LAN parties came out of nowhere several years ago, and have become the rage amongst serious PC gamers. If you’ve never been to one, you have an experience in store. The basic idea of a LAN party is simple. Instead of gaming by yourself, or via the Internet with its latency problems, you get a bunch of people together in one room and run networked games on a LAN. A LAN party can be anything from three or four buddies playing networked FPS (First-Person Shooter) or air combat games in the basement rec room, to a formal event held at a hotel convention center with hundreds of gamers participating on a network that would be the envy of many businesses.
To locate a LAN party in your area or for information about running your own LAN party, visit http://www.lanparty.com .
Casual LAN partiers use standard desktop systems, but most serious LAN partiers build a PC optimized for LAN parties. In this chapter, we’ll design and build the perfect LAN Party PC (LPPC).
Our first thought was to build the LPPC around a Shuttle bare-bones SFF (Small Form Factor) system. These shoebox-size cubes are supposedly popular among LAN party gamers, at least if you believe what you read in the enthusiast magazines and web sites. Robert learned differently when he had the following exchange with a reader who attends LAN parties ...