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EPoX MotherBoards EPoX Intel and AMD Motherboards.


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 4th July, 2004, 02:00 AM
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8KDA3+ new build saga = PSU

My new 8kda3+, 2x512 pc3500 ram, video card, sata drives & 64bit amd3400+ came a couple of days ago. I was trying to save some coins & was using an old case, but was using a new 300Watt PSU that I had taken out of a case when I built my 8rda a few years ago. As far as I know, it had never been used. I assembled the system -- and it would not boot. The LED did C-1, C-3, 25, 26, pause, then FF and it would die on me. Never did find out what post codes 25 & 26 are for! After a quick scan of the Crashed Forum, I started the basic trouble shooting checks thanks to all that have gone before me. Finally took Mobo out of case & with one stick of ram, old ati pci video card, only speaker & pwr sw connected, kb & mouse, tried again -- same results. Reset cpu cooler -- same results.
I finally got the courage to pull some connectors free from my 8rda+ system and bingo it booted!
Here's the deal, the PSU that it booted on was a Robanton 500watt @ +3.3/30amp, +5/30a, +12/50a, 12/.8a, -5/.3a
The 300watt is: +3.3/20a, +5/30a, +12/10a-120W, 12/.8a & no -5 spec.
I'm ordering a new case & 500watt PSU ASAP but wanted to share.
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Old 4th July, 2004, 02:18 AM
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Thanks for the info, Snakedriver. I'm sure that is will be of use to someone down the road.

Out of curiousity, what is the +5vsb rated for on those two?
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Old 4th July, 2004, 03:46 AM
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The Robanton 500 is +5vsb/2.0amp (& watts are summed into total).
The 300 watt is an Allied al-a300atx with +5vsb/2.0amp @ 10watts.
Don't know what this means though!
I'm guessing that it's the power going thru the quad mobo connector that counts most. All I really know is I need more and better quality power. Been looking for Robanton & looks like theyv'e gone from the scene, One called powertec seems to have same specs & they have a 600 watt psu at a reasonable price -- may go for that.
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Old 4th July, 2004, 08:44 AM
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There is some sense in this!

For a board like the 8RDA+ series, there would be little difference between the 500W PSU and the 300W PSU. This is because the voltage regulator for the CPU (the part that takes all the power!) takes it's power from the 5V line. This is the problem I had finding a decent PSU!

For a board like the 8KDA3+, there's a huge difference, as the voltage regulator for the CPU takes it's power from the 12V line. On the 300W PSU, the 12V line can only provide 120W. Of that 120W, the voltage regulator can chew up 96W of power, leaving 24W free for anything else. On the 500W PSU there's a lot more power available. (Although, I think there might be a typo somewhere, as the 12V line on it claims to be able to provide 600W of power!)

It always pays to know how much power the system will take on the various voltage lines to ensure you get the right PSU for your system!
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Old 4th July, 2004, 12:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
There is some sense in this!
For a board like the 8RDA+ series, there would be little difference between the 500W PSU and the 300W PSU. This is because the voltage regulator for the CPU (the part that takes all the power!) takes it's power from the 5V line. This is the problem I had finding a decent PSU!
Hear hear

I keep wondering if we will ever move to a simple +5V/+12V PSU design. And pluggable VRM's, ala Socket 8 servers, or Gigabyte boards.

With a two separate power supplies (+5V and +12V), and upgradeable voltage circuitry, I could mix and match to my heart's content. (5VSB rail is a hack anyhow).

Of course, the mass market (Dell, HP, etc) would never go for it, unless it truly reduced costs. A 100W VRM for the masses, $1.50. A 200W VRM for me, $20
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Old 4th July, 2004, 12:56 PM
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How about just standardising on a 24V rail, and having the required PWM switchers to bring it down to the required voltages? What's the hack with the 5V standby rail anyhow?
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Old 4th July, 2004, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
How about just standardising on a 24V rail, and having the required PWM switchers to bring it down to the required voltages? What's the hack with the 5V standby rail anyhow?
Hey, you're the engineer I would think that switching 24V down to 1.5V would require more expensive components, without the need being present *yet*. Seeing as how using 12V power for the CPU has only become popular in the last few years.

