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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.

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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.

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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 Output3.6 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.

  • 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..."
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • oczdude8
    Is it just me or is $100 WAY too much for a 450W psu......
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Well good quality 400W PSU can be better choice than good quality 600W version. If it works within its best efficiency area.
    Reply
  • Adroid
    13725552 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.
    Reply
  • 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.
    Reply
  • Drejeck
    Oh I forgot, I'm building a gaming rig with a PicoPSU 160XT... deal with it
    Reply