Mining Ready PSUs
We initiate a new program, through which we find the most suitable PSUs for mining or in general highly stressful applications where besides high efficiency, high performance and increased reliability are also required.
Most of you have probably heard of Bitcoin, the coin that initiated the mining frenzy. Currently there is a great number of crypto currencies and it is still profitable to mine some of them using a plain desktop PC instead of using a special ASIC (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit). Briefly mining is a record-keeping service which demands of huge processing power, leading miners who use PCs for this process to take advantage of the raw power that GPUs provide instead of utilizing the system’s CPU(s). The problem is that GPUs have to operate under full load conditions highly stressing the power supply (PSU). We should stress here however that even ASICs (like the popular Antminer systems) use normal, desktop PSUs. So besides a highly efficient PSU, in order to keep the electricity cost as low as possible, you also need a reliable unit which will be able to operate 24/7 under highly stressful conditions without sweating. As expected the PSU’s noise doesn’t concern miners since most crypto-currency farming facilities operate in dedicated spaces where the operators don’t have to stay long; even home miners should install their mining systems in isolated spaces, where noise won’t be a problem. As a matter of fact, in PSUs used for mining purposes the fan is expected to operate close to its full speed most of the time, given the high load output, effectively cooling down sensitive components which dramatically affect a PSU’s reliability (e.g. the electrolytic capacitors of the secondary side).
- [Requirement] 1 kW or higher capacity.
- [Requirement] ETA-B and higher efficiency certification.
- [Requirement] Lower than 50mV ripple at +12V under full load at increased operating temperatures (>45°C).
- [Requirement] Quality fan with double ball-bearings.
- [Requirement] Two EPS connectors.
- [Requirement] For PSUs with up to 1.1 kW capacity the minimum number of 6+2 pin PCIe connectors is six. For PSUs with over 1.1 kW capacity the number of minimum 6+2 pin PCIe connectors is eight and for PSUs with over 1.45 kW capacity the minimum is ten 6+2 pin PCIe connectors.
- [Recommendation] Dedicated cables with 6+2 pin PCIe connectors are preferred. In case a cable hosts two PCIe connectors, it needs to have 16AWG gauges up to the first connector for the six out of the eight pins at least.
- [Requirement] At least four 4-pin Molex connectors on more than two cables in 1 kW and stronger PSUs and six 4-pin Molex connectors in three or more cables for 1.45 kW and higher wattage PSUs. In case the PSU has more than ten 6+2 pin PCIe connectors we are covered with four 4-pin Molex connectors on two cables in any case.
- [Recommendation] Ideally the peripheral connectors should have 15cm distance between them.
- [Requirement] All peripheral cables should use 18AWG wires minimum.
- [Requirement] For 1.4kW and stronger PSUs a C19 coupler is required, while an AC power cord with 14AWG wires should be used. For lower capacity PSUs an AC power cord with 16AWG gauges at least is required.
- [Recommendation] Ideally every PSU with 1.2kW or more capacity should use a 14AWG power cord along with a C19 coupler.
- [Requirement] The essential protection features (SCP, OPP) including Over Temperature Protection.
- [Requirement] Over 18ms hold-up time and an accurate power ok signal.
- [Requirement] Complete EMI filtering stage (minimum components: 4x Y caps, 2x X caps, two CM chokes, an MOV) along with inrush current protection (an NTC thermistor is required which ideally should be supported by a bypass relay).
- [Requirement] Impeccable build quality including quality MOSFETs, high quality bulk and filtering capacitors (105°C and the majority of filtering caps on the secondary side much have higher than 5,000h lifetime). The use of polymer caps on the secondary side is preferred.
- [Recommendation] One year minimum warranty for 24/7 operation under full load at 35-40°C