EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 PSU Review

EVGA introduced two new low-capacity G2 PSUs. Today, we evaluate the 550 G2 model made by Super Flower, which features 80 Plus Gold efficiency.

EVGA has one of the most complete PSU portfolios today, with many products covering all market segments from low- to high-end. One of the most popular PSU lines EVGA offers is the G2 PSU series, which consists of units made by Super Flower that offer outstanding performance-per-dollar. Recently, EVGA expanded its 80 Plus Gold efficiency G2 line with two new models featuring 550 W and 650 W capacities, fulfilling the demands of users that seek lower-capacity and high-performance PSUs. Most manufacturers offer high-performing platforms only in high capacities, but this is starting to change. Super Flower is among the first to make high-end offerings available in the mid-capacity region, even including Titanium efficiency models. Since EVGA cooperates closely with Super Flower, we expect to see lower-capacity units in the Platinum (P2) and Titanium (T2) PSU lines very soon.

Today we're reviewing the EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 PSU, currently the smallest unit in the G2 line. Like other G2 PSUs, the 550 W model is based on Super Flower's Leadex platform, offering 80 Plus Gold efficiency along with a fully modular cabling design and a semi-passive operation. Because of the highly efficient platform, the relaxed fan profile, and a long-lasting passive mode, we expect this unit to offer very quiet operation, even under tough conditions. With its three PCIe connectors, the 550 G2 PSU can easily power a midrange system with a single high-end graphics card. Additionally, the PSU's price looks reasonable considering its features.

Coincidentally, one of the most direct competitors of this model is another EVGA offering, the SuperNOVA 550 GS, which is made by a Super Flower rival, Seasonic. The 550 GS currently costs the same as the 550 G2 on EVGA's online store, but comes with a shorter five-year warranty. Once we have all the test data in hand, we will compare these two units in order to find out which offers the higher overall performance and which is less noisy. Because of the larger fan diameter (140 millimeter) in the 550 G2 model, we believe that it will offer quieter operation compared with the 550 GS unit, which uses a 120 mm diameter fan.

Specifications

As mentioned, the 550 G2 meets 80 Plus Gold standards and features a fully modular cabling design. It is also Haswell-ready, since it uses DC-DC converters for the generation of the minor rails and is equipped with all basic protection features except for the important Over-Temperature Protection (OTP). This platform can tolerate high operating temperatures, a fact clearly shown in the maximum operating temperature at which it can deliver full power continuously. However, since it features a semi-passive mode, it should also include OTP. In the cooling section, a 140 mm double ball-bearing fan removes the hot air from the unit, and due to its quality bearings and semi-passive operation we expect it to have a very long lifetime. Finally, the PSU's dimensions are typical for this capacity, and at seven years the warranty is very long, although it doesn't reach the 10-year period that covers the higher-capacity G2 members (starting at 750 W capacity).

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps222245.830.5
Watts110549.6156
Total Max. Power (W)550

The single +12V rail can deliver the unit's full power, while the minor rails can deliver up to 110 W combined, a power level that will suffice for any mid-level system. Finally, the 5VSB rail has a maximum current output of 3 amperes, making it is strong enough for a 550 W PSU.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)
ATX connector 20+4 pin (600mm)11
4+4 pin EPS12V (700mm)11
6+2 pin PCIe (700mm+150mm)12
6+2 pin PCIe (700mm)11
SATA (500mm+100mm+100mm)39
4 pin Molex (500mm+100mm+100mm)13
FDD Adapter (+100mm)11

The 550 G2 has one less PCIe connector compared with the same capacity GS model, which costs about the same. In addition, it comes with only one EPS connector, while the 550 GS unit has three. We would like to see an additional EPS connector in this unit as users with high-end mainboards will need a second EPS or ATX12V connector and it isn't safe to use 4-pin Molex adaptors.

The number of SATA and peripheral connectors is pretty high for a unit in this category. And EVGA will provide an FDD adapter for those who will need one. Cable length is adequate, although the distance among 4-pin Molex connectors is too short at 10 centimeters (usually, the components that are powered by 4-pin connectors are located far from each other). On the other hand, the distance between SATA connectors is ideal since in most cases HDDs/SDDs are installed close to each other. Finally, the main ATX, EPS and PCIe connectors use thicker 16AWG gauges, whereas the rest of the connectors use the standard 18AWG wires.

Power Distribution

Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.

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27 comments
    Your comment
  • marraco
    Wow. Ripple behavior is fantastic.

    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.
  • Aris_Mp
    this scenario is covered by the transient response tests, which I conduct in page #7 of the review.
  • giantbucket
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?
  • dstarr3
    Super Flower makes some great hardware. I'm all over this for my upcoming modest gaming rig.
  • damric
    It's all about the LEADEX.
  • dstarr3
    Quote:
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?


