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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:00 PM   #1
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Pr3tty F1y
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Default How the heck do multi-rail power supplies distribute the power?

Does each 12v yellow wire coming out of my power supply get the benefit of being fed by each of the 3 rails combined or is it more along the lines of one group of connectors is fed by one rail, another group is fed by another rail, etc...?
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pr3tty F1y View Post
How the heck do multi-rail power supplies distribute the power?
Very carefully











Actually im also interested in knowing the answer, haha.
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:05 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Supra_Freak View Post
Very carefully
Unless you open them up and prod around, then they distribute it very painfully.
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pr3tty F1y View Post
Unless you open them up and prod around, then they distribute it very painfully.
I would rep you for that, but I must spread some around before reping you again.
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:29 PM   #5
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Each 'Rail' is a seperate feed from the transformer (where I am glossing over the existance of smoothing/OCP/OCS) and so is seperate from the other rails as loads applied to the them do not apply to another.
These feeds are stepped into 12/5/3.3 etc voltages and bundled. Now here's where it gets interesting - each manufacturer splits these bundles differently. And often, they claim seperate rails where there is only actually one. This is a good thing, and a bad thing. Bad in that the claims are inaccurate, good in that the power can then be used where it's needed. Commonly seperate rails would be used for different devices, such as cpu & mainboard power, 4pin molexes, 6pin PCIe, 8pin EPS 12v connectors.

To answer the OP question, No. Each 12v wire is not feed a combination of the rails (if the rails are indeed seperate), they are grouped together, sometimes marked as 12v1, 12v2, 12v3 etc. You PSU manual should have the definitions of which connectors are used from which rail. However, like I said, it is often a single rail PSU.
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
Each 'Rail' is a seperate feed from the transformer (where I am glossing over the existance of smoothing/OCP/OCS) and so is seperate from the other rails as loads applied to the them do not apply to another.
These feeds are stepped into 12/5/3.3 etc voltages and bundled. Now here's where it gets interesting - each manufacturer splits these bundles differently. And often, they claim seperate rails where there is only actually one. This is a good thing, and a bad thing. Bad in that the claims are inaccurate, good in that the power can then be used where it's needed. Commonly seperate rails would be used for different devices, such as cpu & mainboard power, 4pin molexes, 6pin PCIe, 8pin EPS 12v connectors.

To answer the OP question, No. Each 12v wire is not feed a combination of the rails (if the rails are indeed seperate), they are grouped together, sometimes marked as 12v1, 12v2, 12v3 etc. You PSU manual should have the definitions of which connectors are used from which rail. However, like I said, it is often a single rail PSU.
Cool. +rep

I was basically wondering about my Antec TruePower 2.0 Trio for the fact that I have an x1950Pro, but it's AGP so I'm not using the PCIe connectors. The molex connectors I'm using on it are completely separate coming out of the power supply, but I know that means nothing as far as if they are fed from different sources. Basically I just want to make sure I'm not stressing the power supply, trying to suck all the juice from one rail.

As of right now I have no stability probs, but I know over time, stressing the PSU definitely will degrade it.

It's also interesting talking about the stepping of the 12v down to 5v and 3.3v however, if I remember from way back in 2002-03 when I was looking for PSU's for my last rig, Antec's original "TruePower" premise was that there was no stepping from 12v to lower voltages, they were handled separately. Now I don't know if that is true of TruePower 2.0 (I only bought it because it was the best BestBuy had for the price and I had $125 in giftcards ).

I'll check the manual then

Edit: and of course the Antec manual says nothing about it... typical... and the wires were not grouped or labeled any particular way coming out of the PSU...
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:49 PM   #7
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AFAIK the TP 2.0 is single rail.

For clarification, the stepping to 5 / 3.3 is not from the 12v source, but from the common source of the rail (which becomes 12v, 5v, 3.3v etc).

It is interesting to see the marketing going on for PSUs. My favourite is the Quad Rail for Quad Core

I managed to resist buying one.

QuadQUADQUADZROROZOZZ!!!
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Old Oct 9, 2007, 03:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caveman-jim View Post
AFAIK the TP 2.0 is single rail.

For clarification, the stepping to 5 / 3.3 is not from the 12v source, but from the common source of the rail (which becomes 12v, 5v, 3.3v etc).

It is interesting to see the marketing going on for PSUs. My favourite is the Quad Rail for Quad Core

I managed to resist buying one.

QuadQUADQUADZROROZOZZ!!!
OK. Because I remember about reading up on cheaper PSU's that derive their lower voltage rails from a 12V source that leads to major problems when the PSU was under stress. I forget where I read it, but thanks for clearing up the issues.

Oh, and if you need a quad rail for quadcore, you might want to get the Voodoo5 6000 external power brick just as a backup as it looks quite quad-ish itself
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Last edited by Pr3tty F1y : Oct 9, 2007 at 03:57 PM.
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