtA

50
79 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 i5-6500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. The i5-6500 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

Our motherboard is a parametric selection from a sparse set of options. The five motherboards selected are the mini-ITX form factor to fit inside our SFF case. They all have dual channel memory and an M.2 slot that is compatible with both SATA and PCI-E M.2 drives. Additionally, they feature the LGA 1151 socket, in order to be compatible with the i5-6500 CPU.

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 newly released 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 4 (and hopefully the upcoming 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

The Silverstone ML08-H HTPC Case is a mini-ITX case that fits a full-sized video card and features a handle for convenient carrying. Those two features are a pretty big deal for this kind of build. It also includes 2 USB 3.0 front panel ports, alone with 2 2.5" drive bays and a 1 5.25" slim bay. It also supports 2 Kensington locks, if you'd like to use them while away from your PC at a LAN.

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. Importantly, these units are all SFX form factor, so they will fit in the case. ATX PSUs will not fit in the ML08-H.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 266W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $244.25 $244.25 shopRBC Buy
Motherboard $350.42 $350.42 Amazon Canada Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$136.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $136.99 Amazon Canada Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480GB - 525GB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: M.2 (M)
$232.50 $232.50 shopRBC Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
$526.49 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $526.49 Amazon Canada Buy
Case $109.85 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime $109.85 Amazon Canada Buy
Power Supply $94.86 $94.86 DirectCanada Buy
Total: $1695.36
* 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.

Comments Sorted by:

SilverWolf149 13 points 11 months ago

Yay! Finally some different build guides than ones that focus on pricepoints! It started with the battlfield 1 minimum specs guide then this. +1.

StarBlazer457 2 points 11 months ago

Yeah fo' real!

Mr_Majestic 11 points 11 months ago

We're use parametric filters to incorporate an M.2 SSD with at least 480GB.

I get that a have a C+ in English class right now, but I'm pretty sure that should be

We're using parametric filters to incorporate an M.2 SSD with at least 480GB.

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 11 months ago

Thanks :)

Bruce0206 1 point 9 months ago

This build is awesome! I finally found a portable desktop.

M@rcusM@n 2 points 10 months ago

You sir, deserve an A for english.

Mr_Majestic 3 points 10 months ago

thank u lordy jesus blses ur soul

ElijahDawgOne 2 points 11 months ago

This build is great!

StarBlazer457 1 point 11 months ago

Nice!

speeddemons50 1 point 11 months ago

So I am trying to adjust the build and I am wondering why only SSD's come up for storage options. Can I not fit a basic 1 TB western dig hard drive in there or something?

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 11 months ago

According to the manufacturer of the case, you can fit a 3.5" hard drive if your video card is small enough, but it's dependent on the card. That isn't a compatibility quirk we check at this time.

Trav_X 2 points 11 months ago

You'd need something along the lines of a GTX 1070 ITX from Gigabyte, or something around the 1050 or 1050Ti, heck, even an R9 Nano. Back plates probably wouldn't be an option either for space concerns.

CMDR_Hadion 1 point 10 months ago

You can fit two laptop sized 2.5" storage drives in this case, there are quite a few good 1 TB and 2 TB drives to choose from. You don't need to get an ITX sized graphics card to have a decent amount of storage in this case! For my build I'm going to have an 525 GB SSD in the M.2 slot, a 2.5" 750 GB SSD in one tray, and a 2TB HDD in the other.

Here's the manual for anyone who's interested, or needs to double check.

manirelli staff 8 Builds 0 points 10 months ago

Please do not use link shorteners on our site.

M@rcusM@n 2 points 10 months ago

I dont understand why though

Plz explain

Wattofbacon 1 point 10 months ago

It's easy to hide links to malicious software or websites with link shorteners.

M@rcusM@n 1 point 10 months ago

Ok thx

CMDR_Hadion 1 point 10 months ago

Sorry about that, bad habit.

Trav_X 1 point 11 months ago

One of the first Build Guides that I haven't tried adjusting to make better, it appears to be the best you can get for this goal/price. Great job ThoughtA!

jeremyleavitt 1 point 11 months ago

you could make it smaller by using the fractal design node 202 for a smaller footprint, but nice build good parts and and price

LemonComputers 1 point 11 months ago

Why the Intel 600P SSD?

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 11 months ago

It's $65 cheaper than the next M.2 SSD.

LemonComputers 1 point 11 months ago

...but doesn't it have a very low endurance rating?

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 11 months ago

It's unlikely to be an issue. Low doesn't mean unacceptable.

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 11 months ago

I understand what you were talking about. As I've already said:

Low doesn't mean unacceptable.

LemonComputers 1 point 11 months ago

Importantly, these units are all SFF form factor, so they will fit in the case.

