Description

I travel a lot for work and love gaming. Got tired of burning out gaming laptops from long sessions, so decided to build this SFF gaming PC to bring with me on my travels. The rig had to be completely air cooled since I'll be transporting it on planes, and still be a reasonable travel size.

I chose the Core 500 case because it was big enough to fit a full size GPU, and accommodate the larger CPU cooler needed plus multiple case fans. And the Core 500 was still small enough to fit inside the carry-on size Pelican case (BA22 Elite), but it just barely fits! The case was a great choice. I was able to fit everything and route the wires in such a way to provide a large open airway central to the case without too much trouble. The only downside is the case is on the heavier side and so the entire build inside the Pelican case weighs 30lbs exactly.

My only complaints about the Core 500 (aside from the weight) was that the mounting for the PSU was not great, and the build quality of some of the case screws and the slots they screw into is poor. I had to mount the PSU upside down to be able to connect the extender cable (right side up the front panel of the case conflicted with the extender cable). This worked out better in the end for airflow though. A lot of the screws for the case cross thread very easily, especially the 4 on the back to hold the lid in place.

The Noisy Boi title comes from the 3 Noctua case fans. At higher loads these guys get LOUD, but the air flow is amazing! I set up fan curves for each that would keep the load low and ramps up quickly from 50C to 75C. At <40% load the fans are hardily audible with the case closed up.

It took me a little bit to get used to the mobo bios software (first time using ASUS ROG mobo), but once I did I loved it! It was so easy to calibrate and set up fan curves, and just had to enable the XMP profile to automatically set the RAM speed to 3000MHz. I haven't tried to OC the CPU/GPU yet, namely because this rig will be connecting to hotel TVs (at best they are only 1080P, 60Hz, a bottleneck to the 1080ti on base clock), but the software looks easy enough to navigate for this.

All of the benchmarks were ran in a room temp of 84F. I did a 2.5 hour gaming session in the 84F room with the case closed up and temps of CPU/GPU/mobo PCH hit a max of 56C.

I haven't traveled with this yet, so still gotta see how that will go over with TSA and the airline and everything, but hoping everything goes smoothly.

Log in to rate comments or to post a comment.

Comments

  • 20 months ago
  • 5 points

This would be the end result of pack a punching a laptop.

+1

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Yeah this is like the "gaming laptop (portable desktop)". Way more performance than equally priced laptops, and at least this way if the GPU melts, I can just replace that instead of the whole laptop lol!

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

No one likes integrated! Learned that the hard way lol. Great build, hope it goes above and beyond for you.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

This is fantastic. Nice to see small form factor Fractal cases. I agree with Lemming this is a lot of power in a small amount of space and its fantastic. +1

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Amazing +1

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Wow nice looking rig good job my dude

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Having built a similar air-cooled set-up - I am particularly intrigued by your carry-case set-up as I may wish to similarly carry my build in-flight at some point.

I suspect, however, that airport security may wish to view the pcs' internals - such a heavy, single, solid case reasonably alerting their suspicions . . . refitting the Core 500 case cover in a hectic airport sounds stressful - it being a painfully tight fit at the best of times as I'm sure you'll recognise.

I await with wishful optimism and a modicom of trepidation - how you get on.

I suspect with my own build - I may first remove the heavy D-15S cooler assembly and certainly the HDD - as damaging shocks to these would be pretty disastrous.

Whilst your carry-case dimensions appear to be within what's permitted by most airlines - the weight may not - & airline staff could demand it be transported in the aircraft hold - putting it at bigger risk of notoriously heavy-handed luggage handlers.

Good luck Noisy boi - I sincerely have your back and am avidly watching your space . . .

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

I actually took the Noisy Boi out on it's maiden voyage just 3 days ago! But it wasn't a good benchmark of a test for the travel as it was just a short flight within the U.S. and I had TSA pre-check going through the airport.

Here is a brief summary response:

Security was not an issue this time because of pre-check, no need to remove the PC from the pelican case. Case fit inside the carry-on sizer and airline did not have weight restrictions, so it went in the overhead and not check-in. Upon arrival to the hotel, setup PC and it worked like a charm.

