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Why would I get a split rail PSU if it offers less 12V amps?

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May 21, 2012 4:49:43 PM

Titles says it all. I'm looking at the OCZ ModXStream Pro 600W (split rail) and CORSAIR Enthusiast Series CMPSU-650TX 650W (single rail) on Newegg and I'm stumped. It says that the Corsair provides 52 amps on the 12V rail and the OCZ offers 25 amps on each of the two 12V rails. Why would I want a split rail design if it's going to provide less amps? I can only use one of the 12V rails (8-pin or 4-pin) on my MOBO. aren't more amps better?
a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 5:34:19 PM

It costs more to build a psu with a large single rail than it does 2 smaller rails, which is why cheaper psu's tend to have multiple rails.

I prefer a single large rail, as do most, but some will argue it makes no difference. I'd go with the Corsair because of the single rail and better warranty.

Also 2x 25a rails does not mean it has 50a, it's less than that. You don't just add up the rails it doesnt work that way.

If your going to get a TX, get the TX650 V2, not the regular TX.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$59.99 after promo code and rebate
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a c 158 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 5:40:26 PM

More amps on the 12V rail is only good up to a certain point...if amps on the 12V rail was the only important thing, then everyone would buy 1000W PSUs.

What are your system specs? A couple of notes on the PSUs you listed:
1. Between the two PSUs you listed, the Corsair is the better quality PSU.
2. Although the OCZ has two 25A rails it can only provide a combined maximum of 504W on the two rails...and that is 42A. The rails are designed like that so the rail is not a limiting factor for components.
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Related resources
a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 5:43:50 PM

See: http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3990

The takeaway: Split rail PSUs aren't necessarily any better than single rail PSUs. Buying a known-quality PSU with a combined +12v adequate amperage is much more important. If the +12v rails are split, add them up to determine whether you have enough +12v amps.

It is easy to see from the price that the Corsair (Seasonic-made) you listed is a higher-quality PSU which I would definitely recommend over the OCZ.
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a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 5:47:10 PM

Many split rail designs use one main rail with 2 current limiting devices in each rail.
As stated ^ single rail is generally the better design (IMO). Take a look at JonnyGuru.com - has hours of good psu reading
-Bruce
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a c 158 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 5:48:19 PM

larkspur said:
If the +12v rails are split, add them up to determine whether you have enough +12v amps.

Not true...all you have to do is look at the OCZ 600W it has two 12V rails that can handle 25A each, but have a combined maximum rating of 504W and that is 42A.
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May 21, 2012 5:48:37 PM

Single rail PSUs tend to be of higher quality. Lots of lower end PSUs advertise the high number of rails as if it were beneficial, when it is not (and a large number of rails tends to be a bad thing).

As long as your rails have adequate amperage, you're fine. Total amperage on the 12v rails is what determines how much power your big components can draw, which is the bottom line. Who cares if your PSU is 650W if you only get a total of 30A on the 12v rails (yes, I have seen PSUs that bad).
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May 21, 2012 5:58:22 PM

+1 to all the above. Go with the single rail design. Even if split rail was of the same level of quality, you will have to be sure you don't overload either of the rails in the split rail design, if you get to heavy of a load on either one (which usually there is no way to tell which plugs go to which rail) you will have issues.
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a c 1167 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 6:00:26 PM

Why are you comparing two power supplies, each with a different power capacity, and expecting the +12V rail capacity to be the same?

It is the combined +12 Volt continuous power rating in relationship to the PSU's total continuous power capacity that is important.

The old Corsair Enthusiast Series TX650 (CMPSU-650TX) has a +12 Volt continuous current rating of 52 Amps. That's 96% of the PSU's capacity.

The OCZ ModXStream Pro Series 600W (OCZ600MXSP) has a +12 Volt continuous current rating of 42 Amps. That's only 84% of the PSU's capacity.

