lufthansen

PSU Recommendations, please!

Recommended Posts

In my never ending troubleshooting of an ASUS NCCH-DL w/ 2xnocona 3ghz, 800fsb, 2g ram, asustek ati9600 graphic card and highpoint rocketraid 1820A w/ 8x300gb diamondmax in raid 5, I think I have 2 options left; replace the mobo ( have one spare, but the system is watercooled - hence a lot of hassle and risks involved) or replace the PSU.

The reason I think it might be the psu (antec true550) is that I have 2 recurring problems; A monitor that takes for ever to find signal upon reboot, and that the system almost always fail, corrupting the raid, when left turned off for a while. Hibernation or standby is guaranteed trouble.

At http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7148.html , Torn mention that a discharge of the PSU when left off can cause errors similar to what I have experienced.

Which leads to: Do anyone else have similar experiences? Is it the Antec? Is it too much load on a 550w (9x hdd's, 1 dvd, 2x3ghz cpu's)?

If you think the psu is too weak or unstable on the voltage, I'd like some recommendations on other psu's...

Thanks in advance!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it the old True550 with the +24A on the +12v line? or is it a newer True550 with a larger +12v rail (or pair of rails)? You can check from the label on the side of the PSU if you open up your chassis.

Monitor not finding signal on boot is not indicative of a video card failure, rather it's a POST failure which is quite a bit more general. If you remove, say, 2 or 3 harddisks, does the monitor find signal on boot immediately?

How does it corrupt the RAID? Does it drop a disk? Or what exactly?

+24A on the +12v rail is a bit low for 8 disks and two Xeons, but it's hard to say for sure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Enermax has been making some really great PSU's lately, top notch stuff. Have a look see on their website, especially at their server stuff. A friend of mine uses a similar setup to yours, but with only 6 hard disks & I think his Xeons are slightly slower. Anyway, he uses this unit which is at the 'lower' end of the Enermax server line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Startup issues? I have the feeling that your PSU simply can't handle well 8 drives starting at the same time. Mind you, the startup current can be considerably larger than the normal utilization current (IIUC it's an issue with electrical motors). That's why RAID systems that can take more than 8 drives generally support staggered spin-up. If your system supports staggered spin-up, I'd try it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Is it the old True550 with the +24A on the +12v line? or is it a newer True550 with a larger +12v rail (or pair of rails)? You can check from the label on the side of the PSU if you open up your chassis.

DC Output: +5v(max40min0), +12v(max36min0.8), +3.3v(max32min0), -5v(max0,5min0), -12v(max1min0), +5v sb (max2min0)

How does it corrupt the RAID? Does it drop a disk? Or what exactly?

+24A on the +12v rail is a bit low for 8 disks and two Xeons, but it's hard to say for sure.

Typically after the system has been powered off for a length of time (overnight is enough), I would have one out of two disks ( sometimes both) dropping. If I'm lucky all I need to do is to reboot and the dropped disks will reappear. If I'm not so lucky it would ditch the raid or start rebuilding before I can intervene...

The more I read of your comments and the more threads I read elsewhere, I start to think that my psu is anemic. It is a jolt start after all...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Startup issues? I have the feeling that your PSU simply can't handle well 8 drives starting at the same time. Mind you, the startup current can be considerably larger than the normal utilization current (IIUC it's an issue with electrical motors). That's why RAID systems that can take more than 8 drives generally support staggered spin-up. If your system supports staggered spin-up, I'd try it out.

Any idea if that could be done w a rocketraid 1820 sata raid controller? The mobo is an asus ncch-dl, award bios 1005...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ny idea if that could be done w a rocketraid 1820 sata raid controller? The mobo is an asus ncch-dl, award bios 1005...
No idea. Highpoint controllers are consumer-grade products that typically do not support more advanced features like staggered spin-up. The motherboard is not a factor in this...
I would have one out of two disks ( sometimes both) dropping. If I'm lucky all I need to do is to reboot and the dropped disks will reappear.
Is it the same disk? Same two disks? It could be poor cabling, either on the power connector or on the ATA channel. If you suspect power, stick a multimeter into the backside of the molex and check the voltage-- if the voltage is getting more than 5% below +12v, that would explain it.

