Sticky What Power Supply should I get? How many Watts? Who made it? Guide Inside.

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware' started by kram, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. kram

    kram

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    <img src="http://forum.pcmech.com/images/icons/icon4.gif"> 11.12.10 EDIT: Added new link provided by EzyStvy<hr color=#3333ff>
    Table of Contents:
    -Five Important Rules to follow for Power Supply Unit (PSU) selection
    -<a href="#brand_list">Good/Bad Units List</a>
    -<a href="#GenPSUCalc">General wattage calculator</a>
    -<a href="#FurtherLinks">Further Links</a>
    -Who Really Made this Power Supply Unit? (thanks to flazing1)
    -<a href="#Notes">Notes</a>
    -<a href="#disclaimer">Disclaimer</a>


    This is the third major revision of the PSU guide, originally written by bigandy, revised by fedz, and heavily modified with multiple user contributions as presented before you here. It takes into account all the comments posted. Also, read the disclaimer at the bottom.

    Copyright Notice: You MAY NOT re-post or redistribute any distinct portion of this thread (or its preceding revisions, as linked in the previous paragraph) in any form without proper credit. Please private message the original poster of this thread (kram 2.0) with comments, questions, inquiries, etc. Thanks!

    Five Important Rules to follow for Power Supply Unit (PSU) selection:
    In no particular order
    1) Do NOT skimp on the power supply unit - you are entrusting an expensive investment you've made in your computer to this unit.
    2) Brand/Manufacturer reputation is VERY important
    3) Rated/Advertised Wattage is NOT an indicator of quality or unit power.
    4) Do NOT trust a PSU that weighs less than your CPU to power your system.
    5) Research - let others do the testing for you and read about them. That's what this thread is for.

    <a name = "brand_list"><hr></a>
    NOTE: To emphasize the point, "reputable" generally refers to companies that make high quality units while "Less Reputable" refers to manufacturers that produce normally faulty units. Like with any electronic product, there is a chance of failure with any unit, so please keep that in mind as you shop for a power supply unit.<table border = "0" width = 100%><tr><td width = 40% valign = top><img src="http://forum.pcmech.com/images/icons/icon14.gif"> Reputable:<a href="#disclaimer"><sup>1</sup></a>
    Top quality PSU's in blue bold, high quality in blue - for high-end builds. Note that external hyperlinks are also blue on most browsers, but usually also underlined.

    AMS
    Akasa (PowerGreen, Power+)
    Antec (almost all models)
    AOpen (select models)
    BFG Technologies (800W model)
    Channel Well
    Chieftec (non-bundled)
    Cooler Master (UCP)
    Corsair (Best PSU Manf., CustomPC)
    Delta
    E-Power
    Enermax
    Enlight
    Fortron Source

    Hi-Power
    Jeantech
    Mushkin
    OCZ (EliteXStream, EvoStream, ProXStream)
    PCMCIS
    PC Power & Cooling
    PowerMan
    Raidmax (ONLY select models from Tagan/Topower)
    Seasonic
    SilenX
    Silverstone (ZF, ZM)
    Sparkle
    Tagan
    Thermaltake (select models)
    TTGI/SuperFlower (select models)
    Tuniq
    Verax
    Xclio (only GreatPower)
    Zalman</td>
    <td width = 30% valign = top>Questionable/Less Reputable:

    Achieve
    Allied
    Apevia (formerly Aspire, same quality)
    Bestec
    Codegen
    CoolMax
    Cyberzone
    DEER
    Dragon
    Eagle Tech
    EYE-T
    Foxconn
    Greenline
    Hiper (most low-wattage models)
    HIPRO
    JSP-tech
    KingStar
    Kingwin
    L&C
    Linkworld
    Okia
    Orion
    PowerMagic
    PowerTek
    PowerUp
    Powmax
    Q-Tec
    Raidmax (almost all non Tagan/Topower)
    Rosewill
    Skyhawk
    Startech
    Turbolink
    Ultra (esp. X-Connect)
    Win
    Xion
    Youngyear
    </td>
    <td width = 30% valign = top>Not Enough Info/Undetermined:

    AGPB
    Ahanix
    Astec
    Broadway Com (mixed bag)
    Dynapower USA
    Gigabyte
    HEC
    Levicom
    Mad Dog (mixed bag results)
    NSpire
    Soyo
    Vantec (mixed reviews)</td></tr>
    </table>

    <a name = "GenPSUCalc"><hr></a>

    General PSU Calculators:
    Please note these should be used as GUIDES - as noted on their disclaimers, they cannot take into account every component, every part that is drawing power. As a general guidelines, it's a good idea to marginally overshoot the calculated wattage in order to cover for the entire system.

    Newegg Power Supply Calculator

    eXtreme PSU Calculator

    Load on 12V Rail for Common ATI HDx Graphics Cards (originally from VGA Source)

    http://www.jscustompcs.com/power_supply/

    http://www.pcpowercooling.com/maxpc/cases.htm

    Above links courtesy of Pancake, Fedz, Khalil, bill_bright, and glc.

