Possible to build a portable desktop?

Discussion in 'Desktop Hardware' started by sidg666, Sep 4, 2015.

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  1. sidg666

    sidg666 Notebook Consultant

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    Is it worthwhile at this point with tech to build something akin to a desktop but is easily transported?

    Something that isn't required for use on the go meaning not a laptop but a machine that could be easily transported by hand or during travel so say if you are globe trotting, you would have the power of a desktop in your hotel room. A computer that doesn't weigh much more than 10 Kg (the case with the guts of the computer at least) and you can pretty much haul it round like a suitcase with something like a small bag around it so that no nasty bits get in.

    I'm not sure how feasible it is but Google does show some results for portable desktops and how to build them but what I am more concerned is with the downsides of it. What would these be?

    I would like to have a powerful long lasting desktop but I am not sure that is possible with the kind of limitations I am placing on this theoretical machine.

    How would the heat dissipation and frequency of maintenance (less often is better, I would like to believe) be compared to a laptop?

    The only upside I see is that since it would be so modular and made with handpicked parts from the market, it would be easier to maintain as well as find replacement components for should a problem arise. However, the obvious downside is more concerning seeing that since I have usually seen a 30 Kg or so limit on flights, the majority of it would be used up which may be used for more important things like clothing or food.
     
  2. TBoneSan

    TBoneSan Laptop Fiend

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    Many options unless you want a built in monitor..?
     
  3. killkenny1

    killkenny1 Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    Back when I considered building a small mITX PC, this video was helpful:


    With mini GTX 970 or those recent small AMD GPUs (depending on your budget), small builds are actually a reality. Get a fully modular PSU for less cable clutter, and that could be a nice build.
     
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  4. sidg666

    sidg666 Notebook Consultant

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    How would that work? Seems convenient. Don't you think so?

    How much of a difference is there between the small and standard versions of a gpu? The dimensions, power consumption, speed, etc.?
     
  5. killkenny1

    killkenny1 Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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  6. sidg666

    sidg666 Notebook Consultant

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    Hey sorry about the late reply. I did a bit of asking elsewhere on the net as well and the answers I got there said that heat issues and price would be great enough that I should probably consider a gaming laptop instead. What opinions do you guys have? Also how much would that example "Steam Box" weigh?
     
  7. killkenny1

    killkenny1 Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    My planned mITX build was €1k (4690K/970/8GB), same as my current mATX build. I had to change few things - mobo, case, and PSU. The rest was the same.

    According to this video, temps shouldn't be the problem:


    However, if you need to travel a lot and want to play video games while doing it, a laptop would be a better solution.
     
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  8. sidg666

    sidg666 Notebook Consultant

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    @killkenny1

    I don't need to play on the go. However, it would be nice if when I was traveling like every few months and had to stay in a hotel for a week or so, I wouldn't have to limit myself to the power of a laptop just for that.

    Unless of course, the weight would be unreasonably high even for the smaller 'portable' desktops like 15-20 Kg. I was hoping you could give me a figure on that for all the machines you have suggested thus far.

    As for the video you linked to, I don't know much about the specifics of the components but just looking at the fact that they used 32 GB RAM and a core xeon I get the feeling that they used pretty much top of the line components which is the reason why they ended up with low temps for the performance. Just my thoughts, though.

    Also I would hope that you would keep in mind that not everybody lives or has ready access to markets in the US/UK/EU so your 1k Euro build may be nearly double elsewhere. Just something to keep in mind, IMO.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  9. killkenny1

    killkenny1 Too weird to live, too rare to die.

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    Yeah, I don't have the means to weight my PC. It would be heavier than something like AW, but not sure by how much. But I think taking a desktop in a luggage is a bit silly idea, unless you either travel by a car, or take it as a hand baggage in the airplane.
    Now what is important here is what kind of games would you like to play during your hotel visits, and how much of a budget do you have?
    Traveling every few months is not a lot. I do so myself. I have a desktop where I do my all serious gaming at home, and an ASUS T100 2 in 1, which I take with me. It can run old games, which I'm perfectly fine with, though I just usually do some TV series catching up on in.
    Maybe you could go for the same setup. Or maybe get one of those laptops with 860m/960m and build a serious desktop later on. But of course it depends on what do you want to do with it.

    It's the opposite.

    Well why didn't you mention it then? You ask for help, but don't share the details with us. I don't know how the rest of members here are, but I don't have telepathical powers to read you mind and know where do you come from.
     
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2015
  10. sidg666

    sidg666 Notebook Consultant

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    Could you tell me the full form of AW? Also that is exactly what I meant when I said carrying it around with me like traveling in an airplane with it being my hand baggage.

    I'm not exactly settling anywhere in the near half-a-decade and may do a fair bit of traveling. So I won't exactly have a permanent residence where I could keep a powerhouse desktop.

    I usually do quite often tend to try and get my hands on the latest games. I do play older games too but I play both older and newer games fairly equally. It doesn't help that a lot of AAA titles have been getting poor optimization recently. Add to that the fact that I am using a multimedia level laptop as my main gaming computer that was at said level 5 years ago and my computer is finally reaching it's limit. I'm not a graphics nut and can lower my expectations.

    However the real reason I want a desktop as opposed to a laptop if possible is because of my experience with my latest laptop.

    WARNING: LONG SOB STORY INCOMING

    The screen broke right after it got out of warranty so I have had to use it with something akin to scan lines that get progressively brighter to the right side of the monitor for nearly 3 and a half years. I would have gotten it fixed however, being where I am there are no help centers with any measure of repute. All any of them have is a, for all I know forged, Asus certificate certifying them as a help center. But seeing the rundown, unprofessional look of the centers, I don't trust them with my expensive machine. Especially since I have no warranty.

    The other problem I have is with the make. Roughly after 2 and a half years of owning this machine, the thermal paste was wearing out. Now normally replacing it should be easy peasy save for the fact that I have no idea what Asus was thinking with the make of this machine or whether they are produced this way for all individuals outside of first world countries but basically the motherboard had to be practically yanked out of the casing with the monitor and keyboard lying elsewhere and the heat sink removed off of it before allowing any maintenance to be performed. No access to a high quality thermal paste like Arctic Silver also meant that this servicing had to be performed annually. I am lucky I currently have access to a reliable laptop repair service here because most of them aren't reputed service centers but nerdy kids who learned sufficient information about laptop guts to service them and most of them are capable of more harm than good, even if it is unintentional.

    TL;DR: Inconveniences with ability to maintain or replace parts of a laptop is why I want a desktop but I need a portable machine since I don't have a permanent residence.

    I'm not sure I understand. Could you elaborate?

    I withhold such details since I am not actually buying/making a computer yet. But it might be useful information for whenever I do. Also my benefactors don't exactly give me a fixed budget with the only guideline being 'it should be worth it and it should be reasonable' which pretty much changes for everybody a lot.
     
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