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Old May 21, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 68
Default 1 line versus 2 whats the difference?

Can anyone explain to me what the real benefit is to having 2 -12volt lines in a power supply instead of one?... I mean the specs seem to be commonly around 18amps x 2 for 2 - 12 volt lines, and say 36amps for a power supply having only one.... just by simple math shouldn't they be equal, they would be in amps.... so is there a hidden benefit to having separate lines?....

Also, I'm getting real close to an upgrading my pc... and I have been looking at sky's reviews... All of the power supplies I'm looking at will be within 10$ of each other... so... Anyone like to do a ranking from best to worst, just looking at wattage, it would seem to be the apex one... but also from experience I do know there's a big difference in what it says on the box and what they can actually do, so ... So, here's my list.

Apex Solytech SL-8600EPS 600W SLI
Silverstone Element ST50EF-PLUS 500W
FSP Fortron AX500-A Blue Storm II 500W
Mushkin HP-550 550W

BTW, the power supply would be powering a 2gb, intel e6600, p965 motherboard, 7200 rpm hd, dvd burner and probably a 8800gts 320mb video card unless ati's pricing drops at least 50$ on there newest card.
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Old May 21, 2007, 05:34 PM
SKYMTL's Avatar
HardwareCanuck Review Editor
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Montreal
Posts: 13,622

I could give you a nice loooong answer but here it is written very well already:

The "power supply FAQ" - jonnyGURU.com Forums
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Old May 21, 2007, 05:39 PM
sswilson's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Moncton NB
Posts: 17,317

My System Specs


Simply put, the "added benefit" of a multi-rail unit is generally to the manufacturer and not to the user.

Up until recently the biggest problem with multi-rail units was that you couldn't simply add the rails together.... they didn't share between the rails, and that meant you were losing Amps if one of the rails was underutilized, and overworking a rail if it had most of the load on it.

Newer multi-rail PSUs (like the Mushkin SKYMTL recently reviewed) have fully active PFC which effectively turns it into a single rail unit when the load on one of the rails exceeds it's rated limits.

From a Graphics card's pov, a strong single 12V rail is preferable as it can react quickly to the sudden demands that newer GPUs can call for.
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