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Auggie

PSU Recommendations of new Norco RPC-4224 build to support 24 Hitachi 4TB drives

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I'm beginning the initial stages of building a brand new server to replace my outgrown 14-drive X7SPA-HF Atom D510 in which I have been replacing each of its 2/3TB drives with Hitachi 4TB drives (wish WD would release a Caviar Green since I'm all about the lowest power consumption as possible).  To save the investment in the drives, I've been reutilizing the replaced drives as external USBs attached directly to my Media Player (PCH-C200), but due to the frustrating method that NMT's handle its hard drives which typically requiring re-indexing of the video catalog if they are unplugged then reattached, it's time I build a proper media storage server to encompass the maximum number of drives possible under unRAID, as well as finally providing RAID protection over all drives since the USB drives (7 of them currently) are vulnerable to data loss.

 

I've now got my hands on a Supermicro X9SCM-F, Intel Pentium 2.3GHz, 16GB Hynix, and two Supermicro AOC-SASLP-MV8's, which will eventually be installed into a Norco RPC-4224.  So my question now is what would be the recommended power supply to handle this mobo configuration plus 24 Hitachi 4TB drives ?  My priorities are: 1) Quality, 2) Reliability, 3) Quietness, 4) Efficiency.

 

I've seen a new build thread utilizing Seasonic X-850, although he was going for 22x WD Green 3TBs (6W R/W, 5.5W idle)* and 2x WD Black 3TBs (10.4 R/W, 8.1W idle)* compared to my intended 22x Hitachi 5K4000 (~6W R/W, 4.9W idle)** and 2x Hitachi 7K4000 (~9W R/W, 6.9W idle)**.

 

On a tangent, as I don't yet have the Norco case and I've been unsuccessful finding any online documentation, nor am I sufficiently knowledgeable with SAS technology, I'm assuming I would be able to connect the 24 drives from the Norco backplane to the AOC-SASLP's via 6 SAS internal cables assuming each Norco SAS port handles 4 drives each, yes?

 

* Specs provided by Western Digital

** R/W specs provided by StorageReview; idle specs provided by Hitachi

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The Seasonic X series, or the Corsair HX series are both excellent drives.  750W is plenty for your system .. it's actually far more than you need EXCEPT for the drive startup current.

 

[Probably my #1 "wish list" for UnRAID is that Tom would add staggered spinup support  :) ]

 

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The Seasonic X series, or the Corsair HX series are both excellent drives.  750W is plenty for your system .. it's actually far more than you need EXCEPT for the drive startup current.

 

[Probably my #1 "wish list" for UnRAID is that Tom would add staggered spinup support  :) ]

 

The startup current requirements is the reason I'm looking at the 850W.  So as you, I do wish staggered spin-up support would be added, but I'm more than happy that >2TB drive support was incorporated into 5.0 over other many other features that were not included as it allowed me to immediately take advantage of the larger drives as they came to market.  As we stand, 5.0 beta is still a work in progress going on several years, so I can't imagine what I would have done if >2TB drive support was NOT incorporated into the initial 5.0 "release."

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I don't think you really need the 850, but a bit extra won't hurt EXCEPT that you'll likely be running it at a lower efficiency than you would with the 750.

 

As you probably know, 80+ certifications are done at 3 data points:  20% load, 50% load, and full load.    If you're running below 20% capacity, your PSU's efficiency drops off quite rapidly.

 

So ... a 750w supply running a system that's drawing less than 150w is NOT running at it's peak efficiency (80+%) ... and for an 850w unit that would be anything below 170w.

 

If you measure your system's typical draw (with a Kill-a-Watt) I suspect you'll see that it's well below those numbers ... except for a parity check when all drives are spinning.

 

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If you measure your system's typical draw (with a Kill-a-Watt) I suspect you'll see that it's well below those numbers ... except for a parity check when all drives are spinning.

