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SATA / Molex Power and data cable hard drive question

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by squeezin, Mar 4, 2007.

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  1. squeezin

    squeezin Thread Starter

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    Hi there, im wondering if there is anything wrong with running three hard rives off the same power source. Basically coming form my power supply (antec 550 watt) im looking to split a single molex into three SATA power cables for the three hard drives b/c i have the molex to sata power splitter to do so. This way the case can stay a bit neater. But am not sure of the reprcussions of doing so if any.

    I can see in the case of a power surge that there might be an issue...but i think there would be an issue either way if there was a power surge. But other than that i think i should all right...i think. But id rather ask first and she what ya all say before i go killing three drives with one stone. :eek:


    Also, with the SATA II data cables that have the metal latch for keeping from coming dislodged....can those work on drives that are only sata I. Well im sure they would work...but would the latch actually make the data cable from coming off easier if the drive isnt meant for it??


    Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. (y)
     
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  3. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Not really. The #16 wire that supplies the juice is rated for 10A, and the three drives will draw a fraction of that.
     
  4. squeezin

    squeezin Thread Starter

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    So to clearify the "not really" , i should be good to go with my idea of splitting the power between three drives?

    what about four or 5 drives for that matter for future referencer? :confused:

    Thanks
     
  5. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Yep, should be no problem. Four or five wouldn't either, but just to be prudent, I'd probably stick to two-three tops. Each drive draws less than 2A peak from the 12V when it spins up, so even five probably wouldn't tax the line.
     
  6. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    And yes the cables with the clips will work on any sata drives...that was done to keep them from falling off which is a frequent problem on older cables.
     
  7. squeezin

    squeezin Thread Starter

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    Thanks JohnWill , I just looked at the specs for my Seagate drive and it says the "max start current, DC." is 2.80 amps. But thats max...:rolleyes: Cant quite figure at my WD drives though.

    From Seagate:

    RELIABILITY
    Annual Failure Rate 0.34 %
    Unrecoverable read errors 1 in 1014
    Average idle current 9.30 watts
    Average seek power 12.60 watts
    Standby power 0.80 watts
    Sleep power 0.807 watts
    Maximum start current, DC 2.80 amps



    From WD:

    Electrical Specifications

    Current Requirements
    12 VDC
    Read/Write 525 mA
    Idle 450 mA
    Standby 16 mA
    Sleep 16 mA
    5 VDC

    Read/Write 750 mA
    Idle 690 mA
    Standby 300 mA
    Sleep 280 mA

    Power Dissipation
    Read/Write 10.00 Watts
    Idle 8.80 Watts
    Standby 1.70 Watts
    Sleep 1.60 Watts


    Thanks Rich-M ...I didnt want to go through the hassle of buying SATA II data cables with the metal latches if they wernt going to work on regular SATA I drives that never had intensions of th emetal clip. I didnt think it would interfear though.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    They don't seem to specify the startup current for the WD drive.

    As far as the SATA cables with the metal clips, they work great on any SATA drive, I've got a number of them on my drives, both early SATA I drives and SATA II drives.
     
  9. squeezin

    squeezin Thread Starter

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    Well i guess i could just use two cables to be safe for the three drives.....but im the type that likes to eliminate whats not needed. :rolleyes:

    Lets say their wouldnt be enough juice getting to the drives....how would one tell?
    Since they will draw the most power at spin up like most electronics do, would the BIOS recognize the lack of power and simply not boot? Would i be able to boot and then unexpectedly start loosing data? Something like that??? :eek:

    B/c if thats the case ill just use two cables instead of one :confused:

    thanks for the info on the SATA II clips....i couldnt find any info on whether or not they were backwards compatible with regular SATA I drives that were built without the SATA II clip in mind. (y)
     
  10. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I am not quite sure what you mean here...you cannot use more than 1 cable per drive.
     
  11. squeezin

    squeezin Thread Starter

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    "Well i guess i could just use two cables to be safe for the three drives"

    Is this what your repling to?

    If so i just ment two power cables from the PSU. One going to one drive and the other being spit into two for the other two drives.
     
  12. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Ah ok got it now...
     
  13. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    If you want to be "really" safe, limit them to three drives on a single cable.
     
  14. squeezin

    squeezin Thread Starter

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    sry for the late response....been jumping thru hoops for work and this "on call" stuff is really starting to catch up with my mental state. It feels like it was only two days ago when i last posted....time warped and jet lagged:eek:

    So three to be safe sounds good. Id rather play it safe than sorry.

    So lets say i was having draw issues with the three drives hooked up from the same line, what might be some noticable affects other than maybe the bios not letting the computer boot? ....Just for future reference while im here. :)
     
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