Do-It-Yourself Solar-Powered PC: Hardware

Motherboard Comparison

We wondered if there might be a big difference in energy consumption among motherboards built around the AMD 690G chipset. For purposes of comparison, we also looked at the MSI K9AG Neo2-Digital motherboard, the equipment on which matches the Gigabyte motherboard exactly, except that it comes in standard ATX form factor instead.

We used the MSI K9AG Neo2 Digital as a point of comparison

Gigabyte and MSI motherboards compared

The MSI motherboard consumes about 14 W more when idle, primarily because Cool and Quiet did not work - despite the vendor's claim of a state-of-the art BIOS. At full load, the MSI motherboard consumed an additional 6 W, a difference that we attribute to its built-in features such as its network and Firewire chips.

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12 Volt Solar PC System
ComponentIdleMax load
PSU5.00 W14.20 W
CPU8.49 W38.66 W
Cooler1.00 W1.00W
Motherboard7.78 W19.71 W
Total:61.23 W115.60 W
max. 160 Watt Custom PSU
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  • Raigedas
    i bought this M2-ATX PSU (actually to of them). but i was unable to start it.

    1. first quick question: is it possible to start (for testing purposes) the PSU without connecting it to the computer? is it enough to short circuit J8 only to start?

    2. docummentation is unclear about 10 (J6). it looks like J6 is purely for controlling stereo amplifier. but other place of the manual says "if J6 is cnnected to the motherboard". where to motherboard?

    3. how should PSU be connected?
    for testing i have taken 12V 7Ah lead acid battery fully charged.
    connected battery "-" to J4.
    battery "+" to J1.
    J3: tried to leave not connected and tried to connect battery "+".
    disconnected power switch cable from motherboard and connected it to J9.
    connected J8 with motheboard (using little cable included in the package) where power switch was originally connected.
    left J6 not connected.
    J10 not connected (P0 mode). also tried P1 mode.
    connected ATX and P4 (J2).
    pressed power on my pc but nothing happened and no voltage on MOLEX cable.

    could authors of the article (or maybe other owner of the PSU) describe how did they start the PSU?