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Old December 30, 2007, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 6
Default Single vs Multi rail PSU's

Anyone have any opinions on which is better?

Nowadays it seems that the vast majority of PSU's are multi rail. The only few single rail PSU's I can find that are quality come from Corsair and PCP&C.

I ask because I am looking to buy a new PSU soon. I have a fairly old Thermaltake 560W PSU that I think is single rail with only 20-22A. I've had it since early '05 and it's low efficieny (only about 65%) I think.

I'm leaning towards getting the Corsair 450VX that has a 33a single rail. It'll be enough to power the budget rig I plan on building since I want to upgrade.

Just curious as to what others think between Single Vs Multi rail PSU's.
Mobo: MSI i875P MS-6758
CPU: P4 Northwood
RAM: 2x512mb Kingston
GPU: 6600GT 128MB AGP
Monitor: Gem GM-170B 17"
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Old December 30, 2007, 09:16 AM
jonnyGURU's Avatar
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Northern Illinois
Posts: 48

Single vs. multi completely depends on what power supply we're talking about and what you plan to power with it. There is no blanket "one is better than the other."

When you go with something with one big +12V rail, you lose that safety that limiting a rail to no more than 240VA provides, but if you have a high end machine with multiple +12V rails, if the manufacturer of the PSU goofs up and puts too many connectors on one rail, you could have your PSU shut down unexpectedly because one of your rails exceeded capacity.

Your old PSU is "single rail", sure... but it's a single +12V rail that's only 20A or 22A. So just about ANYTHING made today, single or multi +12V rail, is going to have more usable power (usable for a modern day ATX12V PC) than your old Thermaltake. And since you're able to power that machine with an old Thermaltake 560W, I think it's safe to say that just about anything made today is going to power your system... including the VX450.
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