Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Hardware Technology

Thirty Four PSUs Tested - Is Biggest Best? 276

Posted by Hemos
from the does-size-matter dept.
SteveK writes "Hexus has been testing some 34 PC power supplies to see which is best. There are some interesting results. An Enermax 535 Watt PSU couldn't deliver much over 450W, while a cheap 250W PSU did exactly what it said on the box. There's also a video of a (very cheap) 650W PSU under 400W of load, requiring over 1kW of input power to sustain the load, before blowing up."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Thirty Four PSUs Tested - Is Biggest Best?

Comments Filter:
  • by jgaynor (205453) <jon@@@gaynor...org> on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:03AM (#13649853) Homepage
    Mod me down for slander, but I don't understand why we keep linking to Hexus reviews. Their content quality is high but their servers can't take a slashdotting for more than 3-4 minutes. 0 comments and it's taken over a minute to load as it is :(.
    • Chicken and egg.

      Lots of slashdotters go there because there are lots of reviews.
      When a new one is posted, it gets submitted and because its good gets posted here...

      Either that or Hemos is taking backhanders from the hexus BOFHs to push for extra server upgrades "Boss, the servers keep going down, we need more power".

    • by unts (754160) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:09AM (#13649893) Homepage Journal
      Steve from HEXUS here. :)

      We've got new kit going into place soon, but that's not my department. We've taken measures in the meantime to cope with any traffic surges, like Slashdottings, but with a massive article like this one, it's tricky.

      Thanks for your patience, guys.
      • Why doesn't the submitter just post the Coral Cache link straight off? Then we wouldn't have this problem. Or am I being dense? Surely there's no point pushing a server over if it's obvious to all that it will not survive the slashdotting.
      • Would you consider posting the text of the article as a comment?
        It's not like you'll be getting hits in the meantime anyway and it
        might bring people back for the pictures later.
      • Hi there "Steve from HEXUS". Just a thought: This [slashdot.org] is a great idea for a follow up article... 'cause you know... you've got a few PSUs around. Since it was posted AC, I'll just quote it.

        To be honest, at the moment my needs are more focused on the quietness of a power supply, I can quite easily cope with 300W on my main PC.

        Sorry about your server. I didn't get the chance to read the article, but I'll be back for it.

      • I assume you guys are server-limited, not bandwidth-limited, when the Slashdot beast comes around. So why don't you put up a static version of the page when the Slashdotting hits? Why don't you at least use some sort of caching to reduce the load on your servers? Is there something obvious that I, not being a mighty server admin, am missing?
      • by ZorinLynx (31751) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:56AM (#13650249) Homepage
        Tell me.. Why does Hexus, and so many other sites, divide the articles into so many small pages?

        This review is 26 pages! That's at least 26 pageviews to read the whole thing for each user. Multiply that by slash dot and... Well, let's just say the server is KO'ed.

        Instead, why not have several reviews on each page? Just doubling the size of each page halves the number of page loads needed for each user. This applies for news sites and such too. I don't get why they split the articles into three or four pages, when you could easily have one big page to scroll through. Less pages also means readers will be less annoyed having to click and wait for the next page when the server is bogged down.

        -Z
        • by grazzy (56382) <grazzy&quake,swe,net> on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:02AM (#13650306) Homepage Journal
          Two reasons;

          1) Templates. A template for a large article wouldn't be usable for shorter (1-page) articles.
          2) Pageviews. Equals money in pocket.
          • 1) Templates. A template for a large article wouldn't be usable for shorter (1-page) articles.

            Whatever. A well-designed, liquid web template will be usable whether there's 1 paragraph of content or 100 paragraphs.

            2) Pageviews. Equals money in pocket.

            Not when the server rolls over because it's getting more page requests than it's capable of delivering, it doesn't.
        • by OverlordQ (264228) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:04AM (#13650320) Journal
          one or two words depending on how you look at it, but let me put it in slashdot style

          1) Split story onto many many pages
          2) Sell more ads
          3) Profit!!!!
        • by Shaper_pmp (825142) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:20AM (#13650446)
          Funnily enough, this actually encourages the Average User (a mythical beast, only whose footprints have ever been found) to read the whole article. Usability reports I remember reading a few months ago indicated that on an interactive medium like the web, users get "bored" if they don't have to interact with a page for too long. If you don't provide regular user-interaction (eg, by making them click for the next page) they get fractious and are more likely to drop out of reading the article.

