Custom 19v/12v Flex PSU for thin ITX

BirdofPrey

Standards Guru
Sep 3, 2015
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Ok maybe enthusiast was here the wrong word. What we have on the thin-ITX board market looks like oem stuff. Not very special and every board looks nearly the same. For myself it isn't a problem, but many users buy hardware also because of the look. E.g. the Special OC, Extreme or Maximum edition of the boards.
Thin Mini ITX is specifically created for OEM use in All-In-One computers. Theoretically, standardizing it was supposed to make it easier for OEMs to quickly iterate on designs and for end-users to be assured they have replacements, but it didn't really take off. While there was a surge in designs following the standard a couple years ago, everyone has mostly gone back to fully custom solutions, and consumer grade AIO chassis are just a giant M-ATX/M-ITX box at the back of a monitor.

As far as including a GPU on a Thin Mini-ITX, board, I think MXM makes much more sense given the form factor it's designed for and meshes better with how it works (Thin Mini-ITX boards have mandatory LVDS and a pre-defined location for an optional eDP port specifically to drive a monitor inside the same chassis, and MXM is specifically designed to be able to output to LVDS and eDP having dedicated signal paths for them rather than using PCIe.

Huh, you're right. There's really not many Socket 1151 Thin ITX boards available. I did find this gem though with a side mounted PCIe x4:


http://www.jetwaycomputer.com/NF592.html
That's designed to be used as a DIY firewall/server merged with a router/switch if I am not mistaken. It has specific add-in boards with 2-4 Ethernet ports among other things (I think the options are an NIC or a RAID board, but I haven't looked at it in a bit).
The chipset and other features aren't likely to mesh well with a gaming sort of build.
 

Phuncz

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As far as including a GPU on a Thin Mini-ITX, board, I think MXM makes much more sense given the form factor it's designed for and meshes better with how it works (Thin Mini-ITX boards have mandatory LVDS and a pre-defined location for an optional eDP port specifically to drive a monitor inside the same chassis, and MXM is specifically designed to be able to output to LVDS and eDP having dedicated signal paths for them rather than using PCIe.
While MXM gets mentioned a lot in this forum and because it gels quite well with the Thin mITX boards' philosophy, they are just not in a place that it's an option for anyone but an OEM.
Looking on for instance eBay to buy a GTX 1070 MXM card for $ 1,000 that doesn't work in anything else (desktop-related) and has very limited resale value is just going to be a big mess, along with the PCIe x4 and "proprietary" PSU (most will see it that way) it's going to be more difficult to convince 20 semi-informed people than to design the case. It would also mean a cooling solution needs to be bundled or atleast offered with high availability, which the MXM cards themselves are not anyway. It's just too narrow a focus for a project like this and people won't generally like all that narrowness.

The challenge lies is doing the most with consumer-available hardware, stuff we can buy in a store or online easily. The builds that go beyond that and use specific, hard-to-get components, are the ones that shine the most but also the ones that aren't for most people.
 
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BirdofPrey

Standards Guru
Sep 3, 2015
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That wasn't me saying anyone who wants to make a Thin Mini ITX with a GPU should have MXM, that's me saying that it doesn't make much of any sense for them to include PCIe x16 in the first place. MXM makes more sense for the form factor, so it should make more sense for the boards to have an MXM slot than to support a regular desktop GPU.

Also realize Thin Mini-ITX is already a hard to find form factor being largely OEM only but also far from ubiquitous, so you're ALREADY going to have the problem of convincing people to buy into something for it.
 
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iFreilicht

FlexATX Authority
Feb 28, 2015
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Thin Mini ITX is specifically created for OEM use in All-In-One computers.

Actually, the idea was to let consumers build DIY AIOs, where you get a monitor/case and then put your own mainboard, CPU and hard drives in. I absolutely love the idea of that in theory - an AIO is technically a 0L system - but the truth is that most people who want to build PCs themselves also require either a GPU or a very strong iGPU, neither of which thin mITX supports (TDP limit for the CPU is 75W).
 

