Power Supply and MB Question


J

Jeff

I'm about ready to start to order parts to build a new machine - pretty close to top of the line components.

....looking for comments - potential problems that I've overlooked etc.

I've partially built a few machines before, so I've pretty much done everything needed at some point before, but never spec'ed out
and assembled everything for a single machine. This will be a fairly serious business type machine - some video editing and the use
of web development software that is fairly processor intensive (visual-web/visual-basic/asp) - no games. Will run XP initially, but
will want to get Vista (likely 64 bit version) on it when it comes out (now running the beta on one machine). My current machine is
far too loud and it is driving me crazy (running two 1st generation 15K scsi drives in it), so I'm concerned somewhat about having a
reasonably quite machine. ..might think about water cooling for the noise reduction - possibly one of the Zalman no-fan units.

....mostly wanted some confirmation about my powersupply choice.

Will almost certainly go with an AMD Opteron 2218 - dual core - their current 2nd to the top processor.

Tyan Thunder h2000m MB - will handle up to 2 of the Opteron's (the new Socket F) - 16 DDR2 Ram slots up to 667 (extended ATX) and I
believe that this will also handle the quad cores that are scheduled to be out in 2007

CoolMax CUG-700 700 watt PowerSupply - listed as 20+4pin+8Pin SLI and Dual PCI express compatible
(the Tyan specifies a SSI EPS12V power supply - the information I can find seems dated and I think that the above will work - would
love someone to confirm this for me)

Lian LI PC 201B Case (will handle the eATX MB and 12 or more drives)

The idea is to run 3 500 gig drives in RAID5 initially, but have the ability to add more as needed. Perhaps run the OS on a smaller
drive and use the large drives in the RAID for video and still photo storage. ...will probably start with a single processor, and
add another at a later point if I want.

So I think that the 700 watt supply will be more than enough for all future needs - I could easily see eventually having 6-7 drives
and two processors, possibly two graphics cards, although I don't do games, so I really won't need top of the line graphics
capability - instead, the ability to use Dual digital output for two monitors will be fine. ...not sure what to get for this yet.
....will want something that is compatible with some of the new Vista features and the ability to run a TV tuner on it.

The rest is pretty much standard - DDR2-667 Ram - will probably start with 2 gigs and add more after some bills are paid. If I do
run a 64 bit OS, the MB will give me plenty of ability to add a good bit more ram in the future.

Thoughts?Comments?PowerSupplyOkay?

Jeff
 
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P

Paul

"Jeff" said:
I'm about ready to start to order parts to build a new machine - pretty
close to top of the line components.
...looking for comments - potential problems that I've overlooked etc.

I've partially built a few machines before, so I've pretty much done
everything needed at some point before, but never spec'ed out
and assembled everything for a single machine. This will be a fairly
serious business type machine - some video editing and the use
of web development software that is fairly processor intensive
(visual-web/visual-basic/asp) - no games. Will run XP initially, but
will want to get Vista (likely 64 bit version) on it when it comes out
(now running the beta on one machine). My current machine is
far too loud and it is driving me crazy (running two 1st generation 15K
scsi drives in it), so I'm concerned somewhat about having a
reasonably quite machine. ..might think about water cooling for the
noise reduction - possibly one of the Zalman no-fan units.
...mostly wanted some confirmation about my powersupply choice.

Will almost certainly go with an AMD Opteron 2218 - dual core - their
current 2nd to the top processor.
Tyan Thunder h2000m MB - will handle up to 2 of the Opteron's (the new
Socket F) - 16 DDR2 Ram slots up to 667 (extended ATX) and I
believe that this will also handle the quad cores that are scheduled to be out in 2007

CoolMax CUG-700 700 watt PowerSupply - listed as 20+4pin+8Pin SLI and Dual PCI express compatible
(the Tyan specifies a SSI EPS12V power supply - the information I can
find seems dated and I think that the above will work - would
love someone to confirm this for me)

Lian LI PC 201B Case (will handle the eATX MB and 12 or more drives)

The idea is to run 3 500 gig drives in RAID5 initially, but have the
ability to add more as needed. Perhaps run the OS on a smaller
drive and use the large drives in the RAID for video and still photo
storage. ...will probably start with a single processor, and
add another at a later point if I want.

