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PSU related questions
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Flying Dutchman
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March 15, 2012 - 8:45 am
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Since I've been gone so long, I can't contribute anything useful to any thread, so I'll just be selfish and ask a couple of questions I'd like your help with.

I may come across as completely ignorant - it's ok, you may laugh at me, I won't take any offense.

Ok, here it goes. I'm looking into replacing the PSU for a friend and have come across a few PSUs that have the +12V output on two rails that don't carry the same current.

If anyone has experience or knowledge about these type of PSUs, I'd like some clarification:

1. Do you get to choose what you connect on +12V1 and what on +12V2? I mean is it visibly possible to tell them apart to make such a choice? I'm thinking that you wouldn't want to connect the HDDs or a demanding GPU on the weaker one, so is there a way to make a safe choice?

2. Or doesn't it work like this at all? I've seen some manufacturers give the combined current, so that got me thinking maybe you don't get to make a choice (or it doesn't matter what choice you make?).

3. I've also noticed that the combined current isn't equal with the sum of the two which I know is logical, but I took my electrology/ electrical technology classes a long-long time ago and can't figure out how this value is calculated.

 

Any light shed on these is much appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

 

P.S. Is this "verify that you are human" required for every post? Will the system know that I'm the Flying Dutchman at some point and stop asking me?

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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March 15, 2012 - 3:57 pm
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Hey FD - Nice to see you back. Smile

This is well outside my area of expertise but I do know that true dual rail PSUs are actually quite rare - most involve single rail circuitry with dual current limited outlets.

I had a good look around and came across the following article. It was published in 2006 which is not all that current (no pun intended) but I found it explains the technical complexities very clearly, better than most - even I could understand it!!! -   http://www.playtool.com/pages/psumultirail/multirails.html

You know, it is good to have you back FD, your astute questions almost always end up furthering my education too. Smile

As for the verification process: not sure what is happening there. As a registered member with the required minimum number of posts already established you should not normally need to verify. Hopefully Dave will step in and clarify. Might have something to do with the changeover from the old forum perhaps.

Cheers...Jim

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David Hartsock
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March 17, 2012 - 2:04 pm
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Jim, that page explains it well.

 

If the computer is one that is used for ordinary purposes and does not contain multiple video cards then don't spend a lot or worry about how many rails, well pseudo rails, it contains. Simply look at the available supplies and choose one that is a step above the cheapest. 400 watts and $30 to $40 (USD) is reasonable.

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Flying Dutchman
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March 20, 2012 - 4:24 pm
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Thanks for the replies.

@Jim

Thanks for the link. I've visited that site a long time ago reading upon AGP VGAs, hadn't noticed that there was info on PSUs as well.

@Dave

After reading that article, I think I'll go for a single rail anyway (two or more now feels like manufacturers are cheating on us, lol).

I'm leaning towards the Corsair Builder Series CX430 V2 (http://www.corsair.com/builder-series-cx430-v2-80plus-certified-power-supply.html), looks good enough for the computer in question and comes with a 3 years warranty.

 

Thanks again for the help.

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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March 20, 2012 - 10:00 pm
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Looks good FD, and a great price. 430W should be ample for most situations and I like the fact it includes an on/off switch - many PSUs here don't.

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Flying Dutchman
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March 22, 2012 - 11:52 am
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@Dave,

For $30 to $40 (USD) I can only get really crappy/ unreliable ones.

 

@Jim,

That's not the price wer're going to pay, it's about $6.00 more expensive (42.90€) and that's the cheapest I found it.

I've never come across a PSU without a on/off switch so thought this is standard - sort of a first step of isolating any current/ voltage before unplugging when you want to work on your H/W.

Are the ones without one made from known (a.k.a. who sell world wide) manufacturers?

I am human

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Jim Hillier
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March 22, 2012 - 6:59 pm
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Hello 'I am human'...lol

Even with the additional $6.00, that's still a pretty good price FD.

Are the ones without one made from known (a.k.a. who sell world wide) manufacturers

Yep, all brands. I'm talking mainly about machines I work on, haven't actually had a look at the new PSU market for a while, perhaps things have changed.

It's no big deal really, you simply turn off at the power point. But I'd rather have the switch than not.

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WhiteBimmer
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January 25, 2014 - 3:05 pm
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Just came across this thread as I was exploring...
Have a Dell 3010 PC running Win7Pro which is pretty dedicated to service as a computer music server.
Not sure how complicated it would be but would there be any advantage in my application to replacing the OEM PSU with a higher quality one such as the one mentioned earlier?
Is there a source for How-To information on replacing the internal with an external PSU?
I am reasonably competent mechanically but NOT a computer techie.
Thanks in advance.

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David Hartsock
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January 26, 2014 - 9:25 am
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WhiteBimmer said
Not sure how complicated it would be but would there be any advantage in my application to replacing the OEM PSU with a higher quality one such as the one mentioned earlier?

If it's working then no advantage. Well, that's not exactly true. There would be a likely advantage in efficiency and reduced power consumption, but it would probably not be enough to justify the cost of a new power supply.

Is there a source for How-To information on replacing the internal with an external PSU?

It wasn't always the case, but changing power supplies is pretty straight forward (unless you're running multiple video cards, RAID arrays, etc). Usually 4 screws hold the supply to the case and all connections have specific connectors that prevent making wrong connections. The best advice is to take your time, use common sense, and replace one connector at a time.

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WhiteBimmer
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January 26, 2014 - 10:32 am
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David Hartsock said

WhiteBimmer said
Not sure how complicated it would be but would there be any advantage in my application to replacing the OEM PSU with a higher quality one such as the one mentioned earlier?

If it's working then no advantage. Well, that's not exactly true. There would be a likely advantage in efficiency and reduced power consumption, but it would probably not be enough to justify the cost of a new power supply.

Coming from an interest in high end audio reproduction, I was thinking more along the lines of regulation and linearity of the power supply as it might affect PC performance.

Is there a source for How-To information on replacing the internal with an external PSU?

It wasn't always the case, but changing power supplies is pretty straight forward (unless you're running multiple video cards, RAID arrays, etc). Usually 4 screws hold the supply to the case and all connections have specific connectors that prevent making wrong connections. The best advice is to take your time, use common sense, and replace one connector at a time.

My interest would be in replacing the internal OEM PSU with an external one like the Corsair Builder Series CX430 V2 mentioned above which would involve running cables outside the existing PC cabinet to the outboard PSU. Will keep searching for how-to assistance on how this might be done but, if those browsing this forum know of links, etc., it would be appreciated.

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