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
Akasa
Euler
Thin Mini ITX2.6 L35 WNoN/A00Case1
Akasa
Euler MX
Mini ITX5.1 L65 WNoN/A00Case2
Akasa
Galileo
Thin Mini ITX2.1 L35 WNoN/A00Case0
Akasa
Turing
NUC2.7 L50 WNoN/A00Case1
Cooler Master
Elite 110
Mini ITX15.4 L65 WYes75 W10Internal4
Cooler Master
Q300L
Micro ATX33.8 L95 WYes75 W40Internal2
Fractal Design
Meshify C
ATX40.4 L95 WYes75 W70Internal4
HDPlex
H1
Mini ITX5.5 L65 WNoN/A00Case4
HDPlex
H3
Mini ITX7.9 L65 WNoN/A10Case4
HDPlex
H5
ATX15.4 L95 WYes120 W21Case4
MonsterLabo
First
Mini ITX19.2 L95 WYes160 W1
(GPU Only)
0Case3
SilverStone
LD03
Mini ITX25.6 L65 WYes75 W10Internal2
Streacom
DB4
Mini ITX18.1 L65 WYes75 W10Case4
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
Turemetal
DP2
Mini ITX3.9 L65 WNoN/A00Case2

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
ASRock
H470M-ITX
Mini ITXIntel
Comet Lake
64 GB1 x162 Gen 3 x44DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 1.4
1G & 2.5GIncluded1 3.0
1 3.0 Type C
4 3.1
ASRock
Z490 Pro4
ATXIntel
Comet Lake
128 GB1 x16
1 x4
3 x1
2 Gen 3 x46HDMI 1.4
D-Sub
1GM.2 E or PCIe Card2 2.0
2 3.0
1 3.1
1 3.1 Type C
ASRock
Z490M Pro4
Micro ATXIntel
Comet Lake
128 GB1 x16
1 x4
2 x1
4 x1
2 Gen 3 x44DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 1.4
D-Sub
1GM.2 E or PCIe Card4 3.0
1 3.1
1 3.1 Type C
Asus
H310T
Thin Mini ITXIntel
Coffee Lake
32 GB
SO-DIMM
None1 Gen 3 x42DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 1.4
1GM.2 E Card2 2.0
2 3.0
Asus
ProArt Z490-Creator
ATXIntel
Comet Lake
128 GB1 x16
1 x8
1 x4
2 x1
2 Gen 3 x462 Mini DisplayPort 1.4
(via Thunderbolt)
HDMI 1.4
2.5G & 10GPCIe Card2 3.0
4 3.1
2 Thunderbolt 3
Asus
ROG Strix B550-F
ATXAMD
Zen 2
128 GB1 Gen 4 x16
1 x4
3 x1
1 Gen 3 x4
1 Gen 4 x4
6DisplayPort 1.2
HDMI 2.1
2.5GPCIe Card2 2.0
4 3.0
1 3.1
1 3.1 Type C
Asus
ROG Strix H470-I
Mini ITXIntel
Comet Lake
64 GB1 x162 Gen 3 x44DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 1.4
1G & 1GIncluded1 2.0 Type C
4 3.0
1 3.1
1 3.1 Type C
Gigabyte
B550I Aorus Pro AX
Mini ITXAMD
Zen 2
64 GB1 Gen 4 x161 Gen 3 x4
1 Gen 4 x4
4DisplayPort 1.4
2 HDMI 2.1
2.5GIncluded4 3.0
1 3.1
1 3.1 Type C
MSI
B550IM Mortar WiFi
Micro ATXAMD
Zen 2
128 GB1 Gen 4 x16
1 x4
2 x1
1 Gen 3 x4
1 Gen 4 x4
6DisplayPort 1.4
HDMI 1.4
2.5GIncluded2 2.0
2 3.0
1 3.1
1 3.1 Type 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
Max Boost
Frequency
CacheTDPPassmark
Benchmark
Integrated
Graphics
Passmark
Graphics
Benchmark
AMD
Ryzen 3 3200G
443.6 GHz4.0 GHz6 MB65 W7,999Radeon
Vega 8
1,734
AMD
Ryzen 5 3400G
483.7 GHz4.2 GHz6 MB65 W10,244Radeon
RX Vega 11
2,279
AMD
Ryzen 5 3600
6123.6 GHz4.2 GHz35 MB65 W17,830NoneN/A
AMD
Ryzen 7 3700X
8163.6 GHz4.4 GHz36 MB65 W22,749NoneN/A
Intel
Celeron G5900
223.4 GHz3.4 GHz2 MB58 W2,737Intel
UHD 610
726
Intel
Pentium Gold G6400
244.0 GHz4.0 GHz4 MB58 W4,259Intel
UHD 610
726
Intel
Core i3-10100
483.7 GHz4.4 GHz8 MB65 W9,381Intel
UHD 630
1,551
Intel
Core i5-10500
6123.1 GHz4.5 GHz12 MB65 W13,470Intel
UHD 630
1,551
Intel
Core i7-10700
8162.9 GHz4.8 GHz16 MB65 W17,629Intel
UHD 630
1,551
Intel
Core i9-10900
10202.8 GHz5.2 GHz20 MB65 W21,290Intel
UHD 630
1,551

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
8-16 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
AMD
Radeon
RX 560
1,0241,175 MHz1,275 MHz4 GB GDDR580 W3,632
Intel
UHD 610
12350 MHz1,050 MHzRAM
Dependent
CPU
Dependent
726
Intel
UHD 630
24350 MHz1,100 MHzRAM
Dependent
CPU
Dependent
1,551
Nvidia
GeForce
GT 710
192954 MHz954 MHz1 GB DDR319 W620
Nvidia
GeForce
GT 1030
3841,228 MHz1,468 MHz2 GB GDDR530 W2,617
Nvidia
GeForce
GTX 1650
8961,485 MHz1,665 MHz4 GB GDDR575 W7,894
Nvidia
GeForce
GTX 1660 Super
1,4081,530 MHz1,785 MHz6 GB GDDR6125 W12,704
Nvidia
GeForce
RTX 2060
1,9201,365 MHz1,680 MHz6 GB GDDR6160 W14,731
Nvidia
Quadro
P2200
1,2801,000 MHz1,493 MHz5 GB GDDR5X75 W9,529