Mini ITX PC, and PSU discussions

SaviorX

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i am building a better unit...i am cramming an Intel Atom inside a dead 1541s case, bay is perfect for a DVD burner and i found a source for mini power supplies...literally the size of the ATX plug :)

so i will call it a PC1541
 

AmiNeo

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Id say allow up to 15W for the hard drive and 20W for a DVD Drive... It'd prob be around 15W per module for Memory.

Add in the motherboards requirements and the CPU's and then about 20W for a good safety margin. That should give you a fair idea of what you will need in terms of a PSU.

These are estimates and youll prob save 1 - 5 W on each thing I've quoted depending on type, brand, speed etc. Bare in mind however that if you plan on connecting any external disk drives or anything you will need to include these in your estimate too.

Assuming onboard graphics, you wont need to account for a GPU and its normally this and the CPU that consume the most power in PCs.
 

SaviorX

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Id say allow up to 15W for the hard drive and 20W for a DVD Drive... It'd prob be around 15W per module for Memory.

Add in the motherboards requirements and the CPU's and then about 20W for a good safety margin. That should give you a fair idea of what you will need in terms of a PSU.



Assuming onboard graphics, you wont need to account for a GPU and its normally this and the CPU that consume the most power in PCs.

looking around ....about 20-25w for the mb/cpu/int gpu....use a single 2gb mem module i am thinking... (or 4gb if i want to shell out)

will be using a 2.5" 500gb sata hd

so 95ish? 102 will do the job.

(and thanks Neo)
 

commodorejohn

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That would be perfect if you plan on powering the pc from your car battery as it's a DC-DC supply. You'll need a separate AC-DC supply if you want to use it with house power. Or did I miss something?
He also linked to a kit version with an included AC-DC adapter. Anyway, that's majorly cool; I'll have to keep that in mind if and when I finally start work on that homebrew system I've been plotting...
 

AmiNeo

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Id say allow up to 15W for the hard drive and 20W for a DVD Drive... It'd prob be around 15W per module for Memory.

Add in the motherboards requirements and the CPU's and then about 20W for a good safety margin. That should give you a fair idea of what you will need in terms of a PSU.



Assuming onboard graphics, you wont need to account for a GPU and its normally this and the CPU that consume the most power in PCs.

looking around ....about 20-25w for the mb/cpu/int gpu....use a single 2gb mem module i am thinking... (or 4gb if i want to shell out)

will be using a 2.5" 500gb sata hd

so 95ish? 102 will do the job.

(and thanks Neo)

No probs...
Anything above that ofcourse would be better, you dont want to be running on bare minimum as it will shorten the life of the PSU and its always nice to have a good safety margin incase of any power spikes or anything.

I'd look into getting 120W + personally. The 160W ones would be perfect and you'd be fine using an external 2.5" portable hard drive via USB with those too.

Also, most PSUs in my experience get stressed before they approach their max rated Wattage. Go for the 160W and be safe :)
 

SaviorX

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Id say allow up to 15W for the hard drive and 20W for a DVD Drive... It'd prob be around 15W per module for Memory.

Add in the motherboards requirements and the CPU's and then about 20W for a good safety margin. That should give you a fair idea of what you will need in terms of a PSU.



Assuming onboard graphics, you wont need to account for a GPU and its normally this and the CPU that consume the most power in PCs.

looking around ....about 20-25w for the mb/cpu/int gpu....use a single 2gb mem module i am thinking... (or 4gb if i want to shell out)

will be using a 2.5" 500gb sata hd

so 95ish? 102 will do the job.

(and thanks Neo)

No probs...
Anything above that ofcourse would be better, you dont want to be running on bare minimum as it will shorten the life ogf the PSU and its always nice to have a good safety margin incase of any power spikes or anything.
I'd look into getting 120W + personally. The 160W ones would be perfect and you'd be fine using an external 2.5" portable hard drive via USB with those too.

yes, probably a good idea now i see they do have adapters for the 150/160s, i was just going by what they had for kits, and being a little hopeful

and i wouldnt mind having the option of running external usb drives/sd card readers as well.
 

AmiNeo

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Oh and just to point it out even though you've prob figured it out already. You'd be best getting all your memory in one stick, (ie. one 4gb instead of two 2gb sticks) as the amount of memory on each module doesnt really affect the power draw as much as having more physical modules would. You'd prob be looking at a few Watts tops vs another ~15 Watts for another module.