          I've actually noticed this myself a bit - if I've got a long page (> 5 screens) to read I'll often find myself double-clicking on words/lines in the text or highlighting them with the mouse. I don't really even realise I'm doing it, but when an article's split into several shorter pages (although it annoys me slightly having to click "Next" all the time) I don't find myself doing this.

          Of course, it also inflates "page-views" and ad revenue ;-)
          • I usually read like this, selecting what I am reading or about to read, on the web or any other texts on the computer. It helps me to find, vewry quickly where I am in the text in the event that something distracts me while reading.
          • Funnily enough, this actually encourages the Average User (a mythical beast, only whose footprints have ever been found) to read the whole article. Usability reports I remember reading a few months ago indicated that on an interactive medium like the web, users get "bored" if they don't have to interact with a page for too long.

            And clicking on the "next" button is somehow more interactive than clicking on the scroll bar?

          • Funnily enough, this actually encourages the Average User (a mythical beast, only whose footprints have ever been found) to read the whole article. Usability reports I remember reading a few months ago indicated that on an interactive medium like the web, users get "bored" if they don't have to interact with a page for too long. If you don't provide regular user-interaction (eg, by making them click for the next page) they get fractious and are more likely to drop out of reading the article.

            Because they can
  • by netfool (623800) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:04AM (#13649857) Homepage
    Yes, always. If you're told otherwise, it's because they feel bad for you.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:05AM (#13649865)
    To be honest, at the moment my needs are more focused on the quietness of a power supply, I can quite easily cope with 300W on my main PC.

    Slighlty offtopic, does anyone know where I can get a 250W power pack in the UK for my iDeq 200N?
    • Well, 350W has been good enough for me for the past 2 years, but the next generation of video cards are actually demanding 400W and 450W power supplies (with auxiliary 4 pin molex power connections). And I'm not talking bleeding-edge graphics cards either. I'm just talking a fairly new GeForce 6800 for $140. Manufacturers could be overstating things, but if functions on my cards start fizzling out because they aren't getting enough power ... then what?
    • I haven't had problems with power supply noise for years...It's almost always dwarfed by the sound of the CPU fan. That's where the real bottleneck has been...if you don't want to go liquid or nitrogen, then you're stuck with a perpetual irritating hummmmmmm.

      And god help you if you have an intel processor...The fans on those damn things are like jet turbines. I hated installing the Socket A fans, but god, at least they were freakign quiet.

      The only power supply I have now that even registers over the cpu fan
  • Where's Antec? (Score:5, Informative)

    by tgbrittai (599035) * on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:06AM (#13649871) Homepage
    It's a fairly popular high-end PSU brand. Seems like it should have been included in the review. Hmmm...
    • Re:Where's Antec? (Score:5, Informative)

      by pmc (40532) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:01AM (#13650289) Homepage
      Nope - don't go for Antec if you live in the UK. I bought one of their 430W power supplies, and after eight months it died. Fine, I thought, it is under warranty. So went to the web-site and after a bit of mucking about I managed to get an RMA. Or thought I did. I actually had filled in a form to request a form to request an RMA. Pointless bureaucracy gone mad. Still I got the form. Or rather excel spreadsheet. So now I need a) a working computer (erm, guys, the power supply's gone) and a copy of excel (probably an other speadsheet would have done) to tell them who I was, what I'd bought and when I'd bought it. Oh - they also wanted a scanned copy of the receipt sent back to them too. I did have an electronic copy that could have sent them, but it was on the computer that was dead. (They did suggest I could take a digital photo of the invoice and send that instead, but this was getting too Alice-in-Wonderlandish for me.)

      But all this was just slightly stupid and annoying. What was very stupid and immensely annoying was that I had to send the power supply to them at my own expense to a different country. The power supply originally cost about 50GBP - to post it to the Netherlands (for that is where their warehouse is) from the UK cheaply (but insured) would cost about 25GBP. And they would not send me a new one until they had the old one back and checked out. I would end up out about half the cost of the power supply, and be without one for possible a couple of weeks. Suddenly, paying a premium price for a quality product did not seem to be such a good idea when faced with a avaricious and slow customer service department based in an entirely different country.

