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 Post subject: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 6
Hi everyone,
this is my first post here, but I have been reading around for the last few months.
This will be my first quite pc build, but I have built a handful of other pcs over the last decade.
This will be an htpc with some mild gaming thrown in on the occasion. I will be sized constrained as I will be building this in an broken NES.
The big burning question I have is just how much I could get out of the follow psu setups
http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-192-XT-192W-Adapter-Power-Kit

http://www.short-circuit.com/combo/pw200m-p4-150w-acdc.html

or buy
http://www.short-circuit.com/product/PW-200-M-P4-ATX.html and http://www.short-circuit.com/product/premium-192w-acdc.html separately and figure out a way to solder the wires to make them work

my build will be:
cpu- I5 2400
ram- 8gb tbd
hd- http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6822152236
mb- min itx tbd
video- AMD 6570 low profile- active vs passive cooling
optical -http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16827135251
in addition there will be a small handful of usb devices(keyboard reciever, blue tooth....)
I have seen a lot of people in the forums using the pico 150 or 160 with an I5 of some flavor, but very few who do so and have a graphics card. The big problem I see with using the pico is that it limits 12v to 8A which equals 96W. I know the I5 shouldn't be coming close to the theoretical max of 95W but when you throw on the video card which if I recall runs on the 12v line, and then all the other MB parts running on that, I think its a little to close for me. That's why I am leaning towards the pw-200 which can go up to 12a on that line. but then I worry that the max 150w of the power brick may not be able to handle the rest of the system.
On a side note, does anyone know why everyone who sells the pico has it offered with a 192W brick. This seems silly to me as the pico maxes out at 160w, or am I missing something with that?
Ok so that was the big part of my question, here comes a few little ones
For the graphics card, if I have read correctly, when using a system with sandybridge installed it will use the integrated graphics when in normal non-graphics intensive use. First is that true, or is that limited to specific chipsets/MB? If it is true, then adding a graphics card with a fan, even a loud fan, should effect noise the 90% of the time this is a movie box right? It should only spin up when the card is activated, ie when I am playing games. If so I personally would be fine with this, as I tend to turn up the tv when I am playing games anyway.
For this setup I was planning on have a single intake and a single output fan. In addiditon to that I was going to try to place the MB so the cpu lines up over a vent hold already in the bottom of the case, and I was going open up said hole a little and possibly even create a duct to directly draw air from it to the cpu fan. That leads me to the next question, how loud is the stock I5 fan? And how well does it cool?
To put this all in perspective I'm not counting on creating an absolutly quite computer, but one that makes less noise and is a lot more powerful than my current one. Currently I am running an Athalon 64 3000+ in a AOpen XC Cube EX761 with a passively cooled nvidia 6500. The cube sounds like a helicopter on start up, but isnt horrible when watching most movies or tv as we keep it about 12 feet away(under the tv). Thanks in advance for all the help once I am done I will post pictures.
-Zach


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:24 pm 
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Location: Sweden
A normal picoPSU (not the wide input versions) just passes the +12v rail on from the brick. That 8A limitation is not a real limitation, you can for example feed the motherboard +12v directly from the brick via the 4pin +12v cable. You could probably feed other power hungry stuff +12v from the brick and with a beefy brick (the Dell DA-2 for example is 18A and can be found on eBay) you can power a lot of stuff.

I would go with a 150W or 160W picoPSU, a good stong brick and do some rewiring.

Also consider going with a 2500K instead, a little bit more expensive but with HD 3000 graphics you can perhaps do without the discreet graphics card.

edit: That 192W brick seems to have a great efficiency rating, would love to have one of those since it probably has better efficiency than the Dell DA-2. Finding +12v bricks with really good efficiency is a PITA..

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Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 750 Ti | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:55 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:34 am
Posts: 1
Hi, Im quite new in this low power pc setups! I want to do exactly the same, but wants to go with a ssd vertex 120GB SATA3 and a wd blue drive. Motherboard is going to be the Zotac H67, with Wifi, and one 120mm fan. Had a look on other forums, and people say that you can also use a xbox 203w psu. (not realy want i have in mind. would much rather go with the 192 watt brick.

