The Picobox Z2 inline PSU is something rather spectacular – even if does look a little dangerous. While most power supplies are massive, expressionless cubes of capacitors, the Z2 fits 200W of power into a form factor no bigger than a 24-pin ATX power connector.
We wouldn’t normally recommend exposing the innards of your PSU to the world where it’s at risk of being prodded and knock by prying fingers in for a potentially deadly shock, but the Picobox is a real product, and therefore, probably, safe. Then again, FSP once combined electricity and water with its liquid-cooled PSU back in the day, so my perspective of what’s safe and what’s not is pretty skewed.
There appear to be four models out in the wild (spotted by Momomo_US on Twitter). These are: 250W, 200W, 160W, and 120W. All bar the 120W model are equipped with one 24-pin ATX motherboard connector, one 4-pin CPU connector, two SATA power, one molex, and a single power connector for a floppy disc drive. While you might not be able to run much on any of these PSUs, the more capable 200W unit may well be just enough for an extra small, extra cute AMD Raven Ridge APU build.
One limiting factor with small form-factor builds is the power delivery. We’ve built a few mini PC builds here at PCGN in the past around AMD’s APU architecture, yet the smallest we could build without pruning cables and folding PCB like origami was within the InWin Chopin: a miniscule mini-ITX case fit with 150W PSU.
PICOBOX Z2-160-ATX 12V DC-DC Power Supply | GEEEK CASEhttps://t.co/aE9axHbLIB
— 188号 (@momomo_us) September 17, 2019
But perhaps the Picobox Z2 offers a way to shrink down that footprint even further. Sure, you’ll be hard pressed to find a case any smaller that’ll fit a mini-ITX motherboard within, but there’s certainly safe to be saved without even the slim 150W PSU getting in the way. And there are always smaller motherboard standards out there: Nano-ITX, Mobile-ITX, and, of course, Pico-ITX – hence the name.
And while I’m still a bit shaky on the safety of it all, Picobox is touting over 94% efficiency off only a single 12V input. And if you’re willing to bet your life on it, you can pick up the Picobox Z2 160W from Geeek for $29.