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Troubleshooting/Frequently Asked Questions


General Power Usage
Power Usage

Q: How much power do I need for my board?
Not much if you are using VIA's C3/C5 Nehemiah 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-200 series. 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.

Peripherals Power Consumption
Q:How much power does a 7200 RPM drive need?
A: A 7200 RPM drive consumes about 10-20 Watts, mostly from the 12V rail.  A 5400 RPM drive consumes less. Please refer to the manufacturer product specifications for detailed power consumption charts. If you plan on using multiple 3.5" drives, please use the PW-200-M power supply.

Q: How much power does a laptop drive consume?
A: Peak power consumption is only 5 Watts with an average power consumption of 2.5 watts. 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 5 W-20 watts.
SlimCDs consume an average of 5 Watts. When not in use, the power consumption drops to 0.1 Watts.

Q: How about USB devices?
A: Usually USB devices consume under 5 Watts, 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 IDE adapters in our store.

Q: What is the power consumption of an LCD display?
A: Depending on model and type, the power consumption is around 12 watts.

Power Rails

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


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 by ISA cards.


Memory, vital sleep functions. ALL

Uses little power.




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