Guy converts luggage case into a liquid-cooled gaming PC, calls it the 'Nuclear Football'

Humza

TechSpot Staff
Staff member

Unlike the original briefcase accompanying the US president, this Nuclear Football is more likely to set off an atomic bomb in Fallout 76 rather than authorizing one in the real world. Its creator, who goes by the name of 'thegarbz' on Reddit, goes into detail on how his traveling routine led to the creation of this custom-built PC.

Inside the Nuclear Football is an AMD Ryzen 5 2600 and an Nvidia RTX 2070 Super FE, along with 16GB RAM fitted to a Gigabyte B450-I Aorus Pro Wifi motherboard. The 256 GB of NVMe storage might seem inadequate, but then its owner is a "bit of an addict and a completionist," so only a few games are installed at any given time.

Powered by Corsair's compact SF600 PSU, the components crammed inside the luggage case call for some proper thermal management. That's handled through water-cooling the hardware with Alphacool parts, Noctua fans, EKWB blocks, and a custom fan controller with temperature display and PC link.

The display comes in the form of a Dell 23-inch monitor, chosen from among 45 displays, for its thin bezels, beveled bottom edge, and front-accessible buttons. It's fitted to the top of the case so the build opens up like a laptop.

Given that the bottom side of the case is occupied as well, there's no room for a built-in keyboard inside. However, the front features plenty of ports for connecting peripherals, including a VR headset for enabling the full desktop gaming experience.

At 12.1 kg, the Nuclear Football is strictly meant to be used on a desk, and its portability is also affected by the lack of an on-board battery. It is, however, convenient to lug around most places and, more importantly, highlights the flexibility of the PC platform and users' creativity in designing a machine around their use-case.

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jbc029

TS Booster
"VR capable" isn't really such a high bar to clear anymore. Considering an i3 and 1070 was all you really needed to have a decent experience, damn near anything beyond an RX 580 can give you decent VR these days. *Any* modern CPU will also fit the bill.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
"VR capable" isn't really such a high bar to clear anymore. Considering an i3 and 1070 was all you really needed to have a decent experience, damn near anything beyond an RX 580 can give you decent VR these days. *Any* modern CPU will also fit the bill.
It's also a calculator
 
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elementalSG

TS Addict
Ah...but what does Dark Helmet from Spaceballs think when he learns of the combination you need for this luggage? And...does it use the same combination as President Skroob's luggage?
 
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Manya3084

TS Booster
"VR capable" isn't really such a high bar to clear anymore. Considering an i3 and 1070 was all you really needed to have a decent experience, damn near anything beyond an RX 580 can give you decent VR these days. *Any* modern CPU will also fit the bill.
Remember, the motherboard box needs to have "VR capable" on it or you're sol
 
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QuantumPhysics

TS Evangelist
Hah, I'd love see him bring that through TSA

When I really think about it... as soon as TSA sees those hoses for the AIO you're definitely gonna end up in hot water.

TSA used to be so anal that they would try to disallow people from taking laptops that didn't have Hard Drives because they'd never seen an SSD before.
Something like this - especially with the liquid cooling hoses is going to raise red flags.

They can demand you empty the fluid for example.

TSA is so anal right now that I didn't bother buying the new Alienware 51m because they measure your lithium ion battery and power supply bricks.

Reminds me of The"Ahmed's clock" incident.
 

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FatBoyDiesel

TS Rookie
When I really think about it... as soon as TSA sees those hoses for the AIO you're definitely gonna end up in hot water.

TSA used to be so anal that they would try to disallow people from taking laptops that didn't have Hard Drives because they'd never seen an SSD before.
Something like this - especially with the liquid cooling hoses is going to raise red flags.

They can demand you empty the fluid for example.

TSA is so anal right now that I didn't bother buying the new Alienware 51m because they measure your lithium ion battery and power supply bricks.

Reminds me of The"Ahmed's clock" incident.
Uh, that clock didn't look like a clock. It looked like a damn bomb. Nobody with some sense would've first thought that thing looked like a clock. My peers and I have made clocks for school projects back in the 90's and they'd look like big calculators at worst. We didn't need a briefcase and a bunch of indiscreet wires reminiscent of a briefcase bomb.
 

Larsenex

TS Enthusiast
This is exactly what I would want. I do not want a 'thin laptop' I essentially want a desktop scaled down in a suitcase so I can port it around. If they made 'portable desktop as a laptop' rigs I would just buy one.

Having it all in one case > monitor and most pieces and having to also carry a full size keyboard, gaming mouse and power cord would be absolutely fine with me.

So without having to do a complete custom job like above (its awesome) do they make such larger better cooled alternative laptops?
 

MilwaukeeMike

TS Evangelist
When I really think about it... as soon as TSA sees those hoses for the AIO you're definitely gonna end up in hot water.

TSA used to be so anal that they would try to disallow people from taking laptops that didn't have Hard Drives because they'd never seen an SSD before.
Something like this - especially with the liquid cooling hoses is going to raise red flags.

They can demand you empty the fluid for example.

TSA is so anal right now that I didn't bother buying the new Alienware 51m because they measure your lithium ion battery and power supply bricks.

Reminds me of The"Ahmed's clock" incident.
I've brought both desktop towers and extra liquid through TSA. If they can't tell what something electronic is they wipe it with this thing that looks like a small baby wipe and put in a machine to read it to test for explosives.
If you bring extra liquids you need a reason (like my daughter's food allergies) and they'll just give you the full search treatment by going through your bag carefully.

If he tried this at TSA he better be prepared to empty the liquid though. If I were the next passenger in line, I sure would want this thing carefully checked, ha.