Turn on thread page Beta
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I've finally saved enough to build a decent PC!!! But I'd just like to ask a few question before I do....

    If I build a PC with a 500W PSU, would it use the same amount of power all the time no matter if I'm using it to do word processing or gaming?

    If I have four internal hard drives, would all four be "turned on" when ever I turn my PC on? Or is it possible to dismount the three I'm not using and only have the drive with my OS on turned on?

    I'm seriously trying to cut back on my electricity bills atm....

    Thanks all!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Electricity wont just be magically absorbed by your PSU if there is nothing to use it - however, you need to use a good reliable and efficient branded PSU. Also remeber to shop by the number of amps and rails and not just by the wattage.

    Normally, all the drives will be powered. You can set them to power down after a time of non-use but this will increase the wear on the disks. They use about 8W on idle and 11W on seek, which isnt really a lot. Why do you need 4?
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PieMaster)
    Electricity wont just be magically absorbed by your PSU if there is nothing to use it - however, you need to use a good reliable and efficient branded PSU. Also remeber to shop by the number of amps and rails and not just by the wattage.

    Normally, all the drives will be powered. You can set them to power down after a time of non-use but this will increase the wear on the disks. They use about 8W on idle and 11W on seek, which isnt really a lot. Why do you need 4?
    Oh dear, I want to do what ever I can to prolong the life of my hard disks, so turning it on low power won't do it much good? Four is just an example, I'll probably have 2 x 500gigs....

    So what is the best way to prolong the life of the disks? (apart from not using it at all), is it to use it normally?


    Thanks for the tip about the amps a rails, although I haven't a clue what you're on about! I better do more research....

    Which brand PSU would you say is most reliable and energy efficient?

    Thank you so much!
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    The most stress is put on the drive motor during spinup, and the biggest risks of head crash occur when the drive is physically hit or power is removed undexpectedly.
    So if youre careful with them, and dont uneseecarily spin them up and down too much they should last a while longer.

    I generally put Enermax's in all the deskotp/low end servers I build, if you choose any good brand they'll be far more efficient than a cheapo no-name one though.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by [email protected])
    Oh dear, I want to do what ever I can to prolong the life of my hard disks, so turning it on low power won't do it much good? Four is just an example, I'll probably have 2 x 500gigs....

    So what is the best way to prolong the life of the disks? (apart from not using it at all), is it to use it normally?


    Thanks for the tip about the amps a rails, although I haven't a clue what you're on about! I better do more research....

    Which brand PSU would you say is most reliable and energy efficient?

    Thank you so much!
    PSU's have an idle power that they consume while not under load, and a maximum power output that can be taken from them
    For harddrives it makes little difference if you run them all the time or use them normally, just make sure they are not allowed to overheat. Obviously rapid on/off cycles could shorten their life.
    As for a PSU brand, no idea, i never build my pc's, its normally cheaper to buy these days
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    So if I get a western digital hard disk, that should last me for a few years right? (under normal conditions)

    Also, can you tell me a bit about PSU's if possible..... What's this about amps and things, so far I've only been looking at the wattage....
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Wattage is probably more relevant to you if you are looking at electricity supply, what you pay is measured in kWh. A kWh is typically 8p so it would cost you 4p/ per hour for a 500W supply under full load. Personally I would go for seagate disks because they normally come with 5 years warrenty, no other manufacturer comes close, but im sure Western Digital will be fine, i doubt you will be using your pc in 5 years to come.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Think of a rail as a source of power which a number of devices in your computer will be connected to. Most new PSU's will have at least 2 +12v rails.
    Each rail can give out a certian amount of power, which can be measured in either Watts or Amps:

    Watts = Amps x Volts

    However, some cheap PSU manufacturers will use a peak value of what it can supply - ie the amount just before it explodes/melts/whatever.

    It's also relevant which rails are delivering the power. For example, modern systems need far more power on the +12v rails than the -5v one which is barely used anymore.

    Cheap PSU's will also be far less efficient than thier expensive counterparts, and have a higher risk of failiure. When the fail, they also lack the circuitry to help stop surges of power entering your machine and destorying parts.
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by PieMaster)
    Think of a rail as a source of power which a number of devices in your computer will be connected to. Most new PSU's will have at least 2 +12v rails.
    Each rail can give out a certian amount of power, which can be measured in either Watts or Amps:

    Watts = Amps x Volts

    However, some cheap PSU manufacturers will use a peak value of what it can supply - ie the amount just before it explodes/melts/whatever.

    It's also relevant which rails are delivering the power. For example, modern systems need far more power on the +12v rails than the -5v one which is barely used anymore.

    Cheap PSU's will also be far less efficient than thier expensive counterparts, and have a higher risk of failiure. When the fail, they also lack the circuitry to help stop surges of power entering your machine and destorying parts.
    You could probably say that cheap manufacturers often just blatently lie, or count the input voltage of the supply!
 
 
 
Poll
Black Friday: Yay or Nay?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reply
Hide
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.