The DC-DC power FAQ is divided in several sections. You quickly can jump to the following categories:


Q) What is the input voltage for the PicoPSU?
PicoPSU-120 requires 12V regulated. Anything higher than 13V will shut-down the picoPSU and then clamp hard above 16V (input protection).

Q) How do I connect the pins from the CF200?
The CF200 Adapter has 4 pins (2 pairs). The pair from the J1 (left as you are looking) is the LED pins. The closest to the IDE connector is the LED- and the other one is the LED+. The pair from the right is the power pins. The closest to the IDE connector is the GND and the other one is the +5V. Please see the CF200 picture.
Q) What type of motherboard does the "VMI70 7" TFT-LCD monitor with touch panel and VGA" unit have in it? Does it come with CPU/RAM/HD?
VMI70 it is not a computer, it's only a LCD,the box you see behind the LCD is the electronic part of it.

Q) What is the input voltage for PW-200M?
The PW-200M doesn't have wide input voltage support (it accepts between 11v and 14v) and also the +12v rail isn't regulated. The regulation is recommended because of that +12v rail and because devices that use might not like when it goes too high. If you are using a mini-itx board and laptop hdds / slim cdroms, then these devices usually don't use the 12v rail but only the 5v one .

Q) Can I power a P4 or Athlon system?
Yes. We've tested P4s at 3Ghz and it works. Some motherboards are fussy, but a vast majority of boards will work.

Q) How much power do I need for my board?
Not much, if you are using VIA's C3/C5Nehemiah mini-ITX boards. More power is usually needed only when using Intel processors such as P4 architecture or when using multiple 3.5" drives or regular sized CDROMs. In such scenarios, please use the PW-120/200 models. These units provide ample power on the 12V rail, generally used by P4s and drive motors.  When not using these configurations, the 12V rail consumption is well below 200mA!.

Q) You sell DC-DC converters that have more power than your AC adapters, why?
The total power of our DC-DC adapters is a sum of the power on the 12V, 5, 3.3, -12.  While the DC-DC adapter is capable of handling lots of Amps on certain rails, it is almost impossible to use all rails at full power at the same time! As a result, a 60Watt adapter is more than adequate for most mini-ITX applications. Read below for more information. For P4 applications you will need a 90Watt of higher power adapter.

Q) What are ATX power rails?
Standard ATX power supplies have several power rails, used by various components. Our DC-DC converters take 12V in and produce several ATX compliant voltages as follows:
Rail Circuit Type Board Type Comments
12V 3.5", 5.25 motors, fans, P4 power mostly P4 boards (lots of power), FET drive on all boards (little power). Use PW-120/200  when using 3.5" drives or P4s.
5V General M/B and disk circuitry, Memory, laptop drive motors. All Boards All our DC-DC converters have adequate power on this rail
3.3V CPU core, Memory EPIA-5000, 800, V, M-10000, CL, EPIA-MS,  etc All our DC-DC converters have adequate power on this rail.
-12V Some older serial comm. chipsets. EPIA-M, EPIA-M2 (EPIA-5000/800/V does not use the -12V for serial ports) Check the serial driver chipset. Modern serial chipsets do not use the -12V rail.
-5V Obsolete NONE Removed per ATC12V power supply guideline, used only for ISA cards.
+5SB Memory, vital sleep functions. ALL Uses little power.

Q) How much power do I need for my mini-ITX board?

A) The EPIA-800 board consumes an average of ~10W while the EPIA-M can consume an average of ~15W. However, despite the fact that PW-120/200 has a larger capacity, it is more efficient in the 10-15watt ranges than PW-60/70!. PW-120-M has an efficiency of over 95%.

Q) Can I use this dc-dc power supply with hard-drives, CD-ROMs and burners?
A) For multiple 3.5" drives or 5.25" CDROMs please look into our models with more Amps on the 12V rail. Regular sized drives and CDROMS use the 12V rail for motor spin-up. For laptop drives or slim-line CDROMS you don't need power on the 12V rail, just 5V rail.

Peripherals power consumption

Q) How much power does a 7200 RPM drive needs?
A) A 7200 RPM drive consumes about 10-20Watts, mostly from the 12V rail.  A 5400 RPM drive consumes less. Please refer to the manufacturer product spec for detailed power consumption charts. If you plan on using multiple 3.5" drives, please use the PW-120/200 power supplies.

