PSU Fundamentals & Recommendations

Want to talk about one of the articles in SPCR? Here's the forum for you.
MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Fri Apr 06, 2007 4:15 pm

Also added this btw:
NEW! E: A64 Dual Core System

AMD A64-4800+ X2 EE (2.4 GHz, 65W TDP) socket 939
DFI RS482 Infinity motherboard
2 x 1024MB Corsair DDR2-6400 RAM
ATI Radeon X1800GTO PCIe graphics
Seagate 7200.7 80GB SATA hard drive
Maxtor Diamondmax 10 300GB SATA HDD
Seasonic SS-400HT ATX PSU
Zalman 9500 HSF w/ Nexus 92 fan
1 x 120mm fan
AC power draw: 88W idle, 175W absolute max
DC: 69W & 140W

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Post by Ackelind » Mon Apr 09, 2007 2:21 am

MikeC wrote:X1950XTX.

SLI -- only if we get another sample... but as that Tech Report article indicates, 8800s in SLI or x1950xtx in xfire don't pull anywhere near the power officially recommended: 373W AC and 400W AC, respectively, from an 80% efficient PSU.
Techreport even reports the power that is pulled at the wall socket, which means that 373W AC will be just above 300W DC! The only system using more power is AMDs 4x4 solution with two FX74. 125W for each processor, gives a "quad core" operating at 250W maximum.. well above Intels Core 2 Quad, using about 130W.

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Post by MikeC » Sat Jul 28, 2007 6:44 am


Tephras
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Post by Tephras » Sat Jul 28, 2007 3:32 pm

The link to the Nexus NX-8060 review in the PSU list returns a "Page not found".

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Post by MikeC » Thu Aug 16, 2007 4:49 pm


quest_for_silence
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Post by quest_for_silence » Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:00 pm

I mean it could need a further small update: as far as I know (from international Antec's websites, and almost every USA e-tailers checked through PriceGrabber, Google Products and MySimon) the Antec Phantom 500 may be definitely discontinued.

Can you kindly check it out at Antec, Mike?

casebuyer
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Post by casebuyer » Sun Jul 06, 2008 1:54 pm

how about enermax pro82+
might pro82+ be better than modu82+

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Post by andyb » Sun Jul 06, 2008 2:26 pm

casebuyer wrote:how about enermax pro82+
might pro82+ be better than modu82+
They are supposed to be identical on the inside, the only differences are not working or cooling components, but simply thoe change of a bunch of wires outputting power to a backplane with modular sockets.


Andy

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Post by casebuyer » Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:39 am

pro82+ 525 watt model is way cheaper than modu82+ 625 watt 140 euro - 100 euro so maybe you should recommend it or put a note in the recommended power supply list and rate differently for its price

and how about the other models especially on the noise versus power output table will it become noisy after 400 watt too

how about zalman 850-hp and 500-hp

http://www.silentpcreview.com/article806-page5.html

http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zalm ... -HP/5.html

Image

according to this zalman should be higher than corsair vx 450

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Post by npp » Sun Jan 11, 2009 5:11 pm

Just a minor note - the Seasonic S12II-380 managed to slip into the 400W+ group :)

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Post by MikeC » Sat Mar 14, 2009 2:56 pm


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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:08 pm


Lt_Dan
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Post by Lt_Dan » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:41 pm

i'm sorry, i don't like the new layout.
it has a major flaws for my opinion:
the ranking system is missing.
i find the new SPCR recommend a nice addition - editor's choice and SPCR rec'.
but it isn't enough detailed.
you can go into the review and get to check the audio test, but it isn't very convenient.

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Post by rpsgc » Tue Sep 08, 2009 2:45 pm

Lt_Dan wrote:i'm sorry, i don't like the new layout.
it has a major flaws for my opinion:
the ranking system is missing.
Bring that back please. How are we supposed to know which one is quieter? Without reading through all the reviews again...

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Post by dhanson865 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:02 pm

rpsgc wrote:
Lt_Dan wrote:i'm sorry, i don't like the new layout.
it has a major flaws for my opinion:
the ranking system is missing.
Bring that back please. How are we supposed to know which one is quieter? Without reading through all the reviews again...
I go to http://www.silentpcreview.com/section10.html look for the newest review. Page through it and look for the table as seen on http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

There is no single PSU that is the quietest at all power levels. You have to pick a power range you expect to see and add a fudge factor for the fan/airflow you expect to have and then you can have some idea but no rating on a scale from 1 to 10 is going to wrap that up nice and neat and still be "true" or "accurate".

