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Thread: Thought experiment, the 'ideal' PSU.

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    Default Thought experiment, the 'ideal' PSU.

    Hi guys, long time lurker first time poster.

    Long story short, I've spent the last few months reaching out to manufacturers, touring factories, testing samples and swapping a lot of business cards around China with the intention of one day in the not to distant future, getting a new brand of PC hardware off the ground.

    When it comes to PSUs, I couldn't think of a better place to come to get some feedback than the here, mecca of power supply reviews. So if anyone here wants to describe what would make the ideal power supply for them (quality, wattage, efficiency, cabling, caps, fan, color, shape, warranty term, target price, special features etc) i'll be taking notes like a madman and doing my best to make it become a reality.

    Yes I'm aware this sounds but it's been a long time dream and through a lot of luck and a lot of hard work I have both the connections and financial means (although modest) to get the ball rolling in the right direction. I know expert electrical engineers and product designers are who I should be consulting but real honest feedback from genuine enthusiasts would be invaluable.

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    Starting with two series, one 80PLUS Bronze and one 80PLUS Gold would make the most sense to me. From 450W till 750W in steps of 100W. Look for example at the current Corsair CX(M) series and EVGA B3 series and make sure your 80PLUS Bronze series is better.

    For the 80PLUS Gold series, make sure it is cheaper then EVGA SuperNOVA G2/G3 and Corsair RMx, but quality wise not really worse.

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    "expert electrical engineers and product designers"

    here you will also find such guys

    Good luck to your endeavor. Hope it is successful because we need more competition in this market segment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crmaris View Post
    "expert electrical engineers and product designers"

    here you will also find such guys
    Had hoped as much but didn't want too presumptuous

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    Quote Originally Posted by -The_Mask- View Post
    Starting with two series, one 80PLUS Bronze and one 80PLUS Gold would make the most sense to me. From 450W till 750W in steps of 100W. Look for example at the current Corsair CX(M) series and EVGA B3 series and make sure your 80PLUS Bronze series is better.

    For the 80PLUS Gold series, make sure it is cheaper then EVGA SuperNOVA G2/G3 and Corsair RMx, but quality wise not really worse.
    The plan so far is to start with one or two SKUs of flagship 80+ Gold models. Get a few units in the wild, do some thorough testing, get feedback and from there build out a full range.

    Being better value for money is of course a high priority but also hoping to do something a little unique in the process to help start out from the crowd. Maybe different color sleeved cables in the box to choose from, an little LED power consumption indicator, a white model just because we can..

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    A good PSU needs tons of beta testing, before it rolls out into production. So many things can go wrong and I have seen even experienced OEMs facing lots of problems because they didn't do proper beta testing or just didn't devote the required time in this.

    As for the models you either start super high-end in order to make a huge impression to the crowd, or you start looking low with some mainstream and mid-level units as The-Mask suggested. The problem is that the mainstream and mid-level markets currently are very hard, because of the tough opponents but with the proper pricing scheme everything is possible, especially if you manage to get good reviews from respected sites and reviewers.

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    I'd like to see someone have the courage of "breaking the mold" so to speak, someone that would be like Asrock was with wacky designs.

    For example, we have 22 to 26-28 wires going from the power supply to the atx connector. We lost the -5v but we have 3.3v sense and 5v sense in some power supplies, basically a lot of wires.

    Most power supplies can only deliver up to 16-20A on 3.3v yet the atx connector still has 4x3.3v wires and if a power supply has 3.3v sense wire, you're up to 5 wires just for 3.3v - one awg18 cable could move 8-10a if we ignore the voltage drop, seems silly to use so many cables (between psu and mb).
    3.3v is also basically just used in the atx connector, it's optional for desktop sata connectors as far as I know and it's not used anywhere else.

    It would be more expensive but I'd make a tiny board close to the ATX connector and put a 12v to 3.3v dc converter there along with a 12v to -12v inverter (some basic voltage doubler chip can do -12v at 100mA or something like that easily).
    So in this tiny box goes a 6pin or 8 pin 12v connector (3x 12v + 3xground which could use the same connectors as pci-e), two 12v go straight through to the atx connector, and one 12v would be used for 12v to 3.3v and for 12v to -12v.
    So you're left with 5vSB, 5v, power good and power ok and ground for these... 3-4 AWG16 pairs for 5v and 5v SB and 2 pins for power_good and power_on and you have a separate 10 pin connector .. so if you make a modular power supply you could have

    Code:
    v-- molex / sata
    [12v] [12v] [12v]
    [5v ] [5v ] [5v ]
    [gnd] [gnd] [gnd]          v-- mb 12v (6/8 wires) v-- pci-e 1  v- pci-e 2  etc
     
    [ pgood 5vsb  5v    5v   ]  [12v 12v 12v gnd ] [12v 12v 12v gnd ] [12v 12v 12v gnd ]
    [ pok   gnd   gnd   gnd  ]  [gnd gnd gnd gnd ] [gnd gnd gnd gnd ] [gnd gnd gnd gnd ]
    Such layout could probably make it easier to use metal "bus bars" on the modular pcb board to carry current easier and with less voltage drop and you wouldn't need 3.3v sense, with the dc-dc converter being inches away from the motherboard (and it would be turned on from the 12v which in turn is on when the mb sends the power ok signal etc)
    The power supply could switch over 5vSB to regular 5v once power supply starts fully, to get higher efficiency.
    You'd have 2 x 8 wire ribbon cables (or 1x10 and 1x6 ) which user could stack to do easier cable management, especially in small cases.

    I'd like to see a SFX power supply or regular ATX power supply but not as deep as current ones designed from the start to be passively cooled (no fan locations).
    I'd like to see for example a circuit board layed out in such a way as to allow the board being sandwitched between two aluminum blocks with holes or channels cut to allow tall capacitors or vertical boards to go through the aluminum block..

    I'd like to see designs which are more .. "3d", power supplies which use verticality more in order to be smaller, especially in the case of small 350-500w power supplies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crmaris View Post
    A good PSU needs tons of beta testing, before it rolls out into production. So many things can go wrong and I have seen even experienced OEMs facing lots of problems because they didn't do proper beta testing or just didn't devote the required time in this.
    Yeah, current thinking was to get a tried and true, well reviewed, time tested existing unit from a trusted OEM (Seasonic / Enhance etc) and making aesthetic or minor technical adjustments to it based on suggestions / feedback.

    The downside would be that, from a technical standpoint at least, its not going be something radically amazingly better than anything ever made. On the flip-side we could still optimize and differentiate in the areas of cabling, aesthetics, small additional features / sensors, etc and still get to market in a cost effective timely manner with a quality reliable unit.

    A second more boldly re-engineered V2 could then be developed and properly tested in the background while we built our sales channel and once ready would replace the V1 edition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mariush View Post

    ...

    I'd like to see a SFX power supply or regular ATX power supply but not as deep as current ones designed from the start to be passively cooled (no fan locations).

    I'd like to see for example a circuit board layed out in such a way as to allow the board being sandwitched between two aluminum blocks with holes or channels cut to allow tall capacitors or vertical boards to go through the aluminum block..

    I'd like to see designs which are more .. "3d", power supplies which use verticality more in order to be smaller, especially in the case of small 350-500w power supplies.
    Interesting ideas there, would have to see what something like that would add to the build cost and MOQ. Definitely would need a lot of testing, might be more a 2nd or 3rd gen release to give us time to really do it justice.

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