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Build Guide

Portable LAN Build

by ThoughtA

19
35 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

At this budget, we're running an Intel i5-7500. Any modern i5 will perform admirably for nearly all gaming needs. The i5-7500 includes a stock cooler, so 3rd-party cooler isn't necessary. Since we aren't overclocking our CPU, the stock cooler will be sufficient in keeping temperatures acceptable.

Motherboard

We're using a parametric filter that will actively select the best-priced mITX motherboard with the B250 chipset. Since Kaby Lake is pretty new, mITX pickings are slim, so if there isn't stock in your region, you can check out motherboards with other chipsets. All motherboards in that filter will include at least one M.2 slot for storage. Fortunately, since we are going with a parametric filter, any mITX B250 motherboards added to the site later will be automatically entered into consideration by the filter for the part list. No revisions needed.

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 480GB. 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

For our GPU, the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1070 is one of the best price for performance cards on the market and an absolute powerhouse. The GTX 1070 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. For those interested in VR, the GTX 1070 will have no problem playing any and and all applications currently on the market.

If you'd like more room, there are a couple "mini" GTX 1070 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 Lian-Li PC-TU200B. This is a rugged case that comes with a carrying handle that will make transportation quite a bit easier. It features 2 USB 3.0 front ports and comes with a 140mm fan on the front. The TU200B can fit video cards of almost any length. Speaking of video cards, the case comes with a really cool feature for a LAN build - a graphics card holder that will help keep it in position in transport, helping to prevent the video card from bending or snapping or other verbs that will make you cringe and keep you up at night.

PSU

For our power supply, we're using a parametric selection of a five well-reviewed fully modular units, all of which are 80+ Gold certified or above and can provide plenty of power for this build. These units are all SFX form factor, so they will fit in the case more comfortably. While we can fit ATX PSUs up to 140mm in length, the hard drive cage may have to be removed. This is an option that can save you a little money if you'd like, and the cage is removable, so it shouldn't be too bad if you choose to go that route.

Part List Customize This Part List

Compatibility Check: No issues/incompatibilities found.

Estimated Wattage: 266W
Component Selection Base Promo Shipping Tax Price Where
CPU $303.99 FREE $303.99 PC Force Buy
Motherboard
From parametric filter
  • Form Factor: Mini ITX
  • Chipset: Intel B250
$208.98 $208.98 PB Technologies Buy
Memory
From parametric filter
  • Type: 288-pin DIMM
  • Size: 16GB (2x8GB)
$202.00 FREE $202.00 Paradigm PCs Buy
Storage
From parametric filter
  • Capacity: 480GB - 10TB
  • Type: SSD
  • Interface: M.2 (M)
$278.00 $278.00 1stWave Technologies Buy
Video Card
From parametric filter
  • Chipset: GeForce GTX 1070
$616.42 FREE $616.42 PC Force Buy
Case
Power Supply $157.77 $157.77 Ascent Technology Buy
Total: $1767.16
* 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:

Sindalis 9 points 23 days ago

IMO there is no reason to use any i5 anymore other than the i5-7600K. And only that one due to the sheer clock speed you can get out of it.

If your considering a gaming build, and its less than that chip, You would be better off using a Ryzen 5 1500X which is cheaper than the i5-7500, comes with a better cooler, runs just as fast (with XFR) and can even overclock on stock cooling to be well and above faster than the 7500

dallior 2 points 2 days ago

Yeah, but at the time of writing this guide, Ryzen ITX mobos didn't exist. The only option they had was a B250I mobo, hence Intel chip.

thatguy11m 1 Build 2 points 1 month ago

Why not the Silverstone RVZ02B HTPC Case for the build. Its smaller, thinner, fits a full size GPU and is perfect for mobility. Its also half the price.

KegiMasters 1 point 1 month ago

Agreed!

xamaryllix 1 point 1 month ago

I use the RVZ02B and overall I wouldn't recommend it. The case has no fans, crappy airflow, barely any clearance for CPU cooler, and is also a nightmare to work out of because it requires a riser for the graphics card. I know that some of that is typical for ITX builds, but it's a pain in the butt.

Planky 1 Build 1 point 18 days ago

Agreed, I had one previously. Flimsy, poorly fitting parts. Poor finish. While its a good idea having the GFX card in a separate area, there is limited airflow and no space for additional fans. The grill on the top where heat is meant to escape from was on the wrong side - should be right above the gpu heatsink at minimum. My R9 390 would cook in it and the case became hot to touch (card would reach 80 degrees).

TexasTrev 1 Build 2 points 19 days ago

A $150 case doesn't seem like a good balance in an $1100 machine. I have the CM elite 130 and I paid $50 years ago. The handle is a nice touch, but I think $50 - $80 on the case should be the balance to reach at this cost.

A 1070 is beast, but I'll omit the handle on the case to get a 1080 for the same cost.

sniperunrepeat 2 points 9 days ago

Since memory continues to come down in cost

windseeker242 2 points 8 days ago

I like it - only one comment. I've had two Silverstone Striders go on me on both of my builds. Will never use that brand again. Great guide, hard to find small cases for big cards WITH handles.