      So my advice is avoid Antec if you live in the UK - you effectively pay about half the cost of the power supply if you need warranty repairs/replacement.

      The story does have a happy ending - I bought the supply thought Amazon originally, and so phoned them up. After a bit of reminding them of their duty under Sale of Goods act (basically a quality brand should last longer than eight months) they agreed to replace it. They dropped the ball on the first attempt, so I actually ended up with a better spec'ed supply. Still an Antec, so if it dies it hits the bin rather than muck about with any ludicrious postal demands.

      • The story does have a happy ending - I bought the supply thought Amazon originally, and so phoned them up. After a bit of reminding them of their duty under Sale of Goods act (basically a quality brand should last longer than eight months) they agreed to replace it.

        That's what I thought in the first place; I'd be interested in finding out what the legal position was w.r.t. stuff like this, bearing in mind that the UK has had fairly good consumer protection for a long time, and it's now even stronger (w/
      • by artifex2004 (766107) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:43AM (#13650609) Journal
        I prefer to think of warranties as a practical gauge of how much a manufacturer trusts its own workmanship, rather than something I will necessarily choose to exercise rights under.

        If one of my 5-year Seagate hard drives fails, I'm probably not going to ship it back to them for "repair," or at least I'm going to eBay whatever refurb they send me -- but I know from experience not to trust drives with 1-year warranties, any more, and 5 years tells me that if it's not DOA or within the first 30 days, it'll probably last a while.

        If my CRT dies, I'm not going to ship it out, especially not at my own expense, and definitely not when it's big enough that the shipping company might destroy it in transit. If I can, I'll take it to a "local authorized repair facility," and I would be a fool not to have looked to ensure there was one before buying the CRT. Again, though, if it's not DOA or dead in 30 days, the warranty tells me how long it will probably last.

        On the other hand, sometimes it does pay to go premium and get a product that has free shipping and even pre-ship as part of the warranty coverage, if the price difference isn't too great. At the time I bought some memory from Mushkin, I was paying a premium, but they had a good rep, and hand picked their own chips and boards, etc. I expected to never have to use the warranty before I obsoleted the equipment, really. Several years later, though, the memory failed. They sent me new memory as soon as I told them of my Memtest86 results, letting me ship the defective memory back afterwards, so my downtime was minimized. Obviously, memory is easy to ship, but still, FedExing back and forth, on top of the cost of another vendor I might have gone with with a long warranty but no shipping, would have been more than the cost of what I paid for the premium brand. And if I had bought cheap memory, and it failed a couple years later, I'd have had to just buy new sticks all over, which certainly would have been more.

        Oh, yes, I have an Antec True 430, also :) It's probably about 4 years old, now. I bought it because it had the best reviews and a good warranty. I live in the USA, too, so theoretically I could ship it back easily. I've since heard some people claim their cases have caught fire, etc., but I really think they had to have been misusing the equipment by overloading or not venting properly, or not paying attention to warning signs. In my case, pun intended, I've never had a problem. Maybe because it's an Antec tower case, too :) (the case came with a smaller PSU, originally, but I wanted more power)
      • I've had to RMA a failed Antec PSU, too, but I didn't find the process to be nearly so bad.

        I went to their website from a working PC, downloaded the RMA form, filled it out, and faxed it back to them. Got an RMA number from them same day. Shipped the dead PSU to them, got a new one back in a few weeks. In the meantime, I installed a spare PSU I happened to have on hand and got the down system back up within hours.

        It's not Antec's responsibility to minimize your downtime with their RMA process -- it's the
        • I have done lots of RMAs before - both personal and business. The previous one, Netgear, for example, the process went

          1) Phone them up
          2) They issue the RMA and stick the new part in the post
          3) It arrives
          4) You use the box to send the broken one back (at my own expense) with the RMA on it.