 

Here's a great breakdown of common high capacity drives and their power states (taken from Storage Review):

hitachi_deskstar_5k4000_4tb_power_values.png

 

You can see just how much more drives consume at startup than during reads and writes. Staggered spinup would allow for smaller (by a factor of at least 2x smaller) and more efficient PSUs to be used in our systems.

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I've got the Seasonic X850 in my Norco 4224 build. It's been great. Not using all 24 bays yet though.

 

As for your question about the SAS backplanes, yes, you just go straight from SAS ports on the cards to the SAS backplanes. Something like these work great if you don't already have the cables. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816116093

A word of advice: unmount the fan wall from the case and connect the data and power cables to the backplanes ahead of time so you've got plenty of room to get your hands in there so you can to prevent skinned knuckles and much swearing later on.

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I hate cross-posting, but this seems relevant to this discussion as well:

 

Remember that BackBlaze is currently using (2) 760w PSUs for their 45 drive Storage Pods, plus one more OS drive. From the blog post:

 

There is more to power than just Watts. ATX power supplies deliver power at several voltages or ‘rails’ (12V, 5V, 3.3V, etc). Each vendor imposes unique limits on the amount of power you can draw off of each rail and unused power on one rail cannot be used on another. In particular, most high end power supplies are designed to deliver most of their power on the 12V rail because that is what high end gamer PCs use. Unfortunately, hard drives draw a lot of power off the 5V rail and can easily overwhelm a high wattage power supply. You will hit serious problems if power requirements for each component are not met so be careful if you don’t use the power supplies we recommend.

 

The specs for their recommended power supply, the Zippy 760w PSM-5670V:

VOLTAGE:  90 ~ 264 VAC FULL RANGE

FREQUENCY : 47 ~ 63 HZ

INPUT CURRENT: 12 A ( RMS ) FOR 115VAC / 6A ( RMS ) FOR 230VAC

INRUSH CURRENT: 20A MAX. FOR 115 VAC / 40A MAX. FOR 230 VAC

PFC CAN REACH THE TARGET OF 95% @230V, FULL LOAD

 

Output VoltageOutput Current Min.Output Current Max.Output Current PeakRegulation LoadRegulation LineOutput Ripple & Noise Max.[P-P]

+5V0.525.00±5%±1%50mV

+12V155.00±5%±1%120mV

-12V00.8±5%±1%120mV

+3.3V0.525±5%±1%50mV

+5VSB0.13.5±5%±1%50mV

 

* TEMPERATURE RANGE: OPERATING 0C ~ 50C

* HOLD UP TIME: WHEN POWER SHUTDOWN DC OUTPUT 5V MUST BE MAINTAIN 16MSEC IN REGULATION LIMIT AT NORMAL INPUT VOLTAGE

* HUMIDITY: OPERATING:20%-80%, NON-OPERATING:10%-90%

* EFFICIENCY: TYPICAL 80-85% AT 25C 115V FULL LOAD

 

This is in a production environment designed for long term storage, where customers will not tolerate a lot of "poof" type failures.

 

They are effectively running twice as many drives as we can on one unRAID installation, on about 1500W worth of PSUs. So dividing their requirements in half effectively cuts it down to one sub 1000w PSU with a beefy 5v rail being sufficient for 20+ drives, the motherboard, and processor. Clearly they avoided the surprisingly 5v hungry WD drives.

 

Based on their recommendations, I would submit that the Zippy 860w PSM-5860V (the bigger brother) could probably handle the job of a 24 drive, non-WD based unRAID server, with a moderate processor.

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So my question now is what would be the recommended power supply to handle this mobo configuration plus 24 Hitachi 4TB drives ?  My priorities are: 1) Quality, 2) Reliability, 3) Quietness, 4) Efficiency.

 

I've seen a new build thread utilizing Seasonic X-850, although he was going for 22x WD Green 3TBs (6W R/W, 5.5W idle)* and 2x WD Black 3TBs (10.4 R/W, 8.1W idle)* compared to my intended 22x Hitachi 5K4000 (~6W R/W, 4.9W idle)** and 2x Hitachi 7K4000 (~9W R/W, 6.9W idle)**.