If you can't figure out how to get your Highpoint 1820A to do staggered spin-up, a new PSU might make sense. PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic S12/S12 Energy Plus/M12, Corsair HX, Enermax Liberty/NoisetakerII/Infinity, Antec NeoHE, Silverstone, Tagan, Sparkle/Fortron-Source, all make quality PSU's. If you want a server-grade PSU, then Zippy/Emacs, Delta, Etasis, NMB...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you can't figure out how to get your Highpoint 1820A to do staggered spin-up, a new PSU might make sense. PC Power and Cooling, Seasonic S12/S12 Energy Plus/M12, Corsair HX, Enermax Liberty/NoisetakerII/Infinity, Antec NeoHE, Silverstone, Tagan, Sparkle/Fortron-Source, all make quality PSU's. If you want a server-grade PSU, then Zippy/Emacs, Delta, Etasis, NMB...

Since I have both the issues w dropped disks and the absense of signal to the monitor on reboot, I'll go for replacing of the psu. Two 12v rails makes more sense, and maybe module cables dedicated to sata. It would be good not to have all these splitters, converters and extenders. They are all potential troublemakers.

You're right: it's an old single 12v version of true550. I'll research the psu suggestions you gave me and let you know if it does the trick.

Just one more: There is no need to go overboard, right? If I understand you right I need a dual 12v w decent ampere and watt, not necessarily a 1000w monster? Would a 620w Enermax do? See http://www.enermax.com/english/product_Display1.asp?PrID=64

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should be able to run such a rig off of 500W or so, tops. Even accounting for the fact that you don't have staggered spin-up, the 41A +12V available on a Seasonic S12-550 Energy+ or similar from the competition oughta be plenty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You should be able to run such a rig off of 500W or so, tops. Even accounting for the fact that you don't have staggered spin-up, the 41A +12V available on a Seasonic S12-550 Energy+ or similar from the competition oughta be plenty.

How about modular cables? It seems like a good idea to have mostly sata connectors, as I only have the dvd running on pata. I do have a floppy, if only for nostalgic reasons... I'd like to avoid crappy splitters in the future

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or just buy a cheapo PSU and use it to power the drives. Put the cheapo PSU lying at bottom of case if space is available.

Leave PSU always on or connect a wire to the startup wire of your Antec with clip on connectors, no soldering of wires.

Just an idea

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You should probably check out some PSU reviews by Oleg Artamonov. He does top notch reviews that do a good job of showing what power a PSU is going to provide, and how efficiently. He does some reviews for X-bit labs in English, and then some other place in Russian, though the graphs mean the same so you know what is up.

Here is a good article of his:

ATX Power Supply Units Roundup. Part V

It will give you a good primer for what to know in PSUs, as well as reviewing some mentioned here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

8 x Maxtor DM10 300GB spinning up should consume around:

5V = 540mA = 0.54A = 5 x 0.54 = 2.7W

12V = 1350mA = 1.35A = 1.35 x = 16.2W

Source: http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/storage/hddpower.html

1.35A x 8 disks = 10.8A on +12V rail

0.54A x 8 disks = 2.7A on the 5V rail

Both of which are well within the range of power your PSU can supply on paper.

However Antec True PSU's are old designs, designed to power older systems that drew most of their power from the 3.3V and 5V rails. I had an Antec True380 PSU that totally fell over when I upgraded my graphics card, even though its on paper specification was well upto to task. I calculated a 19A max load on a 24A +12V rail. I had to get a power supply designed for modern systems that draw upto 90% of their power from the +12V rail to stablise my system.

