Traveling Retro Gamer - Brickless S4M w/ 7600K, 1070

SilverJS

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This started out as a pretty humble 7350K/1060 build that was to be powered by a MeanWell UHP-200-24 and KMPKT 160 for simple 1080p gaming (Diablo 3) and media consumption. But then, I sold the 1080p projector I was gaming on and moved to a 1440p S2716DG monitor (we repurposed the home theater room into a play room for the kids), and made the S4M build my music production computer as well (had a Macbook pro 2012 I used to do that with). So, upgraded to a 7600K, and a 1070...but then I started playing Witcher 3 and wanted MOAR power, so...blah. You see where I'm going.

Pictures :

First order from Mouser :

First tests (that AC cord turned out to be a dud, used a much better one afterwards, no issues) :

Main build photos :

First signs of trouble after my idea of upgrading to a 1070 :

But then somebody saved me and pointed out one can get ultra-low-profile cables. So I got my 1070. =) Initial measurements of clearance between it, and Meanwell :

Yeah, very tight. But still doable (so I thought) with custom cables. Sneak peek (actually a photo I sent to the maker, @royalba94, to confirm my wiring) :

Actually had to perform a bit of surgery on the Meanwell for the cables to fit after all. But, the pictures you see below is how it ran for a while, and quite well. Undervolted 7600K at stock clocks, 1070 at 75% power limit, +130 clock, +400 memory. Not a bad setup - just not quite enough for me. =)

Some more pictures of the completed build, with my two 860 Evo's I got on Black Friday. One disk for OS and games, the other for music production stuff.

And that's the latest! I got a Dell brick but it didn't quite work right - but I can't quite seem to give up the idea of two Meanwells - one UHP-200-12 for the GPU, one RPS-200-24 for the mobo/CPU (24V because it would feed my KMPKT 160). Plan is now to go for an RTX2060 and a 7700K. =) And I'm stopping there, damn it! Right...?

Jan 15th 2019 Update :

- Zotac RTX2060 AMP ordered. They were actually available! Whodda thunk...plan is to have two 92mm Noctua's (already on order) cool it. The interesting thing is, if one removes the backplate and the shroud, the PCB on those seems to protrude only VERY little above the PCIe bracket. Dare I say, one might even be able to squeeze one of those HDPLEX 400W AC-DC units next to it...I'll tear it down when I get it, take pictures. If someone wants to send me a 400W unit to test it out, I'm totally game...=)));
- RPS-200-24-C ordered. This will power the CPU/Mobo. I'll use my current UHP-200-24 to power the GPU with...
- Second Dynamo Mini ordered! Wish I could take credit for this, but it all goes to @aquelito - he's the one who suggested I use one of those to "regulate", of sorts, the UHP's voltage. Test fit :


My gut sense of space told me it would fit, but just wanted to make very sure before committing...I'll probably mount it to the top cover. Only disadvantage is I'll have to leave longer cables to make sure I can actually lift the cover enough to unplug them when I need access to the innards;

- Ordered 1TB MX500 M.2. Was on sale at Mike's. I'll partition it in two, mirror my C: and D: drive setups and sell the 860 Evo's. I need to get rid of excess cabling...plus, I'd like to use the Skybracket to mount my two 92mm Noctuas to cool the 2060.

Exciting times!

19 Jan update : Found 8600K for killer price earlier this week, bit. Ordered Z390-I Strix to suit. Think I have all my parts now.

21 Jan update :

Alright - so, received a bunch of things today. S2719DGF came in, Z390-I (won't really be discussing in this post), and my RTX2060. (DisplayPort cable also arrived - good thing, because as my research had borne out, that particular monitor doesn't come with one. But anyway - I was all set.)

See album below. Short version : In terms of physical fit, first steps with the RTX2060 by Zotac are stupendously positive. I think that if Zotac engineers had actually tried super-hard to design a card made to fit with a Meanwell on the S4M's side panel, they couldn't have done it any better.

Anyway, it's a great little item. Looks fantastic, and that recessed power connector is what takes it to level 11 for an SFF build. I'm really impressed with it so far.

Only very slight testing done so far, but noise and thermals seem to be about the same as my 75% GTX1070, with a power limit of 73%. That's the lowest Afterburner allows me to go...too bad. I'd need ~66% or so to replicate my 75% on the 1070 (75% of 150W TDP = 112.5, which is roughly 66% of the RTX2060 Amp's 170W). I'm expecting power cycles until I can get my dual-PSU solution. That, or I'll download and play with Zotac's proprietary GPU software (Firestorm?). Afterburner doesn't let me control the voltage but Firestorm does. That power limit slider is so handy though...

