Inadequate and Deceptive Product Labeling: Comparison of 21 Power Supplies

Set Too High - Utopian Power Specifications

This is the Model identification sticker of the Chieftec HPC-420-302 with power specifications for the individual channels: the maximum load of the power supply refers to the sum of the partial loads of the 3.3, 5 and 12-Volt phases. Notice that the power supply also bears certification logos for different countries. We recommend that you only buy a power supply that bears the proper certification for your country.

Improper packaging that is misleading as to the contents inside the box and deceptive product descriptions are among the first problems that we found. For instance, the Coba power supply goes by the name of PS-350S, with 350 watts being the maximum power according to the user manual, the packaging and the manufacturer specifications; however, the specification according to the power supply model identification sticker is 325 watts. We also found other models that were not capable of generating the power specified by the manufacturer. For example, in terms of power, the Leadman LP-6100 E and the Task TK-930TX can only manage about 30% less than the manufacturer's specifications.

Tests performed on 3 other power supplies were downright dangerous: the models from Maxtron, Noise Magic and PC World seized up, with a loud bang, even below their nominal rating, or shortly after reaching full load. The outcome from this will result in substantial damage to the other components inside the computer, and in a worst-case scenario, it could also result in a fire occurring inside the computer.

The TSP-420 P4 made rather an astonishing show: at just under 500 watts, it delivered the most power in our test; however, but it does not feature an automatic shutdown capability.

The Enermax EG365AX-VE offers a very solid design and managed 389 watts in our test. High quality power supplies, such as the Enermax EG365AX-VE, will cost you somewhat more.