Try getting a top grade consumer PSU like a Seasonic M12-500 or a Corsair 520HX (also made by Seasonic) or a server grade unit with a 30A+ 12V rail. You will find the consumer PSU's quieter than server grade units. The Corsair in particular is whisper quiet under low power loads.

I use http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103

Your systems MAX power consumption, mostly from the +12V rail.

2 x nocona 3Ghz = 206W (Intel's TDP figure, so a near guess)

Radeon 9600 = 25W (www.xbitlabs.com)

8 X DM10 300GB hard disks = 0.46 x 12 x 8 = 45W (www.digit-life.com)

Rest of system = 50W

Watercooling = ??W

Total: 326W + depending on your watercooling set up and how its hooked up.

326 / 12 = 27.2A say 28A on the +12V rail.

Edited by student

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 x Maxtor DM10 300GB spinning up should consume around:

5V = 540mA = 0.54A = 5 x 0.54 = 2.7W

12V = 1350mA = 1.35A = 1.35 x = 16.2W

Source: http://www.digit-life.com/articles2/storage/hddpower.html

1.35A x 8 disks = 10.8A on +12V rail

0.54A x 8 disks = 2.7A on the 5V rail

Both of which are well within the range of power your PSU can supply on paper.

However Antec True PSU's are old designs, designed to power older systems that drew most of their power from the 3.3V and 5V rails. I had an Antec True380 PSU that totally fell over when I upgraded my graphics card, even though its on paper specification was well upto to task. I calculated a 19A max load on a 24A +12V rail. I had to get a power supply designed for modern systems that draw upto 90% of their power from the +12V rail to stablise my system.

Try getting a top grade consumer PSU like a Seasonic M12-500 or a Corsair 520HX (also made by Seasonic) or a server grade unit with a 30A+ 12V rail. You will find the consumer PSU's quieter than server grade units. The Corsair in particular is whisper quiet under low power loads.

I use http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103

Your systems MAX power consumption, mostly from the +12V rail.

2 x nocona 3Ghz = 206W (Intel's TDP figure, so a near guess)

Radeon 9600 = 25W (www.xbitlabs.com)

8 X DM10 300GB hard disks = 0.46 x 12 x 8 = 45W (www.digit-life.com)

Rest of system = 50W

Watercooling = ??W

Total: 326W + depending on your watercooling set up and how its hooked up.

326 / 12 = 27.2A say 28A on the +12V rail.

Thanks for great breakdown!

It's this one you mean? http://www.atacom.com/program/print_html_n...amp;USER_ID=www

If I'm in the story anyway - any reason why I should not go for the 620w? Waste of capacity?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I second what continuum said. Your system doesn't need the extra power, so unless you are thinking of getting top draw graphics card in the future, something like an 8800GTX (185W tdp) then a 520HX is all you need. The 520HX will be enough for a medium spec graphics card upgrade.

Both Corsair's are rated very highly by a lot of websites and publications for having a particularly sweet power, quality, quietness and price compromise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I second what continuum said. Your system doesn't need the extra power, so unless you are thinking of getting top draw graphics card in the future, something like an 8800GTX (185W tdp) then a 520HX is all you need. The 520HX will be enough for a medium spec graphics card upgrade.

Both Corsair's are rated very highly by a lot of websites and publications for having a particularly sweet power, quality, quietness and price compromise.

Update: I've run the system w the corsair 620 for two weeks, and it is still stable. Seems like the cure (thanks!). I'm still crossing my fingers....

Btw: In reference to 620 vs the 520 - the 620 has an extra module and an extra cable for the sata's. Meaning: In my 8xsata hdd + 1 pata dvd and 1 sata system hdd I don't need to use any splitters. It may not make much difference, but I've become supersticious in terms of bad connections. If I had it my way, I'd have all connectors soldered.... but my thumbs are too big :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, its manual doesn't mention anything about that.

But you don't have so many drives that their spinup could come even to halfway overloading PSU. (max 12V 50A)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now