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Thread: Regulator or ATX PSU? What's the functional difference?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Regulator or ATX PSU? What's the functional difference?

    Hi folks,

    I'm designing a power supply system for the electronics in a campervan. It will be over-engineered and not exceed 60% ratings of any regulated power supply device. Price isn't the final determining factor, rather efficiency and functionality is.

    What I want to query is what's the effective difference between a high end DC-DC regulator like the CNX-P2140 or using an Opus DCX6.360 PSU if I was powering 100W of electronics in the vehicle? Is a PSU designed for powering an ATX mobo not suitable for only powering other electronics such as TVs and WiFi routers off it's 12V and 5V output lines? Is there anything that says the ATX PSU should only be used on a motherboard? Does a regulator behave differently from a PSU? Both are simply designed to offer clean power outputs from my point of view.

    I planned on having a power terminal strip of 12V and one for 5V and then running power lines off to each device in the vehicle from that, always keeping within the wattage budget of the power supply. If I can get away with using a 360W PSU instead of a 185W regulator then I've basically doubled my power budget. But if the PSU needs distinct motherboard-like ratio of power loadings on the 12V and 5V lines or it gets cranky, I need to know that.

    mos33y likes this.

  2. #2
    Raw Wave SNOtwistR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Keswick,On Canada
    This might work for your 5v line if you need more than the 3amps the 2140 has with the addon board and I would use the P2140 for 12v only, that way you have a full 15amps of 12v Just a thought SNO

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