Introduction: Portable PC Project Inspired by Shadowrun Cyberdeck

Picture of Portable PC Project Inspired by Shadowrun Cyberdeck

Gaming laptops are really expensive, but desktop pcs are hard to move. So, lets make a pc (somewhat) portable! This is more of a build log than a how-to, but if you want to build one yourself, Il detail some problem points.

This is my first post here!

Step 1: Capabilities

Picture of Capabilities

I wanted to be able to run a dedicated graphics card, which greatly added to the size of the machine. Also, decided on mounting a stap to sling over the back instead of a carry handle, for mobility. Minimum laptop size display for usability, also could recycle outdated laptop. Finally, so that it can double as a tv pc, mounted a detachable wireless keyboard/trackpad combo for remote control.

Used a busted keyboard from ebay as the main body for structural integrity. Bonus - metal back provides strength, and since its screwed on, would be able to easily replacement/upgrade.

Considered and rejected:

multiple graphics cards - weight and power requirements

adding a mechanical keyboard - size

touchscreen monitor - expense

dual monitors - expense, weight, room

Full size atx motherboard - would fit, opted for mini itx, still has the 1 pci express x16 slot for a graphics card

Batteries for mobile use - ones that could power a full desktop build for any sufficient amount of time way too heavy!

Step 2: Layout

Picture of Layout

Dimensions here are very important, dont forget to leave room for cabling and airflow! Here is where I decided to opt for a mitx motherboard and power supply, to leave more room.

Step 3: Assembly

Picture of Assembly

This took awhile. After figuring out from layout where i wanted my ports to be, I had to cut them out with a dremel. Also had to fabricate a cover for the internals not covered by the keyboard shell. opted for simple plexiglass. didn't really need to reinforce the shell, keyboard from the 80's pretty sturdy! added some bezels out of plasticard to smooth over rough cuts.

To find the pieces you need to convert a recycled laptop display to monitor, search for Controller Board Driver Kit on ebay!

Sorry, not to much information here, didnt really take many pictures in progress. Measurements were essential! As well as a dremel! Cutting out ports in the keyboard plastic took me a while, use gentle force with the cutting discs, or they snap and throw pieces!

Step 4: Project Complete! Final Touch Ups

Picture of Project Complete! Final Touch Ups

Went for a sweet black and gold paintjob, added chrome strips for some flair and cyberpunk, was tempted to add a glowing led strip somewhere, maybe in the future lol. Added velcro to prevent the display and keyboard flapping about when walking, and a small additional fan.

Total weight 15.5 lbs


acoşgun (author)2016-07-18

Wow man that looks perfect, I love it :) I'm gonna build myself one soon, but i think I will make a custom case :) Just a question: Did you modify PSU , isn't it too thick for the case, or did you use a slimmer PSU? If so, could you give me brand/model of that PSU , thanks

JamesA52 (author)2015-09-24

Looking at this a lot, and I can't figure out how the screen is being powered, it looks like you got it powered off the main power supply and I was wondering how/if you managed that.

chimerus (author)JamesA522015-09-24

It is! the display board I am using takes 12v dc, so i used a plug that fit the display board out of the parts bin and soldered that to the appropriate pins on a 4 pin molex connector. PSUs output 12v, but depending on your psu/display board you may not have enough power to run the monitor with everything else.

CyberCap (author)2015-09-17

Hey! How did you manage to mount the GPU? I can see it connected to the MoBo with the ribbon cable, but did you build standoffs for it? How's it connected?
(woops forgot to verify before I made this account)

chimerus made it! (author)CyberCap2015-09-18

I am using the stock gpu backplate. I cut a slot big enough for the ports on the back of the keyboard, but small enough that the gpu backplate can't escape. The screw on the left has a back plate on the inside to hold the gpu gracket. On the right, I added some plastic to screw in and hold the other side of the mounting bracket.

CyberCap (author)chimerus2015-09-18

Ahh! Fantastic! And that's keeping it from touching the bottom of the case? That's ingenious really.

chimerus (author)CyberCap2015-09-19

Yea! Although to be sure, I also added a small rubber foot at the far end of the GPU

D10D3 (author)2015-09-18

I just finished a similar project:

additional pictures on my portfolio site:!cyberdeck/co0n

chimerus (author)D10D32015-09-18

Real wiz chummer! Also, those stickers are awesome! Really like that you got the handle in too.

