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A few PSU questions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I've been out of touch for a long while, I'm ashamed to say, and I was never very knowledgeable about power supplies to begin with. My last couple power supplies have just been corsair units bought from best buy (gak) because they were needed asap. Well, I've got a server that I'm tossing together from some old parts and I've realized I'm down a power supply! So of course I'm using this to justify purchasing another one for my main rig

Now, this will be for my sig rig, but the rig will actually be losing its optical drive and one of the hard drives. Also, I'm planning on being able to move up to a single top tier card or dual mid teir (one GTX580 or two GTX560 for example) and would like this to last past my move to a sandy setup. I currently do not overclock, but I'm looking into changing that. Modular is a must.

Now, since I don't just want recommendations handed to me (but please, recommend away) here are a few questions.

1) 12v rails. I've seen a lot of conflict over this in my quick browse through google searches, and I've come to respect this site and it's members opinions, so what are the pros/cons of multiple/single 12v rails?

2) What is with this 80+ cert? I've read the description, and I know what it means, but I guess I want to know how it will actually apply/affect me.

3) This is more of a related question, would my rig benefit from a battery backup? I would assume it could clean the power up, but I'm not sure if it would benefit my rig at all. Also along the same like, can anyone provide suggestions for a good home use battery backup? I don't need tons of battery life, but I'm going to be working from home soon and my job requires constant uptime, so I need something that can at least keep me up and running long enough to call someone or prepare everything so I can relocate to a power source.


Sorry, I know this is a wall of text, but I have a bad habit of being long winded


Edit: Oh! I almost forgot, though I doubt it makes much if any difference, but I'm also swapping out the 4GB of ram for 16GB DDR3 1600. Better to give too much info than not enough
Edited by zilxy - 4/8/11 at 6:10pm
    
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post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilxy View Post
1) 12v rails. I've seen a lot of conflict over this in my quick browse through google searches, and I've come to respect this site and it's members opinions, so what are the pros/cons of multiple/single 12v rails?
They don't matter. Anyone who tells you they do is an idiot. The only matter at all in two situations:
A.) When a unit with two OCP rails was designed by an idiot who doesn't know how to balance load
B.) Single rail OCP is dangerous when set north of 50A or so, because it then provides no protection against parasitic shorts

Quote:
2) What is with this 80+ cert? I've read the description, and I know what it means, but I guess I want to know how it will actually apply/affect me.
Higher efficiency means lower power bills (slightly). Also, higher efficiency units are usually more modern, but that doesn't always mean quality. Also remember that there are many liars--Raidmax sent an 80+ Gold capable PSU to 80PLUS for testing, but the one they're selling to consumers with that certification is an 80+ Standard. And there are various other shenanigans going on here and there.

Quote:
3) This is more of a related question, would my rig benefit from a battery backup? I would assume it could clean the power up, but I'm not sure if it would benefit my rig at all. Also along the same like, can anyone provide suggestions for a good home use battery backup? I don't need tons of battery life, but I'm going to be working from home soon and my job requires constant uptime, so I need something that can at least keep me up and running long enough to call someone or prepare everything so I can relocate to a power source.
Are you worried about losing work or game progress because a storm cuts power to your neighborhood? If yes, get a UPS. If not, don't bother.
post #3 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by zilxy View Post
So I've been out of touch for a long while, I'm ashamed to say, and I was never very knowledgeable about power supplies to begin with. My last couple power supplies have just been corsair units bought from best buy (gak) because they were needed asap. Well, I've got a server that I'm tossing together from some old parts and I've realized I'm down a power supply! So of course I'm using this to justify purchasing another one for my main rig

Now, this will be for my sig rig, but the rig will actually be losing its optical drive and one of the hard drives. Also, I'm planning on being able to move up to a single top tier card or dual mid teir (one GTX580 or two GTX560 for example) and would like this to last past my move to a sandy setup. I currently do not overclock, but I'm looking into changing that. Modular is a must.

Now, since I don't just want recommendations handed to me (but please, recommend away) here are a few questions.

1) 12v rails. I've seen a lot of conflict over this in my quick browse through google searches, and I've come to respect this site and it's members opinions, so what are the pros/cons of multiple/single 12v rails?

2) What is with this 80+ cert? I've read the description, and I know what it means, but I guess I want to know how it will actually apply/affect me.

3) This is more of a related question, would my rig benefit from a battery backup? I would assume it could clean the power up, but I'm not sure if it would benefit my rig at all. Also along the same like, can anyone provide suggestions for a good home use battery backup? I don't need tons of battery life, but I'm going to be working from home soon and my job requires constant uptime, so I need something that can at least keep me up and running long enough to call someone or prepare everything so I can relocate to a power source.


