Karl`s PC Help Forums

How Do I Determine How Many Internal Hard Drives My Desktop PC Has Enough Power For?
JackInCT - 26-12-2016 at 16:45

How Do I Determine How Many Internal Hard Drives My Desktop PC Has Enough Power For?

As I head into the worst part of the winter season, I presume that sooner or later Nature will 'endow' my area with at least one major snow maker.

On such days, and for several days thereafter, I confine myself to quarters, and play 'IT person'.

To pass the time during such occasions, this year I decided to take as many HDs as would fit into my FULL tower size (form factor wise) desktop PC case, and fill up the bays with a combination of IDE and SATA HDs to the extent that I have existing power connections, etc., for them. I still have room for at least 3-4 more HDs, and I need to get some splitter type adapters to install them. And to complicate matters power consumption wise, I have an optical disc drive, and 5-6 'items' plugged into USB ports.

Google tells me that my PC power supply is the limiting factor as to how far that I can go with this. But my computer configuration software doesn't tell me how much power my power supply is rated for, or how much it's using.

I would note that I actually use only one HD at a time re boot up; but I can readily see from Explorer that the other Windows HD that I have currently plugged in is visible (with its own drive letter), and can be seen with all its files (but NOT its desktop, i. e., I do not have this rig configured for dual boot); so I presume its HD is consuming power since it can be seen in Explorer. FYI: the other 2 HDs are Linux distros and their drive letters (IF they have any to begin with after bootup) are not visible. FYI: when I boot up to a Linux distro, that distro can 'see' "portions" of the 2 Win OSs, plus some of the files; AND, wonders of wonders, it will let me open up the MS Office files, and open a Word/Excel file in one of the Libre Office programs. BOTTOM LINE: I need to presume that all 4 HDs are ALWAYS up and running (power consumption total wise), AND, any that I add will also be ALWAYS up and running too.

My question boils down to this: since my power supply does not have a circuit breaker/fuse, I'm concerned that I will over extend the power supply when I plug in one to many HDs and will learn the hard way that I've asked too much of it, and it burns out.

Anyone have any ideas as to how to deal with this potential issue (and NO, I really don't want to spend the money for a larger power supply).


scholar - 26-12-2016 at 17:52

Here is a calculator, which is supposed to tell you how much power you need:

http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html


One web page I consulted on the problem of burning up a power supply unit had a post saying that the rated wattage for some PSUs is "optimistic" (=exaggerated). I don't know if the calculator really helps, if the rating on the PSU might be overblown.

I would have thought that PSU ratings would be conservative, so that hat customers would not get angry over unexpected failures when the ratings would say they should have kept working.


JackInCT - 26-12-2016 at 21:48

Thank you for the URL; it is indeed a very handy tool, but (and there are always "buts") the work involved in completing it put me off, BUT No 2, with a very unexpected positive Eureka (No, not Eureka, CA--nice town by the way).

I have 2 desktop PCs [sitting side by side] with full tower form factors; one I bought from a computer vendor, and the other I built myself (my first and only [and likely last] attempt); I designed it all on my own from the ground up, and opted to overbuild/over-engineer it, to include its power supply.

This 2nd PC is my "INSTANT ON" backup secondary computer that I use, literally, only once a month for the Windows Updates; I keep it in a clone like state in case my primary computer ever goes kaput. It tends to get forgotten about, and not to mention that its infrequent use must mean that it has not been subjected to much in the way of wear and tear.

So your post jarred Ye Olde Grey Cells that I can put most, if not all, these extra HDs into it rather than my primary HD.

I need cables for it to complete this project, but, for the moment, I consider the problem solved.


LSemmens - 27-12-2016 at 01:17

I'm please that Scholar was able to help :D

If you need to identify what is in your system then Everest may be of some use.


JackInCT - 28-12-2016 at 19:44

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
Here is a calculator, which is supposed to tell you how much power you need:
http://educations.newegg.com/tool/psucalc/index.html

Here's another URL that I accidentally came across:
http://outervision.com/power-supply-calculator

Normally I wouldn't have bothered to post this URL, but as I glanced around the webpage, at the very bottom I came across "Bitcoin Mining Modules". Whoa, there---"Bitcoin Mining Modules"!!! I presume that just about everyone has heard of Bitcoin, but never in a million years did I ever conceive that it had anyone to do with PCs.

If you're interested, do a Google type search on it, and there are plenty of hits.

Stumbling across this is for me a very humbling experience since it reinforces the notion that there are so many "things" going on in the digital world that it's a realistic impossibility to systematically find out "what you don't know anything about" that could possibly be of importance, i. e., it seems to me its all hit or miss!!! And many of the "hits" are 'word of mouth/grapevine' origin.

PS: I've gone and done it again: I, somehow or other, made my reply appear to be a part of my quote of Scholar. At the level of a guess, I think that I inadvertently deleted the last part of the script for Scholar's quote.


LSemmens - 29-12-2016 at 23:27

It's alright, Jack we are all guilty of that mistake from time to time.

Bitcoin is still a relatively new currency. Wiki as linked has a bit more to say about it.


JackInCT - 30-12-2016 at 00:24

Quote:
Originally posted by LSemmens
...Bitcoin is still a relatively new currency...


I copied this from a website that attempted to explain "bitcoin mining module".

What is Bitcoin mining?

Mining is the process of spending computing power to process transactions, secure the network, and keeps everyone in the system synchronized together. It can be perceived like the Bitcoin data center except that it has been designed to be fully decentralized with miners operating in all countries and no individual having control over the network.

This process is referred to as "mining" as an analogy to gold mining because it is also a temporary mechanism used to issue new bitcoins. Unlike gold mining, however, Bitcoin mining provides a reward in exchange for useful services required to operate a secure payment network. Mining will still be required after the last bitcoin is issued.

How does Bitcoin mining work?

Anybody can become a Bitcoin miner by running Bitcoin mining software and Bitcoin mining modules with specialized Bitcoin mining hardware. Mining software listens for transaction broadcasts through the peer-to-peer network and performs appropriate tasks to process and confirm these transactions. Bitcoin miners perform this work because they can earn transaction fees paid by users for faster transaction processing, and newly created bitcoins issued into existence according to a fixed formula.

Me Here: without exaggeration, those 3 paragraphs are complete gobbledygook to me, to include the basic question of who would want to engage in what appears to be some kind of an enterprise type business. The phrase "spending computer power" in particular seems quite odd re choice of words.


LSemmens - 30-12-2016 at 23:42

Wiki has a fairly comprehensive overview of BItcoins and mining - worth a read if you have the time and inclination.