Four 80 PLUS Gold Power Supplies Under 450 W, Reviewed

Cooler Master V450S

The power supplies in Cooler Master’s VS line are semi-modular. We imagine the company has to leave at least a benchmarkable delta between these units and its top-of-the-line V offerings. Still, we're presented with technical specifications that definitely don't reflect a budget-oriented model. In line with the rest of our field, Cooler Master's V450S is 80 PLUS Gold-certified. It also holds its own in our evaluation of power quality compared to the V-series.

Build-wise, the V450S feels solid. Its chassis is silver/gray and black, and very compact. As we've come to expect from Cooler Master, there's a single +12 V rail (though that's also par for this price and power category, too). According to the company, the V450S' +12 V rail is supposed to be good for up to 36 A, delivering up to 432 W.

Again, the VS line’s cables are semi-modular, which is to say that the motherboard, CPU, and auxiliary graphics card leads are fixed. They’re also round and sleeved. The other cables are modular and flat.

Cooler Master finishes last in our round-up when it comes to the number of connectors to which you have access. There are two PCIe, six SATA, and three Molex plugs. Cable length isn't a strong suit either. The fixed cables are relatively long, but the modular ones are simply shorter than competing units in today's story.

AC Input100-240 V, 50-60 Hz
DC Output+3.3 V+5 V+12 V (#1)+12 V (#2)+12 V (#3)+12 V (#4)-12 V+5 Vsb
20 A20 A36 AN/AN/AN/A0.3 A2.5 A
Individual Output     3.6 W12.5 W
Rail UtilizationSysSysCPU & VGA
Combined Output100 W432 W
Total Continuous Output450 W
Peak Outputn/a

A look at the V450S' efficiency puts those shorter cables out of mind for a minute. No other power supply in this round-up comes close to its numbers, especially at low loads.

At 100- and 50-percent load, the V450S lands about one-half percent above what's necessary for 80 PLUS Gold certification. At 20 percent, it hits 89.7 percent (instead of the 87 percent required), which is about 2.5 percent better than the assembled competition. Moreover, its lead increases with lower loads. Barely any PSU out there can manage an efficiency of more than 80 percent at a 25 W load.

This takes us to the ripple and noise measurements. Everything looks good there well. We measure very little ripple on all rails, and a smooth curve tells a story of high-quality components.

The V450S' fan runs continuously, but it doesn’t generate as much noise as the Revolution X't's cooler. An acoustic output of 31.1 dB(A) measured at 50 W is very quiet. It doesn’t get much louder at medium loads, either. Cooler Master's V450S produces 31.6 dB(A) at 200 W.

A Look at the PCB

Cooler Master makes decisions similar to what we saw from Enermax. The OEM manufacturer Enhance, which is Cooler Master’s current favorite, built a modern design with an LLC (two inductor, one capacitor) topology and DC-to-DC converters for the smaller voltages. The VS family features a mix of Japanese and Chinese components as well. To that point, the large primary capacitor is made by Panasonic, while the secondary ones are built by Suncon.

There’s also a complete input filter design, and everything appears to be soldered well. Finally, there’s an eye-catching heat sink on the primary side of the PSU that’s rather large for a Gold-certified unit.

Although this power supply is available in Europe where our testing was conducted, Cooler Master doesn't sell it in the U.S. Regardless of how much we like it, only our readers overseas have access to the V450S.

Create a new thread in the US Reviews comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
35 comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
    Top Comments
  • oczdude8
    Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
  • 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..."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • oczdude8
    Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
  • 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.
  • hannibal
    Well good quality 400W PSU can be better choice than good quality 600W version. If it works within its best efficiency area.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Drejeck
    Oh I forgot, I'm building a gaming rig with a PicoPSU 160XT... deal with it
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.