2gb should be plenty enough for most stuff you'd run on it though, especially if its 32 bit only applications. Even my laptop only has 2.5gb and im running vista 64-bit.
 

SaviorX

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Oh and just to point it out even though you've prob figured it out already. You'd be best getting all your memory in one stick, (ie. one 4gb instead of two 2gb sticks) as the amount of memory on each module doesnt really affect the power draw as much as having more physical modules would. You'd prob be looking at a few Watts tops vs another ~15 Watts for another module.

2gb should be plenty enough for most stuff you'd run on it though, especially if its 32 bit only applications. Even my laptop only has 2.5gb and im running vista 64-bit.

yes....sadly i spent 10 years in Victoria with my own small comp business, started out with Commodores..ended up building windows systems for most of the 10 years.

tho i used to get some entertainment out of the computer store guys who would constantly insist i couldnt build a windows 3.1 system on a 286....at least back then pcs and windows had a certain level of 'fun' attached....trying to pimp them out..i still have 2 fully populated 2/386 isa memory boards somewhere....

now its just add more and more and overclock....its lost any 'charm' it once had.
 

AmiNeo

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Oh and just to point it out even though you've prob figured it out already. You'd be best getting all your memory in one stick, (ie. one 4gb instead of two 2gb sticks) as the amount of memory on each module doesnt really affect the power draw as much as having more physical modules would. You'd prob be looking at a few Watts tops vs another ~15 Watts for another module.

2gb should be plenty enough for most stuff you'd run on it though, especially if its 32 bit only applications. Even my laptop only has 2.5gb and im running vista 64-bit.

yes....sadly i spent 10 years in Victoria with my own small comp business, started out with Commodores..ended up building windows systems for most of the 10 years.

tho i used to get some entertainment out of the computer store guys who would constantly insist i couldnt build a windows 3.1 system on a 286....at least back then pcs and windows had a certain level of 'fun' attached....trying to pimp them out..i still have 2 fully populated 2/386 isa memory boards somewhere....

now its just add more and more and overclock....its lost any 'charm' it once had.

Yea these days almost anyone can build a PC so long as they buy the right CPU for their motherboard and get a big enough PSU, its hard to go wrong.

Most of the really technical stuff left now is in networking or software coding it seems.
 

SaviorX

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Oh and just to point it out even though you've prob figured it out already. You'd be best getting all your memory in one stick, (ie. one 4gb instead of two 2gb sticks) as the amount of memory on each module doesnt really affect the power draw as much as having more physical modules would. You'd prob be looking at a few Watts tops vs another ~15 Watts for another module.

2gb should be plenty enough for most stuff you'd run on it though, especially if its 32 bit only applications. Even my laptop only has 2.5gb and im running vista 64-bit.

yes....sadly i spent 10 years in Victoria with my own small comp business, started out with Commodores..ended up building windows systems for most of the 10 years.

tho i used to get some entertainment out of the computer store guys who would constantly insist i couldnt build a windows 3.1 system on a 286....at least back then pcs and windows had a certain level of 'fun' attached....trying to pimp them out..i still have 2 fully populated 2/386 isa memory boards somewhere....

now its just add more and more and overclock....its lost any 'charm' it once had.

Yea these days almost anyone can build a PC so long as they buy the right CPU for their motherboard and get a big enough PSU, its hard to go wrong.

Most of the really technical stuff left now is in networking or software coding it seems.

yeah, i miss the days when someone would pay me $30 to type g=c:800 :p or was it g=c:500.....man its hard to believe its been over 15 years now...
 

HonestFlames

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There are still opportunities for small system builders. Semi-techs may be able to put together a system these days, but it still takes some not insignificant skill into putting together a system perfectly suited to the needs of the customer/user.

People want "one that plays games" or "lets me go on Facebook" or "I want a good one. One that's fast and has the dual cores so I can do more than one thing at a time". Only after some targeted questioning do you actually discover the real reasons for wanting a PC. Of course, most cheap systems can do everything 95% of people would ever need a PC to do.

However, there are still choices to be made about which motherboard to go with, which brand of hard drive, whether a DVD drive is needed (this is becoming much less of a requirement) etc.

There's also the business of properly configuring Windows and including genuinely useful additional software. I won't let a system go out that hasn't got the Users subfolders relocated to a second partition, for instance. Nor will I allow one to be without at least Microsoft Security Essentials installed (preferably ESET's NOD32). Then there's also potentially Paint.NET, 7zip, MS Office / OpenOffice, uTorrent, SumatraPDF, FireFox, Opera and Java.

