500W FlexATX PSU

Discussion in 'Small Form Factor Systems' started by iFreilicht, Jun 4, 2016.

  1. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
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    Sep 23, 2014
    Introduction:

    The FSP500-50FSPT is a short FlexATX PSU rated at 500W power output and 80+ Platinum efficiency, made by FSP.
    As is typical with these PSUs, it is not available in retail stores and doesn't have any connectors for graphics cards. I want to change that, so we need to plan out a custom version of this PSU with FSP or one of their distributors, and then either convince a major retailer to stock that unit or make it available via crowdfunding.

    Specification:
    • Dimensions: 150x81.5x40.5mm
    • Volume: 0.495L
    • Power Rating: 500W
    • Power Density: 1010.1 Watt per Liter
    • Efficiency: rated 80+ Platinum, no further details available yet
    • Rails: +3.3V: 15A, +5V: 18A, +12V: 2x24A
    Specification of the stock unit:
    The unit has a PMBus connection, which can be interesting for very specific projects and server use.
    It is missing the -12V rail, which could be a major problem. Some motherboards check whether -12V is present and refuse to POST without it.

    Details:

    To convince both FSP and a retailer that this PSU has potential in the consumer market, we need to compile a list of people that are interested in buying one or more units of it.
    For a stock or slightly customised version, the MOQ (minimal order quantity) is 300. This includes a different colour for the case or different connectors and cable lengths.
    For more complicated customisations that require some design work (modularity, adding a -12V rail), the MOQ could be much higher.

    To express your interest in this unit, please answer this poll:
    FSP500-50FSPT Wishlist

    If there are other forums where this could be of interest, please PM me and tell me about them! I'd like to get a good amount of exposure on this thing!
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  2. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,348
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    Updates:
    0. First Post

    1. Final version of Wishlist is up!
    Update!

    The final version of the poll is up! All results of the test form have been wiped, so even if you filled that out, you'll have to fill this one out, too. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    I changed a few minor things to give me a better idea of what people want and need. Thank you all for participating, together we'll make this huge! Or rather, tiny.

    FSP500-50FSPT Wishlist

    2. Poll closed! Discussion of results, information about shipping.
    Update! Poll closed, shipping costs.

    Results are in, poll is closed. In 12 days, 35 people answered the survey which in total are interested in buying 44 units of the FSP500. Thanks to everyone who participated!

    14 of those will make a custom case, 7 will mod an existing case/barebone, 5 are considering the HutzyXS and 1 is thinking about the Brevis S, 5 are still undecided.

    The average maximum price people were willing to pay is 151,36€ incl. VAT, the average price they considered reasonable was 118,64€ incl. VAT. The absolute maximum one person said they were willing to pay was 266,05€ incl VAT. I don't think it will get that expensive ;)

    More interesting results:

    [​IMG]

    /r/sffpc is apparently very active and distinct from all the other three forums. I didn't expect as many people to react to my post there. The one "Other" entry is actually from one of their mods who found the poll through modmail. /r/pcmasterrace was a little disappointing, the post there didn't get a lot of attention.

    [​IMG]

    Less than a quarter are absolutely certain that they don't want to do a fan-mod, so I'll make sure to have that supported as best as possible.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pretty clear that people are going for looks here. It's safe to say that modular cables are going to be black at this point. Non-modular depends on FSP.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are all pretty clear. The PSU should at least be semi-modular. Most importantly, the SATA and PEG connectors should be modular. If only one of them can be modular, it will probably the PEG connector because there are so many different combinations of connectors and cable length people want to use. In terms of SATA the PSU would then provide one single connector on a short cable so it doesn't get in the way if not needed and is easily expandable by using readily available Y-splitters and IDE adapters.
    Considering how many different devices are planned to be connected via SATA/IDE/Floppy power, I would really like that to be modular, too.

    I guess at this point it is safe to say that modularity for the ATX24pin connector is of very low priority.

    [​IMG]

    If possible, the PMBus header will be inside the PSU to be used by anyone interested in it. If not, nothing is lost.

    [​IMG]

    This is currently the biggest unknown. I really need to get reliable data on this issue, so I'll ask Gigabyte and co. about it. If modern motherboards have issues booting without -12V and FSP can't integrate a -12V rail, this project is pretty much dead.

    I know I'm pretty much publicising all my market research here, but if any major OEM wants to piggyback off that, feel free to do so. The goal is to get FlexATX to the masses, not to make any profit.

    On a brighter note, I'm quite certain I've got shipping figured out. All units will be shipped to me first and I'll repackage them and send them on using DHL.

    All shipping options are listed below. Every shipping option will be CO2-neutral according to DHL GoGreen and includes 19% German VAT, which will be refunded.
    • To Germany, insured, with tracking: 5.00€
    • To Europe, uninsured, no tracking: 9.00€
    • To Europe, partially insured (50.00€ value), with tracking: 11.20€
    • To Europe (EU only, "Zone 1"), fully insured, with tracking: 14.00€
    • To Europe (outside EU, "Zone 2"), fully insured, with tracking: 29.00€
    • Worldwide, uninsured, no tracking: 16.00€
    • Worldwide, partially insured (50.00€ value), with tracking: 19.20€
    • Worldwide (Zone 3), fully insured, with tracking: 35.00€
    • Worldwide (Zone 4), fully insured, with tracking: 43.00€
    Zone 1, 2, 3 and 4 are defined by DHL. I can ship absolutely anywhere on the planet, it seems, so that's nice. The problem is that a lot of potential buyers are sitting inside the US, which is in Zone 3 and shipping is thus expensive. There might be a solution to this, but I'm not saying anything until it's certain. The prices above are the absolute maximums, though, I can guarantee that.