          That, or something close to it, is my expectation. I do not expect to wait a few weeks for an off-the-shelf part. I particularly do not expect to ship to an entirely different country. I wouldn't have minded as much if it w
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:07AM (#13649874)
    This is a pretty worthless comparison without even one sample from Antec or PC Power & Cooling.
    • That is so frustrating... I've been using PC Power and Cooling supplies for years. I have always liked them a lot, and I've always wondered how they'd rate compared with other "good" supplies. But these sites NEVER rate them. I wonder why?
  • by Silverlancer (786390) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:09AM (#13649896)
    Quality usually goes hand in hand with price. The best ones are usually the most expensive (PC Power and Cooling). The cheap ones do stupid crap like toss 400 watts onto the 5 volt rail and then call it a 650 watt power supply, when it might crash when you put in that 7800 GTX. Cheap supplies also often are very inefficient, dissipating huge amounts of perfectly good elecricity as heat. There are some exceptions to the rule, but in general I've found that the better ones tend to cost more.
    • by Tmack (593755) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:32AM (#13650048) Homepage Journal
      Quality usually goes hand in hand with price. The best ones are usually the most expensive (PC Power and Cooling)....

      Not always, and not what I buy. ALOT of powersupplies these days are way overpriced. They focus more on inflated power ratings on the cover and bling like LED fans and chrome gratings (who is even going to see that, the fan usualy is in the back??). A better way to determine quality is weight comparison. The ones that work better generally weigh more as they actually use real components rather than single-chip regulators. The brands I have stuck with are Sparkle and HEC, two brands that are rebranded by several other companies after inflating the price for their company's logo or the bling they add to it. 3 HEC's to replace cheapo came-with-the-case PS's, and all three are still running strong, several years longer than the ones they replaced. Best part is, they dont cost that much. Most reviews that include them (no I didnt rtfa on this one) take note of it, and they usualy wind up near or at the top, depending on how the test was done.

      tm

      • I'd just like to add that HEC power supplies are also surprisingly quiet and generally very reasonably priced. Sparkle PSUs are loud SOBs, but the parent here is absolutely right: Sparkle and HEC units are generally so reliable that they verge on boring. Which is very good thing to say about power supplies.
      • Sparkle all the way...never tried a HEC but I'll take a Sparkle-user's word on what constitutes a good power supply. In all benchmarks I've seen, Sparkle gives what the nameplate claims, and sometimes more. Right now I have a 300W Sparkle supply running an Nforce4 motherboard, Athon 64 3200, two CD/DVD writers, two hard drives, and a Radeon x800 plus a tangle of USB devices. Should I be using a 400W or above supply? Probably, but the Sparkle is marching right along.
    • The only PSU that ever died on me was the most expensive one:
      Topower 420 [dansdata.com]. It was in my gaming PC to protect the expensive components. I turn that machine on once a week at best. And no, it wasn't the dust that killed it - it popped a cap and was completely dust free. I also have a no-name PSU that cost me $30 with the case that has been on since mid 2000 (Linux server) with no problems.
    • by Eil (82413)

      Where I work, our rule of thumb is that heavier power supplies are higher quality than lighter ones. While I'm sure this isn't going to be true in every single case, it makes a certain amount of sense. A manufacturer of cheap power supplies is going to try to put the least amount of material and labor into their units as possible. Quality PSU manufacturers tend to put in better components and beefier heatsinks. (Hence the fan(s) can spin slower, resulting in a quieter PSU as well.)
  • by tomstdenis (446163) <tomstdenis&gmail,com> on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:11AM (#13649907) Homepage
    like all things in life, if you cut corners [price wise] you'll get burnt...

    Though to be honest I've always gone with Antec cases [Sonata series for instance] and never once had a problem with the case or PSU [specially on things like dual-core AMD and Intel processors with multiple drives and PCI-X cards].

    If you paid 30$ for your 400W supply and it doesn't work ... don't act very surprised.

    Tom
    • Round here the 'name' brand is Enermax (the cheapest brand is coolermaster, which have a habit of exploding a couple of months after you bought them, and sound like an aircraft taking off...). Never managed to get the enermax to perform as it says on the tin - I have a 550w enermax that can't drive a 6800GT for example. They consistently overrate their PSUs, cover them with gold paint and sell them as 'premium' when they're nothing of the sort.