 

Hi Auggie,

 

I just recently built a 24-drive server, replacing my 20-drive server (which worked great with a 610W power supply).  I've also conducted extensive power measurements, so I think I can give you some solid guidance.

 

Now, I haven't scaled up to 24 drives yet, I'm at 16, but I'll extrapolate the results to 24.  These numbers are from my 'Current' build in my signature, and all of my drives are 5400/eco speed.

 

* Cold Boot Max Wattage with 16 Drives (Act):  220W

* Cold Boot Max Wattage with 24 Drives (Est): 290W

 

* Server Idle with all 16 Drives in Standby (Act): 71W

* Server Idle with all 24 Drives in Standby (Est): 80W

 

* Parity Check Max Wattage with 16 Drives (Act): 161W

* Parity Check Max Wattage with 24 Drives (Est): 202W

 

* unRAID simultaneous spin-up w/ 16 Drives (Act): 268W

* unRAID simultaneous spin-up w/ 24 Drives (Est): 360W

 

So the big daddy is obviously unRAID's simultaneous drive spin-up.  I've carefully read between the lines of some of Tom's recent posts, and I would hazard a guess that staggered spin up is not coming.  In a drive failure mode, unRAID spins up all drives so that it can read data from them to simulate the data on the failed drive, and it seems that Tom's perspective is that this should happen instantaneously.  Tom's posts on this matter may be gone now with the deletion of [he who shall not be named], who was trying to cajole Tom into some hacked-up form of staggered spin-up.

 

While 360W is much lower than the 750W/850W power supplies you're looking at, you certainly do not want to start looking at 360W power supplies, as you need some headroom and plenty of wattage on the 12 volt rail.  Also, your other components might require a bit more/less wattage than my components require, so you need to keep that in mind.

 

So, here's an easy way to determine if a power supply will work for a 24-drive server:

 

1st)  Make sure it has a single 12V rail.  If it has multiple rails, walk away.

2nd)  Make sure that the 12V rail wattage, minus the 3.3V/5V rail wattage, is at least 400W (I added 10% to my number above).

 

That's it.  From there, you get to choose what brand, features and 80+ rating you need.  The 400W 12V value is more than enough, as the 360W I estimated above is not all on the 12V line, so there's lot's of headroom in that 400W number (probably about 100W of headroom).

 

For my build I chose the Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-650, which is a 650W power supply.  It has 648W on the 12V rail, and 100W on the 3.3V/5V rail, which basically lowers the 12V rail maximum wattage to 548W.  In all honesty, I think this power supply is too big!  The cooling fan has never once turned on with any load I've been able to throw at it, so it is completely silent.  With an 80W idle, the power supply is at 12% power consumption, so it didn't quite get into the 20% efficiency band, but this power supply is notably efficient even around 10%.

 

Kingwin also makes a LZP-550 550W power supply which has 546W on the single 12V rail and 100W on the 3.3V/5V rail, leaving about 446W of solid 12V power.  I think this might be just about perfect for a 24 drive server.  If you had an 80W idle, that would be closer to 15% power consumption, so the power supply should be more efficient.  550W is the smallest I think you would safely want to go, and only then if it is a high-quality power supply like the Kingwin I mentioned.  You certainly have more brand options in the 650W range, which is probably the largest you would really need to go.

 

Hope that helps.  Obviously it is easier to just go large, but you lose out on efficiency. 

 

-Paul

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Paul's done a lot of detailed measurements in his thread on a low-power 24 drive server ... and I think he's right-on with his suggestion of a 550w unit.  In fact, a good 450w unit like the Seasonic SSR-450RM SHOULD have plenty of power for a 24-drive spinup  [444w on the 12v rail, 100w on the 5v].    In fact, the detailed measurements Paul has done convince me even more that the Seasonic would do just fine in a 24 drive system as long as all the drives are relatively low-power units [WD Reds or Greens, or the new Seagate NAS units].

