In the past, I have seen a lot of builds targeting consoles, but none targeting handhelds. So I decided I would build something that would blow those handheld gaming devices (Nintendo 3DS, Sony PSPs) away. As in other avowed device killers, the trick would be to get superior graphics and speed at roughly comparable prices. As a coworker (who was constantly working on his personal computers during lunch) had retired and left behind several pieces of hardware that I felt I could conceivably use, I knew I could make a solid attempt at a handheld killer. Chief among the left-behind parts was an Intel motherboard. For which, mostly to assuage my conscience, I managed to press a grimy $20 bill into his sweaty palm at the retirement ceremony. But I digress. In the end, I just thought it would be a cool project that would allow me to say I have the most computerized 1986 Dodge Ram 50 in the world. And who wouldn't want to be able to say that?? I did have a couple of co-workers help me (they were intrigued by the project) so, mucho thanks to them also.
Case is a 1986 Dodge Ram 50. Roomiest case I have every worked in. Literally worked in. Used Velcro to mount the power supply and hard drives behind the seat, and the suction cups attached the motherboard to the rear glass window. Bought it for $500 back in 2010, so I feel like I can safely depreciate the cost down to $0. Still runs as smooth as a sewing machine! Case does burn a little oil now though, but for a self-powered case, I feel like that is acceptable. Case comes with two Mk-I Window Winder manually adjusted cooling fans. I give this part 5 stars baby!
Stock Intel Cooler - I had originally bought a Hyper 212 EVO to cool this beastie off with, but weight concerns and the fact that the 212 was overkill led me back to the stock cooler. Seems adequate. Adequately ugly.
Suction cups. Bought a pack of 6 suction cups from Wal-Mart. Ostensibly, they could support six pounds each, so I was careful to stay under the implied, 30lb weight limit. Still, I periodically, and carefully, press the motherboard against the glass to make sure the seals are staying tight.. so far, so good!
I use an old USB wireless stick for internet connectivity. Which obviously means I only use internet when I am stationary near a fast food franchise that has free wifi. :) I also use a 400 watt cigarette lighter power adaptor that I've had for years.
That about covers it. I've had many strange looks at stoplights, and answered quite a few questions. And a major con is it takes a driver and an operator. Still, I feel like I have succeeded in my quest to build an enjoyable, portable gaming handheld eliminator at a reasonably comparable price and performance point!
And get off my lawn.
Intel Core i5-2500 3.3GHz Quad-Core Processor - As I was examining the motherboard, I was pleasantly surprised to see it still had a processor. I took off the stock fan to see what it was, and it turned out to be this baby. The integrated graphics allowed me to save the weight of a dedicated graphics card, and were still better than Nintendo 3DS graphics.
Intel DZ68BC ATX LGA1155 Motherboard - When my coworker had this in his main gaming computer (2012) I always loved the way the flashing skull looked when he was gaming. It is a solid board and has lots of features.. perfect for what I planned to do. I had to mount it upside down to keep the cable weight from pulling the suction cups free. I also upgraded the BIOS to 0042 (a painless process) in case I decided in the future to upgrade the processor. Probably won't happen though. StarCraft Brood War plays awesome as it is!
G.Skill Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-2133 Memory - Works great. PPP gives me a warning that the memory draws slightly too much voltage, but I think the memory package had a lower value. And I should have found blue or black ram to match the motherboard, or white, to match the case!
OCZ Agility 2 40GB 2.5" Solid State Drive - A friend donated an older SSD to the project. Used the SATA II interfaces on the board, leaving the SATA III interfaces for future expansion. Blows the built-in storage space for handhelds away!
EVGA GeForce GT 740 1GB FTW Video Card - Another free part. Ended up not using this because of weight concerns. But have it available for future upgrades. If I get better suction cups.
Thermaltake Litepower 350W 80+ Certified ATX Power Supply - Got it off Newegg for about $45 USD. Does not have the 6 pin connector, so doubt if I could have used the above card anyway. Solid power supply.
Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit - Had to have an OS.. it is what it is. Got it from Best Buy, so I could get the points on my card!
Sunfounder 7" HD 1024*600 TFT LCD Screen Display HDMI Monitor for Raspberry Pi 3, 2 and RPi 1 Model B B+ - Good as long as you are playing in twilight or dusk. But the glare from any amount of sun makes it almost unusable. And the 7" screen makes stopping those Zerg rushes with Terran marines an exercise punctuated by the more esoteric curses in my vocabulary. This will be the first upgrade if I can figure out a way to mount a 10" glare-resistant screen on the dash