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Power Hardware

Brand Names Take On Generics In PSU Showdown 223

The Raindog writes "The power supply is perhaps the most overlooked element of a modern PC, and yet it's the one component that can irreparably damage the rest of a system. The market is littered with generic PSUs that are often much cheaper than name-brand alternatives, but can you trust them? The Tech Report aims to find out in its latest power supply round-up, which compares the performance, efficiency, and noise levels of a collection of reputable PSUs with some budget, no-name competition. As it turns out, any money you save on a generic PSU purchase will likely cost you more in the long run."
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Brand Names Take On Generics In PSU Showdown

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  • Also check your UPS (Score:5, Informative)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:11AM (#26169801) Homepage Journal

    And before you think that all your PSUs are failing because you bought them on the cheap, you should also check your UPS. I had 13 PSUs die at Suso and thought it was just horrible luck with power supplies, until I realized that the 5 year old UPS that those servers were on was having issues. Since I replaced it, haven't had any problems since. *knock* *knock*

    • by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @03:16AM (#26170123) Homepage

      Plug in a Kill-A-Watt. $24.99 on Amazon. [amazon.com] It'll tell you your line voltage (with or without load), power consumption, and energy usage for the duration it's plugged in. If nothing else, you can figure out where your electricity is going, how much energy your computer(s) is/are using, and how well your UPS is living up to its promises (unplug it and watch its performance).

      I don't work for them or anything, it's just a good way to see what your UPS is up to and learn a little about your household energy usage.

      Of course, if your problem really is your PSU rather than your UPS, all this unit does is narrow down the problem rather than solve it... Still, I consider it worth my $25.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by amirulbahr ( 1216502 )
      *knock* *kno<NO CARRIER>
      ... would have been so much funnier.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

      It looks like most UPSes make systems *less* reliable on balance. How frequent is a power failure compared to a UPS failure?

      • by kv9 ( 697238 )

        It looks like most UPSes make systems *less* reliable on balance.

        that seems to be true. I had an el cheapo UPS that wasn't very stable. at times, shit hooked up to it just froze. then I sprung for a nice rackable MGE which has been running like a champ for 8 months now. no more freezes.

        How frequent is a power failure compared to a UPS failure?

        my logs tell me theres about 2-4 minutes of power loss every few months. and I had an UPS last for about 4 years before it croaked. YMMV.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Kaboom13 ( 235759 )

        Dual power supplies are your friend. 1 plug goes to the UPS, the other to an independent UPS or the wall. That said, UPS failures are rare if you perform regular maintenance (AKA replace batteries etc BEFORE they fail on you). I suppose it depends a lot on the individual area, but in an are alike mine where severe thunderstorms are common, power outages happen a couple times a year minimum, vs UPS failure that are very rare. Not to mention, you get what you pay for. Office Supply store brand UPS are not g

      • by NSIM ( 953498 )
        Frequency of power failure is going to depend a lot on where you are. According to the logging software on my UPS, it has switched to battery 38 times in the last 24 weeks, so it has saved my system an average of 1.5+ times/week. The UPS cost me about $100 bucks, so it seems like a pretty solid investment!
        • by Ed Avis ( 5917 )

          Did your system really go down every few days before you got the UPS? I'd say the manufacturer's logging software has an incentive to over-report how many times it has 'saved your system'. A faulty UPS unit that switched to battery several times a day even though it didn't need to would 'save your system' even more!

          • I don't know about "software" but the management cards you can put in to the higher end units don't lie. It actually doesn't catch power bumps under a second; only after 2 or 3 seconds. I have and older SmartUPS 700 on my computer because the power quality at home is horrible - the lights regularly go bright/dim several times a day - and it'll switch to battery briefly, but it's not in the event log unless it's over a second. If I didn't have the UPS, I'd probably be in a fit of range from daily power inter

          • by NSIM ( 953498 )
            I've run my systems on UPS for about the last 15 years, so it's hard to say for sure. However, when I've been at my PC and the UPS has switched, I've noticed lights flicker or go out momentarily, so my guess is that the interruption in those cases would have been sufficient to bring the system down.
      • by Gnavpot ( 708731 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @01:36PM (#26174487)

        t looks like most UPSes make systems *less* reliable on balance. How frequent is a power failure compared to a UPS failure?

        One of the more ironic examples:

        The truck delivering a new UPS unit to a Danish ISP accidentally hit the electric installation on the street outside the server center and cut off the power supply to the server center.