 

HOWEVER, the 4TB Hitachi's draw appreciably more power than the WD Reds that I believe are the bulk of Paul's drives.    WD Reds are rated at a spinup draw of 8.4w [0.6a from the 5v bus and .45a from the 12v bus] ... the Hitachi's are rated at a spinup draw of 12.45w [0.85a from 12v, 0.45 from 5v].    That's roughly 50% more power draw than the WD Reds ... so you need to factor that into your PSU requirements.  Clearly the SSR-450RM isn't good for that set of drives, but a high-quality 650w unit should be plenty.      A higher capacity unit doesn't "hurt" anything, except you'll be running at lower efficiencies when the drives aren't spinning.

 

I started a discussion on staggered spinup a couple of times, but quite frankly have convinced myself that regardless of whether it was available or not, we should still have PSUs that can handle the full spinup load.  [You can read the discussion here:  http://lime-technology.com/forum/index.php?topic=28064.0 ]

 

FYI, most high-quality 80+ PSU's will still maintain 70% efficiency down to about a 10% load; then they drop to around 60% when you get much below that.    So a high quality 650w unit will be at least 70% efficient down to a 65w draw, and a system with 24 drives is VERY unlikely to get below that  :)

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In fact, a good 450w unit like the Seasonic SSR-450RM SHOULD have plenty of power for a 24-drive spinup  [444w on the 12v rail, 100w on the 5v].

 

While I'm curious to see if that would indeed work, I wouldn't bet the farm on it.  That power supply has a total combined rating of 450W, distributed as 444W 12V + 100W 3.3V/5V + 3.6W -12V + 12.5W 5Vsb, which adds up to 560W.  That means 110W can never be realized, and for safety I would subtract the 110W from the 12V rail, bringing it down to 334W guaranteed.

 

I think it is right on the bleeding edge of doable, with a good dose of random crashes mixed in.  ;)

 

regardless of whether [staggered spinup] was available or not, we should still have PSUs that can handle the full spinup load.

 

I agree 100%.

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...The specs for their recommended power supply, the Zippy 760w PSM-5670V:

VOLTAGE:  90 ~ 264 VAC FULL RANGE

FREQUENCY : 47 ~ 63 HZ

INPUT CURRENT: 12 A ( RMS ) FOR 115VAC / 6A ( RMS ) FOR 230VAC

INRUSH CURRENT: 20A MAX. FOR 115 VAC / 40A MAX. FOR 230 VAC

PFC CAN REACH THE TARGET OF 95% @230V, FULL LOAD

 

Output VoltageOutput Current Min.Output Current Max.Output Current PeakRegulation LoadRegulation LineOutput Ripple & Noise Max.[P-P]

+5V0.525.00±5%±1%50mV

+12V155.00±5%±1%120mV

-12V00.8±5%±1%120mV

+3.3V0.525±5%±1%50mV

+5VSB0.13.5±5%±1%50mV

 

* TEMPERATURE RANGE: OPERATING 0C ~ 50C

* HOLD UP TIME: WHEN POWER SHUTDOWN DC OUTPUT 5V MUST BE MAINTAIN 16MSEC IN REGULATION LIMIT AT NORMAL INPUT VOLTAGE

* HUMIDITY: OPERATING:20%-80%, NON-OPERATING:10%-90%

* EFFICIENCY: TYPICAL 80-85% AT 25C 115V FULL LOAD

 

 

  That reminds me of a recent power supply failure I had...  I had recently replaced an old 350 watt power supply that had been in service for many years, because the fan was going bad.  I replaced it with a 450 watt power supply, and did not think more about it, till it died a week later!  Then I looked at the ratings, and found it was 1/2 as capable as my old 350 watt power supply was on the 5 volt rail!  It is an old mother board, and has lots of older IDE hard drives in it, and the load was way too much for the newer power supply, since the loading has shifted from the 5-volt rail to the 12-volt rail for newer computers and power supplies in general.  I have now since replaced it with a 650 watt power supply, as that was where I needed to go to match my 5-volt power rail needs!

