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Old 06-14-2017, 11:12 AM   #1
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Default Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

The time has finally come! Ghettobook II is upon us!.

I learned many lessons from the first Ghettobook. The primary issues which were never resolved involved battery management and case design. Fortunately, I am now older and wiser, so the same issues will not plague Ghettobook II (which is still in need of a witty moniker.)

The plan this time around involves a modular system based around a Thinkpad T61p. Additional elements will include a docking station with a gaming GPU, and a secondary monitor, which will be integrated into the laptop, yet still removable when I need portability.

An interface chart is as follows:



There are still many open possibilities here. What would you like to see in a desktop-replacement laptop? Be as fantastical as you would like. There are no wrong answers.
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Old 06-14-2017, 12:50 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

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Add Crossfire!
Haha! An interesting proposition indeed. I will have to think about how this could be implemented; I only have access to one PCI express port.


Edit: Actually, it is possible to get PCI express out of the expresscard slot. Now you have piqued my interest. Maybe, in the future, I will try such a thing.

Edit2: How does CFx transfer data? I do not have access to full x16 bandwidth, so it may just bottleneck.
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Old 06-14-2017, 04:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

After some significant research, it would appear that, indeed, CrossfireX would be possible—but only within Linux.

I don't particularly care for intensive gaming nowadays, so attempting this would be for experimental purposes only.
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Old 06-14-2017, 05:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

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After some significant research, it would appear that, indeed, CrossfireX would be possibleóbut only within Linux.

I don't particularly care for intensive gaming nowadays, so attempting this would be for experimental purposes only.
And who needs 2 cards on Linux?
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:17 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

So, you are trying to keep the laptop portion portable?

I had an idea quite some time ago to make a gaming rig more portable by building it into a small rollaround suitcase.

Not a laptop, for sure, but portable...
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:45 PM   #6
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I had an idea quite some time ago to make a gaming rig more portable by building it into a small rollaround suitcase.
Not bad... Not bad at all.

Would it have a battery, or would it go into the wall?

Man I think that's genius.

You would need some sort of support for the components, so that they don't fall of when walking. Also some insulating material (Both for heat and electricicy) to cover the suitcase with.

Don't even need cooling, you just open the suitcase.
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Old 06-14-2017, 08:48 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

Well, I was thinking fans on top and bottom. Depending on the suitcase, you could probably fit a small UPS into it, but the original concept was for a gaming server which would be plugged into the wall.

With that said, you could totally put a laptop motherboard into a small rollaraound and stack several hours of battery into the bottom of it.
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Old 06-15-2017, 05:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

You're thinking about this wrong. Get a beat up suitcase from the thrift shop, remove the handle assembly and wheels, then bolt them in place on the PC. It should take a total of, like, 30 minutes.


Now, wrap the original suitcase around it, with cutouts so the handle and wheels can protrude. When you want to use it, unzip and remove. Assuming the suitcase has more than one compartment, you use the second one for any accessories (as the first has holes.)
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Old 06-15-2017, 08:11 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

Doing it that way adds significant weight to the whole assembly, though. If the suitcase is the chassis, then you are saving the weight of all that sheet steel.
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:52 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ghettobook II preliminary discussion thread

It looks like I may need to etch a PCB as part of this project. That'll be a new one for me.


I just spent $18 to get one connector. Amazing.

The most difficult part is proving to be selection of which GPU controls the monitor. It's ridiculously simple in theory: just put a switch; but, oh my god, is it providing a mess. I just spent three hours poring over datasheets and still don't know if I have it correct.
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