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Power cords and diminishing returns

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of upgrading my PCs, but am wondering what the sweat spot is as far as price.  The price point after which, you see diminishing returns.  for example a $1000 is certainly not twice as good as a $500 cable.

post #2 of 24
Have you read MarkL's shootout of power cords? It's dated but gives you some idea of prices and options.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/219202/its-done-power-cord-shoot-out-22-power-cords-reviewed
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 

WOW!  That is quite an extensive shootout.
 

post #4 of 24
Thread Starter 

So after reading this it seems like around $200-300 is the sweet spot (although obviously use your judgement based on how much your component using the cord costs).  Any other opinions on this?

post #5 of 24

I'm sure that power cords follow the '80 20 Rule'

 

The  80–20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle, the law of the vital few, and the principle of factor sparsity) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.

post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tuberoller1 View Post

I'm thinking of upgrading my PCs, but am wondering what the sweat spot is as far as price.  The price point after which, you see diminishing returns.  for example a $1000 is certainly not twice as good as a $500 cable.


If you are worried about the power to your computer, then there is no reason to get power cable. You should invest your money in a better quality power supply. A high quality power supply will do a better job maintaining a stable supply voltage under load and be less susceptible to back EMF from the digital circuitry. Computer CPU's are switch-mode DC power supplies, that means they pull the current that the need and generate the voltages required. They have filter's to keep everything nice and clean. Your power problems won't be fixed by a power cord. You have a huge variety of choices for power supplies on Newegg

 

Cheers

 

EDIT: it would be informative if you could tell us a bit about your computer and what problems you are having that you hope to address. Then we can make better suggestions.smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by ab initio - 8/6/13 at 8:04pm
post #7 of 24

Ab initio is right the power supply is the key to a stable and well running PC. If you want your worries on that score to be removed buy a 1000W PSU  BUT only a top quality make. These can be bought in the UK for £180 or so.. A cheap power supply that fails has NO built in safety features and will take out your mother board  and probably your video card.What to look out for is most of the key components work off --12V supply that MUST have a HIGH current rating you can get a cheap PS that has say-30amps- current but says it is a 500W supply and you can get a quality 350W  PS  that has much more output current at 12V. I mentioned 1000W unless you have two of the latest and dearest video cards using them for the highest definition games you wont need more than that. Remember its the 12V Wattage that counts work it out for yourself .DONT BUY A CHEAP POWER SUPPLY!!! 

post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by ab initio View Post


If you are worried about the power to your computer, then there is no reason to get power cable. You should invest your money in a better quality power supply. A high quality power supply will do a better job maintaining a stable supply voltage under load and be less susceptible to back EMF from the digital circuitry.

+1

Focus on a quality power supply. And I agree with duncan1 in his post: higher wattage rating does not necessarily mean better power supply.
post #9 of 24

I don't think the OP was talking about upgrading his computers power cable, just that he abbreviated power cable to "PC"

 

I don't really have much advice about choosing a power cord as I am skeptical to their effects.  Maybe if you have some sort of power conditioner, but take a look at the wiring used in the walls and in your components.

 

http://www.hometheaterhifi.com/volume_11_4/feature-article-blind-test-power-cords-12-2004.html

post #10 of 24

In a "toss up" as to whether a  Teflon or better double screened high purity copper/silver conductors etc etc 3/4FT of power cord  is more relevant to a computer than a top quality power supply the decision isn't in doubt---POWER  SUPPLY wins every time. On this issue I am an objective. A bloke in the UK  rewired his whole ring main all the way back to the main fuse box with high purity screened cable. Didnt like the fuses so bypassed them ---and ---yes caused a fire. Some may not believe  this and say its not true but it was in the newspapers years ago. A ring main is only for the use of  the TOTAL current capability of the wiring . In the UKs case that doesnt mean =13AMPS /socket[say 6 sockets=78 AMPS] but TOTAL current allowed on that particular ring main. Kitchen cookers have a separate feed to allow about 30AMPS on it alone[heavier cable] I do not know the wiring system in the US and many power companies have their   own views on that some only have positive[hot] and negative[earth] some have 3 pin=pos/neg/earth in the last case the negative is taken back to the  power station and earthed there[same as UK].


