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Don't Be Surprised When Your Cheap PSU Blows Up


When it came time to test the PSU LPK-225, the comparatively low power rating of 420 W, the presence of a cardboard box, and an actual bundled AC power cable gave us hope again. Not for long, mind you. But first things first.

We could already tell that this 420 W PSU is not among the most modern products we have tested when we unpacked it. Though small 80 mm fans would still be acceptable, tiny ventilation holes made us sense danger. The unit’s sharp edges are evidence of poor build quality, but perhaps that is to be expected from a PSU worth roughly $15.

Assume, then, that you get what you pay for. In our case, that would be a 400 W PSU according to the auction we bought out. But instead we got what looked like a 420 W unit. Typically we wouldn't complain about getting more than we paid for; in this case, though, it was hard to ignore the obvious fact that we got scammed. The 420 W output was only mentioned in two places: on a small sticker on the housing and (this takes serious cojones) written by hand on the cardboard box.

There is not much to say about the test results of this PSU. We again started out cautiously and were actually able to identify its efficiency levels at 25, 50, and 85 W loads, reaching a maximum efficiency value of 79% at 85 W. Further testing was not possible because, during a short test with a 300 W load, the PSU suddenly bode us farewell with several explosions and sparks flying everywhere. Once more, we didn’t even have our camera ready. We simply were unprepared for a unit to totally give up so far below its rated output ceiling.

In short: if you buy this PSU, you should not be dependent on your computer, and perhaps invest in a fire extinguisher as a precaution.

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