Pros, Cons And Final Verdict
EVGA's lower-capacity G2 models feature silent operation, and the SuperNOVA 550 G2 PSU is a clear proof of this. Currently, this PSU is among the least noisy 550 W units we have evaluated, mostly thanks to the highly efficient Leadex platform that the PSU is built on. The PSU's semi-passive mode and low speed fan also play a significant role in the unit's quiet operation.
It's clear that EVGA made a good effort entering the low-capacity PSU category, first with the 550 and 650 GS units, made by Seasonic, and now with similarly prices 550 and 650 G2 models, made by Super Flower. EVGA's 550 GS PSU, which we have previously tested, offers good overall performance and a rich set of features. However, with the release of the new G2 units, it will have a very hard time competing with the 550 G2 model, especially since the two units have similar prices. The 550 G2 model is overall a better PSU, which makes it a no-brainer for users wanting to power a midrange system. It's difficult to understand why EVGA created two very similar PSU lines in this category, since the units now compete with each other. In our opinion, the company should adjust pricing of the GS models in order to improve their performance-per-dollar ratios so that they stand a chance against the new G2 units.
In addition to being silent, the new 550 G2 is highly efficient, fully modular and features jaw-dropping ripple suppression. On top of that, it has very steady DC outputs (in other words, tight load regulation) and it is backed up by a very long warranty period of seven years. The only major downside that we were able to spot was the low hold-up time, which can be a problem in some scenarios, including brown-outs or sudden power cuts. Normally, every PSU should meet the essential requirements of the ATX specification, which states that the minimum allowed hold-up time is 17 ms, or at least 16 ms for the AC loss to PWR_OK period. However, since the bulk caps that are responsible for the duration of a PSU's hold-up time are expensive and their capacity affects efficiency, many manufacturers ignore this very important ATX requirement and install smaller bulk caps. These offer lower hold-up time than is required. In this section, the 550 GS unit registers a much better performance, since it achieved 17.4 ms hold-up time, 5 ms more than the 550 G2.
Apart from the low hold-up time, the poor efficiency of the 5VSB rail and the single EPS connector, this is a solid choice for a PSU. If you are looking for a top-notch midcapacity unit, you should definitely put the SuperNOVA 550 G2 on top of your list.
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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Power Supplies.
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I would like to see another test. I had a PC with a Coolermaster PSU and 4 HD which were put to sleep mode/hibernation. Sometimes when the 4 HD were powered up the PC hanged, because the 4 HD demanded so much transient power that it threw the PSU voltages out of specs.
I was thinking that I had a great PSU, but it was expensive garbage.
The problem is that all of the best-built, best-featured PSUs were being made in 850, 1000, 1200, 1600W variants. If you had just a modest system, something mid-range, you either had to get a PSU that was way overkill, or you had to settle for PSUs that weren't so well built, or as efficient, or as fully-featured. So, this is an attempt to distribute very high-quality products to more of the market. And I am 110% A-Okay with that.
I actually own this unit and used it in a build with a 960. I got it right when it came out and for it's price, it offered a ton. I live in Canada and PSU's are way over-priced and the prices make no sense on them. But this unit was priced extremely well likely due to it's availability so I picked one up. No problems and I am glad EVGA is filling this market void. Good on em.