    Again, thank you all for your support!

    3. Poll reopened, -12V rail talk.
    Update! Poll reopened, -12V rail talk.

    Poll is reopened as quite a few people wanted to put their name on the list. It'll probably stay like that so we can see how interest accumulates over time.
    Once again, you can find the poll here: FSP500-50FSPT Whishlist

    The question whether your board boots without -12V has been removed.

    Everyone not interested in the technicalities can stop reading now. Thanks for stopping by!

    That's because I've got some bad news on the -12V rail front. I've written mails to ASUS, Gigabyte and ASRock, and the latter where extremely helpful! I sent them a list with a selection of Mainboards that covers pretty much every model from them that one could want to use in a build (including boards with soldered-on CPUs and sockets 1151, 1150, 1155, 2011-3 and FM2+), apart from variants with different chipsets and such.

    They then sent that list directly to the R&D department in Taiwan, who checked the designs of each of them to determine whether they need Pin 14 (aka -12V) present to boot or not. Here are the results:
    • QC500-ITXPH: Required
    • AM1H-ITX: Required
    • Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac: Required
    • H81M-ITX/Wifi: Not required
    • A68M-ITX: Not required
    • FM2A88X-ITX+: Required
    • H97M-ITX/ac: Not required
    • Z97E-ITX/ac: Required
    • H110M-ITX: Not required
    • H170-ITX/DL: Not required
    • X99E-ITX/ac: Required
    • J3160-ITX: Required
    • C2750D4I: Required
    So as you can see, while some of their boards don't need -12V to boot, a lot of them do, including the very popular X99E-ITX/ac and the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac. While ASUS and Gigabyte didn't give me any helpful answers, this data alone is enough to convince me that there is no way around adding a -12V rail to the PSU.

    Now on the bright side, I found the Maxim MAX765, which is a very small DC/DC regulator that is outputting -12V and can be powered by any of the output rails (3.3V, 5V or 12V), so it should be relatively easy to get this integrated into the PSU. I will test this regulator and if it works well, I'll ask FSP whether they can integrate it and how that would change the MOQ.

    Again, a big thank you to ASRock for helping me out here!

    4. PSU sample arrived!
    Update! PSU sample arrived!

    Good news everyone! Today I picked up a package from customs, which was sent to me by the wonderful @ilovelampshade! Nobody is going to be surprised about what was in it, so let's take a look, shall we?

    (This gallery isn't displaying correctly for me. If you've got the same problem, take a look here)



    So, as you can see, the PSU itself is very cleverly designed and really fills every bit of available space with something. Almost. It seems like a -12V rail will be relatively easy to get, but it's not looking that well for modularity. @Hahutzy and I are already talking about what cable lengths would work nicely if none of the harnesses can be made modular.
    I'll look into making changes to the casing as well, this would increase our chances of making the PSU modular and would increase efficiency for the fan. Regarding the fan, the beefy microcontroller makes me hopeful that the fan curve can also be adapted for a perfect balance between temperatures and noise.

    I want to note that I will not be actively working on this project for a few weeks, as I'm having exams that I absolutely need to pass and will be on vacation afterwards. Questions will still be answered, and maybe I can get the ball rolling on a few other things, but only when I am sure I can sacrifice a few hours. Please be patient, active development will be continued on the 10th of September. Thank you for your continued support and understanding!

    5. First functional test, modularity update!
    Update! It lives! Modularity?

    Finally I found the time to get this together! All the components for the -12V rail arrived, thanks to EdZ, who helped me a great deal with component selection! I tested the circuit a week ago, but now I've made a small EPS12V-to-2xPEG6 adaptor to test it with my GPU and made an actual connection to pin 14 on the ATX connector.

    Behold:

    [​IMG]

    The -12V circuit I've thrown together is enough for the GA-B85N to boot! Error message on screen is just Windows complaining about a missing HDD. As you might see, the -12V rail is powered off a 5V contact. Interestingly, the mainboard will not shut down when the -12V supply is disconnected while the PC is running, so presumably it's just a check that's ran during POST.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty much perfect fit in the standard-compliant back of the Brevis S Prototype. You can see that a large portion, about 1/5th I'd estimate, is blocked by the mount, so it will run a bit hotter and louder in this version of the case.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the circuit I rigged up. Thanks to EdZ again for helping me out with component selection! I hope this can be downsized significantly for the production version, it only needs to supply something like 0.2A. As expected, none of that circuitry gets hot in the slightest, as there is practically no load on it.

    So I'm running Prime95 and Heaven as I'm typing this, and boy, that unit is a lot quieter than every FlexATX PSU I have ever had, even with the partially blocked exhaust. (Apart from the one I modded to fit an 80mm fan, of course) If you're going for a silent PC, it's not going to be for you, but in idle I can barely hear it, even while it's sitting less than a metre from my head, and when running just Unigine or any Game Benchmark, my dual-fan 970 is a lot louder than the PSU fan.

    The fan also has a very nice sound to it when gaming. No whining, just a pleasant and surprisingly deep whooshing noise. It gets a little whiny when stressing the CPU as well, but I don't have a Killawatt yet, so you/ll have to wait for a tangible load-to-noise test.

