Skip to main content

Part 1: Four Cheap 80 PLUS Bronze Power Supplies, Reviewed

Cougar A350

While the case quality of the Cougar A350 seems excellent, this inexpensive PSU almost feels cheap (a first impression that may be affected by its smaller-than-average 120 mm fan and low weight). Of course, this just a subjective impression, and it doesn't necessarily translate into sub-standard performance. Before we get to the testing, though, let’s discuss the A350’s feature set.

At 350 W, the Cougar A350 is the least powerful PSU in this round-up. With that said, 350 W of output should be sufficient for normal office use and even for mainstream gaming. Like the Antec unit, it only has one six-pin PCIe connector. In addition, you get a 24-pin ATX connector, three Molex connectors, and four SATA plugs. This thing isn't luxurious by any means, but it's apropos for what Cougar charges. The cables for the drives and peripherals are longer than we'd expect, but we would have liked at least four more inches on the ATX, ATX12V, and PCIe runs. In this price range, we don’t expect cable management and the Cougar A350 doesn’t offer it. Surprisingly for a low-output unit like the A350, the +12 V supply is split into two rails, each of which is rated for up to 14 A.

Cougar A350
AC Input100-240 V, 50-60 Hz
DC Output+3.3 V+5 V+12 V (#1)+12 V (#2)+12 V (#3)+12 V (#4)-12 V+5 Vsb
21 A15 A14 A14 An/an/a0.3 A2.5 A
Individual Output32 A3.6 W12.5 W
Rail UtilizationSysSysCPU & VGA
Combined Output103 W276 W
Total Continuous Output350 W
Peak Outputn/a

  • wolley74
    no love for the EVGA 500B?
    Reply
  • computer_nugget2
    ALWAYS judge a power supply by its weight. especially if its Chinese.
    Reply
  • InvalidError
    11435905 said:
    always judge a power supply by its weight.
    Some Chinese OEMs put rocks, small concrete blocks, lumps of steel or other stuff like that disguised as a transformer with bits of wire that aren't connected to anything to trick people into believing their heavier PSUs are better.

    So weight alone is not a reliable indicator.

    Also, at high frequencies and high efficiencies, the size of inductors, capacitors, transformers and heatsinks along with the associated weight shrink. While light weight and high quality may rarely be seen together, they certainly are not mutually exclusive.
    Reply
  • dudewitbow
    11435841 said:
    no love for the EVGA 500B?

    a good chunk of Tom's physical hardware reviews generally are conducted in europe. This goes for a good handful of the gpu tests as well. EVGA rarely ever shows up on review sites because of it(and possibly due to lack of EVGA response to a hardware review pitch)

    Reply
  • computer_nugget2
    11435944 said:
    11435905 said:
    always judge a power supply by its weight.
    Some Chinese OEMs put rocks, small concrete blocks, lumps of steel or other stuff like that disguised as a transformer with bits of wire that aren't connected to anything to trick people into believing their heavier PSUs are better.

    So weight alone is not a reliable indicator.

    Also, at high frequencies and high efficiencies, the size of inductors, capacitors, transformers and heatsinks along with the associated weight shrink. While light weight and high quality may rarely be seen together, they certainly are not mutually exclusive.

    do you have pics to prove this?
    Reply
  • envy14tpe
    This is PART 1. Which means more PSUs to come, so let's hope for no dumb comments asking why not this PSU or this one...
    Reply
  • jimmysmitty
    11436142 said:
    This is PART 1. Which means more PSUs to come, so let's hope for no dumb comments asking why not this PSU or this one...

    They have already listed the PSUs for part 2 and I didn't see a part 3 listed. I wonder where the Corsair CX430 is. Its a 85+ Bronze PSU and is $39.99 on Egg right now. Its one of the best entry level PSUs I have actually used as well and compared to other PSUs at the same price point or higher (within 550W and may or may not be 80+ at all) I have seen less of them come back bad.
    Reply
  • razor512
    11435905 said:
    always judge a power supply by its weight.

    While weight is an important factor, overall weight is 100% useless

    for example check out the SIGMA SHARK SP-635

    http://www.ocia.net/reviews/sigma635/page2.shtml

    it is probably one of the heaviest power supplies you will find (with the exception of some of the 1200 watt ones)

    I purchased it a while back and was disappointed at the internals. they used an insanely thick case that made the power supply weigh a lot but the insides were were the result of the owner of the company asking while walking around china, what are the cheapest items we can find on the shenzhen market today.

    (at least the power supply can double as a flail or a boat anchor)
    Reply
  • pyro226
    Hoping to see the CX430 and other corsairs reviewed. I like the little thing since it powers my PC. :D It originally rang a bit when the computer was suspended or at random after a few hours of use, but that went away with age.
    Reply
  • sanilmahambre
    Nice basic testing method
    Reply