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Kudzu World  »  The Powerful Portable  »  Mark III
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Models

Mark I
This is the first model. Very fast, but very ugly!

Mark II
Mark I gets a new sleek case.

Mark III
Smaller, lighter, faster, and built in monitor.

Mark IV
In planning. Build date: Late '08.




Goals

The goal of the Mark III is to be a smaller and lighter version version of the Mark II. Below is my original set of goals.

I hope to reduce the weight from 8 kg (18 pounds) to 5 kg (11.5 pounds). This will make it even more light and much faster than many of the "power laptops". Laptop Comparison

Retaining Dual Video

While the Mark II can power 4 monitors, I have never needed to. I would like to be able to power 2 monitors. If I cannot, I can use my notebook as a "slave" for debugging, and other types of things that I normally use a second monitor for. However since the second monitor usually is not demanding graphics, I do not need a powerful graphics card. I have seen several half height 128 MB fanless video cards that I might be able to fit without increasing the form factor. This would provide a moderately powerful video card for the second monitor. There are also USB solutions etc, but I would really like to avoid that mess.

How?

An mATX board is smaller. The pink line shows roughly the mATX footprint. Also without the need to reserve so much space for the video cards or their fans a lot of vertical space is freed up for other components (green area). The Core Duo 2 processors require much less power and a smaller lighter power supply can be used. Finally a much smaller processor cooler can be used, possibly a top venting model which could possibly vent directly out of the case. All of this will need to be tested and new air flow studies performed of course.

At a maximum the new size would be the green out line, but optimally I hope to reach the size of the pink outline.

From the back I have shown two possible profiles. A  long one using the pink outline, and another more square yellow outline. I will begin experimenting with mock ups soon. When building the Mark II case I also obtained dead motherboards and used them for mount testing. I am obtaining more dead parts to experiment with for the Mark III. The orange area is the footprint of an mATX board with no cards installed. Since video and other features I need I will have integrated on the motherboard I will rely on USB, Firewire, and e-SATA for expansion which leaves more vertical room. The green outline is for the CPU and cooler. The blue area is for power supply. Because of less vertical space requires and more horizontal, it makes more sense to mount it sideways. Now that the power supply requirements are also much lower (roughly 275 watts instead of 430) it will be lighter, but I hope to also obtain a smaller form factor power supply. However I need to make sure it is a quality supply. Most lightweight supplies are light because they are cheap and skimp or eliminate filters, regulators and other parts.