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Old 9th November 2003, 07:28 PM   #1
Arx is offline Arx  Canada
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Default Are Parallel smaller caps better/worse than big?

After a quick search, I'm almost afraid to say the word capacitor, but what are the advantages and disadvantages to parallelling many small capacitors, as opposed to using one large one.

eg) a bunch of .68uF caps in series to make a 10uF coupling cap, or 1 10uF one.

How about being used as PSU Bypass?

Has anyone done any MEASUREMENTS?

I've heard that ESR is improved. Is esr typically very nonlinear w/ respect to frequency, or could it easily be accounted for?

Nobody suggest listening tests please. While I don't deny that there are many things we can hear, that may be difficult to measure, etc.. I don't want to do a lot of screwing around at the moment. If such and such set up sounds best to you, that's fine. I'm not saying you're wrong, just that I want to see the numbers.
SO, quantifiable answers only please.

sorry to be so long winded about that, but I just spent almost 2 hours reading through what basicly amounted to flame wars based on facts that should easily have been measured.
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Old 9th November 2003, 08:04 PM   #2
Electrons are yellow and more is better!
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+ Better electrical performance
+ Higher current capability
+ Better cooling

- Bigger, larger physical volume
- Costs more
- More work to connect every capacitor
/Per-Anders (my first name) or P-A as my friends call me
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Old 9th November 2003, 08:28 PM   #3
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Don't always assume that many smaller caps will be better than a few larger ones. 10x 220uF caps in parallel will have lower ESR than a single 2200uF. however, 2x 2200uF will have even lower ESR, twice the capacitance and take up less board space.

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Old 9th November 2003, 09:41 PM   #4
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look at this section in one rod elliot's articles:
If it aint broke, don't fix it. If it is broke, fix it.
If you can't fix it, take it apart and see how it "worked".
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Old 9th November 2003, 10:54 PM   #5
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+ Better electrical performance
+ Possibly lower total ESR.

- More work to connect every capacitor
- Possibly higher total lead inductance.

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