    What's interesting and a little annoying is that the fan will spin up at its full RPM when starting the system, which is quite loud. While this let's me know that the fan is far from it's maximum RPM with the short dirty tests I'm throwing at it now, I'll ask FSP to fix this behaviour in the final unit. I assume this is a self-test so the PSU can refuse to start up if the fan is not turning properly, which is nice for IPC uses, but no good in a consumer PSU.

    Most importantly, in comparison to the SSP-300SUG, my setup doesn't crash. The PSU is rock solid and even during heavy testing when the fan spins up a little more than average, it can quickly recover. I'm far from reaching the maximum load on this thing, and that makes it all the better.

    Modularity and cables:

    So the current state on this is as follows:

    There will be no modular connectors on the PSU itself. The poll clearly showed that there are cases where less than 20mm of space will be available in front of the PSU. Most importantly, the Hutzy XS will be quite limited in that area, and it is one of the most popular planned builds that involve this PSU. So even if flush modular connectors were possible (which they aren't), installing the PSU in such cases would be a nightmare or straight out impossible.

    But, to redeem this, the SATA, PEG (GPU) and EPS (CPU) power connectors will be on very short cables, which can be extended with any old extension cable from the store, no need to mod anything or make your own extension. These short cables also allow configurations where devices are sitting very close to the PSU and will use up minimum space for people who don't need them at all.

    The ATX cable will be long enough to support pretty much all configurations but as short as possible to prevent cable clutter in situations where the ATX connector is close to the PSU.

    The current lengths for the cables are:

    SATA/PEG/EPS: 8cm
    ATX: 18cm

    The is the next-best thing to semi-modularity we can get.

    The following connectors will be present on the PSU:

    SATA: 1x or 2x
    PEG: 1x 6+2pin, 1x 6pin
    EPS: 1x 4+4pin
    ATX: 1x 20+4pin

    I'm still a little torn on the SATA connectors. On one hand, more than 40% claimed to be using two SATA-powered devices, but on the other hand even more people will be using one or zero SATA devices. So it seems like having one connector and including a splitter seems like a good middle-of-the-road solution, but maybe there are differing opinions.

    Two 6+2 pin connectors will not be possible, though. The limitations on the power draw are just too tight. It might still be doable if you use an adaptor, but you'll be doing that on your own risk.

    So, that's it for now. Things are looking good, as far as I'm concerned. I will go on vacation on Tuesday, so don't expect any further updates during that time. I'll have internet, though, so I should be able to reply if you've got any questions or concerns. Have a nice day and thank you for reading!

    6. Progress on the -12V rail.
    -12V Progress!
    This might be the most boring schematic I've ever done.

    [​IMG]

    And the PCB isn't much exciting, either:

    [​IMG]

    It's a very simple solution with an isolated DC/DC supply and a connector. The PCB is 27.4mm*13.7mm and is only using SMD components, so it can be glued to the side of the ATX24pin connector with double sided tape.

    The DC/DC supply can be one of three possible units from XP Power, Recom Power or CUI Inc which are pin-compatible. Which one will be used in the end will depend on availability and assembly cost. The connector is a 2mm pitch JST PH, which is also available from TE, so mating plugs are easy to source for everyone who wants to customise their cable harness but still needs 12V.

    As you can see, the PCB has a somewhat odd layout for the pins with GND in the middle. This has two reasons. First, it allowed to make the PCB single-sided, which reduces cost a little bit. And second, as we found out, some boards - like the Gigabyte B85N-Phoenix - that "check" the -12V rail on boot can be fooled by just shorting the -12V pin to ground. So if someone wants to try that without modifying the PSU, all they need is to get a matching connector and bridge the GND and -12V pins with some solder. So with this pin layout, it is very easy to see whether Vin is shorted to ground in the process.

    At this point I have to mention two things. First, what I just described is of course not officially supported and you might risk damaging your mainboard. Second, this -12V unit can only serve as a voltage reference, it's output current is about 80mA, which is below the current recommended by the ATX standard. This means that on mainboards with PCI (which still exist), PCI cards (which also still exist) that require -12V will not work and could potentially damage this unit by drawing too much current. I don't know whether there'll be any issue with RS-232 devices, but I think that shouldn't be a problem. Good, we got that covered.

    Now the next step for this thing is to panelise it, generate the gerber files and then ask my manufacturer (the company that makes the PCB) and assembler (that company that puts the components on the PCB) for a quote.

    Luckily, I already did part of that:

    [​IMG]

    The rest I'll do tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

    7. First version of drawing complete!
    First version of drawing complete!

    Today I've finally completed a first version of the drawing! Link to PDF.
    If anyone finds a mistake or has objections, please tell me! The division of connectors to the 12V rails is not final, everything else seems pretty much fine to me.

    I'll add this to the first post so people can find it easily.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  3. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Update!

    The final version of the poll is up! All results of the test form have been wiped, so even if you filled that out, you'll have to fill this one out, too. Sorry for the inconvenience.

    I changed a few minor things to give me a better idea of what people want and need. Thank you all for participating, together we'll make this huge! Or rather, tiny.

