Smallest (and cheapest) Case and PSU options for APU?

TristanDuboisOLG

Average Stuffer
Original poster
May 10, 2018
81
21
Hey everyone! I've been looking around the forums lately trying to find a suitable case and power solution for a computer I want to send to a friend as a gift. He doesn't have a PC and hasn't ever played on one so I'm trying to start him out on something cheap as a gift and allow him to get a foot into the world of PC gaming.

I've picked up a few parts here and there like an OS key, RAM, HDD, and CPU. Now I'm finally at that crucial stage where I need to decide what kind of case to pick up. So here are the things that I've been thinking about.

I picked up a Ryzen 2200g just the other day. It would be nice to save money on a GPU and through that save size/weight for shipping. However, I'd be exchanging the GPU for a PSU issue. It seems that while I would be saving $65-70 on a GPU, now I'd have to spend almost $100 on both the AC-DC and then the DC-DC pieces needed to fit into some of these cases.

It looks like the 2200g will pull 163w roughly from the PSU under load.

Any suggestions?
 

BonfireOfDreams

Average Stuffer
Mar 14, 2019
68
32
If you intend to go APU small form factor, when it's back in stock (or if you find it available through another seller), DeskMini A300 is your cheapest route to go. $150 for case, power brick, & motherboard. Only drawback is the system requires SO-DIMM RAM. Assumming you purchased full sized sticks you'll need to purchase those SO-DIMM sticks if you do go that gifting route. The case fits stock coolers & comes in at a whopping 1.92L.
 
Last edited:

BonfireOfDreams

Average Stuffer
Mar 14, 2019
68
32
The Deskmini A300 needs a new heatsink too, as the one provided with the 2200G won't fit.
Huh, didn't know that. ASRock touted stock cooler compatibility since DeskMini inception. I guess AMD is the exception. Since it's relevant, DeskMini A300 max CPU cooler height is ≦ 46mm.

Hopefully you have a 2.5'' or M.2 drive as well OP!
 
Last edited:

TristanDuboisOLG

Average Stuffer
Original poster
May 10, 2018
81
21
If you intend to go APU small form factor, when it's back in stock (or if you find it available through another seller), DeskMini A300 is your cheapest route to go. $150 for case, power brick, & motherboard.

Interesting. I did some chipset research earlier as to what to look for in a cheap amd mobo (intel fanboy here) and saw that they had the a300 and x300 chipsets listed as SFF only. Apparently they said that none were ever made but the deskmini seems to run off of the cheaper a300 chipset.

I think this may work. Thanks!
 

TristanDuboisOLG

Average Stuffer
Original poster
May 10, 2018
81
21
Looks like the Deskmini A300w is out of stock everywhere . Ebay, amazon, newegg. Nothing on r/hardwareswap either.

Any other suggestions?
 

BonfireOfDreams

Average Stuffer
Mar 14, 2019
68
32
This is the cheapest AM4 Mini ITX board I could find. Use the picoPSU-160-XT in conjunction with this 192w power adapter, then perhaps use this M350 2.5L case. The maximum CPU cooler height for that case is....unspecified! So to be careful, I would reccomend the Noctua NH-L9i at 33mm. All together you're looking at...$270.38 for all these parts. It's $80.43 more expensive than going the Deskmini+low profile cooler route. It's also a bit more difficult to put together, but that's essentially the route you'll be headed if no DeskMini a300 stock is replenished.

Edit 1: If cost is a strong factor and you need to save money using a stock cooler, the smallest case that offers 54mm+ (Wraith Stealth) clearance at a reasonable price is the Silverstone ML05, but that nearly triples your total case volume to 7.07 L. In which case, I would just recommend going SFX instead of picoPSU as they are more accessible/sellable & this SFX PSU will cost $55.51 less than the picoPSU+power adapter combo.

Edit 2: As an aside, technically you could probably find a case that supports SFX power supplies, which opting out of would increase your cooler height, but those cases are much more expensive.
 
Last edited:

W4RR10R

Cable-Tie Ninja
Jan 29, 2019
197
195
Any other suggestions?

I have a desk mini and 16 GB of 3000 mhz SODIMM ram, that I got for my Gamecube PC project. I've hit a road block with trying to use a 2600 (not officially supported with the Deskmini) and a Vega 56 nano on an M.2 riser. I may be able to part ways with my, Deskmini, RAM, and L9a (AMD specific Version) minus the thermal paste (I used most of it constantly swapping between my 200ge and 2600). I'd have to think about it, not really ready to give up on my project.
 

Valantar

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 20, 2018
1,619
1,474
So you're gifting an entry-level gaming PC to a friend, and you're looking for a case and power solution. I would think it reasonable that they'd want to add a GPU at some point, as that's the main bottleneck for any build like this. Why not get a Fractal Node 202 with the included Integra 450W SFX PSU? It's still a small case, easy to get, relatively cheap, works with the Wraith Stealth cooler, is easily assembled, and allows for upgradeability. Sure, it's not ultra compact and will weigh a kg or two more than an ultra-compact case, but it'll be cheaper to buy, easier to service, and more future-proof.