Log J-Hack Pure Mk2 with R5 5500 and RTX A2000 | Finally a power switch that fits

princess_daphie

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I see you used GX12 connectors? Unfortunately they're not much better or even worse (the cheaper ones are mostly rated for 5A only) ... the normal barrel connectors that come with many PicoPSUs are completely made from brass and can at least conduct some heat to the case, the GX12 can't because the PINs are embedded in plastic for insulation... so depending on your continuous load you *could* run into some issues here...

To be on the safe side, personally I'm always using XT60 or XT90 connectors for higher wattage 12VDC applications.
Yeah, I had planned on using at least 6 pins, but ended up being able to only pass through 4 wires. The idea was to be able to use more than a pair of wire to pass through the current. You're saying 5A? That seems so little! I'll have to monitor the connector's temperature under load.

I didn't want to use anything but a round connector, that's why I went with these.
 

Snerual

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My AliExpress package arrived! As I suspected, this is actually the "380W" version (which on paper seems to have a weaker 12V rail than the 300W?)

Either way, a visual comparison with my "200W" board shows no real visual clues as to why this board would effectively be able to output almost twice the power.




I installed it and immediately noticed some improvements though!

- the PCB is narrower and there is absolutely zero interference with the on/off switch now
- 8 pin CPU power connector (doesn't really matter but it looks better because the mobo also has an 8 pin)
- Unigine Superposition with the GPU at stock settings doesn't cause a hard shutdown anymore, so the 12V rail definitely is beefier out of the box!
- exposed through holes which allow you to add 2 more 12V and 2 more GND wires. (for DIYing a PCIe 6-pin maybe? Or beefing up the 12V line to the motherboard)

The beefier PSU also gave me confidence to try and push my undervolt/OC to the max. I managed to score over 6400 in Time Spy at 1680Mhz, but this was not stable in AC: Unity. 1620Mhz is looking promising so far.

My next update will be really exciting! My Noctua 60mm fans just arrived and if all goes well the n3rdware copper heatsink should arrive next week...

Finally, I had a crazy idea... if I ever decide to do a shunt mod and want to add an extra 12V wire... why not use the SATA plug on the PSU? It's only 22AWG wire, but... in theory 1 SATA device is rated for 4.5A on the 12V line, and this has 2 SATA plugs so that's 9A in theory... In practice 22AWG should be good upto 7A so... should be fine for a shuntmodded A2000... (I have my doubts in practice though...)

 

princess_daphie

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- exposed through holes which allow you to add 2 more 12V and 2 more GND wires. (for DIYing a PCIe 6-pin maybe? Or beefing up the 12V line to the motherboard)
That's exactly what I was telling you (and the other guy who ordered one too) you could do! That's what I did. I tried both mods. I actually *had* to beef up the 12V lines on the 24pin to avoid shutdowns running Unigine heaven on my A2000.

Finally, I had a crazy idea... if I ever decide to do a shunt mod and want to add an extra 12V wire... why not use the SATA plug on the PSU? It's only 22AWG wire, but... in theory 1 SATA device is rated for 4.5A on the 12V line, and this has 2 SATA plugs so that's 9A in theory... In practice 22AWG should be good upto 7A so... should be fine for a shuntmodded A2000... (I have my doubts in practice though...)
You could also use one of the free through holes, of course!

My theory is that the 12V lines on this unit, at least the ones coming off those through holes, are direct (or almost) input to output, which avoids overheating the regulating components on the board. But with my unit, I can almost 100% confirm that the 12V lines on the 24pin are somewhat regulated, because of what I just said before.

Good luck on your tests and your build!
 
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Snerual

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Yes, your thread is what gave me the idea for the 12V rail mod, sorry for not properly giving you credit ☺️ Overall you and the rest of this community has been suuuuuper helpful in getting the most out of my build. This is the most fun I've ever had while building a computer lol. There was (and is) a lot of trial and error in picking the right components but I am learning a ton along the way. And it's all relatively low budget stuff anyway so the cost of experimenting is not that high.

Interesting you mention direct input-output... since the AC-Adapter outputs 12V... do these DC-ATX boards really have to do anything at all before they pass current to the 12V rail? It would explain why they can achieve such high amperage with very few components... Either way the one I bought seems 100% stable without mods so far.
 
