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EVGA SuperNOVA 550 GS PSU Review

EVGA teamed up with Seasonic to release an affordable, mid-capacity, 80 PLUS Gold, fully modular PSU, the SuperNOVA 550 GS, which costs just $90.

Efficientcy Meets Compact Dimensions

Cooperation between EVGA and Seasonic paved the way for the SuperNOVA 550 GS, which has high efficiency levels and tight voltage regulation, and is able to offer prospective buyers peace of mind thanks to its Japanese electrolytic capacitors and five-year warranty. The fully modular cabling design is a great asset, and on top of that, this unit features a semi-passive mode that is missing from Seasonic's G-550.

Another great feature of the 550 GS is that it also has more connectors than its Seasonic competition, including four PCIe connectors that are available at the same time as two EPS connectors. This is probably overkill, since a 550W PSU would have to be fully loaded to support two high-end graphics cards and an overclocked CPU. While Seasonic was very conservative with its G-550, EVGA was more progressive with its 550 GS. We prefer EVGA’s approach though, because it offers more options to potential buyers.

The only major downside of the 550 GS compared to the G-550, which costs about the same in the United States, is greater ripple at +12V. Although this unit is made by Seasonic and utilizes a modern platform, it's clear that the company didn’t pay much attention to ripple suppression on this rail. The result doesn't please us; we expected Seasonic’s implementations to perform much better in those tests. Still, while 70mV of ripple in worst-case scenarios might be considered mediocre performance for a Seasonic PSU, it's well within ATX specs and won’t pose a threat to a system’s stability. With that said, we want to measure ripple levels below 40mV on this rail. With lower ripple at +12V, the 550 GS would achieve a much higher performance score.

Other than the increased ripple at +12V and the fan's not-so-quiet performance under stress, this PSU leaves an overall good impression. Most PCs with one graphics card are fine with 550W, so this unit would be ideal for them. If Seasonic manages to improve the platform's performance at +12V, even higher-end offerings in this wattage range will have a hard time competing with it. All in all, if you are searching for a 550W PSU that has enough connectors to support CrossFire or SLI, along with a high-end motherboard that needs both EPS and ATX12V connectors, your choices are limited; the SuperNOVA 550 GS looks like the only option.

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Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor for Tom's Hardware, covering Power Supplies.

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  • damric
    There are less rippletastic options at that price point.
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    Nice to see a review of a smaller ATX PSU for a change
    Reply
  • Aris_Mp
    my last reviews were of smaller capacity units and I will try to bring even more of them.
    Reply
  • Luay
    Coorection, EVGA did release a gold rated 1050W and 850W Seasonic PSU also branded as GS, and a platinum 1000W PS. There's also a 650W version of the PSU reviewed here which takes the total to five Seasonic OEMs branded by EVGA.
    Reply
  • Larry Litmanen
    There are less rippletastic options at that price point.

    For the most part when it comes to PC parts you get what you pay for. Unless you spot a great sale, a 550W fully modular, 80 Gold PSU from a company like EVGA with a 5 year warranty. EVGA is super easy to deal with should you need to replace a unit. All that for $90? If this PSU was a 650W unit with same features and for the same price it would have been perfect.
    Reply
  • atheus
    There are less rippletastic options at that price point.

    For the most part when it comes to PC parts you get what you pay for. Unless you spot a great sale, a 550W fully modular, 80 Gold PSU from a company like EVGA with a 5 year warranty. EVGA is super easy to deal with should you need to replace a unit. All that for $90? If this PSU was a 650W unit with same features and for the same price it would have been perfect.
    You mean the price would have been perfect? Confusing idea to change the wattage rather than just change the price. I take that to mean instead of a certain price/performance you would rather have a 650 watt PSU than a 550.

    I see 650 watt PSU's as only for SLI systems, which are fairly niche. With 550 you can handle any single GPU, and in the case of Maxwell GPU's <= 980 you could even SLI them so long as you aren't doing some obscene overclocking or running a dozen fans and pumps and a datacenter worth of HDD's. So for my go-to wattage for a standard high performance single GPU build is 550. For medium performance 450 is even better.
    Reply
  • Dark Lord of Tech
    I own this one great modular power supply.
    Reply
  • logainofhades
    Unless you really feel the need for a gold rated PSU, I would probably save some cash and stick with a Seasonic 520w or 620w M12II. Even the 750w B2 series is cheaper.
    Reply
  • Aris_Mp
    Coorection, EVGA did release a gold rated 1050W and 850W Seasonic PSU also branded as GS, and a platinum 1000W PS. There's also a 650W version of the PSU reviewed here which takes the total to five Seasonic OEMs branded by EVGA.

    This is exactly what I write inside the review. Four GS PSUs and one PS.

    "So far, the new PS series includes only a single unit with 1kW of max power; EVGA's GS line, on the other hand, has four PSUs with 550, 650, 850 and 1050W capacities."

    I also have the 650 GS in my lab, but this isn't for Tom's.
    Reply
  • Coolant
    Quick question, what would happen if one of the secondary fets was removed?
    Reply