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Io - Logic Supply MC600 modded into portable gaming case. (In progress - Galax GTX 1070 Mini)

Sicaris

SFF Lingo Aficionado
Dec 6, 2016
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68
I know you went for the 24v artesyn unit so this may be useless info but you could cut out the large dc-dc board by using the 12v output version and directly powering your GPU and motherboard from the AC DC and using a Pico style PSU for the 24 pin.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
@Fluoranilate, you'll definitely be crossing your fingers that a 400W AC-DC can fit in there. Like I said, I haven't handled the 300W AC-DC myself but it'd definitely be pushing the boundaries of what can fit in the case.

I know you went for the 24v artesyn unit so this may be useless info but you could cut out the large dc-dc board by using the 12v output version and directly powering your GPU and motherboard from the AC DC and using a Pico style PSU for the 24 pin.

I'm still sketchy (edit: in my understanding) on the G-Unique units, but I think they have pretty high wattage units that use the same (sort of) footprint as the HDPLEX 160W/Pico-style DC-DC units. That could be an option.

My GPU uses an 8-pin connector, would it be able to be powered directly from the Artesyn unit? If I was going to go that route, do I want the 12V one with or without the 5V standby
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
824
995
smallformfactor.net
Im really excited for your build! I've also thought about the HDplex 160. The max wattage is 200W I believe but I wasn't confident running a 1070 in combination with a 7600K. I am going to go for the incoming (unannounced) HDPLEX 400W. I hope your build works out since I hope to take some inspiration out of all this. Kind regards
HDPLEX 400? how do you know about it if it's unannounced? :D I'm hype, is it the same size at the HDPLEX300?
 

Fluoranilate

Minimal Tinkerer
Apr 29, 2017
3
1
HDPLEX 400? how do you know about it if it's unannounced? :D I'm hype, is it the same size at the HDPLEX300?
I emailed Larry at HD to ask if there was any 300W version on the way (for my own MC600) but he replied saying they were going to release the 400W version (in 'mid May'). This all word of mouth but as Larry IS HDPLEX, I think this is trustworthy.. This is presumably going to change the SFF game significantly don't you guys think? Lets find out, hopefully soon!
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
824
995
smallformfactor.net
I emailed Larry at HD to ask if there was any 300W version on the way (for my own MC600) but he replied saying they were going to release the 400W version (in 'mid May'). This all word of mouth but as Larry IS HDPLEX, I think this is trustworthy.. This is presumably going to change the SFF game significantly don't you guys think? Lets find out, hopefully soon!
Are you talking about the AC-DC thing thats used for brickless S4 Minis? Or an actual 400W DC-DC PSU?
 

CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
824
995
smallformfactor.net
It's the DC-DC. The AC-DC will stay at 300W for the near-term at least.
Ah I see... Dang.

Well, it's not like anyone NEEDS a 400W DC-DC HDPLEX anyways, even the most beefed up S4 mini maxes out at a 7700k/1080mini, which pulls only 240-265 in games and regular benchmark loads. Besides I've heard that the HDPLEX-300 DC-DC can peak to like 310-330W temporarily when doing rare instances of extreme benchmarking runs like furmark & Prime95 at the same time, on a 7700k and 1080mini build, which that kind of a serious load... would never happen in real-world games anyway.

And additionally, if anyone actually feels they need a 400W or 500W DC-DC and a matching 400W or 500W Power brick , @guryhwa makes those custom high-watt DC-DC "G-Unique" PSUs that I believe fit inside the size footprint of the HDPLEX300 DC-DC, and he can pair their purchase with a matching wattage Dell 330W Power brick that he mods to 400 or 500W, if I remember correctly. So for those "crazy" customers who want the wattage headroom now, there are extreme options available outside of the readily available HDPLEX. :)
I emailed Larry at HD to ask if there was any 300W version on the way (for my own MC600) but he replied saying they were going to release the 400W version (in 'mid May'). This all word of mouth but as Larry IS HDPLEX, I think this is trustworthy.. This is presumably going to change the SFF game significantly don't you guys think? Lets find out, hopefully soon!
Now if you see my post above, you'll see that for non-brickless systems, there are higher wattage 400w and 500w solutions available from "G-unique" DC-DC PSU's and modded Dell Power bricks that come with them... BUT, will this chance the SFF game significantly? I'm not sure. Usually people who use the AC-DC PSUs for brickless SFF systems, dont have components that would need more than 300W anyways, since they have to fit the AC-DC PSU inside the system anyway... Now, if GPU manufacturers would design a low profile 1070 or 1080 that would fit inside a system with a 400W DC-DC, that would be great for wattage headroom, BUT... any SFF 1080 build can run off a 300W DC-DC we have now, right? So, I dont really know what more could be done with a 400W AC-DC for brickless systems, which are already space-limited.
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
852
602
Not to steal anyone's thunder here, but could I steer the conversation back towards my current lack of direction on the power supply front? Anyone have any advice there?