So I think that the 700 watt supply will be more than enough for all
future needs - I could easily see eventually having 6-7 drives
and two processors, possibly two graphics cards, although I don't do
games, so I really won't need top of the line graphics
capability - instead, the ability to use Dual digital output for two
monitors will be fine. ...not sure what to get for this yet.
...will want something that is compatible with some of the new Vista
features and the ability to run a TV tuner on it.
The rest is pretty much standard - DDR2-667 Ram - will probably start
with 2 gigs and add more after some bills are paid. If I do
run a 64 bit OS, the MB will give me plenty of ability to add a good bit more ram in the future.

Thoughts?Comments?PowerSupplyOkay?

Jeff

First thing to check, is study the architecture drawing in the "datasheet".
There don't appear to be any gotchas in this one. You can use up to eight
sticks of RAM with one processor. A second processor would have to be present,
in order to install more RAM. Both processors can see all RAM, via the
coherent HT bus. (And I would want to do some research into what
impact the number of sticks has on DIMM clock speed. The DIMMs are registered,
which is a positive, but the processor drives the DIMMs, which is a negative.
I'd want to read a review about a system like this, before taking the plunge.
Or at least read a review about a socket 1207 system, to see if there is a
loading issue with the number of DIMMs used.)

(Datasheet)
ftp://ftp.tyan.com/datasheets/d_s3992_100.pdf
(Jumpers)
ftp://ftp.tyan.com/quickref/q_s3992_100.pdf

To work out power consumption, you calculate the total +12V used by the system.
You also look at the power supply, to see if there are any issues with the
number of outputs, versus the way the Tyan motherboard is wired.

Page 36 of the manual shows the power connectors. 12V2 on the motherboard
connector, is for the video slots and fans (2x4amps for video max plus fans,
say 10 amps for 12V2). Both CPUs appear to be running from 12V3. And who
knows, the DIMM converter could be running off 12V3 as well.

ftp://ftp.tyan.com/manuals/m_s3992_110.pdf

Note - it is not the numbering of the output that matters - rather which loads
share a common supply rail. For example, there are power supplies for
sale, with a
2x4 power connector, but of the four 12V wires, two would be 12V1 and two
would be 12V2. Which means the 2x4 power comes from two sources. Your new
motherboard expects both to be powered by the same rail. Which may be
significant or only a coincidence. (What you would not want, is the
Tyan motherboard shorting a 12V1/12V2 type 2x4 connector together, and
that is why a 2x4 with 12V1/12V2 on it would not be desirable in this
case.)

http://www.coolmax.com.tw/productDe...ils=features&subcategory=green&category=green

There is a user manual for the Coolmax power supply here:

http://www.coolmax.com.tw/userManual/CUG.pdf

12V1 is used for the main 24 pin connector. 12V3 is used for peripheral
power cables. The PCI Express cables and the processor 2x4 power plug
are labelled a generic "12VDC". So we don't know if "12VDC" = 12V2 or
not. The details are important. And that is the problem with high power
supplies - getting reliable documentation. I don't know how many products
I've looked at, where the wiring info is missing or is screwed up like
this documentation is.

The CUG-700 has 12V1=16A 12V2=25A 12V3=17A. A PCI Express video card
will be getting some power through the PCI Express slot (4 amps max).
Once the required power goes over 12V @ 4A, then the Aux power connector
on the video card is used. Using the CUG, 12V1 feeds the video slots
(and that is why 2x4A is what I suspect as the max load there plus your
fan headers). 12V3 is used for disks, and allow 2A per disk for the first
10 seconds of operation, and then 0.5 or 0.6A when the disk is spinning.
A CD/DVD is rated at 12V @ 1.5A, presumably when spinning at high speed,
or when accelerating. Your seven disks would draw 14A for the first 10 seconds
after power is applied, and perhaps that would be OK for 12V3. You can check the
drive manufacturer web site, to get more info on max startup current.