    <a name = "FurtherLinks"><hr></a>

    Further links:
    courtesy of Hi Ho, flazing1, Panama Red, Cricket, Freakitchen, and glc
    <ul>
    <li>Tom's Hardware: Who's Who In Power Supplies: Brands, Labels, And OEMs (thanks to EzyStvy)</li>
    <li>FiringSquad PSU Unofficial Listing</li>
    <li>JonnyGURU's Bargain Basement PSU Review</li>
    <li>HardOCP: Five $50 Power Supplies Tested (thanks to Cricket. glc: "<i>Yet another Deer literally blows up.........</i>")</li>
    <li>HardOCP: 450W-500W Battle Royale (Apevia PSU disintegrates during test)</li>
    <li>Directron: Weight vs. Power Efficiency</li>
    <li>nVidia Forums: The Who and Why of Power Supplies, With purchasing suggestions</li>
    <li>Who Really Made this Power Supply Unit?</li>
    <li>Tom's Hardware: Deceptive ratings: 21 PSU's compared</li>
    <li>Tom's Hardware: High-End PSU Comparison</li>
    <li>Tom's Hardware: Power Supplies Under Full Load</li>
    <li>PC Stats: Most common ways to kill a PC</li>
    </ul>
    <a name = "Notes"><hr></a>

    Notes:

    - PSU's inside manufacturer's cases, like Dell or HP, can sometimes use power supply units that may or may not be sufficient to allow for upgrades. In other words, you may need to upgrade your PSU in the real chance that the unit cannot handle the added load. Take note, and do your research first.

    - Dell has often been using PC P&C for their PSU. HP, eMachine, Compaq, and Gateway USUALLY use either/or Bestec and Hipro.

    - With modular power supplies, avoid lower-quality models that normally come with lower price tags. Like with normal attached units, reputable brands will perform.

    <a name="disclaimer"><hr></a>

    DISCLAIMER:
    Although some PSU's are listed in the good list, this does not mean that they are never going to fail. No component is ever perfect, these power supplies just have a higher success rate and generally provide cleaner, more efficient power.
    The same goes for the 'bad' PSU's. Just because you have a 'bad' PSU it does not mean that it is going to fail on you the next day. These PSU's have been reported as problematic and there is a higher probability of them giving out, or at least not providing clean power through stable rails. There is also the matter of 'rated power'. Some "500W" power supplies have been known to provide less than 200W, whereas some good quality PSU's can provide more power than their rating. When in doubt, start a thread and ask - we're here to help!

     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2013
  2. kram

    kram

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    As it looks like most activity has subsided, I have consolidated all the information to the original post and locked the thread. If you have any suggestions or comments based on the information above, please private message kram 2.0, the original poster. If you have questions (build related, malfunctioning unit, etc.), please create a thread in the appropriate forum, likely General Hardware.

    -kram
     
  3. kram

    kram

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    Hi folks,

    Though I don't foresee many changes to the list above, I will open this thread up for any comments you all may have about the list since it has been about a year since I last made changes. Feel free to hold open discussion about your experiences attesting to the quality of a model of a manufacturer's power supply unit. The list will be consolidated in the end.

    -kram
     
  4. Shadowjack

    Shadowjack

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    Modular Supplies

    I have seen more recommendations for the higher quality modular supplies lately and I have considered using one in my next build (won't be for a while yet). Is the comment about avoiding modular power supplies still a good one?
     
  5. shadowpr

    shadowpr I like me

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    I have a Corsair modular psu. It has been going on about 2 years without problems.

    I would take that to mean that as long as you get a high quality psu, modular is fine.
     
  6. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    I think it's time to retire that statement, with some caveats. I still wouldn't trust a low end modular, but I have done a few builds with Corsair modulars and have yet to have an issue.
     
  7. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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  8. SovietNik

    SovietNik

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    Thanks for this guide, very informative and well-organized. :) I do have 2 questions though:

    1) I've checked out 3 PSU wattage calculators - eXtreme, Newegg, and automatic PSU calculator on CyberPowerPC.com when using a build customiser. For a build with i5 2500k CPU and GeForce GTX 570 SLI GPU the results were varied, but I'm particularly worried about the results NewEgg calculator showed me:
    eXtreme: ~750w
    CyberPower: 700w
    NewEgg: ~880w

    So I'm wondering if NewEgg's results are valid or completely absurd. :S

    2) This is the PSU I'm getting: COUGAR SX850
    It's on sale with a nice discount if I buy it in a combo with GTX 570. Customer reviews are nice so far, and so is a more thorough professional review. However this is an unheard of brand and isn't even mentioned in your guide. I'd be curious to hear your opinion on this PSU.
     
  9. Mdorty

    Mdorty

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    I've heard that Rosewill has a few new lines that are pretty good. The 80+ Green, Hive, and Lightning.
     
  10. David M

    David M Techphile.

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    Who makes them for Rosewill?
     
  11. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Rosewill has a few different OEM's.

    That Cougar is made by HEC and is only average. You can get a better unit for the price, such as the Corsair TX850.
     
  12. dowelljoet

    dowelljoet

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    Um, question cause I didn't see it above. On newegg.com the power supplies are listed in groups like gold, silver, and bronze. Which is better and why? also Fan or Fanless?
     
  13. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    Gold, silver, and bronze refer to energy efficiency certification.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_Plus

    Fanless units are expensive, and are for when you need absolute silence.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 8, 2013
  14. dowelljoet

    dowelljoet

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    Ok thank you glc that link helped alot.
     
  15. MikeSA

    MikeSA

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    What about LESTECH and HUNTKEY Power supplies? Are these worthy of consideration?
     
  16. EzyStvy

    EzyStvy Computing Professor Staff Member

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    Never heard of them.... It'b be a lot easier to choose from the list on known good stuff;)
     
  17. Preston

    Preston

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  18. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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  19. SARGE

    SARGE The Preacher Man

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    Corsair all the way
     
  20. glc

    glc Forum Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm not so sure now, did you see who makes a lot of them?