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Why does a good PSU matter?

Last response: in Components
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May 22, 2014 7:10:13 AM

Hi

I hear loads of people saying it and I myself have got a middle range PSU but why does it matter?
I am curious with things like this so would like to know.

I understand it could fry components but the chance is slim, anymore?

More about : good psu matter

a c 117 ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:14:09 AM

Not that slim.

I've also had poor PSUs cause extremely hard to diagnose issues. TV tuner cards not working, and things like that.
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a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:18:16 AM

Several reasons. I'll list just a few.

A good PSU will have tight regulation. A poor one will often have 11v on the 12v rail, not good.

A good PSU will have tight ripple filtering. A poor one will have some wavy looking DC which can cause instabilities and poor overclocking.

A good PSU will run effciently. A poor one will run hot, use more energy, and not last as long.

A good PSU will have good soldering on the PCBs. A poor one can look like a high school vocational kid got to work on it.

A good PSU will have quality parts like good Japanese capacitors. A poor one will have the cheapest parts available, and often they are leaky and fail.

The PSU is the heart of your PC. Would you want a strong heart or a weak heart pumping blood through your body?
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a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:19:07 AM

The chance of it destroying other components depends on the quality of the PSU, the lower the quality the higher the risk of damage. There is also other issues like poor voltage regulation that can cause system instability(random bsods, shutdowns, even performance issues). When building a computer the PSU is not the place to skimp it's a critical but often overlooked component.
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May 22, 2014 7:26:02 AM

With a poor power supply, most of the time they don't deliver close to their ratings. What ends up happening is parts either wont work due to lack of power or heavy heat is generated from the power supply (and loss of efficiency). Worst case scenario is that the power supply can zap the components in your computer with too high of voltage, turning the parts into junk or even catch on fire. Some brands are really bad with that last scenario. Your best bet is either stick with well known brands, or look up reviews on a power supply to purchase before purchase. NewEgg is usually a good source, but figure more people will put a review in that have had bad luck than people who have not; so it might be a little biased.
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May 22, 2014 7:26:49 AM

I guess I best upgrade my PSU... I know it wasn't a popular brand but paid like £40 for a 700w... I assume that is bad however, it has lasted and been well for 5 months now. Any recommendations...?

AMD A10 7850K (Might be upgrading to i7 soon)
R9 270x
16Gb RAM
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a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:29:28 AM

I once had a RAIDMAX that could literally shoot fireballs out of its backside while operating.

Which PSU model do you currently own?
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a c 136 ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:30:48 AM

The PSU supplies power to your components. Your components for the most part have power regulation circuitry to control voltage in response to varying loads. Some will actually intentionally change voltage (i.e. CPU, GFX Card, MoBo fan control). The other aspect is maintaining a stable voltage .... if the CPU wants 1.275 volts, your MoBo must work to maintain a constant 1.275 as if it's jumping all around, the MoBo has to work harder to maintain stability. If your PSU has voltage swing wildly, especially at hi loads, then that job gets much harder. Voltage instability is an enemy of high overclocks.

Another one is noise / ripple..... dirty power is another enemy of high overclocks..... voltage instability and dirty power put more 'wear and tear" on your components. The other aspect of course is that whatever power is not converted from the wall socket and doesn't produce power in the PC is wasted as heat. The heat adds to the heat load in the case.

Finally, quality components last longer and do their jobs better. Capacitors age over time which lowers the available power output. If you have ever used a quality PSU calculator you will see that they have an entry for an allowance for capacitor aging..... on a good PSU, 10% is a reasonable number.... on the other end of the spectrum, it might be 35%. Protection circuitry also improves with higher quality components meaning that is something goes awry, that higher end PSU with better circuitry will do a better job protecting your components than the cheaper one.....they good ones also don't go on fire :) .

While I did my best to provide a layman's description, you can do a web search on the topic and come up with many detailed technical articles on the subject.