Not that I build many systems, these days. Most people want a netbook or an iPad. :whistle:
 

AmiNeo

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There are still opportunities for small system builders. Semi-techs may be able to put together a system these days, but it still takes some not insignificant skill into putting together a system perfectly suited to the needs of the customer/user.

People want "one that plays games" or "lets me go on Facebook" or "I want a good one. One that's fast and has the dual cores so I can do more than one thing at a time". Only after some targeted questioning do you actually discover the real reasons for wanting a PC. Of course, most cheap systems can do everything 95% of people would ever need a PC to do.

However, there are still choices to be made about which motherboard to go with, which brand of hard drive, whether a DVD drive is needed (this is becoming much less of a requirement) etc.

There's also the business of properly configuring Windows and including genuinely useful additional software. I won't let a system go out that hasn't got the Users subfolders relocated to a second partition, for instance. Nor will I allow one to be without at least Microsoft Security Essentials installed (preferably ESET's NOD32). Then there's also potentially Paint.NET, 7zip, MS Office / OpenOffice, uTorrent, SumatraPDF, FireFox, Opera and Java.

Not that I build many systems, these days. Most people want a netbook or an iPad. :whistle:


Yea the biggest one i factor in when building a system for someone else or a customer (when im employed lol) is future upgradability. Which is mostly down to the PSU and motherboard. If its just a business machine you normally only have to put in the bare minimum, but for a pure gaming machine you normally find yourself building a system with bells and whistles such as a fully up to date motherboard with plenty of upgrade possibilities (crossfire / SLI, latest CPU sockets, RAM speed overclocking options for when DDR 3 modules prgress into faster speeds and the board or bios doesnt support them) even if you are only installing a low end CPU / graphics / RAM setup.

As for the netbook / iPad area... Thats commercialisation for ya. :LOL:
Its amazing what effect advertising has on people that dont really know what they want...
 

PymerOne

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i am building a better unit...i am cramming an Intel Atom inside a dead 1541s case, bay is perfect for a DVD burner and i found a source for mini power supplies...literally the size of the ATX plug :)

so i will call it a PC1541

Wow this is so megacool!!!
Goodluck SaviorX.

Grtz, PymerOne.
 

HonestFlames

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Yea the biggest one i factor in when building a system for someone else or a customer (when im employed lol) is future upgradability. Which is mostly down to the PSU and motherboard. If its just a business machine you normally only have to put in the bare minimum, but for a pure gaming machine you normally find yourself building a system with bells and whistles such as a fully up to date motherboard with plenty of upgrade possibilities (crossfire / SLI, latest CPU sockets, RAM speed overclocking options for when DDR 3 modules prgress into faster speeds and the board or bios doesnt support them) even if you are only installing a low end CPU / graphics / RAM setup.

As for the netbook / iPad area... Thats commercialisation for ya. :LOL:
Its amazing what effect advertising has on people that dont really know what they want...

Upgradeability is a pain in the proverbial. I ended up with a gaming laptop instead of yet another system upgrade because every single flippin' time my PC was due an upgrade, AMD changed the sodding CPU socket and supported RAM package on me. I either had a choice of upgrading to a system which itself had no further upgrade path, or I had to dump almost the entire innards of the PC to bring it up to even a most basic 'current' status.
 

cosmicfrog

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god do I hear that one HonestFlames, always by the time I ready to up grade you end up buying a complete system cos no supports your 3 year old motherboard, ram and processor hehehehhe
 

AmiNeo

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Eh, you could always have sold it on and put the funds toward a new system. I'd rather have done that than buy a laptop which cant be ugraded any more...

What i tend to do personally if i'm in that situation is get a new board, and cheapo cpu with the new socket thats about equivelent to the same i'm using, then when saved up a bit more, I can sell that cpu on and upgrade that. Incremental upgrades if you will.

Saying that, im pretty skint these days and have found no reason to upgrade yet from my core2duo, 4 gig ddr2 800 system which I have had now for over 3 years. only thing I've replaced is the graphics card, although I will need an upgrade to go any further with the graphics as the CPU is becoming a bottleneck now for anything above an ATI Radeon HD 4770. I had one then a 4890 and noticed no difference in 3D mark scores until I overclocked my CPU. The CPU however is pretty damned overclockable. With stock cooling i've had her stable anywhere in between stock 2.33GHz to 3.1Ghz.
 
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