This weekend I should (FINALLY) have a PCI-e riser cable in to test running my 1070 with a ~20W CPU on a (v3) HDPLEX 160W DC-ATX and either a Dell 300W or a HDPLEX 160W AC-DC. If it's possible to run a system with that setup (and games are playable at ~2.4Ghz? lol), maybe a T or undervolted K (or undervolted Ryzen) and the 160s is my best bet for going brickless?
 
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CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
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a 1070 in a 20W CPU? Hmmm... sounds doable with a Pico 160 I'm not sure of the wattage numbers each would produce... do you have one of those wattage meter things to test idle and gaming load?
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
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Yeah, I have a Kill-a-watt meter. But I haven't really gotten good testing done on the GTX 1070. I know the Atom CPU in question draws about ~30W (full system), and I'm pretty sure the Galax card is supposed to cap out at 150W, but I wouldn't be surprised if it can spike up to ~170W like some 1070's seem to. Though, the spikes I've observed while undervolting seem pretty tame, the largest I saw when running Heaven was ~8W spikes, but I was staying well under the maximum voltage.
 
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CubanLegend

Steely-Eyed NVFlash Man
Dec 23, 2016
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Yeah, I have a Kill-a-watt meter. But I haven't really gotten good testing done on the GTX 1070. I know the Atom CPU in question draws about ~30W (full system), and I'm pretty sure the Galax card is supposed to cap out at 150W, but I wouldn't be surprised if it can spike up to ~170W like some 1070's seem to. Though, the spikes I've observed while undervolting seem pretty tame, the largest I saw when running Heaven was ~8W spikes, but I was staying well under the maximum voltage.
If you're on a Windows system, setup MSI Afterburner and set the 1070's power target down from 100% to something lower? That should help with mitigating spikes under load.

Also make sure in the NVIDIA Driver Control Panel under "Manage 3D Settings" in the Global Tab, set the Power Management mode to "Adaptive" :) My 1080 mini idles at 25-34c and about 4-5% power usage according to MSi Afterburner's hardware monitoring graphs. it downclocks itself to 215cMHz core and 405MHz mem (3.3GHz effective). and when in games it ramps itself up to the usual 2050MHz core and 1375MHz mem (11GHz effective). :D
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
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Much to my surprise, without even installing Nvidia's control center or MSI Afterburner, this thing can run League (not that impressive) and Just Cause 3. It complained about only having 8GB of memory and took forever to load, but even at 1080p the game was playable. When scenes changed (in the opening), there was stuttering but the gameplay was alright. I noticed some input lag at one point in a short bit of playing so it's obviously less than optimal compared to a proper desktop CPU.

Forgot to check the Kill-a-Watt during Just Cause 3, but during league the system was pulling something like 40W. lol
 

zovc

King of Cable Management
Original poster
Jan 5, 2017
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Okay, it's been a while but I'm starting to chip away at this project again!

I have decided that instead of trying to do a good job by hand on some of the most visible and identifying parts of the case, it's probably best to have them cut or printed to my specification. Currently, I'm looking at trying to get a good "pattern" for Ponoko using cardboard cutouts (because they're a lot cheaper than acrylic) and then work my way from there.

