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Thread: PSU 101 - Power Supply Primer




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    profJim's Avatar
    profJim is online now Chief Munchkin + moderator
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    Lightbulb PSU 101 - Power Supply Primer

    A power supply is the foundation of your system.
    Don't buy a cheap power supply, buy the best one that you can afford.

    • Be careful, there are many inferior power supplies that are cheap and can cause system instability or damage your system if they don't have adequate safety circuits and excellent voltage regulation.
    • You should buy a power supply that provides clean and stable electrical power, uses quality components, and is powerful enough to meet your current and future needs.
    • Buying a low end, cheap power supply puts your system at risk, might cause instability and will not have adequate protective circuit features to protect the hardware in your system. Do a web search using: gutless wonder power supply review to see what can happen with with an 'el cheapo power supply.

    Would you build a nice house on top of a crummy, 3rd rate foundation?

    Which power supply manufacturers make the best power suppliers?
    1. Seasonic
    2. Super Flower (models from 2011 and newer)
    3. Delta (most models)
    4. CWT (some models)

    Seasonic makes power supplies for XFX (currently all models), Antec (some models), Corsair (some models) and several others.
    Super Flower makes power supplies for EVGA (some recent higher end models), Kingwin (some models), Rosewill (some models) and several others.

    FSP is a typical psu vendor that offers some models that are OK and other models that aren't very good. Unfortunately many other major psu manufacturers make similar models that range from borderline acceptable to pretty good.

    What are the best psu review sites?

    I won't buy a power supply unless at least one of the following review sites gives it a good review:

    Power Supply Vendors versus Manufacturers
    • The RealHardTechX power supply database list has 82 psu vendors.
    • The brand name on a psu model is the vendor's name.
    • The psu vendor contracts with an OEM/ODM psu manufacturer to make each psu model.
    • Major psu vendors often contract with several different OEM psu manufacturers to make different models.
    • Antec, Corsair, EVGA, Rosewill and XFX are some of the biggest psu vendors.
    • As of early 2015, all XFX psu models are made by Seasonic.
    • Most OEM psu manufacturers make power supplies that vary quite a bit in their quality.
    • The best, top tier psu manufacturers are Seasonic, Super Flower and Delta because they apparently don't make mediocre (or worse) power supplies for psu vendors. Do other psu vendors offer very good or excellent power supplies? Of course!! The problem is that you need to find out who makes the psu for any models that you are considering.
    • Is there an easy way to find out who makes the psu model that I'm considering?
    • Yes, the RealHardTechX power supply database includes a reasonably up to date list that is organized by each vendor's name. Each psu vendor's models are listed on a web page with the following information:
    • Model name with a link to product page for more information
    • Max. Power (W)
    • OEM
    • Modular cables
    • PCIe 6pin / 8pin
    • Power Distribution +12V rails (A)
    • Max. Load +12V
    • Warranty (years)
    • Efficiency - 80 Plus certification

    Their recommend PSU review site list includes:
    Hardware Secrets, JonnyGuru, PC Perspective, Silent PC Review, Hardware Heaven, [H]ard OCP,
    AnandTech & Planet 3DNow!, Overclock 3D, Sweclockers, Chip Hell (Chinese only), PC-MAX,
    Xbit Labs, PC- experience, ITO CP, KitGuru, TheLab & Tech Power Up

    The best review sites will tell you the name of the OEM in the review.

    RealHardTechX has an excellent power supply review database and links to psu reviews from the best review sites.
    For example:
    Rosewill - PSU Review Database lists Rosewill power supply models and specifications.
    From their Rosewill psu model list you can quickly see that 17 of their psu models are made by Super Flower.
    If any of their recommended review sites have reviewed a particular model, there is a link to that model's psu review.

    I repeat: PSU vendors sell power supplies made by several different psu OEM's where the quality ranges from excellent to average and in some cases poor quality. Buyer beware!!

    Does an 80Plus Gold or Platinum rating guarantee that a psu model is a top tier unit?
    Not necessarily. I've seen several gold or platinum rated psu reviews where the power supply's components were not first rate.
    Keep in mind that some manufacturers use fake 80Plus ratings.
    Something else to consider, the 80Plus rating agency's test are at room temperature, about 23O (C).
    Top tier power supplies will meet or beat the 80Plus ratings when tested at 40O - 50O (C).

    Is a less expensive, lower end, highly rated 80Plus Bronze rated psu acceptable?
    Yes, but only if it is highly rated by one or more of the best psu review sites.

    How much power output (watts) do I need?
    The best power supply power calculator is at eXtreme Power Supply Calculator
    Optimal psu efficiency is when the psu output is in the 40% - 80% range of the power supply's rated output.
    When gaming or running demanding applications for an extended period of time, it's best to keep psu output less than 80% of its rated output.

    This is a the recommendation from the eXtreme Power Supply Calculator for my system:

    PSU 101 - Power Supply Primer-extreme-power-supply-calculator-lite-version-screen-hot-resize-border-jpg

    uncompressed higher quality version of the file: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...Bborder%5D.png (800KB)





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    Check out this review of a really cheap power supply:

    JonnyGURU - Death of a Gutless Wonder III: The Labors of Hercules

    Posted On: Sun, Dec-02-2012
    Reviewer: OklahomaWolf
    Product: Death of a Gutless Wonder III: The Labors of Hercules
    Price: $19.95 @ eBay

    Last edited by profJim; 03-18-2015 at 04:51 AM. Reason: minor edits
    Q9650 @ 4.10GHz [9x456MHz]
    P35-DS4 [rev: 2.0] ~ Bios: F14
    4x2GB OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1094MHz @5-5-5-15
    MSI N460GTX Hawk Talon Attack (1GB) video card <---- SLI ---->
    Seasonic SS-660XP2 80 Plus Platinum psu (660w)
    WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data)
    Samsung 840 Pro 256GB SSD (boot)
    SLI @ 16/4 works when running HyperSLI
    Cooler Master 120XL Seidon push/pull AIO cpu water cooling
    Cooler Master HAF XB computer case (RC-902XB-KKN1)
    Asus VH242H 24" monitor [1920x1080]
    MSI N460GTX Hawk (1GB) video card
    Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium
    HT|Omega Claro plus+ sound card
    CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD UPS
    E6300 (R0) @ 3.504GHz [8x438MHz] ~~ P35-DS3L [rev: 1.0] ~ Bios: F9 ~~ 4x2GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500, 876MHz @4-4-4-10
    Seasonic X650 80+ gold psu (650w) ~~ Xigmatek Balder HDT 1283 cpu cooler ~~ Cooler Master CM 690 case (RC-690-KKN1-GP)
    Samsung 830 128GB SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW (boot) ~~ WD Caviar Black WD6401AALS 640GB (data) ~~ ZM-MFC2 fan controller
    HT|Omega Striker 7.1 sound card ~~ Asus VH242H monitor [1920x1080] ~~ Logitech Z-5500 Digital 5.1 Speakers
    win7 x64 sp1 Home Premium ~~ CyberPower CP1500PFCLCD U.P.S
    .


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    Default Re: PSU 101 - Power Supply Primer

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    Default Re: PSU 101 - Power Supply Primer

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