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Thread: Laptop drives vs desktop drives as far as power draw

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    Laptop drives vs desktop drives as far as power draw

    I'm trying to decide if I want to switch from a laptop hard drive to a desktop drive to gain capacity. Whats is the difference as far as power consumption goes? How about as far as optical drives go?

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    Constant Bitrate DJKhan85's Avatar
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    as far as I know desktop drives utilize the 12 volt line for all the mechanics and 5 volt for all logic and such. Laptop drives just use the 5 volt line.
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    K, think of it this way.

    Wattage=Volts*Amps

    So, assuming that most HD and Optical drives utilize about 1 amp (If you check, you will see that to be the case, generally) that means a 2.5 drive using 5 volts and 1 amp is using 5 watts, but a 3.5 drive using 1 amp and 12 volts is 12 watts, or more then double the wattage. Multiply that by several drives in a system, Say a 3.5 HD and a 3.5 Optical drive, and you have 24 watts versus 10 watts for 2 2.5 drives.

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    You can always check the specs you know. Doing that will show you that with newer stuff, Wiredwrx is about right, the number are even smaller now with most of hardware.
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    I ran into a odd problem today. Yesterday I had my system installed and running using a laptop HDD and optical drive. Today I transplanted everything into a new larger case with desktop HDD and optical drive and the inverter was being overdrawn and wouldnt come on. So I disconnect both the drives with the same result. I'm running a 750W inverter and a Antec 330W ATX PSU. The PSU draws a max of 8A at 115V. In the past this PSU ran fine without any issues. I pulled out the 330W supply and put in a 120W generic supply and everything fired up fine. That is until I tried watching TV while installing software and using the GPS. Thats when the system shutdown. I unplugged the PC for a few seconds and plugged it back in and once again I was in business. I havent tried loading it up again but its working fine now. I just purchased a 150W supply tonight so that should give me the little bit of juice I need.

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