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XPG Pylon 550W Power Supply Review

A Bronze CPU with an FDB fan.

XPG Pylon 550W
(Image: © Tom's Hardware)

Our Verdict

The Pylon 550W by XPG achieves high overall performance, and is equipped with a quality fan that's uncommon in this price range.

For

  • + Full power at 40 degrees Celsius
  • + High overall performance
  • + FDB fan
  • + Build quality is high enough
  • + Low inrush current with 115V
  • + Highly efficient 5VSB rail
  • + Long cables and two PCIe connectors
  • + Compact dimensions
  • + Low EMI emissions
  • + Compatible with the Alternative Sleep Mode

Against

  • - Not modular
  • - Lower than 17ms hold-up time
  • - Transient response is not so good
  • - Gets noisy at higher loads (>425W)

The XPG Pylon 550W achieves respectable performance for the standards of the category, despite having a fan speed profile that's not aggressive. That said, its average noise output could be quieter with some changes in the design. For the internals, XPG used quality parts for increased reliability along with an FDB fan, which is usually hard to find in this price range. Designed to compete with the Best PSUs for those on a budget, the XPG Pylon 550W is in the same market segment as the Cooler Master MWE Bronze 550 and the Corsair CX550F RGB. 

We've already reviewed the similar, higher wattage XPG Pylon 650W, which performed quite well in our tests. This review will take a detailed look at the lower capacity Pylon model with 550W max power. All Pylon units have 80 PLUS Bronze and Cybenetics Silver efficiency ratings and use a platform offered by Channel Well Technology (CWT). There are no modular cables in an effort to keep the production cost low. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Product Photos

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The Pylon 550 has compact dimensions, with only 140mm depth. In a unique but appreciated twist, XPG chose to equip it with a fluid dynamic bearing from Hong Hua, which is rare for this price category. FDB fans offer high reliability and have low output noise, but they are more expensive than rifle and sleeve bearing fans, so most brands avoid them in their lower-end lines. 

But with this better-than-usual fan and its reliable CWT platform, XPG's confidently offering a 3 year warranty. Thermaltake offers five-years in its Smart BM2 line, which uses the same CWT platform but doesn't have the part upgrades of the Pylon 550. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Product Photos

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)
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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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General  Specifications of XPG Pylon 550W

Manufacturer (OEM)

CWT

Max. DC Output

550W

Efficiency

80 PLUS Bronze, Cybenetics Bronze (82-85%)

Noise

Cybenetics Standard++ (30-35 dB[A])

Modular

Intel C6/C7 Power State Support

Operating Temperature (Continuous Full Load)

0 - 40°C

Over Voltage Protection

Under Voltage Protection

Over Power Protection

Over Current (+12V) Protection

Over Temperature Protection

Short Circuit Protection

Surge Protection

Inrush Current Protection

Fan Failure Protection

No Load Operation

Cooling

120mm Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan (HA1225H12F-Z)

Semi-Passive Operation

Dimensions (W x H x D)

150 x 85 x 140mm

Weight

1.76 kg (3.88 lb)

Form Factor

ATX12V v2.52, EPS 2.92

Warranty

3 Years

Power Specifications of XPG Pylon 550W

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps202045.52.50.3
Watts11054612.53.6
Total Max. Power (W)550

Cables & Connectors on XPG Pylon 550W

Native Cables    
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)GaugeIn Cable Caps
ATX connector 20+4 pin (660mm)1118-22AWGNo
4+4 pinEPS12V (670mm)1118AWGNo
6+2 pin PCIe (560mm+150mm)1218AWGNo
SATA (560mm+150mm+150mm) / 4-pin Molex (+150mm)13 / 118AWGNo
SATA (560mm+150mm) / 4-pin Molex (+150mm) / FDD (+150mm)12 / 1 / 118-20AWGNo
Modular Cables
AC Power Cord (1420mm) - C13 coupler1118AWG-

The XPG Pylon 550W has one EPS connector and two PCIe connectors, which is more than enough for a 550W Bronze power supply. The two peripheral cables house both SATA and 4-pin Molex connectors, and one of them also has a floppy connector, which could be replaced with a 4-pin Molex. 