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REVOCCASES

Shrink Ray Wielder
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do these DC-ATX boards really have to do anything at all before they pass current to the 12V rail? It would explain why they can achieve such high amperage with very few components...

Usually they just pass the 12VDC from your AC/DC through a load switch (mosfet). This is important to keep in mind when choosing your AC/DC PSU as it could cause some trouble if the 12V should not meet ATX specs (e.g. ripple etc)...
 

Snerual

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You vs the guy she tells you not to worry about... My custom n3rdware heatsink arrived! It weighs 4 times as much as the original.



Installation was painless. I had spare thermal pads so decided to also add some to the VRMs. Unfortunately, this GPU doesn't report VRM temps so I can't know if it actually made a difference.



Test fit. With the fans lying on the bottom of the case, there is a few mm gap between heatsink and fans. Time for some MacGyver style action:



I took a 4mm foam duct from an NA-FD1 kit (the one I used for the CPU cooler) and sliced it into pieces.





I used the Noctua "nipples" to tighten everything to the bottom. Worked really well!



Voila! You'd almost believe this case was designed for this mod.

Now the GPU can run both cooler AND quieter than before. I am using Fan Control to tie fan speed to GPU temperature and it never goes above 73C while also being significantly quieter than the stock fan.

Up next: Making a custom cable for the 60mm fans. The Y-splitter takes up too much space and looks messy.
 

princess_daphie

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Nicely done!!! Personally, I can't justify the expense vs reward vs my needs, haha, so I'll content myself by watching you doing it :)

I'm still scratching my head as to why your unit of the same PicoPSU you bought doesn't have issues with powering up the A2000, while mine would cause hard shutdown, all the while supposedly being v2.1 and yours v1.0. Sellers of these units don't seem to necessarily discriminate between these versions. At least the mod I did solves the issue, but still confusing, lol
 
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Snerual

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Thanks! I think the heatsink is great if you care a lot about noise levels, and in my case I also want to use it as a HTPC so it made sense to me plus I am considering a shunt mod and having some extra thermal headroom is nice. If you are satisfied with the noise levels of the stock heatsink, don't feel like you are missing out :) WIth this heatsink you also need to be aware that all heat gets dumped into the case, rather than exhausted directly out the rear vent. My motherboard temps went up by 5 degrees but it is all very far from overheating territory. Your case might be different.

And re: power supplies: I actually have a very different one than you, if you compare the pictures you'll see the caps are different. I have the "380W" version and yours is "300W". Also I only very briefly tested it with the stock voltage curve, maybe longer testing and at 4K I might have experienced shutdowns as well. Tweaking the curve in Afterburner is a no-brainer though because it eliminates those nasty spikes that cause the shutdowns in the first place while improving overall performance.
 
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princess_daphie

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Thanks! I think the heatsink is great if you care a lot about noise levels, and in my case I also want to use it as a HTPC so it made sense to me plus I am considering a shunt mod and having some extra thermal headroom is nice. If you are satisfied with the noise levels of the stock heatsink, don't feel like you are missing out :) WIth this heatsink you also need to be aware that all heat gets dumped into the case, rather than exhausted directly out the rear vent. My motherboard temps went up by 5 degrees but it is all very far from overheating territory. Your case might be different.
You're totally right and I've considered this aspect too. My case benefits greatly from the graphics card exhausting its hot air on its own! I don't love the noise it makes, but it's still pretty minimal in my case, the CPU fan makes a more distinct whine I think, so I don't mind it. So yeah, I'm good with the little blower dude, hahaha!

And re: power supplies: I actually have a very different one than you, if you compare the pictures you'll see the caps are different. I have the "380W" version and yours is "300W". Also I only very briefly tested it with the stock voltage curve, maybe longer testing and at 4K I might have experienced shutdowns as well. Tweaking the curve in Afterburner is a no-brainer though because it eliminates those nasty spikes that cause the shutdowns in the first place while improving overall performance.
You're right that the 380w version might be making a difference. But there's something about pulling too much out of PCIe lanes with my units for sure.
 

Snerual

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Not that much time to work on this build lately, but slowly and steadily I will keep using this as a project to slowly improve my electronic repair skills.

