Four 80 PLUS Gold Power Supplies Under 450 W, Reviewed

Although high-wattage power supplies get most of the glory, we take our hats off to small, efficient solutions offering more practical output. We take four sub-450 W PSUs and run them through our benchmark suite to see if we can determine a winner.

In the automotive world, being green is all the rage. No manufacturer wants to be caught without at least one model aimed squarely at that demographic. And sure, the government gets involved by compelling the industry to move toward cars that consume less fuel and pump out fewer emissions into the atmosphere. The response isn't surprising: our more mainstream cars trade power for higher efficiency.

The same general principle can be applied to power supplies. Today's processors are far less power-hungry than their predecessors. Even gaming-oriented PCs built for performance seldom suck down more than 450 W. Better efficiency, on the other hand, is good for both the environment and your wallet.

So, we went into this round-up with the following two requirements for the participants: their submissions couldn't exceed 450 W and they needed to be efficient. In order to keep prices within reason, we settled on an 80 PLUS Gold rating as sufficient to meet our second demand.

Technical Specifications

Four vendors stepped up to our challenge. Seasonic offered its S12G at 450 W, which is currently selling for $75. Enermax sent in its Revolution X't, rated for 430 W and available at $90. Spend an additional $10 and you can get Corsair's RM450, which, as its name suggests, is rated for up to 450 W. Cooler Master submitted its V450S. And although that unit appeared promising, it isn't available in the U.S. That makes Seasonic's power supply the least-expensive option in our field, which isn't something you might have expected.

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    Top Comments
  • oczdude8
    Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
    16
  • Other Comments
  • iam2thecrowe
    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..."
    3
  • Onus
    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
  • xenol
    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
  • 2Be_or_Not2Be
    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
  • oczdude8
    Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
    16
  • Adroid
    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
  • hannibal
    Well good quality 400W PSU can be better choice than good quality 600W version. If it works within its best efficiency area.
    1
  • Adroid
    Anonymous 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
  • Drejeck
    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
  • Drejeck
    Oh I forgot, I'm building a gaming rig with a PicoPSU 160XT... deal with it
    0
  • Adroid
    Anonymous 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
  • logainofhades
    Anonymous 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
  • Drejeck
    Quote:
    Anonymous 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
  • Onus
    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
  • damric
    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
  • lp231
    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
  • damric
    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
  • lp231
    Anonymous 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
  • plasmastorm
    Personally if a PSU is 500w or less a gold/bronze/silver rating means little to me as long as it's well made.
    Unless it's over that, then personally, the cost of the unit out weighs the savings on the power bill
    1
  • iam2thecrowe
    Anonymous said:
    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.

    you can have a psu with crap components that has great ripple and noise tests and still explodes in 6 months. Visually looking at the inside is the only way to tell if it is mae with decent parts. A cheap capacitor can work just as well as an expensive one, but it wont likely last as long.
    3