Discussion Power supply / PSU models - What to buy, what to avoid - And PSU discussion thread

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Nov 20, 2019
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The logic is that the PSU doesn't affect your framerate, so some people tend to cheap out on them.

Some people also don't realize that a good name brand doesn't make a PSU good.
Well, it will drop your framerates to 0 if your PSU gets toasted :p

I'm just very thankful for resources such as this forum. Sorry to jump in this thread, I just wanted to vent.. about a matter that really doesn't effect me! o_O
 

Karadjgne

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I'm good with it. It's a totally valid point. Pcp is sorta setup decently as far as build process goes, so ppl just follow the queues. They'll have a budget, spend out on fast cpu, big cooler, overboard mobo, huge gpu, fancy ram, excessive storage, expensive case and have pennies left over for the psu.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Nothing wrong with you posting in this thread. That's what it's here for.

The "logic" to what you described, is the fact that most people in that scenario have money, but no brains or practical experience in designing and building systems so they take the advice of others who equally have no brains or knowledge.

The fact is, a faulty, weak or problematic power supply CAN, and WILL, affect FPS, so that logic holds about as much water as a cup with holes at both ends. Out of spec voltage or ripple, has an effect on graphics card performance. Fluctuations out of spec can affect performance, of everything, including drives, CPU, memory and the motherboard AND can have an affect on stability, which can definitely have it's own effect on performance.

The biggest issue here is that people don't see a review comparing the FPS of a system with a very good PSU to those of a system using a very cheap PSU, or any real world information on how often the system with the cheap PSU will fail, underperform, damage hardware or otherwise simply make life miserable at some point, so it not a consideration to them like the fact that they see the difference between two different tiers of graphics card does.

Basically, they believe it doesn't matter so long as it "works", but "works" is very subjective and is open to interpretation when it comes to the idea that a less expensive PSU probably WON'T "work" as long and will probably greatly increase the chances that some form of damage to your motherboard and graphics card capacitors sooner rather than later because cheap units rarely if ever have good ripple suppression and management and ripple heats caps which will absolutely cause performance issues or death of the component at some point whether soon or later.
 
Dec 14, 2019
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Dark: Sorry, didn't mean to highjack any thread. Will do as recommanded. Don't hesitate to remind me if I do that kind of mistake again, I'm an honnest slow learner (not a smart-a**).

4745454b: 2070 super indeed.

Rogue: Thanks for the warning, I read the review for the SSR-600TL and figured out it wasn't for me.
For the other 2 Seasonic, what do you mean by 'different platforms'?
And yes, I got it the first time.

Kara: About prices, I'm not sure it's always that easy. See that SSR-750PX is popular (and out of stock in many places - contacted Seasonic and will not be available before february in NA if anyone is interested) and still its price remained low. It's one reason why it's often listed as one of the best-valued-psu.
 
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Is it ok to buy a PSU from 4 years ago like the SSR-650TR for the more modern components (performance and connectors wise)?
I've read many reviews on this PSU from the beginning of this thread and they're all dated from 2016/2017.
 
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Karadjgne

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It's a Prime Titanium. There pretty much isn't any better unit. There's arguably some equitable, but the differences are so minute as to not bother with. It's one of those units where even advances in technology on brand new designs still can't top its performance.
 
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Rogue Leader

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Rogue: Thanks for the warning, I read the review for the SSR-600TL and figured out it wasn't for me.
For the other 2 Seasonic, what do you mean by 'different platforms'?
By that I mean its the basic design. The PRIME series is a newer higher end higher efficiency, more robust and high quality design.

Is it ok to buy a PSU from 4 years ago like the SSR-650TR for the more modern components (performance and connectors wise)?
I've read many reviews on this PSU from the beginning of this thread and they're all dated from 2016/2017.
TBH there aren't groundbreaking technology changes in PSUs over time. That said there have been design changes over the years, for example really old models supply more 3.3 and 5v wattage than current ones. Thats due to changes in motherboard and hardware design though. Many of these bigger design evolutions happened about 10 or so years ago. The PRIME hasn't changed much since it was new in 2016 hence not many new reviews, as its still king in terms of consumer platforms. If anything their competitors need to up their game as they can't yet beat Seasonic's 4 year old top design.
 

