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Basic PSU wiring question

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December 21, 2007 11:08:30 AM

Ive just now putting together my first build (using a Corsair HX520 modular PSU), and ive just got a couple of questions.

On many of the cables (peripheral cables, SATA cables etc) , there is a socket that connects to the power supply, and then the socket for connecting to the device, and then another socket for connecting to a device, and then another...etc. Usually there are around 2 or 3 sockets for connecting to devices on the one cable. Is this for special purpose? At the moment, ive been trying to use a different cable for each device. Should I be connecting more then one to the same cable, or is this how you can overload one rail?

Also, what are rails, how do you overload them/how do I avoid doing this?

Lastly, on the PSU where you plug all the cables into, is there any order or layout for doing this? Ive just been spacing the sockets i use out just so there easy to get to, but do certain sockets relate to certain rails. Theres 2 pci express sockets and then 4 or 5 peripheral ones. The peripheral ones are labled JC, JG etc. Does this mean anything?

I will be very greatful for any help.
Thanks

December 21, 2007 11:31:05 AM

No idea buddy but you will need to let the guys wiff brains know what "bits n peices" you've got in your PC before they can help you.

Good luck!
a c 243 ) Power supply
December 21, 2007 11:41:08 AM

The HX units are considered to be single rail even though the specs say 3, so you're not going to overload a rail.
This was posted at the Corsair forum regarding the perceived split;
http://www.asktheramguy.com/v3/attachment.php?attachmen...

Yes you can put more than one component on a line.
I have 2 HD's and 3 fans on one molex line, a FDD and 4 fans on another, then a third HD and DVDRW on a SATA line.
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December 21, 2007 12:40:19 PM

man... now i'm confused...
December 21, 2007 2:21:53 PM

fordy9 said:
Ive just now putting together my first build (using a Corsair HX520 modular PSU), and ive just got a couple of questions.

On many of the cables (peripheral cables, SATA cables etc) , there is a socket that connects to the power supply, and then the socket for connecting to the device, and then another socket for connecting to a device, and then another...etc. Usually there are around 2 or 3 sockets for connecting to devices on the one cable. Is this for special purpose? At the moment, ive been trying to use a different cable for each device. Should I be connecting more then one to the same cable, or is this how you can overload one rail?

Also, what are rails, how do you overload them/how do I avoid doing this?

Lastly, on the PSU where you plug all the cables into, is there any order or layout for doing this? Ive just been spacing the sockets i use out just so there easy to get to, but do certain sockets relate to certain rails. Theres 2 pci express sockets and then 4 or 5 peripheral ones. The peripheral ones are labled JC, JG etc. Does this mean anything?

I will be very greatful for any help.
Thanks

There is no special purpose for having multiple connections on a single "strand" of wires other than it's more convenient, cheaper, and there's less clutter if they are many on a single "strand" opposed to having a line for each connector.

You shouldn't have to worry about overloading a single rail unless you have many hard drives connected to a single "strand" and when you try to boot and the drives spin up all at once, that might, but I don't think you should worry. Also, see graphics card example below.

Rails distribute the power from your power supply to the various "strands" of cables. Some power supplies have one rail, meaning all power is from the same source, but some have 2,3, or more. That means that some "strands" are powered by one rail, and other "strands" by the other different rails. Average users will not have to worry about overloading rails. The most common issue is if you have power hungry video card(s) and a power supply that cannot provide enough amps/watts on the rail that the video card(s) is(/are) connected to (the "strand" with the PCIe 6-pin/8-pin) then you can overload it and then you might get random crashes, reboots, and possibly complete power supply failure which might kill some other components in your system (not too common).

There's no order to connect your devices, which ever is the most convenient inside the case and whichever creates the least amount of clutter is preferred since it will aid in better airflow with less obstructions. Certain "sockets" (as you call them) do relate to rails (or which one they draw power from), but it's more which continuous "strand" of "sockets" are correlated to a rail. It's hard to tell unless the manufacturer specifies. Sorry, I don't know what JC, JG mean.

Good luck!
December 21, 2007 3:04:08 PM

I generally utilize the multiple molex connections to make cable-management easier

1 cable, 2 molex, 1 floppy: 2x DVD drives, hide floppy cable
1 cable, 2 molex, 1 floppy: 2x harddrives, attach floppy
1 cable, 3 molex: all fans

hide the rest, in a non-modular setting... if you have fast harddrives (10k/15k) u may want to use 1 cable per drive if you have enough...

of course, PCI-E connection will be dedicated to graphics card...

from what I've seen, modular power supplies don't care what sequence you plug the cables into... that would complicate things, i would think... I had an Ultra X-Connect (one of the first modular PSU's) and it didn't care...

anyway, good luck
December 22, 2007 10:22:15 AM

wow thanks for the great response guys. Im going to see if i can take out a cable or two in the morning just by using the same cable for 2 or 3 devices. I do have an 8800GT, so ill try and put that on a separate rail according to the great illustration showing the percieved split. Sounds like it would be hard to overload a rail anyway seeing as they can borrow power from each other.

Just another quick question though. My case has a Antec Tricool fan that has a switch to control its speed. Would you just connect this using a normal peripheral connector, or should i use the fan only y-adapter that came with the PSU?

Thanks for the support.
a c 243 ) Power supply
December 22, 2007 12:19:29 PM

If there's an open connector on the line, you might as well use it instead of adding the splitter.
!