Discussion PSU recommendations and power supply discussion thread - Tom's hardware

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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

Retired Mod
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

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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.)
 

BlueCat57

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Please forgive this "lazy" question. It kind of relates to Blitz Blitz's question about the older Seasonic models.

From the original post:
"...if you go with a Haswell or newer Intel configuration you will want to avoid those because they do not support the C6/C7 Intel low power states..."

Do AMD processors have any similar issues with power supplies?

I usually just run my systems with a "never" power scheme. Never shut the monitor off (that's what the on/off button is for). Never wind down the hard drives. Never put the system to sleep. I am NOT a patient man and have a terrible short term memory and the few seconds it takes to get things back up.... what was I talking about?
 

4745454b

Titan
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I also notice you are a person who likes to post 4 times or more in a row. There is such a thing as an edit button.

We aren't supposed to get political in these forums so I'm just going to say that PSUs are being hit by some really bad Tariffs right now. Which is why they are so expensive. I bought my 550W Seasonic on prime day and spent around $70 or $75 for it. So it is possible. But it's also more expensive than it should be for reasons beyond our control. Perhaps in a few months there will be more options.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
We aren't supposed to get political in these forums so I'm just going to say that PSUs are being hit by some really bad Tariffs right now. Which is why they are so expensive.
Exactly. THIS is why power supplies are so expensive right now. A year ago, a unit that currently will cost you 100 dollars could probably have been obtained on sale for around 65 bucks if you factored in rebates or discounts. It's not a matter of ME being too discerning. It's a matter of the market being raped by politics and an ongoing trade war with a country that makes and ships 95% of the worlds electronics. Expect the current prices to GO WAY UP since the province in China responsible for the majority of manufacturing IS NOT CURRENTLY MANUFACTURING due to the fact that the country is largely shut down due to the rising fear and complications from the Wuhan Coronavirus. That means there is going to be a HUGE shortage of these electronics because not only is nobody making them, nobody is shipping them out, and even if somebody was shipping them out, nobody would be allowing them through customs for fear of spreading disease on our end. Prices are going to skyrocket and there will be price gouging. Mark my words.

If you think anything is expensive now, wait two months. Or four. Or six.


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.
That's great. It doesn't mean much, but it's great. The fact is, The EA-380D was an OK lower end power supply for it's time. It's a platform that is well over 10 years old, but for the price and for a system that needs less than 400w, it's fine in most cases. The majority of our user base is NOT looking for THAT kind of power supply however. Most of our visitors are enthusiasts or gamers looking for something that can handle the rigors of a mid to high end graphics card, or overclocking or that will have an extremely long lifespan, or that affords all of the expected protections, or all of the above. If you have no graphics card or a slot powered card with a very low demand system, then there is little reason to spend more than 30-60 dollars on a power supply unless you might be inclined to add upgrades at some point.


Obviously I’m frugal
There is a difference between frugal and cheap, as I'm sure you can understand. Frugal is being as cheap as what is reasonably permissible. Cheap is being cheap beyond what common sense allows for.

Do power supplies “wear out”?
Yes, they wear out. Capacitors are not endlessly capable. The warranty is the length of time you should "expect" the unit to last. If it lasts longer, that's great. But if it does, I personally won't continue to use it with my high end hardware. It makes no sense to use a five or ten year old component that costs 100 to 150 bucks to replace every five to ten years, with hardware that cost me hundreds of dollars more than that. I currently have a Seasonic Prime Ultra Titanium that cost me 164.99. It has a 12 year warranty. Whatever hardware I have at the time that warranty runs out will be worth a lot more to me than the cost of replacing that power supply, regardless that it was one of the very best ATX power supplies that money could buy at the time that I bought it, and regardless that it might still be running fine fine when the warranty expires. It is simply not worth the risk, and it IS a risk no matter how you want to look at it.

If a manufacturer says "this unit is expected to last five years" and that is how long we guarantee it to last, then THAT is how long YOU should expect it to have trouble free operation. Beyond that, you should NOT have expectations of it having trouble free operation and if you cannot expect it to have trouble free operation then you should not use it with a system that contains your primary, valued system hardware. A secondary system or as a temporary backup in case of a failure, ok. I can understand that.


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?
See my last answer.


