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PSU buyers guide and How-to guide

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Super Nade

† SU(3) Moderator  †
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Mate, I will not place OCZ and FSP on my list of best of the best PSU's. There are several other contenders for the top spots. There are units like the Silverstone Zeus, PCP&C Turbocool, Supermicro-Ablecom, Zippy/Emacs.

You might want to add Lite-ON to your OEM list.

Here is a little something I wrote up regarding PSU's:-

Super Nade said:
After seeing many people asking for opinions on PSU's I've decided to write up a list of units I would feel comfortable using. I'll keep this terse and short, so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

I did a lot of research about this, so I'd like to share my experience with you guys. I learnt a lot from Okhlahoma Wolf about PSU's so its best if I start off with what is on his list. My Edits are in Red.
  • Okhlahoma Wolf's List of recommended OEM's in order of reliability
  1. Zippy (Superb regulation, good efficiency and exceptional built quality!)
  2. Etasis (Silverstone fanless, ST56ZF, ST75ZF, ST85ZF)
  3. Win-Tact (PC P&C Turbocool)
  4. Lite-On (Supermicro/Ablecom) This is my current unit. You can find a small review of it HERE (link).
  5. Delta (some Chieftec units)
  6. Seasonic (PC P&C Silencer, Corsair, Antec Neo HE).[ The silencer series brings PCP&C's superb QC at a budget price, to the table. The customer service makes it well worth the price! Starts at $140]
  7. AcBel Polytech (some Coolermaster)
  8. Enhance (Akasa, Silverstone except fanless, ST56ZF, ST75ZF, ST85ZF)
  9. Seventeam (some Thermaltake and MGE units)
  10. Jou Jye (AMS)
  11. Wintech (Ultra except X-Connect)
  12. Andyson (Hiper, AC Ryan, Aerocool - these get overrated sometimes)
  13. Topower (Tagan, BeQuiet, Mushkin, Epower, A+GBP) [The Mushkin 550W is just crap.]
  14. Heroichi/HEC/Compucase (some Thermaltake)
  15. CWT (Antec except Neo HE)
  16. Enermax
  17. Superflower/TTGI
  18. Inwin/Powerman
I would characterize a poor design as follows (or things one should look for, in no particular order):-
  • Quality of Caps. Cheap caps imply shorter life span. Higher the ESR, more likely the impact on regulation.
  • Size of the Caps. Most complaints with regulation and ripple are due to undersized primary or secondary caps.
  • Insufficient cooling. This is a biggie. You would want to keep the unit cool for obvious reasons (i.e keep components within their working temps).
  • Poor quality Voltage regulators. Although this issue is almost a non-issue these days, you still find the occasional burn out.
  • Poor quality inductive elements i.e chokes and transformers. Imporoper winding or using smaller guage wires as the winding. Rare.
  • Poor soldering. This is very very common.
  • Bad circuit design. Really, there is not much you can do here, unless you are willing to do a complete rebuild.
  • Poor PCB's being used as the logic board. This is not critical, but worth a mention.
  • Under sized rectifier diodes. I don't understand why didoes are still being used instead of composite bridge rectifiers. Diodes also need to be cooled.
These are the points I think are pertinent.

Points to note before you buy a PSU:
  1. Figure out what you intend to power. This is very important if you are on a tight budget.
  2. Do NOT skimp on quality. Poor PSU's would just hose your entire rig.
  3. Look for a beefy single 12V rail (> 30 A) if you plan on running SLI or CF
  4. Try to identify the OEM of the unit. You cannot go wrong if you pick a good OEM.

:)

S-N
 
OP
jiggamanjb

jiggamanjb

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
MI, USA
Would you mind adding the the ones from this list that you don't have on yours? Maybe we could have like a top 25 or something.

I would add weight to your list of pertinent points. Seems like all the light ones are always crap.

Originally Posted by Oklahoma Wolf
In no particular order, these are the ones I know well enough to recommend based primarily on reliability.

Top of the heap industrial grade:
Zippy/Emacs
Etasis (Silverstone 560w)
Win-Tact (high watt PC P&C)

Excellent:
Fortron-Source (also sold under Sparkle/SPI, Powertech, BFG, some PC P&C models, and Aopen among others)
Seasonic (Antec Neo HE, PC P&C Silencers)

Above Average:
Enhance (most Silverstone and Akasa units)
Channel Well (Antec, Meridian XClio, some Thermaltakes)
Topower (OCZ, Globalwin, BeQuiet, Athena Power, A+GBP, Tagan, some Vantec)
AcBel Polytech (Coolermaster)
Andyson Electronics (some Hiper models, AC Ryan)
Heroichi (HEC, Compucase, a few Thermaltakes)

Average:
Enermax
Superflower/TTGI/Fore Point/Fortrex
Wintech (Sintek, Ultras that aren't the first gen X-Connect)
Sirtec (most Thermaltakes)

That's all I can think of for now - hope that helps some.
 