 

  Just a reminder that yes, wattage is not the only thing to look at, we also need to make sure of the power distribution between voltage rails.  :-(... at least I did not loose anything more than a power supply in my haste of not thinking about what I actually already knew...

 

 

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I run (24) 4tb seagates (DX and DM) on a 520W seasonic fanless platinum. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151122

 

Excellent!  If you subtract the 3.3V/5V/-12V/5Vsb rails from the total 520W, that power supply has a solid 400W on the 12V rail (plus plenty of power on the 5V rails too, as electron286 mentioned). 

 

c3, do you have any wattage measurements?  Specifically, peak wattage when unRAID spins up all drives simultaneously?

 

Anyone out there running a 24 drive server on a smaller power supply?

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I would not really go by the numbers I saw on the $20 p3 kill-a-watt, but it has ~280W. Spinup peak draw is very short duration and the digital display only updates so fast. The seasonic can exceed rated power for short periods. I would put in a 460FL if it was handy.

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That's an excellent real-world example.    And if it can handle 24 of the Seagate DX/DM's, it can easily handle 24 WD Reds, WD Greens, or the new Seagate NAS units.  In short, it would seem to be a very good tradeoff of size vs. efficiency.  At 520w, the 20% point is only 104w, and it will be above 70% all the way down to 52w  :)

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All good advice and recommendation!

 

As my application is strictly a Media Server, low-power is the goal.

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I run (24) 4tb seagates (DX and DM) on a 520W seasonic fanless platinum. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151122

 

Seems this will fit my bill as the Hitachi's draw a bit less current than the Seagates, but.... this PSU seems to be hard to find presently...  :(

 

 

Off topic but can you slim your signature down some? A 19 line signature is a little ridiculous..

 

As for the PSU, the SS-660XP2 is going to be pretty comparable, the main differences being a higher wattage rating and it includes a fan. If you put the fan control switch in the hybrid setting it will only run when absolutely necessary. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817151121

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Ya, I just noticed the sig juxtaposed with just one sentence posts was over the top.  It was intended to help others easily reference my configuration and application when fielding questions of mine, but i think my original and reliable system is no longer relevant.

 

I will look into that other PSU as i like being able to run fanless when possible but have it handy if the need arises.

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I used the Seasonic SS-660XP2 in a system I built for a friend last year and it is indeed virtually silent ... even in "normal" mode.    In normal mode the fan is still off until about a 30% load ... and the reality is it never hits that level with his 15-drive setup  :)

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There's something to be said for having some extra power on board if you need it. When the 5TB drives come along and you get that upgrade itch, the drives may be more power hungry than your current drives. Then you'd have to upgrade the PSU as well. Just more food for your brain. :)

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Absolutely grateful you mentioned that because I'm positive i would jump on the next largest drive release as I've always done that in the past and discontinued purchasing the previous capacity king.  Since I do not want to maintain multiple servers for many reasons, and my entertainment media library never ceases to grow ever larger, I'm always striving for the maximum capacity drives to stuff into unRAID's 24 drive limitation.

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Absolutely grateful you mentioned that because I'm positive i would jump on the next largest drive release as I've always done that in the past and discontinued purchasing the previous capacity king.  Since I do not want to maintain multiple servers for many reasons, and my entertainment media library never ceases to grow ever larger, I'm always striving for the maximum capacity drives to stuff into unRAID's 24 drive limitation.

 

Western Digital has announced both 4TB and 5TB Reds for delivery later this year (4TB) and early next (5TB) ... so if you don't NEED additional capacity, I'd hold off on purchases until they're available.    I doubt, however, that they'll use much more power than the 3TB units ... as WD is VERY focused on keeping these low power units.

 

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Yes, the larger drives will not require a larger power supply.

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