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.
Anybody with a modicum of common sense that's using their head realizes that ratings on Newegg and Amazon can't be taken seriously or even acknowledged, at all, EXCEPT when there is an obvious and common pattern that exists across a HIGH NUMBER of reviews, to show that a specific issues PROBABLY exists for a certain product. Other than that, the ratings are a fracking joke. Seriously? 4 and 5 star ratings on Newegg? You mean the ones that give a 5 star rating because it showed up? At all.

Or when expected? Or powered on the system? At all.

Or because the box wasn't damaged. Or because "this power supply looks nice installed".

Or four hundred other things, whether talking power supplies or ANY other kind of product on Newegg or Amazon, that have literally NOTHING AT ALL to do with whether or not the product has substantial quality, is fit for a particular use or has a significant expectation of performance when compared to other products, much less the fact that these "reviews" are not reviews and are just "opinions". If you want to see reviews, go here:

https://www.tomshardware.com/topics/power-supplies

Or here:


Or here:

https://www.techpowerup.com/review/?category=Power+Supplies&manufacturer=&pp=25&order=date

The rest of what you posted, I'm not going to even address. If you want to run the cheapest crap possible, then that's fine. If you don't, that's fine too. I have never told anybody they needed to by ANY specific power supply AND I have NEVER told anybody that they SHOULDN'T buy any specific power supply either. I have only offered that some units are a better investment than others AND that there are some units out there that we KNOW for a FACT are known to be problematic. If you want to run one of the units or a unit sold by a brand that I've listed as problematic, be my guest. I'm not here to tell you what to do. I'm here to offer guidance. What you do with it is up to you. Sometimes the horse will actually die of thirst while standing next to the trough.
 
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Karadjgne

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I wouldn't call a 12v only psu 'groundbreaking' technology. What I would call it is a bunch of cheap sob's who didn't want to put in the other rails into a standard psu. Considering all the logic circuitry on a mobo runs 3.3v and all your drives and USB run 5v, a 12v only psu is going to have severely limited usage. Unless somebody makes a brilliant decision to stick those rails on the mobo itself or as a seperate entity. All in all I consider it a half-baked idea.
 

BlueCat57

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I also notice you are a person who likes to post 4 times or more in a row. There is such a thing as an edit button.

We aren't supposed to get political in these forums so I'm just going to say that PSUs are being hit by some really bad Tariffs right now. Which is why they are so expensive. I bought my 550W Seasonic on prime day and spent around $70 or $75 for it. So it is possible. But it's also more expensive than it should be for reasons beyond our control. Perhaps in a few months there will be more options.
I posted multiple times because they were different questions. And I'm not on Tom's every day. I come here for a specific reason (in this case researching power supplies) and since I'm curious, I usually have multiple questions which I feel are best posted in multiple comments. I posted similar information in two comments because one was a "short" version and the other a "long" one and I explained that.

Stating a fact is not political. If it is a fact that electronics prices have gone up because of trade relations with China then that is an answer to the perception that power supplies are expensive. How you "feel" about that is political. I was trying to be funny with my insertion of the word "political". I had forgotten that many people have lost their sense of humor. That is a political statement and the moderator may ding me for that.

I obviously don't shop power supplies frequently. My perception of power supply (or any other components) prices is that I see them "on-sale" when I'm looking for other components. Now that you mention the tariffs, it makes sense. A year or more ago I heard a story that said the price of washers and dryers were going to go up because of tariffs. Didn't mean anything to me then but now I'm in the market to buy, but since I haven't bought those items in almost 10 years the nearly doubling of the price is "reasonable" since prices go up.

My perception of graphics card prices is that they are going DOWN. Well, until I checked prices on a card I had researched maybe a month ago and the price on it seems to be 50% HIGHER than it was a month ago. Am I going to spend an hour trying to figure it out? No. I don't need to buy it right now so I'll just wait until I'm ready and see what the price is then.

All about perception and careful observation.
 

Eximo

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I wouldn't call a 12v only psu 'groundbreaking' technology. What I would call it is a bunch of cheap sob's who didn't want to put in the other rails into a standard psu. Considering all the logic circuitry on a mobo runs 3.3v and all your drives and USB run 5v, a 12v only psu is going to have severely limited usage. Unless somebody makes a brilliant decision to stick those rails on the mobo itself or as a seperate entity. All in all I consider it a half-baked idea.
See laptops, all...
 

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