PassMark

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View: https://youtu.be/-J2uFTyIAo0


looks Interesting hope passmark will listen to aris suggestions and improve on it
Yes we did listen.
New firmware & software for the Inline PSU Tester got released today. It allows calibration by the user and also comes with a better default factory calibration. It especially improved the accuracy of the current measurements at low current levels.

As to the comment about cost of the unit being high. It is really really low volume production at the moment. We only made 200 units. If we can get the volume into the 1000s, then the cost should come down.
 
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I currently have a Seasonic 850w X Series 80 Plus Gold power supply. It's several years old but operates my current rig well. Currently running an AMD FX 8350 on a ASUS Sabretooth 990XF mobo w/16gb ram. My graphics card is a PNY GTX 1070ti.

I will be up grading soon to an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, an ASUS TUF Gaming X570 mobo and 32gb ram. I will be keeping the current graphics card. Is my PS still relevant for the new setup? Thanks.
 

Darkbreeze

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I currently have a Seasonic 850w X Series 80 Plus Gold power supply. It's several years old but operates my current rig well. Currently running an AMD FX 8350 on a ASUS Sabretooth 990XF mobo w/16gb ram. My graphics card is a PNY GTX 1070ti.

I will be up grading soon to an AMD Ryzen 7 3700X, an ASUS TUF Gaming X570 mobo and 32gb ram. I will be keeping the current graphics card. Is my PS still relevant for the new setup? Thanks.
How many years is "several"? Three? Five? Eight?
 

BlueCat57

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I have at least two systems using 10-year old Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D power supplies. I seldom shut the systems down and have had no issues with them.

One is in a PC with a GTX 1050 Ti. The other is in a system to which I’m looking to add an older, used graphics card.

Obviously I’m frugal and don’t upgrade my systems very often. I’m still using Windows 7 but will upgrade one to Windows 10 in the near future. Those systems are Socket 775 and Socket 1150.

Do power supplies “wear out”? I know that I should always expect any component to fail at the most inopportune time, but should I expect these Antec power supplies to “wear out”?

Of course, the current trend is for all components to use LESS energy, so if I build a “new” system in a year or two, I might not need that many watts and my trusty 380s might be “good” enough. Any chance they will last 15 years?
 

BlueCat57

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By that I mean its the basic design. The PRIME series is a newer higher end higher efficiency, more robust and high quality design.



TBH there aren't groundbreaking technology changes in PSUs over time. That said there have been design changes over the years, for example really old models supply more 3.3 and 5v wattage than current ones. Thats due to changes in motherboard and hardware design though. Many of these bigger design evolutions happened about 10 or so years ago. The PRIME hasn't changed much since it was new in 2016 hence not many new reviews, as its still king in terms of consumer platforms. If anything their competitors need to up their game as they can't yet beat Seasonic's 4 year old top design.
From Tom's Power Supply section:
Report: 12V-Only Power Supply Spec Launching This Year
 

BlueCat57

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I’m going to post a “long version” separately, but the “short version” of my analysis of the OP’s (Darkbreeze) post is this:

You can get a reliable 500 to 699 Watt power supply for around $100.

See the “long version” of my analysis for a “shortlist” of Darkbreeze’s power supplies worth buying. Note that the original post is from 2018 so there may be some newer models that are worth buying. I did NOT search through the thread for any update on Darkbreeze’s “worth buying” models. Maybe Darkbreeze will update his original post
 

