TeraByte File Server Project - Power

  1. Index
  2. Case
  3. Disk Brick
  4. Power
  5. Cooling
  6. Motherboard
  7. Memory
  8. Disk Controller
  9. Drive Cables
  10. Disk Drives

The project described in this web page was started in May, 2001. The product information in this web page (components to use) is current as of January, 2002. The information in this web page provides the knowledge, and ideas necessary to build a functional TeraByte file server. For more information on current file server offerings, please look here.


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Initially, a power supply of 800W was thought to be sufficient to power two Terabytes of disk. It was later found that the Maxtor 80GB disks required large amounts of 12VDC current to spin up. The manufacturer's specifications say that the drive needs 1.8A of 12VDC to start. Fortunately, when the first disk brick was assembled, it was found to draw between 3A and 4.5A to spin up.

In order to get past about 20 data drives, it will be necessary to find a very large power supply, or to install multiple power supplies in the system. Since I've never found an ATX power supply larger than the 800W unit that's in this case, I see no option, except to slave another power supply off the first one, by the use of custom electronics.

Some dual Athlon motherboards require a special power supply (460W). There is only enough excess power from such a power supply to power eight disks. One or two 800W ATX power supplies will have to be slaved off of the main power supply, if more disks are to be used.

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