Also decided to take the opportunity to install my M.2 MX500, but later realized I picked the wrong slot...forgot that not both slots are SATA-compatible. Oh well, I'll fix it tomorrow.

Anyway, on to the pics - pretty excited!


(Oh - and, for anybody wondering, during my short round of tests, the S2719DGF seemed to perform absolutely flawlessly with FreeSync and the new compatible drivers.)

Hi all,

Thought I'd start my build log, as all of my parts have now been purchased and are on the way - I'm expecting everything I don't yet have in hand to arrive this week. Pics to come in future posts, as I only have the rig built up open air for testing right now (powered by a spare Corsair RM550x), nothing special visually. =) Specs :

S4M
Asus Z270-I Pro Gaming
I3-7350K (Delid/Relid [CLU], 4.8 GHz @ 1.31v)
Corsair Vengeance LED 3466 RAM (8Gb x 2)
Noctua NH-L9i, Noctua thermal paste
EVGA 1060 3GB
KMPKT 200W DC-DC
MeanWell UHP-200-24
Seagate 480Gb SSD + 16Gb Intel Optane drive

This is for playing older games (mostly Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2) at 1080p, 60fps on my Epson 8350 projector in my home theater. I'll also be doing some retro emulation and such. The idea is that I wanted to build a computer that, while I'm at home, sits in my home theater and hooked up to the projector, and when I travel (not that uncommon for work), I can just hook it up to the hotel's TV (more than likely 1080p) and game/consume media in my off time.

If you want more detail and background, click below - otherwise, hang tight! I'll start posting pictures as I have them. But, if you want to live vicariously through yet another another Mini build, stay tuned! =)

Oh, I should say that I have the following parts incoming :

- S4M itself
- NFC power button, and feet (case will be used horizontally the majority of its life);
- Meanwell AC-DC unit, along with a plethora of C6/C8 connectors, and their respective power cords.

So, I have three packages incoming this week - should be fun! =)

So this started as a project to replace my main gaming HTPC in my home theater. I had an i5-2400 on an Asus P8Z68M-Pro, with an XFX 6870 Double Dissipation in a Silverstone GD06B case. Wonderful case at the time, I even bought its brother the GD05B for my main computer in the living room.

I started researching parts to upgrade it, and at the same time, hit upon this idea of a traveling computer - thought that a rebuild was a perfect opportunity to do a conversion to the smaller format. It didn't take me long to find out about the S4M, and was instantly sold. Wonderful, exotic case - totally loved it. The rest of the parts I got really lucky on.

Processor : As soon as I heard about this proc, I was really curious - the idea of a small proc that could be tinkered with really appealed to me. That said, I totally agree with all of the naysayers about it being overpriced and such, but, if you buy used...I bought mine for 80 CAD (~50 USD or so...?)! Somebody on Kijiji was trying to get rid of it. I was kinda surprised it didn't make more of a splash in the SFF world, to be honest. It can be blazing fast on single-thread, consumes very little power and doesn't generate much heat. For older games and 60FPS or so, or emulation where single-thread speed is king, it fit the bill perfectly for me. My main computer (in that GD05B that I was talking about earlier) has a 7600K at 5.0GHz, and on most desktop tasks, I can hardly tell a difference. Had bought one of those 3D-printed delid tools and had used it on a few processors already - used it on this one too. The 7350K is the only one of those that I relid though - I don't have the specialized tool to do that but have a decent garage and, at the very least, half a brain, so wasn't too hard. Used LePage Super Glue Gel Control, small dab each corner - done. Current settings :

- Multiplier 48, Cache 44
- Adaptive Voltage, 1.31v (seems to usually pull 1.248 - 1.264 on stress tests according to HWMonitor)
- No load-line calibration
- Not sure I've seen a temp much above 75 right now (open air). On most stress tests, temps hover between 65-70;

Memory : Built and tested the hardware mostly with my other set of RAM (Used in that 7600K build), a Corsair Vengeance LPX 3200 kit. With that kit, everything was tickety-boo at the settings above. With the 3466 RAM, the computer restarted at some point during my four-hour RealBench run (don't know when, came back to the computer the following morning and saw a login screen - not good!). For now, just tested that same kit with 3200 (nothing else changed), and I stopped after 3 and a bit hours of RealBench; currently testing at 3333. Been going for 2+ hours as I write this so I may just live with it at 3333 if it ends up passing all my tests; if I feel like tinkering later, I'll start playing with System Agent and VCCIO and such for that extra little bit, but I doubt it. That particular kit always seemed to be a bit finicky at 3466, on multiple processors;