The full details:

Getting through security at the airport was a breeze. I just sent the pelican case with the PC inside through the x-ray and TSA didn't even question it (nor make me take it out of the case). This was likely because of going through pre-check, so the true test will be when traveling in another country that does not honor pre-check. As you mentioned the lid of the Core 500 is a real pain to remove and install. I would hate to deal with that while in the security line! If that becomes a frequent issue I may look to switch the build to another case. Or possibly just travel without the lid....

I flew Alaska air and they were actually enforcing people to check the size of their carry-on before boarding as they just started utilizing a new (and likely smaller) carry-on size restriction. Thankfully the case just perfectly fit the sizer and there was enough overheard space so I did not have to check in the case. I need to avoid the short flights with the smaller planes (such as turbo-props) because the case will not fit in the overhead on those models.

Alaska did not bother to check the weight of my carry-on. Like you mentioned many airlines have weight restrictions for carry-on, and I already know from my travels that some foreign countries I frequent to do restrict the weight to 15lbs (the PC and case totals 30lbs...). Of course they only ask to weigh the carry-on if they suspect it to be heavy, so maybe I could sneak it past them. Otherwise I will try to see if I can pay extra to still bring it on as carry-on. If not, that is why I got the Pelican case because of the durability and hopefully that will be enough to protect it from the abuse of luggage handlers.

As additional measures for if I ever have to check-in the PC, I plan to remove the traditional HDD and bring that with me in my carry-on. This drive is easily accessible and I use it solely as a backup drive. The 2 SSDs are mounted directly on the mobo and would require removing the CPU cooler to access, so I just leave those in place (plus they just have programs installed on them which can be recovered easily if something happens to the drives). I also have insurance coverage for all the components so if the PC is damaged or stolen I can get the components replaced free of charge. I have a lot of the foam leftover from the pelican case which I intend to use to help mitigate the shock from transport. So when I travel internationally I will stuff that extra foam inside the case around the CPU cooler and under the GPU to help protect it from shock.

I'm also concerned about the mobo because I noticed there is a slight bend in it near the edge of the PCI port for the GPU (likely buckling a bit under the 2lbs of the GPU (yes it really is that heavy!)). This bend is evident in the picture I posted that is a close up of the mobo where the GPU is installed. So I will be putting foam under the end of the GPU hanging off the mobo and something under the mobo to brace it during travel.

My first international trip (the true test) will be in roughly 2 months from now. I will make sure to update this post with my experiences from that.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks for your detailed response - I eagerly look forward to following your future experiences and wish you continual success with your travels. From my own prior experiences I've tended to find that if you can be seen to be able to lug your case in a natural manner and with the appearance of ease e.g. as a two-arm shoulder bag then there's generally no alarm for intervention irrespective of the weight being carried - however, one has to mindful and reasonable in relation to whether the load might constitute a danger to fellow occupants.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

So I just got to put the PC through its second travel trial, this time internationally to Korea. Unfortunately due to the weight of the system being double the limit restriction for carry-on luggage I had to check-in the PC. I tried to get the airline to let me pay extra to bring it carry-on, but because it is a safety issue I was not allowed to do that.

The good news is that when I picked up the PC from luggage return the pelican case was still in perfect condition and the computer worked and no signs of damage to the computer. I still have to return home from this trip, but so far so good.

Also, the airport I flew out of did not support TSA pre-check so I had to go through security the normal way, but I did not have to remove the PC from the pelican case. I just put the case through the x-ray with the lid closed and there was no questions or issues from security.

And so far I haven't had any issue with running the computer on the 220V power in Korea. I was worried if components would overheat or get fried because of the higher voltage, but everything is good.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

Pleased to hear and wishing you a successful trip and equally safe and effective return

  • 18 months ago
  • 2 points

Thanks! I've returned home now and the PC survived another trip through checked luggage lol! I did notice one issue that I'll have to address though. The heatpipes of the CPU cooler that go up and into the radiator had bent upward causing the radiator to shift in an upward angle away from the CPU. My guess is because I had to bend the heatpipes a little bit during installation so that they were not pressing against the RAM this caused them to be more susceptible to bending from shock. And likely the shock from the case being thrown around in checked luggage caused the heatpipes to bend.

The good thing is there is no damage to the CPU cooler, I was able to bend the radiator back to the horizontal position it's supposed to be in, and this did not have any impact of the contact point of the cooler to the CPU. There was no need to reapply thermal paste.