    FSP500-50FSPT Wishlist
     
  4. QuantumBraced

    QuantumBraced Limp Gawd

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    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2015
    Reiterating what I said in the other thread:

    I found this as I was looking into the Hutzy XS case which uses FlexATX. He's considering this PSU. I honestly think with very little work this can be made into a very quiet unit. There is plenty of surface area on top, all it needs is a couple of fans -- an 80mm and a 60mm would fit, or ideally some proprietary duo of 75mm for a total fan coverage and a more aesthetically pleasing look + a graphics card connection, and this PSU can kick SFX's ass. When you think about it, it's actually optimized for cooling, as it is long and flat allowing for more fan surface area. I don't quite understand the economics of manufacturing, but it's an extremely easy change to add the connectors, the fans and have a passive exhaust... Count me in. We need to create a demand for this.
     
  5. NovaFan

    NovaFan n00bie

    Messages:
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    Jan 26, 2016
    I fully support this. I recently just built a case in the EVGA Hadron air and took out the PSU included before I built it and bought the 1U Seasonic 500 watt gold. Its great and doesnt even spin half the time but its fking huge...Id love to put something like this in my case...I love the Hadron honestly and Ive built in every mini itx around pretty much. The Seasonic is modular but the PCI is only 1 6 pin so I have to buy a adapter for the 1080 now.
     
  6. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    I know, we've actually been talking about this unit a lot.

    While I would love to see something like you described as a mod and want to make sure the design of the enclosure lends itself as well as possible to something like this, it won't be made a stock option. The final unit should have an internal connector instead of soldered leads to ease the process, though, and the top panel is removable and easily moddable.

    The problem with a change like this is that it requires a complete redesign and manufacturing of the enclosure, requires complete re-testing on FSPs part for thermal performance, readjustment of fan curve, new application for CE, FCC and other regulatory labels and destroys the compatibility with a number of existing FlexATX cases.

    Maybe I could offer an upgrade kit later on if people are interested enough in that. I can't guarantee that you'd keep your warranty if you were using one of those, though. Probably not as I'd be selling those without fans.

    Thank you for your support! I actually didn't think about 1U users, that's certainly an oversight. How would you mount the PSU in the Hadron? Would you make an adaptor of some sort?
     
  7. Hahutzy

    Hahutzy Limp Gawd

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    Sep 4, 2015
    FlexATX to 1U brackets seem to be commonly available on the market, because they share the same use case most of the time.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ah good to know, probably won't include one then, the amount of users that need them is relatively limited.
     
  9. Alexreffand

    Alexreffand n00bie

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    Mar 30, 2013
    So I admit to not having a whole lot of experience with this kind of thing, as may become abundantly clear in a moment, but I keep seeing people talk about modular flex atx psus, and I can't seem to find any pictures of the cables for them. Do/could they they tie up like-wires at the point where the modular cable meets the psu to reduce a 24-pin connector to an 8-pin? If not, why not?
     
  10. QuantumBraced

    QuantumBraced Limp Gawd

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    I understand, I was just commenting on the potential of the form factor. What you're doing is great and I think it may just get the ball rolling. It's great what you and Hutzy are doing in raising awareness and working to make the unit available to consumers. Really, it has the potential to be strictly better than SFX. Thanks for your efforts.
     
  11. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Hey look! This is the SSP-300SUG, but it's not really all that "modular". You can see the cable harness a few pictures in.

    We'll do a little bit like that, but the main limit is how much current the connectors are rated for. For example, an 8-pin PEG connector has 225W rating. At 12V, that makes 18.75A. As an example for a connector, let's take the Molex MiniFit Jr., which is used for ATX24pin, PEG, EPS12V and modular connectors on PSUs. The maximum current one pin can carry on that is 13A. As the same amount of current passes through the +12V and the GND pin on a connector, a 2pin connector could supply a maximum of 13A, or 156W.
    So for PEG, we need at least a 4-pin connector, else the pins might melt or the resistance on the connection increases so much that the load skyrockets and the PSU shuts down.

    When looking at a realistic ATX connector replacement on the PSU, we can't just connect all 5V pins on that to a single pin on the PSU, we need to use multiple to make sure we stay within spec. We also need the three control signals and the number of ground pins should be very close or the same to the number of voltage pins to make sure the current can flow back to the PSU through the connector and not through the case.

    With ATX in particular, there's the problem that the maximum power draw isn't specified in the standard, so we have to guess what a reasonable reduction in pin count is. The minimum I would go for is 12 pins. 2*3.3V, 2*5V, 1*12V, 4*GND, 1*5VSB, 1*PS_ON#, 1*PWR_OK.

    That's what we're hoping for. Thanks for your support!
     
  12. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Update! Poll closed, shipping costs.

    Results are in, poll is closed. In 12 days, 35 people answered the survey which in total are interested in buying 44 units of the FSP500. Thanks to everyone who participated!

    14 of those will make a custom case, 7 will mod an existing case/barebone, 5 are considering the HutzyXS and 1 is thinking about the Brevis S, 5 are still undecided.

    The average maximum price people were willing to pay is 151,36€ incl. VAT, the average price they considered reasonable was 118,64€ incl. VAT. The absolute maximum one person said they were willing to pay was 266,05€ incl VAT. I don't think it will get that expensive ;)

    More interesting results:

    [​IMG]

    /r/sffpc is apparently very active and distinct from all the other three forums. I didn't expect as many people to react to my post there. The one "Other" entry is actually from one of their mods who found the poll through modmail. /r/pcmasterrace was a little disappointing, the post there didn't get a lot of attention.

