Four 80 PLUS Gold Power Supplies Under 450 W, Reviewed

Efficient, 80 PLUS Gold-Certified PSUs: A Lot Of Good Options

Power supplies in the 450 W range with 80 PLUS Gold certifications are understandably popular. They offer enough power for most PCs, they're obviously efficient, and they aren't incredibly expensive. Even though 450 W sounds small, a good manufacturer will arm its offering with plenty of cables and connectors (enough so that a couple of single-GPU graphics cards are often viable). Modular cables are almost always part of the value proposition as well. 

Today's round-up shows that some of the top vendors make similar choices when it comes to pricing and the performance of their power supplies' internal parts. Differences that do exist typically involve the bundled accessories.

Because the companies that chose to submit samples for testing are generally well-respected, it's hard to go wrong with any of these units. Since we can't identify one clear winner, here are our thoughts on each power supply:

Enermax's 430 W Revolution X't has the lowest output rating in our round-up. However, the difference between it and the other three power supplies is small, especially since the Revolution's +12 V rail delivers up to 98% of its theoretical performance in practice.

Strengths include good build quality and lots of connectors. The partly modular cabling facilitates some flexibility. Performance-wise, our measurements turn out unremarkable; they're neither good or bad versus the competition.

If we look at Enermax's cooling solution, you get a constant, but unobtrusive fan noise. Compared to the rest of the field, however, it's the loudest. The components contained within aren't particularly high-end, though most enthusiasts would consider them acceptable.

All things considered, the Revolution X't does its job well. The worst thing we can say about it is that Enermax is on the expensive side in a field filled with strong contenders.

One such contender is Cooler Master's V450S. Fortunately for Enermax, you can't buy the V450S in the U.S. Overseas, where this power supply is available, it represents the semi-modular implementation of Cooler Master's completely modular V family. It shares that line-up's high efficiency, beating the other PSUs in our round-up at each load level. This distinction is particularly striking at low loads.

The V450S also does well when it comes to ripple and noise. The remaining measurements are unremarkable. Cooler Master does cut corners a bit on cable length and connector variety. As we saw from Enermax's Revolution X't, though, there’s nothing to complain about once we open the V450S up and pore over its internals.

If you're looking for a silent PSU, consider Corsair's RM450 instead. Its fan doesn’t even spin most of the time thanks to a well-designed semi-passive design. And even when higher loads necessitate active cooling, the fan is quiet.

The RM450’s build quality is exemplary, and its internals follow suit. You don't get the most modern topology, but since it still achieves 80 PLUS Gold-class efficiency, we can't really complain. But Corsair's RM450 doesn't push past those qualifying marks, and its efficiency drops fast at lower load levels.

One possible explanation could be the fully modular cabling, which is unique among the four power supplies tested today. Combined with long runs and a wide variety of connectors, you at least get the best possible flexibility for cable management.

At first glance, Seasonic's S12G 450 W appears to be this round-up’s wallflower. There's no cable management, the chassis isn't fancy, and the price tag is noticeably low. We know by now not to judge books by their cover though, right?

In reality, the S12G has every right to sport its 80 PLUS logo. Just like the Enermax and Corsair offerings, though, its efficiency does decline a lot faster than the Cooler Master V450S. Still, it doesn't exhibit any weaknesses in our other measurements, behaving well in the ripple and noise benchmarks.

Seasonic doesn't cut any corners with cable length or connector variety. The supply's fan does spin continuously, but it's also really quiet. Open the S12G up and, particularly after paying the lowest price in this round-up, you get your biggest surprise: a modern design with high-quality components and fantastic soldering throughout. Enthusiasts with their own cable management skills and a penchant for good bargains should choose this power supply.

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    Top Comments
  • Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
    16
  • Other Comments
  • No ripple tests, no noise (not sound) tests, and no oscope shots.... *facepalm*

    Readers have been begging for you guys to do a proper PSU test for years. I'm glad to know Tom's has taken the time to listen.

    /sarcasm
    7
  • they did ripple tests......they load tested them....... that's about as much as most readers need to know, that it wont blow up at 100% load and wont damage components with excess ripple. better than some reviews i have read "we hooked it up to a pc and it worked, give gold award..."
    2
  • Too bad Rosewill did not submit its Capstone for this roundup.

    It would have also been nice to see one of Seasonic's TFX units included.
    4
  • 388413 said:
    they did ripple tests......they load tested them....... that's about as much as most readers need to know, that it wont blow up at 100% load and wont damage components with excess ripple. better than some reviews i have read "we hooked it up to a pc and it worked, give gold award..."


    I lol'd at the operational noise graph because it tells you nothing. What rail(s) are they testing? Who knows? Who cares...

