Power Supply ASRock B350 ITX, Ryzen 2200G build completed, kind of. Issues..

Status
Not open for further replies.

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
The issue is with the pico PSU, but I'll get to that just after some quick background..

This is an HTPC build, primarily to play 4k content and specifically aiming for 4k/60Hz capability.

Parts are:
APU/mobo as above
8Gb 2666Mhz today, 3200Mhz arrives tomorrow.
Samsung 960 Evo M.2
DC-DC nanoPSU 150W, 150W AC-DC adapter both sourced from AliExpress.

Problem is, the board failed to boot with my picoPSU. The case came with a 65W dohickey, yes you read correctly, 65W, so I tried that for kicks and it actually works. I don't want to leave it there too long though so gotta find a solution for that. I already ordered a couple of replacements from Ebay but they won't arrive for a couple of weeks at best.

Board arrived with the P4.40 BIOS, showed no M.2 installed and the CPU temp bug (showed 127°C). Updated to 4.51a for now. After that was able to install Windows & currently have it running at 3840x2160/60Hz so initial aim achieved. However I really don't want to put any kind of load (e.g. decode h.265) on it until I fix this PSU issue. Hasn't complained using the 65Wer but I assume it's only a matter of time.

I had to do a small mod with this PSU, as the RAM sticks sit right next to the ATX power and as the PSU has connector cables for 12V ATX, Sata etc the cables jut out over the ram sticks. I would actually prefer not to use them (the connectors) at all, as I don't have any devices (no ODD, only M.2 storage) but the 12V ATX is attached to the same strand and the DC lead is the other one. So I ended up slicing off the connector clips, the little overhanging teeth that grab onto the connecter base. It's still a tight fit anyway so no risk of anything, now --just-- sneaks in under the Corsair LPX. Had to cancel the G.Skill V as there's not a snowball's chance in hell of it fitting under these connectors.

Anyway, the symptom with 150W PSU is: hit power button, CPU fan spins up for a couple of seconds and stops again. So something is failiing initial checks. I replace the 150w Pico with the 65W horizontal DC-DC board that came with the case (I had taken it out the day it arrived) and everything boots up and is so far running quite happily.

So my question is, any ideas/experience on BIOs settings that may be conflicting with the power output from these picoPSUs? I actually bought two of them (from the same seller) and both show the exact same behaviour.

As everything is better with pictures, here's the case, and my avatar is the internal build, kind-of.

Any insights would be appreciated.. :)

As an aside,, I'm not a fan of these makeshift PSUs. A FlexPSU that barely takes the space of a 3.5" drive only costs around $30 as a starter and seems like it would save a ton a hassle for everyone. Where space is an absolute premium, ok, I get it, but how often is that really the case?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: KindStranger

confusis

John Morrison. Founder and Head writer SFF.N
SFF Workshop
Editorial Staff
Moderator
Jun 19, 2015
3,643
6,265
sff.network
The AC-DC and DC-DC power solution is something I wouldn't consider makeshift nowadays - many high quality products exist in the market - the HDPlex, GUnique and KMPKT units being amongst them - In a lot of situations, I actually prefer them as they give me more flexibility to cram even more into a system.

Regarding your situation, it seems that the Pico-PSU may be a bad unit - I've run one of those up to 200 watts on an old AM3 system a few years back, they're definitely capable units, if your power brick is up to snuff. On that note, is it possible your power brick may be at fault too? There's been many a report of off-brand (or even counterfeit) bricks causing havoc recently. Hell, at Computex last year I had an off-brand power brick catch on fire!

 
  • Like
Reactions: jmarin and stree

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,184
1,176
The only "makeshift" here is your psu. Others have bought from reputable sources and their systems running happily. Do your due research and you'll find some brand names/makers who makes proper stuff and have reviews and people with working builds all over the net.

In short,

DC-DC nanoPSU 150W, 150W AC-DC adapter both sourced from AliExpress

There goes your problem.

My suggestion is, if you have a laptop or can find some working laptop adaptor, check your nano psu's voltage input requirements and then pair that with an adaptor that outputs the same voltage.

It doesn't need to provide 150W, like you said your system boots fine with the included 65W psu. Most laptop power bricks is around 60 to 90W anyway.

If it boots, then your ac-dc unit is to blame.
 