    [​IMG]

    Less than a quarter are absolutely certain that they don't want to do a fan-mod, so I'll make sure to have that supported as best as possible.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Pretty clear that people are going for looks here. It's safe to say that modular cables are going to be black at this point. Non-modular depends on FSP.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    These are all pretty clear. The PSU should at least be semi-modular. Most importantly, the SATA and PEG connectors should be modular. If only one of them can be modular, it will probably the PEG connector because there are so many different combinations of connectors and cable length people want to use. In terms of SATA the PSU would then provide one single connector on a short cable so it doesn't get in the way if not needed and is easily expandable by using readily available Y-splitters and IDE adapters.
    Considering how many different devices are planned to be connected via SATA/IDE/Floppy power, I would really like that to be modular, too.

    I guess at this point it is safe to say that modularity for the ATX24pin connector is of very low priority.

    [​IMG]

    If possible, the PMBus header will be inside the PSU to be used by anyone interested in it. If not, nothing is lost.

    [​IMG]

    This is currently the biggest unknown. I really need to get reliable data on this issue, so I'll ask Gigabyte and co. about it. If modern motherboards have issues booting without -12V and FSP can't integrate a -12V rail, this project is pretty much dead.

    I know I'm pretty much publicising all my market research here, but if any major OEM wants to piggyback off that, feel free to do so. The goal is to get FlexATX to the masses, not to make any profit.

    On a brighter note, I'm quite certain I've got shipping figured out. All units will be shipped to me first and I'll repackage them and send them on using DHL.

    All shipping options are listed below. Every shipping option will be CO2-neutral according to DHL GoGreen and includes 19% German VAT, which will be refunded.
    • To Germany, insured, with tracking: 5.00€
    • To Europe, uninsured, no tracking: 9.00€
    • To Europe, partially insured (50.00€ value), with tracking: 11.20€
    • To Europe (EU only, "Zone 1"), fully insured, with tracking: 14.00€
    • To Europe (outside EU, "Zone 2"), fully insured, with tracking: 29.00€
    • Worldwide, uninsured, no tracking: 16.00€
    • Worldwide, partially insured (50.00€ value), with tracking: 19.20€
    • Worldwide (Zone 3), fully insured, with tracking: 35.00€
    • Worldwide (Zone 4), fully insured, with tracking: 43.00€
    Zone 1, 2, 3 and 4 are defined by DHL. I can ship absolutely anywhere on the planet, it seems, so that's nice. The problem is that a lot of potential buyers are sitting inside the US, which is in Zone 3 and shipping is thus expensive. There might be a solution to this, but I'm not saying anything until it's certain. The prices above are the absolute maximums, though, I can guarantee that.

    Again, thank you all for your support!
     
    Soul_Est, Hahutzy and Lazer1337 like this.
  13. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
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    Update! Poll reopened, -12V rail talk.

    Poll is reopened as quite a few people wanted to put their name on the list. It'll probably stay like that so we can see how interest accumulates over time.
    Once again, you can find the poll here: FSP500-50FSPT Whishlist

    The question whether your board boots without -12V has been removed.

    Everyone not interested in the technicalities can stop reading now. Thanks for stopping by!

    That's because I've got some bad news on the -12V rail front. I've written mails to ASUS, Gigabyte and ASRock, and the latter where extremely helpful! I sent them a list with a selection of Mainboards that covers pretty much every model from them that one could want to use in a build (including boards with soldered-on CPUs and sockets 1151, 1150, 1155, 2011-3 and FM2+), apart from variants with different chipsets and such.

    They then sent that list directly to the R&D department in Taiwan, who checked the designs of each of them to determine whether they need Pin 14 (aka -12V) present to boot or not. Here are the results:
    • QC500-ITXPH: Required
    • AM1H-ITX: Required
    • Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac: Required
    • H81M-ITX/Wifi: Not required
    • A68M-ITX: Not required
    • FM2A88X-ITX+: Required
    • H97M-ITX/ac: Not required
    • Z97E-ITX/ac: Required
    • H110M-ITX: Not required
    • H170-ITX/DL: Not required
    • X99E-ITX/ac: Required
    • J3160-ITX: Required
    • C2750D4I: Required
    So as you can see, while some of their boards don't need -12V to boot, a lot of them do, including the very popular X99E-ITX/ac and the Fatal1ty Z170 Gaming-ITX/ac. While ASUS and Gigabyte didn't give me any helpful answers, this data alone is enough to convince me that there is no way around adding a -12V rail to the PSU.

    Now on the bright side, I found the Maxim MAX765, which is a very small DC/DC regulator that is outputting -12V and can be powered by any of the output rails (3.3V, 5V or 12V), so it should be relatively easy to get this integrated into the PSU. I will test this regulator and if it works well, I'll ask FSP whether they can integrate it and how that would change the MOQ.

    Again, a big thank you to ASRock for helping me out here!
     
    Soul_Est, Hahutzy and Lazer1337 like this.
  14. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Update! PSU sample arrived!

    Good news everyone! Today I picked up a package from customs, which was sent to me by the wonderful @ilovelampshade! Nobody is going to be surprised about what was in it, so let's take a look, shall we?