The Corsair CMPSU-650TX PSU is the better PSU for a modern system using a high power draw CPU and discrete graphics card(s) since those are the devices that draw the majority of the power.

If you really want a multiple +12V rail PSU there are some with a better +12 Volt continuous current rating than the OCZ ModXStream Pro Series models. Some of the Antec TruePower models (e.g. TP-650) come to mind.

Safety is one reason to go with a properly designed real multiple +12V rail PSU.
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a c 243 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 6:05:27 PM

The whole thread is too damn funny
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a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 6:35:40 PM

larkspur said:
See: http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3990

The takeaway: Split rail PSUs aren't necessarily any better than single rail PSUs. Buying a known-quality PSU with a combined +12v adequate amperage is much more important. If the +12v rails are split, add them up to determine whether you have enough +12v amps.

It is easy to see from the price that the Corsair (Seasonic-made) you listed is a higher-quality PSU which I would definitely recommend over the OCZ.


Wrong. You can't add them up, it doesn't work that way.
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May 21, 2012 7:02:12 PM

ko888 said:
Why are you comparing two power supplies, each with a different power capacity, and expecting the +12V rail capacity to be the same?

I'm not.

Why would anybody buy a split rail design if they're worse? When would you ever need two 12V rails instead of one?

geekapproved said:

If your going to get a TX, get the TX650 V2, not the regular TX.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


I didn't notice any difference between them. Is there a reason to get the V2 other than the price?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 7:17:25 PM

Quote:
Why would anybody buy a split rail design if they're worse? When would you ever need two 12V rails instead of one?


Because a good quality multi rail PSU isn't necessarily worse. The generally accepted reason for more than one rail is better stability, but that's a debatable subject when compared to a good quality single rail unit.
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May 21, 2012 7:18:45 PM

zalor said:
Why would anybody buy a split rail design if they're worse? When would you ever need two 12V rails instead of one?

The same reason people buy video cards other than the GTX 690. Because you don't always need the best, and price is a factor.
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a c 164 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 7:32:41 PM

delluser1 said:
The whole thread is too damn funny


can it be funny and sad? and some of these guys recommend PSU to people??? :pfff: 
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May 21, 2012 8:00:51 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Quote:
Why would anybody buy a split rail design if they're worse? When would you ever need two 12V rails instead of one?


Because a good quality multi rail PSU isn't necessarily worse. The generally accepted reason for more than one rail is better stability, but that's a debatable subject when compared to a good quality single rail unit.

Here's what I'm stumped on. You buy a split design rail with a 4-pin and 8-pin connector, you hook up the 8-pin connector to your Motherboard, and what do you do with the second one? It just seems completely worthless to have that extra rail dangling around inside your case sucking up half of the amps it isn't even using.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:09:10 PM

zalor said:
Here's what I'm stumped on. You buy a split design rail with a 4-pin and 8-pin connector, you hook up the 8-pin connector to your Motherboard, and what do you do with the second one? It just seems completely worthless to have that extra rail dangling around inside your case sucking up half of the amps it isn't even using.


Not sure I understand what you're saying there. Do you mean only using one 4 pin connector instead both of the 4 pin connectors (for the total of 8 pin)? Explain.

You may mean the 8 pin (CPU power) plus the 20+4 pin (mobo power), but those are COMPLETELY different.

Usually, yes the CPU is on its own rail in a dual rail unit, but those aren't wasted Amps. The two things that draw the most power in a computer are CPU and GPU.
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a c 164 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:11:29 PM

zalor said:
Here's what I'm stumped on. You buy a split design rail with a 4-pin and 8-pin connector, you hook up the 8-pin connector to your Motherboard, and what do you do with the second one? It just seems completely worthless to have that extra rail dangling around inside your case sucking up half of the amps it isn't even using.


