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Sub-$75 Mainstream Power Supply Roundup

Conclusion And Recommendations

The more expensive PSUs in our last roundup were impressive in terms of performance, quality, and features. In comparison, these $75 PSUs seem pretty ordinary. Nevertheless, our tests here make it clear that you can indeed buy efficient PSUs at affordable prices, especially if you can live with some compromises in the cable quality and length departments. Compromising on electrical quality is obviously out of the question.

The units from Corsair, Xigmatek, and Huntkey emerge almost even in these tests, while the FSP Saga II 400 trails slightly (but gets outright disqualified in the US for its lack of 115 V support). Huntkey and Xigmatek share the win, with Huntkey scoring better in the efficiency tests and Xigmatek faring extremely well in the overload tests. Additionally, Xigmatek has more connectors and higher quality cables, but both units are recommended. The Corsair PSU doesn't stick out in any way, but there's nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately, Huntkey's offering isn't available in the US, so once again, we have to disqualify it from a recommendation.

The low number of connectors and rather short power cables make all of the PSUs in this roundup more suitable for compact, rather than full-sized computers. These models will neither accommodate air flow optimization nor overclocking of powerful components. For multimedia and office computers, though, they're a great option, especially the Xigmatek NRP-PC402.

All PSUs deliver between 380 and 450 W of power. Nevertheless, there are other important differences. The Chieftec BPS-450S makes the best impression when summing up all its different properties. Despite losing slightly to the Antec EA-380D Green in our efficiency tests, Chieftec's superior build quality, lower noise level, and richer features would make it an overall winner, were the device more available here in the States. As with the FSP and Huntkey units, it's simply nowhere to be found.

Antec and Enermax have some minor flaws that prevent victory, but they're both quite solid. The Antec PSU can be criticized for its small fan that blows through the PSU and into your PC instead of sucking air out, and some users will miss having a bundled power cord. Enermax's equipment and build quality impressed us, but our positive impression is clouded by the PSU's failure to meet its advertised 80 PLUS Bronze specifications at 115 V.

In the end we also have to look at availability: Chieftec's BPS-450S isn't available in North America, which is a pity because of its balanced results. Enermax’s PRO82+ II effectively comes at almost twice the cost as the Antec EA-380D Green, making a purchase questionable. If you don’t mind the lower 380 W output, the missing power cord, and the smaller fan, you’ll get marginally better efficiency starting at $45 from Antec. In the US market, this seems to be the clear winner at the sub-$75 price point.

  • That was scary seeing the AXP PSU blow up...
  • eddieroolz
    I still remember buying my Corsair VX550W for $91CAD just a year and half ago. Amazing how prices have come down for cheap, capable and yet quality PSUs over time.

    Oh, and it was interesting to see a real PSU blow up :D
  • Patrick u sure the antec blows the hot air into the case?
    Looking at the picture and the fan alignment it seems otherwise.
  • jestersage
    I wish the Xigmatek was available here. All we have are expensive 750w and 850w versions.
  • jabbrun
    How come there's no Silverstone strider 400W...
  • bmadd
    Im glad to see that the Antec 380D won. I have bought 5 for family and friends have been solid units to date.
  • youssef 2010
    I don't think the Xigmatek PSU can keep the 650W load reliable or else Xigmatek would've rated it to be 650W
  • dragon5677
    Antec is awesome as always
  • feeddagoat
    Is there no way to measure how stable the power on each rail is? Some PSU's Ive seen are very efficient but their rails drops below recommended power delivery meaning components are starved. Some even fluxuate which can damage components over time. The only other thing I feel is missing is capacitor aging. Is there any way to simulate 2-3 years use? Most PSU's I use in my main machine get handed down to another rig or sold. 2nd hand PSU's could be false economy!

    great video, Ive always wanted to see a PSU explode lol.
  • dEAne
    All these keeps me updated.