Soon At Tom's Hardware: Full-Scale Power Supply Testing

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I saw a phew things i like to commend on.

1. clean power is good to have repeatable test, but irl power is never clean, and one thing a good PSU dose is keeping the dirt on the net out.
So i would advise after the Chroma AC Source 6530 put in a device that can generate noise on the AC power source.
(a electric motor ware the noise filter is removed would do the trick but there are properly better solutions)
2. read up on how others do there testing
www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/410
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/other/display/psu-methodology2.html
http://www.anandtech.com/show/2259
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2007/02/25/hard_look_at_power_supplies/

These are imho the most reliable sites when it comes to PSU testing, and its better to steal good than then come up whit something bad your self, do it looks pretty good for the most part, and i hope i can put THG in the same list of sources if i am looking for a new PSU.

3. If possible make the whole testing fully automated ore as mouths as possible, so you can do a lot of testing quick and whit out human error.

4. make a interactive database ware you have a X and Y graph ware you can select self X and Y, and next to it sliders ware you can adjust the minimum requirements for the PSU your looking for.

And good luck whit the testing program i would say.
 

unclewebb

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I hope you can also test laptop power supplies some day. Some manufacturers have been cutting way too many corners and shipping their laptops with inadequate power supplies that can not fully power modern Core i7 QM mobile processors and high performance GPUs.
 

warezme

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Out of curiosity and probably of value to the average joe but why doesn't Tom test the factory power supplies that come with prebuilt computers like A Dell XPS or HP performance tower. They sell people on the promise of performance and power and include some top parts like high end CPU's and a few modest GPU's as options. How do those PS's hold up to these tests?? If Tom's is only going to test high end or after market PS's that are meant to work as advertised (because of strong competition and expectations) than the majority of these units will perform as advertised. Let's test some mainstream PS's and expose the facts.
 

rfunes

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Please, do a sound level check, because there are a lot of new PSUs that make very irritating noises/whistles/whinning when gaming at very high FPS (this can happen on static 3D menus). There are several Youtube videos on this issue (check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C4d23F2jehQ). Try to test the PSU with the "ATI Tool" spinning cube test, which is the best program to showcase this issue. It seems that this very common problem happens mostly due to "feedback" on the power line connected to the video card.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]skora[/nom]The test that have more weight with me than others include hot boxing the PSU, and how clean the power is by measuring the ripple. Regulation is important too, you don't want a unit that hunts around a target voltage.Will we one day have a PSU chart like the other benchmark charts?How do you plan to organize this? By function hopefully (12v amps and appropriate connections.) Seems better than total voltage. Especially with the cheaper units pumping up the 3.3v and 5v just to pad the stats.[/citation]

You know you're right, a lot of cases do rely on the power supply to draw warm air past the CPU so a test that uses suitably warm air would be best. I hear PC Power & Cooling tests its units a 50C which is awesome for proving durability, but I think 40C would more realisticly represent a real-world build.

Also good comments from several guys on noise, I hope the guys responsible for these reviews see the comments.
 

Cwize1

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I get why you want to use an accurate power source as it keeps the environment as consistent and fair as possible.

But like you said, power coming out of the wall sockets aren't perfect and I would imagine it is possible to create a power supply that performs beautifully in a lab and completely suck in the real world.

It would be nice if you also did a set of tests measuring how the power supplies fair with a little distortion in the mix, which I believe the 'Chroma AC Source 6530' is capable of.
 

flinxsl

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as long as you are hooking up your oscilloscope to stuff, you might as well measure the output ripple, load regulation, line regulation
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]p4l1ndr0m3[/nom]I looked again and saw that November 2008 was the last PSU article (this excludes battery backups). Since July of 2005's article "How THG Tests Power Supplies" there have only been 5 PSU reviews to date.[/citation]I agree with everything you said and offered to test power supplies a year ago. The problem is that we don't ship ANYTHING overseas and the equipment was in Germany. When I used to test power supplies for another site, ripple current was my second biggest concern (right after overcurrent protection). I noticed that some power supplies would "overcompensate" for load changes by spiking voltage whenever I applied a moderate increase in amperage. In fact, adding a 40W instantaneous load was the biggest part of my test.