?? i don't know where to start so I'll just use an example

antec true power new 650w (one of the best 650w units you can get) has the 12v rail split as such

+12V1@22A, +12V2@22A, +12V3@25A, +12V4@25A

the 12v itself is 54a (you do not add up the amps on the splits)

the PSU comes with a 4-pin CPU power cable (ATX) and an 8-pin CPU power cable (EPS)

12v1 powers the mobo
12v2 powers the CPU (both the 4-pin & 8-pin)
12v3 & 4 powers the PCI-E power cables

on a typical motherboard you would only plug in one of the CPU power cables, the other cable does not draw power.


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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:17:32 PM

ct1615 said:
on a typical motherboard you would only plug in one of the CPU power cables, the other cable does not draw power.


What do you consider "typical"? I know my relatively low end Z68 board has an 8 pin CPU connector (It'll work with just the normal 4 pin 12V, I believe, but it DOES have the extra 4 (the EPS 12V), which I use, since I OC).
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a c 164 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:26:47 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
What do you consider "typical"? I know my relatively low end Z68 board has an 8 pin CPU connector (It'll work with just the normal 4 pin 12V, I believe, but it DOES have the extra 4 (the EPS 12V), which I use, since I OC).


single CPU mobo. some dual CPU mobos like the evga classified SR-2 (off the top of my head but i believe its dual) take two

and yes the mobo will work just as well with the 4-pin or 8-pin inserted, the 8-pin gives more power for OC.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:35:53 PM

ct1615 said:
single CPU mobo. some dual CPU mobos like the evga classified SR-2 (off the top of my head but i believe its dual) take two

and yes the mobo will work just as well with the 4-pin or 8-pin inserted, the 8-pin gives more power for OC.


Alright, got ya. It certainly makes sense, but my thought process is that a lot of "typical" single CPU boards have the full 8 pin connector (although I was fairly certain that 4 was enough for a non-OC situation).
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a c 243 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:43:35 PM

ct1615 said:
can it be funny and sad?

Yes, I prefer the humorous side though

ct1615 said:


antec true power new 650w (one of the best 650w units you can get) has the 12v rail split as such

+12V1@22A, +12V2@22A, +12V3@25A, +12V4@25A


I want to expand on this a little, hope you don't mind.

The labeled ratings are a lie, go figure even Antec is using liar labels
The OCP trip point is set at 40 amps for each of the 12v rails


For anyone else that wants to learn about multiple rails and why they are not an issue
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showpost.php?p=37485&po...
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May 21, 2012 8:51:20 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Not sure I understand what you're saying there. Do you mean only using one 4 pin connector instead both of the 4 pin connectors (for the total of 8 pin)? Explain.

You may mean the 8 pin (CPU power) plus the 20+4 pin (mobo power), but those are COMPLETELY different.

Usually, yes the CPU is on its own rail in a dual rail unit, but those aren't wasted Amps. The two things that draw the most power in a computer are CPU and GPU.

On that OCZ PSU I mentioned it says it has an 8-pin connector, a 4-pin connector and, just for clarity, obviously the 24-pin connector for the mobo power. If my mobo requires the 8-pin connector, what does the 4-pin connector that I'm not using do? Or am I reading it wrong and it doesn't have a separate 4 and 8-pin connector?
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:55:23 PM

delluser1 said:
Yes, I prefer the humorous side though



I want to expand on this a little, hope you don't mind.

The labeled ratings are a lie, go figure even Antec is using liar labels
The OCP trip point is set at 40 amps for each of the 12v rails


For anyone else that wants to learn about multiple rails and why they are not an issue
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showpost.php?p=37485&po...


At least you came back and posted something constructive and instructive. Constructive criticism and supplying good information is ok. Saying you were laughing at everyone that posted before you earlier because they were ignorant of the facts isn't. Being nice goes a long way...
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 8:58:40 PM

zalor said:
On that OCZ PSU I mentioned it says it has an 8-pin connector, a 4-pin connector and, just for clarity, obviously the 24-pin connector for the mobo power. If my mobo requires the 8-pin connector, what does the 4-pin connector that I'm not using do? Or am I reading it wrong and it doesn't have a separate 4 and 8-pin connector?


