Will this build work with a 250w pico psu?

nktio

Case Bender
Original poster
Feb 20, 2019
2
0
www.nktio.com
Hello! So I'm building a SFF PC to use for interactive multimedia and performance projects, as well as a workstation for video and graphics editing. Running stuff like Max MSP, Processing, Ableton, Touch Designer, Unity, Maya, and After Effects + Adobe CC stuff, and hopefully doing a few of these things at once. It's not going to be used for AAA gaming, and I definitely don't intend to overclock it. My goal is to make it as compact as possible; hopefully about the size or smaller than an S4 Mini (i'll be building my own laser-cut/3D printed case); and cheap-- not much over $700, which so far I've managed by scoring some dealz. However, this is my first time building a computer, so I'm still learning the ropes!

Here's the build laid out in PC part picker (sans PSU):
https://pcpartpicker.com/list/j3JgWD

AMD Ryzen 7 1700 - (8W - 65W)
Noctua - NH-L9a-AM4 Cooler - (5W - 10W)
EVGA GTX 1060 6GB SC - (30W - 120W)
Crucial Ballistix Sport LT DDR4-3000 2x8GB (14W - 14W)
Crucial - P1 500 GB M.2-2280 - (2W - 10W)
Gigabyte GA-AB350N-Gaming WIFI (rev. 1.0) Mini ITX AM4 Motherboard

PC part picker puts the max load at around 219W, so I figured a 250W pico psu would suffice. I got this one:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/US-24Pin-D...e=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2060353.m2749.l2649

and this 240W 12v power brick to go with it:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07M6D1X4M/?tag=theminutiae-20

After getting all the necessary parts, I realized I need a 6 pin connection in order for the GPU to work, so I just ordered this adapter to attach to the 4 pin connection on the pico's peripherals: https://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Pin-Mole...rd-Power-Converter-Adapter-Cable/112302427688

When I was looking for that adapter in a used PC parts store, the guy "helping" me got super condescending saying there's no way the pico can manage a graphics card in addition to the CPU, and I need to do "way more research". I've done more research, and from what I can find it seems like a Mini-Box Pico PSU 160-XT can totally handle a system like this, as demonstrated here by Josh Sniffen: The one I got isn't much different than the 160-XT as far as I can tell, plus it's rated for higher wattage...it was cheap though. I notice the 160-XT has the CPU 12v rail separated out from the peripherals in a different connector and uses 2 12v pins, however, which is maybe(?) important-- mine still has separate pins for the CPU and peripheral connections, but they're grouped together in one 5-pin connector so I'm unsure if they're totally separate.

Anyway, hoping somebody with more experience and pico psu knowledge can give some advice on whether this system will be reasonably stable with the PSU i've got. Should I get a 160-XT instead? Or something else?

Thanks!
 

smitty2k1

King of Cable Management
Dec 3, 2016
963
492
I wouldn't trust that PSU you bought. As you mentioned, the official PicoPSU's don't go above 160w (which is enough to power your CPU+1050ti by the way). That thing is a knock off of questionable quality and it doesn't have a dedicated PCIe output (none of the plug in style PicoPSUs do).

You can try it and monitor it closely for heat and stable power output. Hopefully it does have built in OCP and will shut down if anything gets out of control.

You could try the official PicoPSU 160XT if the "250w" board you bought doesn't work.
 

Zackmd1

Airflow Optimizer
Jun 3, 2016
347
561
Yea I would not trust that pico as well....

From experience, your build will likely only pull around 200-220 watts under full artificial load and in the 170w range for gaming. The "real" Pico 160xt should be able to handle this just fine. Biggest issue is finding a power adapter that can support that wattage. The Xbox One external power brick is a good contender. Roughly 215 watts and if you get a genuine one, you do not have to worry about it catching on fire.
 

robbee

King of Cable Management
n3rdware
Bronze Supporter
Sep 24, 2016
848
1,316
I wouldn't trust a Chinese 35$ brick that's supposedly outputting 20A either. Wiring a pci 6 pin to the 160xt isn't safe with the tiny connectors being used, unless you're going to solder. I'd suggest the hdplex 160 dc-atx which should be able to handle this build without overclock.
 

nktio

Case Bender
Original poster
Feb 20, 2019
2
0
www.nktio.com
Sweet I think I'm gonna get an official 160-XT as an alternative for starters. Thanks ya'll! Yeah I've felt a little uneasy about that PSU-- I fired up the system without the GPU yesterday for a test and it seemed to run everything fine-- didn't get hot at all, and fans and motherboard lights were working. But really I have no idea if it was stable cuz I had no video output hah, and obviously adding the GPU in the mix will change things. I also have no idea how to find out if it has OCP.

I wouldn't trust a Chinese 35$ brick that's supposedly outputting 20A either. Wiring a pci 6 pin to the 160xt isn't safe with the tiny connectors being used, unless you're going to solder. I'd suggest the hdplex 160 dc-atx which should be able to handle this build without overclock.

From the seller description the power brick has all sorts of built-in safety features, so I think I'm gonna keep it for now unless it causes problems. As for the GPU 6-pin, yeah that's an issue I was wondering about-- the problem of trying to send all the 12v power over a single wire with plastic connectors. I have some rudimentary soldering experience-- would I need to remove all the connectors from the circuit and solder wires directly from the pins on the PSU to the 6-pin?

Alternately, i see the official 160-XT has an extra peripheral port-- if I got an extra peripheral adaptor cable with a 4-pin molex to plug in there, and connected both that and the other included 4-pin on the other port into a 2x 4-pin to 6-pin Y-cable adaptor (like this), would that help distribute the load more safely?