BlueCat57

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Based on Darkbreeze’s “recommendations”, there are NO “moderately” priced power supplies worth purchasing since pretty much every 4 and 5-star rated power supply on Newegg that is less than $75 is “not good” according to Darkbreeze.
I’m frugal and even though I plan to keep a power supply for at least 5 years, I don’t want to spend $100 on one.
Obviously, all of the power supplies that Darkbreeze calls “bad” aren’t. People buy them and they get good reviews.
I’m guessing that what Darkbreeze is recommending are power supplies for serious gaming systems that will be used to overclock hardware. Is that correct?
It looks like my Antec 380s have enough watts to power “low-end” gaming cards especially GTX cards, so I don’t have to replace them with more watts to add a “low power” card to my current systems.
However, my kids are into gaming, mostly eSports and their current systems and cards (GTX 1060) are sufficient.
But, at some point a GTX 2060 Super will be their card of choice which calls for a 500 Watt power supply.
I’m not concerned about modular, etc. except for my HTPC but that uses a TFX unit and there is only ONE modular PS out there and it isn’t even sold anymore. I spotted a used one but didn’t buy it immediately so I missed out.

Based on Darkbreeze’s post and searching for 500 to 699 Watt units on Newegg, here are the price ranges for the power supplies he considers “not bad”.:

Seasonic “recommended” $99 to $160
Focus, Focus plus, Prime, Prime ultra

Corsair $95 to $272
TX, RM, RMx, RMi, HX, HXi, AX or AXi units are good

Antec $95 to $319
True power classic “very good” (OK for newer CPUs?)
Earthwatts Gold Pro units are very good and are based on the Seasonic Focus platform

EVGA $95 to $170
Good models are the B2, GQ, G2, G2L, G3, P2 and T2 models

Rosewill $85 to $120
Tachyon, Quark and Capstone M series are pretty good

“In MY opinion, Cooler Master and Thermaltake should be completely avoided”

I’m not even going to consider or mention the other brands in the post because they seem to be hard to find.
I’m shopping in America, and only use Amazon or Newegg to simplify my shopping. Please note: For some reason I often end up in Tom’s UK forums. I haven’t figured out why or how, so sorry for being “America First”. (That is meant only to be funny only, not political.)
Based on “quick” searches on Newegg, it looks like I need to spend about $100 to get a 500 to 699 Watt Power Supply that Darkbreeze would find “acceptable”.
I can live with that since that would be less than $1 a month over a 10-year lifespan. Is 10 years a reasonable expectation?
Of course, the current trend is for all components to use LESS energy, so if I build a “new” system in a year or two, I might not need that many watts and my trusty 380s might be “good” enough. Any chance they will last 15 years? o_O
 

Rogue Leader

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I have at least two systems using 10-year old Antec EarthWatts Green EA-380D power supplies. I seldom shut the systems down and have had no issues with them.
Thats great they have lasted, but two PSUs not pushed hard over 10 years is not even a vaguely statistical sample size to ever say that cheaper or low end PSUs do last. There are plenty of 10+ year old low end PSUs out there working every day. Doesn't mean its a smart idea, also doesn't account for the many that have failed.

I run across the street through traffic every day ignoring lights and traffic signals. I have never gotten hit by a car. Doesn't mean its a good idea.

From Tom's Power Supply section:
Report: 12V-Only Power Supply Spec Launching This Year
Yes we have seen and discussed that here. Just because the spec exists does not mean that it will be fully adopted by the aftermarket by any means. It may well be solely for OEM type and embedded systems. Specs are just that, not standards.

Please note: For some reason I often end up in Tom’s UK forums. I haven’t figured out why or how, so sorry for being “America First”. (That is meant only to be funny only, not political.)
Tom's UK and US forums are the same thing, the UK site stopped existing as a seperate entity a couple years ago.

I'll let Darkbreeze respond to the rest.
 
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BlueCat57

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Thanks for the replies.

The UK/US thing now makes some sense. The BIG takeaway from "being confused" is that we have it GREAT in America when it comes to buying computer parts. (Again, meant to be funny, not political.) It is nice to not have to worry about various customs duties and availability. When I want my part, I order and it is here within a couple of days max.

I count my lucky stars and the dollars I'm not spending that my power supplies and other basic parts haven't failed. I just replaced a couple of 2-core processors with 4-core ones for $8 ea. I did ruin an old motherboard in the process, but hey, I'm a horder, and had another one sitting around that worked. I'm even using a P/S 2 keyboard and mouse on one system because I don't have enough USB ports. My musing was more in response to Darkbreeze's wording sounding cataclysmic for power supplies that were not "good" or better.

