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Thread: PSU for build with many HDDs

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    Default PSU for build with many HDDs

    Hello!

    I’m planning a new build with a lot of HDDs and would like some PSU advice and recommendations please!

    i7 9700k
    16Gb RAM
    Radeon RX580
    Crucial MX500 1Tb
    Fractal Design Node 804 case
    5x PWM 120mm fans
    2x PWM 140mm fans

    (At least, this is what I planned, but current Intel shortages and prices may mean I end up getting Ryzen).

    The case can take 10 HDDs. Initially I will have the following:

    2x 2TB Western Digital Greens
    2x new 8 or 10TB drives

    In the near future more disks will be needed and I would like the PSU to be capable of running at least 8 HDDs. A SATA PCI-E card would be added when needed.

    Normally I’d say 500w would be enough, but I’m unsure how much the HDDs affect things, with start up power draw etc. Also I will need a lot of SATA power connectors but it seems only much higher wattage PSUs have enough – I could use molex to sata adapter cables if the PSU doesn’t come with enough SATA, but recently I read those can be badly made and can melt?

    As it’s a matx case I’d like semi or fully modular. No exact budget, I want a good quality unit as I know it’s not something worth skimping on, but I’d rather not go over £100 unless it’s really worth it. I’m in the UK https://uk.pcpartpicker.com/products/power-supply/

    Thank you!

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    You'll probably have to pay attention to your drive's +5V power draw against that of your PSU's +5V rating. From my experience, you'd want at least 18A+ on that rail to account for a system with eight high capacity drives or more.

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    Today so far I can see the following are on offer. I know they are probably overpowered for what I need but they are the same price or cheaper than the smaller versions. For instance the 550w Focus Plus Gold is £80 and the RM550 is £87, Bitfenix Whisper M 550w is £89.

    £59.99 Corsair TX-M Series 650W 6 Sata, 5y Warranty

    £69.98 EVGA 650W SuperNOVA G3 6 Sata, 7y Warranty

    £69.98 EVGA SuperNOVA G1+ 650w 9 Sata, 10y Warranty

    £72.98 EVGA 650W SuperNOVA G2 9 Sata, 7y Warranty

    £79.99 EVGA SuperNOVA G2L 750W 9 Sata, 10y Warranty

    £80.39 650W Seasonic FOCUS Plus Gold 8 Sata, 10y Warranty

    £84.95 Corsair RM750x 9 Sata, 10y Warranty

    Anything with less than 8 Sata would have to use splitters or molex adaptors eventually.

    Which of these would be best? Any I should definitely not consider? Any other models I should look for? I haven't a clue with EVGA, having so many different models is really confusing, it kinds of puts me off them a bit!

    Thanks!
    Last edited by f300; 11-23-2018 at 09:58 AM.

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    The EVGA G2 without LED bling looks like it would be my choice on that list of all solid performers.

    EVGA does have an interesting business model but they bring a lot of units to market that we would otherwise never see. I think they must structure their contracts with suppliers in a way that allows them to be their own toughest competitor and still win out.

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    Each mechanical hard drive will consume some amount of power from 5v (the circuit board, chips on the hard drive) and some amount from 12v (mainly the motor). Very few mechanical hard drives are 5v only.

    You can see how much the drive will use on average, it should say on the label, for example follow the links and click on the pictures and you see the numbers on the labels

    wd green (5v 0.60A , 12v 0.45A ) : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...9SIA9SC4NM8938

    10tb hgst NAS (5v 0.4A , 12v 0.55A) : https://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...82E16822146148 (chosen simply because first one i clicked on that had pictures)

    So basically, to be safe, assume each hard drive will demand 0.75A from 5v and 0.75A from 12v

    Modern power supplies can provide a limited amount of power on 3.3v and 5v, usually around 100-120 watts. On each 3.3v and 5v, the power supplies can generate up to around 20-24A of current (so around 65w on 3.3v and around 100w on 5v, but combined not possible to exceed around 100-120w)

    These restrictions are printed on the power supply labels

    You can see for example for Seasonic Focus Plus Gold 100w max, 20A on 3.3v or 5v.
    However, EVGA SuperNOVA G1+ has maximum 120w, with 24A on both 3.3v and 5v ... so for a lot of hard drives, this one would be more suitable.