      OTOH the 'no name' PSUs seem to perform much better.. they're
  • Clean input (Score:5, Insightful)

    by P-Nuts (592605) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:11AM (#13649908)
    Why did the testing procedure involve powering the supplies from what looks like a serious piece of kit delivering bang on 230Vac/50Hz. Surely an important consideration in choosing a power supply is how well it copes with a dirtier mains input?
    • Re:Clean input (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ettlz (639203)
      In order to make it a fair test. There's no way this could be achieved with the crappy quality of supply sometimes found coming out of sockets all over the UK.
    • Re:Clean input (Score:3, Informative)

      by GeekDork (194851)

      Well, I can't RTFA due to some other people trying to do so, but a good test setup usually includes a "clean" primary power supply for fairness as was already suggested and then some fun add-ons to simulate controlled SNAFUs like bursts, surges and very short interruptions of up to, say, 100ms.

    • Presumably anyone interested in high-end computing would invest in a fifty-buck UPS to provide nice, clean power to their PSU.

      At least, I guess that was their train of though.
  • by MosesJones (55544) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:16AM (#13649938) Homepage

    INTERNAL power supplies? Bloody hell is this really what we've come down to. If its not external and capable of re-starting a dead body then its not a power supply.

    Seriously though, its a wonder to me that each device continues to insist on its own PSU, if you are running 3 servers (surely a minimum for the slashdot crowd), then 2 external supplies (main/redundant) should be all you need with a lightweight re-route internally to get the power onto the rails. This should be more efficient than multiple seperate boxes as it can level the load more evenly, and being external it can be cooled seperately as required.

    Always suprised me on these new pizza box servers that I can't buy a pizza box PSU or two and save space enough in the main box for an extra CPU or two.

    • Always suprised me on these new pizza box servers that I can't buy a pizza box PSU or two and save space enough in the main box for an extra CPU or two.

      I think it's a basic issue of amperage and voltage drop?

      You take the same wattage of power, coming in over 120v, and output it at various voltages under 12v, and your cables coming out end up being pretty large if you need to go 4+ feet. Cable size and weight varies with amps [powerstream.com], not with volts or watts, so for the same wattage, lowering the voltage makes

      • Also, if you have your rack of pizza box servers running from the same power supply, and something very big goes very wrong with the PSU, you might end up frying a lot of servers.

        Nothin' like the smell of charred components in the morning... ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Easy enough, look to the telcom world.

      Get some nice -48V atx dcdc converters for your boxes, and a couple of really nice rectifiers.

      Makes battery (and generator) backup so much easier, and it's much more efficient.
    • if you are running 3 servers (surely a minimum for the slashdot crowd), then 2 external supplies (main/redundant) should be all you need with a lightweight re-route internally to get the power onto the rails.

      I've thought about this, and it has been discussed on the beowulf mailinglist. And, in fact, APC has products that do this, but the number of computers that have direct DC inputs are few and far between. Usually, they are "telco" grade computers.

      Anywho, I think it would be awesome to have one hot swap
      • i think for small electronics it is merely an issue of nobody taking the initiative to create and promode a standard low voltage DC format
      • In general, each voltage conversion introduces it's own losses so if you can do it all in one jump you tend to be better off from an efficiency standpoint. For standard PC power supplies, the manufacturing volume leads to an advantage in per unit cost that is very difficult to compete against using a different architecture.

        48 Volts DC is the obvious alternative standard because of the telecommunications infrastructure but the newer automobile DC standard which is lower is a possibility also.

        The best bet fo
    • by Intron (870560) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:58AM (#13650271)
      Telephone systems do it right. Power supplies charge battery, 48VDC. Each unit has an efficient DC-DC converter from clean battery power down to their working voltages. No surges, no dropouts. If Bell had designed the first PC, it would be modular, run on 48V and have a cool black Bakelite case.
      • If Bell had designed the first PC, it would be modular, run on 48V and have a cool black Bakelite case.

        Actually, it would have been hardwired in, you wouldn't have been allowed to use third-party equipment, and you'd have been charged a monthly fee for rental :) You're right, though, about using batteries in line. Even without all the other benefits, like conditioning, it's a built in UPS, if the battery set is large enough. :)

      • Heh, sorry to say this, but I've lost two PRI cards and a pair of smart jacks due to power transients because the CO switched from battery to generator and back agian. Idiots had the gall to bill us 500 bucks for the calls to come out and swap out the fried gear so that we could diagnose the PRI cards. Glad we went wholesale on our dialups for that area, let a bigger company deal with a bigger idiot of a telco.
    • Funny thing is they do make em like this..

