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Advice on a LANbox gaming rig

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July 25, 2010 6:31:12 PM

This summer I was planning on building a fairly high end desktop (around $1700) but realized that my living situation this coming year would be hazardous to such a pricey piece of technology. But I realized a LANbox would be convenient for me (lots of moving my rig for LAN parties) and easier for me to protect from malicious, drunken housemates.

So, is a high end LANbox build viable with the heat issues smaller builds tend to have?

If so, could you set me on the path to building one? Max budget would be around $1700-$1800.

Thanks for any help!

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a b B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 26, 2010 9:39:21 AM
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a c 83 B Homebuilt system
a b 4 Gaming
July 26, 2010 2:35:20 PM

SpartanEvolved said:
This summer I was planning on building a fairly high end desktop (around $1700) but realized that my living situation this coming year would be hazardous to such a pricey piece of technology. But I realized a LANbox would be convenient for me (lots of moving my rig for LAN parties) and easier for me to protect from malicious, drunken housemates.

So, is a high end LANbox build viable with the heat issues smaller builds tend to have?

If so, could you set me on the path to building one? Max budget would be around $1700-$1800.

Thanks for any help!


Start with the case.

Look at the lian li PC Q08. It is a mini-ITX case with superb cooling that can hold the longest of graphics cards, and uses a standard ATX psu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a motherboard, how about gigabyte?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

How strong of a gamer do you need?

For something modest, look at a i3-540 and a GTX460 1gb.
For a monster, look at a i7-860 and a GTX480. There is room for a 300mm card, but I don't think a 5970 will fit.

CPU cooler space may be a bit restricted, so check the height of your favorite cooler.

For a PSU, I like the new XFX units. The 650 should run anything, and the 750w unit is only $20 more, and silver certified. These are modular units and highly rated.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Use a decent SSD for the OS and your current games, and a conventional hard drive for storage. I think I would look at a laptop drive for storage to keep the heat down and save space.

Related resources
a b B Homebuilt system
July 26, 2010 2:43:14 PM

The only problem with Mini ITX is that you won't be able to SLI or Crossfire. Some Micro ATX cases allow this so you can add more graphics muscle.

Still, the Lian Li mentioned above is a really good case for Mini ITX, theres a p55 Gigabyte Mini ITX motherboard available and a 650W PSU will be fine for everything but a 5970.

Theres a Scythe low profile LGA 1156 cooler thats only 2cm taller than the reference cooler and its apparently really good (Scythe Shuriken Rev.B).

That case also has a really good wind tunnel push-pull cooling system too so airflow won't be an issue, you will need to exercise your cable management skills a bit harder though.

I'm thinking of doing a Mini ITX build myself, they look like great little challenges.
August 6, 2010 6:18:54 PM

Best answer selected by SpartanEvolved.
February 3, 2012 1:01:09 AM

SpartanEvolved said:
This summer I was planning on building a fairly high end desktop (around $1700) but realized that my living situation this coming year would be hazardous to such a pricey piece of technology. But I realized a LANbox would be convenient for me (lots of moving my rig for LAN parties) and easier for me to protect from malicious, drunken housemates.

So, is a high end LANbox build viable with the heat issues smaller builds tend to have?

If so, could you set me on the path to building one? Max budget would be around $1700-$1800.

Thanks for any help!



My situation is pretty similar. This is my current system. If you need more details or part numbers i can track them down for you. This should fit in your budget. The case color can also be silver or black or course.

“Red Cube” PC – Mini-ITX Gaming Rig
• Lian Li PC-Q08R Case
• Zotac Z68-A-E Wifi ITX motherboard
• Intel i5-2500K CPU
• MSI GTX 570 Twin Frozer III
• 8 Gigs of Corsair 1600 Meg DDR3 RAM
• Corsair 120GB Force 3 GT SSD SATA III
• 2 Tb WD Hard Drive SATA III
• Corsair H60 Water Cooler with Noctua NF-P12 High pressure fan
• Thermaltake 700 Watt ATX Power Supply
• Samsung Blu-Ray Combo Drive
• BitFenix Spectre Pro 140mm Black Tinted Red LED Fan
• Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I chose the PC-Q08 for its airflow design and the fact that it has a 120mm rear (actually top rear) location to install the H60 cooler. I am extremely happyu with the box. Its small, fast, cool running and silent. It looks nice and weighs only 6.1kg

I bought a small suitcase for $50 to allow me to carry it to lan parties, but you could lock it away from your drunken house mates too. Maybe you need a new place to live :) 
February 3, 2012 1:08:13 AM

geofelt said:
Start with the case.

Look at the lian li PC Q08. It is a mini-ITX case with superb cooling that can hold the longest of graphics cards, and uses a standard ATX psu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

For a motherboard, how about gigabyte?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

How strong of a gamer do you need?

For something modest, look at a i3-540 and a GTX460 1gb.
For a monster, look at a i7-860 and a GTX480. There is room for a 300mm card, but I don't think a 5970 will fit.

CPU cooler space may be a bit restricted, so check the height of your favorite cooler.

For a PSU, I like the new XFX units. The 650 should run anything, and the 750w unit is only $20 more, and silver certified. These are modular units and highly rated.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Use a decent SSD for the OS and your current games, and a conventional hard drive for storage. I think I would look at a laptop drive for storage to keep the heat down and save space.


You have made the common mistake of choosing a power supply that is too deep for the PC-Q08 case. There is 160mm (only 6.3") clearance between the rear of the case and the drive cage. This rules out virtually all cable managed power supplies. The corsair hx-650 is only 150mm deep and has flat cables so should be fine. Otherwise look for a decent quality non cabled managed pwer supply in the 500-700 watt range (depending on your build) with a 120mm fan. These are normally on 140mm deep (5.5") and fit in quite well.

Lookt at seasonic ss-560km, seasonic s1211-620, thermaltake tr2, corsair cx600

There may be others but finding shorter power supplies is quite difficult. If I had access to better computer stores id just go in with a tape measure or ruler and start hunting.
a b 4 Gaming
February 3, 2012 12:02:34 PM

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