Today I found some time and wanted to kill 2 bids with 1 stone: improve my soldering skills and improve cable management.

Before:


I started with the on/off switch. I had to solder this one anyway since the power LED stopped working, so I took the chance to reduce its length to the absolute bare minimum:



And when that went quite well (though it took me ages) I decided to tackle the GPU fans as well:



In retrospect I should have left these cables a liiiiiittle longer, so they could lay flat on the bottom of the case. But overall I am quite happy with the final result.

After:


Next steps:

- Solve a fitment issue with the GPU heatsink
- Shunt mod to increase power by 10% (will have to do this at the same time as solving the fitment issue because I don't want to repaste the card YET AGAIN)
- Dremel away a few parts on the bottom of the case that slightly hinder airflow
- Make a final decision on the PSU. Either get a new revision of the HDPlex when/if it comes out. or commit to the current setup by finally making a custom bracket to hold the plug in place.
 
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princess_daphie

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Not that much time to work on this build lately, but slowly and steadily I will keep using this as a project to slowly improve my electronic repair skills.

Today I found some time and wanted to kill 2 bids with 1 stone: improve my soldering skills and improve cable management.

Photos

Next steps:

- Solve a fitment issue with the GPU heatsink
- Shunt mod to increase power by 10% (will have to do this at the same time as solving the fitment issue because I don't want to repaste the card YET AGAIN)
- Dremel away a few parts on the bottom of the case that slightly hinder airflow
- Make a final decision on the PSU. Either get a new revision of the HDPlex when/if it comes out. or commit to the current setup by finally making a custom bracket to hold the plug in place.

Improving our soldering skills takes so much effort, doesn't it, loll

Are you still having power issues, if you're still thinking about switching to an HDPlex?
 

Snerual

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No power issues at the moment! However it is more about future proofing for more powerful parts. The shunt modded GPU will draw more power. I will probably also one day switch to a 5700G when I find one for a good price. And if one day I do end up picking up an RTX 4000 SFF... who knows what will happen then?

Also, once going over 150W total system draw, it's probably easier to just switch to a 19V adapter or something that actually fits the cutouts in the case.
 
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princess_daphie

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No power issues at the moment! However it is more about future proofing for more powerful parts. The shunt modded GPU will draw more power. I will probably also one day switch to a 5700G when I find one for a good price. And if one day I do end up picking up an RTX 4000 SFF... who knows what will happen then?

Also, once going over 150W total system draw, it's probably easier to just switch to a 19V adapter or something that actually fits the cutouts in the case.
I'd offer you my HDPlex, as I don't have any use for it now, but it's one of the earlier units, not the first version, but the second I think, 160W (but actually does ~200W with some ventilation), black, with heatsinks. Mine has one flaw, the 24pin connector retention clip has snapped off.
 
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Snerual

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@princess_daphie thanks a lot for the offer! I somehow missed your message but decided that for now I'll stick with the PSU I have (more info below)

Update time!

After installing the custom cooler, memory temperatures were a little higher than I expected. Upon closer inspection I realized that the heat sink was hitting against some of the caps, basically meaning the cooler itself probably wasn't making perfect contact with the PCB.



So I decided to try and file away a little more copper everywhere the block was overlapping caps.

Before:


After:


While at it, decided to move from 1.5mm thermal pads to 2mm for the memory. I also added thermal pads to all VRMs because why not.


And finally I decided to move from "Noctua Nipples" to plain old screws to keep the fans in place. This allowed me to make them sit more flush with the heat sink. I also cut away a bit more of the foam from my makeshift fan duct because it was overhanging the blade tips too much. (If you look closely you can see that I tried to "expand" one of the screw holes to become a full-on vent but I quickly abandoned this idea since I have no way to keep my dremel tool perfectly straight)





Memory temps used to be in the high 80s but now they do not go over 74! And that is even though it is a very hot day here today (30 degrees). GPU core maxes at 74C when case is vertical and 78C when horizontal. Since I want to use it horizontal I might look into higher case feet. (But again, it is a very hot day today)

Main next priority is to shorten the cable and properly mount the DC-in jack somehow:



Once that is solved I think I can consider this build more or less "done".