But before I get too far ahead of myself, here's where I am in terms of computer hardware and build direction:
  • Seeing how Ryzen has panned out has given me some confidence in (and enthusiasm for) the platform, but a lot of things I would like to do make using a CPU with an iGPU make a lot more sense. (See caveat at the bottom.)
  • The Galax 1070 fits excellently into this case and into the S4 Mini. I'm excited for the card for its specifications, but I'm having some grievances about its I/O, the two DV-I ports feel kind of useless and I would really appreciate more DisplayPort ports. I want to drive 3 monitors, and DV-I is just a crummy standard in this day-and-age. @Broxin's review of the MSI 1070 gives me a lot of buyer's remorse, since it's got more suitable I/O and it's at least better than most other small 1070s. (but wasn't tested alongside the Galax!)
  • I've pretty much given up on trying to have an internal power brick. I went ahead and ordered a G-Unique PSU from @guryhwa, which is going to be a 400W DC-ATX power supply, a modded Dell brick @400W, and all the cables I'll need for about $140 after shipping. The value compared to pretty much any other PSU I've looked at is insane on paper. I expect the units to be great, but won't be able to confirm that until I have my hands on them in about two weeks. (And can throw my system together...)
All that said, let's get back to the custom top panel!

Ponoko is a service that does 2D 'printing', etching, and cutting on materials. The current (tentative) plan is to cut my "Io" logo into a piece of translucent acrylic from them, then etch out most of the area to create a little bit of room for extra clearance between whatever cooler I end up using. Then, I'd cut the MC600's top panel to match up to the Ponoko top's non-etched surface and affix them together. This way, my Ponoko top would match up to the MC600's chassis just like the original top did, and it'd also screw in the same way. Doing a 'custom top' like this also allows me to extend the length of the top to match up with a custom front panel like I was originally thinking, if I go that route. The G-Unique PSU eliminates my original need for cavities, but the Galax 1070 does exhaust out its 'back' primarily so I'll probably create a perforated front panel at the very least.

Basically, I'm about to start trying to get a template for my top panel that matches up well with the CPU cooler area of my motherboard and attempt to get the scale about right on that. I'll probably need a few iterations, which will allow me to play around with the design of the "I" that will go over my GPU area. Speaking of that "I", at this point I'm considering just leaving the GPU in it's normal down-facing state and creating a large, appropriately-sized cutout for it to intake there. It'll give me more freedom with the design of the I's lettering on the top of the case, and I can just use some rubber feet to make sure the case has clearance for intake.

Do you have any alternative suggestions for my custom top panel? Ponoko seems easy to learn and I'm not sure figuring out how to 3D-print or machine a precise custom top panel will be worth the trouble. Being able to (theoretically) fix the Ponoko top to the case's original panel more or less guarantees compatibility without needing to probably manufacture several (expensive) prototypes.

Caveat: I'm pretty interested in using Linux at the top level of my system. I want to be able to game and do some casual computing in Windows (10), and the simple solution to that is to 'just use virtualization with GPU passthrough', but unfortunately consumer cards don't support being shared between operating systems/users. (Which, is kind of as simple as manufacturers just deciding not to let consumers do it, but it is a little more complicated than that.) If I had an iGPU, I could simply run my Linux Host and one (or two!) monitors off of that and always leave my GPU idle and ready to hand over to a Virtual Machine. Unfortunately, Ryzen doesn't have integrated GPUs, and the APUs that will have integrated graphics chips will be 4-core models if I understand correctly. Ultimately, with the current landscape (and announced parts, to my knowledge), it makes the most sense for me to use an Intel system, whether it's some weird socket 2011 v3 ITX system or just sticking with my 4790K or going to a more modern consumer-grade chip.

Caveat Help: So, this is a little higher-level than I'm accustomed to...
  • Are there any GPUs that would fit into a Logic Supply MC600 that support sharing between multiple operating systems/hosts/users simultaneously? I can add some amount of length allowance to the case but at a certain point it defeats the purpose of building in such a small case to begin with.
  • Alternatively, are there any single-slot cards that will fit into the Logic supply MC600 that have a similar level of performance to a GTX 980 (my card prior to this system)? The Galax 1070 is obviously a lot longer, if I'm measuring correctly it would add over 2" of length to the case. It ironically has the same amount of useful I/O as my dual-slot Mini. If there is, I could get a motherboard that supports PCI bifurcation and just throw a cheap (passive?) industrial card at Linux, leaving the more powerful card to handle my gaming.
  • Are there any ~6+ core (12+ thread, preferably) CPUs that are comparable to my 4790K and have ITX motherboards? Do they support M.2 drives? If so, do they have CPU or motherboard-based graphics?