Selecting Your Components

The original Commodore 64 case design was not designed to cool modern socketed Mini-ITX boards. The 6510 in the original Commodore 64 only ran at 1MHz! Component selection in this type of enclosure is a trade-off between power and thermal considerations.

General restrictions

  • 30mm height limit for heatsinks and board mounted components at the front of the case
  • External power supply required due to case space limitations
  • Thermal considerations rule out very powerful processors (max 65W TDP recommended)

Mini-ITX motherboards with integrated CPUs

Mini-ITX boards fitted directly with processors generally draw very little power and generate little heat meaning a small cooling fan or often a completely fanless heatsink.

These boards are often all that is required, with modern boards perfectly capable of 4K video playback and simple 3D work and typically running several times faster than a Raspberry Pi.

This class of board has been produced since 2001. There are 1000s of different boards out there that will fit with no thermal issues whatsoever. Integrated boards tend to have low profile heatsinks fitted at the factory under 30mm in height.

Current integrated boards (as of May 2021) that we recommend are:

  • ASRock J4105-ITX (Embedded)
  • Gigabyte J3455N-D3H (Embedded)
  • ASRock J5040-ITX (Embedded)
  • BioStar A68N-5600E (Embedded)
  • ASRock B550M-ITX/ac Socket AM4 Mini-ITX Motherboard (Used in our Ryzen Tutorial) Please use the Dynatron A18 heatsink/fan Plus our exhaust ducting (3d Printed) email [email protected] for the 3d file)

Socket Mini-ITX boards

Mini-ITX boards with sockets tend to draw more power and generate more heat due to the higher power of most desktop processors. Intel boards are recommended though AMD boards can be used if the processor used has onboard graphics, and a suitable low-profile AMD heatsink can be sourced in your location.

The Commodore 64x enclosure tapers towards the front. This gives a z-height limitation of 30mm for a motherboard heatsink and other board components.

Generally available socket heatsinks that are 30mm or less include

  • Akasa 7106HP / Akasa K25 (Intel)
  • Thermaltake Engine 27 (Intel)
  • Silverstone SST-NT07-115X (Intel)
  • ID Cooling IS-30 (AMD, not so widely available)
  • Dynatron A18 heatsink/fan

Some more excellent advice from Martin Wimpress:

For extra cooling power you can replace the stock fan on the ID Cooling IS-30 with the following:
Noctua NF-A9x14 PWM, Premium Quiet Fan, 4-Pin (92x14mm, Brown) [1]

Noctua NF-A9x14 HS-PWM, Premium Quiet Slim Fan, 4-Pin (92x14mm, Black) [2]
Both keep the Ryzen 4750G cool and quiet (idle ~35 degC / Load ~70 degC) with the APU overclocked to 2400Mhz. Those fans are now screwed to the IS-30 using 4x M3*16mm (not 20mm as I previously suggested) flat head screws; they are the perfect length.

We recommend fitting a CPU with 65W TDP or lower.

There are vents underneath the case and above the keyboard area, with a small 40mm exhaust fan in the middle rear of the case. These will not cool to the standards of a modern gaming chassis fitted with multiple fans and with much larger interior volume.

Powering your board

The Commodore 64x enclosure does not have room to fit an ATX, SFX or FlexATX power supply inside. Luckily internal ATX socket mounted DC converters (picoPSUs) exist that can power motherboards with the help of an external AC Adapter. The DC Jack from the picoPSU is fed to a hole on the outside of the case where it connects to the DC Plug from the AC Adaptor.

Most of the time if your board has an ATX power connector you will want to use one of 2 options:

  • picoPSU-90 with 60W/80W 12V AC Adapter for integrated motherboards
  • picoPSU-150-XT with 150W 12V AC Adapter for socket motherboards

Please note that the picoPSU-160-XT does NOT fit inside the Commodore 64x enclosure at its lowest point, so is not recommended.

Some boards can be powered directly by a DC power source. The picoPSU is not required, just a suitable AC Adapter. In this instance the DC Plug from the AC Adapter connects to the motherboard on its IO panel at the rear.

There are edge cases for wide voltage use that can be solved with other components.

Tip: To significantly reduce peak power consumption of a modern Intel socket board, switch off Turbo mode in the BIOS.


If your board supports M.2 or mSATA storage, you will be able to fit a drive directly to your motherboard. (Make sure M.2 socket is on top of board and not underneath)

The Commodore 64x enclosure has an optical drive tray mounting bracket. You can fit a 12.7mm optical drive or our 12.7mm 2.5” hard drive docking station. (You will also need a laptop Mini SATA cable to connect this).

Underneath the optical bay is the facility to house a 2.5″ SATA drive.

With thanks to

Thanks to for providing this guide. Check out their website for suitable components particularly if you are in the UK or Europe. Myretrocomputer recommend Mini for all your Commodore 64x needs!
They have a Commodore 64x chassis and can give compatibility information for anything you can think of!