I have left over foam from the pelican case, so what I'll like do is put a chunk of it on top of the CPU cooler when traveling to help prevent it from bending again.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

How did you get that foam in that case of yours? That's a pretty sick rig there, man. Probably great for what you're using it for.

  • 20 months ago
  • 3 points

So this is the Pelican case I got: https://www.thepelicanstore.com/cases/luggage/pelican-ba22-elite-carry-on-luggage?gclid=Cj0KCQjwjN7YBRCOARIsAFCb934GJZfeLqR54C_4cStZNlJL6YvsgM7pbiypZUFdPI4NEQnK87YnQzQaAim3EALw_wcB

And unfortunately it does not come with the pluck and pull foam inside, so I bought a replacement foam set from a similarly sized Pelican case (the 1510 carry-on case): https://www.amazon.com/Pelican-Products-1510-400-000-1511-Replacement/dp/B0014D2WFI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1528319908&sr=8-1&keywords=pelican+1510+replacement+foam

After that it was just a matter of customizing the foam as needed to fit the case. I had to cut the strips of the foam along the sides of the case and shorten them because the inside spacing of the pelican case I got is slightly smaller than the case the foam is intended for.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Ah, okay. That's pretty cool.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Umm, your room temperature is 84F?

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah.... my wife gets cold easily, so she is usually running the heater in our apartment lol! Was a great environment for a stress test!

  • 20 months ago
  • 0 points

Lmao, I guess so.

  • 20 months ago
  • 1 point

i'm not a fan of ITX but if i could do something like this, why not, still better then Xbone

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

Haha, yeah, but the case I picked made this thing a lot bigger than the Xbone. I specifically chose this mini-ITX mobo because it can support 2 M.2 SSDs, but the tiny size does limit other features (like only 2 RAM slots) and components on the board like the PCH can get hot because of the cramped space.

  • 20 months ago
  • 2 points

yeah the heat is always gonna be a problem, but I don't really mind how large it is, if I can pick it up and carry it around without breaking my back its good enough for me lol

  • 19 months ago
  • 1 point

Need to get myself a pelican case now.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

The case with the PC in-tow has made one round-trip on a plane without any mishap. Granted I was able to keep it with me and put it in the overhead, so no abuse from luggage handlers at the airport yet lol!

  • 19 months ago
  • 3 points

I found the pelican case on eBay for an okay price. I have the same PC case, so I looked up other people's builds with the same case for reference. I like what I'm seeing so far.

  • 19 months ago
  • 2 points

Nice! I didn't post a picture of it in this build, but the pelican case comes with a hard plastic layer and then a foam layer on the lid and bottom inside the case. I had to remove these 2 layers from the lid and use the thinner foam from the foam set I bought for the lid. This was required to get the PC to fit inside the pelican case (also, I have to remove the feet from the bottom of the PC case). With those done, the PC case just barely fits inside the pelican case.

I also just brought the PC with me to Korea on a business trip and unfortunately because of the weight of the whole rig (30lbs, 15kg) it was too heavy to be allowed in the overhead bin on my flight and I had to put it in checked baggage. Fortunately it made ti through the flight without any issue.

I saw your build with the core 500, looks really good! I gotta try to run the AIDA 64 and OCCT to see what temps I get because I was really surprised with the higher CPU temps you got. Even with several hours of gaming (over 5 hours straight) on Witcher 3, MGS 5, or Sea of Thieves at 4k rez and max settings, I'm still seeing a max GPU temp of only 69C, CPU temp of 58C, and mobo temp of 62C. I think my most CPU intensive game is CIV 6 and even running that for several hours the CPU temp only peaks at 60C.

  • 19 months ago
  • 3 points

AIDA and the other tests go beyond what a video game in max settings will do. I get 69C max in games, even in the middle of summer here. So you're prob good :)

  • 18 months ago
  • 3 points

Yeah, I ran AIDA and the max temps I was seeing was 72C. I'm thinking I have some headway to safely try OCing the GPU and CPU a little bit.

  • 15 months ago
  • 1 point

Are your fans all exhausting?

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

The back fan is intake, the 2 top fans are exhausting, and the 1 fan under the CPU heatsink is blowing upward away from the CPU.

[comment deleted]
  • 13 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks for being so thorough. Your notes and pictures helped a lot with choosing parts and build.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Thanks, glad I could be of help!

[comment deleted]
  • 20 months ago
  • 7 points

I wish I could upvote this more than once.