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XPG Pylon 550

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Cable Photos

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XPG Pylon 550

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XPG Pylon 550

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XPG Pylon 550

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XPG Pylon 550

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XPG Pylon 550

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Component Analysis of XPG Pylon 550W

General Data-
Manufacturer (OEM)CWT
PCB TypeSingle Sided
Primary Side-
Transient Filter4x Y caps, 2x X caps, 2x CM chokes, 1x MOV, 1x CAP200DG (Discharge IC)
Inrush ProtectionNTC Thermistor SCK - 2R58 (2.5 Ohm)
Bridge Rectifier(s)
1x GBU1006 (600V, 10A @ 100°C)
APFC MOSFETs
2x Great Power GP18S50G (500V, 18A, Rds(on): 0.19Ohm)
APFC Boost Diode
1x STMicroelectronics STTH8S06D (600V, 8A)
Bulk Cap(s)
1x Nichicon (400V, 390uF, 2,000h @ 105°C, GG)
Main Switchers
2x Silan Microelectronics SVF20N50F (500V, 12.6A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 0.27Ohm)
PFC/PWM Combo ControllerChampion CM6800TX & Champion CM03X
Topology
Primary side: APFC, Double Forward
Secondary side: Passive Rectification (12V) & DC-DC converters (5V & 3.3V)
Secondary Side-
+12V4x PFC PFR20L60CT SBR (60V, 20A)
5V & 3.3V4x Sync Power SPN3006 (30V, 57A @ 100°C, Rds(on): 5.5mOhm)
PWM Controller: ANPEC APW7159C
Filtering Capacitors

Electrolytic: 3x Elite (2-5,000h @ 105°C, ED), 5x Elite (2-5,000h @ 105°C, EK), 4x Elite (4-10,000h @ 105°C, EY), 2x Elite (3-6,000h @ 105°C, EV), 1x Elite (3-6,000h @ 105°C, EG), 2x Elite (2,000h @ 105°C, PF)
Polymer: 2x APAQ

Supervisor ICIN1S429I - DCG
Fan ModelHong Hua HA1225H12F-Z (120mm, 12V, 0.58A, Fluid Dynamic Bearing Fan)
5VSB Circuit-
Standby PWM ControllerPower Integrations TNY287PG
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XPG Pylon 550W

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Overall Photos

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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This XPG Pylon 550W uses the new CWT CSB-A platform, which spans from 450 to 750W, although XPG's aimed to include several modifications on this platform to increase performance and reliability. Besides the PSU's Elite caps, which are the best alternative to Japanese caps, there is also a quality FDB fan by Hong Hua. That's a pretty rare find in a Bronze PSU. 

All the Pylon 550W's heatsinks are small, and a pair of DC-DC converters regulate the minor rails. The 12V rail is passively rectified, though, so efficiency does take a hit. On the other hand, ripple is lower because SBRs are not as noisy as FETs. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

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Transient filter

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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Besides the required parts, the transient filter also includes a discharge IC to provide a small efficiency boost.  

XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

And as you can see in our photos, the single bridge rectifier is bolted onto a dedicated heat sink. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

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APFC converter

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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The APFC converter uses two Great Power FETs and an STMicroelectronics boost diode. The bulk cap is by Nichicon. 

The combo PFC/PWM controller is the Champion CM6800TX, an IC widely used in power supply several years ago. A CMO3X supports it for reduced vampire power levels. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Main FETs and primary transformer

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The primary FETs are two SVF20N50F by Silan Microelectronics, arranged into a double forward topology. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

12V FETs and VRMs

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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For PFC, PFR20L60CT SBRs regulate the 12V rail, while the minor rails handle four Sync Power SPN3006 FETs. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

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Filtering caps

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XPG Pylon 550W

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XPG Pylon 550W

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The filtering caps in our sample are by Elite and have strong specs. We also found two APAQ polymer caps. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

5VSB Circuit

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XPG Pylon 550W

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The standby PWM controller is a Power Integrations TNY287PG

XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

The supervisor IC, an IN1S429I - DCG, is installed on the top-side of the PCB. 

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XPG Pylon 550W

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Soldering quality

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XPG Pylon 550W

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Soldering quality is decent, though not exceptional.

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XPG Pylon 550W

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Cooling fan

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XPG Pylon 550W

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The cooling fan with model number HA1225H12F-Z is provided by Hong Hua and uses a fluid dynamic bearing, so besides a long life, it will also keep noise output low, at low and mid-speeds. 

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Aris Mpitziopoulos
Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.
  • NightHawkRMX
    Given the transient response, I don't know how well this unit would take a high end GPU, but realistically you shouldn't be pairing a 3090 or something with a 550w PSU anyhow.

    Right now the XPG Pylon 550w is about $70, the same cost as a CX550 right now. I wish the XPG had a longer warranty, but it is some good competition.
    Reply