Case Comparison

 

When choosing a case consider more than just aesthetics.  How big do you want your computer to be?  How many PCIe expansion cards do you want it to support?  More importantly for fanless computers, how much heat (measured in TDP) can the case or compatible CPU cooler effectively dissipate?  The higher the TDP rating, the faster a CPU you can use.

CaseMotherboard
Size
VolumeMax
CPU
TDP
Graphics
Card
Support
Max
GPU
TDP
PCIe
Full
Height
PCIe
Low
Profile
CPU/GPU
Cooler
2.5”
SSDs
Supported
HDPlex
H1.S
Mini ITX4.4 L65 WNoN/A00Case3
HDPlex
H5
ATX15.4 L95 WYes120 W21Case4
Streacom
FC5
ATX10.0 L65 WNoN/A10Case4
Streacom
FC8
Mini ITX5.9 L65 WNoN/A01Case4
Streacom
FC9
Micro ATX11.0 L65 WNoN/A03Case4
Streacom
FC10
ATX13.8 L65 WNoN/A20Case4
Streacom
DB4
Mini ITX18.1 L95 WYes95 W10Case4
Akasa
Euler
Thin Mini ITX2.6 L35 WNoN/A00Case1
Akasa
Galileo
Thin Mini ITX2.1 L35 WNoN/A00Case0
Akasa
Newton
NUC1.9 L15 WNoN/A00Case2
Akasa
Galactico
NUC7.7 L45 WNoN/A00Case1
NoFan
CS-60
Micro ATX31.3 L65 WYes30 W50Internal4
NoFan
CS-80
ATX46.2 L65 WYes30 W70Internal4
Cooler Master
Elite 110
Mini ITX15.4 L65 WYes30 W10Internal4
Fractal Design
Meshify C
ATX40.4 L65 WYes30 W70Internal4
Morex
557
Mini ITX2.5 L10 WNoN/A00Internal2
Silverstone
PT13
Thin Mini ITX1.4 L6 WNoN/A00Internal1

Motherboard Comparison

 

When choosing a motherboard consider its size, processor support, video ports available, and whether or not it includes Wi-Fi.  Wi-Fi can be added to motherboards that do not already include Wi-Fi, but at an added cost.

