Transporting a desktop between houses


Laptop or desktop?

  1. Laptop. Mobility is key.

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  2. Desktop. Run the games better.

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%

Last Updated:

  1. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Not sure if this should be a Lounge or Computers & IT post, but someone can move it if I'm wrong.

    It's upgrade time, and I really don't want another laptop. I wanna go desktop, seeing as I can pretty much double (maybe even triple) the performance for the same price. Trouble is, my parents are divorced, so I'd have to cart it back and forth between my mom and dad's house every week. Obviously, here it would make sense to get a laptop.

    Anyone have any experience with moving a desktop in a car? I'll be willing to unplug everything and set it all up again, but not if I'll have to be taking out the heat sink and video card before every trip (it's a 10 minute drive). I've heard horror stories of heat sinks snapping the mobo and video cards getting screwed up but then I've also heard people say it's fine.

    Here's how I break it down.

    [​IMG]

    ** I'm willing to go through the hassle of unplugging and re-setting up every week but not if I have to take out the HDD, video card, heat sink, etc.


    Apologies for the long-winded post, but my mind is really split. Any votes?
     

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  2. Kelmar

    Kelmar Done by choice VIP Member

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    I've moved cross country and across town with desktop computers without a problem. You WILL get sick of hooking it all back up and hauling it (even though it takes only a few minutes).

    My vote is for the laptop.


    What do you want to use it for?
     
  3. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm a fairly decent gamer, and I'd like to move towards the more impressive graphics of the games my current laptop can't even handle at minimum settings (FSX, COD, etc.) I've configured a couple decent laptops for about $1500 but I'd rather jack up a desktop and have it "future-proof" for when programs and games become more and more dependent on stronger, more powerful systems.
     
  4. Pryomancer

    Pryomancer Well-Known Member

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    Althougn they're expensive, you can get laptops that are pretty much designed to be used as desktops. They generally have large screens with big hard drives and good processing power for intensive games, usually marketed as 'media laptops'. They're big, heavy and bulky and wouldn't last 5 minutes on the battery, but then again if you had a proper desktop you wouldn't have to deal with that anyway. These laptops have been able to play games like Crysis at a decent setting for a while.
    If you can afford one I'd say go with that. You can get refurbished ones for cheaper, or you can get an independant computer store to build you one for a small fee plus parts, which is cheaper than buying it from a big place like PC World where they rip you off and fill your pc with crapware.

    Usually I'd choose desktop everytime but considering yout situation I'd say a laptop is the better choice.
     
  5. saps

    saps Well-Known Member

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    Yeah for what you will pay for a gaming laptop you can certainly build and maybe even buy 2 gaming desktop PC's. Mobility has its benefits but if you are as serious as it seems you need the desktop platform.
    It sounds like you are teenager and Im not sure what you or your parents finances are like. But if you can get any assistance from there/convince them to upgrade their own system that would be a help of course. That way you never have to move anything and they get the benefit of an upgraded rig too.
    Seriously, I havent priced anything at newegg in months. But built myself an i7 rig in February for like $600-700: i7 920, 6gb ram, 500gb HDD, 5770 [mid range at the time], plus all the other stuff. It still handles anything I throw at it seven months later. My only change was adding a second 500gb hard drive [external]. Monitor is 1680x1050 so the 5770 was a fair compromise. If you have a 1920 monitor might wanna look higher up the food chain. I didnt need a new monitor and any time you can recycle old parts like optical drives or even hard drives that should be done too
     
  6. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    http://www.cyberpowerpc.com/saved/1CP932

    This is the laptop configuration I had in mind. I'm pretty sure, too that with a 5870 (somebody correct me if I'm wrong, please) I'll be able to get fluid frame rates out of games like Modern Warfare 2, Need for Speed, and even Crysis (maybe?).

    The part that's hitting me in the gut is that a similarly-priced desktop will be about 2+ times faster. I just want to make sure I'm not missing an opportunity to jack up a desktop like I've always dreamed of doing.
     
  7. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Correct.

    I thought about getting 2 desktops, but then realized that to stay within my budget I'd have to spec each of them around the same (maybe lower) as one laptop. Out of the question.


    No other desktops (just 3 lappys and a netbook) in the family, so can't really upgrade theirs.






    Assuming I went with the desktop (which I'm leaning about 75/25 towards at the moment), does anyone know anything about transportation? As weird as it sounds, I had a dream that my suitcase was built for moving a desktop (it had the styrofoam shaped to the tower and all), so I just plopped it in there and wheeled it around. Does anything like that actually exist?
     
  8. saps

    saps Well-Known Member

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    Yes. You want whats called a lan party bag. There are countless ones out there usually for around $20. There are "pocket" for cords, keyboard, mouse, etc. You will still have to carry the monitor and if you have some kinda 5.1 set up thats another issue. But the tower and most of the accessories go in the "bags". You concern about a huge HSF is a legitimate one as you certainly dont wanna have that dislodge. However, everything else should be ok and frankly most decently built systems have the bolt on HSF and so you should be fine. Just be a bit careful.
    Below are some examples:
    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    That's exactly what I had in mind. My googling for "suitcase desktop transporter" and "suitcase computer case" was turning up nil :). Obviously I wouldn't be tossing it in the trunk and letting it bounce around - I might even squish it up against the side with pillows or something or strap it into a seat next to me.


    Now the only thing left to do is ok this with my dad, who firmly believes that, and I quote, "the pieces and cords will break from my hands touching it all the time". Lol.
     