    (This gallery isn't displaying correctly for me. If you've got the same problem, take a look here)



    So, as you can see, the PSU itself is very cleverly designed and really fills every bit of available space with something. Almost. It seems like a -12V rail will be relatively easy to get, but it's not looking that well for modularity. @Hahutzy and I are already talking about what cable lengths would work nicely if none of the harnesses can be made modular.
    I'll look into making changes to the casing as well, this would increase our chances of making the PSU modular and would increase efficiency for the fan. Regarding the fan, the beefy microcontroller makes me hopeful that the fan curve can also be adapted for a perfect balance between temperatures and noise.

    I want to note that I will not be actively working on this project for a few weeks, as I'm having exams that I absolutely need to pass and will be on vacation afterwards. Questions will still be answered, and maybe I can get the ball rolling on a few other things, but only when I am sure I can sacrifice a few hours. Please be patient, active development will be continued on the 10th of September. Thank you for your continued support and understanding!
     
  15. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    Noctua has two 3-pin 10x40mm fans available…

    Damnit, I see that looks like a 4-pin connection…
     
  16. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    The more important problem is that the noctua 40mm fans are very wimpy. They have an airflow of 8.2m³/h at maximum speed, while the PSU needs 19.54m³/h at maximum load. So you'd need three of those fans in parallel, two might suffice if you're not going for something like 400W or 300W output. Certainly an interesting idea for a fan mod.

    I believe there was a PWM version of this fan shown at CES, but I could be mistaken.
     
  17. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    No, not in the Hutzy XS. But users want modularity if possible and I want to provide it. The idea is that the SATA, PEG and maybe EPS12V connectors will all be on short ~70mm leads which is enough for the SATA to reach an HDD if it's on or next to the PSU (like with the Hutzy XS and the Brevis S) and enough for the PEG to reach a GPU that has its connector close to the PSU (like with the Brevis S).

    The PSU would then come with extension cables for the EPS12V and PEG connectors. That way, cases with longer cable runs are supported while cases with shorter cable runs don't require shortening of the cables to reduce cable clutter. And, you can use pre-made extension cables or make some yourself to get perfect cable lengths or a nice colour scheme without soldering anything inside the PSU. For SATA this also means that you can use any old SATA splitter from amazon or wherever to gain support for multiple drives while users with just a single or no SATA devices don't experience too much cable clutter. Maybe a simple splitter will be included with the PSU as a lot of people wanted to use 2 drives with it, but I'm not yet sure about that.

    As I said previously, using short cables allows the PSU to be used in cases with very limited space in front of the PSU (like the Hutzy XS) in comparison to normal modular connectors and it will be our only option for modularity anyway as flush modular connectors on the front are not possible without a mayor redesign of the casing and the internal hardware, which would put the MOQ into the thousands. Even then it's not guaranteed that they could actually be flush, because space inside the housing is so very limited.

    The only problem right now is the ATX24pin cable. Some mainboards have their ATX24 connector in a location above the CPU cooler, which would require about 30cm length for comfortable cable routing in the Brevis S, but 30cm are too much to fit into the Hutzy XS. I might have to make another study on currently available mainboards though, as it seems like most have moved towards ATX24 connectors in the front of the board. In that case, we could reduce the length to something like 22-20cm, which would work for both cases.
     
    Boil likes this.
  18. yolostrats

    yolostrats [H]Lite

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    Possible solution - included cable is short or shorter but comes with an extension. This extension in bulk should not add a lot of cost and users are free to use their own extensions of course.

    It is not ideal due to extra bulk of the two extra plugs and general stiffness of 24pin cables, but will allow use of the PSU regardless of where the port is located in relation to the PSU.
     
  19. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    You might be onto something here. I just checked all ITX boards with socket 1151, 1150 and 2011-3 that are available in the EU:
    • 2011-3: 1 board in total, 0 have the connector at the front, 1 has it at the top (ASRock X99-ITX/ac)
    • 1151: 29 boards in total, 28 have the connector at the front, 1 has it at the top (Fujitsu D3433-S, not really relevant)
    • 1150: 24 boards in total, 16 have the connector at the front, 8 have it at the top (All boards from MSI, ECS and Biostar)
    So it seems like it's quite viable to have an 18cm cable and include a ~13cm extension. That way all cases where the PSU outlet is at the top front corner of the mainboard (e.g. Hutzy XS) will support all configurations out of the box, while cases where the PSU outlet is at the bottom front corner (e.g. Brevis S) will support the most common cases and boards out of the box and only require the extension for boards where the connector is up top. That seems like a good compromise.

    In other news, look what found its way onto a breadboard of mine:

    [​IMG]

    Unfortunately I'm missing a few support components, so those need to be ordered before I can test this thing.
     
    Soul_Est and RosaJ like this.
  20. jjsyht

    jjsyht [H]Lite

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    I hope this PSU becomes a reality. Lots of cases and mods would benefit from it.
     
  21. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    You and me both! I hope I'll have time to test the -12V inverter end of the coming week, and once I can confirm that allows mainboards with -12V boot check to actually POST, at least the hardware side is set.
     
  22. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Update! It lives! Modularity?

    Finally I found the time to get this together! All the components for the -12V rail arrived, thanks to EdZ, who helped me a great deal with component selection! I tested the circuit a week ago, but now I've made a small EPS12V-to-2xPEG6 adaptor to test it with my GPU and made an actual connection to pin 14 on the ATX connector.

