A Look Inside
Next, we open up the power supply to take a quick look at how well things are built where it really counts. Please keep in mind that opening a PSU will void your warranty and can be dangerous.
The components look well organized. There are two large Japanese sourced capacitors, as promised, Nichicon 450V 470uF items rated at 85C. Good quality capacitors look to be used throughout. The unit also looks to use a single large transformer for 12V power.
You will notice a small PCB riding in the center of the power supply. This is a self contained unit to supply 5V standby power (5VSB) that drives items like USB devices. By separating the unit, it makes this particular voltage more efficient and easier to manage since it is the only item driving power when your PC is off.
While I am inside the power supply, I like to trace back the rail mappings to see where things are sourced. Like many power supplies, it looks like we have virtual rails shunted off the main 12V source. There are four in all. The power distribution is, as follows.
Now, a couple of notes on the power distribution. First, 12V1 is dedicated to the ATX cable, 4+4 CPU cable and all of the molex and SATA connectors. In my amperage meter testing, under load, my eVGA 790i SLI board draws about 8.5 amps with three graphics cards while a QX9650 running at 4.0 GHz draws about 8.8 amps. If you add a few hard drives, fans and a DVD writer, you would have an additional 8 amps or so, totaling about 25 amps of the available 40.
Optionally, you could power the CPU with the 8-pin or 4-pin connector attached the second 12V rail. Depending on your configuration, you would likely select one over the other since it could potentially affect efficiency. For example, with three graphics cards like the GTX 280, you would probably use the 4+4 connector to power the CPU and leave 12V2, 12V3 and 12V4 to each power a graphics card.
Alternately, with a couple of graphics cards like the 4870X2 installed, the 8-pin connection would make sense to spread 12V loads on all four rails, 12V3 and 12V 4 for video, 12V2 for the CPU and 12V1 for the motherboard and peripherals. We will test each of these scenarios.
Off to the lab to see how this interesting design will work.
Last updated: Apr 7, 2020 at 12:27 pm CDT
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