Question Taking my personal rig with me overseas via Airplane

Aug 20, 2022
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I was wanting to take my personal rig overseas with me without having to shove components in suitcases, i maybe thought of going m-ATX and getting a corsair 88R chassis and take the rig on board with me. Any tips or advice? Should i rather bite the bullet and pack everything into a suitcase?
 
I took a full size PC onboard and up into the overhead compartment without incident. It was within the size limitations.

That was 20 years ago though. Might be all kinds of new regulations by now. You might be forced into disassembly.

My trip was within USA. Overseas may be a whole new bunch of problems.
 
I was wanting to take my personal rig overseas with me without having to shove components in suitcases, i maybe thought of going m-ATX and getting a corsair 88R chassis and take the rig on board with me. Any tips or advice? Should i rather bite the bullet and pack everything into a suitcase?
TSA says it's fine. As long as it will fit in the overhead compartment it shouldn't be a problem. You'll have to remove it from any bag for X-ray screening.
https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/items/desktop-computers

Because it definitely WILL get jostled around I would fit it with custom cut styrofoam blocks so that the internal components can't move around too much. It will be a pain at your destination to get all the little pieces out (a can-o-air will help) but that's waaaay better than a broken PCIe slot because of turbulence.

Edit - You should definitely check the laws at your destination country as they may differ from the US.
 

geofelt

Titan
What are the parts of your current rig?
Will you also need to take a monitor and keyboard?
Packed well, either overhead or in luggage can be ok.
I have done both.
Not with a monitor, though.
A monitor is what is likely to get damaged most.
Consider that some airlines may require you to store overhead baggage in the cargo hold due to limited overhead space.
First class passengers would not be subject to that.

Taking a laptop might be the best solution.
If you want small and portable, look at the Lian-li TU150 ITX case.
 
Aug 20, 2022
3
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10
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What are the parts of your current rig?
Will you also need to take a monitor and keyboard?
Packed well, either overhead or in luggage can be ok.
I have done both.
Not with a monitor, though.
A monitor is what is likely to get damaged most.
Consider that some airlines may require you to store overhead baggage in the cargo hold due to limited overhead space.
First class passengers would not be subject to that.

Taking a laptop might be the best solution.
If you want small and portable, look at the Lian-li TU150 ITX case.

My rig is as follows:

ASUS Strix 1080ti
850w modular ATX PSU
32 GB DDR4
I7-9700
2 Nvme + 1x 4TB HDD
Gigabyte H370 Gaming 3 (going to order an M-ATX as a replacement)
Thermaltake P3 (Going to order the corsair 88R Or anything that is small)

my peripherals will stay behind, i'll buy new ones overseas.
 
Because it definitely WILL get jostled around I would fit it with custom cut styrofoam blocks so that the internal components can't move around too much. It will be a pain at your destination to get all the little pieces out (a can-o-air will help) but that's waaaay better than a broken PCIe slot because of turbulence.
I would be mindful of the possibility that the airline might want to search through the case though, as from their perspective, there could be anything buried in a pile of styrofoam inside a metal case that can't be easily x-rayed. So if one were to use something like styrofoam packing peanuts, they might end up all over the place, and not actually doing much to protect components. And damage might be more likely to occur if someone is roughly ripping out chunks of foam to look for contraband.

A better option might just be to uninstall the graphics card, and pack that separately. And if you are considering replacing the case anyway, Alabalcho's suggestion to not bother bringing a case might also be worth considering.

Personally, I don't think it would make much sense to replace both your case and motherboard before heading out. If you are going to do all that, you might as well just build a new system when you get there, while keeping any components you want to re-use. The 9700K, while still a very capable processor, has been outclassed by even mid-range Alder Lake CPUs. So, it's probably not worth spending much on a motherboard for it that won't be compatible with newer generations of processors.
 
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I would be mindful of the possibility that the airline might want to search through the case though, as from their perspective, there could be anything buried in a pile of styrofoam inside a metal case that can't be easily x-rayed. So if one were to use something like styrofoam packing peanuts, they might end up all over the place, and not actually doing much to protect components. And damage might be more likely to occur if someone is roughly ripping out chunks of foam to look for contraband.

A better option might just be to uninstall the graphics card, and pack that separately. And if you are considering replacing the case anyway, Alabalcho's suggestion to not bother bringing a case might also be worth considering.

Personally, I don't think it would make much sense to replace both your case and motherboard before heading out. If you are going to do all that, you might as well just build a new system when you get there, while keeping any components you want to re-use. The 9700K, while still a very capable processor, has been outclassed by even mid-range Alder Lake CPUs. So, it's probably not worth spending much on a motherboard for it that won't be compatible with newer generations of processors.
True.
I was thinking more of harder styrofoam pieces that can be taken out relitively easy, but you're right, TSA (or whatever govt. security is at your destination) may not be gentle.

Only issue with buying at the destination is that parts may not be available and/or they may be 10x more expensive with import tax, etc.
 

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