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Will a Pico PSU work well with a Windows/ Intel Music Server?


The Fed

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I am in the process of building a Music Server and was looking at the Origen M10 Mini Chassis and all the other mini iterations but this case won't fit a m-ITX board, optical drive and standard ATX PSU (fanless) let alone the SOTM USB Card.

 

In a previous iteration of the CAPS builds (V.2 I think) an Origen chassis was used with Intel board and SOTM USB Card with a 160 Watt Pico PSU. That build did not have an internal optical drive.

 

I am just curious if builders with experience could chime in on whether the Pico units are enough with an optical drive in the mix. I am not keen on using an external drive but also don't want to use a full rack width case if it comes down to it.

 

I am planning on using an MSI mini-itx (Z170 Chipset) with the new Skylake i5 processor (65 watts) as well as an optical drive for CD ripping, the SOTM Usb Card (PCI x16 version) and a Samsung M.2 SSD (120 GB)

 

Anyone who's done a similar build who could chime in here?

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  • 2 weeks later...

If you're putting in that much money into everything (with what you're buying) don't skimp on the power supply... The Pico PSU will work... but in my opinion get something like the HDPLEX power supply and have a much better linear starting point. You'll notice the difference hands down. I know I used to use the Pico, now it's sitting in a box waiting for a cheaper build/lesser quality media pc whenever I get time and money to do it....

 

There was no need but to do one round of back and forth between the two to know which one was superior. Both will have enough power to drive the Optical drive for you.

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I am planning on using an MSI mini-itx (Z170 Chipset) with the new Skylake i5 processor (65 watts) as well as an optical drive for CD ripping, the SOTM Usb Card (PCI x16 version) and a Samsung M.2 SSD (120 GB)

Are you sure that processor will be fine fanless in the Origen M10 case? Unless you are wedded to the LCD wouldn't one of the Stream cases with heatsink fins be more suitable?

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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I agree with Eloise your choice of case and cpu needs to be looked at unless you are going to use a Noctua cpu fan or such and probably a case fan. The CAPS build using the M10 used a motherboard without an ATX socket and had a low powered integrated cpu with heatsink not a 65w cpu. The Zuma-type FC5 case or fc10 might be a better choice or if you need smaller width have a look at the A-Tech cases, I have supplied a build very similar to the components you listed in a mc300 case with slimline optical drive using a smps 150w ac/dc PSU and xt160 picoPSU dc/atx card/converter and it was fine for power. I do currently use a 65w i5 cpu in a Origen X10 case and used a cpu without a fan from 2007-2012 (I even used a q6600 for a few weeks) but it did have a large cpu heatsink and 2 case fans, I now use a low-spinning Noctua and case fan, the x10 is far larger than the m10 though.

 

I'm not exactly sure what post 2 relates to - maybe it is the HDPlex linear PSU with their 250w dc-atx card/converter? I've found an HDPlex 100w linear to work fine with an XT160 picoPSU as well and a SMPS 150w PSU and XT160 picoPSU should also power those components you listed fine from my experience.

 

I've also powered 2 servers using Jplay Ultrastream from one 100w HDP linear, one using the 19v output to a dh87rl and i7 4770T and 250w HDP dc-atx card and the 12v feeding a dh87rl and i7 4770s using a XT160 picoPSU with no problems (this was just a test though and I wouldn't recommend that but it was stable for the few days I used it).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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If you aren't doing anything CPU intensive I would look at the really low wattage solutions. I've been using the Atom Z3735/6F 's for client end of things with no issues.

 

These are driven straight up with 12V. Generally only at 12Watts. Take the $$ saved and get a 1 AMP 12V Linear PSU, and a NAS to store the files on.

 

Take a look:

 

Amazon.com : Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC (Windows 8.1, Intel Atom Z3735F, 2GB RAM+32GB storage) : Computers & Accessories

 

It's $169 and with it being low power and and linear PSU driving it you will have a low noise setup.

 

There are plenty of $150-$300 NAS of various capacities out there.

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Thanks for the feedback guys. I guess I've been trying to work around and work around the case limitations because I locked in on the mini form factor, but at this point it seems a bit silly.

 

I may as well get something that accommodates my build, not something that inhibits it. I may splurge a little and get an Origen S10 (since they don't make X10 anymore as far as I can tell) or maybe go with Streacom Full width cases you mentioned. Those will give me CPU cooling pipes and allow me a full size fanless atx supply.

 

I just don't have the cash and can't really justify $750 for something like the HDPlex power supply. I'd rather spend that type of money on a top notch card like an RME Hammerfall DSP card with the word clock board piggybacked to it. Not that I have that type of money for the build but still... It'd be pretty killer.

