HTPC - Micro ATX PSU?

PrinceOfPersia

PrinceOfPersia

The Prince Of Babylon
#1
Hi, I am trying to build a new Media centre PC and I am buying a slim case.
However as this case doesn't come with a PSU, can someone link me a "slim" micro ATX (2.5") PSU?

I saw one by a company called CiT... But never heard of them so not sure how reliable that will be??
 
DanceMan

DanceMan

Procrastinating Member
#2
Seasonic make one, but many of the SPCR types are using pico psu's. These are a laptop style power brick sitting outside with an adapter that sits inside, fits on the motherboard connector (I think, don't have one myself) and has breakouts to the 4-pin, molex and sata connectors. These have two advantages: quiet (no fan) and higher efficiency than a standard psu. However cost might be a little higher and most are limited to 60 or 90 watts, not because of the power brick, but because of the rating of the typical little DC plug from the brick. Hunt around SPCR and you can learn more about this.
There was also an SFX (I think that's the format of the smaller psu) psu that came in one of the mini-ITX cases, the Apex case IIRC, that was actually fairly quiet. Look for that in the SPCR review of the case.
 
equinoxe3d

equinoxe3d

Active Member
#3
Just want to chime in on the picoPSU as that's what I use with my "silent" folding system and it's really awesome. The one I have is a kit with a 150w PicoPSU + 102w power brick.

I got one because I wanted to try it for a long time, and a low-power diskless [email protected] system I built from leftover parts (2GHz celery oc'd to 2.44, 1 stick of 512MB DDR-333 RAM, USB stick) proved a perfect opportunity to test one out. I'm pulling 30w idle and 70w at full load from the AC plug with the aforementioned setup. That's with a rather power hungry P4-based CPU (52w TDP), but I have nothing else hooked up (no HDD or video card) so it works fine. The kit is rather expensive; mainly because of the brick, the picoPSU itself being basically a glorified DC-DC converter but you still can't beat the ridiculous efficiency (90-95%) at such low wattages.

However, for a full system you will need to take great care of the power usage when choosing your parts. The fan in the 102w power brick kicks in at around 80w and you'd want to keep your full load wattage not much higher than that. There's power bricks around with more wattage (150-200w), but they are few and far between, not to mention very expensive.

If you still decide to go that route and have more questions I'll be glad to answer them, but like DanceMan said the greatest source of info out there about the picoPSU is in the SPCR review* and by searching on their forums. That's where I learned about it before buying one.

Otherwise, there are also some small form factor PSUs around eBay (mainly for Shuttle SFF systems) that will give you more power than a picoPSU. However, given their scarcity they are also kind of expensive. You also might want to check if it fits correctly in your case, I'm not sure if those small PSUs are a standardized format. Also, like you found out, don't expect many "brand-name" PSUs in that sector.

* edit : note that it's an older model review, the newer one has a SATA and ATX 12v connector. Still, the 102w brick in the kit I have is the exact same that was reviewed by SPCR.
 
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Dave_B

Dave_B

Overclocking Duffus
#4
Hi, I am trying to build a new Media centre PC and I am buying a slim case.
However as this case doesn't come with a PSU, can someone link me a "slim" micro ATX (2.5") PSU?

I saw one by a company called CiT... But never heard of them so not sure how reliable that will be??
If you're in the US, I have a new condition Enermax mATX PSU available for cheap. LMK.
 
PrinceOfPersia

PrinceOfPersia

The Prince Of Babylon
#5
Unfortunately I live in the UK :(

I am pulling my hair out trying to find a MicroATX PSU powerful and quiet enough to power a media centre!

I can only find this one, the same PSU, same make on all sites :
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/133577

The problem with this one is, by reading the reviews :

"This PSU is the loudest thing in my case by a long way!"
"This is not quiet enough for a media center case. It is also for me too noisy to be an office PC, the fan is simply too loud."
"How can the previous person say that this PSU is quiet?

This PSU is very very loud, I wish I could send it back, I am building a HTPC, but this is it is too much even for a desktop PC"

Soooo... When you want to watch a movie or TV, the last thing you want to hear is ***HHHHHHMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM***

This is stopping me from buying my case too, I have my case picked out, motherboard, already have a Core2Duo CPU, BUT NEED A PSU?!!!
 
N

Nemesis Undying

New Member
#6
What case is it? There are a bunch of slim cases that use full ATX power supplies.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204035
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811204030

This one uses a riser card for your pcie 16x and pci
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133029

As for the PSU you're not going to find many over 300. As far as I have seen in that form factor none of the known reliable name brands rate any of theirs for over 300 watts, making me believe that the off brands and generic ones aren't as powerful as they are rated.
 

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