Wifi worth it for micro ITX build?

Hey Tom's!

This is actually two questions that I'm kicking around. After having to lug my giant beast back and forth too many times, I've decided my next computer rig is going to fit in my backpack. That basically cuts it down to mATX or mini-ITX.

My first question is this: What are the pros / cons of the two form factors? What's the size difference between them? Which is most likely to support high-end gear? (I know I'll have to spend a lot on the motherboard and case, but that's okay.)

My second question, the reason for the thread is this: just HOW bad is onboard / discrete wifi as opposed to an Ethernet cable? I know it's not going to be as fast or reliable, but is it a 10% hit or a 40% hit?
 
I happen to like small cases.

ITX has only a single pci-e x16 slot; a M-Atx will have 4 expansion slots, of which one or two might be X16.

If your usage is for lan parties, I might go ITX.

A lian li Q08 ITX case can hold a full length graphics card and standard ATX psu.
It is aluminum, weighs 6 pounds with dimensions 13.58" x 8.94" x 10.71"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112265

A good M-ATX case is the Silverstone TJ-08E.
It weighs 12 pounds with dimensions 15.16" x 8.27" x 14.72"
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811163182

If your wireless is "N", then web browsing and such will be fine.
Borrow a laptop and see what it feels like. Do use an adapter with an antenna, not a USB dongle so you get good signal strength.
You will always have an integrated lan adapter on the motherboard to use for cable.

 
If I go with ITX, I'd go with the bitfeonix one bigcyco has - I like the look, and it seems to have room. Bigcyco, have you had issues with heat, and does that thing fit in, say, a backpack?

geofelt, I like that M-ATX case - though really aside from a good graphics card, what else would I need? If I go wi-fi, I'd get a motherboard with it built in. Or is that not a good idea / good quality? I'm looking for something decent enough to game on - if nothing comes close to ethernet, I'll just carry another cable.
 
All right. I can build around that.

My only last concern is that by removing the optical drive tray and both sets of 3.5" bays, I'll be screwed. There doesn't happen to be a place to mount a single hard drive without the bays, is there? (I mean, I suppose I could mod one...)
 


What is your budget, and what do you consider decent gaming?

In the Q08, you can fit a cpu as good as a 3570K, a Graphics card as good as a GTX690, and a psu to match.
You can use a top of the line ITX motherboard like the $185 ASUS P8Z77-I Deluxe which includes wifi.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131840
It has high OC potential for a 3570K.
Or, a $35 ECS H61H2-I3 which does not have wifi, or overclocking, but could support a i3-3220 nicely.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813135323

The bitfenix prodigy is a very nice case, but it is the size of a M-atx case. 16" x10" x14"
and weighs 15 pounds.
If your problem is portability, the Q08 might be better.
The Q08 has a lan party specific case that is more expensive , the PC-TU200B for $170.
Not much worth it, I think. It is a Q08 with a carrying handle.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112348
 


Why would you want to do that?
Take out only the top tray, of the prodigy and you can use any length graphics card. That leaves room for two hard drives, a dvd, plus a ssd.
 
I'm looking for portability, yes, but without sacrificing enthusiast level power. An i5 and 7970 would be ideal. I was looking at the Q08, but it doesn't seem to have that much room / thermal design. The reason I like the Prodigy is due to it's seemingly ample cooling capacity.

(That same cooling capacity is why I'd like to nix the drive trays - it would allow me to do full watercooling, which seems like my best bet for cooling in a case that small.)
 
That makes sense
 
Okay, so... I have a whole slew of fans lying around - nice ones.

If I went out and bought a 200 / 230mm fan for the front, and filled the other fan slots with whatever they could take, would it cool an i5 (overclocked, but with a Hyper 212 with aftermarket fan) and a reference gtx 670, do you think?

I can't afford the custom watercooling atm, but would like the upgrade to portability.