SuratS (author)2015-08-04

What display monitor you use ?

chimerus (author)SuratS2015-08-14

This panel came from an obsolete Dell laptop, connected to a display driver board sourced from Ebay.

MatthewC26 (author)2015-07-27

Could i get you to mentor me? Ive been wanting to build my own gaming rig, but i lack the knowledge of wiring and pc building. I am familiar with PC hardware, I'm just no good at putting things together. Ive literally been wanting to make a "cyberdeck" for the last year. Think you could give me a few more tips other than what youve already posted?

chimerus (author)MatthewC262015-07-29

Hmm, before I put it all together I looked up the part dimensions and laid them out to get an idea of how much space I would need. If you've got a more specific question, Id be happy to answer.

RBZipang (author)2015-07-28

Not bad, though I'm curious as to why you picked a GT when you could technically sell it and buy a GTX..?

chimerus (author)RBZipang2015-07-29

Heh it was left over from an old rig, sitting around gathering dust.

dhyde79 (author)2015-07-29

So...I'm curious...why two keyboards? I think if I were going to build this as a gaming rig, I'd look at dissecting and integrating a Logitech G13 gaming keyboard/keypad into the left of a regular keyboard.......maybe a mechanical keyboard for the regular one...

chimerus (author)dhyde792015-07-29

Didnt have the space for mechanical without cutting more of the shell which i feared would reduce the structural integrity. That second mini keyboard is there mostly to fill in space. Used that wireless keyboard so I have a built in mouse input.

Virtual Adept (author)2015-07-26

Where did you get the Shadowrun decals?

chimerus (author)Virtual Adept2015-07-27


Virtual Adept (author)chimerus2015-07-28

Nice. Thank you!

chimerus (author)2015-07-27

IIRC about 300, but I recycled some components

dman1124 (author)chimerus2015-07-28

That's not too bad.

RyanT9 (author)2015-07-27

how did you connect the GPU to the Motherboard

chimerus (author)RyanT92015-07-27

Flexible riser cable:

RyanT9 (author)chimerus2015-07-27

thanks. was planning on building a laptop, but couldn't figure out this part. thank you very much

ShawnH10 (author)2015-07-27

Whenever somebody threw out an old PCs (or any tech) I would salvage it to Frankenstein a usable one. But I never considered making anything even remotely like this. This is beyond computing. This is art! I love it!

My questions are this:

1.) What could you pull off if you used a smaller form-factor, even one or more (daisy-chained) Raspberry Pi cards?

2.) What Operating System would you use?

ShawnH10 (author)ShawnH102015-07-27

I also like off-grid computing. Would it be possible to build in alternative power supplies: battery/solar cells/Pocket Socket ( )?

How could that be done without sacrificing functionality and portability?

chimerus (author)ShawnH102015-07-27

Not at this power level, this is a full desktop PC. The batteries to run this for any length of time would be staggeringly heavy. Maybe a static home base power point?

chimerus (author)ShawnH102015-07-27


Smaller form factor would be much easier to carry and could run it off battery instead of needing an outlet. Hadn't thought about daisy chaining RasPis!

Currently just running Windows 7 for ease of using it mostly as a lan rig

dman1124 (author)2015-07-27

About what would the cost on the equipment run?

CyB1 (author)2015-07-24

Can he build it? Yes he can.

pureflip428 (author)2015-02-20

Very cool build!

tomatoskins (author)2015-02-02

Hey, this is great! PC gaming is awesome! I'd love to see more like this in the future! It's good to see new people like you on the site. Keep it up!

chimerus (author)tomatoskins2015-02-04

Thanks! this also makes a heck of a LAN rig!

dj_nme (author)2015-02-03

If you're going for the cyberdeck look, you really need a head mounted display like this instead of a monitor:

chimerus (author)dj_nme2015-02-04

Yea I actually considered something like that but all the good ones are out of budget. Waiting to see the consumer version of the Oculus Rift

MoTinkerGNome (author)2015-02-04

Hoy Chummer, yer deck looks whiz.

chimerus (author)MoTinkerGNome2015-02-04

Thanks! Can't wait to load up the new Shadowrun: Hong Kong!

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