In Win Chopin cheap portable theater gamey box

Dogsofjune

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Usually I assemble PC's in a mid tower, or a full height tower. Most of the mobo's I purchase are full atx, or eatx.
I need room usually for water cooling or lots of storage. The last few years though, I have been condensing system sizes.
With NVME's and feature rich mini itx solutions it's become a bit easier to have mobile performance.

I hate laptop shopping, the price vs performance value is difficult at times, but creating a decent PC that you can travel with can be had for far cheaper. You all know this.

I knew I was going to be out of town, and in the central states, the best entertainment you may find is news on pork bellies, covid, or Trump.
I'm sick to death of most of that..... I do appreciate bacon tho, but I digress.

So I ran down to the local Microcenter in KC and picked up a few items. The center of this little entertainment box is the Gigabyte B450 I Aorus Pro WiFi.
The biggest reason for this choice was the cheapness of a B450 board and, if using an APU, you can set the graphics memory up pretty high, which inspired me to go with 32 gig of ram. Plenty to go around for all.
Which brings me to the first time I have ever bought a RAM brand I wasn't familiar with. For $120 bucks, I came away with 2x16 sticks of PC3200 from Neo Forza.
It worked right out of the gate too. Which was good, because this system was assembled in a very short amount of time before I had to be on the road.
The brains of this cheapy gamer for the road is a 2400G. I really wanted a 3400G, but most of anything that I want is usually found nesting with other mythological creatures.

I had seen the reviews on these APU's but was a bit skeptical still. Most of my experience with onboard video has only furthered my drinking habits.
But, the 2400G was what I could find, for what I thought was reasonable, and it needed a home.

The star of this build tho is the In Win Chopin.
I expected scraped knuckles, cussing, broken bits on the mobo, and a general dismay of diy stuff in general. Didn't have any of that.
It's small, but still big enough to set a M-itx board, comes with a power supply that suits, although I am glad I'm not using a video card. It's a small power supply.

The WD Black NVME went in without losing the screw, it has a nice heatsink for it on the mobo. The ram was a no brainer. I used the stock heatsink that came with the 2400G. The only modification was removal of the fan shroud so everything would clear.
Tucked the cables around the edges out of the way, screwed, tightened, and plugged in all that was needed, fired it up, installed Pop Os and then promptly packed it up for the trip.

Now, me and Murphy's law have a thing, but, this sumbich works without issues.
So far I have played some movies off my Plex box at home, played some Path of Exile, terrorized some deals on Slickdeals and am currently posting from it now.

I have yet to really have any issues with Gigabyte boards, although my latest stuff has been Asus, but I am happy with this itx mobo. Intergrated Intel wifi and lan, nice Bios features.
I am pleased so far with the Neo Forza gamble. Not sure I would run it in my TR box, but perhaps.

And this is my first In Win case. It's well constructed, seems to breathe well, for a 65 watt processor at least. Overall I am pleased with it.


I dunno, just bored and thought I'd share my hokey little build. I will get better pics this weekend when I return home. I don't have a decent screw driver to take the side panel off.

Pic of it in whoretel connected to the TV. Bravo to Pop OS for picking that display up so accurately.
PXL_20210303_145111252.jpg
 
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Brian_B

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I admit - when I saw the first pic, I thought... Nim Ni - wth is that.

Then I saw the bottom pic and though - oh... ah...

Nice build
 

Dogsofjune

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It is a surprising little box. For hastily throwing it together and subjecting it to a road trip, it did really well. Now that it is back home, I will play with it a bit more. Tweak the ram timings a bit.

I tried to look up a decent priced 3400G or maybe even a 4750G, but, like gpu's, availability and correct pricing do not coincide right now.
Yet, there is no harm flogging a 2400G till something does come around.

Other quirks with this box, the bios won't allocate more than 2 gig for video. I was under the impression that this board you could allocate up to 16 gig. Updated to the latest bios and no such luck. It does handle some of my Steam games well enough though. It's not like I would try and run Cyberpunk on it, but Path of Exile using vulkan plays very well. Plus some other older titles thanks to Steam and Proton.

Other gripe is, when I go to add an SSD to it, running the cables is going to be a pain. Beyond that, it's quiet, low power, and portable. I may not even miss my Threadripper or 2700X boxes for awhile. At least till I need to do anything that requires some balls.


I am going to retire the X58 Xeon box though. Nothing wrong with it really, I just don't mess with it much anymore.
 

Dogsofjune

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So an update, the 2400g is nice and all, but it struggles. I appreciate the onboard gpu but, lets face it, it's like expecting Taylor Momsen and then getting a Fleshlight.
Sure, it's a great time, but just not the same, and then you have to clean up the mess. Or not, if that is your thing. Not judging.

So, I have another case in storage that I am going to retrieve. A Corsair Bulldog. It's a little bigger, but comes with a 650 watt Corsair power supply and has room for a dedicated gpu. Plus, a AIO cooler. Should be sufficient for a 65 watt APU. The mobo was sold and nobody wanted the case. So off to collect dust it went. This is where I will settle the Asus Strix RX480 that Hocp had such an amazing review of, and the 2400g, Gigabyte B450.

It shouldn't be a bottleneck, offer a few more fps and take this low wattage box, and make it slightly more usable, while eating nickels a second under load.

That leaves the 1080ti in the TR box, the 1070ti in the Plex/gaming TV box, and I will have a mild portable linux gamer. It reminds me of the case my old 286 was in..... Yeah, you might think that case isn't so portable, but compared to some of the computers I had back in the day..... Compromises!

Still waiting on what to do with the x570\2700x and the HP Z400 workstation. Maybe sell them I guess.
 
