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Can someone explain Bronze, silver certified PSU's? Silvers best?

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September 27, 2009 3:07:51 AM

Can someone explain Bronze, silver certified PSU's? Silvers best right? or does it matter? I'm looking for an efficient, quiet and inexpensive 700-900 watt Power Supply costing between $99 and $110 and I've looked at the:
1. OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ700FTY 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ,
2. Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply,
3. Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply,
4. COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active
and
5. COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified.

And there's
Antec TPQ-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply-but it's a little more than I wanted to spend.
September 27, 2009 5:29:40 AM

jlaavenger said:
Can someone explain Bronze, silver certified PSU's? Silvers best right? or does it matter? I'm looking for an efficient, quiet and inexpensive 700-900 watt Power Supply costing between $99 and $110 and I've looked at the:
1. OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ700FTY 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified ,
2. Antec EarthWatts EA750 750W Continuous Power ATX12V version 2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply,
3. Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue 750W Continuous Power ATX12V V2.3 / EPS12V V2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply,
4. COOLER MASTER Silent Pro 700 RS-700-AMBA-D3 700W ATX12V V2.3 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active
and
5. COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified.

And there's
Antec TPQ-850 850W Continuous Power ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS BRONZE Certified Modular Active PFC "compatible with Core i7" Power Supply-but it's a little more than I wanted to spend.


I Have the 5th one you have posted the COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified, and I like it, its quiet, cheap, and has lots of connections. I think the better certified it is (bronze, Silver, etc.) the more power efficient the PSU is.

here's a REALLY GOOD one -------> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99 dollars after mail-in rebate. (I would have got this one if i didn't get such a good deal on the Cooler Master UDP 700w that came in a combo with my case)

Also, there are factors determining what type of psu you will need. Are you planning on running SLI/XFire or Overclocking? Perhaps multiple HDD's?
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September 27, 2009 5:48:18 AM

My build:
I7 975
Cooler Master V8
ASUS Rampage Extreme II
6gb Corsair Dominator 1600 Trichannel (eventaully adding another 6gb if I think I need it)
XFX HD-5870 and eventually another in Crossfire
A DVD Burner with Lightscribe
A Media Reader

And not yet purchased, either two 300GB Velociraptors in Raid 0 or two Samsung F3's I haven't decided yet and a Blu Ray drive for watching, not burning.



As for my case, I think I've decided on ordering the Cooler Master Storm Sniper for my case.
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September 27, 2009 5:57:28 AM

thorox said:
I Have the 5th one you have posted the COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 700W ATX12V / EPS12V SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS SILVER Certified, and I like it, its quiet, cheap, and has lots of connections. I think the better certified it is (bronze, Silver, etc.) the more power efficient the PSU is.

here's a REALLY GOOD one -------> http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$99 dollars after mail-in rebate. (I would have got this one if i didn't get such a good deal on the Cooler Master UDP 700w that came in a combo with my case)

Also, there are factors determining what type of psu you will need. Are you planning on running SLI/XFire or Overclocking? Perhaps multiple HDD's?


So it looks like your COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 is rated better than the Corsair, at least in efficiancy.
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a c 139 ) Power supply
September 27, 2009 6:03:34 AM

jlaavenger said:
So it looks like your COOLER MASTER UCP RS700-AAAAA3 is rated better than the Corsair, at least in efficiancy.
It's important to understand the 80Plus ratings apply to efficiency only. It's not a reliable indicator of overall quality and reliability. It doesnt ensure you have the right amount of connectors or good support after the sale.
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September 27, 2009 6:50:16 AM

So based on my build which PSU would fit me best? I just know I want quiet and cool for the best price possible.
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a c 248 ) Power supply
September 27, 2009 3:57:39 PM

The 80+ program was initiated as a result of corporate push to reduce energy costs. Specifically corporations with thousands and even tens of thousands of computers wanted to reduce their electric bills. Testing and rating power supplies was one way to do that. Using energy efficient components such as cpu's and video cards was another way to do it. At the same time we saw the development of power supplies that could be efficient over a much larger operating range - from 20 to 100 percent of load. Some power supplies were more efficient than others. They earned the higher Silver and Gold certifcations. At the other extreme some power supplies did not earn a certification and were simply rated as standard power supplies. For corporations with thousands of computers the energy savings could be quite substantial. It is difficult to estimate the annual energy savings for a typical home user. Savings for a typical home user could be as low as $8.00 per year or as high as $8.00 per month. It just depends on pc components and how a computer is used.

ATI officially recommends a 600 watt power supply with 40 amps on the 12 volt rail(s) for a pc system with two 5870 video cards operating in crossfire mode. The new cards are more energy efficient. Manufacturers overestimate power requirements for a system because they know there are people who will buy cheap, low budget psu's of questionable quality and value.

The general rule of thumb is a high quality 700 to 750 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the 12 volt rail(s) can handle a system with two video cards operating in dual mode. There are exceptions to the rule. The ATI 4770, 5850, and 5870 appear to be exceptions in that technical reviews indicated they require less power.
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a c 139 ) Power supply
September 27, 2009 5:12:32 PM

jlaavenger said:
So based on my build which PSU would fit me best? I just know I want quiet and cool for the best price possible.
It's really up to you to do enough research to understand what you're getting.
Independent reviews let you sort out if the actual performance lives up to the MFGRs marketing hype.
Luckily, NewEgg makes that pretty easy. For example:
OCZ Fatal1ty 700W toward the bottom gives you the Manufacturer Info. And on good MFGRs websites you find links to independent reviews/awards which may be the best source of knowledge. I happen to trust the HardwareSecrets and the JonnyGuru websites for PSU reviews.
OCZ Fatal1ty gets a great review, has a 5yr warranty but only has 2x PCI-e connectors and you really want to see 4 for your 2x 5870 CF goal.

