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Wanted: PSU Validation Tools and References

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May 10, 2010 9:25:54 PM

I am seeing a lot of really crappy PSUs making it into final builds, of late.

I am looking for some truly useful (and hopefully convenient) PSU validation tools and references.

I know they exist, but not in my reference folder ... Hopefully, this thread will be searchable, as a reference, (of references and tools) for all.

Anything that supports a reasonable standard of safety, longevity, and output quality would be of great use to all.

= Thank You =
May 10, 2010 9:29:01 PM

So far, we have ...

Newegg PSU calculator .... and ... The ever popular ...

" Go with Corsair or Seasonic ! "

... What else? ... beyond that? ... Rules of thumb? ... "keep away from! (why?)"

= Al =
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a b ) Power supply
May 10, 2010 9:30:52 PM

A quality PSU will have active PFC (no red voltage switch on the back), be at least 80+ certified, and put out the majority of its Amps on the 12v rail(s). If it lacks any of those three basic requirements it shouldn't go anywhere near the inside of a computer.
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Related resources
May 10, 2010 9:34:35 PM

jonnyguru.com has the best reviews, but the searchability is aweful.

I use google and get reviews from good sites like here, anandtech, xbitlabs, etc

Rule of thumb: at least 80+ certified.
Rule of thumb: check the # of 6/8pin PCIE connectors (the connectors give an indicator of how much load the PSU is designed for)
Rule of thumb: check the 12V rail wattage (less rails with more wattage is generally better)

or just stick to Antec, Corsair, Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling and you know what you are getting. There are a number of brands that contract seasonic and those are good quality and generally cheaper than seasonic branded PSUs.
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May 10, 2010 9:39:11 PM

XFX is one of the brands contracting from Seasonic, and jonnyguru has given their Black Edition power supplies excellent ratings. IIRC, most of the downgrading was for aesthetics (the reviewer really hated the neon green colored fan).

Both the 750W and the 850W have been reviewed, unsure about the 650W unit, though it is the same line, so one would hope that it has similar components.
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May 10, 2010 9:58:05 PM

Oh, man, thanks SO much !! This forum needs this thread really bad, and right now.

There is a new crop of regulars and I never DID get this down, well enough to consult, with authority.

Any and all other useful info will add value to this forum ... please remember this thread when you come across excellent PSU refrences.

Does anyone know of any useful sticky quotes, from here and home-built, that would apply?
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May 10, 2010 10:01:22 PM

coldsleep said:
Both the 750W and the 850W have been reviewed, unsure about the 650W unit, though it is the same line, so one would hope that it has similar components.

That can be a problem. Some brands will contract the high wattage models to seasonic and the low end are cheap junk, even within the same model name. Reading a review from a knowledgeable reviewer that dissasembles the PSU to see what components are inside is the only way to know.

XFX has been a pretty reliable quality company so I would hope they didnt do that.
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a c 77 ) Power supply
May 11, 2010 12:17:34 AM

Here are three sites I use for PSU reference material
  • The PSU Ranked List and Guide - This is great guide put together from many of our Forum vets (I've added a few to list but didn't play a major part), created by Proximon, who I have the highest respect for!! It is a ranking of PSU not by total wattage but by AMPS on the 12V rail, which is actually the most important part when actually deciding on a PSU.
  • eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5 - I trust this site better than any for a PSU calculator. I would use this over Newegg any given day. Also, you can always go to Corsair or Antec and use theirs, which are good to.
  • [WIP] ATX PSU Maximum Combined 12v Ratings - A great list of 12v Ratings and OEM vendors for various PSU. It is a pretty current list, so the OP keeps it updated pretty good. If you ever need to reference a PSU's 12v rail, this is the site to visit first.

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    May 11, 2010 1:40:40 AM

    Heh funny you should mention the go seaonic or corsair comment. Most of Corsair's line of PSU's is actually made by Seasonic.

    The exceptions(which include the popular 750 and 850tx) are made by Channel Wells which also makes Thermaltakes Toughpower line.

    Now sure where the rest of their models lie, but I'm 99% sure all their HX ones are Seasonic.
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    June 7, 2010 1:19:41 PM

    = Bump =

    Thank's, Folks !!

    I am using it !!!

    = Al =
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    June 7, 2010 1:34:19 PM

    So, the search to expand possbile PSu options. A good idea given how expensive the main brands are these days.
    I noticed some posts mentioning OCZ PSUs, I know their RAM can be unreliable but I heard their PSUs are good - anyone able to clarify or contradict this?
    Rosewill tend to be unpopular, why?

    I figure it would be handy to have people explain what specifically makes certain PSUs unpopular because then people will keep an eye out for similar issues.

    This sort of post is especially important as sometimes a PSU will 'tick the boxes' but may still be considered bad.

    For example this is a product from Scan.co.uk it is made by Scan themselves I believe so they are not sold America therefore are not widely known, they are also fairly new and as they are not a 'brand' PSU there are no reviews on them (neither good nor bad).

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/750W-Powercool-PC750UM-M...

    It ticks all the boxes - 80+ certified, 2x12V rails at 32A each (higher than many branded PSUs), 2x6+2 PCI E power so it can power any card and can also power XFire of smaller cards. As added bonus it is also modular
    So it is in theory a great PSU at a great price, but likely no one would recommend buying it. Why? Is there something else to look for besides the 3 rules of thumb mentioned earlier?
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    June 7, 2010 1:47:48 PM

    BRAND HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT (UNLESS SEASONIC OR CORSAIR)

    ... IT is the EXACT MODEL THAT MATTERS ... because, everybody sources different models from different suppliers ...

    This makes Validation a very arduous and dicey proposition ... **SOME** OCZs and MOST Antecs are good, for instance, but it totally depends on which model ...

    YOU CANNOT GO WRONG WITH SEASONIC OR CORSAIR !!! **THAT IS WHY THEY ARE *SO* POPULAR !

    = Al = All caps are sometime necessary ... IMO.

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    June 7, 2010 1:51:10 PM

    LOOK at those Johnny Guru links (and all the other threads and comments listed by our senior techs, in the first hald dozen posts, on this thread) ...

    Tecmo (GI Joe .. gKay .. SS, and some other senior techs can throw some good references and comments, to this (and HAVE ... Many times!)).

    That is the entire point of my instituting this thread ... It *IS* possible to save $30 by shopping hard and validating (faithfully) ... WORTH IT TO DO THE HOMEWORK IF BUDGET REIGNS ...

    ... READ THOSE FIRST POSTS !

    = Al =
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    June 7, 2010 2:44:27 PM

    I have browsed the links (still need to read all more thoroughly)and they are good, but I was mainly refering to the 'rules of thumb' if buying unknown PSUs - whether it be the brand or the actual model (as it has been pointed out that brand can mean nothing in many cases) how can one tell if a PSU is lousy? The one I linked ticks all the boxes for general rules of thumb, therefore in theory it should be a good PSU - yet there must be a reason no one knows it and no one has reviewed it. There must be some additional PSU spotting rules that can identify crap PSUs before the are bought
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    June 7, 2010 7:32:07 PM


    As I see it ... Seasonic makes most of the good ones that get re-labelled and Corsair has been fairly spotless at vetting the good ones and, because of that, you will not see a Corsair for under $50 and Corsair (because of this good reputation) does not even need to try to compete in the "under $50" tier. The vast morass of "wanna bees" rush in, to live in that shadow.

    While I am fairly sure that there ARE a smattering of fairly decent PSUs, for under $50 ... It remains pretty clear ... YOU DO NOT GET WHAT YOU DO NOT PAY FOR.

    = by and large =
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