Who's Who In Power Supplies, 2011: Brands Vs. Manufacturers

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dalta centauri

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[citation][nom]chefboyeb[/nom]I have a Rosewill 950-DB and it's been working excellently for over a year now... How safe am I?[/citation]
Rosewill does seem to have better PSU quality now, as their price is also respectable to the wattage of their hardware. I was running a 500w Rosewill, ran great for most needs but I switched it out into my old computer as I'm upgrading.
Only problem is that Rosewill power supples will usually have 2 to 4 rails, and their power supplies won't even have up to 20 Amps per rail. Then again, it all depends on the price, there's an 800w Rosewill that has a single rail at 66Amps.
 

Onus

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"A PSU equipped with a big choke like in the photo above is a clear indicator of passive Power Factor Correction (PFC). Passive PFC plays a significant role in the efficiency of the PSU. Only active circuitry allows for factors close to the optimum value of 1, while passive components can reach 0.7 to 0.8 at best, meaning they only achieve 70% to 80% efficiency. PSUs with a passive PFC may be cheaper to buy in the short run, but poor efficiency can swallow savings over time in the form of higher electricity costs."

This is absolutely wrong. PFC has nothing to do with efficiency; it has to do with the type of load the PSU presents to the power grid.

"The responsibility always lies with the buyer to recognize and reject products that are obviously unsuitable."

Only if the product's label is accurate. If it isn't, it's consumer fraud; simple as that.
 
G

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Very good article, many people overlook how important a good PSU is and you can't just buy any brand.
I thought the Corsair TX750 V2 was made by Seasonic? Mine is still going strong with no problems though :)
 

greenrider02

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It looks like all products from XFX are made by Seasonic... and I think that looks great from our perspective, especially one concerned with quality control
 

Marcus52

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"Almost every time we try to give lesser-known units a chance, they invariably blow up in our faces."

Is it "almost all the time" or "invariably", which means all the time, every single one?

:D
 
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"Without a digital security chip, the computer hardware is severely exposed to risks."

What's a digital security chip? What risks??


"The security chip PS223 from Silicon Touch is popular, and you should avoid PSUs not using it or similar products, such as the PS332S."

Why??
 

Marcus52

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I strongly believe in buying specific power supplies I've read a review for; brand is a rough guide, OEM is a better one, but thorough testing tells the real story, and experience tells me that you can't trust the brand name to deliver. Reputable brands aren't too likely to sell you pure junk these days, but if you are trying to build something really reliable and especially high performance, you really want to read very favorable reviews by people who know how to test PSUs like Tomshardware and Anandtech.com.

Looking at the Silverstone variety of OEM sources explains a lot about the variation in quality of their products, for example. Of all the sources they use, the only OEM with a high quality reputation is FSP. That tells the story about Silverstone pretty clearly, in my opinion.

Fabulous job Igor, thanks very much for giving us tools to make better choices to begin with.

;)
 

randomstar

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" Logisys, Europe only"?
I see them frequently here in houston, in mixed version of cases.
and so far I can honestly say they stink. I can send you pics and UL numbers if you need- and a link to a local site that sells them.
 

saint19

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]"A PSU equipped with a big choke like in the photo above is a clear indicator of passive Power Factor Correction (PFC). Passive PFC plays a significant role in the efficiency of the PSU. Only active circuitry allows for factors close to the optimum value of 1, while passive components can reach 0.7 to 0.8 at best, meaning they only achieve 70% to 80% efficiency. PSUs with a passive PFC may be cheaper to buy in the short run, but poor efficiency can swallow savings over time in the form of higher electricity costs."This is absolutely wrong. PFC has nothing to do with efficiency; it has to do with the type of load the PSU presents to the power grid."The responsibility always lies with the buyer to recognize and reject products that are obviously unsuitable."Only if the product's label is accurate. If it isn't, it's consumer fraud; simple as that.[/citation]

I disagree, the PFC is signal of passive or active components and while the 1st ones are more cheaps, the 2nd ones are much better.

Agree on the 2nd part.
 

wcarthurii

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Damn, this could have saved me some cash and needlessly wasted time over the years.

Thank you for this gem of an article.

This one will not purchase anything that is not designed by Delta, ChannelWell or Seasonic again!

ChannelWell is at the top of my list!

Out of everything I have owned, they have been the most stable and lasted the longest.
 

