Inadequate and Deceptive Product Labeling: Comparison of 21 Power Supplies

Manual Speed Adjustment

Power supplies with a manual fan speed control allow the user to adjust the speed of the fan according to the user's particular needs. Enermax provides manual fan speed adjustment (1500 to 3000 rpm) via a potentiometer on the back panel. An interesting feature about the Enermax is that the automatic fan control is not affected; the automatic speed control remains in effect within the selected range.

The Maxtron and TSP power supplies offer a three-stage solution. These two offer a choice between low and high fan speed, plus automatic fan adjustment. The disadvantage here is that, while the power supply is quiet at low speed, it can be susceptible to overheating under heavy load. The unit can stop working if the fan speed is set too low.

Penny Pinching - Overly Short Cables

Ideal cables at least 50 cm long. We do, however, like the look of the wire loom that is used on this power supply, and it adds the "dressed-up" feature that many case modders like. But, just because it has wire looms around the cables or a painted outer cover does not guarantee that it is of higher quality.

When buying a power supply, power output and noise level are the decisive factors.

But it is also important to consider the features that are offered. The number of connectors and the length of the cables are equally important. Those with a full tower case will have real problems with the SCS-300 and Task TK-930TX. The ATX cable (at 32 cm) is on the short side and, depending on the design of the motherboard, is only suitable for a midi tower at the most. The motherboard cable should be at least 40 cm long. P4 system owners should avoid the Coba model. The required ATX/12 V cable is only 18 cm long, and too short for normal cases. The cables for powering the hard disks and floppy drive should also be at least 40 cm in length if the power supply is to be installed in a full tower case. Watch out, too, for the number and positioning of the connectors on the cable harness. A single floppy connector, as supplied by Engelking and Coba, is not enough. You will need at least two of these. The Coba, SCS and Task all have four hard disk connectors. A system with two hard disks, a CD rewriter and a DVD drive would use all of these available connectors. On a more positive note, the TSP provides ten connectors, and both the Chieftech and Maxtron have nine HD connectors.