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Can I use my current PC components in a small case build?

Last response: in Systems
May 22, 2013 5:37:55 AM

I want to save some money and always have to travel between two countries for the next year. At both places I already have monitors and at one place I have a decent PC (i7 - 2600K @ 3.4 GHz / 8GB Ram / Nvidia GTX 570).

It is in a big tower though, so I can't carry it along when I fly. I'm happy with the specs and really like to work with dual monitors so I just had the idea to take some components and put them in a small case for mobility.

If I could I would love to have the base of a laptop (without the screen) that I can reconfigure with regular hardware and just hook up on my dual monitors. In case of size I look for something like this:

1. What are the most important special components I have to get for a small case build?

2. Does such a small case build make sense for the future as well? Does it come out as cheaper and easier to upgrade than getting a laptop?

3. What's one of the smallest cases I can get that is still OK for a bit gaming and video editing (nothing fancy)? The Mini ITX I saw on Youtube and that are mentioned here seem to be a bit too big for backpacks... I look for something that fits in a backpack.

Any advice on this would rock!
a b 4 Gaming
a b D Laptop
May 22, 2013 5:50:57 AM

1. You need a small ITX motherboard and a small low profile CPU cooler. Also you would need a low profile GPU. (so there goes your plan i believe :( )

2. It's not cheaper and easier than a full tower pc, but it is upgradable and a laptop isn't.

3. Mini ITX is the smalles you could possibly go.
May 22, 2013 6:06:35 AM

Thanks a lot aatje! I think that folds up my research and plans. I have an empty tower and a couple of HDs still lying around at this other place. I guess I just get the current decent budget gaming stuff to outfit it and I'll be good with spending about 300 - 400 USD. Thank you!
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a b 4 Gaming
May 22, 2013 6:14:09 AM

thinking that you want to carry it in your backpack, your only bet is to get a mini-ITX (or thin-mini-ITX) case and a motherboard or simply HTPC cases, which will lead you to use your cpu integrated graphics.

to use a discreet gpu, you have to get a larger size case which is either micro-atx or mini-itx case. they will be still smaller than a standard mid-tower or mini-tower case but, will be significantly larger than a HTPC build. so it may not be carried in a backpack as you think.

forget about gtx570, any aftermarket heat sinks, most probably your current motherboard too.

thinking that you want to carry it in backpack here is a HTPC build example with a mini-itx board, and cpu integrated graphics.
depending on what you are going to do, a well built notebook/laptop maybe a better choice for mobility if you have cash to splash.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i7-2600K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($284.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($118.97 @ Outlet PC)
Memory: Corsair XMS3 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($57.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($229.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: HEC ITX200B HTPC Case w/200W Power Supply ($59.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $769.91
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-05-22 09:13 EDT-0400)

good luck.
a b D Laptop
May 22, 2013 6:48:15 AM

It or a variation of is going to be my next build!
May 22, 2013 2:20:20 PM

Oh wow thanks guys. The mini itx looks hot! :D 

I will see if I can get those parts in Thailand and then if I have to build something over there it will be this machine.