The way it's described is a bit confusing, but it doesn't actually mean that the extra 12V CPU connector (EPS 12V) is 8 pin. It's just saying that it's another 4 pin for use in an 8 pin config. There are 2 4 pin connectors total.
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May 21, 2012 9:08:30 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
The way it's described is a bit confusing, but it doesn't actually mean that the extra 12V CPU connector (EPS 12V) is 8 pin. It's just saying that it's another 4 pin for use in an 8 pin config. There are 2 4 pin connectors total.

Ooh ok. That's kinda weird but it makes sense now. Thanks for clearing that up for me and everybody else for all the help.
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a c 1167 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 9:27:56 PM

zalor said:
Ooh ok. That's kinda weird but it makes sense now. Thanks for clearing that up for me and everybody else for all the help.

OCZ's own documentation shows that there is a 4-pin ATX12V CPU power connector cable and an 8-pin EPS12V CPU power connector cable.

There is no (4+4)-pin CPU power connector on the ModXStream Pro Series.

Look at Hardware Secrets review of the OCZ600MXSP for pictures showing the hardwired cables.

OCZ ModXStream Pro Series 600W (OCZ600MXSP)

+12V1: The cables that are permanently attached (i.e. hardwired) to the power supply
• 1 x (20+4)-pin ATX
• 1 x 8-pin CPU
• 1 x 4-pin CPU

+12V2: The cables for the modular cabling system
• 1 x 6-pin PCI-E
• 1 x (6+2)-pin PCI-E
• 4 x Peripheral
• 2 x Floppy
• 6 x SATA
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 9:31:02 PM

Seriously? Wow, I don't understand why that's even necessary on a 600W PSU. I'd like to know the reason for that, if you know, ko.
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a c 243 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 9:35:41 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Saying you were laughing at everyone that posted before you earlier because they were ignorant of the facts isn't.

I didn't say I was laughing at everybody, I said that the thread was funny
It's a subject that has been beat to death, yet still has some people going in either direction , multi -rail or single rail
It doesn't matter
Those who it does matter to are noobs looking to learn or the guys trying to break overclocking world records who want that minute bit of extra voltage stability that may or may not come from having a single rail ( It's still more dependent on the quality of the power supply than the # of virtual rails )
Those that say they prefer single rail wouldn't know the difference if it didn't say it on the label

Almost forgot, the addition of OCP circuits and the extra process that goes into adding them to a psu certainly doesn't make them cheaper to manufacture
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May 21, 2012 9:36:41 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Seriously? Wow, I don't understand why that's even necessary on a 600W PSU. I'd like to know the reason for that, if you know, ko.

Now you know how I felt this whole time. ;) 
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 9:39:24 PM

delluser1 said:
I didn't say I was laughing at everybody, I said that the thread was funny
It's a subject that has been beat to death, yet still has some people going in either direction , multi -rail or single rail
It doesn't matter
Those who it does matter to are noobs looking to learn or the guys trying to break overclocking world records who want that minute bit of extra voltage stability that may or may not come from having a single rail ( It's still more dependent on the quality of the power supply than the # of virtual rails )
Those that say they prefer single rail wouldn't know the difference if it didn't say it on the label


Yeah, I hear ya, it just came across as a bit abrasive. Your second reply was money though. :) 
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 9:51:11 PM

zalor said:
Now you know how I felt this whole time. ;) 


Maybe it's just for convenience (since they're all on the same rail), but it just causes confusion, as shown here. There wouldn't seem to be a need for a separate 8 pin connector (for anything that would be powered by a 600W PSU).
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a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 10:23:59 PM

zalor said:
I'm not.

Why would anybody buy a split rail design if they're worse? When would you ever need two 12V rails instead of one?