GPU : Started with a Zotac 1050 (which was already like twice as powerful as my 6870 - crazy!), but in the process of selling hardware and such, came upon this 1060 3Gb and traded it for some hardware plus cash. In the end, after selling the 1050, I didn't end up paying much at all! I know it's not necessarily that future-proof, but for what I want to do, it's perfect. D3 and SC2 were just fine on the 1050, as are some of the other platformers I like (just bought Mark Of The Ninja, for example), so I do have room to grow. I might want to try Witcher III, but I should be able to do that no problem with this card. As I understand, for 1080/60, it should handle just about everything, or close anyway. Perfect for me;

Power : I was looking on the forums and on /hardwareswap for something used, but then happened upon KMPKT and his units - and, also, being a fellow Canuck, shipping was much cheaper, no duties, etc., etc...so was quite thrilled! Went for the Meanwell after reading about it in some threads - that extra 40W over the HDPLEX is going to be welcome, methinks. As for a connector - I actually bought a bunch of them from Mouser when I ordered the Meanwell. I got three varieties of C6, along with a power cord for it - but I also bought a C8 and its power cord, just in case. I'd REALLY like to fit the C6 in, but the proper way - with the lip on the outside. I think I have one that may just work, but we'll see. This is the one I'm the most hopeful about :

https://www.mouser.ca/ProductDetail/693-6160.0003

Storage : The SSD is a carryover from the old build, and the Optane drive actually came free with one of the motherboards I bought (and later ended up selling) when I was experimenting with different hardware. I do think it makes a difference, especially on boot times and game loading time.
 
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SilverJS

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Quick update : got the Mouser package today. Can't wait to put it all together! :). (I guess I could at least test it all out, now that I have the ac-dc piece, with a sacrificial ac cord from somewhere...)

Looking at the size of the c8 connector back, and what I'd need to grind or dremel for C6, I might have to revisit my original idea about having the lip on the outside... I'm seriously thinking of just using the c8 and be done with it. Although, I think @Thehack would likely excoriate me for it...:)

Just one pic today :

 

SilverJS

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Small update today : received feet and power button. Josh wasn't kidding when he said those buttons feel wonderful to the touch - they truly do.

The case itself took like three days (less than, even) to get from Taiwan to Canada, but has been stuck in "processing" for over a week now... It's cleared customs but no movement for a while now after that.

Can't wait to see the darned thing! :)
 

SilverJS

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So I had my initial run with the MeanWell and the DC-DC unit from @Kmpkt. Hookup was quite easy, and it booted up just fine. For connections, all I did was take a standard three-prong AC cord, figure out which wire was which (two of them were black...sigh) and hook those up to the MeanWell's input. For the MeanWell's output, there are four screws - two positive, two negative. This matched up perfectly to the KMPKT unit's input, which also had two positive and two negative wires coming from the barrel jack. I just cut the wires from the barrel jack, stripped the ends, and screwed them in. (Later, in my final install, I'll have proper screw terminals for all seven wires.)

However, all in all, I can't say that this power solution test went very well, unfortunately...

I haven't tried P95 yet, but on Heaven, after a few minutes (like maybe 2, max 3), the GPU would just stop outputting graphics at all. My projector would just go blank (HDMI 2 - No Signal), but I would still hear the music from the Heaven benchmark, and I THINK the computer was still otherwise working. Upon inspection after shutdown, the MeanWell wasn't very warm at all (the metal casing seemed to register, to my touch anyway, only a small increase in temperature), but the KMPKT unit was quite warm. The heatsink itself was not comfortable to the touch at all - and this was after I had spent a minute or so trying to get it out of its fitting because the whole unit was hot.

I doubt I got a faulty unit, seeing as it worked just fine for most of what I asked it to do. I also don't think the connections are the issue - from what I know, if my connections were wrong, the computer would simply not get any power, period. My gut tells me my tall RAM is to blame - that said, I doubt I'm the first to try to use those HDPLEX/KMPKT DC-DC units in front of tall RAM, so I really don't know.

I know the 7350K is overclocked, but I'm at 1.31v. From the reviews I've read, power draw on those procs when overclocked (and at higher freqs, and voltages, than mine) is like 50-60w (for the processor only). I guess my next step is to try with the proc at stock clocks and see what happens...