        Of course, the old UPS was disconnected at that time to make room for the new unit.

  • Buying cheap crap that's pumping out power to sensitive electronics can damage the things it's connected to can make things go horribly wrong!

    In other news, your computer is not a good thing to use as a coffee table, puppies should not be left unsupervised near cabling, and you should not leave your cell phone in your pocket while washing your clothing.

    Is this surprising anyone?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kagura ( 843695 )
      I'm genuinely curious, what parts are different or better in a more expensive PSU? Or is it just a combination of confirmation bias and shelling out too many bucks to say it's not worth it? Not really an accusation, I'm more curious about what parts in a PSU can be "better", considering all the parts are mass manufactured, anyway.
      • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

        by liquidpele ( 663430 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:36AM (#26169941) Journal
        The main things you'll see in a high end PSU:
        1) Voltage stabilizing in case the power coming to the PSU is not very good
        2) Quieter fans
        3) Output voltage/watts and efficiency stay within reason at higher load
        4) Some generic heat up quite a bit.

        In my opinion, get a decent brand just so you don't end up with a cheap one made from defective (or not within technical specs) capacitors/parts that's going to die on you.
        • Is better capacitors. Good PSUs use higher quality ones, and often ones with a higher thermal rating. This is important since electrolytic capacitors degrade over time. If you have crappy ones, they can degrade faster. At some point, their performance drops to the point where the PSU doesn't work right or at all. Good caps are well worthwhile in a power system.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tracy Reed ( 3563 )

          The main things you'll see in a high end PSU:

          1) Voltage stabilizing in case the power coming to the PSU is not very good

          2) Quieter fans

          3) Output voltage/watts and efficiency stay within reason at higher load

          4) Some generic heat up quite a bit.

          Don't forget power factor correction (PFC). Especially in a datacenter.

      • Electrolytic capacitors are one obvious place cost can be cut.

        There are a couple of topologies [st.com] that are applicable. Most computer powersuuplies are (I think) single-switch forward converters. The topologies with more switches provide better performance, but more switches means more expensive transistors.

        Higher frequency switching generally provides more stable output, but requires "faster" transistors and transistor drivers, which again, are more expensive than "slower" ones.

      • Not an expert, but I'm guessing it has partly to do with the quality of capacitors, and probably more importantly with general design principles and quality control.
      • I don't know.

        But I do know that 2 of my eMachines had bad power supplies - they died after just 1.5 years. The first time was no big deal, but the second time damaged my hard drive causing me to lose all my nudist beach pho..... er, data.

        The $100 replacement supply has lasted 4 years so far with no sign of quitting.

      • Re:In other news... (Score:5, Informative)

        by confused one ( 671304 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @05:37AM (#26170669)

        Here's a partial list:

        • Capacitor quality
        • capacitor sizing
        • inductor sizing
        • power factor correction
        • Switching transistor sizing
        • switching PS topology
        • fan quality
        • temperature based fan control
        • heat sink design
        • output crowbar protection

        I've seen companies use components rated at or just below their stated current rating in order to save money (using 8 amp transistors in a 10 amp supply, for example). They'll often work right out of the box, but, since there's no margin built in they will run hot and eventually fail. As to component quality, take it from someone who designs and manufactures precision instrumentation, I can tell you that there can be an enormous difference in quality from one manufacturer to another. "considering all the parts are mass manufactured, anyway" is not a valid argument.

          • output crowbar protection

          I'm more worried about crowbar input. That damn PFY just came around talking about "forced upgrades".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mcrbids ( 148650 )


      I've been "doing" computers since the early 90s. I've never had much problem with power supplies. And I do mean *never*.

      I took an ancient, generic 286 computer, and upgraded it through 386SX, 486 DX/2, Cx 6x86, and AMD Athlon motherboards before finally switching to ATX. It was a cheezy, god-only-knows-who-made it power supply that came from a 'not-quite-aluminum-foil' AT case.

      And I've done plenty of computers since. I've *always* bought the cheapest, craptastic cases and power supplies, and generally

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by N1AK ( 864906 )
        I've never underclocked a CPU, don't replace fans unless they break or get noisy and turn my computer off an average of two times a day. Never, ever has a computer broken even though I'm ignoring 3 of your rules.

