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-   -   desktop, laptop replacement for my desktop replacement Laptop (https://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/htpc-systems-software/6958-desktop-laptop-replacement-my-desktop-replacement-laptop.html)

tzetsin May 11, 2008 02:19 AM

desktop, laptop replacement for my desktop replacement Laptop
Ok, so i think i killed my poor laptop... its one of those big 17" monsters with the integrated numberpad... otherwise known as a desktop replacement laptop...

I bought the big laptop because i do a LOT of traveling and spend a LOT of time away from home, so, being a gamer i need a powerful computer, its been pretty good so far but over time the heatsink on the o'l girl got plugged off, and because i usually use a cooler under my laptop i didnt really notice, but i forgot the cooler at home this time and after leaving the laptop on, with FSX running in the background over night, i came back an could hardly touch the keyboard, turns out the gpu sensor was reading 85 degrees C, i can imagine what the rest of the unit was at... Anyways, i tore it down and cleaned out the fan and the heat sinks, it still works... mostly, the dvd drive is hardly working and i'm getting alot of artifacts while playing FSX and also i'm getting about 10 fps BETTER than i ever managed before... so i expect its going to die any day...

After browsing through the current crop of laptops it occured to me that other than the special $$$ custom laptops from dell hp asus ect the powerful laptop market is in a recession. For the price of a laptop with better performance than my current laptop i could buy 2 top of the line home computers so i decided WTF all these htpc computers are quite small, what the heck do i "really" need a laptop for? its not like i ever use it anywhere that doesnt have a power outlet anyway (any laptop out there is going to last about 10 mins playing fsx ;) and that, and exel sheets is pretty much all i do with em anyway) so i think i'm going to look into a portable box computer. now i'm not too sure what i need in a mini pc since my computer that i built at home wont even fit in a regular box heh, small isnt true to my nature, so i ask you all... i need a "small" (as in will fit in my trucks back seat) with massive amounts of power. Heres what i was thinking

4 gb ram (help me out here)
mainboard (help me out here too, i know nothing of mini boards)
8800 gt (can we get sli on mini boards?)
i want 2 very fast hard drives in raid, prefurably more... but i have to think smallish...
(how many mb/s does a 2 drive raid array get with 7200rpm 32mb drives get? i want more than 100mb/s performance even if i have to get a larger box to fit more than 2 drives in it)
i want to overclock... is there a small form factor very good air hsf to take my q6600 to at least 3 ghz (considering the 2.6ghz version to get 3 ghz if i cant cool a small box enough to get 3)

basically i want the most powerful computer available in a box the size of my cell phone... is this too much to ask ??? hehe... well... as small and portable as i can get it anyway... drives are most important i think... i just cant stand the sluggishness of single drive settups... and i know dual drive raid drives really arnt much better... how many mb/s do dual raptors get? I'm almost willing to go with ssd... if i can get 2 for under 500...

The way i see it, i'm going to have to pay 3000.00 for a laptop that will do what i can do with a 1000 dollar desktop, and i actually use my laptop more than i use my desktop (about 80 % of my total pc time actually) and i dont "really" need it to be a laptop, space isnt "really" an issue, other than getting it from one place to another, so i dont mind spending a bit on it... so lets give this project a price tag of no more than 3000 including a big monitor or 2 smaller ones. Remember, power and compact size are both paramount... even though they really are opposites ;)

(edit) I realize i might be in the wrong section, but i thought it best here because of the experience people have in this section reguarding the small nature of an htpc

cdn_Madrach May 11, 2008 05:59 AM

If you are lookng for portable cases look at the silverstone sugo http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...y&promoid=1001 or the thermaltake lan box with handle not shown here but there is a version with a handle http://www.ncix.com/products/index.p...re=THERMALTAKE

sswilson May 11, 2008 07:43 AM

How do you travel when you go from place to place? If it's by airline you're still going to want a laptop.

Having transported my test bench rig by air 6 months ago I can attest to the pain in the rear end it would be if you had to do it several times a year, and I didn't even bother bringing a monitor... I just bought a cheap widescreen on the other end.

If it's by car, the biggest issue I can see is the fact that you sound like you want more than one monitor... that's going to take up a lot of space.

If you're hell bent on going the "Desktop" route.... you might want to consider one of the tech station cases as they break down easily.

Babrbarossa May 11, 2008 08:15 AM

yeah- lugging around the screen(s) can be somewhat inconvenient- but gaming laptops are just too darned expensive.

If I were going the matx route, I would go for an e8400 and only two GB of ram- they also now have a two slot 8800GT at NCIX- also go for one big hard drive rather than multiple- all of this would significantly reduce the amount of heat generated inside the small computer case. You probably don't want to have to load it with high speed 90mm fans that would make it loud.