Have a look at this video card. 6570 with no fan. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6814161374
HIS video with no fan!

If someone there has the same or similar product, please let us know how it goes, and how much power your system consume...

thanks

nelius


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:07 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 6
I've read in a few places in the forums that it passes the 12v directly, but I am a little confused about that because I cant find any technical documentation. The only thing I have found is the manual on the mini-box web site, which is why I am under the impression of its power limitation.
Also I would really prefer a dedicated graphics card to the integrated.
-Zach


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:57 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 6
ok I have an extra crazy person question
I would like to have 2 variable speed fans in the case. One in one out. My problem is the MB I am looking at is http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157238
As far as I can tell it has a speed control for the cpu fan, and one additional one for a case fan. Is it possible to solder the cables from two case fans to fit the single header on the mb? or is there a cheap adapter for that anywhere?
-Zach


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 02, 2004 12:22 pm
Posts: 2064
Location: Guatemala
zach132 wrote:
Is it possible to solder the cables from two case fans to fit the single header on the mb? or is there a cheap adapter for that anywhere?
There are splitters you can use if both fans are you using are PWM, like PWM-Y Cable Adapter, only one will transmit rps signal the other will just get the same power as the first fan.

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GameMi >> MSI Z87-GD65 | Intel Core i7-4790K | Thermalright Silver Arrow IBE + 3x Noctua NF-A15 PWM @500rpms | Crucial Ballistix Sport 32GB DDR3 1600 | nVidia GTX780 + ARCTIC Accelero Xtreme IV | Samsung SA850 27'' 2560x1440 | Samsung 840pro 512GB | Hitachi 7K1000 1TB | Fractal Design Define R4 + 4x Noctua NF-A14 PWM @450rpm | SeaSonic SS-860XP2
Other builds ---> ServeMi | CamMi | MiniMi | HTPCMi


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
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Location: Sweden
zach132 wrote:
I've read in a few places in the forums that it passes the 12v directly, but I am a little confused about that because I cant find any technical documentation. The only thing I have found is the manual on the mini-box web site, which is why I am under the impression of its power limitation.

There is a power limitation. Even if the picoPSU just passes +12v through it still cannot let any amount of current though. The cables could catch fire. ;)
Bypassing the picoPSU and feeding stuff +12v directly from the brick is not something the manufacturer will provide any information about, other than perhaps issue a warning.

Those who overclocked the good old Athlon Thunderbird back in the day might remember the warm ATX connectors.. Good times. :) Then the P4 came and something had to be done. Most modern motherboards now has an extra power connector in addition to the big ATX connector. That extra connector (usually 4pin, today sometimes 8pin) provides the motherboard with extra lines of +12v (and ground).

In my opinion the picoPSU is a bit weak in its construction. The barrel connector it comes with for example, I think it's only rated for 5A. I'd say a little cable work is required if the system will draw a bit over 100W. I had some serious voltage drops on the +12v line in one of my previous builds and the problem went away when I did some rewiring. I shortened the cable from the brick, replaced the barrel connector and let the extra 4pin connector draw directly from the brick.

_________________
Main: ASRock B85M-ITX | i3-4330 | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 730 240GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 13.9W
HTPC: ASRock H81M-ITX | Pentium G3420 | 4GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | HDPLEX H1-S | picoPSU | No moving parts | Idle 11.2W
Gaming: Intel DH77EB | i5-3570K | GTX 750 Ti | 16GB DDR3 | Intel 520 120GB | TJ08-E | G-360 360W
Server: Intel DH77DF | i3-2100T | 4TB+3x3TB | picoPSU | Idle 24W AC