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Stoly

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Nice build.
For years I used to look for the perfect APU for a HTPC and I built several of them, then I came across the shieldTV (2015) and stopped looking.
 

Dogsofjune

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Ugh...... So I swapped everything into the Corsair Bulldog case. You can fry eggs on top of the Asus Strix RX 480. Otherwise, it seems a fair paring with the 2400G.
Gigabyte saw to only put two fan headers on the mobo. I have the heatsink fan plugged in and one case fan. The one to breathe on the video card needs a header.
I need a splitter for the case fans and I aint's got one.

So, the case will be a convertible with the top down sitting in front of the motel AC until I get time to visit Microcenter
 

LazyGamer

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Nice build.
For years I used to look for the perfect APU for a HTPC and I built several of them, then I came across the shieldTV (2015) and stopped looking.
Same!

Also just picked up an Apple TV 4k, Shield went to the bedroom TV. Both still see regular use, and both can hit the Plex server just fine.

Biggest issue really is just not having a need for that level of hardware anywhere near an entertainment center. Either the stream can be decoded by an ARM SoC, or I want the grunt to do it in software somewhere else.

I need a splitter for the case fans and I aint's got one.
Amazon would probably be faster... though one big annoyance is that the adjustment of fans according to GPU temperature is currently a fairly custom affair. Which seems exceedingly stupid when you consider that Windows can read GPU temps.

And especially so given that splitting a fan lede with the CPU lede means that the other fan won't be responding to GPU loads. Less of a problem with a single mid-range GPU of course, but still suboptimal from a performance-to-noise standpoint!
 

Dogsofjune

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I just need the fan moving really. I need to look at Pop OS and see where to look at thermals. It’s been a bit since I used the RX 480. It may have gotten fairly warm before. That backplate sure got warm. Almost too hot to touch. It cooled quickly after I quit the game I was testing and popped the top of the case.
There are vents underneath for the Strix to pull air.

I’ll get something figured out. Right now I just needed something to take out of town for some gaming and movie entertainment.

As for Amazon being quicker, it’s hard to beat a 13 min drive to MC.
 

Dogsofjune

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So I didn't get a chance to make it to MC. I was going to wait till the weekend, but work sent me to a relatively civilized area and I picked up what I needed at a local computer shop. So both case fans are going now and when playing a game, I don't hear the case creak as the video card warms up anymore.

I also installed AMD drivers from AMD in the hopes that things are a bit more efficient. Truth is, the Asus Strix RX 480 is a hot card, but it's doing ok and it's still quiet in this smaller case. When it was in a Windows box with it's software, the RGB lights on it would reflect temp. It very rarely got yellow. I don't have that feature under Pop OS. Which is a shame.


Path of exile holds at 60 with vsync on attached to a 1920x1080 60hz monitor.
None of the benchmarks will run correctly, like 3dmark, 3dmark 11. I'm going to take a look at Phoronix and see what's available. Most likely I will find it's run Quake at 200+ fps....

I guess now that I don't need to stay with the 2400G for video, I could bounce up to a 5600x, and dream of the day that current GPU's can be found in plenty at correct pricing.

**** 1080ti's are going for more than I paid for mine new. If I didn't need it so bad..... but that's not really how I do things. If I sold it, it'd be for less than half what I bought it for Still...


Oh, by the way..... The In Win Chopin case. Installs are good, removals will chew the crap out of your fingers. Easier in than out, but still, I think it to be a pretty fair case. I just wish I had something to put back into it. It's a shame to let it sit in the closet.

Maybe I will find a cheap B450 board and stuff the 2400G into it and use it for something.
 

Daniel_Doty

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Do you want to sell that In Win case?

I might be interested. :p
 

Stoly

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Same!

Also just picked up an Apple TV 4k, Shield went to the bedroom TV. Both still see regular use, and both can hit the Plex server just fine.

Biggest issue really is just not having a need for that level of hardware anywhere near an entertainment center. Either the stream can be decoded by an ARM SoC, or I want the grunt to do it in software somewhere else.



Amazon would probably be faster... though one big annoyance is that the adjustment of fans according to GPU temperature is currently a fairly custom affair. Which seems exceedingly stupid when you consider that Windows can read GPU temps.

And especially so given that splitting a fan lede with the CPU lede means that the other fan won't be responding to GPU loads. Less of a problem with a single mid-range GPU of course, but still suboptimal from a performance-to-noise standpoint!
Well, mine doubles as an emulation console so I put that extra horsepower to good use. I'd love to get an ampere based shield tv, even volta would be nice.
 

LazyGamer

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Well, mine doubles as an emulation console so I put that extra horsepower to good use. I'd love to get an ampere based shield tv, even volta would be nice.
Definitely!

A Switch supporting DLSS has been rumored, and that'd make an excellent base for a next-gen Shield.
 

Stoly

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I'd prefer a matte finish myself but overall it looks pretty good.
 

Burticus

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Cute case. I wondered how well Pop / Ubuntu handles games... are there even AMD drivers for it? 150w PSU really limits you to APUs. Well, that and you would have to find a LP GPU and those are like white rhinos when it's not GPU-ageddon days. 1050ti or maybe 1650ti LP if you could even find one. 1080p med settings at best. Scratch that, looking at that little Chopin case I don't see how you could even get a LP card in there unless you removed the PSU.

I have a love/hate relationship with tiny little HTPC systems. I have gone through so many...

I supposed if you can put Chrome on it you could run Stadia too. But to be fair, if that and media playback was only goal you could just get Chromecast ultra and Stadia controller for like $50.

I wonder if there is a steam link equivalent for Pop/Ubuntu?

edit - google says YES to linux steam link app https://9to5linux.com/steam-link-is-now-available-on-linux-to-stream-your-steam-games-on-any-device
 
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