I didn't notice any difference between them. Is there a reason to get the V2 other than the price?


The difference is V2 is more efficient. It's bronze rated, the first version isn't.
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a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 10:25:24 PM

ct1615 said:
?? i don't know where to start so I'll just use an example

antec true power new 650w (one of the best 650w units you can get) has the 12v rail split as such

+12V1@22A, +12V2@22A, +12V3@25A, +12V4@25A

the 12v itself is 54a (you do not add up the amps on the splits)

the PSU comes with a 4-pin CPU power cable (ATX) and an 8-pin CPU power cable (EPS)

12v1 powers the mobo
12v2 powers the CPU (both the 4-pin & 8-pin)
12v3 & 4 powers the PCI-E power cables

on a typical motherboard you would only plug in one of the CPU power cables, the other cable does not draw power.


The Tru Power New 650w is one of the best units you can get? No. It's a basic bronze unit. That means silver, gold and platinum are better, so it's far from one of the best units you can get.

It's debatable what is better, multi-rail or single rail, it's personal preference you guys can beat it to death, it's not going change anyone preference. An article from 2006 is not going to convince anyone of anything.

They didn't even have 80+ units back then, let alone bronze, silver, gold or platinum.


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a c 1167 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 10:28:58 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Seriously? Wow, I don't understand why that's even necessary on a 600W PSU. I'd like to know the reason for that, if you know, ko.

If a PSU seller claims and advertises to have compliance with a certain specification then it must meet it. OCZ claims and advertises ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V specification compliance for the OCZ ModXStream Pro Series.

The EPS12V specification states that an 8-pin Molex 39-01-2080 or equivalent connector must be used. I haven't seen anything in the EPS12V specifications that say a split (4+4)-pin connector is an acceptable equivalent.

The ATX12V specification states that a 4-pin MOLEX 39-01-2040 or equivalent connector must be used.

Including both meets its stated claims.
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a b ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 10:31:32 PM

I don't recommend a psu based on how many rails it has, in fact my own Earthwatts 380 has 2 rails.

I recommend a psu based on a well known brands, with a good warranty, at a good price based on the persons budget and needs. Period.

I recommend Earthwatts all the time and they all have multiple rails and are either build by Delta (D in the model) or Seasonic, two of the best in the business.

Tru Power is built by Channel well (lower models) or Seasonic (higher models)
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a c 243 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 10:45:49 PM

TPN is one of the best available, efficiency doesn't determine that
And they are, all 3, built by Seasonic
It's not an article, it's one of the PSU FAQs written by jonnyguru, might not matter to you but it's there to help those that still can learn
And yes, they did have 80+ units back then
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 10:57:59 PM

ko888 said:
If a PSU seller claims and advertises to have compliance with a certain specification then it must meet it. OCZ claims and advertises ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V specification compliance for the OCZ ModXStream Pro Series.

The EPS12V specification states that an 8-pin Molex 39-01-2080 or equivalent connector must be used. I haven't seen anything in the EPS12V specifications that say a split (4+4)-pin connector is an acceptable equivalent.

The ATX12V specification states that a 4-pin MOLEX 39-01-2040 or equivalent connector must be used.

Including both meets its stated claims.


Well, that makes sense, but my own PSU (Rosewill Capstone 750, a very well rated PSU as you should know) claims the same, yet is only 4+4. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Out of compliance?
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a c 78 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 11:03:56 PM

I just want to toss in my 2 cents here since everyone seems to be rather opinionated.

1. Multiple rails are almost always a singe rail design with "virtual rails". each virtual rail is slit from the main rail and protected with over current protection. This was done for safety and to meet some of the ATX specs of the day. Think of what happens when someone tries to pull 70 amps from a single molex connector with a pile of splitters/adapters to run all those new video cards and other system devices? This was more then anything about safety, but marketing knows how to play it up too. Combined 12 volt current IS the most important number in the end for those power supplies as rail adding will not always work, but does on some units.

