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portable ITX gaming pc in small guitar amp cabinet?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Alright guys!

I'm new here and to be honest I don't know a whole lot about performance PCs. Google keeps directing me back here when I ask it dumb questions, so I figured I should join up!

I'm a CAD and graphic designer and I do a lot of rendering, but as a freelancer I often have to carry my workstation around. I have a Dell M4800 Precision laptop, which is great for rendering and Open GL, but obviously is not up to much for gaming. Since it's a laptop and does me great for work, I don't want to touch it.

I'm looking to put together a portable gaming PC that works basically like a console to take to friends houses and plug into standard 1080 TVs. I'm not too bothered about 4k, but some future proofing for VR would be a bonus.

I actually have my own CNC machine that I use for prototyping, so I'd make the case myself out of birch ply. My idea is to base it on a small Fender Champ chassis, which is an old valve amplifier with tweed covering and a single 10" speaker. It's definitely going to be a themed build with kind of a rat-rod feel to it. I love the idea of replacing the 10" speaker with a single monstrous metal fan behind the grille cloth with concealed micromesh filter behind it (I don't really care about noise as long as it sounds legit!), running that through a pair of 240mm wide radiators which will cool the GPU and CPU.

So question 1 is, should I go water-cooled? I want to design the thing to be as compact as possible, ideally sticking to the dimensions of the Champ which is only 12" wide on the exterior. If that means water-cooled is the way to go, should I use 2 all-in-one systems fed by the single fan? Or should I try using separates and use copper piping to make a feature of it?

If I go air cooled, I'm interested in something like the Thermalright Silver Arrow IB-E for the CPU, it's recommended for overclocking on their website and has a cool nickel piped / olive drab fan which would probably work well aesthetically. I'm open to advice on cooling the GPU, and what card to buy - my budget for this is £300-£400 so I'm looking at a Gigabyte 1070 (micro?) to save on space. I can't seem to find a dedicated water cooling mount for it, will a generic one do?

Anyway thanks for reading! I'm open to all suggestions and your opinions are much appreciated. Current thoughts are to go with

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z170N Gaming 5

GPU: Gigabyte GTX 1070 8GB Mini Boost

CPU: Intel Core i5 6600K

Cheers!
post #2 of 6
Thread Starter 
Oh by the way, this is the amp

post #3 of 6
Keep it simple, and light. Go for a low profile air cooler. Cryorig has a ton of options. Other than that, great components picked out

I bet you could fit an M9i in it.
Edited by kaivorth - 8/30/16 at 4:56pm
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
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Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 EVGA 500w Gold EVGA Hadron Air Logitech G Pro 
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My System
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 5 1600 Asrock B350 Fatal1ty ITX Asus GTX1060 G.Skill 8gb 3000mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
250gb Samsung 850 Pro SATA LG DVD Burner Windows 10 Pro X64 23" Asus 144hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 EVGA 500w Gold EVGA Hadron Air Logitech G Pro 
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post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Cheers for your reply! The M9i looks good, would that give tangible advantages over something more retro looking like maybe the thermalright AXP 200?

Visually something like the Nofan Ice pipe is right up my alley, would this be too big? The CNC should let me place stuff fairly efficiently. Would this work well with a powerful airflow through the case if I do passive cooling and heatsinks internally?

Thanks again!
post #5 of 6
I'm not familiar with either of those coolers. I just know the m9i is $20, and performs as well as a cooler master 212 which is impressive for its size.

I also wouldn't recommend anything passive in such a small enclosure, even with decent airflow. Especially since it's going to be loaded and or overclocked.

Also get a blower style gpu to directly vent heat outside.
My System
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 5 1600 Asrock B350 Fatal1ty ITX Asus GTX1060 G.Skill 8gb 3000mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
250gb Samsung 850 Pro SATA LG DVD Burner Windows 10 Pro X64 23" Asus 144hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 EVGA 500w Gold EVGA Hadron Air Logitech G Pro 
  hide details  
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My System
(12 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Ryzen 5 1600 Asrock B350 Fatal1ty ITX Asus GTX1060 G.Skill 8gb 3000mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
250gb Samsung 850 Pro SATA LG DVD Burner Windows 10 Pro X64 23" Asus 144hz 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Microsoft Ergonomic 4000 EVGA 500w Gold EVGA Hadron Air Logitech G Pro 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help. I don't think the Gigabyte mini ITX 1070 has a blower, will it be good enough just to make sure it's next to a vent?

I bet this will probably be too small, but a 2-slice Dualit toaster would be cool chassis. On my CAD model it all just about fits in and there are ideal of "ventilation slots" on the top! Maybe a couple of rows of tiny fans there and a traditional system underneath? I found a broken one, all chrome, for £20... It's tempting just to find out if it will fit!

Nice one

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