ColorZepppelin

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ColorZeppelin Computers
Apr 8, 2016
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the possibility of doing a case based on thin ITX with GPU support

Would love to see some layouts, or preliminary ideas. I'm interested in your thin-itx and GPU combo. I'm sorta doing something similar.
https://smallformfactor.net/forum/threads/monolith-laptop-24-screen-with-desktop-components.990/
I recently bought a used mobo from Asus ROG G20 as I'm considering that for now instead of a thin-itx

Consider that the Gigabyte thin-itx's have I think 12V as well as 19V input. So if you were willing to stick to Gigabyte you could just make your custom psu output 12V only. Just sayin'.

There's this fringe mobo on aliexpress Wibtek g-sh61lu (Rainbow天虹Colorful SH61-L2) not sure of the particulars but has x16 (not sure if powered adequately) only downside is single ram slot.

I am also in talks with other companies including FinSix

Its cool your are even in contact with them. Been waiting for them to do something ever since I heard about them through edX class in Innovation or sth. Cool company but moving slow, seems to me. A 300W 12V FinSix adapter would be noice. Razer made a nice one recently for their Razer Blade pro at 250W I think, nice volume/power.




 
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Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
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Feb 1, 2016
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So as I've mentioned previously, I've been working with Larry on a custom DC-DC solution and we've finally managed to get the final schematic done. I'll likely create a dedicated thread in the next day or two when I'm not at work, mostly to gauge interest before I go ordering my 200 unit MoQ.

Specs:
16-24V Wide Input

117mm long
43.5mm wide
25mm high

One end has a 6 pin for power input and another 6 pin for power output. The power output is merely a flowthrough, so if you put in 19V, it will output 19V. If you input 24V, it will output 24V.

The far end of the board has two PCIe 8 Pin connectors as well as a 4 pin SATA connector

It is possible to daisy-chain the supplies in order to power SLI configurations

You can also plug a 4 pin device such as the HDPlex DC-DC plugless into the 6 pin passthrough and it will work. This means you can use a combined solution to eliminate 20 out of 24 wires to power your ATX slot and can eliminate the bulk of the 8 pin CPU power wires as you only need wires to run from the plugless unit to the EPS 4/8 pin socket on the motherboard.

The unit will have a full length custom aluminum heatsink much like the Turemetal units both for heat dissipation and aesthetics.
 

Necere

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Feb 22, 2015
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Would love to see some layouts, or preliminary ideas. I'm interested in your thin-itx and GPU combo.
I've stepped back from thin ITX for now. The lack of motherboard selection, complications created by its power delivery requirements, and uncertain future seem, on balance, to not justify the relatively minor space savings. I think it's likely regular mini ITX will be the standard in the SFF space for DIY builders for some time to come, and I don't believe thin ITX or STX are likely to change that.
 

BirdofPrey

Standards Guru
Sep 3, 2015
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I definitely agree on Thin Mini-ITX. It might be too early to tell for STX. The standard version seems like it's probably going to be relegated to mainly OEM only stuff, but we'll have to see how the extended version with MXM fares, whether or not it can get a components ecosystem going. MXM modules are going to be the linchpin there, though.
 

henrygrins

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Mar 12, 2017
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One end has a 6 pin for power input and another 6 pin for power output. The power output is merely a flowthrough, so if you put in 19V, it will output 19V. If you input 24V, it will output 24V.

The far end of the board has two PCIe 8 Pin connectors as well as a 4 pin SATA connector

@Kmpkt any movement on this? I've got a niche looking for a scratch whereby I'm trying to build a Skull Canyon NUC + GTX 1060 (connected via TB3/Akitio Node or Thunder3 PCIe) system that I'm hoping to power via one beefy external brick. I'm going to house it in a half round t-slot AIO enclosure. Basically looking to build a teensy weensy iMac-style AIO with all components housed within. Bonus points if I can find a way to cram the AC brick in there too, but I'm not betting on it...
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
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Sample is in transit from Chinese factory as we speak. I will hopefully publish a post on preliminary use cases before the end of April and am also planning to do a YouTube video outlining all functions as well.
 
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