What happened to that other site? Well, they lost their reviewer...
 

insightdriver

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I see this kind of misinformation all the time:
"I've measured my system using 750W, and that's definetly more than 500W draw on the inside. And considering my system's only got two harddrives and air cooling, I'd say 500W doesn't qualify as high end cpu with multiple graphics! 600W at least! "

I have done extensive testing and even with four hard drives, two optical drives, quad core processor and GTX 480 video card, when using Furmark and Prime95 together to max out all 8 threads and all graphics lanes, I barely get over 516W. This is totally unrealistic. In normal use no one uses half the power capability of a 500W power supply.

To say one needs such and such a power, without actually showing any calculation, measurement, or other quantifiable method, they think to impress someone that they are right. Sadly more false information is passed by the unqualified than is accepted by experts in the field.
 

biohazard420420

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So finally catching up with hardocp by doing psu testing sweet. Glad to hear it I always loved tomshardware for my new fix and hardocp for testing nwo I can use you both.
 

kckrich

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I have no clue what you guys are talking about, or the methods your using to test these PSU's but I'm always glad to look at the charts in awe at the exceeding amount of work you put into everything. Tom's
 

Alvin Smith

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ALSO ... CFM (Air-Flow) is important for calculating the ratio for active intake vs. active exhaust (CFM) ... to calculate a 5% to 20%
greater intake ... for positive internal pressure (inside case envelope).

= Al =
 

DavC

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[citation][nom]warezme[/nom]Out of curiosity and probably of value to the average joe but why doesn't Tom test the factory power supplies that come with prebuilt computers like A Dell XPS or HP performance tower. They sell people on the promise of performance and power and include some top parts like high end CPU's and a few modest GPU's as options. How do those PS's hold up to these tests?? If Tom's is only going to test high end or after market PS's that are meant to work as advertised (because of strong competition and expectations) than the majority of these units will perform as advertised. Let's test some mainstream PS's and expose the facts.[/citation]
I agree with this, and also some testing of modern case&psu combos that sport a cheaper PSU. I'm currently running my system with a cheaper case&PSU and whilst both seem fine, im left wondering if I should be looking at upgrading the PSU?
 

Stickywulf

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PSU intake temp of 50 C is a very real occurrence, especially in summer months.
If Tom's Hardware conduct their testing in an air-conditioned lab (which I presume they will) then all the results will be worthless.
Thanks for trying Tom's but I'm confident you'll screw up the results anyway.
I'll be sticking with jonnyguru for my PSU reviews.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]stickywulf[/nom]I'll be sticking with jonnyguru for my PSU reviews.[/citation]That's like going to someone's house and saying "Your kitchen is junk, look at the Corian counter tops. I once visited a house with genuine marble counter tops". Nobody cares, mentioning it makes you look like an arse, and we all know the people at that other house aren't even your friends.
 

Onus

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As often as jonnyguru, hardwaresecrets, and others are mentioned, I'm sure Tom's knows the bar is set pretty high, and they wouldn't undertake this expensive and time-consuming proposition if they weren't planning to at least try and get it right. So, let's just see what happens. I'm looking forward to it.
 

marraco

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Some power supplies incorporate protection against overvolting (excess of voltage from the wall plug). It's good information, since many places have low quality power feed.
 

Crashman

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[citation][nom]marraco[/nom]It would be nice if this analysis conducts to a well funded election of power supplies on the System Builder Marathon.[/citation]Not likely to affect the choice of power supply in the SBM, since the two "bad" ones used last time were still "minimally acceptable" and well-priced. That is to say, you're not going to convince builders to spend more money in a value-shootout when the parts they're using are already acceptable.
 
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Great news indeed! I hope someone at Tom's reads these comments... and I hope I'm not asking too much... but I would like to see a range of PSUs tested from low end to high end. I appreciate the reviews about high end PSUs but for those who are restricted to a budget, we would benefit greatly with reviews of the low end PSUs. Thanks!
 

shrapnel_indie

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Power Supplies coming back to THG. Super!!! But you may have to buy a few at market price just to make sure you don't get cherry picked units. (A potential problem with any hardware review actually.) It would be good to get the whole gamut, as there are those who have to just "replace" models from Bestek (aka worst-tech by some in the field service techs.) and other garbage OEMs include. (And of course, some after-market replacements.)

Will weights be included (as well as descriptions of the size of the heatsinks?)
 

Suprosa

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This makes me, super, super, super happy! I can only hope that your first (return) article on PSU's contains a vast amount of PSU's so that I can examine what will best suit my needs. I plan to build another PC in August, any chance your article will come out before then? :p
 
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