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Power supply for 14 hard drives + Core2Quad

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March 15, 2007 6:18:33 PM

I'm building a new machine for a client, they've requested a very large raid array of 12 drives plus two other single drives. They also are looking for core2 quad, and a good graphics card, will a 1000w PSU work for this? Will I run into problems splitting the connectors for that many drives? I've put together the parts on NewEgg here:

http://secure.newegg.com/NewVersion/wishlist/PublicWish...

Any ideas on how to power this setup?
--Eric
March 15, 2007 6:26:54 PM

Have you tried that site on the PSU STICKY in these Forums, which calculates Power Wattage requirements?
March 15, 2007 6:49:15 PM

Ya, I've checked with them and they are saying I'll be fine with ~628w, but 14 drives makes me nervous...just wanted to get some input from people who may have more ideas about how PSUs work.
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March 15, 2007 6:58:29 PM

I have an enermax galaxy 1000 watt PSU. Supposdely, it'll support 4 physical CPUs, 4 video cards and 24 HDDs. Not sure if they mean all at once on full load or what.


Are these 14 drives going to be running all the time, 24/7 or only a few at a time? That makes a difference and can allow you to really run 14 drives on a 500-750 watt depending on usage / access.

Power PC and cooling 1000 watt or the Enermax Galaxy 1000 watt SHOULD handle it.
March 15, 2007 6:59:06 PM

I think I've settled on the Enermax Galaxy 1000W. Looks like it should work, waiting to hear if anyone has anything else to add.
--eric
March 15, 2007 7:41:02 PM

Quote:
I think I've settled on the Enermax Galaxy 1000W. Looks like it should work, waiting to hear if anyone has anything else to add.
--eric


I no longer use anything but PC Power and Cooling.
Look around and you will find a test of it vrs the Silverstone and notice how clean the power output is on a scope.

Get the PC P&C "SR".
March 15, 2007 11:00:27 PM

I would suggest the Enermax as well, beautiful, big, strong, powerful and quiet (in comparison to other Kw PSUs).

Don't hesitate,... just get it!
March 15, 2007 11:48:02 PM

Quote:
I would agree with mpilchfamily


Not me...

Quote:
The 1kw is a bit overkill. You would only run into a problem is all 14 drives where to be chugging along at 100% at the same time.


Well, having them in a one array would definitely have them working together. What you need to watch is spinup of the drives.

If you connect them to an array controller (and I seriously recommend you do), have the array controller spin them up sequentially rather than having them spinup as soon as you press the power button.

Having them spinup all at once will tax your power supply the most out of anything. That's why all SANs and even the DAS trays do this.

EDIT: I have some questions:

1. Why in the world would you want to pay $150 for a DVD burner, when a $35 model would do?
2. XP Home? I think a better choice would Win2K3 here.
March 16, 2007 12:05:43 AM

After some more research this project now is going to be dual 5355 xeon on a tyan board with the 5000x chipset. An Areca ARC-1231ML 12 port SATA RAID Controller with 2gb onboard will do a staggered spin up of the drives, as well as run a 10 disk array with 2 hot replacements. So not all the drives will be 100% at all times but its possible a good number of them could be. We'll probably go with XP64, as for the dvd burner...maybe we can save some $$ there, i've had bad experiences with off-brand burners in the past.

We're looking for a machine that will eat through multiple 39MP digital camera files simultaneously without hesitation (as well as store them) as well as be future proof for at least the next few years.
March 16, 2007 12:25:56 AM

I looked up the difference between ECC and non ECC ram, and I can't see it being important for the stuff this machine will be doing...am I missing the bigger picture?
March 16, 2007 1:30:08 AM

What on earth are they going to do with this setup, start their own porn studio and play games while shooting?

You should be fine with 700W plus. Based on your spec seems like a bad idea though. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should. The setup you have will be extremely prone to drive failure. It's going to generate an enormous amount of heat. The inside of the case will exceed 40C. My guess is this will not meet your customer's expectations. This isn't just a hardware challenge, efficiently configuring this isn't going to be simple. XP Home, good luck.

I personally would off load those drive to a separate NAS enclosure.
March 16, 2007 12:53:09 PM

Quote:
Believe what you wish, but I am sticking wtih mpiclfamily on this one, I trust his judgement considering that vast knowledge on psus he has, if you have something to say about that, you could always check out his psu101 thread (and I think he made it a blog too now) and see the useful things he has there.


You can trust anyone's judgment you want, it doesn't really matter to me. His vast knowledge of PSU's may work for PC's and the like, but the fact is my EVA's, my SGI TP9400, my SGI TP9700 and my EMC's each require two 208 volt, 20A circuits for each set of 56 drives. If you change to 110 volts, it's 40 amps.

