PSU cables - wire gauge

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Ghia
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Message 1977472 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 11:04:32 UTC

Hi,
Got a Corsair HX1000i (platinum, fully modular) for my new build.
The cables look like crap, so I'm looking into getting some nice sleeved cables, at least for the most visible connections.
So the choice I have to make is, should I buy a complete set, or juste extensions.
Extensions would of course be cheaper, so I thought 16AWG wire would be nice.
Surprise came when I discovered that the original wires are 18AWG.
So...what happens (if anything) if I get 16AWG extensions for 18AWG cables ?
If I buy complete 16AWG cables for the connections that draw the most power (24-pin, CPU and GPU),
can they safely be used in tandem with the original 18AWG cables for the remaining connections ?
Does any of this matter to the PSU at all ?

...Ghia...
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Message 1977475 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 11:32:03 UTC

What current is being passed through these cables? - Let that guide your cable choice first, then the "prettiness" of the outside.
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Message 1977476 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 11:39:41 UTC - in response to Message 1977475.  

What current is being passed through these cables? - Let that guide your cable choice first, then the "prettiness" of the outside.

I know that what you call "prettiness" is somewhat frowned upon in this community. But I do care about how my build looks, like it or not. If I didn't, I'd just go with the original set of cables. I'm sure Corsair's 18AWG cables are sufficient for the current, that is not the question.
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Message 1977490 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 13:55:54 UTC - in response to Message 1977472.  

Hi,
Got a Corsair HX1000i (platinum, fully modular) for my new build.
The cables look like crap, so I'm looking into getting some nice sleeved cables, at least for the most visible connections.
So the choice I have to make is, should I buy a complete set, or juste extensions.
Extensions would of course be cheaper, so I thought 16AWG wire would be nice.
Surprise came when I discovered that the original wires are 18AWG.
So...what happens (if anything) if I get 16AWG extensions for 18AWG cables ?
If I buy complete 16AWG cables for the connections that draw the most power (24-pin, CPU and GPU),
can they safely be used in tandem with the original 18AWG cables for the remaining connections ?
Does any of this matter to the PSU at all ?

...Ghia...


Personally, I would ensure any extension cables you make up have the same capacity of the cables you're extending. Using thinner cables could be problematic, since they are likely to heat up quicker than the existing cables. I would have thought, (no offence intended) that safety would take precedence over looks ;-)

P.
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Message 1977493 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 14:08:45 UTC - in response to Message 1977490.  


Personally, I would ensure any extension cables you make up have the same capacity of the cables you're extending. Using thinner cables could be problematic, since they are likely to heat up quicker than the existing cables. I would have thought, (no offence intended) that safety would take precedence over looks ;-)
P.


Of course, safety comes first ! That is why I'm asking this question. And since 16AWG wire is 0.267mm thicker than 18AWG, I would think 16AWG is the better choice.
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Message 1977499 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 14:59:14 UTC - in response to Message 1977493.  

Using the thicker cables will make no difference, in fact it adds a safety factor. Current will actually flow easier. As I see you are fully aware that the lower number means thicker wire and it will make no difference to the PS.

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Message 1977501 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 15:04:45 UTC - in response to Message 1977499.  

Using the thicker cables will make no difference, in fact it adds a safety factor. Current will actually flow easier. As I see you are fully aware that the lower number means thicker wire and it will make no difference to the PS.

Thank you....yes, the whole idea behind going for 16AWG is to increase safety...not to lower it, as some seem to think.
If it doesn't matter to the PSU, you think 16AWG extensions on 18AWG cables is ok ?
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Message 1977510 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 16:04:55 UTC - in response to Message 1977501.  

I wouldn't touch extensions unless absolutely necessary.
99.9% of the time the failure point is a connection, and you are introducing one more in the chain.
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Message 1977511 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 16:08:10 UTC - in response to Message 1977501.  

