Smallest ITX case with one expansion slot? (i.e. M350, etc)

Discussion in 'General' started by sofakng, Mar 15, 2019 at 2:25 PM.

  1. sofakng

    sofakng Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    I'm looking for the absolute smallest Mini-ITX case that has one expansion slot (half-height is fine).

    The case is going into a MAME arcade PC build so I don't care about aesthetics or looks. Basically I'm trying to find something cheap like the M350 Universal Mini-ITX case but with one half-height expansion slot.

    I also love the new ASRock DeskMini PCs and they absolutely nearly perfect if they supported just one half-height PCIe slot.

    Any suggestions?
  2. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Chief Procrastination Officer
    Moderator LOSIAS

    Regular PSU? Brickless ? Fine with an AC-DC (laptop charger) ? Budget ?

    What will you use the expansion slot for ?
  3. sofakng

    sofakng Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    I'd probably rather an external AC-DC (laptop charger) to save space inside the case but I'm OK with a PicoPSU, or a regular PSU as a very last resort.

    The expansion slot is for a video card (AMD Radeon HD 6450). The video card has a DB15 VGA port which is used to connect up to a CRT for 15 kHz video.

    Budget is preferred to be under $100 if possible. (I just want something very small/compact and don't care much about looks).
  4. SFF EOL

    SFF EOL Trash Compacter

    #4 SFF EOL, Mar 16, 2019 at 1:04 PM
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 1:19 PM
    Do you even need descrete graphics? You haven't mentioned the hardware?
    Do you need discrete graphics? You didn’t mention what hardware you’d use?

    The HD 6450 wasn’t anything special back in 2011(?) so the Ryzen APUs seem a good choice, certainly they are up to emulating PlayStation 1&2. You can get adaptors where you find you have problems with connecting to the monitor (I not so long ago bought an original Xbox and there was no way it would connect to my modern 4K TV, the adaptor cost £10 and it works fine). Then you don’t need any slots. One case I’m building into (where I wish I had a slot ironically) is a CiT copy of the In Win Chopin, unfortunately I don’t think it is currently available, I got mine of eBay for £30. The exterior diameter is about 22cm by 22.5CM (I don’t have the Chopin to fully compare but it looks very much a rip-off). Mine came with a 300W SFX CPU and the internal height is about 6.5cm.

    The reason I’m not that exact about internals is because I decided to fit an embedded passive J9000 based motherboard and that runs off a brick, so I don’t need the PSU. I could however fit a FM1 ITX motherboard I have with a AMD A8 (last gen) and have the graphics off that. In which case I would need to get measuring properly but it would need low profiling cooling- I am tempted by passive and have ordered some passive cooling aluminium heat sinks off the slow boat. That said the A8 I have is still boxed and is a low power version that appears to be originally OEM only that got reboxed at the end of the run before they moved to DDR4- low power is still 35TDP though so not low power comparatively speaking compared to the Ryzen APU.

    I found my case on Amazon;

    No rear expansion slots. The front is Perspex over black metal. There’s a slot for a DVD drive (slimline) in the front. That and the SSD/HDD actually sit under the ITX base plate (which you secure the motherboard to). I’m not clear why because the supplied PSU doesn’t, it occupies one whole side of the case so I can’t see any heat saving benefit.
  5. chx

    chx Master of Cramming
    Silver Supporter

    #5 chx, Mar 16, 2019 at 2:28 PM
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 2:34 PM
  6. GuilleAcoustic

    GuilleAcoustic Chief Procrastination Officer
    Moderator LOSIAS

    #6 GuilleAcoustic, Mar 16, 2019 at 4:59 PM
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2019 at 6:15 PM
    Do you only need a d-sub for the CRT or do you also need specific feature from a driver ?

    Edit¹: CRT emudriver seems to work with Ryzen 5 2400G...

    All you'd need is an AM4 ITX with a DSUB. But maybe you already have all the hardware.

    Edit²: Can't find an ITX AM4 with VGA output and active adapters aren't suited for everything...

    Edit³: (quote from the linked CRT emudriver)
  7. sofakng

    sofakng Minimal Tinkerer
    Thread Starter

    Thanks very much for the replies everybody!

    @GuilleAcoustic has researched some of the information and reasons why I need to use a dedicated card. The best solution for compatibility with my project is a simple Mini ITX motherboard and the dedicated PCIe AMD Radeon HD 6450. I've already purchased an ASRock Z370M-itx/ac and an Intel i3-8100.

    So basically I just want the smallest ITX case to support all of these parts :)
  8. SFF EOL

    SFF EOL Trash Compacter

    I like chx idea for the custom back-plate. I want on expansion slot but haven't got one but my backplate is thick enough that I could dremel one along those lines. As I said my case I posted the link to has no expansion slots. Maybe looks a bit 'fancy' for you (rather than utilitarian) but really that is only down to the perspex on the front and the LED on/off switch. I already have a new unlike switch to swap it out and I have plans for the perspex- it's going to get a 'rust' effect. The rest of the case will be the standard black.

    Your HD 6450 would fit, horizontal with a riser cable
  9. Vlad502

    Vlad502 SFF Lingo Aficionado

    chx likes this.