Oh, a few pictures :

 

SilverJS

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So - I KNEW I should have gone to bed after my last post, but I couldn't help myself. =) So anyway - I tried with my 7350K at stock clocks. This time, however, after a minute or so, I heard a strange zap/pop-ish sound, the computer lost all power, and I got a really strange, burning, rubbery smell. I feared for the worst...but couldn't find the source of the smell at all! But after looking a bit more closely, I found this :


So I guess my sacrificial AC cord was really cheap. I do remember thinking that the wire didn't quite seem 18Ga to me...good thing I've got a few of those stashed away in the spare parts bin. So, 10 minutes later, I was back at it with a fresh cord, with much thicker wire this time (seemed to me to be the exact same gauge as the wires in the DC-DC unit, the ones I stripped anyway). Stock clocks again. I was sure this was it, that it would all work.

I was wrong.

Exact same symptoms. I tried two separate runs, same symptoms both times, and the second time's shutdown came sooner. I just tried rebooting afterwards and just running basic tasks, and the computer just couldn't do it - I got the blue spinning thingy while browsing the web, and it never went away, computer stopped being responsive.

All is well now that I'm back on my standby RM550x now. (And, I should say - I did test this config at [email protected], P95 and Heaven together, no issues.)

So, not too sure what to do. I could be wrong, but I get the sense the MeanWell is fine (it really doesn't seem warm to the touch at all), but what do I know. I'll contact @Kmpkt and see.

And, to add insult to injury - looks like the LED in my fancy power button has stopped working. Not too sure why - no amount of wiggling the wire to the motherboard seems to work now. Not my day, I guess...!
 
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Thehack

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Have you tried adjusting the voltage down? The 24v is on the upper end of what your DC-DC is meant to use. See if that has any positive effect.

There should be an adjustment potentiometer. Use a small flat head screw driver and use multimeter to check the output.
 

SilverJS

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Really...?? Had no idea one could do that! This is on the UHP-200-24? I'll look it up in the documentation.

It had occurred to me that while the KMPKT unit CAN accept 24v, it's designed for 19v input mostly, so that might have had something to do with it. Thanks for that, I'll try that tonight!

EDIT : Can't find anything in the docs that implies I could adjust voltage...? Also, I know Thiruwal Kiraman (sp?) did this exact pairing - UHP-200-24, with the HDPLEX 160W DC-DC unit - on an 8700/1060 combination, and had no issues.
 
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Thehack

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Really...?? Had no idea one could do that! This is on the UHP-200-24? I'll look it up in the documentation.

It had occurred to me that while the KMPKT unit CAN accept 24v, it's designed for 19v input mostly, so that might have had something to do with it. Thanks for that, I'll try that tonight!

EDIT : Can't find anything in the docs that implies I could adjust voltage...? Also, I know Thiruwal Kiraman (sp?) did this exact pairing - UHP-200-24, with the HDPLEX 160W DC-DC unit - on an 8700/1060 combination, and had no issues.
Sometimes it is not directly annotated. See if you can measure the output and locate using your eyeball manual.
 

SilverJS

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I'll have to test this after dinner once kids are in bed and all. So what kind of adjustment am I likely to be able to get? Like plus/minus 1.0v? More?
 

SilverJS

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OK, so quick update :

Stock (without touching that potentiometer, I mean), the MeanWell was outputting 24.1V. When I backed it out all the way, it was giving me 22.2V.

So, figured I'd try it out like that, with 2V less (a decent amount more inside the permissible window though!). But, bad news - same thing. The rig did seem to last a bit longer through the Heaven benchmark (like - 3 minutes instead of two) but that was that.

Looks like back to square one. I don't know if it's the high voltage (although it's now totally within spec), a faulty MeanWell, a faulty DC-ATX unit (or both...?), or if somehow, my processor pulls in a fair bit more than 60W, even at stock clocks, during Heaven. Quite flummoxed...and kinda sad...

Josh did say he'd replace my power button, in better news - and, the case has arrived! Well - it's at the post office. Signature was required and I was at work when delivery was attempted (was expecting that), so I'll have to swing by tomorrow, but it's in town! =) Pretty excited to see it.
 

Thehack

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OK, so quick update :

Stock (without touching that potentiometer, I mean), the MeanWell was outputting 24.1V. When I backed it out all the way, it was giving me 22.2V.

So, figured I'd try it out like that, with 2V less (a decent amount more inside the permissible window though!). But, bad news - same thing. The rig did seem to last a bit longer through the Heaven benchmark (like - 3 minutes instead of two) but that was that.