There might be a 19" screen with just a flange on the bottom of the screen to stand it on- it would be nice to ditch the whole stand/bracket rig attached to desktop screens

cdn_Madrach May 11, 2008 08:53 AM

For carrying a lcd while protecting it CaseAce Products

sswilson May 11, 2008 09:12 AM


Originally Posted by cdn_Madrach (Post 57000)
For carrying a lcd while protecting it CaseAce Products

Good find!!

tzetsin May 11, 2008 08:40 PM

i'm just packing it in my truck, from one rigsite to another. i've got an 07 tundra extra cab, with a roll and lock tonneau cover on the box, the smallishness i'm looking for is mostly just for convinience, not so much that its a pain to pack around cause really, its just one more thing of the scads of crap i cart from one job to another. I play FSX a... lot... sooooo i'm really looking for performance equal to the computer i have at home, thats why i was thinking quad core and raid drives, both of those make the most difference with the performance of the program. the laptop i've got now does a fairly good job with fsx and i can replace it with similar performance for around 1100 bucks... but i dont want similar performance, i want mooooore lol then i can feel the extra money spent was justified. As for the noise, you can take the loudest and most obnoxios computer you ever heard in your life, and it might come close to the two defening POS computers i have to work with every day (they are so loud i have my laptop 1 foot from my face and i need to have over the ear headsets on to hear a movie play) I've been thinking of covertly upgrading them to noctua p12s... so no matter the noise this computer makes with modern fans, i wont hear it over the other two. The computer i have at home has a total of 12 fans on it and i can barely hear it in my silent house, it goes to show that modern cooling solutions should be able to cool a modestly overclocked computer fairly well with only a little extra noise.

I think that if i cant have both; small form factor and performance, i would consider getting a smallish atx case. I think the extra 6 inches of case it will make will be well offset by the enjoyment of a performance designed computer.

I thought of getting the e8400 to help with heat, but again, fsx is one of those few games that actually utilize all cores on a cpu, and the quads really out perform them in the game. especially when using photo real sceanery.

i noticed that silverstone case has 2 hd bays and 2 dvd bays, i only need one dvd drive so i could modify the other drive to put a 3rd hard drive in, i've been looking at the 150 gig raptors, they're a bit pricy but i think i'll get a tremendus boost of performance with 3 on raid 0 I could live with only 2 gigs of ram, if it'll save some case temps and the price of the gts has come down alot, so i might opt for the gts over the gt. I've already got one gts, so after getting another i could use them in sli when i'm not working :D course im going to have to get a different m board... damn intel chipsets... Im assuming sli is impossible in matx?

is case temps really going to be a huge problem? lets say if i used a stock clock Q9450, 2 x1gb high quality ram, a gts and 3 raptors on an matx board with the silverstone (or similarly designed nicely ventilated) case?
is it even worth it to go with the Q9450 over a mildly overclocked q6600? do the 45nm cores run any cooler? Is it just ambient case temps that will pose the problem? It looks like there would be enough room for a couple noctua p12s (the king of 120mm fans IMO) if i velcro them to the side of the case blowing out through those huge vent holes.

as for the monitors, i have an extra, action packer box here im planning on putting the monitors into, those things are ALOT more resiliant than you might believe, the ones we've been using have been trucked around on semi truck flat beds down bush roads and not so gently unloaded by un experienced frontend loader operators for years now with no problems at all, so i'm not so worried about transporting them in a nice foamy action packer in the box of my super smooth riding tundra ;) That monitor cover looks like a great idea though, i do think i'll be investing in a pair of those, thanks for that tip madrach!!

that tech station case looks like something i need at home lol, my computer is actually just sitting on this little stand my wife used to put my sox in... with 6 hard drives, a dual and a triple radiator in push pull config i just couldnt find a case it would comfortably fit in, the tech station case would make my setup look a little more professional hehe.

so i guess my questions are...
will case temps be a huge problem?
if i didnt mind the extra noise, can i solve the heat problem with a few p12s inside the box?
whats the best ram out there today? i'm pretty happy with my balistix, but i hear alot of good things about the redlines too..
is there much difference between the q6600 and the Q9450 (other than the extra 200mhz... what i mean is overclockability, cooler load temps, ect. i was thinking about getting it if its a better overclocker than the q6600, and putting it in my home rig, and my current q6600 in my travel rig)
can i get sli on an matx board?
what is a good matx board (needs onboard sound/lan would be nice if it had on board wireless, at least 4 sata ports, a decent raid controller (non intel), sli (?) and 50 usb ports so i dont run out anymore)
what kind of read speads should i expect with 3 raptors in raid 0? ( i dont care about redundancy, all my files are stored on external drives, only thing that will be on this computer is a stripped down copy of xp, ms office, msn messenger, foxit pdf reader, cute pdf writer, winrar and FSX.
Am i asking too much for an matx rig? should i just bite the bullet an try to find a smallish atx case?

sorry for all the googleable questions, i just really dont have the time... i just got home, i've been up for 29 hours, 10 of that driving and i'm exhasted and cant think streight. I'm hoping to go to the city tomorrow and picking up most of the parts, i've only got 2 days off and i dont know when i'll be back again, so i need to build this as fast as i can, im probly going to be somewhat limited to what the local shops carry as i unfortunatly wont be able to wait for shipping, i just hate going uninformed, i have a habit of making bad on the spot decisions :( thanks for the help in advance friends! i'm off to bed before i fall on the floor ;D

Cptn Vortex May 11, 2008 09:04 PM

Get Creative! I have built 2 machines like this now. A bit larger of a case and you can fit a 500W+ PSU and big arse GPU in it too. I am thinking of making a LAN gaming one too. http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...ess-2-0-a.html

tzetsin May 11, 2008 09:40 PM

lol damn bro, that is an awsome "case" you have there :D i need something just like that... only modded for performance...12 drive raid array... dual quads, meby a phase changer and remote controlled treads to move it around lol but seriously dude, you did an awsome very professional job on that rig, the knobs and plates look like they belong there, and the see thru plexi glass kicks! Not sure i could pull off a custom case in two days though lol

Cptn Vortex May 11, 2008 10:02 PM

If I can get the cases cut properly, it would looks a LOT better. I used a power drill and a dremel, thats all. A biiiiig mess hahaha.

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