    The motherboard will not use much power on 3.3v and 5v, let's say maybe all your components except hard drives will use around 25w from 3.3v and 5v, leaving you with 80-90w on 5v for hard drives, if we go with maximum 120w on 3.3v + 5v.

    So this would mean that in theory, you could install up to 80w / (5v x 0.75A) = ~ 21 hard drives.
    I'm going with conservative numbers everywhere, as you can see, just to keep everything safe.

    Now, how many hard drives can you install on each strand of connectors coming from the power supply?

    Well, your limitation is the thickness of the wires and the maximum current rating of the connectors used on the power supply itself, which is typically 9A for the connectors and around 12A for the wires. Again, to keep things safe, let's say you don't want to go over 8A of current on a strand of connectors coming from the power supply, in which case you're looking at maximum 8 A / 0.75A per hdd = 10 hard drives per strand of connectors.

    The above EVGA SuperNova G1+ has 2 strands, each with 3 molex connectors. Even if you use molex to 2 x sata adapters, you'd still power only 6 hard drives from one strand so in theory you'll be fine.

    Regarding molex to sata adapters, in general the one that are not made with molded housings should be safe to use.
    Sadly, most of the commercial adapters are the cheap molded kind.

    You can however make your own chains of connectors by buying genuine molex (or other brand name) sata connectors with cables preinstalled, from distributors of electronic components.

    Here's some examples:

    sata - individual wires molex : https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...623-ND/2405312

    sata with latching - individual wires molex: https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...714-ND/2567843

    sata - molex : https://www.digikey.com/product-deta...809-ND/5117066

    You can carefully cut a bit of the insulation on the wires and solder the wires of a second sata connector to the original wires , or even 2 sata connectors .. and then apply heatshrink or electrical tape to insulate everything.

    Or you can buy a crimping tool (around 20-30$) and you can buy the molex (hdd) connectors and the pins separately and crimp the wires from 2-3 sata connectors to the molex pins yourself.

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    Typical HD power is 2W from 5V and 20W from 12V (this is spinup power...with staggered spinup you would need much less 12V power).

    Regarding SATA power connectors, ideally you could purchase additional cables for your modular PSU. For example, if the PSU has 4 modular connectors and the cables have 4 SATA connectors, you could power 16 drives without splitters.

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    I've been thinking along similar lines myself recently, using a PSU with a lot of hard drives.

    (I'm actually thinking of 2 scenarios, adding more drives to a system / PSU I already have, and possibly building another system (NAS) that has support for a ton of drives.)

    For my first scenario - the existing system ... I have a Corsair AX760 (PSU), Fractal Design Define R5 (case), ASRock Z97 Extreme6 (mobo), i7-4790K (CPU), EVGA GTX 1060 SC 3GB (GPU), etc.

    My drive collection, as of several months ago, is:


    (Also there's a photo album with closeups of them as well.)
    Since then I've gotten a couple more SSDs (240GB Crucial BX300, 1TB Samsung 970 Evo & 500GB Samsung T5), but haven't acquired more HDDs yet, nor have I gotten rid of any (even though some are pretty old, and one of the 8.4GB IBM IDE drives is as good as dead).

    Besides not having enough bays in my case for all the drives, nor enough SATA ports on the motherboard, I'm wanting to figure out how I'd connect more than 12, or 20 (there's 5 SATA/Molex ports, each SATA chain has 4), HDDs to the AX760. (If only there was a way to connect HDDs to the PCIe ports when I ran out of SATA/Molex power headers on the PSU ... I'd even consider taking out the 1060 and downgrading the CPU to something like an i7-4765T or i3-4360T (both 35W TDP) to stay below the PSU's 760W capacity, although I'd prefer not to if i didn't have to.)


    The other scenario would involve building a NAS. A few ideas I have would be based off
    • Supermicro X7DWE (LGA 771, has 4 PCIe x8 slots)
    • Supermicro X8DTH-6F (LGA 1366, has 7 PCIe x8 slots + 8 SAS/SATA 6G/s ports)
    • Supermicro X9DRH-7F (LGA 2011, has 7 PCIe x8 slots + 8 SAS/SATA 6G/s ports)
    Another option would be an ASRock E3V5 WS since I already have an i3-6100 sitting around currently not in use, but that doesn't have much room for expandability (only 6 SATA ports, 1 PCIe x16 + 1 PCIe x4 slot)

    Anyway, I'd be likely adding some 6G/s SATA/SAS HBAs, like either some
    • LSI 9211-8i (SAS 2008) which is around $25-30 on the bay of fleas, and supports 8 drives each, or
    • LSI 9200-16e, around $18-23 and supports 16 drives each, by way of SAS to SATA breakout cables.