Using the thicker cables will make no difference, in fact it adds a safety factor. Current will actually flow easier. As I see you are fully aware that the lower number means thicker wire and it will make no difference to the PS.

Thank you....yes, the whole idea behind going for 16AWG is to increase safety...not to lower it, as some seem to think.
If it doesn't matter to the PSU, you think 16AWG extensions on 18AWG cables is ok ?

Yes, but as has just been said, it would be better to not use extensions at all.

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Message 1977515 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 16:28:58 UTC - in response to Message 1977510.  

I wouldn't touch extensions unless absolutely necessary.
99.9% of the time the failure point is a connection, and you are introducing one more in the chain.

Tnx, true enough....I didn't think about that ! I'll go the other route, then, using full length cables.
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Message 1977516 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 16:35:48 UTC - in response to Message 1977515.  
Last modified: 28 Jan 2019, 16:36:48 UTC

using full length cables.

Keep you cables short as possible, avoid extra connections and use only top quality components is always the best path to follow.
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Message 1977528 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 17:38:13 UTC - in response to Message 1977516.  

using full length cables.

Keep you cables short as possible, avoid extra connections and use only top quality components is always the best path to follow.

+1
I'll take some measurements and keep the cables as short as possible. The cabinet is large, with the PSU in the back and a horizontal mobo,
so at least some of the cables can be kept reasonably short.
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Message 1977540 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 18:43:44 UTC
Last modified: 28 Jan 2019, 18:44:21 UTC

FYI doesn't every PSU tell you how many volts and amps it supplies in the specs or on the label?

Then there is https://www.usawire-cable.com/pdfs/nec%20ampacities.pdf and https://www.powerstream.com/Wire_Size.htm

Make sure the connectors are rated for the load and attached correctly.
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Message 1977588 - Posted: 28 Jan 2019, 23:35:56 UTC - in response to Message 1977540.  

Here's a wire gauge use chart for 12 V DC circuits:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/01/f2/3a/01f23afb79e5f8767f11a30ab5683df0.jpg

According to this, unless you are doing very long runs (in excess of 5 feet), 18 AWG ought to be fine up to 24 amps.
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Message 1977638 - Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 8:35:03 UTC - in response to Message 1977588.  

Here's a wire gauge use chart for 12 V DC circuits:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/01/f2/3a/01f23afb79e5f8767f11a30ab5683df0.jpg

According to this, unless you are doing very long runs (in excess of 5 feet), 18 AWG ought to be fine up to 24 amps.

Yes, I'm aware that 18AWG is fine. But 16AWG...even better. :)
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Message 1977641 - Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 8:55:12 UTC - in response to Message 1977588.  

A couple of things
- cable runs are normally quoted for the round trip, not just a single wire. This means if the end to end distance is 2ft, the round trip distance is 4ft.
- also the shading is light grey for 18swg, which indicates "usable, but expect very large voltage drops" and voltage drops mean the potential for increased current required to supply the required power.

Looking at this table could this be a source of some folks woes when running lots of GPUs in large cases with lots of extension cables - while the PSU is capable of supplying the POWER required it is not capable of supplying the AMPs needed to get that power (just a thought).
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Message 1977644 - Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 10:08:58 UTC
Last modified: 29 Jan 2019, 10:11:39 UTC

I've been following this thread with some incredulity. I class myself as nothing more than a fairly savvy end user, certainly no expert in PSU design or indeed use.

Corsair is a well known make of PSU that I would class at the upper end of PSU makers. I can't believe that they would supply a unit with cables that weren't fully up to the task of carrying the Power (V x A) and Volts and Amperage required, and with a margin of safety. I use mid-range Antec units that adequately fill my needs.

Most computers are run with the side panels fitted so internal aesthetics don't come into it. I also find that most after market PSU's come with adequately long cables anyway, and it is not unusual to have to "stuff" them inside a mid size case. Why anyone would want to mess around with changing or adding to supplied PSU cabling seems a bit odd to me.

