350-450W Roundup: 11 Cheap PSUsby Martin Kaffei on July 3, 2012 1:30 PM EST
350-450W Roundup: 11 Cheap PSUs
Some of you have suggested to review a few PSUs with 350W to 450W. Therefore we picked a collection of such units from well known and unknown manufacturers and tortured them with our overload tests. Read on to find out who delivers the best performance.
~400W is still plenty even for a midrange system, and with optimal efficiency generally coming at 50% load these power supplies should run closer to their "sweet spot" when idle as well as under load. There's still enough power on top to run a Core i7 or Phenom X6 processor and a discrete GPU.
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arthur449 - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linkI'm not sure how hard it would be, but would it be possible to write up a review of a few PicoPSU adapters? I've considered a few for low-power builds, but I've always been wary of the little no-name sealed plastic bricks that come with them.
Then again, I don't know if Anandtech would be the ideal audience for such a review.
clarkn0va - Friday, July 6, 2012 - linkDitto. I own a wide variety of PicoPSU and other related electronics from mini-box/ituner, as well as some similar Antec DC-DC products. I would love to see more of this stuff reviewed, with some emphasis on the "black box" bricks that can be had for very little outlay in some cases.
freezervv - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link> I'm not sure how hard it would be, but would it be possible to write up a review of a few PicoPSU adapters?
It's difficult to find information on suitable adapters, and it's kind of a critical part of the build given how little PicoPSUs filter their input (afaicr).
Machelios - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - link
I noticed that the enermax PSU that you reviewed is not the same as the one on newegg. In the gallery, (this pic:http://www.anandtech.com/Gallery/Album/2123#7) the model is ENP450AWT.
However, you say you are revieweing the ENP450AST, which is the one available on newegg.
The ENP450AST (newegg link:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8... lacks the 80 plus bronze certification and has less sleeved cables as far as I can see.
So, it seems you have reviewed the wrong psu...
Machelios - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linksorry, the link was wrong for the psu on newegg
here is the right one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N8...
Martin Kaffei - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linkI love those manufactureres with hundreds of versions. Ironically they didn't want me to review their Triathlor 385W as it is "not available in the US".
The AST is also a good PSU.
However, pricing will be a problem now.
Thank you for this correction.
Flashfir - Tuesday, December 1, 2015 - linkAST is also a good PSU eh? I trust you know what you're talking about - care to elucidate? I shared this on this thread in slickdeals and your post/comment about the Enermax will get some attention there so your comments would be much appreciated by many ;)
augiem - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linkI find that the one crucial point missing in ALL computer hardware reviews is long term reliability. It's understandable given the circumstances, but I wish there were some way for hardware reviewers to do some kind of simulated stress testing. I have found over the years, especially with motherboards and power supplies, that the reviews that award winners based on their feature set don't always do well long-term. The only way I've found to get an indication of this factor is through user reviews, which is not a perfect either as most reviews posted a few months past initial purchase are negative. Still it gives me a little better way to compare.
I personally have had quite numerous failures 6 months+ out with excellently reviewed hardware, especially when its a lesser-known brand or a newcomer to the field.
piroroadkill - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linkYou can get some idea from the quality of components used, the soldering, and so on..
But yes, a soak test would be nice.
HardOCP does something close to this - their Torture Test - 8 hours @ 80% load, which is quite a nice test. Maybe something like this but for a bit longer?
Maybe with a high ambient temperature.. Maybe some power cycling during the test (to full cold, then back on again) to test cold joints and how well the PSU copes with heat cycling.
I don't know, just some ideas. But yeah, these tests would quite a bit of time.
arthur449 - Tuesday, July 3, 2012 - linkLook at the product's warranty and its terms and conditions. Pay close attention to how long the warranty lasts on replacements. A 5-year warranty doesn't mean much if they're only guaranteeing the replacement for 90-days. The longer a company is willing to allow easy and (mostly) free replacement of the product, the longer they're guessing it should last. Divide product price by the number of years the company allows hassle-free replacement for a rough estimate of long term value.
Of course, this doesn't apply to new brands that simply haven't been around for very long, or brands that are simply rebadging cheap 'no-name' vendors.