I would like to build a portable mini pc for games...any advices?

being fed up with the various android portable units with ARM and whatnot,i decided that maybe i could build my own portable mini pc for gaming.not super-late recent intensive gaming,but like 5\6 years ago games,and of course emulators.

so my idea is to strap one of those mini pc like beelink,minix neo etc to the back of my ipega 9023 joypad

this thing here : http://img.dxcdn.com/productimages/sku_337604_1.jpg

so what i need is an external display,roughly the size of a medium prize tablet,and of course, i need to know how to power the thing with a battery or similar.

any idea\ advices? would a ups be a good substitute for a battery/powerpack?

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kyllerbuzcut9 months ago

Hi -I know (I think) exactly where you are coming from. I have been researching something very similar. I would be looking for less gaming though, and more at "productivity". I'm using my phone to type so forgive me if I don't have proper links and make spelling/grammar errors :)

people will say "why don't you just get a laptop or a tablet"

Well- I've got a laptop - it doesn't fit in my pocket.

Tablets that will "do it all" and have win10 are expensive. There are a few Chinese manufacturers that have decent offerings there days, but the good ones are still expensive and there are usually compromises involved. (That's not to say they aren't good tablets and they are great for their intended phropse). When it comes to attaching a keyboard/case and /or plugging in a gamepad or something, then you almost have the size and eventual cost of a laptop anyway.

I think we both want something that fits in a pocket - (or maybe a big jacket pocket) but can do some of the same basic tasks as a desktop. That doesn't mean cutting edge graphics, just emulators and MS office/Libre office and capable of having several tabs of Chrome browser open etc.

For me I'd want it to have a qwerty keyboard (thumb board, and there are decent ones out there) and I guess for you it's more of a gamepad attatched.

...I have just gone on a search to retreive some info I had posted on another forum.....copy and paste is something I can manage on this Android phone :D


. I will list some of the devices I have found below. What I don't want to happen is to end up spending way more than a tablet of equivalent specs would cost. . Whether this idea is impossible, I don't know, but I did find a couple of new devices that have achieved some similar results.

While searching I came across the Gole 1 and also the GPD Win. These look like some really decent options -

. I might end up just giving in and getting the Gole1 if nothing else turns up. I would prefer a slightly bigger screen (6 or 7 inches) and more battery life though...

You know about the Raspberry pi I guess, but this video shows making it into a portable device which would be kind of thing I want, but with more power. That guy has made a few different versions.

Here is a video with some info about the Gole 1 (nice price, has screen alhough maybe a bit small, has a battery, but only lasts a couple of hours)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsWVQwBCFHc

[I think with this one it might be the early prototype device tgat evebtually becomes what we're trying - but that'll probably take years]

Indiegogo seems to have a few startup projects with things that may be suitable:
Hercules (very light and portable, but no screen, expensive, no in-built battery) https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/h...er-computers#/

Ockel Sirius (Very nice but very expensive)

MeeGOPad T08 - (nice and small, has good ram, no attached screen, some versions I think have a battery - but probably not long lasting) In case anyone doesn't know, this is like a SOC device with a HDMI sticking out of it, and some USB ports, that you plug into your TV. 4GB Ram and intel Atom cherry trail processor. I believe there are different versions of this with a small internal battery as well. This would just need someone to figure out how to attach it to a 6 or 7inch screen and pack it into a case with a keyboard :D

Getting a bit bigger again - I have found the Minix Z83-4 (maybe a bit big, and might be hard to supply enough power to it, but very nice apart from that). There are other things like this from Chinese manufacturers, such as Onda and Voyo, but I wont bombard this with any more, I am sure people get the idea by now

There are also some other SOC boards, similar to the Raspberry pi but with a bit more power, that could be cobbled together with a screen and battery, which could be made into something really sweet. I am sure some people will have 3D printers to make some sweet cases for these setups as well, but I'd probably have to carve something out of wood, or use cellotape to wrap it all together lol
Making it look nice is less important to me than how it actually works obviously, but I imagine there are tons of options like cutting up a pencil case to put them into, or even styrofoam (nice and bouncy if it gets dropped ) etc.
Maybe we could have a while thread about building mini linux and windows boxes with 7inch or 6 inch screens etc using these things? and see who can do the best one - with the challenge that it must fit into a pocket....or large pocket... or just be extremely and easily portable, preferably 4gb ram at least and be able to run win10 with bo lag.

