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Looking to Build a Portable Computer, First Build

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October 16, 2012 10:02:35 PM

Hey there, I'm looking to build a portable computer with gaming in mind seeing as I move around enough that a regular desktop wouldn't be practical and I've heard quite a few times that laptops don't have the power for gaming.





Approximate Purchase Date: Sometime by December preferably, but I'm in no rush

Budget Range: Somewhere around $1 000 CAD

System Usage from Most to Least Important: Gaming, Web Browsing

Are you buying a monitor: I was actually wondering if a TV with HDMI hookup would work fine. I know my friend has his computer hooked up to his TV, and it's been working great for him aside from having a weird resolution. If I went with that, would there be anything I'd need to look out for?


Parts to Upgrade: Not sure what this means. This would be a from scratch build, and I'd imagine I'd want to upgrade at some point, but preferably not in the near future.

Do you need to buy OS: I'm pretty sure I could get a copy of Windows 7 off of someone I know. Will update if anything changes.

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: I've been looking on newegg.ca so far, but I'm open to suggestions.

Location: Newfoundland, Canada

Parts Preferences: I'm leaning towards an Intel processor and nVidia GPU

Overclocking: I have no plans for overclocking.

SLI or Crossfire: Once again, no plans

Your Monitor Resolution: My current laptop is 1366x768, and that's been good for me, but I'm pretty impartial.

Additional Comments: The main, probably unchangeable, part of the build is the LIAN LI PC-TU200B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case. Everything about it seems great for my needs, though I am worried about cooling and space. If anyone here has any experience with the case or similar cases, help in that department is GREATLY appreciated.

And Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: I'm looking for more power than my laptop I have right now so that I can have something more suitable for gaming.

Parts:

Case: LIAN LI PC-TU200B Black Aluminum Mini-ITX Tower Computer Case
Motherboard: ASRock H77M-ITX LGA 1155 Intel H77 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 Mini ITX Intel Motherboard
Storage: Seagate ST310005N1A1AS-RK 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive
Graphics Card: MSI N660 TF 2GD5/OC GeForce GTX 660 2GB 192-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 3.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
Processor: Intel Core i5-3450 Ivy Bridge 3.1GHz (3.5GHz Turbo) LGA 1155 77W Quad-Core Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 2500 BX80637I53450
Memory: G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-12800CL9D-8GBXL
Disc Drive: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer 24X DVD+R 8X DVD+RW 12X DVD+R DL 24X DVD-R 6X DVD-RW 16X DVD-ROM 48X CD-R 32X CD-RW 48X CD-ROM Black SATA Model iHAS424-98 LightScribe Support
Power Supply: PC Power and Cooling Silencer MK III 400W Modular 80PLUS Bronze Power Supply compatible with Intel Sandy Bridge Core i3 i5 i7 and AMD Phenom


Any advice is more than welcome; feel free to point out anything I've messed up, etc.

EDIT: Realized I'd derped and had been going on newegg.com instead of newegg.ca, had to change PSU. Any help with the PSU would be greatly appreciated; I'm not sure how much power I'll need or if everything will fit in the case.
EDIT 2: Changed RAM, processor, ODD, and GPU after considering advice.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 10:12:01 PM

Even though, you have a preference towards Nvidia, I would have to recommend the Radeon HD7850 for 2 reasons.

1) Its flat out faster than the 560Ti (the 560Ti is showing age)

2) It requires much less power and will run on the CX430, whereas the 560Ti may not.

Also, if you have no plans for overclocking, pick a processor without a "K" suffix. The "K" mainly means it is overclockable.

Go with the i5-3450. Its quick.

Also, you are going to want a DVD-RW, since it burns DVD's. The one you have just reads them.
October 16, 2012 10:16:31 PM

Since you are in canada you might also want to look into buying from newegg.ca. Maybe I am just blind, but I can't figure out how to get Newegg.com to ship stuff from the USA to Canada
Related resources
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 10:29:31 PM

Certainly agree you should go with i5-3450. The 2500K isn't really suitable for that mobo. The 3450 will also allow you to run higher speed RAM. Suggest 8GB (2x4GB) GSKill Ripjaws 1600 MHz Cas9 DDR3.
The 560Ti, you are proposing, is very "old hat", and weak, by todays standards. Suggest either HD7850, or even better GTX660 (if finances allow). MSI make good, twin fanned versions of both.
Either Lite-On, or LG make decent DVD/CD Writers.
I have no experience of that Lian-Li case. You should check power supply etc fits.
October 16, 2012 10:37:58 PM

The i5 2500k can still run 1600 ram even if it isn't officially stated and with only a $10 difference it allows the ability for overclocking.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 10:46:18 PM

raj00 said:
The i5 2500k can still run 1600 ram even if it isn't officially stated and with only a $10 difference it allows the ability for overclocking.


Except he would have to pick a different motherboard, and he stated that he does not want to overclock.

October 16, 2012 10:47:32 PM

Alright, the advice you guys have given so far is great, and I really appreciate it. Thanks for the help.

I've updated the parts list in accordance too some of the stuff people have been suggesting, but right now I'm worrying a bit about the PSU. Looking at some reviews of the case, people suggest getting a shorter PSU to leave room for cables and such. It seems that people recommend a maximum PSU length of 140mm.

This seems to lower my options some, so right now I'm wanting to make sure I have a PSU that can power everything effectively. Any advice there?
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 10:53:18 PM



Here's a power draw chart for GPU's in that range. 24a on the 12V rail for the CX430 means 288W for the CPU and the GPU. It should be able to power your computer just fine. You are just going to have to use an adapter for the second PCI-E.
October 16, 2012 11:07:28 PM

Deemo13 said:
http://media.bestofmicro.com/U/N/352319/original/Power.png

Here's a power draw chart for GPU's in that range. 24a on the 12V rail for the CX430 means 288W for the CPU and the GPU. It should be able to power your computer just fine. You are just going to have to use an adapter for the second PCI-E.