      HP's Blade servers [hp.com] run on a 48v bus. The PSU's are in a seperatly racked case. You can power an entire rack full with 2 PSU cages.
      You can get up to 6 enclosures in a 42u rack for a total of up to 96 blades.

      Each PSU cage holds 6 PSU's and has 2-220v feeds so you can power a full rack with 4 220v circuts. The PSU's just deliver 48 volts so you could drop them entirly and use whatever 48v PS you have (telco anyone??) When were evaluating them we gave some serous thoug
    • Seriously though, its a wonder to me that each device continues to insist on its own PSU

      Because a redundant 1000 watt power supply costs a whole lot more than 3 times more than a 350 watt one.

      Distributed power conversion is (generally) a good thing.
    • In some installations, a 400V DC bus is used for simpler, more efficient and more reliable power distribution. By centralizing line inputs, it is easier to do power factor corrections, power conditioning and since it is all DC, a battery bank directly across the DC bus can replace the UPS. Each (sub-)system afterwards has it own DC-DC converter.

      Why is power distribution done at high voltages? Simple: to reduce conduction losses in wires, semiconductors and other devices. Old systems were based on 5V until A
  • Coral Cache link (Score:5, Informative)

    by grimwell (141031) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:20AM (#13649960)
    Maybe try a Coral Cache url instead of linking directly to Hexis http://www.hexus.net.nyud.net:8090/content/static/ psu_roundup.html [nyud.net]
    • AFAIK, none of the coral servers talk/share cache, so for each different coral server (the whole DNAME "find a local server" bit) each needs to cache a copy of the content, so the server *does* need to be still up by that point.
  • Truepowe (Score:2, Interesting)

    by metricmusic (766303)
    ah the site is slashdotted. Anyone lucky enough to have got ther before it caught on fire could they answer this for me: did they test the Truepower 2 550? how did it go because I just put in a order for one no longer than 10 minutes ago.
    • Re:Truepowe (Score:2, Redundant)

      It electrocuted the installer on first boot under half the rated load.
      • Re:Truepower (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Lost_In_Specs (843932)
        Funny you should say that... On Friday I was helping a friend put together a cheap e-mail box for another friend. He'd ordered all the parts online and was using the PSU that came with the very cheap case. We plugged it in and then got a nasty surprise when we touched the metal. Luckily it wasn't pouring out every watt into the case. It was just enough to be mighty uncomfortable. I'm now a true believer in better power supplies. If the site ever comes back, I'll be reading it.
        • Re:Truepower (Score:2, Interesting)

          by GigsVT (208848)
          The computer wasn't properly grounded, I see.

          If you plug a computer into an ungrounded outlet or use one of those 2 pring cheaters, often the case will float up to around 60 volts (in the US, 120 volts if you have 240 power!) at 1-5 milliamps.

          The reason for this is the power supply forms a capacitive voltage divider with the chassis ground in the center, it's part of the filtering.

          If you had proper grounding you wouldn't have been shocked.

          It wasn't the power supply's fault. Most of them are designed that w
  • PSU, eh? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Apparently their servers used one of the "bad" PSUs...
  • Dell 250W (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <[ten.3dlrow] [ta] [ojom]> on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:24AM (#13649987) Homepage
    I work in a computer repair shop. We use Dell 250W PSUs - they are reliable and do what they say on the box.

    We had one guy buy a motherboard from us. He couldn`t get it to start up. We tested it, it was fine. He took it away, came back saying it was definately buggered because it wouldn`t even start with his mates £65 super 650W mega-PSU that makes the lights dim when you turn it on. We showed him it working with a £15 Dell, and he was sold. Tail firmly between legs that time.
    • Re:Dell 250W (Score:2, Interesting)

      by io-waiter (745875)
      Doesnt dell has a remapped pin layout that breaks the ATX specification ?
      • Re:Dell 250W (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Minwee (522556)
        Not on all of their PCs. Some, like the Dimension 4x00, 8x00 and Optiplex GX400, use real ATX power supplies. Most of their other models require a rather inexpensive adapter in order to run with a standard PSU.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Does anyone have a BitTorrent of the video? Seeing the magic smoke being let out was really the only reason I was interested in the article.

