Smallest PSU for ADT-Link setup
I'm trying to build a portable egpu setup based on the ADT-Link (probably the R43-ML). Power bricks such as the Dell PA-2 are the as big as a mini ITX GPU, and heavier, so I'm trying to find a smaller alternative. I'll probably try go for a second hand GTX 1070, which is listed at 150W, but I'd also be curious if there are options to power something like a RTX 3070 (220W) in a small form factor. Paging @joevt who seems to be the local PSU expert 😉 So, in summary:
1) What's the smallest PSU that can power a 150W GPU?
2) Same question for a 220W GPU
Bonus question 1: The Jeyi ThunderDock 7 mini does 65W power delivery and is powered over a 20V USB C port. Is there a way to power both the GPU and the ThunderDock from the same PSU?
Bonus question 2: What's the smallest solution for up to say $40?
Beautiful, thank you @joevt. This list should be pinned somewhere. Did you curate it, or is there a secret hardware list for eGPUs? The Mean Well embedded models are a much better choice than the HDPlex AC/DC 19V + picoPSU solution I was considering, it's both cheaper and more compact.
By the way, I was unable to find the physical dimensions of the ADT-Link R43SG board, or of the R43ML for that matter. What's the difference between these two boards anyway? I understand that the R43SG has a 20 pin power socket, and which allows using a PSU without starting it with a paperclip, but there's also something about some black screen delay specifically regarding eGPUs which I don't understand.
@fndg, I made that list myself from looking at power supply specifications (ATX) and specs for individual power supplies.
Some of the power supplies I added 25 mm to the cable output side to account for the room required to bend the cables 90°.
There's a column for volume. I also have a column for surface area which I suppose favors both smaller power supplies and also more cubic power supplies.
Not sure what area per volume is useful for - it shows how larger power supplies have a lower ratio of surface area because volume increases as dimension cubed while surface area is dimension squared.
The ADT-Link R43SG has some switches that may be useful in some situations but I've never had an issue with the simpler ADT cables. You should be able to look at the pictures and see how a GPU fits in the R43SG - how much it sticks out in each direction.
If you are going to use a non-ATX power supply, then the 20 pin power connector of the R43SG is a waste of space. The other ADT cables will allow you to make a smaller footprint eGPU.
The following thread has some ADT cable examples, and Meanwell power supply example:
@joevt Lots of good info in the thread you linked. Using a simple NVMe-to-TB3 solution like the Wavlink stacked under a Adt-Link R43ML together with say the open case Meanwell RPS-300 should fit into less than 1600 cm³.
I'm not sure how to arrange components with the Jeyi ThunderDock 7 mini to get a single cable build, but there are some pretty tiny 20V 45W USB C chargers that you could put behind the Meanwell PSU. I should probably draw some sketches, but I have no CAD experience.
What's the most compact build you managed to come up with?
@fndg, I haven't built anything except what you see in the pictures in that thread. I did a 3D sketch on the iPad Pro of something with a ATX Flex power supply and 4 slots using 4 ADT link cables which were to be connected to a M.2 PCIe card with four M.2 slots. I used digital callipers to make measurements and created the PCIe slots of the ADT cables from PCIe specs (maybe I could have used the 3D models from ADT Link). The ADT cables weren't flexible enough for the purpose though. I had to make too many folds which caused problems with the signal I guess.
Trying to use the Jeyi ThunderDock 7 mini is an interesting complication. I think you need 100W for the Jeyi alone if you want it to be able to charge a laptop (60W). Might be simplest to have two power supplies in your enclosure powered by an AC power cable.
Interesting to know that too many folds cause issues. Were they tight folds? The cable length is one of the things I'm struggling to decide, but I'm leaning towards a shortish 10 or 15cm. That should be enough to place the TB3 board where ever is convenient, and not add too many folds, at least no sharp ones.
I might put the Jeyi outside of the case. That way only the surface area of the Jeyi needs to be thicker instead of increasing the thickness of the whole case. Then I can run the AC power cable to a splitter in the case where it connects to the Meanwell and a power delivery brick. I wouldn't expect the ThunderDock 7 to eat up 40W though; surely a 60W brick should be able to power the Jeyi and still provide 45W to the laptop, don't you think?
What's the difference between the RPS and the EPP series? They look identical. The EPP-300-12 provides up to 200W without cooling. The 400 is the same size, and not a lot more expensive. It provides 250W with convection. I plan to have the case open on the fan side anyhow when the GPU is in use, so the 300 is probably sufficient. I'm even wondering if I could go with a 200, which is more compact, and drive it at ~160W (I think that's where a GTX 1070 tops out) without additional cooling.
PS: Just had a look at https://www.digikey.co.uk/products/en/power-supplies-external-internal-off-board/ac-dc-converters/133 and it seems that there are even some open frame PSUs sized 2x4 inches that deliver up to 160W or even 200W (more expensive) with just convection cooling.
@fndg, I think the first link shows the folds. The folds were tight - to fit in a single slot width but the next slot was free so it kind of overflowed. A 45° fold gives a 90° change in direction. Two folds per cable is required to get from inside the computer to outside. two of the cables required an additional 180° fold because they were on the other side of the Amfeltec gen 3 four M.2 carrier PCIe card.
The second link shows how close the PCIe connectors are placed together. I chose a standard PCIe slot spacing of 0.8" (20.32 mm) which may be too close together - adds some stress to the cables.
You can see in the pictures that I had max length 50 cm cables. In the second link, you can see I had some slack outside the case, so I could have used shorter cables. I wanted 45 cm but they do increments of 10 cm only.
Thunderdock 7 needs 15W for the Thunderbolt port, 4.5W for the Type A port, 1.65W for DisplayPort? Plus some power for the Thunderbolt controller. 45W is low for some laptops.
This link explains the difference between EPP and RPS:
HDPlex AC/DC 19V + picoPSU solution I was considering
I think PicoPSU is 12V input, HDPLEX AC/DC is 19V output - you'd possibly damage the PicoPSU if plugged without voltage regulation. If you go with HDPLEX 19V, you'd need a wide-range plug-in ATX PSU. If you go PicoPSU or similar models, you'd need a separate 12V brick.
Another option may be HDPLEX 200W plug-in DC-ATX and a laptop brick, but you may need to find one with the correct jack/barrel or make your own connector, the included HDPLEX barrel is an odd 7.4*5.0mm - the easiest way to find a compatible one is to just ask HDPLEX to also send you a male jack with your order.
If you're going for 12V PSU, before you buy, double check that the Ripple/Noise specification is within ATX standards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATX#Power_supply - not all 12V PSUs were designed to be used with computers
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