Custom build gaming PC in small form factor

AndyFoster

Estimable
Dec 28, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
I'm kicking around for any ideas to stuff a pc/laptop motherboard etc into a small form factor of no more than 8.5" (21cm) x 9" (23cm) and between 1.5" ~ 2" (3.5~5cm) high.

On one end, outside of the enclosure, I plan to have a bank of 40mm fans, supplement a cpu fan or even liquid cooling

The PSU, HDD/SSD and any other stuff being external, just as long as the mobo, CPU, integrated graphics (or compact graphic card as found in some laptops), RAM and wifi fits inside the dimensions given.

Doesn't have to be a screaming gamer pc, just good enough for League of Legends and some of the other popular multi-player online games.

Wonder if a m-atx or m-itx will do the trick or if I'd be better off scavenging a 12~14" laptop?

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

TIA
AndyFoster
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Measure the motherboard and clearance for a CPU heatsink. If it will fit in the box you want it to fit, and you will be sticking everything else outside the box, it will work. Laptop would be too much work as they have too many custom connectors and non-standard shapes, often larger than a small desktop motherboard.
 

AndyFoster

Estimable
Dec 28, 2014
3
0
4,510
0

Thanks for replying. That's what I was thinking, but the key problem I would have is the graphics card. I can't fit the 1/2 size, let alone the full size card in the slot within the box.

So either I need a PC Mobo that has a decent integrated graphics/video, or are there alternatives to the usual slot cards?

I haven't built a PC since early to mid 2000s. Back then I built a hot intel mid-tower system with 4 GB RAM, Nvida graphics and I forget what all; and also built a compact mini that had room for just 1 HDD and DVD. That one, I remember using a half-size graphics card etc.

Both were fun projects, but nearly a decade later, I'm clueless as to what's out there these days.

That's why was was wondering if there were decent 12-14" laptops that had good graphics and HDMI port, since I would be plugging the box into a flat screen TV. If no specifics, at least I need to be pointed in the right direction with regards to key features to look for.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
The A series APU chips from AMD are OK for low end gaming if you get the A8 or A10, although I don't know how small of a motherboard you can get for those.

As I said, laptop motherbords will not work in a box like you want, they are very often oddly shaped and require special connectors.

Don't know why you'd want to do this anyway, having everything outside of the box like the fans, power supply and hard drive just makes it impossible to transport well and increases chances of damaging something. Just get a media PC case or a micro ATX case.
 

AndyFoster

Estimable
Dec 28, 2014
3
0
4,510
0
@ hang-the-9
Thanks for responding. I understand your points, but what I want to know/do is purely for kicks - to cram a system into a static display model set on a diorama base. Just because...

I ask about laptops in case someone might know of a laptop mobo that fits my parameters, which would simplfy matters for me, if not, then are there good m-atx/m-itx mobos with a good integrated graphics and including wifi?

I may not have been clear earlier, but the enclosure I refer to is for the mobo and whatever else I can cram in there. I have room for a set of 40 mm fans to move air around in there (5 ~ 6 ea) I don't see them as actually cooling the system, so much as moving air. A 2.5" SSD, will also fit that into the model.

The only essentials going external would be the PSU, water cooling lines and HDMI/AV cable which would connect to the model thru a couple of "Ground Support" lines. These GS lines would include a USB cable so that extras like DVD, 2nd HDD (although I have a network storage system) can be plugged into a 4 ~ 6 USB hub (for keyboard/mouse, joystick). All of these would be mounted into the diorama base
 
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