Edited by duncan1 - 8/7/13 at 12:32pm
post #11 of 24
A note for those in the US. British homes operate on 230V , so a 13A circuit would have the same amount of available power has a US 26A circuit.

Grounding and/or earthing are very different in the US and the UK.

In the US the building interior Safety Ground (Protective Earth) (EGC/PE) is connected to the Neutral in the main breaker box at the building's power service entrance. Then outside the service entrance the GEC connects to the ground rod in the dirt.
post #12 of 24

Speedskater-Interesting!--the gec connects to the ground in the dirt. Knowing something about  aerial/antenna grounding it must go many feet into the ground and even then if the ground is very  dry it would present a high resistance. Typically a copper rod  in aerial work has to be inserted 3ft/1 meter   or more. Do you know the depth of the rod in the US? and whether it has wings attached to the sides to spread the contact with the ground. I have come across partial shorts to the negative that didn't blow the fuse but could electrocute you . Whereas a partial short to the earth in the UK has more of a chance of blowing the fuse as it is at a lower resistance to earth potential  That's the logic behind the UK mains wiring.

post #13 of 24
Well a aerial/antenna ground may have a very different purpose. I was a radio broadcast engineer. In the 1 MHz range, one half of the transmitting antenna is buried in the dirt. That's right, 1/2 of the local area radio signal flows through the dirt. That's 20 to 40 miles from the towers. The ground system is 100 or more radial wires buried in the dirt, each about the same length as the tower is tall.

Getting back to US NEC code requirements about ground rods. There is a trick rule in the book. The rule is that you may have one 8 foot rod if the earth/ground/dirt resistance is less than 25 Ohms, but to make that measurement requires a $2500 meter and about 1/2 hour time. So almost all electricians use the other rule that only requires two 8 foot ground rods separated by more than 6 feet. This is a simple summary because nothing in the NEC code book is simple. Almost every rule has hidden exceptions or requirements.

In the US more than 99 % of all homes have a 3 wire single phase 120.240V system.

Edited much later for clarification:
The wires from the power company to the home service entrance are
Hot #1
Hot #2
Neutral/Ground. Yep. over here, Neutral & Ground are the very same wire.
Edited by Speedskater - 8/15/13 at 4:25pm
post #14 of 24
I just saw the code rules in another forum:

(2) Supplemental Electrode Required. A single rod, pipe, or plate electrode shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(8).
The supplemental electrode shall be permitted to be bonded to one of the following: Changed From 2008

? 250.53(A)(2): Added new requirement covering permitted bonding locations for supplemental electrodes.


(1) Rod, pipe, or plate electrode

(2) Grounding electrode conductor

(3) Grounded service-entrance conductor

(4) Nonflexible grounded service raceway

(5) Any grounded service enclosure

Exception: If a single rod, pipe, or plate grounding electrode has a resistance to earth of 25 ohms or less, the supplemental electrode shall not be required.

*******************************************
(2) Supplemental Electrode Required. A metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented by an additional electrode of a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through (A)(8).
If the supplemental electrode is of the rod, pipe, or plate type, it shall comply with 250.53(A).
The supplemental electrode shall be bonded to one of the following: (1) Grounding electrode conductor

(2) Grounded service-entrance conductor

(3) Nonflexible grounded service raceway

(4) Any grounded service enclosure

(5) As provided by 250.32(B)

Exception: The supplemental electrode shall be permitted to be bonded to the interior metal water piping at any convenient point as specified in 250.68(C)(1), Exception.
post #15 of 24

Amazing!!-Speedskater. It shows you are never to old to learn something.  Thanks for the information.

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