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EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 PSU Review

EVGA introduced two new low-capacity G2 PSUs. Today, we evaluate the 550 G2 model made by Super Flower, which features 80 Plus Gold efficiency.

Our Verdict

A high-performance PSU that offers silent operation even under tough conditions. Its Japanese capacitors and long warranty, along with the double ball-bearing fan, will offer extended peace of mind to its future owners.

For

  • Efficient
  • Full power at 45°C
  • Long warranty
  • Number of peripheral connectors
  • Quality caps
  • Ripple suppression
  • Silent operation

Against

  • 5VSB efficiency
  • Distance between 4-pin connectors
  • Hold-up time
  • Single EPS connector

Introduction

EVGA has one of the most complete PSU portfolios today, with many products covering all market segments from low- to high-end. One of the most popular PSU lines EVGA offers is the G2 PSU series, which consists of units made by Super Flower that offer outstanding performance-per-dollar. Recently, EVGA expanded its 80 Plus Gold efficiency G2 line with two new models featuring 550 W and 650 W capacities, fulfilling the demands of users that seek lower-capacity and high-performance PSUs. Most manufacturers offer high-performing platforms only in high capacities, but this is starting to change. Super Flower is among the first to make high-end offerings available in the mid-capacity region, even including Titanium efficiency models. Since EVGA cooperates closely with Super Flower, we expect to see lower-capacity units in the Platinum (P2) and Titanium (T2) PSU lines very soon.

Today we're reviewing the EVGA SuperNOVA 550 G2 PSU, currently the smallest unit in the G2 line. Like other G2 PSUs, the 550 W model is based on Super Flower's Leadex platform, offering 80 Plus Gold efficiency along with a fully modular cabling design and a semi-passive operation. Because of the highly efficient platform, the relaxed fan profile, and a long-lasting passive mode, we expect this unit to offer very quiet operation, even under tough conditions. With its three PCIe connectors, the 550 G2 PSU can easily power a midrange system with a single high-end graphics card. Additionally, the PSU's price looks reasonable considering its features.

Coincidentally, one of the most direct competitors of this model is another EVGA offering, the SuperNOVA 550 GS, which is made by a Super Flower rival, Seasonic. The 550 GS currently costs the same as the 550 G2 on EVGA's online store, but comes with a shorter five-year warranty. Once we have all the test data in hand, we will compare these two units in order to find out which offers the higher overall performance and which is less noisy. Because of the larger fan diameter (140 millimeter) in the 550 G2 model, we believe that it will offer quieter operation compared with the 550 GS unit, which uses a 120 mm diameter fan.

Specifications

As mentioned, the 550 G2 meets 80 Plus Gold standards and features a fully modular cabling design. It is also Haswell-ready, since it uses DC-DC converters for the generation of the minor rails and is equipped with all basic protection features except for the important Over-Temperature Protection (OTP). This platform can tolerate high operating temperatures, a fact clearly shown in the maximum operating temperature at which it can deliver full power continuously. However, since it features a semi-passive mode, it should also include OTP. In the cooling section, a 140 mm double ball-bearing fan removes the hot air from the unit, and due to its quality bearings and semi-passive operation we expect it to have a very long lifetime. Finally, the PSU's dimensions are typical for this capacity, and at seven years the warranty is very long, although it doesn't reach the 10-year period that covers the higher-capacity G2 members (starting at 750 W capacity).

Power Specifications

Rail3.3V5V12V5VSB-12V
Max. PowerAmps222245.830.5
Watts110549.6156
Total Max. Power (W)550

The single +12V rail can deliver the unit's full power, while the minor rails can deliver up to 110 W combined, a power level that will suffice for any mid-level system. Finally, the 5VSB rail has a maximum current output of 3 amperes, making it is strong enough for a 550 W PSU.