  10. saps

    saps Well-Known Member

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    Good luck with dad
     
  11. SoulTerror

    SoulTerror Well-Known Member

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    I've moved desktops plenty of times. Use to work for local school district and we had to take computers from schools to our Admin building. Never once had a problem.
     
  12. mikeymop

    mikeymop Well-Known Member

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    Don't build a full tower, you can get prebuilt barebone computers. Some of the cases fit the Radeon 5970, so you can squeeze any GPU in there. Get an AM3 or LGA1137(i think) socket motherboard and enjoy powerful computers for cheap.
     
  13. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I'm not too good with the bare bones of hardware, though, so I'm not really confident in my ability to pick out compatible parts even if would be much cheaper. I'd rather pay a company who does it for a living to do it....
     
  14. saps

    saps Well-Known Member

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    If you are in this forum you probably have a bit of tech savvy. Cruise over to a place like HardOCP and lurk for awhile. It will pay off long term to learn how to build your own rig. A $1000 desktop usually is about $500-600 in parts from a place like newegg. Just saying be open minded to learning, it will say you money as well as giving you the sense of satisfaction of doing it yourself. [Probably a similar reason to why you have an Android phone ;)]
     
  15. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Honestly it's just the motherboard that scares me. I guess you could say I'm pretty tech savvy, so yeah, I know what I'm doing for the most part. Just something about motherboards - maybe that they're the center of everything and they don't really have "specs" so to speak or the specs are so foreign to me. I've always wanted to try building my own rig and save myself a lot of money.
     
  16. saps

    saps Well-Known Member

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    Cruise on over and have a peek
     
  17. PGP_Protector

    PGP_Protector Well-Known Member

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    I don't move it much, but you can also look at the Shuttle Cases, Desktop Power, Portability & Smaller.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Isthmus

    Isthmus Well-Known Member

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    I'd go with this last recommendation by pgp-protector. Here are some instructions on how to build one:

    Smallest gaming desktop build - Power-Supplies-PC-Cases-Case-Mods - CPU-Components

    That said, divorced parents tend to fall into the trap of trying to out-do each other and overindulge kids. maybe you can talk them into hooking you up with a high end gaming laptop. Then all you need is a free standing large screen in the house you spend the least time in (or one in each), and simply make the laptop output to the large screen. In this way, it is easier, safer and you get your portable gaming environment. on the downside it is more expensive. You can do the same thing by building your own tiny gaming desktop. I've seen them as small as lunch boxes. however, as was said above, you're not going to want to be traveling with all the peripherals, so having them at either house is key. I can really see this becoming a major pain in the rear though.
     
  19. batgeek

    batgeek Banned

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  20. Mistiq

    Mistiq Well-Known Member

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    I'm late to the party but I may as well throw my .02 in, I would say get the desktop,
    More power
    Easier to future proof
    Probably bigger screen
    Cheaper

    Only issue is carrying it around but I unhook and rehook computers up all the time (unfortunately) it's a pain but it only takes a few minutes to be good to go especially if you're utilizing that lan party bag somebody listed above.

    As far as paying somebody to do it...., Like they said, if you're on here you're probably savvy enough to do the work yourself. I'm a software guy by choice but even I can install hard drives, ram, DVVD players with barely any struggle. Motherboards processors and GPU's shouldn't be much harder plus you have things like Youtube and many many sites, that break things down for you.

    What I like to do when I'm speculating on a computer build is put a list together, then go to Tomshardware (the forums) and have them review it once I tell them my goals and they're pretty good at answering questions.

    It's pretty late and I'm feeling lethargic but I'll probably come back to this post (if I remember) so that I can clean it up and add helpful links) but if I forget good luck.
     
  21. mplevy

    mplevy Well-Known Member

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    You seem to have gotten decent advice on everything else. I'll add one thing on moving the system from one place to the other. As long as it's laying flat with the HSF vertical and the MB on the "bottom" when you're driving you shouldn't worry TOO much about the HSF dislodging. This will reduce the amount of leverage on the mount for the HSF.
     
  22. Mayhem

    Mayhem Well-Known Member Contributor

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    You shouldn't have to do this. I've never had any problems transporting mine around. If this does happen, then you need to look and make sure all of the necessary screws are holding the components in.

    If you don't have a LCD, put the monitor in the front seat and buckle it in with the screen facing the back of the seat. Put the case on the floor in front of the monitor and move the seat as far forward as it will go without crushing the case. Get a dufflebag big enough for the keyboard, mouse, etc and just toss them in there.

    If you do have a LCD, you can put this in the floor as well, between the seat and the case. Face the screen towards the case. As a precaution I would suggest putting a towel over the front of the monitor to prevent any scratches.

    If you're looking for cases, etc. then check out Newegg.com. They're a great place to shop, but their RMA department (at least for me) sucks.
     
  23. mikedt

    mikedt 你好 Guide

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    As I don't play FPS games, a laptop suits me just fine. Plus one cant really take a desktop as airline carryon luggage, well except the above mentioned Shuttle cube with built in monitor.
     
  24. nickf77

    nickf77 Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    I think I'll look into it. I'm 99% sure I'm going desktop right now, so now the question is whether to go parts-wise or fully assembled. Fear of the unknown is killer right now, and it's scaring me away from attempting to build one from scratch :eek:
     
  25. saps

    saps Well-Known Member

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    Don't be scared. It seems like the collective here is experience enough to walk you thru it. If not serious cruise over to [H] there are dozens of guys more than willing to help you pick the parts and then help you out when its build time. It really is not as bad as it seems once you do it you will look back and realize the anxiety was more than the reality
     

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