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Building a mini-ITX computer. Wanted some input and opinions

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July 1, 2013 11:41:32 AM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks
CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Corsair H90 94.0 CFM CPU Cooler ($89.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z77N-WIFI Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($123.57 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($67.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 256GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($239.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 660 Ti 2GB Video Card ($282.55 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($99.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Builder 500W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V Power Supply ($24.99 @ Microcenter)
Total: $1119.05 (Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.) (Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 14:37 EDT-0400)

This is what I'm thinking of right now. I'm still unsure on the PSU not for any particular reason other than I picked something random. I'd like to cut down costs a little bit more but I don't see where I can. Actually looking at the list, I forgot that I changed the SSD to 128 and added a 1tb hdd. That cut down a bit but not a lot.

Also unsure if this will all fit inside the case.

Any help or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 11:49:53 AM

The PSU is not very good. Get an XFX Pro Core 550W PSU for $30 more or so. Also, get the Bitfenix Prodigy case. One of the coolest cases on the planet, IMO. Also, don't get the 660Ti; either get the 760, or wait for the 760Ti to be released. If you're not getting a dual-rad water cooler, then the H90 is not worth it. Just get an air cooler, like the Hyoer 212.
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 1:12:23 PM

IMO, this build is not only cheaper, but also better. You can swap out for a liquid cooler. The gtx 760 is cheaper, faster and smaller than the 660ti included in your build. The asrock board has an msata slot on the back of the board (to attach the included msata ssd) and will cut out some of the wire clutter, which is important in an mITX build. The FD Node 304 is one of my choices for an mITX build with the SS Sugo SG09 being the other. IMO, the BF Prodigy is a good case, but looks tacky.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($189.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z77E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1155 Motherboard ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Memory: Kingston Blu 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($59.99 @ TigerDirect)
Storage: Plextor M5M 128GB mSATA Solid State Disk ($109.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($99.98 @ Newegg)
Power Supply: Corsair Enthusiast 650W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1053.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 15:56 EDT-0400)
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 1:40:06 PM

That is a decent start, I'd go with Haswell and a modular power supply if you're going to be using a Node 304. The thing you have to be aware with mITX is heat issues will crop up.

I would do something like this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: NZXT Kraken X40 98.3 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler ($82.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory ($64.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: OCZ Vector Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($66.62 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ NCIX US)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($85.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650W 80 PLUS Gold Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ NCIX US)
Optical Drive: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD/CD Writer ($17.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1163.06
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 16:39 EDT-0400)

- NZXT X40 is better than Corsair H90
- Better SSD
- Better GPU
- Better PSU that is full modular
- Included mass storage drive
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July 1, 2013 2:09:18 PM

Cool. I'm at work so I can't really go over the part list you two posted but what's the main difference other than branding?

Also I'm trying I avoid liquid coolers because as cool as they are I'm planning on taking this thing on an airplane with me and I think that would set off some alarms. I'm aware I can ship it but I feel safer with me actually holding it. That's why I went with this buil because I think I can easily fit it in a carryon.

Also I'm not exactly on a clock but I'd like to have a decision finalized and purchased by Thursday night. Gonna return my new air to fund this project.
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:22:40 PM

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1026.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 20:22 EDT-0400)
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:25:08 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Series 120GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($94.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1026.88
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 20:22 EDT-0400)


The 840 Series SSD is not very good. Either go for the 840 Pro Series, or the OCZ Vector.
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:26:23 PM

The 840 Series SSD is not very good < It's solid and has a lifespan 3x what is advertised.
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Best solution

a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:27:21 PM

Go 4th gen. Haswell:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1061.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 20:27 EDT-0400)
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:29:23 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Go 4th gen. Haswell:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1061.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 20:27 EDT-0400)


Hey, look at that! An 840 Pro Series! :D 
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July 1, 2013 5:29:42 PM

I was wondering if the Bitfenix case is that much larger than the Fractal? Like I said, the main thing is that I wanna throw it into a carryon bag and bring it on a plane with me.

I could just buy the parts and not build it until I arrive in Japan but that seems silly because I won't be able to easily return things if it doesn't fit.
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July 1, 2013 5:30:19 PM

dannyboy2233 said:
SR-71 Blackbird said:
Go 4th gen. Haswell:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1061.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 20:27 EDT-0400)


Hey, look at that! An 840 Pro Series! :D 


Yep! The 840 is great alright! /sarcasm
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:32:14 PM

Selphy said:
I was wondering if the Bitfenix case is that much larger than the Fractal? Like I said, the main thing is that I wanna throw it into a carryon bag and bring it on a plane with me.

I could just buy the parts and not build it until I arrive in Japan but that seems silly because I won't be able to easily return things if it doesn't fit.


Fractal: 14.7 x 9.8 x 8.3
Bitfenix: 9.8" x 15.9" x 13.7"
It's larger, yes.
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:32:29 PM

I have 4 840 pros and 2 non pro's.

You talked me into it.


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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:33:21 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
I have 4 840 pros and 2 non pro's.

You talked me into it.