Cables And Connectors

Modular Cables
DescriptionCable CountConnector Count (Total)
ATX connector 20+4 pin (600mm)11
4+4 pin EPS12V (700mm)11
6+2 pin PCIe (700mm+150mm)12
6+2 pin PCIe (700mm)11
SATA (500mm+100mm+100mm)39
4 pin Molex (500mm+100mm+100mm)13
FDD Adapter (+100mm)11

The 550 G2 has one less PCIe connector compared with the same capacity GS model, which costs about the same. In addition, it comes with only one EPS connector, while the 550 GS unit has three. We would like to see an additional EPS connector in this unit as users with high-end mainboards will need a second EPS or ATX12V connector and it isn't safe to use 4-pin Molex adaptors.

The number of SATA and peripheral connectors is pretty high for a unit in this category. And EVGA will provide an FDD adapter for those who will need one. Cable length is adequate, although the distance among 4-pin Molex connectors is too short at 10 centimeters (usually, the components that are powered by 4-pin connectors are located far from each other). On the other hand, the distance between SATA connectors is ideal since in most cases HDDs/SDDs are installed close to each other. Finally, the main ATX, EPS and PCIe connectors use thicker 16AWG gauges, whereas the rest of the connectors use the standard 18AWG wires.

Power Distribution

Since this PSU features a single +12V rail, we do not have anything to say about its power distribution.

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  • marraco
    Wow. Ripple behavior is fantastic.

    I would like to see another test. I had a PC with a Coolermaster PSU and 4 HD which were put to sleep mode/hibernation. Sometimes when the 4 HD were powered up the PC hanged, because the 4 HD demanded so much transient power that it threw the PSU voltages out of specs.

    I was thinking that I had a great PSU, but it was expensive garbage.
    Reply
  • Aris_Mp
    this scenario is covered by the transient response tests, which I conduct in page #7 of the review.
    Reply
  • giantbucket
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    Super Flower makes some great hardware. I'm all over this for my upcoming modest gaming rig.
    Reply
  • damric
    It's all about the LEADEX.
    Reply
  • dstarr3
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?

    The problem is that all of the best-built, best-featured PSUs were being made in 850, 1000, 1200, 1600W variants. If you had just a modest system, something mid-range, you either had to get a PSU that was way overkill, or you had to settle for PSUs that weren't so well built, or as efficient, or as fully-featured. So, this is an attempt to distribute very high-quality products to more of the market. And I am 110% A-Okay with that.
    Reply
  • MasterDell
    i don't get it... isn't this like trying to sell a Ferrari with only 3 cylinders to appeal to the sub-$100,000 clientele?

    The problem is that all of the best-built, best-featured PSUs were being made in 850, 1000, 1200, 1600W variants. If you had just a modest system, something mid-range, you either had to get a PSU that was way overkill, or you had to settle for PSUs that weren't so well built, or as efficient, or as fully-featured. So, this is an attempt to distribute very high-quality products to more of the market. And I am 110% A-Okay with that.
    I agree with this to some extent because there are and were tons of PSU's made by Seasonic. Whether they were Antec units or XFX units OEM'd by Seasonic or not.. They were made by Seasonic. Now, as for fully modular, gold rated variants, those were and still are far and few between. However there are tons of Bronze semi-modular/none modular units which are great for mid-range builds.

    I actually own this unit and used it in a build with a 960. I got it right when it came out and for it's price, it offered a ton. I live in Canada and PSU's are way over-priced and the prices make no sense on them. But this unit was priced extremely well likely due to it's availability so I picked one up. No problems and I am glad EVGA is filling this market void. Good on em.
    Reply
  • Nuckles_56
    Nice to see a low wattage power supply being reviewed for a change and particularly one which performs very well
    Reply
  • turkey3_scratch
    I think I found my PSU. I don't need any 750W, but I had trouble finding a high quality 550W unit, and this is it!
    Reply
  • g-unit1111
    I have two G2s, these are far and away some of the best PSUs on the market! Good to see that EVGA is making some lower wattage models that have the same quality and consistency.
    Reply