    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.
  • MasterDell
    Quote:
    Quote:
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?
    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 agree with this to some extent because there are and were tons of PSU's made by Seasonic. Whether they were Antec units or XFX units OEM'd by Seasonic or not.. They were made by Seasonic. Now, as for fully modular, gold rated variants, those were and still are far and few between. However there are tons of Bronze semi-modular/none modular units which are great for mid-range builds.

    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.
  • Nuckles_56
    Nice to see a low wattage power supply being reviewed for a change and particularly one which performs very well
  • turkey3_scratch
    I think I found my PSU. I don't need any 750W, but I had trouble finding a high quality 550W unit, and this is it!
  • g-unit1111
    I have two G2s, these are far and away some of the best PSUs on the market! Good to see that EVGA is making some lower wattage models that have the same quality and consistency.
  • marraco
    Quote:
    this scenario is covered by the transient response tests, which I conduct in page #7 of the review.

    There is something buggy with this design. I load all the article pages on new tabs, to save time, but some times an entire page doesn't load, or only loads partially; it stops "expanding".

    I tend to have problem with the graphics.
  • marraco
    Quote:
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?

    Maybe you have the common misconception about "good quality" PSU being only about maximum power.

    Is understandable because the practical importance of the tests run is not well explained.

    PSUs articles should expand some information about the practical consequences of having a bad result on each test.
  • wtfxxxgp
    Quote:
    Quote:
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?
    Maybe you have the common misconception about "good quality" PSU being only about maximum power. Is understandable because the practical importance of the tests run is not well explained. PSUs articles should expand some information about the practical consequences of having a bad result on each test.


    I agree with that last sentence. Great response to a seriously daft comment :)
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    I'd buy a Super Flower G2 over a SEASONIC all day.
  • JackNaylorPE
    Great.... now we can buy a G2 550 watter for the same price as the G2 750 .... the 750 watt models from EVGA always seem to have a rebate running. My son bought a 1000 watter cause it was cheaper than a 750 / 850. At it's current price, I certainly would never buy one. And ... a B2 750 is half the price.

    G2 550 - $89.99
    http://www.ncixus.com/products/?sku=111661

    G2 750 - $89.99 after rebate
    http://www.ncixus.com/products/?sku=94405manufacture=eVGA&promoid=1276

    Tho to be frank, if a user is doing a single card system that only needs 550 watts, I am more likely to recommend a $45 B2 750. The build quality between G2 and B2 is comparable and the $45 may oft be better spent elsewhere.

    The Ferrari rating is perhaps a bit off but more apt I think would be buying a Ferrari to drive 2.3 miles to the train station so you can commute to work each day by railroad. Will you benefit in any way from performance at actual system wattage ?

    For example, as PSU's generally see wide voltage variance the closer you get to the rated wattage, the more variation you see. With both the B2 750 and G2 550 at 550 watts, the B2 750 has better voltage regulation on all 3 rails.

    So yes, if a user goes by brand names / model lines or tier lists, then yes a G2 will seem a better choice. Will a 550 watt system put enough load on a system to gain an actual benefit from spending twice as much money ? That's not going to be as easy an answer. Build quality is the same, voltage regulation is actually better at half the price.

    http://www.ncixus.com/products/?sku=97531&vpn=110-B2-0750-VR&manufacture=eVGA&promoid=1444

    B2 9.0 Performance / 9.5 build quality
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story6&reid=393

    G2 10.0 Performance / 9.5 build quality
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDReviews&op=Story6&reid=380
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    I have a GS 550W Seasonic made model , purchased on sale at newegg for $59.99 , when first released.
  • JackNaylorPE
    276663 said:
    I'd buy a Super Flower G2 over a SEASONIC all day.


    Can't leave us hanging w/o reason why :) ... Recognizing of course that Seasonic RMA process is terrible and cost will always be more with Seasonic's premium lines. Then again I hate those extra 3 end silly PCI-E cables that EVGA provides .... always afraid someone is going to overload them when adding a 2nd GFX card.

    Reason I ask is I have 2 users with 750 watt (twin 970s air cooled) and 1000 watt (twin 980 Tis, custom loop, dual pump) watter builds coming up ... down to these two for the 1000 watter

    Seasonic Snow / Silent Series or EVGA G2 Series .... so far leaning towards the Snow on the 1000 watter and the G2 on the 750.


    276663 said:
    I have a GS 550W Seasonic made model , purchased on sale at newegg for $59.99 , when first released.


    But this is a $90 G2, which based upon above, which you would buy over the $60 Seasonic. I haven't used the GS series, yet ... surprised to have seen so few reviews.

    As a new entry in the game, EVGA has been making big use of the rebate thing, no doubt to gain market share but that comes at the expense of profit margins.

    I love it because I take advantage of it a lot and it does force the competition to do the same. But.... ya gotta wonder.... how much can they cut on the lower wattage models and how long will they continue to run these rebates.
  • damric
    @jacknaylorpe

    For overclocking, that low ripple is most important to me and I would gladly pay a premium for that. I have a few Golden Greens (aka B2, Capstone) and they are nice but they are not in the same league as the LEADEX.
  • honkuimushi
    1483573 said:
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?


