(See 9/13/2019 update @ bottom)


Case is supposed to arrive today, so I need to pick up my pace. Searching for compatibility of MB, CPU and memory has continued, but was unable to order anything until I knew what I was actually working with size wise, and also needed to make sure of the power supply connector (20 or 24) plus the CPU power connector (4 or 8). Review section at Amazon mentioned it was a 4-pin CPU connector, but the InWin site showed a power supply with a 20+4 connector and the CPU connector as a 4+4 connection; however, I don’t know if that info is for their newer product line. A 20+4 gives the option for a 20 or 24 pin motherboard power connection, and the 4+4 covers a CPU’s 4 or 8 connection supply.

I use to build with AMD, but looked for a way to move to Intel for years, and then in 2016 I saw a combo deal of an Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor plus a Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3P Motherboard for a total price of $269.99 including taxes and shipping. Newegg has that processor for $221 today, and for the same MB “Used-Like New” its $150. 1/11/2019 I bought Micro ATX MB, 16GB of memory and Celeron G4900 for total of $212.03. 3 days later I ordered a Rosewill Mini Tower, a 450W power supply and DVD burner for $67. Anyway, the Mini-ITX case has arrived, and total cost for the finished machine is *NOW* probably going to be over $300…just found that it has a bay that will hold a slim ODD for a SSD – i.e. dock/bay and/or hot swap bay – perfect! Like they can run $15+ to almost $50…and I never had one, but such a device looks made for this mini-ITX. Could have 2 internal SSD’s, but I like the ability to swap drives and that $11.74 WIN10 Pro key is going to need a SATA connection, and also an easy way to swap out. I mentioned AMD earlier, and ‘Sherlock’ TUX has advised me to check out a small 65W RYZEN 3 1200 4-Core 3.1 GHz…which are running $56-60 right now. AMD mini-ITX MBs also look a little higher than the Intel’s I’m looking at, and I haven’t priced memory for AMD yet. Memory can change overnight – i.e. ‘last night 16GBs were $55, but this morning the same memory is $125 for 16GBs’. The Intel MB, Celeron G4900 and 16GBs were at about $185, and the AMD MB with the Ryzen 1200 was $150/155 depending if I got them from eBay or Newegg. With memory, it’s probably going to be $40-50 more than Intel.

I’ve been doing lots of searching for the Intel package, and have prepared a brief write-up for those who don’t know how to find a compatible MB, CPU and memory package – oh, BTW, this mini-ITX case’s power supply has 20+4 pin setup for the motherboard power connection, and also has the 4+4 pin setup that covers either a CPU’s 4 or 8 connection supply (see above pic) – so all options are now open. One of the Intel MBs I’ve looked at is an ASUS board – let’s do a compatibility search on it:

1 – Go to the ASUS Prime H310I-Plus website

2 – Click Support in upper right-hand corner

3 – Click CPU/Memory support button … That offers a good selection of supported CPUs – including the Celeron G4900 (3.1GHz, 2C, L3:2M, 54W, rev.B0) that I am considering.

4 – Now click Memory / Device Support (next to CPU Support) takes you to a page for downloads

5 – Click the PRIME_H310I-PLUS_Memory_QVL download button on right and that brings you to a .pdf Qualified Vendors List (QVL). The lists are usually old, but I try to stick with what they suggest. However, B&H Photo (another supplier I use) had suggested 16GBs of Ballistix memory not listed, and it was so Red!

6 – That was such a ‘pretty’ Red that I decided to go to Crucial website (remember, OEM MB lists can be old) to check if Crucial Ballistix BLS2K8G4D26BFSEK is compatible with ASUS MB. Scroll down and look for – “Will it work with my computer or motherboard” – select ASUS as manufacturer then model Prime H310I-Plus, a drop down shows two options, select either option then check compatibility (I tried both and they were “100% compatible” with the MB).

7 – That leads to this – This part is 100% compatible with PRIME H310I-PLUS, but I now want to do a Triple-Check, i.e. the Celeron G4900 info…

8 – Product specs page for Celeron G4900 only mentions “DDR4-2400” – probably no biggie, since their info page is confusing in other spots, but it’s enough to sway me away from ‘pretty’ 2666 MHz Red and go back to the ASUS QVL and check their DDR4-2400 list (same as ‘Rose’ and ‘Antec’ Jr.).

OK…back at ASUS QVL, and we’re looking for the DDR4-2400 section, then Part No. area and Size – all in red triangles:

Mainly looking in the Size area for “16GB ( 8GB*2)” which is a pair of 8GB sticks for a total of 16GBs, and there it is – PNY MD16GK2D4240015AB 16GB ( 8GB*2) – so we run this “MD16GK2D4240015AB” (w/o quotes) Part No. over to our vendor – Amazon in this case, and double check their Part No. to make sure they are listing the right one. $69.99 and PNY has it for the same amount – may buy it from them.

OK…may do some more updates in the Part 3 here, but for now I will end and post…lots of work and thinking and searching still ahead!


UPDATE: 9/13/2019 – Ordered new items to finish build with:

$71.68 InWin case
$74.89 16GB PNY memory
$15.29 12.7mm ODD drive bay
$92.99 H310I Mini-ITX MB
$136.25 i3-8100 3.6 GHz Quad processor

TOTAL = $391.10

NOTE 1: Celeron G4900 @ Amazon = $44.69…total cost if i3-8100 goes in ‘Rose’ and then move that Celeron to ‘InWin’ build – Total = $299.54

NOTE 2: Will use 128GB Team SSD purchased a few weeks ago for $15.99 – will not include in this build price. Will also use old wireless Logitech mouse/keyboard combo.

The Intel i3-8100 is compatible with the main Linux test machine ‘Rose’ so that Celeron G4900 can be swapped out for the i3-8100 (also compatible with ‘Antec’ Jr. but processors are so similar they’re not worth swapping), in case this small form build can’t handle the i3-8100. The case is very sturdy and design of such a small case is excellent. We’ll know how that 150W power supply works out later, but it also seems well built and designed. Have never installed a Slim ODD before, and wasn’t sure if the 12.7mm ODD drive bay would fit and/or work, so purchased a cheaper version of one – measurements were all in mm so it was as close as I could get to being accurate whilst using inches.

The case is basically broken into a Top and Bottom. I’ve shown pics of the MB area previously, that show the Top area where it shares space with power supply. Here’s a pic of Bottom area:


I’m mainly interested in that Slim ODD area – where I will try to put that 12.7mm ODD drive bay for swapping SSD’s. Don’t plan to use the SSD area on left…wires can be run thru this Bottom area in order to help keep MB area on Top area orderly.

Looks like I need to create a Page for these small form posts…OK, here – The Small Form Factor