I'm sure if 120W per CPU becomes an acceptable figure (along with liquid cooling for the masses) then 24V circuitry for the CPU would be a very smart move. OTOH, if we're all using dual-core notebook processors with hyperconservative heat/power management 5 years from now, it may never be necessary

Can't you think of plenty of schemes for providing standby power to the motherboard without using a separate rail? That's why I called it a hack. Of course, the tricky thing is that your various IDE devices need to be smart enough to sleep when the 12V rail is off, but the 5V rail is on. I accidently did this too many times to a 4x4x32 CD-RW with a loose molex pin on a pass-through connector. Now all it does is sleep
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Old 4th July, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnansley
Can't you think of plenty of schemes for providing standby power to the motherboard without using a separate rail? That's why I called it a hack.
Actually, no, I can't think of a way of implementing standby power that will work with current devices, other than a seperate rail. Current PSU tech relies on a single switching element to provide regulation across the 3.3, 5 and 12v lines, so it'd require a different PSU. Motherboard design would need to be altered to allow core logic to switch itself on and off. It'd also need some failsafe method to ensure that all devices switched to low power consumption, regardless of their state. The only way I can think to ensure that devices get powered down is a seperate power rail!
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Old 4th July, 2004, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnansley
Hey, you're the engineer I would think that switching 24V down to 1.5V would require more expensive components, without the need being present *yet*. Seeing as how using 12V power for the CPU has only become popular in the last few years.
There's few reasons I'm suggesting a higher voltage. Standardising on a single voltage brings a lot of savings when it comes to the design of the PSU. Now it only needs one voltage. The lower the voltage, the more of a significant problem connecter and cable/track losses become. We're already seeing devices that cannot rely on the motherboard connections to provide the power they need. Moving to a higher voltage reduces the stresses on the connectors for high power devices.

Another benefit is that devices like LCDs can be powered quite happily from 24V. That's a single cable from the PC up to the LCD carrying both video and power.

Switching from 24V down to 1.5V is not significantly different from switching 12V down to 1.5V. If anything, it reduces the heat dissipation in the high side switching components, as less current flows for the same output power.
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Old 4th July, 2004, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnansley
Hey, you're the engineer I would think that switching 24V down to 1.5V would require more expensive components, without the need being present *yet*. Seeing as how using 12V power for the CPU has only become popular in the last few years.
Actually, the components would be less expensive. The switching transistors don't have to carry as much current to deliver the same output power. They also don't generate as much waste heat because of I²R loss.

Sounds to me like Áedán has been reading EETimes or something like that. There is actually a move afoot in the industry to move to a +24v rail for power distribution, with little converters at the points where they are needed.

Bear in mind, back when all this stuff was first being designed, PSUs were big beastly affairs requiring huge heatsinks and lots of air cooling to handle the kind of power levels that we routinely find in our little ATX PSUs now. Additionally, current requirements were considerably lower.

We've learned a lot since then.

With today's understanding of switching technology, as well as the increased and increasingly varied power demands of today's devices, there is some question as to whether or not it makes sense to continue doing things the old way.

Consider that, as Áedán has pointed out, today's CPUs can require upwards of 90W, and more is coming. Tomorrow's CPU may well require 150W (in fact, the CPU in my siggy is pulling about that right now, overclocked). Now look at the voltage rail. My CPU is pulling nearly 75 amps. Even coming off the 12v line, that is still over 12 amps, and coming off the 5v line that is right at 30 amps. It is becoming increasingly difficult to route that kind of power without using battery cables to do it, and no one wants 8 guage wire in their PC. By going to a 24v distribution system, we could reduce that current load to 6 amps. Better yet, we could leave the current at 30 amps, and be able to deliver five times the power to the load, for the same I²R loss as we have at 5v.

