The Modular PSU and the Modern Gaming Rig - A Replacement Tale

The Modular PSU and the Modern Gaming Rig - A Replacement Tale

  • By: Geofry S. Glenn
  • Posted 27th Dec 2011

PSU Tech in 2012

Now fast-forward almost 5 years and the technology of the PSU has changed immensely! Over the course of the past five years since I originally built my system I have been inside it maybe half-a-dozen times, and performed major surgery on it perhaps four times -- replacing the mainboard and CPU twice, adding RAM once, and a couple of storage upgrades, the most recent giving it a pair of 2TB SATA Arrays as both a performance boost and cheap insurance that has paid off well since I switched to it.

Last year when I booted up one morning I got an alarm condition telling me that one of the units in Array 0 had failed -- and if I had not had a mirrored array there, I would have been screwed. The simple solution -- and what I ended up doing -- was ordering a replacement drive and then, when I got it, flashing the drive Bios to the most recent version and replacing the bad drive. It took most of a day to rebuild the mirror, but that whole day was spent silently praising RAID.

Looking inside the case during the process of pulling the old drive and replacing it I was reminded again how amazing the PSU was -- none of the old-style PSU's could have provided the special needs that my gaming rig has -- they just do not have the right number and types of wires! A quick summary of the system requirements include the four SATA drives that make up the two arrays, the BluRay Drive and a standard CD/CDR/DVD/DVDR drive, two video cards with a power cable to each, the two power connections for the mainboard, the cooling liquid system controller and pump along with the min-display totals 12 connections -- and with the set of cables that the PSU came stock with there was only one single unused tip floating in the system, and it still had three unused ports on the PSU! Now that is capacity!

If you add that all up what you see when you look at the desktop from the outside is a system with two hard drives that each have 2TB capacity, a BluRay optical drive, a burner, the mini-display that constantly kicks out the temperature and speeds of the different devices and a running status indicator for the RAID arrays and the integrated liquid cooling stats , with some odds and ends like the USB-based kit that includes an amazing little device called the Clickfree Automatic Backup that serves the function of housekeeping for my data.

--== The Clickfree 640GB USB 2.0 Portable Network Backup w/ Cradle ==--

I should mention that I love this thing. Obviously it is not big enough to back-up the entire system, but the included cradle provides a convenient and regular spot for the unit to be connected and charged and the included software -- once you configure it -- will automagically back up the directories you have told it to either as full back-ups or incrementally for just the changed files.

In addition to that as long as the drives or directories are shared to your network you can back up other systems across the network just as easily from the host system -- but you are not forced to do that. There is a very short cable and USB plug built into the pocket-sized device so you can plug it into any system and configure what you want backed up, allowing you to maintain multiple data back-ups on a single device so your data is always safe.

Sure, USB thumb drives are great but they are easy to lose and lack the capacity of this device -- you should check that out if you do not have a data backup strategy in place. Seriously. They actually have them on sale right now on their site so you can score one of the 640GB models for just $70 (but it is one of those "while supplies last" deals).

They also make non-portable models like the 1 TB Clickfree C2N USB 2.0 Network Ready Desktop Backup Drive that you can use to do pretty much the same thing but it does not travel with you...