MotherboardSizeProcessorMax
RAM
PCIe
Slots
M.2
Slots
SATA
Ports
Video
Ports
Ethernet
Ports
Wi-FiUSB
Ports
EVGA
Z270 Stinger
Mini ITXIntel
Kaby Lake
32 GB
DDR4
1 x161 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
4DisplayPort
HDMI
1Built In6 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 A
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
Asus
H270I
Mini ITXIntel
Kaby Lake
32 GB
DDR4
1 x161 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
1 80 mm
(PCIe)
4DisplayPort
HDMI
2Built In6 3.1 Gen 1
Asus
Z270G
Micro ATXIntel
Kaby Lake
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
1 x8
2 x1
1 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
1 110 mm
(PCIe)
6DisplayPort
HDMI
1Built In2 2.0
4 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 A
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
EVGA
Z270 FTW K
ATXIntel
Kaby Lake
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
1 x8
1 x4
2 x1
2 110 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
6DisplayPort
HDMI
2M.2 E Card
PCIe Card
6 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 A
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
Asus
H270-Pro
ATXIntel
Kaby Lake
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
1 x4
2 x1
1 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
1 110 mm
(SATA)
6DisplayPort
HDMI
DVI-D
1PCIe Card2 2.0
2 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 1 C
2 3.1 Gen 2 A
Asus
H270F
ATXIntel
Kaby Lake
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
1 x4
4 x1
1 110 mm
(PCIe)
1 80 mm
(SATA)
6DisplayPort
HDMI
DVI-D
1PCIe Card4 2.0
2 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 A
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
Asus
B350M-A
Micro ATXAMD
Ryzen
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
2 x1
1 110 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
6HDMI
DVI-D
D-Sub
1PCIe Card4 3.1 Gen 1
2 3.1 Gen 2 A
Asus
Q170T
Thin Mini ITXIntel
Kaby Lake
32 GB
DDR4
None1 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
4DisplayPort
HDMI
2M.2 E Card4 3.1 Gen 1
Gigabyte
H110TN
Thin Mini ITXIntel
Kaby Lake
32 GB
DDR4
1 x4None
1 mSATA Slot
2DisplayPort
HDMI
2Mini PCIe Card
PCIe Card
4 3.1 Gen 1
Jetway
NF592-Q170
Thin Mini ITXIntel
Kaby Lake
16 GB
DDR3
1 x4 (90° Angle)None6HDMI
(Onboard Header)
8Mini PCIe Card
PCIe Card
2 3.1 Gen 1
Mitac
PD10Al
Thin Mini ITXIntel
Celeron N3350
8 GB
DDR3
1 x11 80 mm
(SATA)
2DisplayPort
HDMI
2M.2 E Card
PCIe Card
4 3.1 Gen 1
Asus
Crosshair VI Hero
ATXAMD
Ryzen
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
1 x8
1 x4
3 x1
1 110 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
8None1PCIe Card4 2.0
8 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 A
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
Asus
X370-F
ATXAMD
Ryzen
64 GB
DDR4
1 x16
1 x8
1 x4
3 x1
1 110 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
8DisplayPort
HDMI
1PCIe Card2 2.0
6 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 A
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
AsRock
J4205
Mini ITXIntel
Pentium J4205
16 GB
DDR3
1 x1None4HDMI
DVI-D
D-Sub
1M.2 E Card
PCIe Card
2 2.0
2 3.1 Gen 1
Intel
NUC7i3BNH
NUCIntel
i3-7100U
32 GB
DDR4
None1 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
1HDMI1Built In4 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 C
Intel
NUC7i5BNH
NUCIntel
i5-7260U
32 GB
DDR4
None1 80 mm
(PCIe/SATA)
1HDMI1Built In4 3.1 Gen 1
1 3.1 Gen 2 C

CPU Comparison

 

There are three main parameters to consider when choosing a central processing unit (CPU): the number of cores and threads, the base and boost core frequencies, and the thermal design power (TDP).  A core is a physically separate processing unit and a thread is a simulated processing unit.  The more cores a CPU has, the more instructions it can process at full speed.  Two threads share a single core’s processing power and therefore do not operate quite as quickly as two separate cores, although performance between a single core and a single thread can be similar.  Single cores will work just as quickly as multiple cores for simpler tasks such as web browsing, word processing, and playing music or movies.  Some tasks greatly benefit from multiple cores however, including photo and video editing, video encoding, and more demanding gaming.  A CPU’s frequency is the theoretical number of instructions it can process in one second.  Generally a higher frequency means a faster processor, although not all clock cycles are equal; that’s why benchmark tests exist.  The base frequency is the frequency at which all cores can operate indefinitely.  A boost frequency can generally only be operated at by a single core at a time, and only if temperatures are low enough to safely allow it.  A CPU’s TDP corresponds to the amount of heat a processor will produce.  TDP does not directly affect performance, but if a processor’s TDP is higher than what a fanless cooler can handle, the processor will automatically “throttle,” or reduce its frequency to reduce its temperature and prevent damage.