So, why 24v? What's magical about it? Why not use 48v, or 72v, or 120v?

Well, as a matter of fact, U.S. POTS uses 48v. However, in many countries (Europe, mainly, or the U.S. if the application is medical) anything over 24v is considered hazardous primary voltage and the use and distribution is heavily regulated. Even in the U.S., anything over 48v is considered hazardous. (I suspect the U.S. number is 48v mainly because anything lower would require rewiring the country's entire POTS infrastructure.) So 24v is the magic number because it allows us to cable the system however we choose without having to worry about electrocuting anyone.

Hope this makes things a bit clearer for you.
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Old 4th July, 2004, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnansley
Hear hear

I keep wondering if we will ever move to a simple +5V/+12V PSU design. And pluggable VRM's, ala Socket 8 servers, or Gigabyte boards.

With a two separate power supplies (+5V and +12V), and upgradeable voltage circuitry, I could mix and match to my heart's content. (5VSB rail is a hack anyhow).

Of course, the mass market (Dell, HP, etc) would never go for it, unless it truly reduced costs. A 100W VRM for the masses, $1.50. A 200W VRM for me, $20
Those Gigabyte plug in extra phases are a joke since they lengthen signal wave scope and decrease current immediancy - they are the solution only for poor PCB design - EPoX PWM are all onboard and prove that now through bucking phases low temps and high component life can be achieved.
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Old 4th July, 2004, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
Switching from 24V down to 1.5V is not significantly different from switching 12V down to 1.5V. If anything, it reduces the heat dissipation in the high side switching components, as less current flows for the same output power.
Sounds good to me. You win

Quote:
Originally Posted by Áedán
Current PSU tech relies on a single switching element to provide regulation across the 3.3, 5 and 12v lines, so it'd require a different PSU.
I wrote a lengthy reply, then remembered this part. Silly me.

OK, so at the time, ATX/ACPI/etc was standardized, 10 years ago or whenever, that would have been prohibitive. But since we're going to a new PSU design already ...

It'd require a bit more effort with the 24V power supply, since you'd need some control over which devices are suspended, or not.

With the 5V/12V power supply, you'd just need to spin down the hard drives, turn off the 12V rail, and ensure that anything plugged into a molex will respond appropriately. 7V fans would turn into -5V fans, so that'd be a little ugly, but I'm not sure if anything else would be effected besides optical drives. Maybe card readers?
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Old 4th July, 2004, 05:43 PM
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You're still going to need a separate supply.

Getting a supply designed to deliver 50 amps with good regulation to deliver 2 amps with good regulation is extraordinarilly difficult. It is more economical just to use a second rail designed for that load. You could design the PSU with two rails internally and switch them so that you still only had one rail externally, but now you are increasing the cost and complexity of the PSU. Reducing cost and complexity is the whole point of this exercise.

As for the control thing, it's a given that there would have to be some kind of 'power/suspend' signal to tell devices to go to a low-power state. That is pretty much the case now, anyway, so that isn't a big deal.
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Old 4th July, 2004, 06:21 PM
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OK on the future design, any current PSUs recommended that at I can afford?
As I also need a case, Newegg has -- ASPIRE X-Superalien Series Black/Red Aluminum Server Chassis with 500W Power Supply, Model "ATXA6SW/500" with PSU DC Output:
3.3V28A
5V/30A
12V/34A
-5V/0.3A
-12V/0.8A
+5Vsb/2.0A
price $138.
Will this PSU power my 8kda3+?
Yea or Nay?
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Old 4th July, 2004, 07:26 PM
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psu wattage calculator

http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/
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Old 4th July, 2004, 08:20 PM
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Unfortunately, the way power supplies are rated, it isn't as simple a question as 'how many watts do I need'?

The PSU you've picked will PROBABLY handle your system just fine, but without knowing more, is difficult to say with confidence.
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