    Well, it's not really at Ferrari prices. (That would be $200 or so?) If you're not overclocking and you're running only a single GPU, especially a Intel/Nvidia system, you're probably seeing your system max out at 300-350 Watts. That setup probably describes 75% of even home-built computers. And people running that would like a solid power supply to run their build without having to buy a 1000 Watt PSU to get nice features and good build quality, then having to deal with lousy efficiency.

    In Mini-ITX builds, modularity and efficiency are both key features. Cable management can be really challenging, and being able to detach the cables and set them up before you have to put the PSU in can be a lifesaver. I just built my dad a computer with a Cooler Master Elite 130 case and a 450 Watt Seasonic G-series PSU and I had tons of trouble keeping the 2 hardwired cables out of the way of the CPU fan. And once I put the PSU in, it was almost impossible to reach in and adjust the cables. Also, in such a enclosed environment, the smaller heat footprint of a low power, high efficiency PSU is highly desirable. And in a hotter environment, a PSU that uses high quality components can be very important.

    So I suppose I would say you're buying build quality more than anything else. A Ferrari isn't really the best really the best comparison since it's all about performance(and they have a reputation for being in the shop quite frequently.) The 550W might sacrifice a a few high performance features, but it still get something that's still very full featured at a price and specs that make sense for your average customer. It's more expensive than the "bargain" options, but provides better value. If I was going to compare it to cars, I would compare it to a mass market Tesla

    My next build will be a Mini-ITX Skylake build and this would be a great PSU for it. Unfortunately, I've only found one webshop here in Japan that carries the EVGA PSUs and they only have the lower quality ones.
  • honkuimushi
    276663 said:
    Then again I hate those extra 3 end silly PCI-E cables that EVGA provides .... always afraid someone is going to overload them when adding a 2nd GFX card.


    On the other hand, I like the SATA cables on the Super Flower PSUs better than the ones on Seasonic PSUs. On my Elite 130 build, they placed the the HDDs and SSDs either upside down or flat against a flat surface. Without any lead on the connectors for the Season G-series cables, I couldn't get them to attach. I ended up using the molex cable and, since I had several molex to SATA converters, using those to attach the drives. With the leads on the Super Flower SATA cables, I could have just used that.
  • turkey3_scratch
    276663 said:
    I have a GS 550W Seasonic made model , purchased on sale at newegg for $59.99 , when first released.


    How does the GS compare to the B2 and G2?
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    It's based on the Seasonic G series , I believe , so it's good.
  • JackNaylorPE
    410076 said:
    @jacknaylorpe For overclocking, that low ripple is most important to me and I would gladly pay a premium for that. I have a few Golden Greens (aka B2, Capstone) and they are nice but they are not in the same league as the LEADEX.


    If ripple is your concern, the G2 550 is certainly a winner. The Leadex Gold is one of the few platforms that can actually be said to give Delta a run for their money.

    I'd put ripple 2nd to voltage stability but it doesn't matter. The G2 750 will certainly have better ripple than the B2 750 at full load. But the part you are leaving out is that ripple rises the closer you get to max load. PSUs are at their peak performance point efficiency wise at half load. Similarly, ripple of the 750 watt B2 under a 500 watt load is much much lower than it is at the 750 watt load. This is not something that will be factored in going by tier lists or platforms and something that can easily be wasted going with anything less than a motherboard which can match this low noise level.


    1973494 said:
    Well, it's not really at Ferrari prices. (That would be $200 or so?) If you're not overclocking and you're running only a single GPU, especially a Intel/Nvidia system, you're probably seeing your system max out at 300-350 Watts. That setup probably describes 75% of even home-built computers. And people running that would like a solid power supply to run their build without having to buy a 1000 Watt PSU to get nice features and good build quality, then having to deal with lousy efficiency.



    As for the 300 - 350 watts, a single GFX card can pull over 350 watts, and that's before it's overclocked
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Gigabyte/GTX_980_Ti_G1_Gaming/28.html

    - Intel 4690k can easily pull 135 watts overclocked

    - Intel 5830k can easily pull 235 watts overclocked

    - Gigabyte 980 Ti can pull 295 - 359 @ out of the box .... and the power limit on that card can be raised 20% w/ Afterburner, so we're talking 354 - 431.

    As for efficiency, to operate at peak efficiency on a 550 watts PSU, that would be a 275 watt load. A 4790k (88 watts) and GTX 970 (192 watts) will reach that before overclocking. While I am in now way knocking the G2 or the choice of a 550 watt PSU. If concerned about heat and efficiency...and budget, a larger / cheaper PSU **may** give you more of those things.

    An overclocked 4690k (135), one overclocked 970 (212) and say 40 watts for rest of system would equal say 387 watts. So while a 450 - 500 watter would suffice, if ya catch a deal on a larger unit, it is certainly worth considering. A similarly 80+ rated 750 watt unit would be more efficient, product less heat and, most likely, have lower ripple / better voltage regulation.