(here is an article on how high end PCI express cards split their loading)
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/fsp-vga-power_6.html

The mystery will be, which rail are the PCI Express Aux cables and the
processor connected to ? Since the Coolmax manual shows the 2x4 connector
as having 4 "yellow" wires, the implication is they are all connected to
the same power rail ? Is it the same rail as the PCI Express Aux ? It could
be. (You could email Coolmax, but perhaps finding a USA representative
might reduce the language barrier.) Note that some quality supplies,
use yellow insulation for 12V, and add a twist of a second color, to
distinguish one 12V from the others. Since all the Coolmax wires are
yellow, color is not a strong enough distinction for wiring purposes.

If you used a top of the line ATI video card, they can draw 12V @ 10A.
4A is through the video slot, leaving 6A through the PCI Express 2x3 cable.
Two video cards would be 12A total on the PCI Express aux cable in that
case. More mundane video cards could be much less.

The Opteron 2218 is 95W watts:

http://www.amdcompare.com/us-en/opteron/details.aspx?opn=OSA2218GAA6CQ

95W/12V * (1/0.90) = 8.8A at 90% Vcore conversion efficiency.

[Info on heatsink size is here - don't know the significance of this:]
http://www.tyan.com/support/html/cpu_amd.html

If the PCI Express cables and the two processors were running from the
12V2, the max load would be 2*6A + 2*8.8A = 29.6A and is greater
than the 25A rating of 12V2. There are plenty of video cards that
will draw less than 6A, and using info from Xbitlabs articles, you
can get power estimates for a number of different video cards. With
one "uber" video card and two processor sockets filled, you are at
23.6A . If that is indeed coming from the 25A 12V2 output, then that
would be as far as I'd want to go.

One video card can drive two monitors. A select few video cards
have dual dual-link DVI on them (for two really high res monitors).
It might be possible to drive your dual monitor config with one well
endowed video card. Not a good gaming config of course.

High end systems can span several ranges of power supplies, and that
is why casual specification of your system makes a big difference to
the size of supply purchased.

If we had 7 disk drives, CD/DVD, two X1900 video cards, two 2218 processors,
the 12A total would be: 7*0.6A + 1.5 + 2*10A + 2*8.8A = 43.3A,
or 519.6W from 12V outputs, on a supply rated for 500W max combined
on all 12V rails. Of course, processors and video cards don't go to
max current at the same time, so this is not a realistic scenario.
Generally, the processor does a bit of waiting for the video cards,
so the video might max while the processor uses less than max. Or
the processors can max while the video is less than max.

Getting a PSU recommendation from Tyan, removes some of the uncertainty,
as they are supposed to test with whatever they've recommended. You might
start with Tyan, and see what they use.

Another source of info might be forums.2cpu.com . Their specialty is
motherboards with two sockets, and a number of their users have built
big systems. I believe the last time I visited, their forum search engine
was limited to members, so you might have to register to search their
site efficiently.

Finally, here is a supply with a single output driving all 12V loads. ($199)
If you buy this, there might be fewer questions to ask :)

http://www.overclock3d.net/reviews....c=pc_power___cooling_750w_silencer_s75eps_psu
http://www.pcpowercooling.com/products/viewproduct.php?show=S75EPS

Paul
 
J

Jeff

Thanks much. Out of every computer component, the power supply is what I know least about, but I do know a fair amount about
electricity, so I could follow your explanations pretty well. I might look a bit further on the powersupply before committing
myself. The other machines that I've worked on with the powersupply have been fairly non-demanding, so I haven't bought one before
that's been over 400 watts.

Jeff
 
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V

VanShania

OCZ GameXStream 700W SLi Power Supply $188.84 CDN

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