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Old 01-15-2011, 01:12 PM   #1
garby
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Any suggestion for fanless power supply unit?


Does anyone had any experience with fanless, low-powered power supply units (PSUs)like PicoPSU? Please share your experience.

I am also interested to hear about experience concerning the fanless cooling solutions and/or power-scaling for low-end CPUs like Intel's Atom, AMD's Neo or Via's Nano.

Thanks in advance for your inputs.
 
Old 01-15-2011, 02:40 PM   #2
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garby View Post
Does anyone had any experience with fanless, low-powered power supply units (PSUs)like PicoPSU? Please share your experience.
They work as advertised. But I use them on low power CPU boards in industrial PC's which are 24V powered. The boards are VIA running a 700 MHz processor. Trying to power a full blown desktop with 4 core CPU and gaming VGA is asking for failure.
Quote:
Originally Posted by garby View Post
I am also interested to hear about experience concerning the fanless cooling solutions and/or power-scaling for low-end CPUs like Intel's Atom, AMD's Neo or Via's Nano.
My file server runs on an Atom board. Nice, quiet and power efficient. There is a fan in the case (not on the CPU) which runs on demand, usually on very low speed.
The same computer is my wife's desktop running an Atom 450 (I think) with 2 cores and 2 threads/core. It runs KDE4 smoothly.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-15-2011, 02:48 PM   #3
jefro
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I have a Lenovo Q150 that uses a small ac to dc brick. Almost every laptop has a fanless power supply. They seem to work OK. The issue is more of how the board was designed. A PSU for a normal at uses different voltages where single voltage bricks will then let the motherboard convert dc to dc voltages.
 
Old 01-15-2011, 04:15 PM   #4
jlinkels
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jefro View Post
A PSU for a normal at uses different voltages where single voltage bricks will then let the motherboard convert dc to dc voltages.
That's where the PicoPSU is for.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-15-2011, 10:55 PM   #5
neilgunton
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I'm going to use a Seasonic SS-460FL in my new build - check out this review of the smaller 400W version:

http://www.silentpcreview.com/Season...00_Fanless_PSU

Neil
 
Old 01-16-2011, 01:56 AM   #6
jlinkels
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That is a nicely crafted design. The product seems OK, but their marketing talk is clearly focused on the ignorant consumer. It is not the fault of the power supply manufacturer, but where does one need 400 Watts for in a home PC?

jlinkels
 
Old 01-16-2011, 09:34 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
That is a nicely crafted design. The product seems OK, but their marketing talk is clearly focused on the ignorant consumer. It is not the fault of the power supply manufacturer, but where does one need 400 Watts for in a home PC?

jlinkels
Well, I'm certainly no expert in this area, but I looked at the PSU calculators online and it's pretty easy to get up toward 400W recommended when you have a graphics card, couple of hard drives, 125W CPU and so on and so forth. In fact the system will probably not draw that amount of power usually, but I like to have some breathing space, and room to grow if I want to add something like a high-end graphics card down the line (initially I'll just be using the onboard video on the Asus M4A89GTD Pro motherboard). I'm doing 16GB RAM, since it's going to be running as a MySQL slave for my website, and Windows 7 in virtualbox, and I don't want to feel like I'm cramped for doing development at the same time while all that is running. I was going to go for the 400W Seasonic, but it seemed pretty easy to spec a graphics card that would take it just above 400W, so I thought why not just go for the 460... that's about the extent of my reasoning on the matter, to be honest.

The review I linked to previously is impressive, this seems like a very solid PSU.

Neil
 
Old 01-16-2011, 11:24 AM   #8
lazlow
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neilgunton

Nothing agains the Seasonics(I love em) but the OP was specifically asking about low powered systems(atoms, etc). Those systems typically draw under 50W, including graphics. While PSUs are quite effient in the range that they are built for (+-30%) their effiencey drops off radically when one drops below 50% of rated draw. So an atom board that only draws 50W with an appropriately sized PSU may draw(at the wall socket) 75W(or more) if the PSU is radically oversized.
 
Old 01-16-2011, 07:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lazlow View Post
So an atom board that only draws 50W with an appropriately sized PSU may draw(at the wall socket) 75W(or more) if the PSU is radically oversized.
Not sure if efficiency is that bad, but that would be dumb anyway. My atom based server has a 50W brick-type power supply. I don't know how much power the system draws, I think somewhere between 10 and 20W. The temperature of the brick is only 2 to 3 degrees higher than environmental temperature. Give the bad heat transfer to the air, dissipation cannot be more than 1 or 2 Watts. Even dissipating 5 Watts would make this brick hot to touch. Even if efficiency is bad, it is better to dissipate 20% of 10 Watts as loss than 5% of 120 Watts. Not to mention the dissipation of that 120 Watts itself.

jlinkels
 
Old 01-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #10
lazlow
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jlinkels

I think you misunderstood my intent. What I was say was that running a 400W PSU with a (sub)50W load would be less effcient(the 75W I mentioned above) than running a 50(or 100)W PSU. The smaller PSU(assuming it can handle the load) will draw closer to what the actual load is than a radically oversized PSU (like the 400W).
 
Old 01-16-2011, 08:01 PM   #11
cmas1148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlinkels View Post
Trying to power a full blown desktop with 4 core CPU and gaming VGA is asking for failure
Ummm, not my experience? I never have had a failure on my custom box I just built, granted I just built it, but I have been running a lot of video converting software and those hours of hard work never made anything fail, but mine is liquid cooled...

I never have had any customers come back with their rigs either, well for non-human failures at least.

Last edited by cmas1148; 01-16-2011 at 08:03 PM.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 04:52 AM   #12
garby
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Thank you for your inputs. Has someone a link or self-experience of how much power mini-itx atom/via board consumes?

I read here (http://pico-psu.net/) some interesting stuff that read:

Quote:
ITX-Blades.net
mini-itx blades the whole system is powered by one +12v power supply instead of 10x 110v ac power supplies
Interesting info, but could not figure out how that might have been achieved? Call me dump, he he!!!
 
Old 02-02-2011, 07:17 AM   #13
michaelk
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Typically computers require 3.3, 5 and +/-12 VDC power. The bricks convert 120/240 VAC to 12 VDC and an internal DC to DC converter on the motherboard creates everything else. The desktop power supplies also convert 120/240 VAC to 3.3, 5, +/-12 VDC except they can provide at lot more watts. I've seen specs on mini-itx boards anywhere from 25-100 Watts. Total power depends the PCI cards and drives that maybe attached to the motherboard.
 
Old 02-02-2011, 01:43 PM   #14
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Via's 500Mhz C3 ran fanless. You really need to know how much power you are consuming, and source a power supply appropriately.

Other tricks include painting the heatsinks black. This improves their absorbtion of sunlight and their emission of heat to atmosphere (The black body idea physicists talk about). But nobody is redesigning for you.
 
  


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