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  1. #1
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    Default Building a PC in an xbox 360 case

    So far so good, I can arrange everything fine for a "PC in an xbox" mod. But as with every other person who's tried this, I've hit a snag:

    The problem is supplying power:

    - Attempting to hack the original 200W PSU will fail (I'd have to rewire it, which I'm not confident enough to do, and I'm not even sure it would work even if I got it right)
    - A normal PSU won't fit, and making one into an external power brick would look stupid and be a pain in the nether regions to plug and unplug from the xbox.

    So. I've decided that the easiest way to get round this is to use a Pico-PSU and a DC power brick, like what you'd plug a laptop into. I'd cunningly disguise this inside the old xbox PSU case, to keep the thing looking neat.

    However, all my previous builds (all 2 of them ) have been without power constraints and using a Pico-PSU introduces the power limits of a DC supply.

    My system will consist (probably) of:

    Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2H Intel G41
    Intel E8400
    2Gb of RAM (be it 1x2Gb or 2x1Gb)
    Slimline Bluray or DVD RW drive
    16Gb or 32Gb SSD
    About 6 (small, low RPM) case fans

    Will a 60W DC power adapter provide that system with enough power? How many Watts should I be looking at?
    Last edited by solman_321; 23rd January 2010 at 10:20 PM.
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  2. #2
    The "E74" Dude

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    Motherboard won't fit. You'll need a 24.4x19.8cm board.

    I doubt the pico PSU could power that; however, if it ran on 1 case fan and was underclocked/undervolted there's a possibility (I remember a thread on a competitor saying a Q6600@idle worked on 120w).

    Good luck, anyhow
    Last edited by spleenharvester; 23rd January 2010 at 09:50 PM.
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  3. #3
    The "E74" Dude

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    http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/mods/p...y_xbox_360.htm

    Could that help? Maybe you could wire up the original 360 PSU somehow. Unlikely though.
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  4. #4
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    Motherboard WILL fit, actually. The max width is 21cm (by my ruler) if you don't plan on using the metal caging at all.

    As for the Pico-PSU, you can get 24-pin ones up to 150W (which I plan on getting). It's the 12V DC power brick that you have to pay through the nose for if you want high wattage

    A short review by some guy from an american competitor's site referring to the afore-mentioned 150W Pico-PSU:

    "I use it on this config, without any problems:

    motherboard: commell LV678
    cpu: intel q9400s
    ram: 2x 2gb ddrII teamgroup xtreem dark
    videocard: nvidia 9600gt green edition
    storage: 2x2,5" western digital scorpio black
    optical drive: bluray reader/dvd recorder optiarc bc-5600s"

    Unfortunately, he didn't mention what AC-DC adapter he was using. (That reminds me - I haven't got RAM on my list)

    EDIT: Having looked through the page you linked, it does say the pin connections for the power socket on the xbox mobo. Seeing as a pico-psu simply needs a stable 12V input, then it may not be too hard to arrange a hack for the socket on the inside which would look neater than anything else... Only a few problems:
    1. My inexperience
    2. Xbox PSU is rated at 203W peak output. Could that damage the 150W PSU?
    3. Getting the PSU to supply power when the PC is turned on could prove interesting. After all, it's not supplying 12V the whole time - it has a sleep mode :S
    4. Putting the xbox power socket back into the case takes up a fair bit of room, and it's going to be a squeeze if I have to shift the motherboard >2cm down in the case. Not impossible to overcome though.
    Last edited by solman_321; 23rd January 2010 at 10:27 PM.
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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  5. #5
    The "E74" Dude

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    You certain? I've heard it's pretty tight, like 20cm max.

    Maybe you could use a resistor of some sort to bring it down?, I'm not sure. There's a few electronics geniuses on this forum, best waiting for them to come along.

    Would amps be an issue too?
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by spleenharvester View Post
    Would amps be an issue too?
    You know what? I have absolutely no idea. Nor am I certain about the motherboard, but I'm pretty sure. It's hard to tell without it in front of me to try out.

    Another thing: All along I've been planning to have a slimline DVD drive where the normal xbox one would be, and a Scythe Shruiken CPU cooler with the 100mm fan sitting in an appropriately sized hole in the roof of my xbox case.
    I've just realised that this may well not work, if the two occupy the same space

    EDIT: Got the ruler out again - and measured it slightly better. Motherboard dimensions can be 278x220mm at maximum, but that's a tight fit. I wouldn't go beyond 269x215mm as a rule. Even with the metal casing in, it's 272x215mm, so long as you don't put case fans in the same place as the original ones were.
    Last edited by solman_321; 23rd January 2010 at 11:28 PM.
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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  7. #7
    The "E74" Dude

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    'Tis what happens with projects like this though, you've just got to keep changing it until you get the right config.

    If you haven't bought the motherboard yet, get this board; It's 24.4x19.4cm and will fit. Cheaper too.

