Getting the Right Power: 15 PC Power Supply Units

Overloading Cables

The main thing to look for when buying a power supply unit is high power and low operating noise. But a look at the equipment is important, too. Crucial features are not only the number of connectors for 5.25" and 3.5" devices, but also the length and number of strands in the cable.

The number of HDD and FDD connectors and their distribution on the cable strands must also be considered. At high power levels it is important to distribute the load among several strands, because, if there are too few strands, when the load is high, the cables could overload individual cable strands. Six HDD connectors should be considered the minimum. No power supply unit in the test offers fewer connectors anyway. In a system with two hard disks, a CD-RW drive and a DVD drive, this would almost exhaust resources.

It is also considered positive for power supplies to have additional connection options as well. The Global WinTop 420-P4 and Antec Truecontrol 550 products, for example, have additional ports for case fans.

Vantec includes two SATA adapters in its package.

With the VAN-400N, Vantec provides two SATA adapters ; the Turbo Cool 510ATX PFC Deluxe from PC Power & Cooling has two SATA ports, typical of the series.