I need a compact power supply unit, but I don't know which picoPSU to buy to feed a Gigabyte GA-GC230D mini-IT motherboard + a 3.5" hard-disk, and a DVD burner used occasionally.

For the DC unit, would 90W be enough, or should I go for 120W or 150W?

What about the external AC adapter (60, 80, 102W)?

  • 1
    And I read "how much power to feed TheTXI"... I'm tired.
    – Gnoupi
    Aug 31, 2009 at 11:58

3 Answers 3

  • Atom 230 = 25W
  • DVD < 25W
  • HDD < 30W

80W total. Lets say the PicoPSU is 80% efficient. No 90W will not be enough. 120 W will give you some headroom. You might want to consider Flash memory instead of a HDD; it will you a lot less power.

  • Thanks for the infos. Do regular Linux distros work fine with Flash memory today, or do they still require some kung-fu like putting /tmp in RAM to reduce write accesses to a minimum? Sep 1, 2009 at 11:34
  • Check out unetbootin.sourceforge.net. Easy way to craete a USB-bootable installation of several different distros.
    – hometoast
    Sep 1, 2009 at 19:24

I'd certainly go for a larger one than you think you need. You could end up blowing an underrated PSU if everything is in use (HDD & DVD when installing or burning for example).

Another thing to bear in mind is that the various components might draw slightly more power than their rated values.


Regardless of rated draw, also keep in mind that if everything is idle, the PSU isn't pumping it's max output, either.

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