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I've also powered 2 servers using Jplay Ultrastream from one 100w HDP linear, one using the 19v output to a dh87rl and i7 4770T and 250w HDP dc-atx card and the 12v feeding a dh87rl and i7 4770s using a XT160 picoPSU with no problems (this was just a test though and I wouldn't recommend that but it was stable for the few days I used it).

 

The 100w HDP must have got pretty hot? :)

 

Even with two really low powered (1.35V memory) machines it got too warm for my liking, and with its 5V and 5-9V outputs vacant. Ended up just powering one of them with it because I want the HDP to last many years.

 

The 2 machines (using JPLAY ultrastream) were: 12 volts to an Asrock N3150M (6 watt TDP) with 12V 80w pico. 19 volts direct to an asrock Q1900DC-ITX (around 10 watt TDP)

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The 100w HDP must have got pretty hot? :)

 

Even with two really low powered (1.35V memory) machines it got too warm for my liking, and with its 5V and 5-9V outputs vacant. Ended up just powering one of them with it because I want the HDP to last many years.

 

The 2 machines (using JPLAY ultrastream) were: 12 volts to an Asrock N3150M (6 watt TDP) with 12V 80w pico. 19 volts direct to an asrock Q1900DC-ITX (around 10 watt TDP)

 

I didn't notice a change - it runs warm to the touch normally and it stayed about the same, as I said I wouldn't recommend it but it was perfectly fine for a good few albums spread over a few days. The CPU utilisation was very low on both servers so even though they are a 65w and 45w tdp they were stable, the HDP was one of the new ones.

 

Actually, just thinking about it the 2nd server was running a Xeon 1240l 25w CPU and Asus p9d-i motherboard with the picoPSU so a lower wattage than the 4770t. I supplied 2 HDP linears with the 2 servers previously mentioned (both dh87rl) but I only had 1 available when I had to do some fault finding using a different audio server with the original control server. I still wouldn't recommend just 1 HDP with the above either but it was stable.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I still wouldn't recommend just 1 HDP with the above either but it was stable.

 

Yep, makes sense :)

 

I've reverted to powering my control pc with a lowish noise 'medical' smps from Mouser. Will save up for a linear for it, although sounds like there may soon be some new products enabling the continued use of the smps to good effect.

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If you aren't doing anything CPU intensive I would look at the really low wattage solutions. I've been using the Atom Z3735/6F 's for client end of things with no issues.

 

These are driven straight up with 12V. Generally only at 12Watts. Take the $$ saved and get a 1 AMP 12V Linear PSU, and a NAS to store the files on.

 

Take a look:

 

Amazon.com : Quantum Byte Fanless Mini Desktop PC (Windows 8.1, Intel Atom Z3735F, 2GB RAM+32GB storage) : Computers & Accessories

 

It's $169 and with it being low power and and linear PSU driving it you will have a low noise setup.

 

There are plenty of $150-$300 NAS of various capacities out there.

 

Maybe you might not realize it but that is not a good recommendation. Most of those small systems have Ethernet on the USB bus which is a very bad idea. Where do you find $150 NAS? I think he is building a much better system than you realize.

 

As far as the PICO supply PetwerTAs recommendation was correct. The wide range PICO is also good IMO, just use a linear supply.

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As far as the PICO supply PetwerTAs recommendation was correct. The wide range PICO is also good IMO, just use a linear supply.

I'm not sure what his recommendation was - he seemed to be comparing a picoPSU (dc-atx converter?) with a linear PSU. He says the picoPSU is in a box after a back and forth so I'm not sure what he was comparing unless I'm missing something (Pewter could you clarify exactly what you compared?).

The Pico PSU will work... but in my opinion get something like the HDPLEX power supply and have a much better linear starting point. You'll notice the difference hands down. I know I used to use the Pico, now it's sitting in a box waiting for a cheaper build/lesser quality media pc whenever I get time and money to do it....

 

There was no need but to do one round of back and forth between the two to know which one was superior. Both will have enough power to drive the Optical drive for you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm not sure what his recommendation was - he seemed to be comparing a picoPSU (dc-atx converter?) with a linear PSU. He says the picoPSU is in a box after a back and forth so I'm not sure what he was comparing unless I'm missing something (Pewter could you clarify exactly what you compared?).

 

 

Well I might have also. I thought he was speaking about the HDPlex converters

 

 

HDPLEX-250W-Hi-Fi-DC-ATX-Power-Supply (16V-24V Wide Range Voltage Input).