Onus

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Yeah, Logisys sells PSU-shaped objects, through Newegg too. Gabriel at HardwareSecrets tested a "600W" model recently, and it blew on a little over 50%. Newegg has been trying to unload these turds in a lot of their combos lately, so be careful.
 

Onus

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Saint, I was quoting from the article about PFC. Power Factor Correction causes the current and the voltage to match phase, same as a simple resistive load. It has nothing to do with efficiency.
 

phaedrus2129

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The Antec power supplies that died a lot were the ones made by Channel Well. They were made using Fuhjyyu capacitors, which are garbage, and fail a lot. After the TruePower II series failed a LOT back in 2005/2006, Antec cut CWT loose and went to SeaSonic, Delta, Enhance, and FSP. They've since cut Enhance loose because they weren't happy with the quality of their new units. SeaSonic and Delta make up the majority of their line-up, with FSP being used for their cheapest units and their notebook adapters.

Antec also briefly owned its own power supply factory around the turn of the century, but they shut it down after a couple years because it wasn't profitable.
 

cybr

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I have a Seasonic 650 that's lasted me 8 years so far... Seasonic branded ones are fricken bulletproof!!!
 

pgreed

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Hmm... Why you say that the PFC (active or passive) have something to do with the electrical power which is tax on the power bill? The PFC JUST adjust the power factor and did not have any influence on the electrical bill for the civilian (non-industrial) use. Please do not spread confusion among readers
 

jers

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Congrats Igor and whomever else intervened in this article. It goes to my permanent browser favorites NoW!

P.s.: I hate that my comments don't get posted sometimes if I am not already logged in arrgg =(
 

phaedrus2129

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Correction: OVP does not refer to the presence of a MOV. Overvoltage protection (along with undervoltage protection) is a secondary side protection and is implemented in the secondary controller.

SCP and OPP are primary side protections. SCP is, in cheap units, implemented via a fuse. In at least semi-quality units, it and OPP are implemented via the PWM/PFC controller. For instance, the common CM6800 controller family have integrated SCP and configurable OPP.

OVP, UVP, OCP, and OTP are secondary side protections, implemented in the secondary controller. OVP and UVP are almost always present in even the cheapest units; however the sensing circuitry used in the cheap controllers those units use can only guarantee protection values of, for instance 14.6V on the +12V rail, way out of spec. So the protection is there, but isn't particularly useful. The implementations used in quality units are far better because they use better secondary controllers. OCP is either integrated into the secondary controller or is added via an extra IC. It also involves one large shunt resistor per rail monitored. Finally, OTP is usually just a thermistor on the secondary heatsink that sends a shut down signal to the secondary controller when the PSU gets too hot.



A MOV is an anti-surge component installed in the EMI filter (before the primary) that absorbs a portion of an incoming surge and dissipates it as heat. The higher rated the MOV the more useful it is for surge protection. Some budget units use very low-rated MOVs, such that no real surge protection is given. There is actually a shortage of MOVs in China; there are more PSUs being made than MOVs. So the price has risen dramatically, and even quality PSU makers are finding ways to rationalizing removing the MOV, such as saying "Well everyone already uses surge protectors anyway".
 

phaedrus2129

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Also, chokes/coils are not an indicator of passive PFC. Nearly all power supplies use chokes for several roles, including EMI filtering, active PFC (when paired with a cap and two mosfets), voltage regulation, ripple filtering, LLC resonance, and several others.

The inductors used for passive PFC will resemble a transformer more than anything else, usually having a form factor like this:


They'll often be nearly as large as the primary transformer, occasionally larger.





You've been improving this article, but it's still a long way from being a definitive reference.
 

cangelini

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]"A PSU equipped with a big choke like in the photo above is a clear indicator of passive Power Factor Correction (PFC). Passive PFC plays a significant role in the efficiency of the PSU. Only active circuitry allows for factors close to the optimum value of 1, while passive components can reach 0.7 to 0.8 at best, meaning they only achieve 70% to 80% efficiency. PSUs with a passive PFC may be cheaper to buy in the short run, but poor efficiency can swallow savings over time in the form of higher electricity costs."This is absolutely wrong. PFC has nothing to do with efficiency; it has to do with the type of load the PSU presents to the power grid."The responsibility always lies with the buyer to recognize and reject products that are obviously unsuitable."Only if the product's label is accurate. If it isn't, it's consumer fraud; simple as that.[/citation]

Sigh, this was another bad translation spot. I've since corrected it in the story. Thanks for pointing it out; should have been spotted before going live.

Have a good weekend guys,
Chris
 
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