Looks like back to square one. I don't know if it's the high voltage (although it's now totally within spec), a faulty MeanWell, a faulty DC-ATX unit (or both...?), or if somehow, my processor pulls in a fair bit more than 60W, even at stock clocks, during Heaven. Quite flummoxed...and kinda sad...

Josh did say he'd replace my power button, in better news - and, the case has arrived! Well - it's at the post office. Signature was required and I was at work when delivery was attempted (was expecting that), so I'll have to swing by tomorrow, but it's in town! =) Pretty excited to see it.
Hmm, if the Kmpkt unit is hot, then I'd reach out to sfflabs or your vendor for anything other troubleshooting tips and possibly request an RMA.
 

Kmpkt

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Sorry for the delay on the response but I've been working 12 hours a day for the past few days and with three young children, free time has been in short supply.

With respect to your system, it should be completely fine with the 24V Meanwell and I've had other people running the same combo without complaint. While it is not uncommon for the Dynamo Mini units to be quite warm, it should be capable of running those benches. If anything, the Dynamo Mini should actually run cooler at 24V than at 19V as conversion efficiency increases as the voltage increases creating less heat, not more. Seeing as the Meanwell supply isn't built with a lot headroom with respect to overcurrent protection, my suspicion is that you're probably triggering system resets via that mechanism (most units provide 10% OCP meaning it will shut down when drawing > 220W).

Hypothetically your GTX 1060 3GB should pull a peak wattage of 120W while your CPU should pull a peak wattage of 55W. Where I think you may be tripping the OCP is that the 1060 will pull momentary spikes into the 145W range (<50ms). Building in 20-30W or so to account for the motherboard and your other hardware has you sitting right on 200W peak budgeted draw. My suspicion that the momentary power spikes into the 145W range are likely resetting your AC-DC supply by pushing you in excess of 220W. I had this same issue when running a 7700K and GTX 1080 on the HDPlex 300W brick some months ago. While the GPU was budgeted to pull around 180W and the GPU 95W for a total system draw under 300W, the spiking on the GPU would trigger AC-DC resets that look a lot like what you're dealing with.

My first recommendation would be to try an undervolt of your GPU/CPU and see if your system stabilizes. Because you are so tight to the over current budget, this will likely stabilize your system. This will come with the added benefit of reducing the temperatures of your hardware which should mean lower fan speeds and accessory power consumption.

If that doesn't work, you could try using an alternate and larger AC-DC supply to test the Dynamo Mini directly. If you don't have access to one please let me know and I can probably lend you something. Cheers,

Craig
 

SilverJS

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Craig,

Thanks SO much for the detailed and informative reply! Don't worry about the delay - I get it!

So - 24V is downright better than 19v, eh? Copy that then. Still, I didn't know that the 120w peak wasn't really a peak. I figured that it would take those spikes into consideration. If it doesn't, I can see that I'm indeed pretty close to the MeanWell's ceiling. I also didn't think the mobo could draw up to 30w - I always thought of the board more as a vehicle through which power is routed, but not as a big consumer of it. I guess I'm kinda surprised though - the MeanWell had been used with a 8700/1060 combo, so...?

Either way, got it - the good thing about this course of action (undervolting) is that I can start testing this right now. I'll get to it - I had already tested this proc for undervolting in the past so should have the numbers in my notes somewhere. I'll have to investigate GPU undervolting, but I remember @Thehack 's post about this in another thread.

I'll contact you separately for a few more details if that's alright - but again, thanks so much!
 

Thehack

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Craig,

Thanks SO much for the detailed and informative reply! Don't worry about the delay - I get it!

So - 24V is downright better than 19v, eh? Copy that then. Still, I didn't know that the 120w peak wasn't really a peak. I figured that it would take those spikes into consideration. If it doesn't, I can see that I'm indeed pretty close to the MeanWell's ceiling. I also didn't think the mobo could draw up to 30w - I always thought of the board more as a vehicle through which power is routed, but not as a big consumer of it. I guess I'm kinda surprised though - the MeanWell had been used with a 8700/1060 combo, so...?

Either way, got it - the good thing about this course of action (undervolting) is that I can start testing this right now. I'll get to it - I had already tested this proc for undervolting in the past so should have the numbers in my notes somewhere. I'll have to investigate GPU undervolting, but I remember @Thehack 's post about this in another thread.

I'll contact you separately for a few more details if that's alright - but again, thanks so much!
The UHP allows spikes of 150% for 100ms. However, do try to undervolt. It may be that there scenes where it uses over 200W for a period of time that trips of the overcurrent protection circuit, since you are right on the crusp of it's output spec.

Try 80% power limit on the GPU through MSI afterburner.
 
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