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Post by rpsgc » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:05 pm

I still like(d) the old rating system.

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Post by Lt_Dan » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:17 pm

dhanson865 wrote:
rpsgc wrote:
Lt_Dan wrote:i'm sorry, i don't like the new layout.
it has a major flaws for my opinion:
the ranking system is missing.
Bring that back please. How are we supposed to know which one is quieter? Without reading through all the reviews again...
I go to http://www.silentpcreview.com/section10.html look for the newest review. Page through it and look for the table as seen on http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

There is no single PSU that is the quietest at all power levels. You have to pick a power range you expect to see and add a fudge factor for the fan/airflow you expect to have and then you can have some idea but no rating on a scale from 1 to 10 is going to wrap that up nice and neat and still be "true" or "accurate".
a few problems with your comment:
1. if you have this link- http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html why not linked it to to the PSU recs'? or better yet, incorporate it with this chart?
2. of course you cant rank specifically each psu, but how did they do it in the past? true there is't an absolute number but including several requirements can give a general idea.

the new layout looks more modern and clean, but it lacks information.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:56 pm

dhanson865 wrote:There is no single PSU that is the quietest at all power levels. You have to pick a power range you expect to see and add a fudge factor for the fan/airflow you expect to have and then you can have some idea but no rating on a scale from 1 to 10 is going to wrap that up nice and neat and still be "true" or "accurate".
This is 100% correct. There is no single "quietest" PSU -- and the new recommended pages are intended to reinforce this concept. It may be less assuring and satisfying for the obsessive-compulsives who want a linear hierarchy, but that listing was always an artificial construct anyway. The new ratings are far more realistic... and if you want the quietest PSU for your specific application, hardware, use pattern, weather, climate, room ambient, etc, then you have to dig through and consider all the various factors -- just like before.

To quote the article...
PSUs that measure within a couple of decibels of each other (especially at below typical ambient levels) at low and mid power loads cannot be authoritatively differentiated in the context of a real PC system. So many other factors come into play: The ambient noise and temperature, the components being powered, typical usage patterns of the operator, etc. A PSU ranked 9 might have performed identically to one rated 8.5, depending on conditions. In other words, the fine differentiations could only be assured under our lab test conditions, not necessarily in real use by typical users. Hence, those ranking were not always useful.

Now, when a product is an Editor's Choice, you know that it's exceptional in most of the parameters that we consider important. Finding one that's "perfect" or "ideal" should not be critical because you will get similar results with any of them. If it is important to choose a product that's "ideal" for you, we encourage you to read all the relevant reviews carefully and use your own judgement.
Last edited by MikeC on Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by BD Hopkins » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:21 pm

The "Reviewed" link for the Antec CP-850 goes to the Modu82+ 625 review.

And now that I have your attention, I'd like to say thank you for running this site and providing these unique resources. This really is a special place on the internet.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 4:30 pm

BD Hopkins wrote:The "Reviewed" link for the Antec CP-850 goes to the Modu82+ 625 review.
Oops... corrected.
And now that I have your attention, I'd like to say thank you for running this site and providing these unique resources. This really is a special place on the internet.
You're welcome, nice of you to say so. :)

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Post by Lt_Dan » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:21 pm

i wold like to clarify myself:
although this is site meant for "silent PCs", the ranking shouldn't (and isn't) just about noise (which is subjective and random as any user here knows) - it includes quality of built and power consumption etc. those can be ranked and shouldn't be neglected.

in any case, i guess I'm just being picky.
(it's my problem - i prefer information to be categorized numerically - it's more clear to me - even if i know 8.5-9 isn't relevent)

will you do the same thing for heatsinks etc?

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Post by 40974111 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:46 pm

I was wondering if a note could be added to the Corsair HX520/HX620, saying that "The HX450 may not be equivelant to the HX520/HX620".

The reason I suggest this is that I know a number of us on these forums bought HX450s because of Corsair's reputation, the performance of the HX520/HX620, and the fact that it is rated for a more realistic number of watts.