SFX form factor.

lino216 3 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

curious, how can the 1070 connect with the mobo in this kind of case?(assuming normal case mobo and video card combinations are at a right angle position) will i buy a connector / extender or something ? i know i can search in google but wanna know the opinions here. ty

Jingx33 1 point 11 months ago

yep, the case has an extension in a 90 Degrees angle to connect the GPU

Youssefzero 1 point 11 months ago

There is no need for CPU Cooler for this build ?! it is because that this CPU is not going to be overclocked?

What about I used i7-6700 without overclocking...do i need a cooler or not?

That is the link of the PC i am trying to build: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/62hV4C

thanks.

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 11 months ago

The i5-6500 includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. An i7-6700 also includes a stock cooler. However, if you plan to overclock, you'll want the i7-6700K, which allows overclocking. That does not come with a cooler, so you'll need to purchase one separately.

LemonComputers 2 points 11 months ago

There is no need for CPU Cooler for this build ?! it is because that this CPU is not going to be overclocked?

There will always be a need for a CPU cooler, but an aftermarket CPU cooler generally isn't necessarily if you're not overclocking.

What about I used i7-6700 without overclocking...do i need a cooler or not?

The stock cooler should be sufficient.

Jaime.g 1 point 11 months ago

Is there also a way to have a portable screen with this, which would be cool if you could have a case fixed up to fit a screen on the side. Maybe even have slots and foldable arms for your keyboard, mouse, and even headphones. That is an idea, try and make a completely portable, light weight, small setup.

NeVe12p4wNeD 2 points 10 months ago

I think a lot of people will be looking at a gaming laptop at that point.

Jaime.g 1 point 10 months ago

Yeah but it would be cool to see and try out, plus you could mod the case a bit to be like... IDK hm.... gotta think about that some more.

alex_porter907 1 point 9 months ago

There are portable monitors that can be found online that are usually powered through USB 3.0.

Jaime.g 1 point 9 months ago

That sounds awesome, if you could mod the case to be like a laptop using that kind of monitor, then tada... custom laptop.

Luciferian 2 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

I was very strongly considering a build just like this when it came time to select parts for my current rig. However, the k series processor and water cooling won out, so I ended up going with a mITX case that could easily accommodate those.

ShriyansM 1 point 11 months ago

Isn't the 1070 a little overkill for a LAN build?

ThoughtA staff submitter 2 points 11 months ago

I'm not sure what standards you're applying to LANs that don't apply to "normal" gaming, but performance requirements are very personal regardless. It may be overkill for your needs, but others may want to use high refresh rate monitors and/or resolutions greater than 1080p.

ShriyansM 2 points 11 months ago

Seems legit. Thanks for the background info also, it gave me some deeper insight.

xxthatguy7xx 1 point 11 months ago

I'm strongly considering a very small form factor build, but I'm slightly worried about temps in the really small M-ITX cases, like this one. Are temps an issue for anyone using a case like this? With M-ITX in general, is overclocking possible, or do temperatures highly limit one from doing that?

LemonComputers 1 point 11 months ago

They should be fine.

pickandpack 1 point 11 months ago

Do we know the weight?

Ezekial82 1 point 10 months ago

Hello, Would this video card: Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1060 3GB 3GB Windforce OC fit fine into this case? I'm building this computer for mainly WoW and LoL so I think the listed video card may be a bit more power then I need.

LemonComputers 1 point 10 months ago

Yes it would.

Ezekial82 1 point 10 months ago

I'm obviously new to building computers would this set up be too difficult to start with? Due to the case being smaller.

sonickid15 1 point 9 months ago

Possibly. The 1060 3gb is probably overkill for your build, look at benchmarks for the games you play and see if they satisfy your needs, if they exceed them you can look at more budget cards such as a 1050ti (weaker but cheaper) or rx 470 (stronger but more expensive than ti) which get you good performance for a lower price. WoW and LoL are not demanding GPU games. WoW is Cpu heavy though.

M@rcusM@n 1 point 10 months ago

If WoW and LoL are the main things you play, a 1050 ti will require no power connectors, be smaller, and still run those games absolutely fine at 1080p and possibly even 1440p.

But if you want 4K, then a 1060 might be able to run WoW, and definitely LoL.

techspert.info 1 point 10 months ago

I like this build.

I'd put an ITX version of the GTX 1070 in there and have a 3.5" storage drive too.

Soundwave1900 1 point 10 months ago

Pretty good build but taking GTX 1070 is overkill. Even overclocked to 4.5Ghz i5 6600k can't use 1070's full potential, it only 85-90% of its capability, not to mention i5 6500. Proof, if you want to make it sure: https://youtu.be/c9LNkDLxsNM?t=5m59s and sorry for russian tho. As you see, video card with i5's top CPU doesn't work at its best, its just 70-90%, while CPU is at 80+%, and in this build we have not even a top i5. So I strongly recommend by GTX 1060 6gb, it is perfect for this CPU.

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 10 months ago

Different games have different CPU loads. Going off The Withcer 3 alone is only a good idea if you plan to only play The Witcher 3.