ProcessorCoresThreadsBase
Frequency
Per Core
Boost
Frequency
Per Core
CacheTDPPassmark
Benchmark
Integrated
Graphics
Passmark
Graphics
Benchmark
AMD
A6-9500E
223.0 GHz3.4 GHz1 MB35 W2,752Radeon R5966
AMD
A10-9700E
443.0 GHz3.5 GHz2 MB35 W5,083Radeon R71,217
AMD
A12-9800E
443.1 GHz3.8 GHz2 MB35 W5,506Radeon R71,493
AMD
Ryzen 3 1200
443.1 GHz3.4 GHz10 MB65 W7,097NoneN/A
AMD
Ryzen 3 1300X
443.5 GHz3.7 GHz10 MB65 W8,109NoneN/A
AMD
Ryzen 5 1400
483.2 GHz3.4 GHz10 MB65 W8,460NoneN/A
Intel
i3-7100T
243.4 GHz3.4 GHz3 MB35 W5,458Intel
HD 630
1,218
Intel
i3-7300T
243.5 GHz3.5 GHz4 MB35 W5,667Intel
HD 630
1,218
Intel
i5-7400T
442.4 GHz3.0 GHz6 MB35 W6,523Intel
HD 630
1,218
Intel
i5-7500T
442.7 GHz3.3 GHz6 MB35 W7,164Intel
HD 630
1,218
Intel
i5-7600T
442.8 GHz3.7 GHz6 MB35 W8,434Intel
HD 630
1,218
Intel
i7-7700T
482.9 GHz3.9 GHz8 MB35 W9,386Intel
HD 630
1,218
Intel
Celeron N3350
221.1 GHz2.4 GHz2 MB6 W1,122Intel
HD 500
300
(Estimate)
Intel
Pentium J4205
441.5 GHz2.6 GHz2 MB10 W2,344Intel
HD 505
400
(Estimate)
Intel
i3-7100U
242.4 GHz2.4 GHz3 MB15 W3,843Intel
HD 620
945
Intel
i5-7260U
242.2 GHz3.4 GHz4 MB15 W5,786Intel
Iris Plus 640
1,455
Intel
i7-6770HQ
482.6 GHz3.5 GHz6 MB45 W9,684Intel
Iris Pro 580
1,920

How Much RAM Do I Need?

 

Generally the more RAM you have, the better.  Doubling the amount of memory in your system will give you ample “space” to work with and will make a difference in overall speed when multitasking.  More memory allows you to run more programs at once, and memory-hungry programs will see increased performance.

UsersRecommended RAM
Casual Users & Frequent Users:
Internet Browsing, Email, Simple Office Programs, Simple Graphics Programs, Simple Gaming, Media Playback, Little Multitasking
4 GB
Power Users & Students:
Internet Browsing, Email, Office Programs, Photo Editing, Video Editing, Graphics Programs, Gaming, Intensive Multitasking
8 GB
Professional Users, Gamers, & Graphic Designers
High Performance Gaming, High-Definition Multimedia Editing, Graphics Design, 3D Modeling, Intensive Multitasking
≥ 16 GB

GPU Comparison

 

The available graphics processing units (GPUs) can be split into three categories: integrated GPUs that are included with the CPU and are good for everyday tasks, discrete low-power (< 50 W TDP) graphics cards also good for everyday tasks, and discrete high-power graphics cards good for intense graphics performance for demanding games, video editing, and 3D modeling.

Graphics
Processor
CoresBase
Frequency
Boost
Frequency
MemoryTDPPassmark
Graphics
Benchmark
Ports
Nvidia
GeForce
GT 710
192954 MHzN/A1 GB25 W657VGA
DVI-D
HDMI
Nvidia
GeForce
GT 1030
3841,228 MHz1,468 MHz2 GB30 W2,285DVI-D
HDMI
Nvidia
GeForce
GTX 1060
1,152/1,2801,506 MHz1,708 MHz3 GB/6 GB120 W8,595/8,713DVI-D
HDMI 2.0b
DisplayPort 1.4
AMD
Radeon
RX 560
1,0241,175 MHz1,275 MHz2 GB/4 GB80 W4,683DVI-D
HDMI 2.0
DisplayPort 1.4
Intel
HD 620
24300 MHz1,000 MHzRAM
Dependent
CPU
Dependent
945Motherboard
Dependent
Intel
HD 630
24350 MHz1,150 MHzRAM
Dependent
CPU
Dependent
1,229Motherboard
Dependent
Intel
Iris Plus 640
48300 MHz950 MHzRAM
Dependent
CPU
Dependent
1,456Motherboard
Dependent
Intel
Iris Pro 580
72350 MHz950 MHzRAM
Dependent
CPU
Dependent
1,920Motherboard
Dependent