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Old 02-06-2007
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Default Multiple rails or one rail? What's the difference?

Just like the title states, what is the difference between multiple 12V rails and one?

I was under the impression that multiple rails isn't really a good thing compared to one strong rail, but everybody and their brother is slapping "next generation" and "multiple 12V rails" together in the same sentence.

What do I lose by going with a single rail system? What are the benefits? Cost/power consumption/stability/performance/upgrade possibilities... How are these impacted by multiple/single rails? In which ways (positive/negative)?

This might turn out to be some good information to sticky for the noobs that need help (such as myself, currently )
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Old 02-06-2007
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Here's two threads to get you started

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=757

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1036
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Old 02-06-2007
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Not a bad few reads, but I still would like to hear from Jonny and OW.
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Old 02-06-2007
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Let me update what I mean by "not a bad few reads".

Jonny's PSU's for dummies post was great. I feel ten times smarter after reading it than I did going in. I will definitely keep that thing on my favorites list. I just don't think there was enough expansion on the 12V rail dilemma to satisfy my intense curiousity (and if you want to get the right answers to the weird questions, go to the guy who probably eats PSU components for breakfast )
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Old 02-06-2007
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IMO the best answer is to cover it all succinctly is this post:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/show...71&postcount=3

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Old 02-06-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre View Post
IMO the best answer is to cover it all succinctly is this post:

http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/show...71&postcount=3

I have indeed been underestimated before, but this is an all time record.

Lay the technical mumbo jumbo on me, I say!
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Old 02-07-2007
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The single rail will do just fine! You don't lose power to any component and distribution is easier with less upgrade problems as long as you have some headroom in power to go.
The problems with multiple 12v rails is how to matchup and divide the power up. Sometimes the PSU's are designed too bad for effective running throwing out way too much substantial amperages single handedly to the CPU etc, whereas they're needed more for the GPU.
The tri rails are pretty nifty if the right connectors are divided up nicely, where you can run a dual/quad core and other h/ware off a 3rd 12v rail and 2x12v rails to pump any SLI setup single handedly (if required).

Looking at your rig with just a single 8800GTX, you won't be needing that much at all to worry about single/multiple rails. Anything that can provide solid needed amperage on the 12V, efficient at continuous higher temps and loads, well cooled with lower ripple and good stability on the rails under average and full load will do you just fine. Just have your system well cooled and monitored.

I ran a Seasonic S12 650W with a Kentsfield OC'd to 3.65Ghz and over 1GHz 2Gb DDR2 Twin2x2 RAM perfectly for a month before moving to the Enermax Galaxy 1KW. Am considering moving to the Andyson 1KW unit now depending on how its reviews go.

Everything used to be single railed before Intel decided to chime in and restrict the specs to ATX12v = 20A each rail for safety. Still the major players didn't give a bag of hoots and decided to load up single rail PSUs all the way to the 80Amp markers And yes, they work perfectly in desktops systems for many individuals and hardcore h/ware OC'ers. I have a feeling this trend may reverse back after some head on battles and evaluation, back to the single rails or maybe something different.

I haven't read any FAQs by Jon or anyone on this site, but I'm certain if others on many sites have given thorough reads and good explanations, his wouldn't be anywhere but near the top of all you need to know or understand.
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Old 02-08-2007
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Yeah, I've read a bunch on it lately. I'm not worried about performance difference anymore, but I am interested in the technical explination of what's going on.

I might try researching that independently.
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Old 02-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulTa View Post
Yeah, I've read a bunch on it lately. I'm not worried about performance difference anymore, but I am interested in the technical explination of what's going on.

I might try researching that independently.
I'm at a loss. I don't see what part of that hasn't been explained.

The only difference is: One PSU has a circuit board that has "limiters" known as "OCP's" often in the form of an IC that are "programmed" to a certain current limit in between the source of the 12V and the output connector(s.) The other PSU does not have these limiters.

That's it.

So when you hear one of us refer to a PSU that has been "modified to a single 12V rail" (like the Turbo-Cool 1kW or the Silverstone OP1000) that means they removed that circuit with the OCP and took the +12V leads that went into that circuit and soldered them all together into one "rail."
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Old 02-08-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyGURU View Post
I'm at a loss. I don't see what part of that hasn't been explained.

The only difference is: One PSU has a circuit board that has "limiters" known as "OCP's" often in the form of an IC that are "programmed" to a certain current limit in between the source of the 12V and the output connector(s.) The other PSU does not have these limiters.

That's it.

So when you hear one of us refer to a PSU that has been "modified to a single 12V rail" (like the Turbo-Cool 1kW or the Silverstone OP1000) that means they removed that circuit with the OCP and took the +12V leads that went into that circuit and soldered them all together into one "rail."
Sweet. That clears up the one question I still had lingering.

Thanks Jonny.
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