    Using the LGA 1366 or 2011 example, if I put 9200-16e's in all 7 PCIe slots, a system like that I think could theoretically support (16*7+8) 120 HDDs, before considering port multipliers.

    Yes, I know HDDs can't yet saturate SATA 3G/s bandwidth, but I've heard the 6G/s ports are required to support drives larger than 2TB. (My largest individual drive is 10TB so far; I have two of those, plus 3x each of 8TB, 5TB and 4TB.)

    Now how would I find a non-rackmount case, and PSU, that could support that many drives... I probably wouldn't put nearly that many in (especially not at first), although having room for expansion would be kinda nice.



    The most SATA ports I've seen on a not-quite-bank-breaking PSU is 16 SATA, on the Corsair HX750, typically around the $120-130 mark or so. I think

    A few PSUs I see on the egg with fewer SATA connectors include

    12 SATA:
    • Rosewill Photon 850W - $50 (reg $160)
    • Thermaltake TPD-0750M - $75 (reg $110)
    • EVGA GQ 1000W - $80 (reg $180)
    • EVGA G3 1000W - $90 (reg $200)
    • BitFenix Whisper M 850W - $100 (reg $200)
    • FSP Hydro G 750W - $100 (reg $120)
    10 SATA:
    • Rosewill Capstone 850M - $70 (reg $150)
    • Seasonic Focus Plus 850W - $90 (reg $120)
    9 SATA:
    • EVGA G1+ 650W - $50 (3rd party seller; Newegg sold out at same price)
    • EVGA G1+ 750W - $60 (reg $120)
    • EVGA GQ 750W - $60 (reg $110)
    8 SATA:
    • Rosewill Capstone 650M - $45 (reg $110)
    • Corsair CX750 - $60 (reg $90)

    The Rosewill Capstone 650M, Corsair CX750, Thermaltake TPD-0750M, and FSP HG750 only support 1 CPU cable. Two would be required for the 1366 or 2011 boards I had in mind for the NAS build. (I think the 771 board, even though it too is dual socket, might only need one connector but I'm not sure.)

    As for a case, there's the rackmount ~$110 Rosewill RSV-L4500 with 15 bays for EATX, or the ATX tower ~$40-45 Cougar Solution/Volant (not V2) with 10 bays (but the Cougar wouldn't support the 1366 or 2011 boards.) So I think I'd be looking for other options. The Node 804 would be under consideration if I was using a µATX board, or the Node 304 if I was using a mITX board like the ASRock C236 WSI. (There's also a few really compact mITX cases I've seen from Lian-Li and Silverstone, although I've heard the latter's DS380B is absolutely terrible with thermals.)

    I'd even consider having a main case with several drives, plus some external cheap dumb 4- or 8-bay enclosures (as in not hot swap, no electronics, JUST a place to physically house the drives and route cables from the main PC) for overflow.



    I don't know when I'd be setting up a NAS yet (might not be until next year), although being able to connect more drives to my existing system would be nice.

    I've been thinking of making a topic somewhere asking about NAS info (still researching things, etc) in more detail, maybe on another forum. (I'd still think here's a good place to learn about connecting lots of HDDs, dual-socket board, etc. to a PSU.)

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    Thank you all for your replies! Sorry I haven't got back to this sooner, real life happened and the build got delayed.

    The planned spec is now:

    Ryzen 7 2700x
    16Gb RAM
    Powercolor RX580 8Gb Red Dragon V2 (single 8pin PCI-E)
    Crucial MX500 1TB
    SATA PCI-E card
    8 HDD

    So, from the above posts and looking at datasheets, 8 HDDs at spinup will draw about 30W on 5V and 192W on 12V. How much wattage will the rest of the system need?

    Thanks!

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    from your list:
    RM 750X it will be underloaded. and you'll have 10 years. money well spent imo.
    i wouldn't skimp. hx750 for the win XD Really depends on your budget. plenty of SATA cables.

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