Last edited:

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
Yeah like I said, I actually have two of the exact same pico units and they both show the same behaviour. A bad unit I could understand, but really, both of them? I'm using the same brick for all tests/attempts and it's one of the 150W units I also ordered, not the one that came with the 65w in the case. Fact is that the power brick is supplying enough juice to boot the system, only difference is the headroom in the PSU.

But this is exactly what I mean by 'makeshift' though. Yes I understand it's a useful format, has its advantages and there are surely some quality units around. But if you're having to pay upwards of $50 for the dc-dc + ac-adapter, have no real indication of board fitment as no standards in terms of connector placement, height, cable length, AC plug (some have 4-pin ATX, some have directly the 5.5/2.5mm), and especially reliability (testing, evaluations, brand names??), not to mention that I will need to file out the DC-out hole in the case a tiny bit as the AC end in my case is different and doesn't -quite- fit through the case hole, and all this considering that I can buy an entire case with included 200W SFX PSU for $40 it really does make it seem like quite the poorly-thought-out arrangement. 'PicoPSU' brand package for 150W is pushing $100! That's just insane given the quality ATX PSUs you can buy for that. 650W 80Plus Gold from Corsair for example. Even a 550W SFX Enermax, also 80+Gold, fully modular.

I don't mind paying for quality but it has to make sense, too.
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,184
1,176
It really is not for everyone... if you really think so then by all means buy an atx case and psu. My first computer I built myself was like 30$ case and 30$ 350W psu. These days 100$ for BOTH you can get, even 500W.

I'm with you hoping all these premiums would go as soon as more sff adopter coming to the niche but alas this is the state now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jmarin

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
Heh if they were premium products, simplified, modular, then sure I could appreciate it. $50 for a little pcb is as much as the whole damn mini-itx board for some Intel chipsets. BTW the case I was talking about is actually an ITX as well, with an SFX PSU, so cost clearly isn't the main reason either.

Like I said, it's not the premium I mind, rather the fact that the products are still pretty makeshift in their execution. Gimme a reliable, sealed, packaged, guaranteed-fitment unit and I'll gladly pay 80-100 for it. The HDPlexes are a step in the right direction but they need to be supported by case manufacturers otherwise it's still all the same measurement-&-guessing game.

Anyway back to the question at hand: Is it more likely that both PSUs are dead (they do light up), power rating is just really crappy and not able to support the power-on draw of the unit (which the 65W can do, although the 65 is a board-type rather than directly sitting on the ATX connector), or could there be some kind of electrical incompatibility between the brick & PSU? I am supposed to receive two (supposedly) higher-quality bricks soon so I can test the last option, no way to test the other possibilities at present though.
 

Shahmatt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Sep 6, 2017
101
53
IMO there's a possibility that your brick voltage output is a little off. Your 65W ATX unit could be tolerant of the variation and works fine, but not the mini PSU ATX you've bought.

You may want to try another brick just to be sure it's not a brick problem.
 

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
That's a good point, I was planning to wait for my other 150w adapters to arrive but since it runs on the 65w dc-dc maybe it will survive long enough on the 65w ac adapter to tell me something also....
 

maeslin

Efficiency Noob
New User
Apr 14, 2018
5
1
That's a good point, I was planning to wait for my other 150w adapters to arrive but since it runs on the 65w dc-dc maybe it will survive long enough on the 65w ac adapter to tell me something also....

AFAIK, PicoPSUs are basically 'feed-through' on the 12V line. Goes straight from the power supply to the output, without conversion and maybe with a bit of regulation. They would depend on the 12V (and 12V only) input being very stable. If the no-name ac-adapter is insufficiently stable or gives the wrong voltage (or even just out of spec) it would probably cause the motherboard to refuse to boot.

The small 65W supply seems to be a relatively common footprint. I can't find the details for the exact one you have, but from what I can find, most of them seem to have a pretty wide input voltage tolerance so that would mean their 12V output comes from a full dc-dc converter stage.
 

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
Not sure that follows what I've seen.. if that were the case there wouldn't be different wattage ratings on the DC-ATX parts.

In any case I tried the AC-Adapter that came with the case, it also doesn't work with the two PicoPSUs. I didn't try it with the original 65W DC-ATX from the case, but, that's hardly important, those aren't the parts I need working.. :)

The pico PSU is this one; the AC-adapter is this one.
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,184
1,176
Yeah... 17$. Figures. Look at the bare components there. Like I said, buy from reputable sources - I see you're from NZ; mini-box.com.au from perth, WA has been selling pico 160 xt for ages. Hdplex 160. G-unique....

