Lightweight LAN box for efficiency build, advice needed

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
Hello, some friends and I plan on holding LAN parties for basic games like Overwatch, Stardew Valley, etc.

I already have an mITX rig with 4690K, ROG Z87 Impact, GTX 980 Kingpin, and NZXT H200 windowed (glass). It's extremely heavy to carry around. The goal is to go lightweight and portable, while still packing a punch for gaming.

Here are the specs I've come up with so far. The budget for this build is $500.

- i5-7600K (no OC; running stock speeds)
- DDR4 2400 1.2V low profile
- GTX 1060 ITX
- H170/270 ITX Mobo with low power consumption and m.2 slot
- M.2 SSD
- Low profile CPU cooler
- DC-ATX power board with lightweight Dell 180W AC adapter
- Minimalist case with full height ITX GPU support, eg S4 Mini, Velka 3, or Logic Supply MC600


I've sketched out the basics, but having trouble finalizing the specifics. I need advice on what parts exactly (make/model) would be ideal for this build.

Questions:

- 2400 speed RAM that pairs best with the 7600k?

- Motherboard which uses the least power and doesn't have unneeded features?

- Lightweight cooler?

- DC-ATX power board suitable for a 7600K/GTX 1060 combo?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
 
Last edited:

ermac318

King of Cable Management
Mar 10, 2019
652
505
Is this a bunch of stuff you've already bought? None of these parts really make sense in 2019, you have much better options. Specifically unless you get lucky on the second hand market, older Intel motherboards can be pricey. Also I doubt a 1060 + 7600 would be happy with a 180W adapter.

Something like a Silverstone SG13 (very cheap and light case) plus some basic parts would probably be your best bet. There are tons of SG13 builds around, and lots of possible mods you can do. You can even start with an AMD 3400G as your CPU+GPU and then upgrade the CPU later if you like. All AMD Boxes CPUs except the Ryzen 9s come with CPU coolers in the box, as well.

EDIT: See this build for example.
 
Last edited:

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
Is this a bunch of stuff you've already bought? None of these parts really make sense in 2019, you have much better options. Specifically unless you get lucky on the second hand market, older Intel motherboards can be pricey. Also I doubt a 1060 + 7600 would be happy with a 180W adapter.

Something like a Silverstone SG13 (very cheap and light case) plus some basic parts would probably be your best bet. There are tons of SG13 builds around, and lots of possible mods you can do. You can even start with an AMD 3400G as your CPU+GPU and then upgrade the CPU later if you like. All AMD Boxes CPUs except the Ryzen 9s come with CPU coolers in the box, as well.

EDIT: See this build for example.

Yeah, the Vega 11 isn't powerful enough for what I need. If I went with integrated graphics that would result in an almost 75% framerate loss in Overwatch at 1080P on Ultra settings. Also 60% less in a game like Fallout 76.


So I'm playing basic games but want high framerates and Ultra settings at 1080p. I also want the possibility of upgrading to a 1070 in the future. That's the goal for a LAN box. Integrated graphics don't cut it.

The SG13 is a case that's a bit bulky and hard to carry around in one hand or in a bag/backpack. That's why I want a case with DC-ATX board and external brick.

I do wonder if the 180W AC adapter will cut it. The 7600K is 91W TDP, and the 1060 is 120W TDP which exceeds the wattage of the adapter by a good margin. But TDP isn't equal to power draw. I'm looking at a review on Anandtech, and the number I see is 60W power draw for the 7600K. I can't find the individual power draw for the GTX 1060, all I can find are full system power draws.

It does seem close to the edge with the 180W adapter. But I don't want to write it off without first hand experience.
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,377
1,220
The cheapest of the cases you listed, Logic Supply MC600, is already around $100.

I'm not sure how many parts you already own, but $400 for the rest is a bit.. insufficient.
 

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
Look man, you said your budget was $500. Unless you already own half those parts I dunno what you expect to get at that price bracket.

I purchase on eBay and used markets like Craigslist and Hardwareswap. The budget is fine for all the parts with one exception: the S4 Mini. That might require spending more than $500, but everything else is OK.

I'm actually hoping for feedback on the questions I asked in the original post.
 

ignsvn

By Toutatis!
Moderator
Apr 4, 2016
1,377
1,220
Right.. on the questions:

- 2400 speed RAM that pairs best with the 7600k?
Not really familiar with RAM speed, but in general, unless you're doing benchmark or some critical work, don't worry to much on RAM speed.

- Motherboard which uses the least power and doesn't have unneeded features?
Motherboards use very small power compared to the processor. Again, don't think too much about it. If you want to bring down the power, bring the CPU down. Example, instead of 7600K (91W TDP if I recall correctly), you can use 7600 (65W) or 7600T (35W).

- Lightweight cooler?
Depending on your ambient temperature, up to 65W you can still use Noctua NH-L9i, Cryorig C7. Depending on the available height you can go up to Noctua NH-L9x65 or Black Ridge.