    Behold:

    [​IMG]

    The -12V circuit I've thrown together is enough for the GA-B85N to boot! Error message on screen is just Windows complaining about a missing HDD. As you might see, the -12V rail is powered off a 5V contact. Interestingly, the mainboard will not shut down when the -12V supply is disconnected while the PC is running, so presumably it's just a check that's ran during POST.

    [​IMG]

    Pretty much perfect fit in the standard-compliant back of the Brevis S Prototype. You can see that a large portion, about 1/5th I'd estimate, is blocked by the mount, so it will run a bit hotter and louder in this version of the case.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the circuit I rigged up. Thanks to EdZ again for helping me out with component selection! I hope this can be downsized significantly for the production version, it only needs to supply something like 0.2A. As expected, none of that circuitry gets hot in the slightest, as there is practically no load on it.

    So I'm running Prime95 and Heaven as I'm typing this, and boy, that unit is a lot quieter than every FlexATX PSU I have ever had, even with the partially blocked exhaust. (Apart from the one I modded to fit an 80mm fan, of course) If you're going for a silent PC, it's not going to be for you, but in idle I can barely hear it, even while it's sitting less than a metre from my head, and when running just Unigine or any Game Benchmark, my dual-fan 970 is a lot louder than the PSU fan.

    The fan also has a very nice sound to it when gaming. No whining, just a pleasant and surprisingly deep whooshing noise. It gets a little whiny when stressing the CPU as well, but I don't have a Killawatt yet, so you/ll have to wait for a tangible load-to-noise test.

    What's interesting and a little annoying is that the fan will spin up at its full RPM when starting the system, which is quite loud. While this let's me know that the fan is far from it's maximum RPM with the short dirty tests I'm throwing at it now, I'll ask FSP to fix this behaviour in the final unit. I assume this is a self-test so the PSU can refuse to start up if the fan is not turning properly, which is nice for IPC uses, but no good in a consumer PSU.

    Most importantly, in comparison to the SSP-300SUG, my setup doesn't crash. The PSU is rock solid and even during heavy testing when the fan spins up a little more than average, it can quickly recover. I'm far from reaching the maximum load on this thing, and that makes it all the better.

    Modularity and cables:

    So the current state on this is as follows:

    There will be no modular connectors on the PSU itself. The poll clearly showed that there are cases where less than 20mm of space will be available in front of the PSU. Most importantly, the Hutzy XS will be quite limited in that area, and it is one of the most popular planned builds that involve this PSU. So even if flush modular connectors were possible (which they aren't), installing the PSU in such cases would be a nightmare or straight out impossible.

    But, to redeem this, the SATA, PEG (GPU) and EPS (CPU) power connectors will be on very short cables, which can be extended with any old extension cable from the store, no need to mod anything or make your own extension. These short cables also allow configurations where devices are sitting very close to the PSU and will use up minimum space for people who don't need them at all.

    The ATX cable will be long enough to support pretty much all configurations but as short as possible to prevent cable clutter in situations where the ATX connector is close to the PSU.

    The current lengths for the cables are:

    SATA/PEG/EPS: 8cm
    ATX: 18cm

    The is the next-best thing to semi-modularity we can get.

    The following connectors will be present on the PSU:

    SATA: 1x or 2x
    PEG: 1x 6+2pin, 1x 6pin
    EPS: 1x 4+4pin
    ATX: 1x 20+4pin

    I'm still a little torn on the SATA connectors. On one hand, more than 40% claimed to be using two SATA-powered devices, but on the other hand even more people will be using one or zero SATA devices. So it seems like having one connector and including a splitter seems like a good middle-of-the-road solution, but maybe there are differing opinions.

    Two 6+2 pin connectors will not be possible, though. The limitations on the power draw are just too tight. It might still be doable if you use an adaptor, but you'll be doing that on your own risk.

    So, that's it for now. Things are looking good, as far as I'm concerned. I will go on vacation on Tuesday, so don't expect any further updates during that time. I'll have internet, though, so I should be able to reply if you've got any questions or concerns. Have a nice day and thank you for reading!
     
  23. jjsyht

    jjsyht [H]Lite

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    Congrats on the -12v link.
    About the 8cm, any reason for this length?
    I was thinking instead of the regular mod connectors stuck to the case, what about loose connectors on very short cables, just enough so it pops out of the case, 2-3cm
     
  24. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    Dude, this is a single page thread, the info you are asking about is here, just READ the thread…

    Shake My Head…
     
  25. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    For the Hutzy XS & the quoted cable lengths, it seems like they should be reversed (excepting the SATA, I have no need, so the shorter the better there)…

    The vast majority of mITX MBs have the 24-pin MB connector immediately adjacent to the PSU cabling in the Hutzy XS, and the CPU/GPU cables would automatically require extensions to reach their intended components/sockets…?
     
  26. jjsyht

    jjsyht [H]Lite

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    My bad, I've been following this since the start and only rely on the 'new' tag to read posts... maybe I missed couple. But thanks, I found the info.

    Anyways, personally, I would not be needing any SATA/IDE connectors (11%). So I'd prefer that cable be as short as possible. Another cable would be the PEG, only 1 of them will be used. I suppose it's a trade off between ease of manufacturing and additional extensions.
     
  27. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    I read the GPU as one cable with two connectors, rather than two cables…?

    I M lao in the zero SATA cables needed crowd; M.2 Master Race…!
     
