List of PSUs that SPCR chose not to review

PSUs: The source of DC power for all components in the PC & often a big noise source.

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kaange
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List of PSUs that SPCR chose not to review

Post by kaange » Mon Sep 22, 2008 4:19 pm

I have seen in various posts that Mike has received several PSUs that SPCR has chosen not to review as they ddin't meet the basic minimal noise requirement.

Is it possible for SPCR to list these PSUs?
Then people will know if a PSU that has not been reviewed is either not worth considering (on the list chosen not to review) or has not been recieved by SPCR for reviewing (so is potentially still worth considering).

Or would this violate the agreement that SCPR has from manufacturers who are willing to supply PSUs for testing?

extrabigmehdi
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Post by extrabigmehdi » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:06 pm

I guess this would just be bad publicity for these psu,
and this might hurt sponsors etc...
Why not just stick to the recommended list ?

MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Mon Sep 22, 2008 6:53 pm

There have been quiet a few products, not only PSUs, that we've received samples of and chose not to review. Mostly it's for the reasons cited by the OP, but sometimes it can be more complicated. In any case, we have to make choices about what we review and what we don't -- no way to review all quiet stuff or only quiet stuff, and certainly no way to review everything.

We're supported by the industry and the industry is supported by SPCR. It is a symbiotic relationship. Publishing a list of samples not tested would raise a storm that is not going to help anyone, especially as some of those samples would have come from brands that we think of as "legitimately good brands" trying to offer good, quiet products. Everyone makes mistakes but we don't have to hang them out to dry for it. Those products don't really hurt anyone (unlike, for example, tainted dairy products from China).

So please take the 2nd poster's advice: Stick to our recommended products or to those recommended by SPCR forum posters you trust.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

kaange
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Post by kaange » Tue Sep 23, 2008 10:40 pm

extrabigmehdi wrote:Why not just stick to the recommended list ?
Just that different markets have different product availability.

Plus I saw a thread a while ago where someone was saying "The Corsair TX650 has the same noise specs as the VX450 but I don't find it quiet" and it went on for a while until MikeC posted back that the TX650 had not been chosen to be reviewed because it was above the SPCR base quiet noise level.

continuum
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Post by continuum » Wed Sep 24, 2008 12:14 am

Just that different markets have different product availability.
That's true, but insofar as a sufficiently large list of available choices-- well, SPCR, Jonnyguru, Anandtech, Techreport, etc. all seem to do reviews as far as they can sustain, so if that's not enough for you... well, you're outta luck. ;)

Also, most builders benefit by being familiar with products available to them-- so if you don't keep yourself up to date, find someone who is up to date or a forum full of locals who are up to date. Some products change names overseas but otherwise are identical to reviewed products, so if you can identify where that takes place, that's one good place to start. (digital cameras are notorious for this, Canon and Fuji in particular... doesn't help for PSUs, I know...)
The Corsair TX650 has the same noise specs as the VX450 but I don't find it quiet"
Well, as you should be long familiar with, manufacturer's rated noise specs rarely have anything at all to do with reality.

As one of Mike's most relevant points:
and certainly no way to review everything.

KlaymenDK
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Post by KlaymenDK » Wed Sep 24, 2008 1:53 am

extrabigmehdi wrote:I guess this would just be bad publicity for these psu,
and this might hurt sponsors etc...
Why not just stick to the recommended list ?
In the real world not everything is good. A review site that only shows good reviews is not representative of the real world. I think review sites should be allowed --even expected-- to say if something is crap. If nothing else, it takes away the uncertainty if the reason for the lack of a review of a certain item is because it's still on the to-do list or because it's junk (a huge difference).
MikeC wrote:[Numbering added]
[1] Publishing a list of samples not tested would raise a storm that is not going to help anyone
[2] especially as some of those samples would have come from brands that we think of as "legitimately good brands" trying to offer good, quiet products.
[3] Everyone makes mistakes but we don't have to hang them out to dry for it.
A number of good points from our local deity. I only take issue with one, the one I've labelled #2 -- if a manufacturer has a reputation of making good things (say the Enermax 82+ 525W) but also makes the occasional lemon (for argument's sake, say the Enermax 82+ 425W) and that is known to a reviewer, then it should be precisely in a place like this that such a thing should be noted. Case in point, I just bought the 425W version based on the review of the 525W model.

