Upgrading the Asus Chromebox CN60 / M004U

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About: Slinky Harmonics Engineer by day...

In this instructable, I'll be upgrading the stock Asus Chromebox... from 2GB of RAM to 8GB of RAM...

Ironically, Asus gave their Chromebox a number depending what you wanted to buy... i.e.:

Chromebox CN60 (VESA mount included)

Chromebox M004U (No Keyboard & mice included)

Chromebox M075U (Keyboard & mice included)

Chromebox M107U (better CPU and more RAM)

... etc...

However, they all have the same layout and the same upgradability... So, no need to worry if you have or may have the correct unit.

Now, you might be wondering why I am not upgrading the SSD drive... well, the stock SSD is more than enough for the Chrome OS. So, there is no need to waste money on that. Also, depending on when and where you got your Chromebox you might already have 1TB of online storage included with your purchase...

For this upgrade you will need the following:

2 X 4GB DDR3L 16800 SODIMM (1.35V)

1 X Spudger / Spatula or plastic card.

1 X Phillips screwdriver

Step 1: Cracking It Open!

The design of the Asus Chromebox gives a generous space around the border. So, I took the spudger and pried the rubber pads out of the way. I stuck them right next to the area where they were before so, I do not need to replace them back after I am done...

Step 2: Pop the Bottom!

So, now using your fav. tool pry around the edge of the Chromebox. This will pop the bottom nicely, remove it and set it aside...

By the way, you might want to keep an eye on those custom screws... if you lose one, you won't be able to find it anywhere...

Step 3: Basic Parts...

I have labeled some parts of the Chromebox which might be of interest to you. Note the RAM slots, SSD drive, WiFi card... all replaceable if needed be...

Step 4: Replace the RAM...

So, locate the little retainer clips on the side of the RAM module...

Push both sides, RAM module will pop up, pull and set aside.

Replace with the new 4GB RAM modules, make sure they are seated properly...

Reassemble, in reverse order...

Now, plug the power cord and test your Chromebox. It should just boot up and go to the login screen. You'll now notice that videos from sites such as youtube will be smoother. Games will actually work correctly and are snappy... etc...

Congratulations you are now done... enjoy!

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    18 Discussions

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    MarkM728

    Question 9 months ago on Introduction

    Hi... I've got an Asus Chromebox2 g095u. It came with 4GBs of RAM. I'd like to add another 4GB of RAM, if possible. I've been unable to find out any info on this. Do you know if it's possible? I don't much about electronics but I'm confident that I could do the upgrade if it would be the same process you describe here. If I can add another stick, what specs do I need? Thanks for your time!

    1 answer
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    X0n1T3MarkM728

    Answer 8 months ago

    According to Crucial's website your model can take up to 16 GB...

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    jstyravgjo

    Question 10 months ago on Introduction

    My CN60 didnt have any wires connected to the wifi card when I opened it up & upgraded it. Is that normal? Im suspiscious because of where it was purchased (ebay, supposedly new).

    1 answer
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    X0n1T3jstyravgjo

    Answer 8 months ago

    Hi,
    Does your WIFI work??
    If you do have a WiFi card, there should be 2 or 3 gold antenna hole plugs on the PCB. There should also be 2 or 3 wires around, inside the case... usually one black and one white like in the pictures (sometimes you see green or grey too)

    If you do find them inside try connecting them (like in the pictures)

    Cheers!

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    X0n1T3jjpocreva

    Answer 10 months ago

    Hi jjpocreva,

    16GB is the max... according to Crucial, however, not sure if the chromebox will use all of it...

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    Cburg1

    1 year ago

    Would it be better to use 2x4GB, or leave the 2GB in, and install an additional 8GB?

    1 reply
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    X0n1T3Cburg1

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Cburg1,

    Well, if you use the 2 X 4GB, the system will benefit from the dual channel. Right now, I can't remember if this Chromebox max. out at 8GB of RAM... However, if it does then there is no point in having 10GB of RAM because it will only use 8GB....cheers!

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    ranjeevm

    1 year ago

    Hi ... before I take the plunge, it will be nice to understand the following:

    1. Why did you decide to upgrade the RAM? Chrome OS manages RAM really well based on the information I have. So I would like to understand what necessitated the upgrade?

    2. Why did you not choose to get just one 4 GB module? Together with the 2GB OEM module, you would have got 6 GB in total which seems like a decent upgrade for the relatively lower cost and the utilization of the 2GB module that would have to be discarded in your case.

    3. Did you try changing the position of the Chromebox or attaching an external fan to it that cools it down. I have a Chromebox that now works well after I attached a very small USB powered cooling fan externally and to be honest this doesn't even look ugly at all because it is at the back of the console.

    2 replies
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    X0n1T3ranjeevm

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi Ranjeevm,

    1 - Depends on what you do online or with your Chromebox , if you watch and stream videos or play games you'll need more memory... You will notice a degrade on the performance of your machine.

    2 - This machine has a Dual Channel (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multi-channel_memory_architecture) So, having 2 sticks of the same memory and quantity matter...

    3 - My unit has the required 3 to 5 inches of space around it... So, it does not overheat or have problems with anything I do...

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    ranjeevmX0n1T3

    Reply 1 year ago

    Dual channel just means that theoretically double the amount of RAM can be accessed for the given time. If one channel is faster than the other the amount of accessible RAM for the same given time would drop but that would be barely noticeable. If one channel has more memory than the other, it can still be utilized once the lower memory is full. I am not sure if I understand.

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    DavidNisker

    2 years ago

    Is it possible to run an Asus Chromebox without a case? I was given one without a case (just the motherboard, RAM and SSD) which I'd like to use without the hassle of getting a case but can't get it to turn on.

    2 replies
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    ranjeevmDavidNisker

    Reply 1 year ago

    It might actually work better without a box (better cooling for sure) but then there is a purpose of having a box - adequate protection for the otherwise delicate underlying electronics.

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    X0n1T3DavidNisker

    Reply 2 years ago

    Did it work before it was removed from the case? Does it make any noises? Are you sure you are pressing the power button and not the reset button?

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    LilSnoop40

    1 year ago

    question about the onboard wifi card, i was looking to upgrade this to a faster model. after speaking with ASUS tech suppport yesterday they told me i couldn't replace this so i ordered a usb wifi adperter that should arrive tomorrow.. is there one that i could upgrade replace internally on this cromebox?

    Thanks

    1 reply
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    X0n1T3LilSnoop40

    Reply 1 year ago

    Hi LilSnoop40,

    Well, any OEM maker will tell you that you can't upgrade anything, unless they sell the parts, warranty and service for it. So, If you are trying to go from the included WiFi N to WiFi AC. I would look for a card that is the same size and has the same amount of antennae (in this case 2.) Intel chips work well and the Chrome OS will install drivers if they are not already installed. However, it always helps to buy the same brand as the one installed inside your Chromebox (this guarantees that drivers are already installed and ready to go.)

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    bhalliday

    2 years ago

    Both the CN60 and M400u have vesa mounts included, the CN60 comes with a wired usb mouse and keyboard the M400u does not. The m107u has an i3 processor and the M075u is the same model as the M107u but bundles with the usb keyboard and mouse.

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    X0n1T3bhalliday

    Reply 2 years ago

    Cool, thanks, my CN60 had no mouse or keyboard (OEM default)... go figure...