Hey guys. It appears my current PSU, a 500W Antec with a combined 36amps on dual 12v rails (18/18) is either dieing or just doesn't have what it takes to power my rig at its current configuration. I've had it for several years, but it only got sketchy over the last 4 or 5 months. When I have 4 hard drives connected the fourth one doesn't always start. It never starts when coming out of sleep mode. I've fully tested the drive and it's fine. It works perfectly when it's one of 3 drives and not the fourth.
I'm planning to get a more powerful PSU and I don't mind a bit of overkill since whatever I choose will eventually be better utilized when I build a new PC. I'm basically looking for suggestions since I haven't bought a new PSU in a while. My rig is the one listed below. Aside from what's listed there I have 4 SATA hard drives and 1 PATA DVD burner.
First off, i doubt that it is a psu problem as i am running a gtx260 4-5 hdd's more ram and a newer chipset on the same 500-550 watt antec. I am not sure what to tell you to look for though. (my psu posted below won't fit in my current case)
Thermal take is a great brand. Most people are tending toward corsair now days. (people i know) But you can't go wrong with any name brand. Most cheaper psu's way way over rate their psu's.
Any good name brand will have 18 amps. Sometimes they are listed higher, but a computer runs on 18 amps, so they are just over rating their amps or not testing under a load if the amps are higher.
2 12v+ rails are nice and it is hard to find any psu with less then 2 12v+ rails.
If i were to buy a new psu i would not go less then 750 watts.
I also would get modular cables so that i can have fewer wires in my case, but that is optional.
GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3, 2600k @ 4.0
16 gig Corsair Vengeance
Evga gtx 260 216, samsung 2253lw"
Baracuda 7,200.12 CoolerMaster 212 +
Win 7 64, fsp fx700-gln, Razer DA,G15
Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid
Silence in the face of evil is it's self Ev
If not the PSU, what else would you speculate is causing the problem. I have no problems with only 3 hard drives connected regardless of which 3 it is. I only start having problems when I hook up a fourth. Oddly enough the Thermaltake I'm looking at does not have 2 12v rails, just one with 56a.
While my knowledge of electricity is admittedly very limited, at work I'm currently replacing power supply units that are reading at 12V DC but are no longer putting out the 3A they are rated for. Without some sort of device to measure the actual output of the PSU, all we can do is guess. However, it absolutely sounds like a PSU problem.
As for how powerful a unit to buy, well that depends largely on the graphics card you want to buy. A single, high end card running at full load will pull down between 300 and 400 watts of power. Probably half that at idle.