The recommended list holds, obviously, the recommended items. If what you're looking for isn't there, there could be any reason for that. I was under the impression that the most likely reason is (very reasonably) lack of review time, but if there's a policy to not point out lemons then I feel that's a shame.
KlaymenDK
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MikeC
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Post by MikeC » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:39 am

kaange wrote:Plus I saw a thread a while ago where someone was saying "The Corsair TX650 has the same noise specs as the VX450 but I don't find it quiet" and it went on for a while until MikeC posted back that the TX650 had not been chosen to be reviewed because it was above the SPCR base quiet noise level.
Just to be perfectly clear, the TX650 has the same acoustics as the TX450 (and also the 550, afaik -- but don't trust me on that, as I haven't heard one), is also made by Seasonic, and is on our recommended list. It's the TX750 that's I ID'd as being noisy. It's made by Channel-Well (CWT) and measured >30 dBA/1m at idle. No test was done, Corsair was contacted to inquire about this, and the reply took many weeks, perhaps months to come back. Basically, they said there was an error on the part of the supplier and were awaiting a corrected, revised part. I've not heard further on this. Soon thereafter, the Zalman 850 and 1000 samples came my way and set new standards for low noise in high power PSUs, at which point the TX750 issue seemed moot, as there are quiet options on the recommended list at every rated power level. We've always maintained that if you want to be sure about a product's acoustics, use our reviews and recommended lists, rather than second guessing on the ones not reviewed or not on the lists.

KlaymenDK -- your issue about #2 is well taken. The truth is more complex than what I wrote.

Firstly, the brands that we associate with low noise today make very few products claimed as quiet that are actually noisy. Secondly, we do review products that are less than stellar from such brands, and we report what we find, good and bad, even when they are direct sponsors or supporters of the site. Some Arctic Cooling fans, Antec and Silverstone cases, and Zalman coolers come to mind. Finally, we never put any item on the recommended lists without knowing for certain that the item is a reasonably quiet option at the price and for the task. In some cases, this is quite hard to do, as there may be very few to choose from or too many.

In any case, I have to correct myself: lemons from good brands do get identified when we come across them, even if they are not reviewed. The TX750 is a case in point. There have been many examples of others. (The plastic Silent Drive enclosure by Molex, any number of Zalman fans, Nexus NX-8060 -- which, btw, has been improved, according to the mfg, who sent another sample that arrived a couple of days ago). This is generally not true of brands that are not known or not known for quiet -- our lack of comment is enough, in those cases: We make no comment and you buy at your own risk, but few who rely on SPCR would do so anyway w/ an unknown brand.

Finally publishing a list of not quiet products would be impossible -- where do you stop? what happens when the product gets improved in v1.1? if a well-known quiet brand puts out a product that doesn't meet minimum standards for SPCR, should it be included in the dirt list along with the brands that never makes anything but noisy crap? I'm sure you see the potential headaches.

One thing that active SPCR forum members could do is to start their own don't-buy-this thread in each product category, which could be stickied. I'd contribute whenever I have solid info or experience.
Mike Chin, SPCR Editor/Publisher
Support SPCR by buying your gear through this link: Amazon

kaange
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Post by kaange » Wed Sep 24, 2008 4:48 pm

continuum wrote:
The Corsair TX650 has the same noise specs as the VX450 but I don't find it quiet"
Well, as you should be long familiar with, manufacturer's rated noise specs rarely have anything at all to do with reality.
It was a thread I saw - I never made that claim or make that assumption - that is why I started this thread.

Actually my memory was out - the thread was about the TX650 and TX750 (here)
continuum wrote:As one of Mike's most relevant points:
and certainly no way to review everything.
Which is why I only asked about PSUs that SPCR had ALREADY inspected but rejected for being not fundamentally quiet.

As an example, a couple of years ago, there was a LOT of web discussion about the CoolerMaster iGreen series due to the claims by CM for a low noise level through high efficiency and intelligent fan speed control. SPCR did not review this unit but then when the garage sale was on, MikeC listed a CoolerMaster iGreen 500W PSU and I enquired about its test since I had assumed that SPCR would review all of the PSUs that were sent to them. MikeC replied that the unit was not chosen to be reviewed and I later learnt (from the thread discussing the TX650) about the policy of of not reviewing PSUs that were not even close to SPCR quiet specs (which makes me wonder how the Enermax Galaxy 1000W got reviewed).

Anyway, MikeC's comment about a "Not recommended PSUs" thread would basically serve the purpose except that the references would not be calibrated (eg some would say an Earthwatts 430W is horribly loud while many others would find it quite reasonable) whereas SPCR opinions are consistent. But anyway, all of my questions have been answered by MikeC so the user thread would be better than nothing - I guess the CoolerMaster iGreen series and Corsair TX750 can kick off the list....

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