Some of those single board things I have come across are:

Radxa Rock2
Orange pi plus 2
UDOO X86 (coming soon I believe)

bwrussell9 months ago

Not sure why you even bothered posting a question since you seem to have all the answers you want to hear already. Good luck with your project, be sure to post an Instructable if you make it work.

AlessandroP47 (author)  bwrussell9 months ago

you mean beside not having understood how to power it,which kind of UPS to use,the screen,how to connect etc??

then yeah beside 90% of what i'm missing,i'm at a good point then.

if you have finished with sarcasm,please do have a look on what ARM cpu can and can't do.i simply want a portable pc in my hands,that can run x86 apps,.not a cpu made to run android casual games

There was no sarcasm there. Your attitude in replies will turn people off from helping, I hope you have good luck figuring it out, and would be interested on seeing what you come up with.

AlessandroP47 (author)  bwrussell9 months ago

care to tell me where my attitude turned people down?i don't think i've assaulted,insulted or trolled anyone here

-max-10 months ago
Perhaps you can look into getting a micro ATX motherboard, get a low powered Pentium or i3 or something. Pair it with the best graphics card you can afford and at least 8GB of DDR3L or DDR4L RAM and you should be good to go. Power supply would be a challenge, you would need to be able to deliver a very steady -5V, 3.3V, 5V, and 12V voltages from a battery whose output voltage is not stable.

Honestly for what you are looking to do, basically any computer or laptop will suffice. I'd recommend trying to get a laptop with a decent 900p or 1080p panel on it, and IPS for better color gamut, or a TN panel if you need slightly better response times and higher efficiency.
AlessandroP47 (author)  -max-9 months ago

here's some video to show you that you're wrong about a beelink x7

beside i was also talking about the minix which seems to be even more powerful,and i would use it manily for emulators,so no need to get a separate video card at all.

and again as i said earlier,a laptop won't do,because i need to make it portable and play it on bed or during long trains trips,something like this


bwrussell10 months ago

The Beelink is running Intel HD 2500 graphics, sharing 2GB of RAM, and a single core, 1.87
MHz CPU. I don't think it's running 3D games from 5 years ago, at least not well. The Voyo looks much better but at a significantly higher price point.

What is your issue with ARM? The new Nintendo console is using ARM tech and apparently the current NVIDIA Shield (runnig the same ARM processors) can play Doom @1080p/60FPS. More and more "core" games are getting releases for ARM systems. Current or near future ARM systems are going to be hard to beat in most any catagory (price, size, specs, power consumption, etc) for mobile use.

AlessandroP47 (author)  bwrussell9 months ago

also,i had an nvidia shield,and while it was good with most of the emulators,for the mualtors i really cared for (dosbox for example) it was abysmal.try running duke nukem 3d on dosbox on the nvidia shield(any version of dosbox,though the turbo version is the..."fastest" one)and tell me if you get more than 15 fps.i'll be here waiting..

AlessandroP47 (author)  bwrussell9 months ago

ARM cpu cannot run windows x86 native apps\gasmes,that's why

rickharris10 months ago

What operating system do you expect to run?

If Linux will do then the Raspberry pi has a lot to offer. Ben Heck has example projects on how to do that as well as several other gamer projects like below.

AlessandroP47 (author)  rickharris10 months ago

windows 10 is the one i'm looking for.

i already googled some raspberry pi project,but they looks so underwhelming un-powerful comapred to other similar devices(like the aforementioned mini itx,or the beelink)

Then your going to have a real problem doing better than a commercial product. If I were you I would look for an older PC and upgrade it. lap top or what ever. A lot get dumped just because the owner doesn't know how to upgrade or even fix basic faults.

That way you can load win 10 and go where you like.
If your looking for super speed you can try over clocking BUT it will over heat a standard lap top.

Of course the biggest down fall of most lap top is the graphics card. That may be an interesting issue to fix.
You don't say what sort of games your wanting to run but I guess your going to need a decent graphics capability.

Good luck.
AlessandroP47 (author)  rickharris10 months ago

not really,as i want it to be a handheld.that can be played while sit or lying in bed.a full laptop just won't fit the bill.

something like this


Downunder35m10 months ago

You do realise a PC needs a lot of power at the best of times, not to mention gaming?
A proper graphics card is required too and the better the more power they need.
The only feasable option I could think of would be to look in car-pc section.
But who would like to carry a 30kg backpack for the battery?

AlessandroP47 (author)  Downunder35m10 months ago

i'm not planning on running gta v or the new doom,games from the early 2000 or mame \psp emulators would suffice

the beelink and voyo and mini itx already can do that.so its just a matter on how to stick a display and a powre source\battery pack\ups whatever to it