It is currently Sat Dec 20, 2014 7:37 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Downsizing: I need a mini PSU, etc.
PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:18 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 316
The Plan

Howdy. I'm looking to replace both my PSU and my case. I've decided smaller is better, both for space and aesthetic reasons. My ideal case is something cute and cube-like, or at least nice and slim. Since I plan to do away with ATX-size PSUs if possible, I figure that should slim down the case nicely. With a nice, slim case, a PicoPSU or similar is just perfect. And it'll mean one less fan: my modular Seasonic 430W is a bit overpowering, as even at idle it's the single biggest noise source. The fan controller on the older 380W was much better. On to the case . . .

My Antec Solo is just too big. I have a microATX motherboard now, so the extra size of the Solo is wasted. Plus I keep stubbing toes on the Solo; it sticks out past my desk.

If I have to, I can find a smaller CPU cooler. However, I do not want to downgrade the cooling ability of my HSF. Any replacement heatsink must be as effective as my full-tower Ninja. I'd prefer to just replace the case and PSU for simplicity's sake. However, I'm willing to consider replacing all three, if there's a more effective combination out there.

The Problem: case size, cooling, and power

All decent smaller microATX cases I've found make life hard on my existing heatsink, a Scythe Ninja + 120mm Nexus fan. All the cases want to stick a regular ATX PSU right over the CPU, which means I'd have to downgrade my cooling.

Take the Antec NSK1300/1380/Aria: very attractive design, but there's a big ol' PSU right over the CPU. All similar cube cases from Silverstone et al. do the same. Any non-cube cases (i.e. mini-tower, HTPC, or low-profile) either don't have room for full-size PCI cards, or take SFX/ATX PSUs, which means there's no real size savings over my Solo. The Antec NSK-2480 is one such case (though very attractive with possibly good airflow). Or they don't have enough room for all my drives, to say nothing of a spare 3.5" bay for a fan controller.

And rather than downgrade my all-important CPU cooling, I figured I'd see if I could replace my overpowered PSU with something smaller, like a PicoPSU. This way I have more flexibility in case choices. My problem is that I'm not sure that there's a mini PSU out there that can deliver enough power.

The Loadout

I'll give you some quick'n'dirty power estimates in a minute. Here's what's in my Solo:

* Athlon64 X2 4600+, 65W version. Cooled with Ninja Rev. B, the first model for socket AM2.
* nVidia 7600GT, passive Gigabyte dual-slot version. Draws 36W max. Not low-profile. Occasionally switched for an ATI X1950 Pro. With the Accelero S1 on there, that's the single largest component. Draws 66W max. Also not low-profile.
* Chaintech AV-710 soundcard. Full height, not low-profile.
* ASUS M3N78-VM motherboard. MicroATX. IGP is useless in Linux, hence must use discrete card which adds more heat and watts.
* 2x Samsung HD160JJ SATA HDDs
* 1x Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 SATA HDD. This is the "thin version" that's more like a 2.5" drive than 3.5".
* 1x ASUS DRW-2014L1T SATA DVD/CD
* 1x Nexus 120mm fan, 1 spare available
* 1x Nexus 92mm fan, 1 spare available
* 1x Silverstone FP33B fan controller. Currently in the 3.5" bay, but can also be used with PCI backplate controller.

The Numbers

Assuming 65W for the CPU, 36W for the nVidia card, 10W for the motherboard and sound card (I really have no idea how much they consume; 10W seems conservative), perhaps 10W for the HDDs and optical drive (how much do those eat, anyway?), and a handful of watts for the fans, that adds up to . . . call it 125W. With the ATI card, that number goes up to 155W or more.

So, I need at least a 160W power supply. I've managed to find a 200W PicoPSU-like supply and a 150W PicoPSU, but only the former really has enough juice for the highest-power rig. And I can't find power bricks that can provide that kind of wattage; most I've found is 120W.

Next problem is finding the right power adapters and whatnot that will let me hook up 4 SATA drives, a single PCIe 6-pin connector (for the ATI card), and the fan controller. The fans all hook up to the controller, so it only needs a single Molex.

The Voice in the wilderness

Help me, SPCR readers. I need suggestions, things I haven't thought of, smarter numbers than my estimates, better ideas from wiser heads than mine. I've found a thread by AuraAllen and s'more helpful tips, but I especially need solutions that don't involve soldering.

Thankya!


Last edited by nightmorph on Fri Jul 31, 2009 12:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:56 pm 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 27
I am thinking you're gonna have to replace your hard drives. You could replace all your hard drives easily with one 1TB drive.

The NSK1380 is a great case with a PicoPSU replacing the standard PSU (I am constructing a similar computer right now). I am a bit biased but I think its probably your best option.

Also check out this thread by Vicotnik on the NSK1380. http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=50626
You can fit everything in the NSK 1380 with enough determination!