Like I said,
sourced from AliExpress
there's your problem.
 

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
You know, everyone who sells these things on mini-pc or Amazon and well ebay naturally --also-- source them from China. Are you saying that --no- picoPSU from CHina is worth buying? Pretty sure I saw a conversation not too long ago when someone was looking for a PSU and the advice given was that the technology was quite mature and you could basically trust --any-- of them.

I'm -from- NZ but I live in Amsterdam now. And while I'm happy to accept that $17 isn't a safe bet, $100 for what are essentially the exact same thing doens't win me over either.
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,184
1,176
Sourcing from china with proper specification and testing on your (the company) part is fine. Buying online, non reputable makers, dodgy components, as cheap as possible - you're on your own.

Now that's just talking internal dc-atx. You can see how many quality components in there, granted you need some knowledge to tell them apart. Bricks, however, never trust that they'll work at their advertised wattage. It's a sealed black box they can do whatever they want. Get double what you need to be safe if you don't want to spend more money on proper branda
 
  • Like
Reactions: Phuncz

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
Well I've got two more AC-adapters coming and now a total of 3 more pico-psus, not to the mention the two more cases that both come with 120W sets, so, I guess I'll be well-placed to figure out exactly where the short-comings are... :)

In my defense I didn't buy the "cheapest possible" ones.. there are 150/160W picos at $9, $10 and ac-adapters the same; I paid $16 & $22 for my ACs and 14 & 17 for my picos. But that's exactly the problem I'm getting at, what method do we even have of determining the quality of these things, other than by buying a bunch and seeing which ones do well, or otherwise spend the ton for the ridiculously over-priced ones?
 

Shahmatt

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Sep 6, 2017
101
53
I went through a similar dilemma just not too long ago and only the last month purchased and completed my build. My 2c FWIW:

Aliexpress is not a bad way to go as, due to the escrow service, you could choose not to pay for bad goods. Having said that most often these PSUs would work straight out of the box, but may fail at some random time due to some supply related stress - oversupply, overvoltage, that kind of thing.

The difference between a cheap and expensive PSU is, IMO, the number and quality of components. The more the number and the better the quality, the better the ability to deal with supply problems such that the components receive adequate supply. An electronics chap I know once told me that a general good rule of thumb is that the more capacitors on board, the better the ability of the power supply to smoothen supply problems.

The capacitors store energy which charge when supply is good and discharge when there is a shortfall. Following the same logic, the more the power requirements of your rig, the more capacitors you would want to have on board. Also better quality and expensive components have a longer life span.

The consequence of a lesser supply may be that you suffer random restarts. Any self respecting branded motherboard would have its own protection to prevent burnout. Also the PSU you buy now will have aged in a year or two and the supply would degenerate. I could not find much information about component aging, other than the fact that aging does happen. To minimize the possibility of catastrophic failure it is best to invest in more.

It may not be appropriate to compare the prices of commercial ATX PSU's with the internal DC-ATX boards that we are forced to use. That's because to a large extent those are manufactured at scale, and so will have a price advantage. Secondly what other option for SFF builders is there except for these 'makeshift' supplies. We have to work with what we have.

The stuff recommended in this forum - HDPlex, Gunique etc. are tested and are recommended for their quality and value.They are expensive (or reasonably priced depending on the way you look at it) because they use high quality and higher number of components compared to others available. You can judge for yourself by just counting.

You can see there is not many of the yellow solid Tantalum polymer caps on the RGreek board, so it's only really splitting the input 12V into the ATX format and not doing much more than that. You would be relying on the motherboard for any supply protection. Compare this with a Gunique which has a lot more of the yellow solids caps and the price difference becomes apparent. Also you must understand that stuffing so many solid yellow Tantalum caps on to a tiny board is quite a feat. it is very good design and adds value to Gunique units.