- DC-ATX power board suitable for a 7600K/GTX 1060 combo?
I'm not too familiar with DC-ATX, but you'll need least 91W + 120W + other stuffs = I guess around 250W at minimum? Maybe other knowledgeable forum members can help.
 
  • Like
Reactions: janas19

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
Right.. on the questions:

- 2400 speed RAM that pairs best with the 7600k?
Not really familiar with RAM speed, but in general, unless you're doing benchmark or some critical work, don't worry to much on RAM speed.

- Motherboard which uses the least power and doesn't have unneeded features?
Motherboards use very small power compared to the processor. Again, don't think too much about it. If you want to bring down the power, bring the CPU down. Example, instead of 7600K (91W TDP if I recall correctly), you can use 7600 (65W) or 7600T (35W).

- Lightweight cooler?
Depending on your ambient temperature, up to 65W you can still use Noctua NH-L9i, Cryorig C7. Depending on the available height you can go up to Noctua NH-L9x65 or Black Ridge.

- DC-ATX power board suitable for a 7600K/GTX 1060 combo?
I'm not too familiar with DC-ATX, but you'll need least 91W + 120W + other stuffs = I guess around 250W at minimum? Maybe other knowledgeable forum members can help.


Thank you for the feedback. I keep trying to find a way to save power on RAM or motherboard, but all I found is that DDR4 is already so efficient that there's very little difference between ICs used. For example, I looked at Crucial, Corsair, G.Skill, and HyperX reviews. Other than price and 2 CAS timing, they all appear very similar with minor differences. I did find that 16GB of DDR4 uses 4-5W, and 8GB of DDR4 uses 2-3W. Given that I will use the LAN box exclusively for gaming only, is it not a good idea to get 8GB and save 2W?

I think what I'm realizing is that if I want to meet my goal of "power efficiency" for this build, I may have to adjust my expectations severely. I don't want to give up the 7600K for the 7600, but if I keep the 7600K I might have to use a 220W brick.
 

ermac318

King of Cable Management
Mar 10, 2019
652
505
Thank you for the feedback. I keep trying to find a way to save power on RAM or motherboard, but all I found is that DDR4 is already so efficient that there's very little difference between ICs used. For example, I looked at Crucial, Corsair, G.Skill, and HyperX reviews. Other than price and 2 CAS timing, they all appear very similar with minor differences. I did find that 16GB of DDR4 uses 4-5W, and 8GB of DDR4 uses 2-3W. Given that I will use the LAN box exclusively for gaming only, is it not a good idea to get 8GB and save 2W?

I think what I'm realizing is that if I want to meet my goal of "power efficiency" for this build, I may have to adjust my expectations severely. I don't want to give up the 7600K for the 7600, but if I keep the 7600K I might have to use a 220W brick.
Why the 7th gen CPUs? If you're really interested in power efficiency, buy a cheaper b450 motherboard and a Ryzen 3600. The 3600 will have a lower TDP and better performance.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ignsvn and Kilrah

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
Why the 7th gen CPUs? If you're really interested in power efficiency, buy a cheaper b450 motherboard and a Ryzen 3600. The 3600 will have a lower TDP and better performance.

Both a Ryzen 5 3600 and i5-7600 non-K have 65W TDP. So going off that number, they are the same power wise. It's hard to say which one uses less power for gaming. I would think it would be the 4 core/4 thread and not the 6 core/12 thread, but I could be wrong.
 

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
So I'm searching for deals on a 2nd-hand case/PSU here in the USA, and I've found a number of intriguing possibilities.

One seller has a Taobao K37 and Chinese non-branded Flex ATX 500W PSU for $110. However, I declined to purchase this because my feeling is that Chinese non-branded PSUs cannot be fully trusted. The label may say 500W, but you have no idea where they came up with that figure.

I'm thinking that I would trust that PSU to run a 65W CPU + 120W GPU, but I wouldn't run anything more than that. Plus I just don't have complete confidence in non-branded power supplies. So I passed that over.
 

janas19

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Original poster
Feb 9, 2016
109
39
One interesting thing I did find is this spreadsheet:


It has a chart of "real world power draw" for a list of components. Supposedly if you undervolt a GTX 1060 so it's at 90% performance of stock, that saves 20W of power draw.

Now I have a few questions about this. For one, does this also apply to AIB cards with a factory overclock? And two, how easy is it to undervolt a GPU, has anyone done this?
 

Kilrah

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Feb 20, 2017
128
112
Both a Ryzen 5 3600 and i5-7600 non-K have 65W TDP. So going off that number, they are the same power wise. It's hard to say which one uses less power for gaming.
Intel and AMD specify their TDPs very differently, Intel's one is kinda useless. Typically Ryzen 3xxx generate less heat at same load than their intel counterparts.