However, as they are at stock, they are louder. Just think it would be good to put this out there, because I know many of us make assumptions.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 5:52 pm

Lt_Dan wrote:i wold like to clarify myself:
although this is site meant for "silent PCs", the ranking shouldn't (and isn't) just about noise (which is subjective and random as any user here knows) - it includes quality of built and power consumption etc. those can be ranked and shouldn't be neglected.
They aren't neglected. The reviews take into acc. a huge number of factors, but it's unrealistic to try and get them all across in the recommended pages.
will you do the same thing for heatsinks etc?
I've been pondering this. The problem with HSF is that there are at least 4 categories -- Huge vs low profile, topdown vs tower. With all of them, cooling vs noise is the essential parameter, but if they are broken down into different categories, then some models look exceptional even with less than record-breaking C/W. For example, the Scythe Big Shuriken is an exceptional performer among low profile coolers even tho it's the biggest PITA to install on any board. Should it go head to head against the Mugen 2 which is probably 4 times bigger? That's the way the list is set up right now -- a single list ordered by a single Q value which is based mostly on C/W. If the BS goes on this list, it'll probably fall near the bottom. It's far from ideal. Anyway, if you have suggestions about an overhaul of that list, please make your suggestions there.

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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:00 pm

40974111 wrote:I was wondering if a note could be added to the Corsair HX520/HX620, saying that "The HX450 may not be equivelant to the HX520/HX620".

The reason I suggest this is that I know a number of us on these forums bought HX450s because of Corsair's reputation, the performance of the HX520/HX620, and the fact that it is rated for a more realistic number of watts.

However, as they are at stock, they are louder. Just think it would be good to put this out there, because I know many of us make assumptions.
It's a nice idea, but where would it stop? I mean the TX550 and TX750 aren't quiet either. Nor are many models from Enermax, Silverstone, Antec, etc. We have to restrict our formal comments on the products we know and/or have reviewed. We actually don't know the HX450, and until we do it's not wise for us to comment. This is not to dissuade anyone in the forum from making their own observation and comments.

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Post by dhanson865 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:11 pm

Lt_Dan wrote:
dhanson865 wrote:
rpsgc wrote: Bring that back please. How are we supposed to know which one is quieter? Without reading through all the reviews again...
I go to http://www.silentpcreview.com/section10.html look for the newest review. Page through it and look for the table as seen on http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html

There is no single PSU that is the quietest at all power levels. You have to pick a power range you expect to see and add a fudge factor for the fan/airflow you expect to have and then you can have some idea but no rating on a scale from 1 to 10 is going to wrap that up nice and neat and still be "true" or "accurate".
a few problems with your comment:
1. if you have this link- http://www.silentpcreview.com/article971-page7.html why not linked it to to the PSU recs'? or better yet, incorporate it with this chart?
I firmly believe that the chart is worthy of its own sticky in the forums and/or a permanent spot on the recommended PSU article. I'm all for more information in the recommended area or better linkage to existing information.

I'd rather not have to click the extra clicks to get there each time I want to compare specific PSUs and I often want to quote the chart when someone asks the repetitive "which of these 3 PSUs is better for my new build?".

But as much as I want I'm also thankful that we get the thorough less biased reviews. Nobody is perfect, but I hang around here because SPCR is full of information I don't find elsewhere or information that is harder to find elsewhere.

If a number makes it better convert it using the guide below.

Essentially Mike took the 10 scale and changed it to a 3 scale.

3 = Editor's Choice
2 = SPCR Recommended
1 = Everybody Else

You could argue its 2, 1, 0 instead of 3, 2, 1 but the old scale went 1 to 10 not 0 to 9 so I kept with the same minimum.
Last edited by dhanson865 on Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by guises » Tue Sep 08, 2009 6:11 pm

I like the overhaul, though, having read the reviews, I'm a little bit surprised at where some of the PSUs have landed. Still, I certainly agree that the old system may have been a little too specific.

However, I do have a suggestion: the way they're arranged now, the power supplies are split according to their rated capacity and that's because their capacity matters to the system builder who's designing a system with a certain power consumption in mind. The thing is, to an SPCR reader I don't think it's the rated capacity that matters, I think it's the maximum capacity at which the PSU can stay quiet that they want to hear about. In that case, I'm not sure that the assertion that you'll get similar results with all of the similarly ranked power supplies is true. At least not according to the comparison chart that's always posted with the PSU reviews.