  28. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well yes, for the Hutzy XS the perfect configuration would look different, but it's not the only case that will be using this PSU (*cough* Brevis S *cough*), so we had to find a compromise that suited most configurations. I talked to Hahutzy about it, and we agreed that extensions would be feasible for the PEG and EPS connectors, as there's room below the GPU to fit them in.

    The ATX cable could be shorter, but that would hurt a lot of other layouts, and I don't want to require most people to use an ATX extension. 18cm is the longest possible for the Hutzy and the shortest that allows all mainboards to be connected, no matter where the PSU is, as long as it's adjacent to the MB.

    Thanks. Actually, part of this isn't explained here. The problem is that those cables aren't always exiting at the same point from the PSU, and are cut with a 5mm tolerance, so if we chose the optimum of 6cm, this would mean that some people could have trouble connecting the SATA cable to their HDDs while for others it would be of perfect length. So we had to add a little give.

    I understand that, but not all case designs are created equal, so people will want to stuff unused connectors into different locations, so a little longer extensions give more flexibility. We also need to make sure that they clear the front of the PSU, as this is the intake and there has to be as little clutter in its way as possible.

    About the PEG, it's a tradeoff required for configurations where the GPU is close to the PSU. You can't put an extension between the PSU and GPU in that case, it would add too much clutter. So the stock connectors need to be able to be plugged in into 8pin and double 6pin PEG graphics cards. If that wasn't the case, I would've just put a single 8 pin there.

    If you're being adventurous, you can always mod the PSU and desolder or cut off unused connectors. On your own risk, of course. So it's not really about ease of manufacturing, but a compromise for general usability.
     
  29. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    So, is the GPU (aka PEG) cable a SINGLE cable with both 6+2 & 6-pin connectors, or is it TWO cables (one 6+2 & the other 6-pin)…?

    I was reading the previous posts as it being a single cable with two connectors (okay, technically THREE if you count the 6+2 as two separate connectors, which they are)…

    Regarding extensions, I am wondering if it might be less bulk to splice in the additional needed cable (per wire, staggering the splices, I would use those crimp-on style "splice" connections, staggered to avoid too much bulk in any one given spot), and shortening any too long cable (hello, possibly too long 24-pin) and crimping on new pins to the shortened wires…?!?

    Thank you & Hahutzy for doing this work on optimizing the FSP 500w PSU for us all; even though I may ask stupid questions and make ridiculous demands, it is very much appreciated…!
     
  30. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    That's not set in stone yet, but I'd like to have them as a single cable if the rails turn out to only support either 8 or 6+6. If I find a way so that 8+6 pin GPUs can be supplied reliably as well, then they'll be on two cables.

    I'm not quite sure I know what connectors you mean. Do you have a link or a picture?

    My pleasure :) Getting ridiculous and physically impossible suggestions helps know what people would perceive as the optimum, so it's more valuable than you might think.
     
  31. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    Your standard butt connector…

     
  32. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ah I see. Yes, those would be less bulky than using regular extension cables because as you said, you can stagger them to decrease the maximum thickness, and they are shorter than a complete female-male connection with MiniFit. So if you want to extend the cables to the perfect length but don't want to solder, those are a very good option.

    But when shortening, especially if you're going to shorten the ATX connector, just cutting the wires and re-crimping the connector would be a much cleaner and more space efficient solution.
     
  33. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    You are correct, adding lengths of wire & soldering the joint connection (along with heat shrink over the solder joint area) would be best…

    Towards the 24-pin, I would do as you say & cut the wires to length & crimp on a new pin to each shortened wire, then reset in the connector…
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  34. Bait

    Bait n00bie

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    Registered specifically to express my support and interest in this! I dearly hope it becomes reality
     
  35. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    Great to hear! Thanks for answering the poll, every bit of information helps!

    Could I ask why you need an SFX adaptor when you're building a custom case anyway? Any specific features you'd like that adaptor to have?
    And if you have something sketched up for your build already, I'd of course love to see that and give some feedback if you don't mind :)
     
  36. Bait

    Bait n00bie

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    It's not strictly necessary. I've just been working on a couple case designs utilizing SFX because nothing like this really existed. Now, that this is a possibility, I am rethinking and planning anew.
     
    iFreilicht likes this.
  37. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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    Regarding the -12v issue, any feedback regarding MSI mITX MBs…?

    I am wanting to use the H170I Pro AC mITX MB in the Hutzy XS chassis…

    Thanks for any info you can provide towards the MSI MBs & the -12v issue…!
     
  38. Boil

    Boil Gawd

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  39. iFreilicht

    iFreilicht [H]ard|Gawd

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    No, sorry. After ASRock provided such good feedback, it was clear that this PSU needed a -12V rail, so after that I stopped research on this.

    Sure you can. Though in Hahutzys testing, the fan of this was even noisier than the one on the SSP-300SUG, so it can be quite annoying under load.
     
  40. Hahutzy

    Hahutzy Limp Gawd

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    I actually ordered it few days ago and received it yesterday.

    I tried it with the current system with the i5-6400 and Gigabyte GTX 970 mini (instead of the i5-4440S and GTX 980 Ti).

    The result is that with Prime95 and Furmark blasting on full load, it was drawing ~225W from the wall.

    I put my ear right beside the system with side panels open, and as far as I can tell, the PSU was never louder than the GPU.

    I have to do some testing with side panels on, and also I want to try the 1060 some time later because its TDP is 30W less.

    But I have to say so far, the current system configuration works with the FSP400
     
    Boil likes this.