The other day I wrote about MeLE PCG35 Apo mini PC which comes with soldered RAM and eMMC flash, and one person commented about having a model with more than 4GB RAM, but I explained it would not be cost-effective to add more RAM for low cost Windows 10 mini PCs since they would not qualify for Microsoft discount, and it would significantly add to the price. So Microsoft has a big impact on this market segment, and even if you’re going to run Ubuntu or other Linux distributions, those requirements indirectly affect your choice of hardware. One solution is to buy barebone mini PC, or at least with upgradeable RAM and storage, but there aren’t that many with an Apollo Lake processor. Intel NUC6CAYS NUC or GIGABYTE GB-BPCE-3350 are options, and on the Chinese side, you could consider Voyo V1 VMac Mini. AFAIK, none of those options are fanless, but GIGABYTE GA-SBCAP3350 single board computer offers a SO-DIMM RAM slot, two SATA ports, as well as a mSATA socket, and appears to have been designed for passively cooled system with a large integrated SoC heat spreader.
GIGABYTE GA-SBCAP3350 SBC specifications:
- SoC – Intel Celeron N3350 dual core processor @ 1.1 GHz / 2.4 GHz with 12 EU Intel HD graphics 500 @ 200 MHz / 650 MHz (6W TDP)
- System Memory – 1x SO-DIMM socket for up to 8GB DDR3L 1333/1600/1866 MHz
- Storage – 2x SATA 6Gb/s connectors, 1x MSATA connector (MSATA_MPCIE2), 2x 64Mbit flash for AMI UEFI BIOS supporting PnP 1.0a, DMI 2.7, WfM 2.0, SM BIOS 2.7, ACPI 5.0
- Video Output – 1x HDMI 1.4 ports up to 4K @ 30 Hz, 1x VGA up to 1920×1200 @ 60 Hz, 1x LVDS header, 1x flat panel header, 1x backlight switch header
- Audio – HDMI out, headphone jack, 1x speaker header, 1x volume control header; Realtek ALC255 2-channel audio codec
- Connectivity – 2x Gigabit Ethernet (Realtek chip)
- USB – 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1 type A ports, 4x USB 2.0/1.1 via internal headers
- Other Expansion
- 1x half size Mini PCIe slot (MPCIE1) conforming to PCI Express 2.0 standard
- 4x serial port headers + 4x serial port power select jumpers
- 1x LPT/GPIO header and 1x LPT configuration header
- 1x I2C, 1x SMBUS
- Misc – 1x system fan, 1x front panel header, 1x battery cable header, 1x buzzer header, 1x BIOS select jumper, 1x clear CMOS jumper, 1x chassis intrusion header, H/W monitoring for voltage, temperature, fan speed control & detection, etc…
- Power Supply – DC in connector
- Dimensions – 14.6 x 10.2 cm
The board is said to support Windows 10 64-bit, and older Windows version may not be supported. Linux should be supported too, but the company asks to download Linux driver from chipset vendors or third party websites. So you’d be on your own…
The dimensions (14.6 x 10.2 cm) are the ones of 3.5″ embedded SBCs, so it should be possible to find an enclosure. The form factor and features could however mean it’s not for consumer market, but the enterprise / embedded market only.
Price and availability information has not been disclosed. You may find more details on the product page.