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Build Guide

Portable LAN Build

by ThoughtA

5
14 Comments

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

We're running an Intel i5-7500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. he selected case has a window, and if you're taking your PC to a LAN, you probably care about how the internals look. With that I mind, while i5-7500 includes a stock cooler, we're adding the CRYORIG C7. The Nano S can fit pretty huge CPU coolers, but we're opting for this low-profile cooler to reduce the strain on the system when traveling.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric selection of a couple of mITX motherboards that include an RGB header to accompany the RGB strip in the part list. This will allow you to add some flash to the understated case and catch people's eyes at LANs. All of the included motherboards can fit at least one M.2 drive and are WiFi-capable.

If stock/availability is an issue or you just don't care for RGB lighting, here is a link to every modern mITX motherboard that has WiFi and an M.2 port.

Memory

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 500GB. 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

In light of recent stock shortages due to the current cryptocurrency mining craze, we've updated the GPU to the more powerful Nvidia GeForce GTX 1080. It's one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1080 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.

When video card stock and availability normalizes again, we will make sure to update our guides as appropriate to reflect the change in the market.

If you'd like more room, there are a couple "mini" GTX 1080 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 narrow Silverstone RVZ03B. This case can support full-sized video cards and ATX PSUs up to 150mm long. However, Silverstone recommends using a 140mm long PSU, so we limited our PSU selection to that. The RVZ03B sports 2x USB 3.0 front panel ports, and it supports Kensington locks for a little more security when you're at a LAN. A neat feature of the case is that it includes a strip of RGB LEDs out the front of the case, along with a controller for it.

This case does use a riser card (which is included) for plugging in the GPU.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of five well-reviewed, fully modular ATX PSUs, all of which are 80+ Gold Certified.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 309W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU €198.00 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime €198.00 Amazon Italia Buy
CPU Cooler
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: Intel B250
€92.99 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime €92.99 Amazon Italia Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Speed: DDR4-2400, DDR4-2666, DDR4-2800, DDR4-3000, DDR4-3200, DDR4-3300
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
€141.80 €141.80 Amazon Italia Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 500GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
€143.50 Free two-day shipping with Amazon Prime €143.50 Amazon Italia Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1080
€314.00 €314.00 Amazon Italia Buy
Case
Power Supply €93.26 €93.26 Amazon Italia Buy
Total: €983.55
* 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:

TheBigBaki 2 points 24 days ago

So i have done a little research and i had the idea that i could just take this build but replace the i5 7500 with an i5 8400, and a mobo which obviously is compatible (for example the asrock - z370m). It would be a price difference of 70 $ in total if i keep all the other parts. Would it be actually good to make that upgrade or did i miss something? Thanks!

Razerfree 1 point 20 days ago

Do it. It's a much better value. I'm planning on doing the same.

TheBigBaki 1 point 20 days ago

Thanks!

Zodd29 1 point 2 days ago

Hello, I wish to build something similar, and I'd like to make sure the 1080 won't ever be bottlenecked (I'll keep this for long, and plan to buy a 1440p or 4K screen later). However, the i5 8400 is out of stock everywhere, would you have a replacement hint ? I am thinking about an i7 7700K / i5 7600K (the i5 8600K being much more expensive in my country), as I may reuse parts in future builds. I'm also considering AMDs (like Ryzen 1600/1600X), but I dont have any experience with those and heard Intels still have more per-core speed and still perform better ingame...

Razerfree 2 points 2 days ago

AMDs 1600X would be the best choice in my opinion for both future upgradeability and bottlenecking since you can't get the i5 8400. The 1700 is also a good option if you want something with a boxed cooler. I wouldn't get anything less than a 6-core CPU at this point especially since even Intel changed their mainstream from 4 to 6 cores. As a Cooler get a good top-down one since VRM temperatures profit immensely from airflow.

Zodd29 1 point 2 days ago

Right, I think I'll go for either the 1600 or the 1700. I looked at this test : https://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Intel/Core_i5_8400/12.html And the gap is actually very tight between AMD and Intel. The Civ6 bench is interesting though, the Ryzens are quite ahead (better multi-threaded perf I guess).

Much thanks for your quick answer !

Razerfree 1 point 1 month ago

https://pcpartpicker.com/list/t6tWHN here's my interpretation of your LAN build for the AMD platform. Thinking about building this using the GPU, SSD and PSU I already have on my current system. The SST-NT06-PRO-V2 as a CPU Cooler would probably also be a great option.

TheBigBaki 1 point 28 days ago

Excuse me if these questions sound stupid, i am not very experienced in building pcs. So first, is this build not a little bit endangered by overheating because of its tight build? Plus i would like to know, if it would be a possibility to mount an i5 7600 instead of the 7500 or even an i7 (for example the 7700) for better gaming performance. I am a little bit concerned, that some cpu intense games might be too much for an i5, and since i would invest into a gtx 1080, i would not want to be limited by an i5 which cant handle big games. Thanks in advance

Razerfree 2 points 28 days ago

No problem I'd be glad to help. One thing that is very important when building in small cases is having either fans or mesh or both.

You should avoid CPUs with more than 65W TDP and high overclocking, or else your components will produce more heat than the case can deal with. Higher TDPs are possible but require higher cooling performance (air or liquid).

The 7500 is not a bad choice. Price to performance is ok but the GTX 1080 will be bottlenecked. If you have a problem with that you should either go for a GTX 1070 or 1060 or upgrade the CPU to the 7700.

Another option would be going for AMDs 1700 powerhouse or wait for the 8700 from Intel.

TheBigBaki 1 point 28 days ago

Thanks for the swift response! So the 7700 would not be too big of a heat source for this case (i mean without overclocking, i dont think i would need to oc it)?

Razerfree 1 point 28 days ago

Should be ok but I would still advise getting a aftermarket cooler like the Cryorig C7 mentioned above since we're talking about a i7 CPU and Intels stock cooler performance is not good enough. Also, put fans on all possible places in the case, you will need them.

frostmaster468 1 point 26 days ago

that is one cool case.

Colecvv 1 point 25 days ago

Looks like a nice build, I plan on building something similar as I need something portable. I'm thinking about going with an i7 7700k and will most likely overclock it. What would some options be if I wanted a more beefy cooler that would fit in this case? Would a Corsair liquid cooler be viable? Thanks!

Razerfree 1 point 24 days ago

As far as I know no water cooler will fit in this case, unless you're willing to do something custom like this https://pcpartpicker.com/b/jdHhP6. If you're looking for a case that can house an i7 7700K AND overclock it, this one probably isn't it. Maybe if you put a CRYORIG C1 cooler on it you might manage to run it on stock speeds without throttling but I wouldn't count on overclocking headroom.

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