Sorry, I know this is a wall of text, but I have a bad habit of being long winded


Edit: Oh! I almost forgot, though I doubt it makes much if any difference, but I'm also swapping out the 4GB of ram for 16GB DDR3 1600. Better to give too much info than not enough
1. Single rail PSU's do not have OCP - over current protection. OCP shuts off the psu if a certain rail is drawing too much amperage. Overloading without OCP can damage components more easily than psu's with OCP. OCP is on SOME multi-rail PSUs.

It boils down to this:
Single rail PSUs are not any more likely to fail or overload than a multi rail. But when they do overload or fail, the consequences are worse. Single rails sometimes are preferred because you don't have to manually distribute the load across the rails.

2. 80 plus = efficieny of 80% or more from 0-100% load. bronze is 80 or more, silver is 85 (i think) or more, etc. Why they just don't say 80+, 85+, etc is beyond me. The higher efficiency, the less power you will draw from the wall to get the same output. High efficiency (if the rating is ACCURATE) is also a sign of good quality.

3. In short, no. Quality PSUs have good line conditioning built in, and the little bit that you would gain from an external line conditioner would be unnoticeable in terms of performance or stability. If you only need the battery, then yes it would give you time to shut off in a power failure.

Verdict. Corsair or other high end brand, at least 850 watts, preferable single rail.
Edited by railfan844 - 4/8/11 at 6:21pm
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post #4 of 11
Okay for that rig i would say get this PSU It's a great unit, its modular and it has a 7 year warranty!


1) It doesn't matter the performance is the same, having multiple rails is a security measure in case something fails but for the kind of wattage that you need it doesn't really make a difference.

2)The 80+ cert means that the PSU will waste less energy trying to power the system it does not affect the actual amount of power that is fed to the system from the power supply for instance let's say that your PC needs 300watts to work and the PSU is 80% efficient. that means that it will draw around 350 watts (actually less but I'm too lazy to do the math) from the wall outlet while a 70% efficient PSU will draw around 425Watts from the wall outlet to power up your system and the extra power will be wasted in heat, in the end it will help on slightly lower power bills.

3)I'm a bit illiterate on power backups so I can't really say anything in regards that area

I hope this helps

PS: Phaedrus came in first! listen to him!
Edited by CloudCR - 4/8/11 at 6:30pm
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post #5 of 11
Single rail PSUs do have OCP. The problem is that a high power unit with a single rail has to set the OCP at a very high amperage. Because of this damage can still be done, however it isn't fair to say that a single rail PSU doesn't have OCP.
 
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks to all, you've basicly confirmed what I've known, I can't go wrong with the Corsair HX series that I've been using. It's just nice to know why

For the backup: Good news, now I can just get some low powered dinky backup to keep my work machine going, at least until they issue us laptops, then I'll just re-purpose it to my server build.

Now I just have to swing by best buy tomorrow morning after I get off work and see if my local store is carrying anything decent for a palatable price. I can be impatient, so if they have it for no more than $10 over what I could get shipped from newegg I might snag something. I wish I had a local store I could shop from without feeling dirty after I leave.
    
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post #7 of 11
Single rail vs multi rail is mostly an irrelevant discussion below 750w, and you can run a pair of GTX560s (or a single GTX580) on a 650w PSU and have guts to spare.
Lower power multi-rail units are only problematic if the rail layout was done by an idiot.
High power single rail units are dangerous only in rare situations, but when they are, it's a machine killer.

80+ is a certification for efficiency, their tests are done at room temperature and don't check ripple etc, so you still need to look at review sites like jonnyguru.com to see how good the PSU actually is in real life. 80+ means 80% efficiency at around 80% capacity, bronze, silver, gold mean better results. It's not really worth spending a lot of extra money to go higher up the 80+ scale, as it will save you only a few dollars a month on the power bills.

If you need constant uptime, buy a UPS battery backup system that's rated for more than your PSU can draw. At the very least, even a small one will let you shut down safely.
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post #8 of 11
i love when the most knowledgable people here are the rudest and meanest!! ( hey there was a time you didnt know as much as you do now!) !

people shouldnt call others idiots just because there wrong!! ( just my opinion)
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEVALL View Post
i love when the most knowledgable people here are the rudest and meanest!! ( hey there was a time you didnt know as much as you do now!) !

people shouldnt call others idiots just because there wrong!! ( just my opinion)
I now know more than I once did. Therefore I was an idiot. Someone knows more than I do. Therefore I am an idiot. And I probably won't learn enough to know more than everyone.

Therefore I was, am, and will always be an idiot, as will 99.9% of the people on this planet.

Difference is, in this came I'm right and most others are wrong.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
I now know more than I once did. Therefore I was an idiot. Someone knows more than I do. Therefore I am an idiot. And I probably won't learn enough to know more than everyone.

Therefore I was, am, and will always be an idiot, as will 99.9% of the people on this planet.

Difference is, in this came I'm right and most others are wrong.
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