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 6
so if I am correct the pico 160 http://www.mini-box.com/picoPSU-192-XT-192W-Adapter-Power-Kit
connects to the power supply using the 4pin connector, which attaches to the pico via what looks like a P4 power cable. I know some of the other models connect via a dc barrel connector(the pw200 for instance). Most people seem to think this connector is a little shady for the level of power, and I am inclined to agree, but I dont see anyone complaining about the 4pin connector attached to the power brick.
so as far as bypassing power by the pico are you saying soldering a P4 connector on before it reaches the pico and connecting that directly to the MB? I just want to make sure I am getting this right. Is there any real advantage of this over just going with the pw200 with the included 150w power brick? How much power does the MB drawl in addition to the cpu(95w max) and the video card(pci-e I believe is limited to 25w). So throw on there 10w for usb devices as I believe they are limited to 2.5w per port, and we are up to about 125w at max, plus hard drive, RAM, fans, and MB. how close is all this to pushing me over. I have heard that the 95W TDB is higher than the 2400 ever actually goes, and I dont think any low profile card should be pushing the max for power allowed on the pci-e bus, so am I in that much danger of over drawling?
does anyone have reasonable estimates for power draws and what rail the rest of the system should require?
-Zach


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:22 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1730
Location: Switzerland
I'd be conservative with power supplies. You can power a lot more than you used to with a pico but there are limits.

zach132 wrote:
So throw on there 10w for usb devices as I believe they are limited to 2.5w per port

not anymore
zach132 wrote:
the 95W TDB is higher than the 2400 ever actually goes

true, and you can lower the actual consumption further with underclocking (and/or underclocking)


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 4:35 pm 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 6
Ok I was just checking over some of the numbers I was and I am way off for the pci-e, it can draw either 75w or 150w depending on which website I was checking. But the 2.5w for usb should hold for all usb2.0 devices, which is what I am using currently.

On a side note, anyone out there that has the pw-200, what gauge wires are attaching it? I am leaning towards pairing it with the 192w brick, and soldering onto the wires coming out of the 4pin mini din connector. If the wires on the pw-200 are thick enough I would probably just shorten them a little as I will mount this at the back of the case. It cost a little more than either combo, but seems reasonable as far as soldering goes. Anyone with the pw-200 have thoughts about this, how feasible it is?
-Zach


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Mon Oct 17, 2011 8:01 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jul 03, 2008 4:27 am
Posts: 1730
Location: Switzerland
zach132 wrote:
But the 2.5w for usb should hold for all usb2.0 devices

No. I hope the rest of your research was done with more care.


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:12 am
Posts: 3234
Location: ITALY
Vicotnik wrote:
Finding +12v bricks with really good efficiency is a PITA..

Look at this.

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Luca


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Tue Oct 18, 2011 12:14 pm 
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Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 12032
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Energy Star maintained a list of AC/DC adapters rated for output voltage, power & efficiency, but it's been discontinued. I have a copy of the list, however, and it is posted here in XLS format. :wink:

Energy Star AC/DC adapter list, Feb 2008

ES says...
Quote:
The International Efficiency Marking Protocol for External Power Supplies remains in effect. This protocol provides a system for power supply manufacturers to designate the minimum efficiency performance of an external power supply, so that finished product manufacturers and government representatives can easily determine a unit's efficiency.

Look here for more details -- http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?fus ... rs.showEPS -- but no organized listing of products is provided.

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Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through these links: NCIX, Amazon and Newegg


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 Post subject: Re: pico vs PW-200-M and other questions
PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:56 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2011 11:42 am
Posts: 6
So I went ahead and build the machine. I went with the pw-200m and the 192W brick.
final specs are
I5-2500k
G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600
ASRock H67M-ITX
and a 60mm fan
I also ordered http://www.simerec.com/PCS-1a.html because I am too lazy to get up to turn on the computer.
I held off on a discrete graphics card for now, as the 2500k has the hd3000 and I am pretty busy at work, this should hold me until mid spring when I will try to add whatever the update of the AMD 6570 is. Running P95 it gets up to about 70c, but I might also switch out the stock cooler for something a little stronger. Also running P95 it goes up to about 140w. When/if I get the new card I will make sure I stress test it before the return day expires. If I have time I will post some picks.
Thanks for all the help
-Zach


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