I have found a deal on a $50 thermaltake lanbox(the one with the handle) and have selected it as a case for a portable gaming rig. Overclocking an intel 775 E5200 seems like the cheapest way to go, but I'd like to do it in a micro ATX form factor. AMD is off the table. Intel dual cores are all I'll need.
I could use help selecting an appropriate motherboard that will provide headroom for overclocking. I ridiculously plan to watercool the rig! No onboard graphics will be needed, and I'd prefer the board to be a p45 chipset as I understand this can also be used for hacintosh goofing around.
Graphics-wise, I'm leaning towards trying the 4850 x2, but I need to better understand the multiple monitor capabilities of the different cards. Do 4 connections mean you can run 4 monitors side by side, and the display for gaming can be landscaped? I'd consider having a triple monitor setup for productivity and better gaming at home. Does this necessitate the purchase of a triplehead2go thing? GPU card will be modified to water-cool it.
For the motherboard, I'd consider going premium if it means overclocking. But in terms of max RAM, I think 4 Gigs will do for the long haul from all I've read about things. If it can take 6, that's fine. P45 chipset seems to OC the best; is this true? Can it be done in an affordable mATX motherboard, or do I need to cough up $250 for something like the new Asus mATX p45 board just released?
I'd like a silent and efficient power supply, and understand it may cost some cash, but that's ok.
In terms of drives, I know nothing. Silence would be good, as I may do some audio work with the computer if I can keep it quiet!
I welcome part suggestions, and general thoughts. I intend the computer to be for gaming.
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I would get a better processor than the E5200 if you are laying out that cash for the other components, the small cache size of the E5200 will hinder gaming performance. I would go with an E8400 instead, or at least an E7x00 CPU.
Also...you want a portable lanbox but are planning on using multiple monitors. Somewhat of a contradiction there...Lugging around mulitple montiors is not exactly making this setup easily portable. And you will have to find an external water cooling kit for your system, there will be no room in that mATX case, which will make it as large and heavy as a standard ATX case...plus you will have to be extra careful not to damage the radiator/pump of the WC system since it will be exposed on the exterior of the case. I would ditch that aspect of your planned rig and go with a LP air cooler like the CNPS8700 or CM GeminII S. It doesn't seem to me you have given this all that much thought...
What resolution will these monitors be running at?
Thanks for the processor thoughts, monitor info, vid-card fitment concerns, free legal advice, and motherboard thoughts!
My cooling setup is a self-contained triple 120mm fan rig with quick-connect valves and an internal pump and resevoir. I know it may sound strange to move, but that's ok. I think it will work. It's spec'd to work, and the reviews of it are good.
I'd like to be able to run 3 monitors at home, and then just use one when being portable. I'm thinking of a trio of 22" LCDs at a resolution of up to 1680 x 1050 each.
Power supply looks like a Fortron Zen 400, which is a fanless silent design, and it has a good warranty. It's about $130.
Optical drive-wise, the asus cb-5216a has good reviews for being quiet, and can be had for $30 delivered. I may consider going with an external drive depending on what I learn from the Digital Audio community, because I'd like to be able to keep things very quiet. Would it be totally silent when not being used? I want to think it would, but my current computers are loud breezy heaters.