Thank you for the information! :) 
EDIT: What exactly do you mean?
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July 1, 2013 5:36:42 PM

dannyboy2233 said:
Selphy said:
I was wondering if the Bitfenix case is that much larger than the Fractal? Like I said, the main thing is that I wanna throw it into a carryon bag and bring it on a plane with me.

I could just buy the parts and not build it until I arrive in Japan but that seems silly because I won't be able to easily return things if it doesn't fit.


Fractal: 14.7 x 9.8 x 8.3
Bitfenix: 9.8" x 15.9" x 13.7"
It's larger, yes.


Maybe I ought to bring some baggage to the Microcenter and see if the Bitfenix fits inside.

Also I probably was going to go with the 840 pro.
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 5:42:12 PM

Selphy said:
dannyboy2233 said:
Selphy said:
I was wondering if the Bitfenix case is that much larger than the Fractal? Like I said, the main thing is that I wanna throw it into a carryon bag and bring it on a plane with me.

I could just buy the parts and not build it until I arrive in Japan but that seems silly because I won't be able to easily return things if it doesn't fit.


Fractal: 14.7 x 9.8 x 8.3
Bitfenix: 9.8" x 15.9" x 13.7"
It's larger, yes.


Maybe I ought to bring some baggage to the Microcenter and see if the Bitfenix fits inside.

Also I probably was going to go with the 840 pro.


Good choice :) 
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July 1, 2013 5:54:13 PM

Is there really a big difference between the RAM suggested?

Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Mushkin Blackline 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory

And the HDDs? Western Digital vs Seagate?

I'm also going with MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card as opposed to the EVGA.

Is it all just brand loyalty or is there a real hard difference between all the things? I've never heard of Mushkin and mainly for Kingston and OCZ for RAM. I originally got Western Digital but have moved to Seagate because I found them quieter. I like EVGA but I've heard nothing but good things about MSI so I wanted to switch this time.
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July 1, 2013 6:08:03 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Go 4th gen. Haswell:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($129.98 @ Outlet PC)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($64.98 @ Outlet PC)
Video Card: Asus GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($259.99 @ Amazon)
Case: BitFenix Prodigy (Black) Mini ITX Tower Case ($59.99 @ Microcenter)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Optical Drive: Asus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer ($18.98 @ Outlet PC)
Total: $1061.87
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 20:27 EDT-0400)


Do know if your selection will fit inside the Fractal Node?
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 6:12:47 PM

Don't forget to choose a Best Solution when opening a question thread , the forum members will appreciate that

Thanks for posting!


Have a great week!
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July 1, 2013 6:14:03 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Don't forget to choose a Best Solution when opening a question thread , the forum members will appreciate that

Thanks for posting!


Have a great week!


Definfitely thanks. Will end up probably selecting your post as best solution but I'm still just waiting on a response to the brand differences. Once I hammer that out I'll probably be done and will finalize my purchase.
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 7:13:16 PM

Both ram modules have equal specs with the same latency.They will perform the same.



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July 1, 2013 7:15:19 PM

Unless anyone has any glaring issues with these choices, this is what I'm going to get/buy/build.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant / Benchmarks

CPU: Intel Core i5-4670K 3.4GHz Quad-Core Processor ($199.99 @ Microcenter)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($29.99 @ Microcenter)
Motherboard: ASRock Z87E-ITX Mini ITX LGA1150 Motherboard ($164.99 @ Newegg)
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Sport 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1333 Memory ($52.99 @ Newegg)
Storage: Samsung 840 Pro Series 128GB 2.5" Solid State Disk ($139.99 @ Microcenter)
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($69.99 @ Microcenter)
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 760 2GB Video Card ($255.66 @ Newegg)
Case: Fractal Design Node 304 Mini ITX Tower Case ($85.53 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Antec High Current Gamer 620W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply ($79.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $1079.12
(Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available.)
(Generated by PCPartPicker 2013-07-01 22:14 EDT-0400)

Thank you for all your help.
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 7:21:57 PM

Post pics of the build , when assembled .
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July 1, 2013 7:31:28 PM

SR-71 Blackbird said:
Post pics of the build , when assembled .


Of course, definitely. Thanks again for your help. It's sad to see this Macbook Air go away but I think in the long run for me, the mini-ITX will be better. Who uses an Air as a stay home main computer anyways? Feels like I'm not making good use of the battery life/weight.
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a c 983 à CPUs
July 1, 2013 7:37:03 PM

Looking forward to the build pics.
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a b à CPUs
July 1, 2013 8:42:42 PM

Selphy said:
Cool. I'm at work so I can't really go over the part list you two posted but what's the main difference other than branding?

Also I'm trying I avoid liquid coolers because as cool as they are I'm planning on taking this thing on an airplane with me and I think that would set off some alarms. I'm aware I can ship it but I feel safer with me actually holding it. That's why I went with this buil because I think I can easily fit it in a carryon.

Also I'm not exactly on a clock but I'd like to have a decision finalized and purchased by Thursday night. Gonna return my new air to fund this project.


That's an interesting point and I don't have an answer for that or do I know what the TSA says. But they'll most likely call your PC an oversize bag in which case they'd check it as luggage. I'm sure a lot of hardcore gamers travel with their rigs all the time but I'm curious to know what the answer is now.
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!