REWIRING POWER CABLES

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HX1000i connections side

SATA power cables are pretty flimsy so with 9 disk bays its best to have a pair of power cables from the PSU. Rigs with 4 or 5 disk bays are not as hard pressed. At present 3 SATA power cables are in use to provide abundant power. Extension cables are convenient to reach to the needed places. Expansion cables are handy for cages etc.

The HX1000i has six peripheral connectors for all the fan controllers desired. The image on the right shows the abundance of connections for peripherals is excellent.

The RM650 (2019) has three peripheral power connectors, This is actually adequate for a three zone configuration. The RM650 comes with 4 PCI Express cables which is more than expected but testing the unit showed dual cards are not a problem.

PERIPHERAL POWER ZONES

  • Front Panel boxes and BD drive
  • Corsair H115I RGB and Commander Pro
  • Hard disk cages

The BD drive and the front USB boxes all use SATA power so its advisable to beware where power is needed. USB power demands for hard disks can reach 900mA which is due to the mechanical properties. USB charging power can be even higher at 3.5A. This area has its own power cable as the demands for 5V are very high. Most PSUs have at least 25A-35A of current which can handle USB charging easily.

Power is also needed for the Corsair H115i RGB and the Corsair Commander Pro. One power cable handles these to be sure the fans have all the power they need. The 5 fans all use 12V so this is abundant easily handled as 12V is more easily handled with SATA power cables. In practice the fans are not very demanding unless running at maximum. The Corsair Commander Pro has power monitoring in addition to fan monitoring which can identify problems.

rm650 rear IO
RM650 (2019) connections side

SATA data cables usually are problem free but they also need to be checked to be sure they are secure. The clip lock cables are more likely to remain in place but they have to be carefully removed when a disk is to be replaced. Hard disk power is at it highest at boot when the BIOS fires up all the hardware. With 9 hard disks is a brief load until power savings turns them off as idle. 3½” hard disks tend to use a maximum of 5W and tend to be < 1W when idle. Recent BIOS features now offer staggered spin up to reduce POST power draw.

If a disk is not showing up in the BIOS check the SATA data cable and power cables. SATA cables are in expensive and often a replacement is needed as they seem to become damaged over time suggesting oxidation is an issue. Buying 10 SATA cables in a lot is low cost and spares are always handy to have.

PERIPHERAL CARDS

Some peripheral cards such as a WiFi card need USB rather than SATA power. USB cards may have a power requirement as the slot power is inadequate. Given the need for USB headers, doubling of the USB 2.0 headers would be practical and doubling of the USB 3.0 headers would also be desirable. The Corsair Commander Pro offers 2 additional USB 2.0 headers. The NEC D720200AF1 is available for PCIe cards for dual 19-pin, 5 gigabit requirements and it can use bus power easily.

USE THE PERIPHERAL CABLES

When wiring up a lot of hardware, do not fret over 3 or 4 cables from the PSU to handle the front panel needs. The extra cable for the Corsair hardware allows fans to be consolidated. A cable for the BD and front panel charging ports and one for the disk cage allows for abundant power where it is needed.

Old machines with Molex cables are not as widely seen now that controllers for 3-pin type fans are widely available. SATA power cables are now displacing Molex for supplemental power generally.