Question How to be able to differentiate a good psu from a bad one?

Phaaze88

Dignified
Herald
Asking for a friend.
Because except for these 3 points here: cable modularity, max operating temp, and good warranty, they're not sure what to look for and what info makes a true difference. They read some articles on PSUs but those might as well be in chinese...
 
Reactions: TimeWasterMaster

NightHawkRMX

Illustrious
Personally I like to look at reviews but I don't have a degree in electrical engineering, So i skip to the last page with conclusions which generally are straightforward.

For example the CM MW lite has the summery "Just buy something else."

Corsair CX450 review last few sentences say.
"In this budget category, you won't be disappointed..."
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/corsair-cx450-psu,5678-12.html

Pretty easy to tell which one is good and which one isn't.
 
I actually like your original suggestion for simplification; operating temp and warranty. I say anything less than 40C and 5 year warranty is not acceptable for good quality gaming rig. Modularity is just for ease of use, not indicative of quality.

Maybe one of the power supply gurus will bless us with a better answer. :geek:
 
Reactions: NightHawkRMX

Phaaze88

Dignified
Herald
Funny you should ask, I've been reading this article from 2013 that answers exactly that; though be warned, it's not a simple or short explanation. However, I think it's fairly easy to understand. If your friend wants to know more than he does now, he will have to study for himself and understand what he's reading.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supply-oem-manufacturer,2913.html
Bookmarked.

Besides looking for actual reviews of the units myself, and preferring Seasonic brand due to my experience with 3 of them so far, being able to tell someone else 'why this is good', or 'why this is bad'...
I'm limited to things like:
-I read the reviews.
-looking at the info label. Some of these units you can identify just from that.

I actually like your original suggestion for simplification; operating temp and warranty.
Thanks.
Those are 2 things that are often overlooked with people snatching up the most 'affordable' psu they can get their hands on - yet they can bother to spend up to a few hundred USD on cpus and gpus...
 

Mezoxin

Upstanding
Nov 3, 2019
461
89
290
25
Asking for a friend.
Because except for these 3 points here: cable modularity, max operating temp, and good warranty, they're not sure what to look for and what info makes a true difference. They read some articles on PSUs but those might as well be in chinese...
Here's a great video by Jon Gerow (Jonny Guru) that explains operating temp shouldn't be something to base what a good PSU is, because manufacturers can say it will operate at 50C, but they won't tell you it will have greatly degraded power output.

So, I will correct myself on saying [advertised] operating temp is not necessarily something to go by. I suppose reading reviews is the best way to tell a good PSU from a bad PSU.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJ_VV3UjEBY&feature=emb_title
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
These are what you want to read. Who's who is really only valuable when you are trying to determine the OEM, and even then, without an actual professional review, it's almost useless information because OEMs have both good and bad quality and good and bad platforms. Without a review or at least a teardown by a knowledgeable person who can identify the platform, knowing who the OEM is may not be all that helpful. Even Seasonic and Super Flower have become untrustworthy in that way lately, with both of them farming out assembly to third rate companies.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supplies-101,4193-4.html

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-buying-guide,2916.html

https://www.sevenforums.com/pc-custom-builds-overclocking/355156-why-80-plus-irrelevant-you-when-buying-psu.html


If you can't find a professional review of a unit OR a solid recommendation for a particular unit BY somebody who does professional reviews, saying that a given unit is good even though they haven't done a review of it, then it should probably be avoided.

Any unit worth purchasing will almost universally HAVE a professional review somewhere. Otherwise, either the manufacturer has no faith that it will review well and/or no reviewer felt it was worthy of spending the money on it to review just to learn what could be assumed about it without even reviewing it, which is that it probably sucks.

Obviously, reviews are the way to go when making a purchasing decision and if you want to simply avoid the headache, you can at least get a good idea by look at the models I've recommended here, which I've already somewhat pre-vetted to make making a decision a bit easier.

There is also a good amount of discussion regarding the merits of various models in the discussion after the first post.

 
These are what you want to read. Who's who is really only valuable when you are trying to determine the OEM, and even then, without an actual professional review, it's almost useless information because OEMs have both good and bad quality and good and bad platforms. Without a review or at least a teardown by a knowledgeable person who can identify the platform, knowing who the OEM is may not be all that helpful. Even Seasonic and Super Flower have become untrustworthy in that way lately, with both of them farming out assembly to third rate companies.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/power-supplies-101,4193-4.html

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-buying-guide,2916.html

https://www.sevenforums.com/pc-custom-builds-overclocking/355156-why-80-plus-irrelevant-you-when-buying-psu.html


If you can't find a professional review of a unit OR a solid recommendation for a particular unit BY somebody who does professional reviews, saying that a given unit is good even though they haven't done a review of it, then it should probably be avoided.

Any unit worth purchasing will almost universally HAVE a professional review somewhere. Otherwise, either the manufacturer has no faith that it will review well and/or no reviewer felt it was worthy of spending the money on it to review just to learn what could be assumed about it without even reviewing it, which is that it probably sucks.

Obviously, reviews are the way to go when making a purchasing decision and if you want to simply avoid the headache, you can at least get a good idea by look at the models I've recommended here, which I've already somewhat pre-vetted to make making a decision a bit easier.

There is also a good amount of discussion regarding the merits of various models in the discussion after the first post.

Yeah, I see even the OEMs that make the best PSUs can make crappy PSUs too. I just realized Super Flower is making those extra cheap low-end EVGA units like the 450 BT.
 
Dec 14, 2019
8
1
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I very much like the infos and how they are listed in the 3 first pages of MrN1ce9uy's link. It gives useful tips how to identify bad psu in a way even I can follow. It also matches Mezoxin's link about 'protections'.

Well seems like it's everywhere more of the same. You can't (always) rely on operating temp, you can't (always) rely on 80+ label and you can't (always) rely on a specific company. Although it's good to know, it doesn't make my research any easier. On the bright side, that whole basket of snakes gives at least this site's community (and others out there) its full purpose. Thanks for existing.
I guess I'll keep looking and asking for opinions.
 

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