In summary, my UCPC (ultra compact personal computer) kit now works!
But first, the details on how I installed the RAM, now that it finally arrived.
Installing the RAM
Because low-voltage RAM is expensive, I chose to purchase just one 4GB module (for $50). The BRIX motherboard has two slots, and so I can always add more RAM later. The motherboard handles a maximum of 16GB RAM (which would cost about $175), but it this amount of memory is unnecessary for my purpose, which is to run Linux.
Figure 1: We can't tell from the box label that this is low-voltage RAM, but fortunately the label on the RAM itself carries the designation (circled in red)
To insert RAM, make sure the slot matches the notch (see Figure 2). Insert the module at an angle, initially.
Figure 2: The red circle highlighting the location of the notch (in white plastic holder) and slot (in green RAM module)
The slot-notch do two things for us:
- By being off-center, the notch ensures that we insert the RAM module the correct way around
- Their location ensures we are using the correct RAM module, as modules with different (incorrect) specs would have the slot in a different spot.
With the RAM module correctly aligned, press down on it so that it lays horizontally (see figure 3). Metal clips at either end snap into place. Ensure both clips are solidly in the respective notches.
There is too little documentation on this UCPC, but another snippet I learned is that the requirement for 1.35V low-voltage RAM is new to this edition of motherboard and CPU combo. Earlier UCPC boxes from Gigabyte used the more common 1.5V RAM modules.
We can see that the change in voltage did not reach the holders in which the RAM is inserted. Notice in figure 4 below that the white holders still specify "1.5V DDR3" (instead of 1.35V DDR3L).
Closing the Box
With the RAM installed, it is time to close the case. The problem with a symmetrical lid is that it can be difficult to determine its correct orientation. For this Gigabyte BRIX, one edge lacks the RFI shielding because it's the end with most of the connectors (see figure 5).
Figure 5: Three edges of the lid have RFI (radio frequency interference) shielding; one edge does not, as highlighted by the red circles
Close the lid, and then put back the four screws to secure it.
In the next episode: starting up the BRIX and installing the operating system.