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Thread: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

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    PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    I have currently ran out of SATA connectors to my HDDs from my power supply (just in case anyone suggests to get molex -> SATA cables, I have also exhausted those as well!!). The machine is a file server (plus it does a load of other stuffs) and currently running 13 HDDs, I am looking to expand this to run another further 7 HDDs, but I have no more SATA connectors and I don't fancy hanging any more molex/sata converter cables off the existing one either.

    On my power supply, I have a number of PCI-e connectors to the GPU cards which I don't use, I was wondering if its possible to use these cables (with converters) to run my other 7 HDDs please?

    Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

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    Kendoka - Kendo For Life! IronWarrior's Avatar
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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    I had a look around and found one or two, but they are only meant and can power fans and case lights, not HDD's and other devices.

    I believe the best solution for you is to buy an other PSU to power the other HDD's or buy a powered HDD caddie connected to the server PC by USB/ethernet/Firewire or something.

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Running 20 HDD's on a single PSU is madness imo
    Someone left a note on a piece of cake in the fridge that said, "Do not eat!". I ate the cake and left a note saying, "Yuck, who the hell eats paper ?

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    DDY
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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Impossible, the PCIe power connection only supplies 12v; hard drives require a 5v supply (as well as 12v).

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    DDY is 100% correct, original suggestion is not possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Running 20 HDD's on a single PSU is madness imo
    Not really, hard drives only draw a couple of watts (assuming they are pretty modern). You couldnt probably get away with using a couple of molex splitters to increase the number of molex outputs, just try and spread the load across the different cables hard wired into the PSU.

    cant seem to find one on scan for some reason but how about a load of these:
    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/nzxt-...ta-cable-200mm

    Alternatively if your handy with a soldering iron and you have a load of bits lying around you could make them... thats what i tend to do. Seem to be running a bit low on bits now :/

    Probably wise to post up the model of the PSU before you do anything, just so we can be sure its up to the job. If you do end up overloading your current one and it goes pop, will costyou a lot more to replace all the hard drives than it does to just buy a new PSU outright!

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Thank you all for the replies, just a bit more info about my setup:

    PSU: Silverstone Strider 600W (SST-ST60)

    i7 860
    16gb DDR3
    NVidia 1gb GT220 GPU
    1 DVD ROM (IDE)
    10 x 1Tb (various maufacturers)
    4 x 150Gb WD Velociraptors
    about 7 x 120mm fans & 1 x 200mm fan for cooling.

    * Intending to add 6 x 2Tb Hdd in the future.

    Biscuit & IronWarrior, you both made a good point. I think if the PSU ever pops, I've got a lot more to lose, so the idea with an external caddy seems a good solution too.

    Cheers

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    Impossible, the PCIe power connection only supplies 12v; hard drives require a 5v supply (as well as 12v).
    This. As others have said your only real option with your current PSU is to use splitters to add more SATA connections. While HDDs do only draw a few watts once they're running their startup current is far higher so do some research into staggering the spinups with that many drives to avoid overloading the PSU with the startup surge. About PSU quality, Silverstone units are generally pretty good and I think 600w should be fine but it's something you should keep in mind when adding drives - check reviews for power draw. For example: http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/sto..._16.html#sect0
    Oh and one more thing - most modern PSUs are designed to supply most of the current on the 12v rail which is appropriate for most systems but HDDs draw a fair amount from the 5v rail - you also need to check the power supply has an adequate 5v rail for the HDDs.

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Actually it greatly depends on the hard drive, high performance drives can pull around 10watts each at full load (ie constant read+write activity), spike at over 20watts during spin up.
    They will idle at around 2 watts, "green" HDD's do require far less power though and spike lower.

    I take it you're using a controller card to get that many drives plugged in.

    a 2nd psu would probably be best, although I'm not sure how to go about implimenting it, I know you can wire it up.

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    A 2nd PSU would be possible, I think you can get adapters to allow you to connect the 'power on' (green) wire to the motherboard so the PSU powers up with the main one. Failing that you could do some modding which might just involve pulling a few wires out of the 24-pin and jamming them into the first one.
    However, I'm not sure it's the best solution - it's not going to be easy to physically fit a second ATX PSU inside the case (A 1U PSU or something might help there) and if you stagger the spinup of the drives your current PSU should be OK. But again, check there is enough 5v power.

    Edit: This article from Backblaze might be of interest to you: http://blog.backblaze.com/2009/09/01...cloud-storage/

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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Thanks for that Pob. I think I may go with IronWarrior's suggestion with an external caddy instead to be on the safe side.

    I have been pointed to this interesting article (http://www.avforums.com/forums/netwo...nas-build.html) who has built a mega 40Tb server, so I think I might need some tips from this guy.

    Thanks all for the replies.

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: PCI-e power (graphic) lead to power HDDs possible?

    Hmm thanks for that link, should make for an interesting read.

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