I think I'm about ready to go even smaller.

TheDreamingMonk

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Sep 17, 2016
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Hello everyone, been lurking a while and haven't really partaken in any threads here.

So a little back story, I started out many years ago with huge cases like most. Ended up getting a TJ07 that I loved ( and still do as it serves as my server now ). Then a few years ago I got an FT02, again I loved it. But quickly after decided that my Dual SLI ATX build was a bit much. So I downsized to mATX and a new case, then ended up ditching SLI. Then once again after only a couple of weeks decided to go even smaller. So within the span of 6-8 weeks I had quickly moved from an TJ02 all the way down to an SG05, along with the equipment to fit.

Now, the SG05 wasn't terrible, but the layout was a bit restrictive when it came to cooling. Now, with my old external 3x360 rad box that wasn't much of an issue... but then I decided to get rid of the water as well. That's when things got fun, and not many coolers could fit ( at least, not ones that would make any real dent in the cooling ).

Then the NCASE M1 comes out, grab one up and it really was the perfect case. Pretty close to the SG05 but with much better cooling capabilities.

And while I love the NCASE, I think I'm about ready to go even smaller. ( Yes, I have a problem )




Looking around, I find plenty of cases that would fit the bill but many are no longer made or were only made in small quantities. I particularly like that of the NFC S3 Mini, or the S4.

Now, I have built small systems before in cases like the Habey EMC cases with a PICO PSU. But, that's about as far as my knowledge into such power supplies goes. And while lurking the past couple of months, I've noticed a lot of builds with GPU's being run on a PICO or other DC power supplies. So I started looking into my current rigs TDP and think that going smaller may be possible without much problem.

Current rig being;

i7-2600k @ Stock
ASUS P8Z77i-Deluxe
EVGA GTX1060 3GB
Silverstone SFX 450w
And a few random HDDs for misc storage and an old 32GB SSD for the OS ( Linux ).

Intel claims the TDP of the 2600k as 95w and EVGA puts the TDP of my GPU at 120w. But to save space I figure I would just go ahead and upgrade to a newer CPU/Motherboard. I could drop my K processor in favor of either a i7-7600 or i5-6600 ( both rated at 65w TDP ) since I haven't OC'd in ages and don't see myself doing so anymore really. As well as getting a motherboard with a built on M2 SSD mount. This would allow me to ditch the extra bulk of the 2.5" and 3.5" drives.

Now I know manufacturers tend to rate their TDP's on the high side, or at least used to. So my question for everyone here who is more knowledgeable with this stuff is... what size power supply should I get? Rated TDP on CPU/GPU come to 185 and I know motherboard/ssd won't really add much in comparison so would a PICO 160 be fine or should I just go for something more along the lines of a HDPLEX 250w? I doubt they'll ever see anything close to 100% utilization since most I do anymore is relatively light gaming when I have some spare time, but mostly just browsing.

Pretty much as far as I've gotten with my idea. Being if I can't get a case, I thought I'd make one, but before that I want to try to get an idea on the parts I can get away with. I do have a couple of rough ideas for cases that I haven't seen at all or often, have a few sketches laying around that I'll probably scan and get your opinions on in the coming weeks.
 
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ricochet

SFF AFFLICTED
Oct 20, 2016
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I am in the same boat as you... sitting at 15L now and wanting to go sub-7L here shortly after the new year once I secure the right case.

My SFX PSU is limiting me from going under 6L but with all the Pico PSU and especially power adaptor (brick) failures and problems that I am reading about I really think I will just stick with my very reliable and stable Silverstone ST30SF SFX PSU... which of course means I will only be able to get down to the 6L neighbourhood... oh well.
 

Kmpkt

Innovation through Miniaturization
KMPKT
Feb 1, 2016
3,380
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I don't think running a 185W system is going to be a problem as long as you choose the right brick for yourself. Most bricks are made for laptops which are able to use their batteries as buffers for CPU/GPU power spikes that are in excess of the rated capacity of the AC-DC power supply. Because AC-DC power bricks aren't built with handling these spikes in mind, your best choice is to go with a beefier brick (like one of the 240W options or the Dell 330W which is what I use presently). Most quality DC-DC units won't give out until well over rated load.
 

TheDreamingMonk

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Sep 17, 2016
62
48
My SFX PSU is limiting me from going under 6L but with all the Pico PSU and especially power adaptor (brick) failures and problems that I am reading about I really think I will just stick with my very reliable and stable Silverstone ST30SF SFX PSU...

The failing units don't bother me too much :p

I've had much more expensive failures in the past.

I don't think running a 185W system is going to be a problem as long as you choose the right brick for yourself. Most bricks are made for laptops which are able to use their batteries as buffers for CPU/GPU power spikes that are in excess of the rated capacity of the AC-DC power supply. Because AC-DC power bricks aren't built with handling these spikes in mind, your best choice is to go with a beefier brick (like one of the 240W options or the Dell 330W which is what I use presently). Most quality DC-DC units won't give out until well over rated load.

Under/Over voltage shouldn't be a problem since I run my computers on UPS's that protect them from most power issues. I don't trust the power around here even on a quality power supply that could buffer most of it out, lol.

I do have a couple of 240w bricks, but I'll look into the 330w one. Don't mind spending a little more money if it'll help even a little.
 

stree

Airflow Optimizer
Dec 10, 2016
307
177
I have 4 ITX builds on the go, AMD and Intel, highest TDPs are G3258 and an A8-7600, none running discrete GPU so all quite low power draw
These all use 150 or 160W Pico. I have a Seasonic 300W SFX I could use in one of the cases, but even then resent the room it would take.
The Pico units are cheap, cables adaptable and sleevable and the whole unit takes up no space.
So that just leaves a power brick to find, 12 volt or 19+v depending on Pico model.
I thought this straightforward and a decent brand such as Dell HP etc would provide a decent brick, but the following article is well worth a read for general overview of the Pico and some surprises in terms of which bricks come out best.

http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story&reid=207
 
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TheDreamingMonk

Average Stuffer
Original poster
Sep 17, 2016
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but even then resent the room it would take.

I honestly feel the same way for my existing builds that use an SFX PSU. The cases / airflow could definitely be improved without it in the case. Even in my NCASE, the space saved going from SFX to any DCDC unit would allow space for either another fan ( pulling air from the bottom fans, and pushing it straight out the top ), or actually utilizing the hard drive cage easier ( though right now I just haven't had the time to redo my cables to make it fit, I stripped most of the connectors and shortened cables to save room on my last build ).

Even on some of my other builds that used to put an ATX PSU over the CPU cooler... I'd use the adapter plate that came with my Silverstone 450w SFX, gaining more clearance for coolers. After a while I ended up making my own plate offsetting it even further, getting me more clearance for the CPU cooler. It's a bit of an obsession once it starts... making things that much better.
 

CC Ricers

Shrink Way Wielder
Bronze Supporter
Nov 1, 2015
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Running a 1060 3GB in that small of a power footprint would be a cool experiment. Tom's hardware has shown that the 1060's gaming load is as low as 90 watts(!) when displaying lower resolutions like 1080p. I ran a 90w GTX 950 perfectly fine with a 200W brick from HP. Maybe you can do the same with the 1060. I would suggest using a standard power supply first and read the power consumption first, just to be on the safe side.