Soundwave1900 1 point 10 months ago

But there is not only The Witcher 3 ) By this test it seems like video card never reach 95%, btw I don't know why CPU never tries to run more then 80%... but still, in the test it was i5 6600k with 4.5Ghz, here we have i5 6500 with only 3.6Ghz possible. Well, its on your own discretion tho )

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 10 months ago

Performance is more complicated than whether or not a component reaches 100% in a couple games.

Aeristirasemily 1 point 10 months ago

Bruh! what is that case?

ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 10 months ago

It should be showing for you in the part list.

MrXanthios 1 point 10 months ago

the case comes out with a pci-e extender in its box?

Matthewtina2015 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

yes

FugiApples 1 point 10 months ago

I think this might be a better solution and cheaper.

http://pcpartpicker.com/list/fQthKZ

EDIT: http://pcpartpicker.com/list/sMRdxY This one is with a GTX 1060 3gb mini form from Zotac because everyone is saying that the GTX 1070 is overkill.

CPU: Same

Motherboard: Cheaper, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, m.2, sata, PCI-e, LGA 1151 CPU socket

Memory: Memory is memory. I choose the Corsair because of the low-profile heatsink

Storage: I decided to go with 2.5" SSD instead of the m.2 simply because of cost. It's still cheaper by a $100.

GPU: I decided to keep the GTX 1070 but went for Zotac because the GPU is smaller. Because it's smaller it makes airflow a bit more forgiving.

Case: I choose the Fractal because of the simplistic and cleaner look. The GPU is housed in its own compartment allowing better cooling (also comes with PCI-e extender). The case also comes with a 450w non-modular power supply, so no need to spend another $60. The case does support a GPU up to 12in (310mm). But the GPU I choose is smaller, it allows a 120mm fan to be installed next to the GPU for more airflow. Granted it does not have a handle, but it can oriented horizontal or vertical.

cheeseandram 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

That power supply would probably blow up though

FugiApples 1 point 9 months ago

The power supply is included with the case. Fractual Design has a good track record; so I assume they wouldn't just choose a potato to power their equipment.

cheeseandram 1 Build 1 point 9 months ago

That's no excuse for cheaping out on a power supply though.

FugiApples 1 point 9 months ago

The integra power supply is from fractual design. and the rest of the integra line is pretty solid according to reviews. like i said, they know what they're doing. but if you aren't satisfy, just get the case w/ out the power supply and pick up the one chosen on this page.

stonepilot 2 Builds 1 point 10 months ago

After some experience with this case (in my build Almost A Laptop?) I would like to say I cannot recommend using a graphics card that is not blower style. If you plan to use a 3.5" Hard Drive (which IS compatible, you just need a short enough graphics card) this is especially true. After brief use the metal behind the graphics card gets very hot, increasing the temperature of not only the motherboard but throttling my M.2 SSD. My 3.5" also gets hot air blown directly on it, keeping it at temperatures that are uncomfortably high. Additionally, and as a side note, this case basically offers no more than the much cheaper Sugo but is much larger (though it does have an optical drive).

bragglemuffin 1 point 10 months ago

Any second opinions on this? Next Friday is "the" Friday (to be disappointed).

dennishall 1 point 10 months ago

will the i5 stock cooler actually fit in there?

Shadowriser609 1 point 10 months ago

how does this work? like is it any good?

nate2662 1 point 9 months ago

Can you please make a video on this build? It would really help!

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gorkti200 2 Builds 1 point 11 months ago

node 202 is dope

But not an automatic disagree for everything else. lol

GentlemanShark 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Yeah, the other part choices are great, I love that Gigabyte GPU

MightyDirtKing 1 point 11 months ago

Why "No node 202, no upvote.", yes downvote.

GentlemanShark 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

I never said I'd downvote, just making a joke.

MightyDirtKing 1 point 11 months ago

Me too.

I never said I'd downvote, just making a joke.

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GentlemanShark 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

I was being sarcastic don't worry, that was kind of an over reaction.

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GentlemanShark 1 Build 1 point 11 months ago

Also quick question, is the node 202 smaller than this case?

Trav_X 1 point 11 months ago

Node 202 is quite similar in size, but is actually a little smaller.

The MLO8B's dimensions are 380mm X 87mm X 370mm

While the Node 202's are 377mm X 88mm X 332mm

Some of that extra space on the 370mm side of the ML08B is because of the handle, so the chassis would be almost identical if not for the handle.

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ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 10 months ago

The case is designed to allow for it. Accepting "normal" length cards opens up far more options and provides better coverage and pricing.

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ThoughtA staff submitter 1 point 10 months ago
Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-6500 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Asus - B150I PRO GAMING/WIFI/AURA Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard 7W - 30W
Patriot - Viper Elite 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory 11W - 11W
Western Digital - Black 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
MSI - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card 37W - 150W
Total: 65W - 266W