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I'm looking into a briefcase build to replace my aging and crappy laptop. To start, I'm going to have THIS most likely; with the SSDs coming from my current laptop; one of the RAM sticks going into my NAS; and a case supporting two expansion slots for a full desktop GPU (albeit ~9" long max) or other PCIe cards, a full 9.6"x9.6" mATX motherboard, and an internal PSU and battery pack (which will be a pain, and I have zero experience to boot biggrin.gif).

Later on I'll probably turn it into a mobile gaming rig. Using a downclocked FM2+ or LGA1150 quadcore system and a Maxwell GPU (i.e. 750Ti, perhaps 860), it should draw under 200W, and power efficiency is only going to get better. Like, the flagship Kaveri chip when downclocked and binned for laptops has a TDP rating of just one-third its original 95W. Maxwell is beating the Xbone and trading blows with the PS4 in a 60W TDP window. I have high hopes for the future. In addition, I need an LVDS (or essentially a laptop) screen and a pair of decent but low-power speakers. I'm not sure if both of those will run off the PSU, but the speakers would likely be USB powered. Other peripherals? I'm considering a cute li'l 3"-4" screen to put a Rainmeter monitor on and I may or may not need any aftermarket coolers. Remember, this is going to need to run off battery power as well, though I'm not expecting much with a gaming setup.

Now, which form-factor PSU do I want? Micro flex ATX seems like a good option since it is only 1.6" tall and I want to try and keep it around 2.5"-3" tops, and even 3" is getting uncomfortably thick. Which of these would be good? Alternatively, could I get a 200W power brick and an adapter for 24-pin ATX, 8-pin CPU power, 6-pin PCIe, and Molex and/or SATA? Anything past that is optional. Alternatively alternatively, what about a Pico PSU? The only problem with those is that they only go up to 160W best I can tell and have no PCIe power.


EDIT: So upon talking to somebody who actually has experience with this sort of thing (HOORAY!), a Flex PicoPSU that can take between 19V and 25V and five Li-Po cells in series (and any number of those sets in parallel) would work best. Are PicoPSUs going to get even bigger and/or more powerful? Even if they don't, 60W Maxwell and downclocked Broadwell should work extremely well for future gaming-oriented upgrades.


EDIT 2: You know what? A battery for the gaming option would be a massive pain in the arse. So here's what I'll do:

-Motherboard goes on right side of the case
-Expansion slots fit in the middle
-Space for micro flex ATX PSU on the left

With an AM1 build, then I can run a 120W flex PicoPSU (one with variable input voltage) and keep a battery pack in the PSU's space on the far left. If I ever upgrade to a higher-power gaming build, then the PicoPSU goes away and the battery pack is replaced with a micro flex ATX PSU.
Edited by CynicalUnicorn - 5/10/14 at 11:36am
Triumvirate
(20 items)
 
Osmium
(8 items)
 
For Sale: [FS] Z97 system: Xeon and RAM
$160 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-5775C ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 Sapphire RX 480 (reference) MSI Low-Profile 750Ti 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Corsair Dominator Platinum - 2x8GB Crucial M500 - 960GB Samsung 840 - 250GB WD Scorpio Blue - 1TB 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
ADATA SP900 - 64GB Scythe BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B PNY Quadro 600 blower Windows 10 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
ASUS VE247H - 1080p Gateway FPD1960 - 1280x1024 Samsung S20D300 - 900p, portrait Rosewill RK9000I - Cherry MX Blue 
PowerCaseMouseOther
Rosewill HIVE 650W Riotoro CR1080 SteelSeries Rival 100 CyberPower 1500PFCLCD 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD A10-7870K ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ G.Skill Ripjaws X - 2x4GB @ 2400MT/s Samsung 840 120GB 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Evercool EC-HPS-810CP Windows 7 Pro 64-bit PicoPSU-120-WI-25 Mini-Box M350 
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Triumvirate
(20 items)
 
Osmium
(8 items)
 
For Sale: [FS] Z97 system: Xeon and RAM
$160 (USD) or best offer
CPUMotherboardGraphicsGraphics
i7-5775C ASUS Sabertooth Z97 Mark 2 Sapphire RX 480 (reference) MSI Low-Profile 750Ti 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Corsair Dominator Platinum - 2x8GB Crucial M500 - 960GB Samsung 840 - 250GB WD Scorpio Blue - 1TB 
Hard DriveCoolingCoolingOS
ADATA SP900 - 64GB Scythe BIG Shuriken 2 Rev. B PNY Quadro 600 blower Windows 10 
MonitorMonitorMonitorKeyboard
ASUS VE247H - 1080p Gateway FPD1960 - 1280x1024 Samsung S20D300 - 900p, portrait Rosewill RK9000I - Cherry MX Blue 
PowerCaseMouseOther
Rosewill HIVE 650W Riotoro CR1080 SteelSeries Rival 100 CyberPower 1500PFCLCD 
CPUMotherboardRAMHard Drive
AMD A10-7870K ASRock FM2A88X-ITX+ G.Skill Ripjaws X - 2x4GB @ 2400MT/s Samsung 840 120GB 
CoolingOSPowerCase
Evercool EC-HPS-810CP Windows 7 Pro 64-bit PicoPSU-120-WI-25 Mini-Box M350 
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