Super Nade

† SU(3) Moderator  †
Joined
Aug 30, 2004
Location
Santa Barbara, CA
Not always. If you need massive sinks for cooling a unit, it could very well be inefficient, which in turn would necessitate the use of massive heatsinks. So light-weight does not always imply crap quality. If you noticed, the efficient units by FSP or Silverstone are quite light.
 
OP
jiggamanjb

jiggamanjb

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
MI, USA
Agreed, it for sure isn't a definitive test of a good PSU, but maybe 75% of the time it is.:confused:
 

LuminoZ

Member
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Whats the story with Rosewill? I got one from a friend when he put an FSP PSU in his rig... Am I toasting my sytem? lol
 
OP
jiggamanjb

jiggamanjb

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
MI, USA
I don't think anyone would recommend putting a Rosewill in a rig.

The question to ask yourself is 'Why did my friend replace the Rosewill to begin with?' There is your answer.;)
 
OP
jiggamanjb

jiggamanjb

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
MI, USA
I think there are some better options at that price range. I'm not saying that would be a bad PSU though. Start a new thread when you are ready to purchase for some other opinions.
 

dsNinja

Registered
Joined
Jan 20, 2006
Location
LaPorte, IN
Sadly I wish I had read this like a year ago, when I paid no heed to the crappy PSU that came with my case. Although stock speeds in my computer, it did not give my computer the power it needed, and thus, It turned a few components into crispy bacon bits, yum yum. Also, a mobo is now half retarded. :-/ (It kinda works, and kinda doesn't...)

This vital information SHOULD be considered when building a new computer. Although everyone knows this, learn from this n00b's hard learned lesson.
 

pcmaker401

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2006
Location
New York
From the reviews I have read, the corsair 620W is in pretty good standing too..I recommend adding this to the list, spcr rated a pretty good review on this.
 

dalek2.0

Member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Location
Mississippi USA
I just bought a Coolmax CP-500T 500 watt power supply and I am happy with it. It has a 120mm fan that is real quiet but blows a good bit of air. I run it at full speed. My rig is in my sig and I may be adding a few more drives before it is over.

I got it at newegg for $50.00 which is not bad at all. It's on your don't buy list but it seems to be doing OK with me. I just can't afford to pay a lot for one plus I could not find this thread when I was looking for it. I thought it was on another forum I frequent.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817159040

Just thought I would put in my $0.02 worth.

:D :D :D :D
 
OP
jiggamanjb

jiggamanjb

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
MI, USA
From the reviews I have read, the corsair 620W is in pretty good standing too..I recommend adding this to the list, spcr rated a pretty good review on this.

I'm a bit behind, but yes, the corsair's are excellent PSUs

I just bought a Coolmax CP-500T 500 watt power supply and I am happy with it. It has a 120mm fan that is real quiet but blows a good bit of air. I run it at full speed. My rig is in my sig and I may be adding a few more drives before it is over.

I got it at newegg for $50.00 which is not bad at all. It's on your don't buy list but it seems to be doing OK with me. I just can't afford to pay a lot for one plus I could not find this thread when I was looking for it. I thought it was on another forum I frequent.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817159040

Just thought I would put in my $0.02 worth.

I don't think a coolmax product could be recommened. :-/
 

dalek2.0

Member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Location
Mississippi USA
jiggamanjb said:
I don't think a coolmax product could be recommened. :-/

It works fine for me and according to the newegg reviews there was only a couple that had trouble. Heck, back when I was working on puters I have seen brand new IBM P/S that didn't last long or where DOA.

For what I paid, I'm very happy with it.

:D :D :D :D :D
 

lorax26

Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2006
Thanks for the guide!!!! Just got a Silverstone DA750 and I'm able to get from 3.6 to 3.8 now.
 
OP
jiggamanjb

jiggamanjb

Member
Joined
Dec 18, 2003
Location
MI, USA
I'm glad it helped!!! :) :) :)

I know it's a couple months dated, but I will update soon, if I find some time...
 

4GHZ_or_bust

Now 6GHz or Bust!
Joined
Aug 1, 2002
Location
Michigan
I noticed Jpac power supply is not on the avoid list. 18A on 12v and 50A on 5v rail? And there are some "kind" reviews on newegg.com about the jpac power supply.

I got it with the Jpac case 412 but it's not going to get used at all. Looking inside through the fan, it looks half empty. Maybe I should rip off the warranty sticker and post pictures of its gut for you all to point and laugh at.

Then maybe I'd use it for the mini fridge project I planned on, an extra PC case turned into cooler and use that just to power a single TEC and a fan. TEC should be able to survive bad power supply unless this Jpac puts in a lot more than 12v on the rail.

EDIT: picture included. Very empty and looks like the mfg skimmed on some parts.
 

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