If you go with the notion the power supplies are totally redundant, so assuming you could get by with one, then one circuit is:

Watts = Volts x Amps
Watts = 208 x 20
Watts = 4,160 watts

His 14 drives are exactly 1/4 of that, so you end up with 1040 watts. Since my drives are fibre channel and his are SATA, let's assume you can lower that, but then also add back in the power for the rest of his components.

I stand on the belief that he will want a 1000 watt power supply. He might get by with smaller, and he might not. I choose to not cheap out when my data is at risk.
March 16, 2007 12:55:58 PM

Quote:
I personally would off load those drive to a separate NAS enclosure.


I agree. An eSATA enclosure may be beneficial as well. If you go with NAS, I'd put it on its own VLAN or its own switch, but I would go with direct connections, so you don't push data up the network stack and back down. It's much more efficient to make an I/O call.
March 16, 2007 1:50:01 PM

i noticed your mobo selection

ASUS Striker Extreme LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 680i SLI ATX The Ultimate Gaming Motherboard - Retail

Not criticizing your choice but im favorable to third party chip set mobo..The lowest i am willing to go is non-intel mobos with intel chip sets. Though intel mobo do lack and lot of bells and whistles but for serious machines I rather compromise.
March 17, 2007 9:31:44 AM

I nowhere mentioned or instructed him to buy an Enermax. I said he should buy a 1000 watt PSU.

Good grief, it's not being nitpicky and we are really not totally sure how much they will be used. If you want to be safe, then assume that the drives will be used heavily. If the data is important, then you'll be safe about the choice.

I know what our 14-drive bays require for power, and am referencing that.
March 17, 2007 5:41:23 PM

Quote:
perhaps, but if that is the case, that manes either your psu does not have good efficiency, or your drives simply suck up a ton of wattage, my single hdd sucks up barely 10w at idle, and I'm not sure how much, but not that much even when seeking, so I don't see how hard drives could suck up that much wattage, I'd be more conserned with the quad, and one site got a qx6700, sli 8800gtxs, a physx card, 4gigs of ram and all the other necessary things running on a 620w corsair psu, and I can guarantee you sli 8800gtxs suck up more power than hard drives


I have no idea about the efficiency of the power supplies. They come with the SAN's; they're not hand-built.

All the hard drives are FC drives, so I'm not sure if that makes a difference. Don't see how it could, but hey, who knows.
March 17, 2007 6:46:22 PM

This may be a silly question, but...
Does XP-Home now allow more than 2 cores without an additional licence?
March 17, 2007 7:12:02 PM

just so everyone knows, the original plan of 14 drives dawned on both me and the client as being a little overkill. We're now going to scale back to around 6 drives and go with 10k RPM drives. We're also going Dual Xeon quad core, so a 700W psu is probably going to suffice. Thanks for all the help.
March 17, 2007 7:31:20 PM

Taco the PSU in his NAS is far better than consume based stuff we buy. The drives themselves are either SCSI or SATA. The SCSI's are in drive adapters with a FC converter that why the drive are $750 each, you must buy them from EMC to have them supported.

His 12 drives will use 13 watts wide open and 9.3 idle for 156 total. Amps are the real issue but primary when he starts up the system. He planned on using a 8800GTS card not 8800GTX also.

XP is socket licenced so there will be no issue.

The real issue is it's just a dump and amateur way of attempting to doing it.
March 17, 2007 7:45:53 PM

nice... thanks...
March 17, 2007 8:16:29 PM

Quote:
They don't necedssarily need to be hand built, just have a high efficiency rating, such as pc power and cooling, theirs are guaranteed to have a minumum of I believe 84% effeciency (amount of wattage it supplies) meaning that the actual wattage you are getting could be far higher than rated for, and they are guaranteed to run stable up to at least 40c, so I think a 750w one of those can handle the load since it has a high efficiency, most computer companies supply generic ones with 70% efficiency, so you never know how stable they are and that may be why yours needed a 1kw psu

Efficiency of a PSU has nothing to do with its ability to supply power to the system. Efficiency affects the power draw at the wall only. If you had an 80% efficient 1kW PSU and it needed to supply 1kW then it would be pulling 1,250W at the wall outlet.
March 17, 2007 10:21:43 PM

Quote:
that may be why yours needed a 1kw psu


These are built by HP, SGI, and EMC. I order a shelf of disks and the power supplies come with it. There's no marking on them at all, but I just confirmed that all disks can survive on one power supply.

At any rate, I think we've beaten this to death. :) 
March 17, 2007 10:38:05 PM

ya thanks for all the input, the 750w psu that you've been touting seems like the final answer here. The dual xeon with xp64 seems most likely, i will look into the 15k sas drives but the 10k sata ones are looking like they'll do nicely in a 6 drive array with 2 spares.

The real solution to this persons need turns out to be designing a better workflow so that the files they want can be easily moved to the faster array to do the work then moved off to a safer array for storage. A 15-drive raid5 array would have been disastrous after a few years when the disks started aging. Thanks again.
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