COOLER MASTER UCP RS700 @ NewEgg CM UCP RS700 website HardwareSecrets Review and JonnyGuru review
CM UCP RS700 gets great reivews, has a 5yr warranty, has 2x 8 pin PCI-e connectors AND 4x 6 pin PCI-e connectors. It didnt quite reach 80Plus Silver efficiency but came very close.

Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue review New TP-750 Blue (the Blue should cost MORE than the standard but its currently $20 less

CORSAIR 750TX is still a contender HW review and JonnyGuru review

The only one on your list I don't favor is the EarthWatts EA750. Its a good PSU but for the price there are better units in the same price range. JonnyGuru review
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September 27, 2009 6:19:48 PM

JohnnyLucky said:
The 80+ program was initiated as a result of corporate push to reduce energy costs. Specifically corporations with thousands and even tens of thousands of computers wanted to reduce their electric bills. Testing and rating power supplies was one way to do that. Using energy efficient components such as cpu's and video cards was another way to do it. At the same time we saw the development of power supplies that could be efficient over a much larger operating range - from 20 to 100 percent of load. Some power supplies were more efficient than others. They earned the higher Silver and Gold certifcations. At the other extreme some power supplies did not earn a certification and were simply rated as standard power supplies. For corporations with thousands of computers the energy savings could be quite substantial. It is difficult to estimate the annual energy savings for a typical home user. Savings for a typical home user could be as low as $8.00 per year or as high as $8.00 per month. It just depends on pc components and how a computer is used.

ATI officially recommends a 600 watt power supply with 40 amps on the 12 volt rail(s) for a pc system with two 5870 video cards operating in crossfire mode. The new cards are more energy efficient. Manufacturers overestimate power requirements for a system because they know there are people who will buy cheap, low budget psu's of questionable quality and value.

The general rule of thumb is a high quality 700 to 750 watt power supply with sufficient current (amps) on the 12 volt rail(s) can handle a system with two video cards operating in dual mode. There are exceptions to the rule. The ATI 4770, 5850, and 5870 appear to be exceptions in that technical reviews indicated they require less power.



Thank you so much Johnny, you give some of the best answers on these boards. If I chose best answer does it close the thread?
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September 27, 2009 6:23:57 PM

WR2 said:
It's really up to you to do enough research to understand what you're getting.
Independent reviews let you sort out if the actual performance lives up to the MFGRs marketing hype.
Luckily, NewEgg makes that pretty easy. For example:
OCZ Fatal1ty 700W toward the bottom gives you the Manufacturer Info. And on good MFGRs websites you find links to independent reviews/awards which may be the best source of knowledge. I happen to trust the HardwareSecrets and the JonnyGuru websites for PSU reviews.
OCZ Fatal1ty gets a great review, has a 5yr warranty but only has 2x PCI-e connectors and you really want to see 4 for your 2x 5870 CF goal.

COOLER MASTER UCP RS700 @ NewEgg CM UCP RS700 website HardwareSecrets Review and JonnyGuru review
CM UCP RS700 gets great reivews, has a 5yr warranty, has 2x 8 pin PCI-e connectors AND 4x 6 pin PCI-e connectors. It didnt quite reach 80Plus Silver efficiency but came very close.

Antec TruePower New TP-750 Blue review New TP-750 Blue (the Blue should cost MORE than the standard but its currently $20 less

CORSAIR 750TX is still a contender HW review and JonnyGuru review

The only one on your list I don't favor is the EarthWatts EA750. Its a good PSU but for the price there are better units in the same price range. JonnyGuru review



Thank you WR2, I really appreciate your advice here. It looks like it's between the Antec, Cooler Master and the Corsair, but I may research the others a bit more. By your answer can I take it that if price wasn't a factor you'd prefer the Corsair?
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a c 248 ) Power supply
September 27, 2009 6:25:14 PM

You're welcome. Choosing best answer does not close the thread.
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Best solution

a c 139 ) Power supply
September 27, 2009 6:25:27 PM

No; the thread will remain open. But the 'best answer' does add forum standing to the members.
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September 27, 2009 6:44:31 PM

Thanks. Right now I'm leaning towards the Antec True Power.
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a c 139 ) Power supply
September 27, 2009 7:59:52 PM

jlaavenger said:
By your answer can I take it that if price wasn't a factor you'd prefer the Corsair?
For a long time the Corsair was 'the' PSU to have. It was that much better (in performance, quality and value) than the competition that it really stood out from the rest. Lately, more quality PSUs at competitive prices have shown up, probably due to the Corsair line's sterling reputation. So using a Corsair as the standard against to measure the competition (performance, features, quality & value) is smart. Both the Corsair and New TP Blue are made by Seasonic which is another good indicator of a quality product.

In NewEgg customer reviews the Corsair 750TX rates higher than the TruePower New Blue 750W . But IMO you need to watch the quality of those NewEgg ratings. I always put more faith in the Hardware Secrets or JonnyGuru reviews. Too many 1Egg reviews due to the random chance a PSU will get dropped by UPS and so end up DOA - dead on arrival. But you can glean out some interesting individual facts about some hardware. Such as the individual who says a TruePower New Blue 750W will not work with his Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R motherboard

I think you picked a winner. And so did the reviewer @ JonnyGuru
Besides being a great PSU I think the TruePower New Blue 750W would look great in a Storm Sniper case.

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