Please remember that there is a difference between "cheap" and "cost-effective". Most vendors want a less than 2% failure rate and most electronics that last past the first month or so aren't going to fail for years unless they are abused.

Ack! Now that brings up "abuse" of power. (Dang, I just can't stop being funny, can I.) I've had the privilege of never living somewhere with a questionable power grid. Blackouts, brownouts and surges aren't things I think about. I forget that and therefore forget that articles are written for those for whom those things are regular occurrences. Maybe that's why I often read about power supply failures.

The 12V spec post was a specific response to "there aren't groundbreaking technology changes in PSUs over time." If that hits the mainstream wouldn't it be considered "groundbreaking"? Maybe not.

What would be "groundbreaking" in power supplies? Any ideas?
 

Rogue Leader

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Please remember that there is a difference between "cheap" and "cost-effective". Most vendors want a less than 2% failure rate and most electronics that last past the first month or so aren't going to fail for years unless they are abused.
There is a difference. A $50 Corsair CX450 is cost effective. a $50 RAIDMAX 760 or whatever weird wattage they are peddling these days, is cheap (and junk).

Ack! Now that brings up "abuse" of power. (Dang, I just can't stop being funny, can I.) I've had the privilege of never living somewhere with a questionable power grid. Blackouts, brownouts and surges aren't things I think about. I forget that and therefore forget that articles are written for those for whom those things are regular occurrences. Maybe that's why I often read about power supply failures.
A questionable power grid is not the sole cause of PSU failures, in fact its a rare problem. PSUs fail just as often enough from using poor quality components, or worse being expected to safely put out the number printed on the side of the box.

The 12V spec post was a specific response to "there aren't groundbreaking technology changes in PSUs over time." If that hits the mainstream wouldn't it be considered "groundbreaking"? Maybe not.
Sure, if that hits the mainstream, but it hasn't and I wrote that comment before that spec was even announced. And suffice to say a 12v only PSU would not power today's current equipment at all so it has no relation to this discussion. My point stands.
 

Blitz Blitz

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Hi. Just wanna ask what do you think about seasonic m12ii-620 evo? By year, or two ago it was still in psu recommendations, forums and etc. What is wrong with that unit now? It's old, or something?
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
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Hi. Just wanna ask what do you think about seasonic m12ii-620 evo? By year, or two ago it was still in psu recommendations, forums and etc. What is wrong with that unit now? It's old, or something?
Very old design. Still dead reliable but there are better newer options out there. However if you have a limited budget or limited selections available, can't go wrong with it.
 
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Eximo

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What would be "groundbreaking" in power supplies? Any ideas?
Some of it already exists and wouldn't be considered game changers.

Full digital monitoring, statistics, etc. I wouldn't mind a coulomb meter built in accessible via software, but I also don't want to pay $300.

Water cooled PSU is available, though haven't heard of anyone using one...

RGB power supplies? They exist, again, never seen one used.

All solid state? Be very expensive capacitors, but they would last a really long time.

Slightly joking answers:

Magnetic power connectors? Would be absurdly expensive. Possibly useful for bench testing.

A new standard to replace PCIe 6 and 8-pin? I kind of like Apple's in card solution, but that couldn't be implemented in every board or form factor. Also didn't realize the connectors on the boards were a smaller molex and require an adapter for use with aftermarket cards.

Double slots on the boards (would mean a really weird and expensive card PCB), one super thick board layer for power. Would add a lot of expense to low end motherboards.

Chassis with integrated power supplies. Like really integrated, maybe make the PSU part of the bottom of the case. Or expand that into a standard where you slide the PSU in like on some high end workstations.
 
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BlueCat57

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RGB power supplies? They exist, again, never seen one used.
Still can't understand the RGB thing. OK, my keyboard and mouse are green LEDs and I matched my desktop color to them and have a Razor mousepad with green. The keyboard and mouse just came that way and I swapped my son for the green mousepad.

But who is sitting around looking at...wait a minute... I'm married... I forgot about... (use your imagination and the groupie stereotype to fill in the blanks.)
 

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