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picoPSU-120 12V DC-DC ATX Power Supply
Author: Jason Kohrs
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picoPSU-120 12V DC-DC ATX Power Supply
January 20, 2006


Testing the picoPSU-120 consisted of two stages. The first was to simply see if the system ran reliably with this little guy handling the power requirements, and the second was to monitor/record the voltage readings.

The first stage went well, and with the system used as usual for several days there was never an issue with the system's stability. The second stage went even better, and consisted of the main voltage rails (5V, 12V, and 3.3V) being monitored during normal operation using a Radio Shack multimeter (Cat. No. 22-810).

Two other Mini-ITX power boards were also tested head to head with the picoPSU-120, and come from the cases mentioned previously. To reiterate, the following components were installed in the system to be tested:

VIA EPIA M10000 Nehemiah Mini-ITX mainboard
512MB Crucial PC2100 DDR memory
120GB Seagate Momentus 5400.2 2.5" hard drive
24x Panasonic slim optical drive
Windows XP Professional SP2

The first reference PSU was the 90W unit found in the Serener GS-L01. The 90W board is shown by itself in the below left image, and with the much smaller picoPSU-120 in the below right image.

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The second reference PSU was the 60W unit found in the Morex Cubid 3688. The below left unit shows just the 60W board, and the below right image shows just how much bigger it is than the picoPSU!

Click Image For Larger View Click Image For Larger View

The chart below summarizes the results taken from the multimeter for the three boards tested. As you can see, the picoPSU-120 provides strong voltage rails for a Mini-ITX system, and puts up numbers that I am personally more comfortable seeing. The results from all three power supplies are within +/- 5% of the various rails, but the Serener unit's numbers were surprisingly low. The picoPSU-120 appears to have plenty of power in reserve for handling an even greater load, although most Mini-ITX systems probably don't have much more than a couple drives and maybe a fan or two.

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