The M350 specs say it can handle cooling up to a 65W TDP CPU with just the CPU fan, and I've heard of people using the i3-2100 in M350s, but I have no experience when it comes to dealing with enclosures that small.
I do not understand the desire to get a low-powered desktop. They are all the rage because people like the way they look, and they are more fun to talk about for lonely forum-dwellers, but SFF is a waste for most users. They eliminate the reasons to choose a desktop over a laptop.
Their are only a few good reasons to use a desktop over a laptop these days.
- You need high-powered components like graphics cards and multiple hard drives.
- You need a huge screen (perhaps more then one screen) that could never be portable.
- You have a collection of parts that could be re-used (like power supply, hard drives, optical drives).
Most SFF desktops do not let you use efficient, full-sized, and full-power components. The Lian Li PC-Q08 does let you use most of your old parts (everything but motherboard and CPU cooler), but that is the exception, rather then the rule.
The AMD APU's of today will be slower in all tasks
, save media rendering, then a Pentium G840 system with a cheap AMD Radeon HD 5570 graphics card.
Other then performance, the two solutions are almost indistinguishable. They cost the same amount of money, Pentium and Radeon costs $140, while the AMD A8-3850 APU will cost $135. They even use the same power, at approximately 100 watts total.