Q) How much power does a laptop drive consume?
A) Peak power consumption is only 5Watts with an average power consumption of 2.5Watts. All our dc-dc adapters can handle laptop drives, of course.

Q) How about CD-ROMS and DVD-ROMS and slimCDs?
A) Depending on CD-ROM type, your unit can consume anywhere from 5W-20Watts. SlimCDs consume an average of 5Watts. When not in use, the power consumption drops to 0.1Watts.

Q) How about USB devices?
A) Usually USB devices consume under 5Watts, if more power is required by the device, an external adaptor is used.

Q) What is the power consumption of an CF disk?
A) Less than 0.5 Watts! CF disk are ideal for embedded applications. We do provide a variety of CF to IDE adapters via our web site

Q) What is the power consumption of an LCD display?
A) Depending on model and type, the power consumption is less than 2.5 Watts.


Q)Does this take a 12V input (like from a car), what's the minimum operating voltage, and what kind of connections does it come with?
A)Cars are nasty operating environments, so while you may use this power supply in a car, we do not recommend it as it will void your warranty. Read below for more information, including the timeline for the release of M1-ATX vehicle power supply.

Q) M1-ATX amplifier ?Antithump? feature turn-on?
Since the car amp is using the same ground, you need to connect only one wire to the "remote pin" of the amp. You can see the picture to the right .
Q) Can I use this DC-DC converter with a lead acid battery?
A) Lead acid batteries can produce 14.4V when fully charged. Our DC-DC converter was designed for 12V operation, however, it will work at 14.4V without any problems. You can also put 2 diodes in series with the DC-DC converter to drop the voltage by 1.5V or so. Radio Shack sells them for $0.5.  Please read below for more info.

Q) What is the voltage operating range of the PW-60/70?

10.5-15.5V. Below or above these voltages undervoltage/overvoltage protection will shut down the power. The boards cannot be damaged unless you apply more than 24V.

Q) How long will my mini-itx last from a lead-acid battery?

A) We tested a EPIA-800 board with a small 12V 7AH battery and we were able to keep the system up for 10-12hous. With a regular car battery you
could power the system (without recharging) for about 1 week.

Q) Can I use this DC-DC converter in a car?

A) Cars can be nasty environments. If the voltage will be in between 12-14.8, things will be fine. However, cars can produce anywhere from 5-18V, especially when using a weak battery. Again, few diodes should drop V(in) by 1-2 volts, but please make sure you have a good battery! You can use the ITPS (power sequencer and regulator) to further regulate and control your computer power ON/OFF features in a car environment. Also, by end of 2004, we will have the M1-ATX, a DC-DC converter + power sequencer that operates from 6-30V while providing strict voltage regulation on all power rails!


Q)Does this come with the the ATX output plug?
A) Yes, it does come with an ATX connector. You can plug the board directly into the motherboard or you can use an ATX extender cable, available in most stores.

Q)Does this come with hard drive and floppy connectors? Some of your pictures don't show cables!
A: Yes, all our DC-DC converters come with 2 HDD and 1 floppy connectors. If you need more HDD connectors, you can use a "Y-splitter" cable, which we carry.

A) Yes, while it might not be shown in pictures, all power modules provide one HDD and one Floppy connector. If you need more connectors, please use a "Y" cable to split the outputs.

Q) What are the dimensions of your DC-DC adapters?
A) PW-60/60a measure 37x170mm, while the PW70/70a measure 57mmx86mm. PW-120-M is much smaller, please check the product pages for detailed drawings!

Q) When plugged into the motherboard, how tall are they?
A) When plugged in, the PW-60/PW70 do not exceed the height of your CPU+FAN assembly. The tallest components are still your motherboard connectors.

Q) Can I plug in IDE connectors while the PW-60/a is present?
A) Yes.

The VIA mini-ITX boards come in 2 power configurations:
   1) Lower right power connector (EPIA-5000, 800, V, EPIA-CL and others)
   2) Upper right power connector (EPIA-M, EPIA-M2 and others)

For the first configuration, we offer the PW-60/PW60a or PW-200-V, a DC-DC module that snaps into the motherboard's power Connector.?For more information, please go to For the second configuration, we offer the PW-70/PW-70a or PW-120-M, a DC-DC module?that snaps into the motherboard's power connector.

? For more information, please go to

NOTE: Other C3/Celeron/P4 Athlon based motherboards can be powered by either model,?however, you might need an ATX extender cable