    You are welcome to continue to defend the article, but the truth is that nobody takes a Tom's Hardware PSU review seriously. This review doesn't do anything to change that perception. Compared to the depth of analysis that goes into other PC components, it is disappointing to see Tom's continue to ignore the requests of its readers to bring a thorough, full-featured PSU review to the table.
    6
  • Ripple and line noise tests are the indicators of whether or not a power supply is made with solid parts or made with parts that just do the job and will probably last about a year of nominal use before releasing the magic smoke. If there's a lot of ripple, then the motherboard's house keeping circuitry is going to do a lot of work to keep stable voltages (especially when a difference of even 0.1V matters).

    Yes, these are supposedly made by top-tier manufacturers, but just because they have a reputation in the past doesn't mean they have a clean slate the entire way through.
    3
  • I am just happy that we have some reviews of more reasonable P/S. Most people I know aren't running 1000W+.

    "In order to keep prices within reason, we settled on an 80 PLUS Gold rating as sufficient to meet our second demand."

    I'm also happy with my 80+ Bronze P/S. Frankly, when you're buying smaller output P/S, I really don't know why anyone would need to get a Gold-rated one.
    6
  • Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
    16
  • Yea I am really confused by the huge price tags here.

    I paid like 70$ for a top of the line 660W seasonic platinum PSU after MIR. Needless to say I was patient and waited for a good deal, but I see high quality 650-750W PSUs for 80$ after MIRs regularly.
    3
  • Well good quality 400W PSU can be better choice than good quality 600W version. If it works within its best efficiency area.
    1
  • 60597 said:
    Well good quality 400W PSU can be better choice than good quality 600W version. If it works within its best efficiency area.


    True, PSUs typically operate most effeciently at 80% load. I build gaming rigs though, so 400W is always too small.

    I just expected smaller PSUs to be cheaper, that's all.
    0
  • There's a big mistake in considering 400W insufficient for gaming. I have a 770 phantom, a 750ti from kfa2 for physx, an i7 2600K at 4,4ghz, various neons, a load of fans, 4 SSDs, 2 black faex 2TB, an asus xonar d2x, and still I can't reach over 420W of power consumption in torture tests, measured with the highest end APC Smart (865W UPS). I have a Corsair 850W Gold, which is a Seasonic rebrand. And I'm ashamed I went so much overkill with my PSU.
    This review feels like useless. There's no ripple testing, whatever the second comment user says. Get some review from Guru3D and you'll see.
    Based on words I can't compare with other products on other reviews, so this is quite a fail.
    5
  • Oh I forgot, I'm building a gaming rig with a PicoPSU 160XT... deal with it
    0
  • 1414206 said:
    Oh I forgot, I'm building a gaming rig with a PicoPSU 160XT... deal with it


    Haha... well I can beat you on your own games from my cell phone.
    0
  • 295831 said:
    Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......


    I agree. If I am buying a gold rated 450w unit, I am not buying any of these. I will go and get a Capstone 450w for $60.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182066
    4
  • Quote:
    1414206 said:
    Oh I forgot, I'm building a gaming rig with a PicoPSU 160XT... deal with it
    Haha... well I can beat you on your own games from my cell phone.

    Hahahaha yup, given a micro HDMI port. But I'm speaking of a machine capable of challenging the PS4. My old NES 8 bit is going to be revived with the KFA2 750Ti and an i5S processor. Actually I badly wanted the Broadwell architecture but I can't wait 2015...
    0
  • I used an i5-3570K and an overclocked HD7970 to mine last year, and it pulled 312W from its UPS. Under a gaming load, the GPU usage would drop, and the CPU usage would be higher, but I'd be surprised if it needed more than 350W-375W. It happened to have a pair of WD Blacks in a RAID1 also, plus a SSD, but no other bling. A 400W PSU is plenty for a competent gamer.
    4
  • This is not a Power Supply Review, this is an informercial.

    The three most important things to review on a power supply are regulation, ripple suppression, and hot box stability.

    My suggestion for Patrick is to go look at CRMARIS and Oklahoma Wolf's PSU reviews to see how a real review is done.

    The only way to verify true quality is with hot box torture. That's how you separate the elite PSUs from the turds wrapped in a box.
    4
  • Who the heck wants to spend that much on a 450w PSU? With that amount you can get a PSU with a lot more wattage and still have a 80 Plus Gold rating.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139010
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139056
    0
  • The $90 750W SUPERNOVA G2/Superflower Leadex sets the bar for quality PSUs. If your PSU you costs more than that and is less wattage then it is fail.
    0
  • 410076 said:
    The $90 750W SUPERNOVA G2/Superflower Leadex sets the bar for quality PSUs. If your PSU you costs more than that and is less wattage then it is fail.


    Unless they buy it for the rating and know nothing else about a PSU, but if you checked out the price links to Amazon, no one is that dumb to spend that much on a small wattage PSU. The CM one is sold by some unknown vender with a $44 dollar shipping! Corsair has some reviews, but that's not for the 450w, they're reviews for higher wattage models.
    0