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Crazy PC ideas (GPU over m.2, display over tb3/ethernet,thin client, parsec)

Disclaimer: you will probably see me like this at the end

Right now I’m toying with the idea of building a PC inside a Gamecube. Not a project I will complete in the near future, but still something I want to do and I want to toy with the idea. I could just buy a NUC and throw it inside and call it a day, but oh no. Did I already said that building SFFPC (well now it is mini PCs territory) is like a drug?

So to do a build inside the Gamecube, I would like to do it more as a main pc than a simple htpc. Thus, I need POWA!!! (even if I don’t game that much). I doubt Ryzen APUs with 8 graphic cores still gonna cut it. Preferably I want something more in line with a 1650 Super. But here’s the tricky part. The space I can build inside the Gamecube is at most 145mmx150mmx70-80mm. Therefore, no mITX whatsoever. So that created a slurry of ideas I want to discuss/ learn about/ have fun thinking about it:

Pray the gods and have a Ryzen mini pc with discrete graphic

Would certainly be the easiest option if such thing would ever happen, but may be not likely. And Suzumiya and the Neptunia pantheon do not answer my prayers (it’s not too much to ask to have Noire as my GF duh :upside_down_face:)

GPU over m.2

Ya, I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I may be a little bit crazy (ok maybe a lot). But hear me out. The PCB of the Zotac 1650 Super would fit inside a Gamecube. So if I use something like the Deskmini A300 (or it’s Renoir successor), I could connect the GPU to a m.2 using this adapter. 4x gonna be fine for a 1650 Super.

However, m.2 will not provide the power for the GPU, at max 25W I think, so I would need to power it, but I don’t know how. There is that white connector on the PCB of the adapter, which may provide power, but I don’t know how and I don’t know how to use it or what to connect if the case. And I would like to not use a second power brick only to power the GPU.

PC server with Gamecube as client

That might be the simplest idea from a build perspective, but no so much for the software side. The idea would be be to have a server forgotten in a corner of my apartment that become my PC. The problem is to decide what is the best solution to have access to this server and run it to my desk.

  • Display and input over active thunderbolt 3
    Aka a la Linus. Would be simplest way I know of. Have a thunderbolt dock inside the Gamecube and call it a day. However, I would need to run a TB3 cable, which I cannot really do. (and also there is the TB3 and Ryzen)

  • Display and input over Ethernet
    Twist on the precedent idea, but using Ethernet which I would easily have at my disposition. However, I don’t know if there is any way to do this. I know there is hdmi over ethernet, but that is not suitable, and I don’t think there is other solutions.

  • WISE thin client
    I could also use a Dell WISE thin client that I put inside the Gamecube for a virtual desktop. However, I need to understand more what it can and cannot do. That stuff is still so nebulous for me.

  • Parsec all the way
    That would allow me to run my desktop anywhere I want as long as I have internet, and even on my laptop. But may not be the best user experience in the long run, I don’t know.

So I need to have your thoughts on those crazy ideas, or hear any contraption I didn’t thought about.

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You can wire power straight to the card, look up PCI-E schematics/pinout. But the speed will be limited by the m.2 slot (I think it’s PCIE x4 at best?).

But what about building this in… 2 Gamecubes stacked together? Just an idea :smiley:

If you go the thin client route, you can use any board that will fit and integrated graphics and then just RDP/VNC into the server. Windows Remote Desktop supports graphics acceleration, too, it’s quite smooth over Gigabit LAN.

The ATI FirePro R5000 can do that. It is not going to win you any performance medals though.


Edit:

Advoli TA6

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yes
Yes
YES

YES

I got some ideas, but I gotta fix my computer first

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ok you have two sata power conectors, you can use both to power the GPU


image

be sure to use both so not to over load a single connector

do so at your own risk

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I didn’t thought about that. Love the idea, the right kind of crazy :joy: But I just realized that the whole system would pull 230Wand the power brick included is only 180W :sweat_smile:

For anybody interested, I might have found the perfect solution for powering the GPU over m.2. There is that product call the Dynamo 360 which accept the dc from a power brick to output two pci 8 pin and a dc-out that keep the 19A of the power brick to power the deskmini through the barrel plug. The only problem would be to find one available.

And now I’m wondering about the possibility to jam my 1660ti in a Gamecube :joy:

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