Gaming_Universe 1 point 19 days ago

Why dont you use a rx580 from amd? its cheaper and in most titles will hold its ground with the 1070 at 1080p gaming. I like the features nVidia offers, but even the features dont justify the extra $150-200 premium that you would have to pay.

cotroneo 1 point 15 days ago

Why a 1070 for LAN?

alienassasin3 1 point 11 days ago

Just use this instead: PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

Type Item Price
CPU Intel - Core i5-7500 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor $188.49 @ OutletPC
Motherboard *MSI - B250I GAMING PRO AC Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard $88.88 @ OutletPC
Memory *Team - Dark 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory $99.99 @ Newegg
Storage *Sandisk - SSD PLUS 240GB 2.5" Solid State Drive $76.44 @ Amazon
Storage *Seagate - Momentus 1TB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive $52.90 @ Amazon
Video Card *Gigabyte - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Windforce OC Video Card $372.82 @ Amazon
Case Silverstone - RVZ02B-W HTPC Case $83.99 @ Amazon
Power Supply Silverstone - 500W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply $94.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total $1058.50
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-05-17 09:53 EDT-0400
Stingerman354 1 point 11 days ago

I looked through all your recent LAN PC builds. You made very marginal changes between each build. But they were changes to benefit the build. And for that, i give you a good job to this build

LucasderpYT 1 point 3 days ago

Would you consider adding a monitor, and possibly do this build to say the setup time? Portability doesn't matter if it takes 10 minutes to set it up.

genekeats 1 point 3 days ago

Having completed a similar build, I can vouch for this one -- a nice balance of performance and price. My version was less focused on game performance and more on footprint, low heat, and cost; I used the smaller case (PC-TU100B) and way less GPU (1050 Ti mini).

One improvement now becoming available is Optane. You can reallocate the SSD budget for a 2TB HDD (2.5-inch) and a 32GB Optane module.

Ahsan041 1 point 2 hours ago

I have a very similar build with the same cpu and gpu. Do you think the cpu bottlenecks the gpu?

fastcjgt3 0 points 1 month ago

for a case a corsair graphite 380T would've been better

Mkander99 2 points 1 month ago

I had the 380T, its big and heavy, and the handle is awful. This case is much better in every respect except cooling, which it does fine with anyway

GeekFlies 1 point 1 month ago

What about the Node 304?

Mkander99 1 point 1 month ago

its alright, no handle, and isnt as good build quality wise, but is much cheaper

mriden425 1 point 17 days ago

The 380T is discontinued from what I've read trying to obtain one.

ArtStream21 1 Build 0 points 1 month ago

That is the ugliest case I've ever seen. Just put a $4.00 handle on a $39.00 CoolerMaster 110 or something!

[comment deleted by staff]
Extrtax -3 points 1 month ago

Feel like a couple of things are missing in build ?????

vagabond139 5 Builds 3 points 1 month ago

Like what?

Corope -2 points 1 month ago

Hard drive... One 512Gb SSD isn't going to get you far,especially if you're a gamer. Along with how it is more experience, but can be cheaper to get a hard drive and a smaller ssd, or if you wanna pay more then you can get both a 512Gb ssd and a 1TB or 2 TB Hard drive. In all having more storage is better. :/ Also, if we're talking about gaming here, getting a higher I5 would be better here.

Jkll606 2 points 1 month ago

You must have a lot of large AAA games to fill 512 gigs quickly.

Corope 1 point 1 month ago

I'm not saying it's not a lot, I'm just saying it's a bit pricey when you could save some money and have more storage just by getting a Hard drive.

Jkll606 1 point 1 month ago

Oh, okay. I must have misunderstood what you meant. But at over $1000 dollars, it's certainly worth it to get an SSD, especially at a LAN party where you might get left out if you're not fast enough.

CZxMPanda -4 points 1 month ago

If I'm going to pay 1000$ for a computerIi'm going to want a room for larger upgrades, so I'm going to want at least a 600w PSU. I'm also going to want a K CPU not a 7500 'cause I love to have the option to go to 4.0GHz+ instead of being locked at 3.4GHz, so I would get an i5-7600k and not an i5-7500. Plus, this is a gaming rig I would get a 1-2TB HHD paired w/ an SSD. If you get a STORAGE Seagate Barracuda 2TB and a Kingston SSDNow UV400 120GB It's cheaper than getting your m.2 SSD. Here is what I think you were trying to do. https://pcpartpicker.com/list/8ZGdYr or here it is w/ fans so it doesn't overheat and burn your ******* house down, https://pcpartpicker.com/list/cxkbf8.

ThoughtA staff submitter 3 points 1 month ago

The M.2 warning does not mean it's unusable. It simply means one of the SATA ports will become unusable. There's more than one SATA port.

Also, MY GOD CAP YOUR "I"'s.

If you're talking about the Intel CPUs, such as "i5-7500," that's how it's supposed to be. No capital "I," as seen on Intel's site and most other places.

If you meant something else, please feel free to clarify.

CZxMPanda -2 points 1 month ago

Yeah, I wasn't 100% sure after I posted that with the "I"'s so I just kinda left it there. Nor did I 100% understand the SATA thing I just moved over to assuming that's what it meant. I'll fix those parts of my post. so I font look like a bumbling ******. Thanks for the criticism back though.

nthompson23 -6 points 1 month ago

Its called a laptop

[comment deleted by staff]
philip staff 10 Builds 1 point 8 days ago

For part list feedback, please post in our Part List Opinions Wanted forum - you'll get a much better set of eyeballs on it there.

arcainy 1 point 7 days ago

I did that but only 1 person comment on my thread :( I need more opinions if possible

philip staff 10 Builds 1 point 7 days ago

Understood. But build guides are not the proper venue to solicit feedback for your part list.

Reason:
Note: Wattages are estimates only. Actual power draw may differ from listed values.
Component Estimated Wattage
Intel - Core i5-7500 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor 8W - 65W
Gigabyte - GA-B250N-Phoenix WIFI Mini ITX LGA1151 Motherboard 7W - 30W
G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory 11W - 11W
Intel - 600p Series 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive 2W - 10W
Asus - GeForce GTX 1070 8GB Video Card 37W - 150W
Total: 65W - 266W