  • by cbiltcliffe (186293) on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:49AM (#13650195) Homepage Journal
    Coral Cache link, and at least page one is there.

    Use this one instead of the submitter's link!

    http://www.hexus.net.nyud.net:8090/content/static/ psu_roundup.html [nyud.net]
  • by PoisonousPhat (673225) <foblich@@@netscape...net> on Monday September 26, 2005 @08:58AM (#13650270)
    Only 19 PSUs tested, but you can still get to the site (for now).

    http://www.tomshardware.com/howto/200507111/index. html [tomshardware.com]

    To cut to the chase, TH recommended the Fortron FSP300-60GNF and the Seasonic S12 600.
    • No idea why Hexus didn't review any Seasonics, especially given their reputation in the SPCR community. Yes, some people just care about pure wattage and 12v rails, but Seasonics have accurate wattage, high 12v rails (my S12-380 has 25a on the 12v rails) and are nearly *silent*. Yet nobody seems to have heard about the company because relatively few mainstream sites review their PSUs. Go figure.
  • The Slashdot effect is in full force so I can't RTFA, but given the 1KW in / 400W out description, I would venture to guess that either someone didn't measure or account for power factor on the input current waveform, or the thing was significantly glowing prior to smoke-release. 40% efficiency at that power level - ahem - sucks mightily.
  • by cgenman (325138) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:05AM (#13650338) Homepage
    What power supply was the server using?


  • The review tested all these products in FSG Groups facility, an employee of FSG Group is said to be "sexy" in the review, and a product from FSG Group won? Yeah, right...

  • by hattig (47930)
    1) Noise - should be as silent as possible
    2) Reliable supply of power - amount of power isn't an issue because if I want low noise I'm not going to be running a processor that has a jet engine attached to it! 250W should be more than enough, but I'd prefer 150W systems or 80W systems in the long term.
    3) Life expectancy. I'd like 5 years at least.
    4) Ability of a single Power Supply to supply power to more than one system. Especially if it is a 450W+ beast. I imagine that this would go hand in hand with being
  • PSU power ratings (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Epsillon (608775) on Monday September 26, 2005 @09:36AM (#13650571) Homepage Journal
    I had this out with a major case importer here in the UK whilst I was in charge of production for a box-shifter. The PSUs they were supplying us were supposedly 300W units, but the number of returns we got because of these units was unbelievable. Furthermore, the silly bastards had supplied these things with a label giving the output currents for the various voltages, which only supported my claims that these supplies fell woefully short of their claims.

    Working with the simple VI=P formula for the DC side, our calculations put the output of these things at somewhere close to 125W maximum. Nowhere near 300W, yet the sales droid still insisted they were 300W PSUs even after explaining our findings. I then told her we were going to stress test a couple. We did so, and most failed catastrophicly at around 150W drawn from the 3.3, 5 and 12V rails in the ratio indicated by the labels, which I took to indicate the ratings for current on the labels was probably correct and their figure in watts was a fib. Given that they knew the current ratings (if you print something on a label, you can't subsequently deny any knowledge of it), I then contacted the supplier again.

    Needless to say we got the lot replaced without question when I sent three blackened PSUs and my report back to the supplier, but let this be a lesson to you: PSUs and PC speakers share one thing in common: Their ratings in watts are pure mythology. I was tempted to say that the 300W they claimed was *input* rating, but a PF of .5 is a bit of a stretch of the imagination even for a non PF corrected PSU.
  • Finally (Score:2, Informative)

    by HunterZ (20035)
    I'd like to express my appreciation to these guys for performing a much-needed analysis and publishing the results for all to see. It's about time someone called PSU manufacturers' bluffs and published testing results for multiple brands and models. They even made sure to test mostly retail models to prevent the possibility of manufacturers supplying souped-up units.

    Looks like the moral of the story is to look carefully to see whether the rating on the box is for peak or sustainable power output. I just had

What this country needs is a dime that will buy a good five-cent bagel.

Working...