Aside from that:
- Still thinking of getting a 5700G if I find a very good deal, mainly because I want to tinker with Linux and don't want to deal with Nvidia drivers
- Abandoned the shunt mod idea because I can not find conclusive information on how the two different shunts relate to each other and what the actual outcome would be of modding one or both (and I also don't think the extra performance would be worth the extra noise)
- Maybe adding front I/O one day
- Still dreaming of an RTX 4000 Ada SFF but I don't think I will ever drop to a price where it will make sense. (4060Ti performance for quadruple the price... no thanks)
 

robbee

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After installing the custom cooler, memory temperatures were a little higher than I expected. Upon closer inspection I realized that the heat sink was hitting against some of the caps, basically meaning the cooler itself probably wasn't making perfect contact with the PCB.

Hey there! I'm sorry to hear you were having some issues. The clearance on the caps is little indeed: the caps extrude 3mm into the copper base wile the copper base is only 3.5mm thick. To keep the fins positioned well, I decided not to mill all the way through the base. The pockets are milled 3.2mm deep and I confirm this with callipers and by test fitting each heatsink. This means there is only .2mm of clearance between the cap and the heatsink, which may seems as if it's touching.

If the cap was actually hard hitting the heatsink, higher core temperatures would be the obvious result rather than memory. The included 2mm pads are compressed a bit because there is 1.8mm between the memory and the heatsink. This leaves some wiggle room, but not a lot.

What probably happened, is that the pads compressed and stayed into shape, creating a tiny air gap between them and the heatsink. You solved this issue by replacing the pads, I think.

I'm actually shipping them with 2.5mm pads since a couple of weeks now because I already felt that the pads worked better when compressed a little more. Either way, I'm happy that you got your issues solved!
 

Snerual

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Hey there! I'm sorry to hear you were having some issues. The clearance on the caps is little indeed: the caps extrude 3mm into the copper base wile the copper base is only 3.5mm thick. To keep the fins positioned well, I decided not to mill all the way through the base. The pockets are milled 3.2mm deep and I confirm this with callipers and by test fitting each heatsink. This means there is only .2mm of clearance between the cap and the heatsink, which may seems as if it's touching.

If the cap was actually hard hitting the heatsink, higher core temperatures would be the obvious result rather than memory. The included 2mm pads are compressed a bit because there is 1.8mm between the memory and the heatsink. This leaves some wiggle room, but not a lot.

What probably happened, is that the pads compressed and stayed into shape, creating a tiny air gap between them and the heatsink. You solved this issue by replacing the pads, I think.

I'm actually shipping them with 2.5mm pads since a couple of weeks now because I already felt that the pads worked better when compressed a little more. Either way, I'm happy that you got your issues solved!
Hey, no worries! I absolutely don't blame you here at all and am still very happy with the product. My suspicion is more that the caps height is not identical on each GPU. These caps are outside of the area of the stock cooler so there is no need to have super tight tolerances on their height. However I do not have precise calipers to confirm this.

I also agree with you that the improvement in temps is likely more because of the thicker thermal pads than from filing down the cooler. It's two entirely separate issues:

- I had bad memory temps because I reused the 1.5mm pads that I installed just weeks before on the stock cooler
- The caps touched the cooler, which I can confirm because there was a slight warp of the board, but probably this had no consequences for temps because those caps are "beyond" the screw holes of the retention bracket, meaning that the GPU die and memory chips did have good contact, but then the front of the PCB was ever so slightly bent because those two caps pushed it down.
- However while I was at it, it made sense to me to file down the cooler on all the "high" spots just in case.

When I say "bent" I mean a VERY slight bend, orders of magnitude less than what the PCBs of those quadruple slot RTX 4090s have to endure out of the box.

That being said... did you see this video? They somehow managed to get an even longer version of that copper block and made a triple fan cooler! (which wouldn't make sense in my case because the ventilation holes don't extend far enough)
 

robbee

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That being said... did you see this video? They somehow managed to get an even longer version of that copper block and made a triple fan cooler! (which wouldn't make sense in my case because the ventilation holes don't extend far enough)

Yeah that's an awesome video. I wish I had access to the machines he is using!
I specifically chose the 60mm heatsink over the 50mm one because quality 60mm fans are easier to find (Noctua of course!). I may replicate the 50mm version one day though, to compare the two.