One PSU for two PCs

I am trying to spec out a computer with a 2-segmented backplane so that I can have two computers in one rackmount case. Space is tight (4U max)!

It has two 24-pin and two 4-pin ATX connectors. I will be running two computers with Intel Pentium M CPU therefore the power requirement is not high. I am trying to find a case that would allow me to have two power supplies but it is proving to be a challange.

1. Is there a power supply that will power two separate computers?
2. Is there a power supply that will fit into half the size of a normal power supply, so I may have two of them.

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  1. WOW! This is one of the most unusual requests I've ever read at this forum.

    As far as cases go I don't know anything about rackmount cases. The only thing I can personally think of is a large full size tower case where a power supply could be mounted either at the top rear or bottom rear. In theory you could mount power supplies in both locations. I have the CoolerMaster HAF 932 which has that option:

    Take a look at the photo gallery. The top of the rear panel has a metal plate covering the optional psu location. All you would have to do is remove the metal plate. The case is huge and can easily accomodate an extended ATX motherboard. I couldn't tell how large that backplane was.

    Unfortunately the CM HAF 932 is not a rackmount case.
  2. I know this an odd request, it has been troubling me for some time.

    Can I make a Y-shaped ATX power cable to power both systems, I am not 100% sure how the signal pins work.
  3. Wait, wait... I want / need to do the same. I would like to run four barebone render nodes off one 500 Watt(ish) PSU.

    I noticed this...

    It's sold as a way to "run up to 4 power supplies simultaneously." What it was intended for is people who are so worried about pumping massive amounts of power to there graphics cards, so worried in fact they would go to the extreme of using up to four different PSU's in one computer.

    Now that's crazy BUT get this... It claims that you simply connect your PSU's, then use there included cable with one of the extra ports. That cable connects to the motherboard. When you hit the on button the signal is sent to all the PSU's.

    I more or less imagine this as a big PSU splitter. If that is the case, why can't we plug in one PSU and get four of those cables? You guys are hung up on the way to turn this thing on, I don't think thats a huge problem. I was more worried about wheather or not you could bridge / split PSu's to begin with, apparently the answer is yes.
  4. Don't think it has the Y-splitter cable your talking about( who does?) but this power supply could more than manage two separate computers

    ABS Tagan BZ Series BZ1300 1300W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Patent Piperock Modular Power Supply

    Its 1300 WATT! Pretty rediculous when you consider that most high end computers don't manage to waste 1000 watts. It also comes with a sh*t load of cables.
    + it looks pretty intense.
  5. I dont care if its 3000W, unless it comes with 2 ATX connectors its pretty worthless for this...
  6. I think that you will need to make the y-cable yourself. What I would do is get two 24 pin 12" long extender cables. Cut off the PSU connector of one of them. Then spice the wires into the other one.

    There's two control lines. Grounding the green wire turn on the PSU. Because the comper ends of both green wires are in parallel, it will not matter which one you use to turn on the PSU with. The other control line is the grey wire coming out of the PSU. This is the "PowerOK". Because a motherboard needs this signal to boot, it has to go to both motherboards.

    So - just splice everything wire for wire.
  7. Or you could get two 24 pin extender cables, and merge them at the PSU side. That way you don't have to actually mod the PSU, just in case if you have to RMA the PSS or switch it with another PSU. The only thing I would be worried about is the PSU not being able to supply enough current on that rail, or not supply it stably.

    I'd think you can fit two 1U server PSUs side by side into a 4U case, but I could be wrong (you'd probably have to make a bracket if it does fit). There are redundant PSUs for 4U cases. Those might be "easy" to mod into separate PSUs.
  8. Brian, that's what I said. I may not have been as clear as I should have been, so thanks.
  9. "What I would do is get two 24 pin 12" long extender cables." I missed the "two" in the your sentence. You were clear enough, just carelessness on my part.
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