What happened to the audio file for this article? It's no longer there on the last page...
Larry's statement should not be taken out of context -- or maybe he should have made it more explicit that the reference is to EFFICIENCY only. There's a simple reason why the pico + adapter ends up more efficient at the <20W loads. The 200W stock PSU is well below its best efficiency range; maximum efficiency with most PSUs is reached at 50~70% of rated load. The <20W load is below the optimal range for the pico+Seasonic 80W 12VDC adapter, but not quite as much. A class V AC/DC adapter is rated for maximum 87% efficiency (presumably at 50~70% of max load) while a Gold 80+ is rated for 90% at 50% load & 87% at full load. The picoPSU also has some losses through it -- the 12V line is passed straight through, but the 5V and 3.3V lines are converted from the 12V line, so there's always a loss. Perhaps as little as 5%, but this really means that even at its ideal, peak efficiency, the pico+adapter will always be lower than the 87% of the adapter alone. If the Supermicro system was loaded up with its maximum hardware complement, and power load reached... say 60-70W or higher, the stock Gold 80+ PSU would likely draw LESS power (a watt or 2 or 3?) than the pico.
What's in the adapter is a AC-to-DC converter -- same as in an ATX PSU, except the latter has multiple output DC voltages. The pico adds the other DC lines -- 5V, 3.3V, 5Vsb. Technically, Gold & Platinum 80+ PSUs already outperform a pico + adapter in efficiency at their respective rated outputs. The reason why a full fledged ATX PSU with high efficiency at 10~60W will not be produced is simple: There is no money in it, and very little energy savings. 98% of people will not pay more -- or even the same price -- for a lower power PSU even if it is higher efficiency. Between a 100W and a 300W ATX PSU Platinum, the cost of manufacturing is the same, the parts difference virtually identical -- maybe even more for the 100W model. And at 10W load, what will be difference be? Probably 1W. Marketing guys would scream that they can't sell less power in a product that's supposed to deliver power.
Is there an after-market pico+adpater I can look at, in order to replace the one that comes stock with this unit?
I don't like the idea of idle load (20w) being well below this PSU's efficiency sweet-spot...
If there's an internal PSU that fits into this chassis, is gold+ or higher, & designed for ~100w, that'd be ideal, ditto for an external PSU.*
Unless this CPU/MB actually needs
the 200w headroom, for the heaviest compute loads they're capable of spiking to?
Might pop over to JonnyGuru & BenchmarkReviews, IIRC they focused really heavily on PSU's of all flavours.
I'm still polishing the server, but when it is cleaned up a bit (wiring is a mess and I'm using a crappy Antec Flex PSU while I modify the wiring on the Seasonic SS-300ET), I'll post some photos / write-up.
Are you still going to do this?
*it doesn't have
to fit inside the chassis ofc