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With pwr sups, what rails power what parts in a PC?

Last response: in Components
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February 19, 2006 3:37:04 AM

Hi

I'm trying to find the best power sup for my computer, and was wondering what rails in power supplies power which parts of your PC?

I ask because I am not using SLI graphic cards, but I am using four hard drives, and 5 pci dsp cards that seem to get quite hot, so I want to make sure that I am not wasting money on a, for example, 650 Silverstone power sup with excellent 12v rail ratings, when this might only be for powering the graphics card, and not the rest.

Here are the specs of the system:

a8v Deluxe Mobo
X2 4400 CPU (will probably upgrade to an FX60 in 12 months time once the price falls)
2GB Fast PC3200 RAM
1 LynxOne soundcard
3 UAD-1 effects DSP cards (leaves one PCI slot, which I may fill soon)
1 80 GB Seagate Barracuda Drive , partitioned for OS and sound samples
1 80 GB Seagate Baracuda drive for drive thirsty virtual instruments
2 x Raptor 74 GB drives linked in raid for multitrack recording
Floppy, DVD, and CD burner drives
Zalman CPU Fan
2 Case Fans

I will NOT be overclocking this machine

I guess my question is, which part of the power ratings should I be looking at?

Thanks!

Shaun
February 19, 2006 3:52:11 AM

It depends on the PSU. I believe that according to spec, one rail is supposed to be pretty much for the CPU only. It can vary by the number of rails though. for instance, my Antec HeoHE 550 has 3 12V rails, one for the CPU/motherboard, and two for whatever else you want (it's modular). The only distinction that I remember is that on SLI, you should have each card on a seperate Rail.
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