    Might it fit with a low-profile fan (like 100mmx15mm or something)? There's plenty of low-profile coolers around anyhow.
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  8. #8
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    Unfortunately, I won't be able to fit even a low-profile graphics card into the case, without removing the optical drive completely, so I have to have a motherboard with good enough graphics to play DVDs and HD-movies. Not to mention that the Pico-PSU probably couldn't handle a graphics card on top of everything else.

    (I'm aiming for a usable HTPC with HDCP capability)
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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  9. #9
    The "E74" Dude

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    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/168936 then, it has the X4500 which is the best onboard you can get

    EDIT: Scratch that, the X4500HD is... well... HD, I'll look around.
    Last edited by spleenharvester; 23rd January 2010 at 11:35 PM.
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  10. #10
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    Having checked the measurements with the metal casing in, it might be easier to work with that than fashioning a new base plate out of aluminum off-cuts from school.
    (The plastic of the xbox is curved, so you need a motherboard tray to avoid bending the motherboard). It also makes it easier to attach the usb extenders and stuff to the chassis. The only problem would be if the stand-off screws ended up at different heights to each other. (For some reason, MS elected to make the metal shielding contoured in pretty patters. This has resulted in 3 different heights of metal - two in the middle and a high ledge around the edge, which the xbox motherboard used to rest on.)
    Standoffs still have to be used because the xbox motherboard has a specific area around its perimeter intended to be rested on metal. Normal motherboards don't.
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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  11. #11
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    Thanks for your help Spleenharvester, +Rep. I'm off to bed now - it's late and I'm off walking tomorrow.
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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  12. #12
    The "E74" Dude

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    No problem lol, I should probably be off too.

    The PS3 has that same outer-ring thing - I'm not too clear on the details, but perhaps you could insulate the resting points in some way? That way you could still use the same standoffs (providing they're in the right places).
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  13. #13
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    Somehow I don't think they will be
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  14. #14
    The "E74" Dude

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    Nah, you never know though

    http://xbox-experts.com/e/pics/schem...matics_ENG.jpg

    Not sure how this lines up with the rest of it though, might give it a shot myself seeing as cases are 10 each.
    Steam: spleenharvester | Playing: Far Cry 2, Borderlands

  15. #15
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    That's pretty much in tune with what I've got. I didn't know they changed the motherboard tray for the elite versions - I didn't take much notice when I took mine apart
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by solman_321 View Post
    My system will consist of:

    Gigabyte GA-G41M-ES2H Intel G41
    Intel E8400
    2Gb of RAM (be it 1x2Gb or 2x1Gb)
    Slimline Bluray or DVD RW drive
    16Gb or 32Gb SSD
    About 6 (small, low RPM) case fans

    How many watts will this roughly equate?
    I'm getting 268W with this one (seems quite old):
    http://www.journeysystems.com/?power_calculator

    250W with this:
    Asus PSU calculator

    135W with this one:
    eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite

    108W with this one:
    Antec Power Supply Calculator

    105W with this one:
    Thermaltake Power Supply Calculator

    The last three are all based on the same calculator, not sure why they offer different results - I've set everything to be roughly the same.
    I'd like to hope that I don't have to go above 150W - anyone had any experience with a similar system?

    EDIT: I've found a 150W 12V external AC-DC power adapter, finally. And it's in UK currency! They're surprisingly hard to find, because the higher power ratings use a higher voltage (presumably due to current limitations - P=IV and all that ). Unfortunately it's silver, which will pose a problem if I can't get this xbox PSU I've got here to open. The thing's shut tighter than a bloody clam... (Time to get out the hammer methinks. And if that doesn't work, then there's always the pillar drill. Maybe not in that order, now I think about it)

    Further EDIT: I've opened the xbox PSU. With a hammer and a pillar drill, in that order. It's a messy business - the whole thing was smothered in copious amounts of thermally conductive white fluids - but I've got it open on the desk in front of me. The 45 PSU I've selected will fit easily inside, and I've even got a shiny blue LED to replace the old green / yellow one. I'll probably splice the input cable from the new PSU to the old one, and use the old xbox power cables and stuff just to make the thing look neat.
    This of course means affixing the power socket (which I will "borrow" from the "spare" xbox motherboard I have lying around) into the xbox case, making the motherboard a tight squeeze, but I think it will be worth it in the end.
    Last edited by solman_321; 25th January 2010 at 10:24 PM.
    Intel Q9450 @ 2.66GHz / Gigabyte P31 @ 333MHz FSB / OCZ 4GB @1000MHz 5,6,6,18 / XFX HD4890 / Windows 7 RC 64bit / Corsair 600W / Maxtor 500GB / 2x WD 320Gb RAID 0 / Sythe Ninja.B + Zalman VF1000 / G5+G11 / Cr*p internet:
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