2. The OCZ is "worse" in every way vs the Corsair, but my no means is it a bad power supply. Almost any modern single video card system will run fine with it.

3. 80+(from what 2004-5? then had the bronze/silver/gold/plat added later) has NOTHING to do with power supply quality and everything to do with power supply efficiency. While it is true that use of good parts or different designs can increase efficiency, it does not mean that a 80+ standard power supply will not work as well as a 80+ platinum power supply. It will save money(and heat), but as long as it is well built, any power supply 80+ bronze or not should last many years.

My older NON 80+ ~65% efficient Antec actually handles bad power without making the extra noise of todays 80+ power supplies :) 
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a c 1167 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 11:15:13 PM

DJDeCiBeL said:
Well, that makes sense, but my own PSU (Rosewill Capstone 750 and a very well rated PSU as you should know) claims the same, yet is only 4+4. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Out of compliance?

There are a lot of power supplies that support the standard but don't necessarily strictly comply with the standard.

In the case of the OCZ ModXStream Pro Series I don't think OCZ had much of a choice since they just chose from an existing Sirtec design and manufactured model platform. Any modifications cost money and knowing OCZ's penchant for cost cutting the less changes from the original platform the better.
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a c 76 ) Power supply
May 21, 2012 11:18:17 PM

ko888 said:
There are a lot of power supplies that support the standard but don't necessarily strictly comply with the standard.

In the case of the OCZ ModXStream Pro Series I don't think OCZ had much of a choice since they just chose from an existing Sirtec design and manufactured model platform. Any modifications cost money and knowing OCZ's penchant for cost cutting the less changes from the original platform the better.


Cool, I get it now. Just trying to learn a little. No matter how much I THINK I know, I can always learn something new, lol.
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a c 164 ) Power supply
May 22, 2012 12:35:11 AM

delluser1 said:
Yes, I prefer the humorous side though



I want to expand on this a little, hope you don't mind.

The labeled ratings are a lie, go figure even Antec is using liar labels
The OCP trip point is set at 40 amps for each of the 12v rails


For anyone else that wants to learn about multiple rails and why they are not an issue
http://www.jonnyguru.com/forums/showpost.php?p=37485&po...


mind? i always learn something new when you talk about PSU ;) 
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a c 164 ) Power supply
May 22, 2012 12:52:07 AM

geekapproved said:
The Tru Power New 650w is one of the best units you can get? No. It's a basic bronze unit. That means silver, gold and platinum are better, so it's far from one of the best units you can get.

It's debatable what is better, multi-rail or single rail, it's personal preference you guys can beat it to death, it's not going change anyone preference. An article from 2006 is not going to convince anyone of anything.

They didn't even have 80+ units back then, let alone bronze, silver, gold or platinum.


i would set you straight but delluser & nukemaster beat me to it. silver gold and platinum are not awards for good, better and best. they are simply a standard certification. i can list bronze PSU that are worse then 80+

lets try your inaccurate and noob opinion and look at the bronze certified cougar 700w vs the corsair TX750w 80+, simple test right? bronze is the better PSU as you stated above?

cougar
The main problem with this power supply is voltage regulation. Starting at 560 W, voltages got outside their allowed range, what can make your computer behave erratically. We tested two samples, and both presented the same problem. Therefore, we can’t recommend this unit.
http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Cougar-CMX-700-W...

corsair
This unit also has all the basic stuff everyone is looking for nowadays: high efficiency, active PFC, excellent cooling solution, enough power to feed high-end video cards, five-year warranty and the best of all: it can really deliver its rated 750 W at 50º C. Not only that. During our tests we could pull up to 900 W at 45º C. So you will be basically buying a 900 W power supply paying the price of a 750 W one. What is sweeter than that?


http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/Corsair-TX750W-P...

which the PSU would you want? the "better" cougar with its bronze efficiency or the "mediocre" corsair with its 80+?
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