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Five 550 And 600 W 80 PLUS Platinum Power Supplies, Tested

In The Power Supply World, Gold Paves The Way For Platinum

While Citius, Altius, Fortius, or faster, higher, stronger is the motto for the Olympics, the PC power supply market also follows this adage fairly religiously. Manufacturers continue to leapfrog each other by enabling increasingly higher outputs to cope with the most aggressively overclocked CPUs and multi-card graphics configurations drawing hundreds of watts.

It gets bad enough that a cyber-stroll through Newegg or TigerDirect gives you the impression that power supplies under 500 or 600 W aren't even worth looking at. After all, if a fairly affordable card like the Radeon HD 7950 requires at least a 500 W PSU, according to AMD, then adding an overclocked CPU and some storage necessitates even more, right? Fortunately, even as the power supply vendors crank up output, they're simultaneously improving the efficiency of their highest-end offerings.

For this round-up of efficient desktop power supplies, we asked power supply manufacturers to send us their 80 PLUS Platinum-rated products at the lower end of the output spectrum. We set the upper limit at 600 W. Any lower and the number of contestants would have been too small. Our objective was to help system builders find an efficient solution for single-graphics card gaming and other moderately-demanding applications. Five companies submitted samples: the Antec EarthWatts Platinum 550 W, Cooler Master Silent Pro Platinum 550 W, Enermax Platimax 600 W, Kingwin Lazer Platinum 550 W, and Rosewill Fortress-550.

Naturally, the 80 PLUS Platinum rating costs more to procure. But although the output of our five test candidates only varies by 50 W, their price differences turn out to be quite a bit more significant. The list price of Antec's unit is only $120, the Enermax asks you to pay as much as $190! The Cooler Master and Kingwin power supplies are both listed at $170, while Rosewill's sells for $140. Keep in mind that we're citing each manufacturer's suggested price; the actual prices of these power supplies are often up to 20% lower.

  • what? no overload it until it blows test?

    and i was making popcorn.
    Reply
  • mousseng
    Is that a typo in the first chart for Kingwin's Lazer? It claims that it fails 80 Plus's 50% load spec (82% of 92%); I assume that was meant to say 92% (since that's what the chart below it shows).

    Pleasant read, though, I like PSU reviews.
    Reply
  • What happen to Seasonic? They have the 520W fanless SS-520FL Platinum version. No PSU test is complete without a seasonic to compare to, in my own opinion.
    Reply
  • dudewitbow
    jupiter optimus maximusWhat happen to Seasonic? They have the 520W fanless SS-520FL Platinum version. No PSU test is complete without a seasonic to compare to, in my own opinion.they asked for vendors for the PSUs. Theres the offshoot chance that seasonic declined the offer. On other sites, the 520w fanless seasonic unit was compared to Rosewill's 500w silent night unit. The seasonic unit I believe in that review barely edged out a victory.
    Reply
  • cangelini
    iknowhowtofixitEither the Rosewill FORTRESS was defective or your calibration was off for the last test. Your o-scope shots do not match those of other highly credible reviewers. Also, I'm curious of your testing methodology, but it was not listed.I believe this is still applicable to all of the power supply testing our German team does: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-test-equipment,2657.html. I'm waiting for confirmation that I'm right.

    Edit: Yup, that's the correct testing equipment/procedure!
    Reply
  • Dun dun dun..................... no acoustic performance measured, the only reason some people buy high end PSU's.
    Reply
  • sebbesapa
    WOW! Thanks a bunch for including the 25watt "Low-Power PC" efficiency test! All other reviewers stop @ 20% load witch is not "idle" or "low load" at all. :-)
    Reply
  • sanilmahambre
    Power supply unit is where a system builder cannot use a word "BUDGET"
    Reply
  • jaideep1337
    I don't understand
    Why is the 80 plus spec officially test by having more load on the 3.3v and 5v rails?
    Clearly loading the 12v rail would give us a better overall image
    Reply
  • jaquith
    Interesting, IMHO the most important aspect is 'Ripple Voltage' @ Rated Load. The only mention I see is a vague reference in your conclusion page.
    Never mind I see the ripple data buried in the individual tests. It would have been better in the summary side-by-side tests.

    Nice article.
    Reply