So what I'd suggest instead of this is to split it up by the maximum wattage at which the power supplies will remain quiet. Naturally, you can decide what quiet means - just something like, "These are the Editor's Choice power supplies for real-world systems with power consumption up to 300W."

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Post by MikeC » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:03 pm

dhanson865 wrote:I firmly believe that the chart is worthy of its own sticky in the forums and/or a permanent spot on the recommended PSU article.
Fair enough. Will see about getting it done... but one problem is some of the PSUs on the lists were tested in the anechoic chamber, some were not.
dhanson865 wrote:Essentially Mike took the 10 scale and changed it to a 3 scale.

3 = Editor's Choice
2 = SPCR Recommended
1 = Everybody Else
More or less.
guises wrote:So what I'd suggest instead of this is to split it up by the maximum wattage at which the power supplies will remain quiet.
The point is that this maximum wattage is not a singular point. but rather, a sliding scale. Your very thinking about this suggests a linear scale -- it's not. It depends heavily on ambient temp, case design (specifically PSU air intake), user perception of "quiet" and of "cool", etc. The simple fact is that among the high end cases that many SPCR readers are buying and using, a huge number have some kind of independent fresh air intake for the PSU. They come from every brand, it's not like 4 years ago when the P180 and one or two half-thought out LianLi's were the only ones with this feature. It's quite commonplace.

So is SPCR's PSU testing system still appropos? For the cases that don't have a separate PSU intake, yes, but not for the ones I refer to. And it's my semi-educated guess that most SPCR readers, if they're really into silent computing, seek out such cases. For them, the old PSU ranking system was only about half right. The noise level at low loads was right... and despite that, most would not have heard much difference between the PSUs that idle <~18 dBA/1m. Everything else makes more noise in most systems! And above 150~250W, which is where a lot of PSU fans start speeding up in the test rig, the data would have been plain wrong. If the case used had an independent PSU intake vent, the fan ramp up point might extend up by 200W... in which case, for most systems (which don't take more than 300W), the mid/high power sonic differences seen in the SPCR tests simply would not have shown up.

Yes, you guessed it, the PSU test system is also undergoing careful review.

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Post by 40974111 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:50 pm

Re: disclaimer's about product models in same series not being quiet:
It's a nice idea, but where would it stop?
Maybe a general disclaimer that says something to the effect of "Just because another PSU is in the same series (e.g. Corsair HX) or same brand (e.g. Enermax) does not mean it has equivelant properties to those we have tested". I know it seems really obvious, but I think particularly the same series point should be made - to those just starting out in silencing it makes sense.

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Post by Lt_Dan » Wed Sep 09, 2009 12:39 am

i have a general question.

as many PSUs have different wattage variations in the same model. can you give a bit of details on the differences between them? i don't mean having the same test on all variations, but maybe just general info as to when each var' starts spinning fast on load. maybe it just appears in the teach specs on the site, and it might be easier to the readers to see it with a full review of one var'

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Post by MikeC » Wed Sep 09, 2009 1:18 am

40974111 wrote:Maybe a general disclaimer that says something to the effect of "Just because another PSU is in the same series (e.g. Corsair HX) or same brand (e.g. Enermax) does not mean it has equivelant properties to those we have tested". I know it seems really obvious, but I think particularly the same series point should be made - to those just starting out in silencing it makes sense.
Done:
Caution: Not Brothers Under Their Skin

When it comes to the noise they make, PSUs of the same brand, even of the same series, are not that closely related sometimes. While some PSU brands are pretty consistently quiet (Seasonic is a good example), individual models still vary. Some brands are less consistent. This is especially true of brands whose power supplies are made for them by OEMs, often more than one at the same time, for the same or similar series. Which brands have their PSUs made by other companies? Why almost all of them — all but three names on our recommended lists: Seasonic and Fortron-Source / Sparkle (closely related), who actually manufacture their own products. Enermax used to, but some of their products are now subcontracted out; we don't know what percentage or to who.

So be warned. Don't assume that since Super Quiet 500 received an Editor's Choice award, the same brand's Ultra Silent 1000 must be very quiet too. If we have not reviewed it, if it's not on these lists, it's best not to assume. At least inquire in the forums. SPCR cannot make fair assessments of products without examining them.
Lt_Dan wrote:different wattage variations in the same model
Your meaning here is unclear to me. Pls rephrase.

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