RGreek is quite popular and I guess it should work fine. However the PICO BOX brick you've purchased is clearly a fake. PICO BOX does make DC-ATX units and they have participated in these forums (though not recently). I do not believe they supply power bricks. They have their own Aliexpress store over here: https://de.aliexpress.com/store/211500?spm=a2g0x.search0104.3.34.4c6e13f7UstrFj

FYI. I also have a 2200G. For my build I purchased their X300. For the brick I looked into OEM 180W supplies that purported to protect against oversupply and overvoltage. In total both came up to about a $100.
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,184
1,176
Well put @Shahmatt . I'd like to add that in non-sff world we are so used to overspeccing that psu quality, while still important to maintain your system's longevity, you usually have so much wattage headroom that quality doesn't matter anymore.

Most common builds won't need more than 300W, yet have you ever seen a sub 350W atx psu these days? 500W is the norm - noone even blinks an eye deciding it.

But now we go sff - and suddenly every watt counts. Now quality becomes apparent when we're pushing these psus to their limits.
 

jØrd

S̳C̳S̳I̳ ̳f̳o̳r̳ ̳l̳i̳f̳e̳
Digital Seppuku
Moderator
Gold Supporter
Bronze Supporter
LOSIAS
Jul 19, 2015
817
1,351
A few thoughts come to mind here. Just buying more of the same product isnt going to solve anything if that product is made using marginal components or is out of spec or on the edge of the spec. Whilst there is alot of good stuff on Ali Express there is also alot of shit there too, you either do your research or you take your risk. Also I feel its worth mentioning that anything that isnt CE certified is likely going to run you into problems w/ your insurance (if you have it) should the worst happen and your house burns down or someone gets electrocuted or whatever. Finally I'll take a moment to defend the more expensive suppliers. Their not overpriced for shits and giggles, they didnt wake up one day and decide to just price out huge chunks of their addressable market for fun. Your paying for quality, hardware and component testing and verification, RnD, the higher cost of graded and known good quality components, the costs of certification, logistics, etc. Also there is the economy of scale thing to account for, it just straight up costs more to make fewer of an item than it does when your banging them out at scale. Theres an old adage about buying good PSU's because when a PSU fails there is a good chance its going to take out at least some of the hardware its plugged into as well. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, if you dont want to pay much then you have to make your peace w/ the risks that come w/ that decision.
 

AleksandarK

/dev/null
May 14, 2017
703
773
Agree here with @jØrd.

Buying low quality PSU is the worst decision you can make! There is a risck of burning your WHOLE system. Better invest in something quality and stable. In this case Mini-Box PicoPSU or any HD Plex.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stree

a13antichrist

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Apr 20, 2018
86
29
You all make good points, and I don't disagree with anything said here.

So it seems a guide/evaulation/table of experiences for various different models of Pico (according to cap/pcb design) would go a long way, to identify which models are usable and which are effectively useless. Same for the AC bricks, most of them have model numbers in the pics and those that don't, well it's worth wasting $20 or so from time to time to get a good database going.

I'm never gonna buy a Pico+Brick that tops $60-80 when I can simply buy a case with Flex or SFX included for under $100. Or simply buy a kit to drill the right holes for it inside the cases I do have.

[rant] I also think this whole external brick idea is kinda cheating... if you're just splitting/removing the mass from a 'tight' or visible area to somewhere else that doesn't matter, why bother with the case at all, why not simply build a 'remote' front or drive panel (depending on what you need the SFF for) and run a cable to a dark hole where you stash the actual execution components? I.e., I can build the "smallest" PC ever if I selectively re-distribute different parts of the unit all around the desk and just point to the I/O panel & say, look there's my tiny PC. [/rant]

The fact is, case manufacturers have clearly gotten in on this SFF game for cases that can only accept this kind of direct PSU. So the volume argument really doesn't stand up to scrutiny: Flex PSUs are still a standard too and obviously the demand for those is less than the --total-- demand for SFF cases, so, if someone builds a complete working solution at a proper price, it's surely viable. Maybe the real problem is that the setup pairing (AC brick/DC-atx) is actually a makeshift job in the first place (Automotive power unit, random power brick duo) meaning that there are no industry controls/standards to adhere to or achieve.

So let's make our table/database and see if we can't tidy up & eliminate the useless parts, and stop wasting $100 on PSU jobs for our $300 builds...
 

Choidebu

"Banned"
Aug 16, 2017
1,184
1,176
Your thread has been completely derailed btw ^^

To further derail it....

I'd wager that bricks (internal or external) is the way to go for sff. Mini and micro STX (hopefully they take off) accepts DC input so actually nano psu's the one going out if they took mainstream sff. And it's not cheating if we put the bricks inside the case.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.