Lastly, buying by brand name or even model line is a fool's errand. Just about every manufacturer makes a wide variety of PSUs and since they are in business to make money, they usually don't limit themselves to a single price range or market niche ..... So just because the "SuperPSU Company" makes a $180 SD 850 model, does in now way suggest that the $79 model is worth getting. Even the OEM is not a clear indicator of quality. You will oft see it posted that Corsair is a good PSU cause they are made by Seasonic ..... and while Seasonic does make some fine PSUs (X series if my 1st choice), the best PSUs (HX series) were made by Channelwell .... and yes, CW made both the great HX850 and the crappy HX1050.


You can buy two PSUs from the same company and one could be great and one could be one you wouldn't want to put in a performance oriented PC .... i.e. Corsair HX750 = Excellent Choice / Corsair CX750 = Poor Choice

You can but two PSUs within the same line and one could be great and one could be one you wouldn';t wanna own .... i.e. Corsair HX850 = Excellent Choice / HX 1050

HX1050 - http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...
Performance = 8.5
Build Quality = 7

HX850 - http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=...

Performance = 10.0
Build Quality = 9.5



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May 22, 2014 7:31:18 AM

Kavster001 said:
I guess I best upgrade my PSU... I know it wasn't a popular brand but paid like £40 for a 700w... I assume that is bad however, it has lasted and been well for 5 months now. Any recommendations...?

AMD A10 7850K (Might be upgrading to i7 soon)
R9 270x
16Gb RAM


XFX PRO650/Antec HCG 620w for futureproofing upgrades.
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May 22, 2014 7:33:08 AM

Kavster001 said:
I guess I best upgrade my PSU... I know it wasn't a popular brand but paid like £40 for a 700w... I assume that is bad however, it has lasted and been well for 5 months now. Any recommendations...?

AMD A10 7850K (Might be upgrading to i7 soon)
R9 270x
16Gb RAM


What brand is your original power supply? Good brands I know of right offhand are Seasonic, Corsair and Silverstone, I know there are other good brands, but I personally haven't had much experience with them. Ones to stay away from for sure are Diablotek, Athenatek, Coolmax, and Logicsys, Again, there are others as well.
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May 22, 2014 7:40:01 AM

I have a Powercool 650w
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May 22, 2014 7:45:10 AM

Kavster001 said:
I have a Powercool 650w


Oh dear
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May 22, 2014 7:47:07 AM

It is not that bad...
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a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:47:18 AM

Powercool is not mid range its low end. I'd put in the same category as Radimax, coolmax, apevia, and diablotek.
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May 22, 2014 7:48:41 AM

Yes... I thought I was using my old Corsair one
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a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 7:50:12 AM

bignastyid said:
Powercool is not mid range its low end. I'd put in the same category as Radimax, coolmax, apevia, and diablotek.


Ticking time bomb category.

I have some funny Apevia PSU stories as well.

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Best solution

May 22, 2014 7:52:20 AM

I have never heard of the brand until now. But yeah, been seeing a lot of mixed reviews on them, mostly bad with issues such as heat. Here is one in particular for their 850 watt model: http://www.cclonline.com/article/1354/Review/Power-Supp...
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May 22, 2014 7:59:23 AM

They compared a low end PSU to a Higher end PSU... Not a fair test
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a b ) Power supply
May 22, 2014 8:09:27 AM

Vlad Rose said:
I have never heard of the brand until now. But yeah, been seeing a lot of mixed reviews on them, mostly bad with issues such as heat. Here is one in particular for their 850 watt model: http://www.cclonline.com/article/1354/Review/Power-Supp...


That's not a review, that's a commercial at best.

For a PSU review, go to techpowerup.com or jonnyguru.com

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May 22, 2014 8:11:48 AM

£190 PSU to a £60 PSU

I agree!
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May 22, 2014 9:05:18 AM

It was hard trying to find very many articles on that brand... lol. I was just looking at the paragraphs regarding the Powercool supply and they did say one of the biggest concerns was noise and heat.
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