The PicoPSU-150-XT has all the connectors you need without soldering and you can buy a 110w power brick http://www.dc2dc.com/catalog/index.php? ... 95b6166ead which if you make some sacrifices will be more than enough


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 8:59 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 316
sp0n wrote:
I am thinking you're gonna have to replace your hard drives. You could replace all your hard drives easily with one 1TB drive.

Can't do that. The Samsungs are running in RAID1, and the Seagate is a media storage drive. Now, if I was better about making backups, I could replace the Samsungs with a single SSD (more mechanically reliable), but I'd still have to keep the media storage drive in there.

Quote:
Also check out this thread by Vicotnik on the NSK1380. http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=50626
You can fit everything in the NSK 1380 with enough determination!

Yeah, that is an inspiring setup. He did have to do some chassis cutting with a Dremel; no way that Mini Ninja would have fit otherwise. I was thinking about using that HSF, as my motherboard has no clearance issues with the fullsize version. Vicotnik's back panel treatment is exactly what I was planning to do, too.

I'm a little concerned about the graphics card fit, though. While I'm pretty sure the nVidia card would fit (even though it has a heatpipe that wraps around the top of the card, close to the top panel), I'm not sure if the ATI card would fit. It also has an Accelero S1 on it, but the S1 doesn't go to the last slot; that last slot is occupied by a sound card. I can't tell from Vicotnik's pictures whether or not his S1 occupies the last slot or not. Heck, my X1950 Pro's GPU die might place the S1 just far enough off center that it won't be able to fit vertically, let alone slide into that ODD gap.
Quote:
The PicoPSU-150-XT has all the connectors you need without soldering and you can buy a 110w power brick http://www.dc2dc.com/catalog/index.php? ... 95b6166ead which if you make some sacrifices will be more than enough

I'm not worried about the number of connectors I'll need; that's what Y-splitters are for. I'm more worried about the sheer amount of power my system will require, based on the numbers I posted. Those represent worst case, and worst case even a 150W PicoPSU won't be enough. A power brick that's 40W short of that is even less of a good idea.

So unless my power consumption guesstimates are just plain wrong, I have to shop around for something with a higher rating.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 4:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:58 am
Posts: 95
Location: Sweden
I think you would most likely need to find some small form factor PSU whit a rated spec off about 250-300watt rather trying to use a PicoPsu whit a external AC-DC conversion.
There are rather powerfull bricks (200watt or maybe more if I remember correctly), I've seen them before but they are huge ugly beasts comparing to the size of normal PSU:S almost. Expensive as well if I remember right.

You could try butchering a normal ATX PSU to get some extra space from that by not having the casing. Some power supply might have quite a lot wasted space inside them I would reckon.

_________________
LG L245WP-BN 24" LCD, Lian-Li PC-A01B, Corsair HX620W, Gigabyte GA-MA78GM-S2H 780G+SB700, Phenom X4 9750 (JAAFB AA 0809CPMW) 2.4Ghz, Corsair TWIN2X 6400C4DHX DDR2, 4096MB (4.4.4.12@800Mhz), Maxtor 10 200Gb SATA + 2x Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 320GB SATA2, Pioneer DVD±R/RW DL 20X DVR-215BK SATA


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 8:28 am 
Offline
*Lifetime Patron*

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2003 6:53 am
Posts: 1544
Location: Sweden
Remember that it's possible to "bypass" the PicoPSU and let the brick feed the ATX12V directly (and other stuff as well). So with a large brick like the 200W Dell DA-2 you can power a system that draws more than 120W with a PicoPSU 120W.

_________________
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


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:25 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:06 pm
Posts: 27
You could also set up the NSK1380 with a heatsink like this http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=38787 and you could have 3 hard drives. But you'd still have to externalize the PSU.

One other option would be to have 2 power sources -- one PicoPSU and then another brick with a molex connector like this http://www.jab-tech.com/12v-DC-Power-Su ... -3776.html feeding hard drives/etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 15, 2009 9:23 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 316
sp0n wrote:
You could also set up the NSK1380 with a heatsink like this http://www.silentpcreview.com/forums/vi ... hp?t=38787 and you could have 3 hard drives. But you'd still have to externalize the PSU.

Yeah, waaaay too much soldering and hacking. Otherwise seems promising.
Quote:
One other option would be to have 2 power sources -- one PicoPSU and then another brick with a molex connector like this http://www.jab-tech.com/12v-DC-Power-Su ... -3776.html feeding hard drives/etc.

That is a really neat idea! Cheap, too. A molex and a SATA splitter to power the drives . . . this looks interesting, thanks. :)

I've also been studying the budget numbers, seeing if doing a general downsize/sidegrade to smaller parts is worth the cost. No reason to tie myself to warmer, relatively power-hungry parts. I've been looking at "sidegrades" to low-profile parts (graphics & sound cards) that might open up more case options. The NSK1380, though very attractive, really is kinda cramped no matter how you look at it.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:19 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 316
--


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 8 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group