Mini-ITX Portable Lan Machine (Review & Advice Wanted)

doctorC

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I mainly created this thread to get a review of this preliminary build plan I have created.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/CFF9Ft

FAIR WARNING: I already have the GTX 1050ti and EVGA 850W P2 80+ Platinum. I want your overall review and advice on the rest of the components.

Please keep in mind, I want to keep this PC as compact but as powerful as possible while in budget. I also will be doing my best to NOT use an ethernet connection, so Wi-Fi antennas on the MOBO is very important.


Approximate Purchase Date:

All components will be purchased within the next 4 weeks or so hopefully.

Budget Range: (e.g.: 300-400) Before / After Rebates; Before / After Shipping

I do not want to go over $1,000 USD before rebates and before shipping. However, if there is a really good deal, part that I cannot say no to, I will take it.

System Usage from Most to Least Important:

I will be using this as a backup system, a system for guest to use at my home, and a system to take to LANs mainly.

Are you buying a monitor:

No

Parts to Upgrade:

Buying everything brand new besides the GPU and PSU. I already have a GTX 1050ti and a EVGA 850W P2 80+ Platinum

Do you need to buy OS:

Eh, that's something i'll decide later. I already have 2 OEM copies I could just reuse and not activate.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts:

I really prefer Amazon and Newegg, but I will not say no to any site.

Location:

Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Parts Preferences:

I am strictly an Intel fanboy. I will not use AMD.

Overclocking:

I do not plan to but am open to it.

SLI or Crossfire:

Definitely not.

Your Monitor Resolution:

1920x1080p

Additional Comments:

I want to keep it small and powerful, but in budget.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading:

My current and only computer is a full-size ATX PC that is a pain to haul and get to and from events. I also have trouble fitting it in friends houses when I bring it over.
 
Oct 13, 2018
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I use and recommend both the NCASE M1 and the DAN Case, both available from SFFLab.com. Fair warning: These cases are spendy. For a build which I would pick up and take from place to place, the DAN Case is a better choice. However, the NCASE M1 accommodates two 3.5" HDDs, larger CPU cooler, and additional fans that the DAN Case does not. As long as you're going to use a 65W CPU and don't mind a little extra fan noise on the CPU cooler (which I hate), I think the DAN Case will definitely meet your needs.

I don't think either case would be a good fit for a full-size ATX power supply, though.
 

doctorC

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I need to stick with a case that will support a full-size ATX PSU.

 

dvo

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I use a cooler master elite 130 case. it fits most ATX power supplies. it also fits full length GPU's and 120mm water coolers. along with all that it'll fit up to three 3.5" hard drives + one 2.5" SSD, or various combinations. The whole machine can fit into my Jansport backpack (BARELY fits. single large pocket style bag) If you load it up with all that stuff it gets very VERY cramped inside the case, but a bit of patience and diligence with cable management and about a million zip ties later and it can be fairly tidy. Many Mini ITX motherboards have built in wifi/bluetooth. I've personally had good luck with ASRock ITX boards, while my Gigabyte board isn't very good at all.

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/xsLXFt

here is an example build. its a fair bit under the $1000 budget. GPU, PSU, and Monitor are not included because you stated you have these. could upgrade to 32 GB ram or larger SSD and still likely stay under $1000. One thing to note with the Elite 130 case: mind CPU cooler height and the heatsinks on the ram. large/tall ram heatsinks can occasionally be in the way. everything ends up very close to the PSU directly above, which is why water cooling is nearly a must on such small builds.

EDIT: upon further review, I believe that link doesn't have an ideal CPU cooler. the h80i v2 would struggle to fit in the case. i think it would fit, but you'd be sacrificing a hard drive spot. i'd recommend an h60 or similar.
 
Oct 13, 2018
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May I ask why, though? Is it just because you already own the PSU?

The NCASE M1 can accommodate a full-size ATX PSU, but it will squeeze out the hard drives and could impinge on the space available for your graphics card. Both of these cases accommodate full-length graphics cards. I used the Corsair SF 600 (SFX form factor) and it really works well. My M1 holds two 14TB 3.5s, two 5TB 2.5s, and it appears with a little modding I could cram three more 2.5s under the front case cover.
 

doctorC

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It is because I already own the PSU and because I don't feel comfortable spending the same amount of money on a case that I did on my GPU.
 

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