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EVGA SuperNOVA 550 GS PSU Review

EVGA teamed up with Seasonic to release an affordable, mid-capacity, 80 PLUS Gold, fully modular PSU, the SuperNOVA 550 GS, which costs just $90.

Transient Response Tests

Advanced Transient Response Tests

For details on our transient response testing, please click here.

In these tests, we monitored the response of the PSU in two different scenarios. First, a transient load (10A at +12V, 5A at 5V, 5A at 3.3V and 0.5A at 5VSB) was applied to the PSU for 200ms while the PSU was working at 20 percent load. In the second scenario, the PSU was hit by the same transient load while operating at 50 percent load. In both tests, we used our oscilloscope to measure the voltage drops caused by the transient load. The voltages should have remained within the ATX specification's regulation limits.

These tests are crucial because they simulate the transient loads a PSU is likely to handle (such as booting a RAID array, an instant 100-percent load of CPU/GPUs, etc.). We call these tests "Advanced Transient Response Tests," and they are designed to be very tough to master, especially for a PSU with a capacity of less than 500W.  

Advanced Transient Response at 20 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V12.199V12.052V1.21%Pass
5V5.072V4.944V2.52%Pass
3.3V3.341V3.216V3.74%Pass
5VSB5.053V5.014V0.77%Pass

Advanced Transient Response at 50 Percent

VoltageBeforeAfterChangePass/Fail
12V12.136V12.013V1.01%Pass
5V5.038V4.891V2.92%Pass
3.3V3.304V3.186V3.57%Pass
5VSB5.008V4.968V0.80%Pass
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Voltage deviations were well controlled on all rails and were within the range that we expected from a solid mid-capacity PSU. Of course, we would like to have seen measurements within a three percent deviation at 3.3V, but if you check the corresponding graph, you will notice that even PSUs based on high-end platforms (like the Seasonic SS-520FL) don't always achieve this, so we cannot have high expectations from a mid-range unit.

Here are the oscilloscope screenshots we took during Advanced Transient Response Testing:

Transient Response At 20 Percent Load

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Transient Response At 50 Percent Load

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Turn-On Transient Tests

In the next set of tests, we measured the response of the PSU in simpler transient load scenarios—during the PSU's power-on phase.

For the first measurement, we turned off the PSU, dialed in the maximum current the 5VSB could output and switched on the PSU. In the second test, we dialed the maximum load the +12V could handle and started the PSU while it was in standby mode. In the last test, while the PSU was completely switched off (we cut off the power or switched off the PSU by flipping its on/off switch), we dialed the maximum load the +12V rail could handle before switching on the PSU from the loader and restoring the power. The ATX specification states that recorded spikes on all rails should not exceed 10 percent of their nominal values (+10 percent for 12V is 13.2V, and 5.5V for 5V).    

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Besides a small bump and two short periods of increased ripple during the last test ("PSU off to Full 12V"), the PSU performed pretty well. As you can see from the above scope shots, the slopes in the first two tests were close to perfect.

Aris Mpitziopoulos
Aris Mpitziopoulos is a Contributing Editor at Tom's Hardware US, covering PSUs.