I know that what you call "prettiness" is somewhat frowned upon in this community. But I do care about how my build looks, like it or not. If I didn't, I'd just go with the original set of cables. I'm sure Corsair's 18AWG cables are sufficient for the current, that is not the question.

As Rob says, don't look at the Advertised power of a PSU, look at the max amperage that it is rated for on single or multiple rails.

No not frowned upon at all. It is accepted that it is your money and time and your choice.
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Message 1977648 - Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 11:14:17 UTC - in response to Message 1977644.  

-[ snip ]-

Most computers are run with the side panels fitted so internal aesthetics don't come into it. I also find that most after market PSU's come with adequately long cables anyway, and it is not unusual to have to "stuff" them inside a mid size case. Why anyone would want to mess around with changing or adding to supplied PSU cabling seems a bit odd to me.

I know that what you call "prettiness" is somewhat frowned upon in this community. But I do care about how my build looks, like it or not. If I didn't, I'd just go with the original set of cables. I'm sure Corsair's 18AWG cables are sufficient for the current, that is not the question.

-[ snip ]-

It is hard to find anything without the RGB LED lighting anymore. I could care less about that bling.

My case has a glass side panel. The PC sits on a table next to my desk. I can see into the case whenever I look at it. My PSU has black mesh sleeves on the cables (motherboard and CPU). At the board connections the wires show and they are what is called "mustard and ketchup" wires. I did not like the looks of those wires against the design aesthetics of the motherboard, black, white and silver. The motherboard also has RGB on the power connection edge. I ordered a set of extensions that are black and white which do not conflict with the board and makes it look pleasing to the eyes. If the wires were all black, I would not have ordered the extensions. If my case had a solid panel I probably would not have ordered the extensions.

I also do not believe that 99.9% of failures is caused my the connectors. Sure, they can fail, but I believe that percentage to be nonfactual.

Have a great day! :)

Siran
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Message 1977654 - Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 13:15:31 UTC

My case has a glass side panel. The PC sits on a table next to my desk. I can see into the case whenever I look at it.

If my case had a solid panel I probably would not have ordered the extensions.

Did it ever occur to you to simply paste a sheet of brown paper over the glass panel? Or even easier place the PC somewhere else if it bothered you? Or even just stop looking at it?

But I guess these are minor niggles in the life of a Vulcan Starship Captain.
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Message 1977668 - Posted: 29 Jan 2019, 14:42:05 UTC - in response to Message 1977654.  

My case has a glass side panel. The PC sits on a table next to my desk. I can see into the case whenever I look at it.

If my case had a solid panel I probably would not have ordered the extensions.

Did it ever occur to you to simply paste a sheet of brown paper over the glass panel?
Now why would I want to make my PC look ugly by pasting brown paper over it? ;)

Or even easier place the PC somewhere else if it bothered you?
Yeah, that's the ticket. I could put the PC in the basement and not have to look at it. But then, how would I use it? ;) My PC does not bother me, well, it's heavy and at my age it's a pain to carry it outside to blow dust out of it, but I still do.

Or even just stop looking at it?
I happen to like the way my PC looks, why should I stop looking at it? ;)

But I guess these are minor niggles in the life of a Vulcan Starship Captain.
I'm not a Vulcan Starship Captain. I'm a human being stuck on this planet we call Earth. ;) Insults don't work on me. ;)

Stop suggesting to people what you yourself would do just because you think we should do it your way. I was explaining what I did to make my PC look good to me. I see nothing wrong with someone making their PC look as they want it to. If they want to have all that RGB lighting all through, more power to them, it's their choice. I don't believe that adding extensions to the PSU cables is going to increase any failure rate. Adding mine made my PC look better and have yet to fail which I doubt will ever happen in my lifetime.

Have a great day! :)

Siran
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Message boards : Number crunching : PSU cables - wire gauge


 
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