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How much power is needed?


AllToga
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I'm in the planning stages of my next server. I was wondering what size power supply I should be looking at for a Norco Box? I'm debating between the 20 drive or the 24 drive model. Although the case won't be full of drives initially, I'd like to size the power supply so that I can fill up the case with drives as my storage needs increase.

 

How big of a power supply should I get to run 20 or 24 drives? (I understand that power will be needed for the other components, I'm just wondering how much would be needed for the drives)

 

My previous experience estimated about 35w per drive. Is this estimate still valid?

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My previous experience estimated about 35w per drive. Is this estimate still valid?

 

It of course depends on the drive type, but most recent drives use no more than 15 watts. The new WD Caviar Black uses just under 11 watts under load(1). If you're planning on using the green drives, you could probably get away with estimating 10 watts/drive. Really the only time you'd need to provide full power to all of them would be on start-up. I'd estimate 15 watts per drive to be safe.

 

15 watts * 24 drives = 360 watts. After you add in the CPU, MB, RAM, etc, you're likely only at 450 watts, unless you're running a Core i7 or something. I believe running the PSU at close to 50% load is often recommended for efficiency, so I'd be looking at around a 750 - 900 watt unit.

 

 

1: http://www.storagereview.com/western_digital_caviar_black_review_2tb

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Just remember that unless your controller has staggered spin-up (hint, I don't think any onboard controllers do) you will need to budget for the max power draw, which is when the drives first spin up.

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I currently have a Norco box and I do not think the controller has staggered spin up. I think I tried to turn it on way back when I built it, but it didn't work.

 

Good point to remember.

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I would agree with Citezein however I want to point out that 90% of the power from that many drives plus fans etc, is coming from the 12v rail so pick a single rail supply to avoid issues with loading down one rail. Personally I would use something like a 600-700 watt single rail supply like the cooler master or corsair. You will have to order extra sata connectors/cables as well as use "sata power splitters" to hook up that many drives. Since you are using WHS, I would not bother with caviar blacks and stay with the greens because at that quantity, the speed gain is not worth double the power requirements.

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