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Maybe you might not realize it but that is not a good recommendation. Most of those small systems have Ethernet on the USB bus which is a very bad idea. Where do you find $150 NAS? I think he is building a much better system than you realize.

 

As far as the PICO supply PetwerTAs recommendation was correct. The wide range PICO is also good IMO, just use a linear supply.

 

Actually I realize it can be a very good recommendation if implemented properly.

 

If you have bumped across any of my other postings you will see I suggest setting up wireless. You get complete EMI and Ground isolation.

 

While the 10/100 is on the USB 2.0 bus (hence it's speed limit) the Wireless is not. And that is my recommendation. Setup a 2nd dedicated WAP just for the that computer. Put it on it's own channel and SSID.

 

2nd I don't know what ultimate target he is trying to hit. For standard playback I think it's a poor idea to throw a high power draw system at audio playback since they take much more effort to make silent from both an acoustical and EMI perspective (DAW is another story). So with that in mind I'm making another suggestion.

 

Now I mentioned $150-$300 NAS:

 

$170: WD 4TB My Cloud NAS

 

~$300 or less something like a Netgear ReadyNAS with 4TB RAID 1

 

PICO PSU and linear supply is also a great idea. I have two older systems on that setup.

 

When even playing back 24/192 the Z3735f doesn't even break a sweat. Another newcomer is the Intel X8500 based Kangaroo system available at Newegg. USB 3.0, Wireless, USB 2.0 (so two USB busses with their own chipset). Finger print reader for log in and here is the kicker: Built in battery good for up to 4 hours and it's $99.

 

I also own a Mac Mini.

 

All that is needed now is a good USB DAC. The $$ saved can go into the DAC or into the speakers where it matters the most.

 

With the Atom based systems another upshot is you don't have to spend $400 or a $1000 on a linear supply. Again more $$ for DAC or speakers.

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Actually I realize it can be a very good recommendation if implemented properly.

 

If you have bumped across any of my other postings you will see I suggest setting up wireless. You get complete EMI and Ground isolation.

 

While the 10/100 is on the USB 2.0 bus (hence it's speed limit) the Wireless is not. And that is my recommendation. Setup a 2nd dedicated WAP just for the that computer. Put it on it's own channel and SSID.

 

2nd I don't know what ultimate target he is trying to hit. For standard playback I think it's a poor idea to throw a high power draw system at audio playback since they take much more effort to make silent from both an acoustical and EMI perspective (DAW is another story). So with that in mind I'm making another suggestion.

 

Now I mentioned $150-$300 NAS:

 

$170: WD 4TB My Cloud NAS

 

~$300 or less something like a Netgear ReadyNAS with 4TB RAID 1

 

PICO PSU and linear supply is also a great idea. I have two older systems on that setup.

 

When even playing back 24/192 the Z3735f doesn't even break a sweat. Another newcomer is the Intel X8500 based Kangaroo system available at Newegg. USB 3.0, Wireless, USB 2.0 (so two USB busses with their own chipset). Finger print reader for log in and here is the kicker: Built in battery good for up to 4 hours and it's $99.

 

I also own a Mac Mini.

 

All that is needed now is a good USB DAC. The $$ saved can go into the DAC or into the speakers where it matters the most.

 

With the Atom based systems another upshot is you don't have to spend $400 or a $1000 on a linear supply. Again more $$ for DAC or speakers.

 

 

I don't disagree with low power, but higher power systems built right are also excellent. I am not a fan of wireless, prefer single mode fiber. Speed is not an issue IMO, 100MB is enough, just sharing the USB bus is bad.

 

Power can be easily provided by a 12V SLA battery with a large CAP (think car stereo) ... Some of these small systems are 5V so it would be easy and inexpensive to provide clean linear power.

 

I still prefer a conventional board (slots) at least one for a better USB card like a PPA and or maybe a fiber adapter.

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I don't disagree with low power, but higher power systems built right are also excellent. I am not a fan of wireless, prefer single mode fiber. Speed is not an issue IMO, 100MB is enough, just sharing the USB bus is bad.

 

Power can be easily provided by a 12V SLA battery with a large CAP (think car stereo) ... Some of these small systems are 5V so it would be easy and inexpensive to provide clean linear power.

 

I still prefer a conventional board (slots) at least one for a better USB card like a PPA and or maybe a fiber adapter.

 

All good options and I just wanted to toss another on the pile. It's money that can be rerouted for speakers mainly DAC secondly.

 

Holistically I want to know what the entire setup is like or what the final goal is.

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