TLDR: The HDPlex 160W blew me away. I no longer recommend Pico PSU's for small form factor builds. The 160W has seized the crown as the best direct plug power unit available.
SIZE & WEIGHT100
WHERE TO BUY
HDPlex 160W DC-ATX PSUFrom $48.00
HP 230W Power BrickFrom $33.00
Dell 240W Power BrickFrom $94.89
These days it seems like there are more and more power supply options in the small form factor computing market. The HDPlex 160W is the latest entry into this field. The Pico PSU style unit looks to shake up the market with a killer combo of looks, size, and performance.
HDPlex 160W Features and Specs
Unlike it’s bigger brother the HDPlex 300W, the HDPlex 160W is only partially modular. The compact nature of the unit led to some of the cables being permanently attached. Both devices share the same voltage and efficiency ratings, with the HDPlex 160W having a 200 watt lower peak rating.
|Watt Rating||160W with 200W Peak|
|Dimension||41.2(H) x 61(W) x 34.7(D) mm|
Included Cables and Connectors
|24PIN ATX||Direct Plug|
|Detachable 4PIN+4PIN 12V||1 (45cm)|
|Detachable 6+2PIN PCI-e||1 (45cm)|
|Fixed SATA Cable with 4 Connectors||1 (50cm)|
|Fixed 4 Pin Molex Connector||1 (15cm)|
|4 Pin to 7.4mm x 5.0mm DC Input||1 (45cm)|
Setup & Installation
Set up and installation is extremely simple with the HDPlex 160W. You simply plug the unit into your 24 pin ATX connector, then connect the rest of your cables.
The PCIe and motherboard cables are detachable, so if you don’t need either, there is no need to attach them. The modular bay is numbered, labled, and the wires are color coded. The black wire on each cable is ground, while the yellow goes in the 12V slot.
Make sure that your board and ATX connector are lined up properly before connecting. I found that my unit was leaning forward slightly causing it to contact my RAM. Applying a little force bent it back into place.
Power Brick Compatibility
Like its bigger brother the HDPlex 160W requires an external (or internal) power brick to function.
The best part about it’s 16V-24V range is the wide variety of bricks you can choose. Pretty much any 19V laptop charger with a barrel connector will be able to power this thing. I linked to two nice power brick options above.
Is the HDPlex 160W the Pico PSU Killer?
Pico PSU’s have been the king of the ATX connector style plug in PSU for years now. The HDPlex 160W is a direct competitor to the popluar Pico 160xt.
The Pico 160xt is a fantastic unit. If you are building a system that uses less than 200W, and doesn’t need a PCIe connector it is still a great option. However the HDPlex 160W offers the same power rating, plus a modular design, and support for more readily available 19V power bricks. All for $48.
I can’t really see a reason to recommend the Pico over the HDPlex anymore. The only downside that I have found when comparing the two is that the HDPlex 160W does get warm under load, and will sit extremely close to your RAM depending on board layout.
The extra heat didn’t result in any performance issues though, and the unit certainly doesn’t get hot enough to become alarming.
The HDPlex 160W is my favorite small form factor power supply to date. It is compact, well built, and flexible.
If you are running systems including up to around GTX 1060’s you should have more than enough headroom depending on your brick selection. The unit can handle loads well over 200 watts, but you should try to stay within the 200-220 watt range due to heat.
I will be doing a new build with this unit, that video and article should be out within a week or two.
For additional info, watch the video above.