Alright, sounds good. I'm a bit lost on the adapter part. This is my first build, so the only experience I have in hardware like this is some research and what I've learned from my friends who have built computers before. Could you maybe go into a bit of detail with that?

Also, you said that the 430W should be enough, but do you(or anyone for that matter) recommend trying to see if I can find anything better?
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 11:22:54 PM

Well, the GPU you are getting should come with one. It looks like this:



But now I realized I was wrong, because the 660 only requires 1 6-pin, so disregard what I said above about the adapters at all.

The 430W is nice, but you can find something better if you so desire. Its not really necessary, as the 660 doesn't use that much power.

October 16, 2012 11:25:09 PM

I've never done a mini-ITX build, but I was under the impression mini-ITX cases required smaller power supplies than ATX. Newegg has a mini-ITX category for PSU types. I'm not sure if any of those will work for you though. Maybe you should post a question in the power supply forum and see if someone there can give you some advice about what PSU to use.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 11:28:37 PM

Based on the pictures of the case the OP is planning on getting, it seems like it can take a regular sized power supply.

That's an awesome case btw.
October 16, 2012 11:39:21 PM

Yeah, the reviews I've looked at say that it takes a regular ATX PSU, just a smaller sized one.

Well, all you guys have been an awesome help. I'm now feeling a lot more confident and safe in my new part choices, and everything is still within budget. I've learned some useful stuff too! You've all been really polite, helpful, and quick to respond.

The only thing I seem to have left to worry about is making sure everything will fit inside the case alright, and that seems like it would require some more research on my part or the help of someone with some experience of the case, so I'll get on that now.

Thanks to all of you, and if anyone still has suggestions, feel free to post them.
a b 4 Gaming
October 16, 2012 11:41:53 PM

I wish I could help you in stuff fitting in the case, but if it doesnt, Newegg has a cool return policy.
October 17, 2012 12:18:28 AM

Deemo13 said:
I wish I could help you in stuff fitting in the case, but if it doesnt, Newegg has a cool return policy.


Good to know. I'll have to check some reviews for measurements of the inside of the case. You've helped a tonne with all the parts anyway. Now it's just making sure everything fits and everything is cooled. The case has a 140mm fan already, and I don't plan on overclocking, so I'm hoping that it should be alright. I'll try to make sure it's in a well ventilated area and try to not have it running anything too intense for too long.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 12:39:26 AM

I think I can give you some experienced help here.

I have a lian li PC Q08 which is essentially the same case without the carrying handle and $60 less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It will hold any length graphics card, and uses a standard ATX psu.
The 140mm intake fan provides all the cooling you will want.

Your parts look fine to me.
If there is any issue, it is the limited height available for an aftermarket cpu cooler.
The stock Intel cooler will fit fine.
Past that, the best cooler that fits is the thermalright AXP140.
Since your chip is 22nm and cool, I think the stock cooler is ok.

There is not a lot of room, so you might consider a modular psu.
Perhaps this PC P&C 400w unit: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I really think everybody should now be using a ssd for at least the os.
A 120gb ssd will hold the os and half a dozen games. a 180-240gb ssd may be all you ever need.
You can always add a hard drive later.
If you never need a hard drive, there is a space under the dvd drive for a ssd too. That lets you remove all of the hard drive cages for better airflow.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 12:44:41 AM

^Good call.
October 17, 2012 11:01:06 AM

geofelt said:
I think I can give you some experienced help here.

I have a lian li PC Q08 which is essentially the same case without the carrying handle and $60 less.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It will hold any length graphics card, and uses a standard ATX psu.
The 140mm intake fan provides all the cooling you will want.

Your parts look fine to me.
If there is any issue, it is the limited height available for an aftermarket cpu cooler.
The stock Intel cooler will fit fine.
Past that, the best cooler that fits is the thermalright AXP140.
Since your chip is 22nm and cool, I think the stock cooler is ok.

There is not a lot of room, so you might consider a modular psu.
Perhaps this PC P&C 400w unit: http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E1681...

I really think everybody should now be using a ssd for at least the os.
A 120gb ssd will hold the os and half a dozen games. a 180-240gb ssd may be all you ever need.
You can always add a hard drive later.
If you never need a hard drive, there is a space under the dvd drive for a ssd too. That lets you remove all of the hard drive cages for better airflow.


Excellent. I've been thinking about an SSD, and ~$100 for 120GB doesn't seem too bad, though I use enough space on my current hard drive that I'd like to have the 1TB mechanical for storage of most of my stuff, and use the SSD for the OS and a few other things. I've never had a computer with 2 drives before, but I'd imagine it'd be pretty easy to transfer things between them.

I'm also looking at both the PSU you suggested, and the Rosewill CAPSTONE Series CAPSTONE-450-M 450W ATX12V v2.31 & EPS12V v2.92 SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS GOLD Certified Modular Active PFC Power Supply. They both look to be near the same, but is one brand better than the other or anything?

Also, out of curiosity, would removing the drive cage make putting the drives in any more difficult? I've not built a computer before, so I'm not sure.
a b 4 Gaming
October 17, 2012 11:25:30 AM

Having an SSD, around 120GB, plus a conventional hard drive, for all the mundane stuff, to which you don't need fast access, is ideal. That 2nd drive can be fairly basic, if you've got your important stuff, on SSD.
On the PSU's, both are very good (assuming they'll fit). The Rosewill is "Gold" rated, so will have slightly better performance/accuracy, which should give lower power consumption, in the long run. I doubt the practical difference would be really noticeable, though.
!