        The thing is my above observation means absolutely nothing as the sample is far to small to be of any statistical significance. I expect the same is true for your experience with PSUs. If someone has done testing on a reasonable scale, in monitored condition then it would be of real use to peopl
      • I think you get such a long life out of your components is because you are under clocking everything.

        In my case I'm overclocking everything. I kick more power through all of my components than is technically safe, to get the most out of it.
        Which is why I use a nicer PSU
      • by Rary ( 566291 )

        I've been "doing" computers since the early 90s. I've never had much problem with power supplies. And I do mean *never*.

        Give it time. It's possible that you'll never experience problems with a cheap PSU, but likely that you will.

        My personal experience: I've been "doing" computers for a bit longer than you have, and the only components I've had fail on me (so far) were: ultra cheap motherboard (two of them, the same brand and model, both died within a year), and ultra cheap PSU (three of them, various brands). The difference between the dead motherboards and the dead PSUs was that when the PSUs died, they took the hard drive

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bcrowell ( 177657 )

        Don't turn it off! Computers that are turned on/off every day last a few years. Servers that are babysat, running 24x7 at a consistent temperature run damn near forever. This costs money, so run the numbers to see what uptimes vs power consumption really costs you.

        Lots of problems with this statement:

        1. On modern hardware, I believe the best evidence is that leaving the machine on continuously doesn't increase its longevity. In any case, the correlation has always been extremely tenuous, to the point wher
  • What does HP use??? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I have owned several HP/Compaq machines and NEVER have lost a PSU. And all of the ones I have built myself with parts (Antec) have had a PSU fail multiple times...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by setagllib ( 753300 )

      I have had two PSUs fail on me. One was in an expensive Dell workstation and it exploded overnight, leaving a very interesting smell. The other was an Antec provided with a case, and it just stopped working for no reason. I didn't think PSUs could suck so badly, but I've learned my lesson.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Xest ( 935314 )

      I've always bought whatever was cheapest for the wattage I needed and have never had a PSU fail or a PC fail as a result of anything I can really guess was power related (Well, I suppose technically, it's impossible to know but hard drive failures for example when they don't die outright i.e. crashing heads seem unlikely to be power related).

      The only exceptions where I have spent a bit more on a PSU I've found they offered me no notable advantage other than that described (quieter, more cables maybe). Payin

    • by Alioth ( 221270 ) <no@spam> on Friday December 19, 2008 @05:57AM (#26170749) Journal

      We've had the opposite experience of HP power supplies, we just had to replace 70 HP supplies. When machines started failing in the field, I found that there was massive amounts of ripple on the 12v and 5v lines. When I disassembled the PSU it wasn't hard to tell why - bulging and leaking capacitors.

      • by TypoNAM ( 695420 )

        You had to replace 70 PSUs at the same time or rather short amount of time to one replacement after another? If so I would look into the UPS those systems were using (if one or so many was used) or have the power feed checked coming off the outlets you're using because that's just a damn near impossability to have so many PSUs die at once or you've had one really horrible batch.

  • Generic power supplies are an awful plague upon our fair world. Why, just last week I was using my homebrew PSU rack to power my uncle's hospice life support system. Now I'm going to his funeral this weekend. Tragic, just tragic...
  • by bogaboga ( 793279 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:40AM (#26169965)

    ...As it turns out, any money you save on a generic PSU purchase will likely cost you more in the long run..."

    To such statements, I say "Ohh puhleeze!" I use generic power supplies for all my PCs, which I never switch off by the way. Apart from increased noise after about 3 years of constant humming, I have no complaints for a product that costs me about 18 dollars.

    I heard Google uses the same stuff too.

    • To such statements, I say "Ohh puhleeze!" I use generic power supplies for all my PCs, which I never switch off by the way. Apart from increased noise after about 3 years of constant humming, I have no complaints for a product that costs me about 18 dollars.

      Your experience is clearly different to mine, since I have replaced many generic power supplies that had failed. Some of those failed power supplies also took out the motherboards they were attached to.

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @03:27AM (#26170159)

      Google may use cheap shit, but they can do so because their reliability comes in the form of redundancy. When you have a lot of systems, you can set them up so that no one failure has any real impact on your service. It's like a RAID-5 array. The disks themselves may not be that reliable but the overall array is because if one fails, you lose nothing you just replace it. Likewise a RAID-6 is more reliable since two can fail, and so on.

      However, people at home don't have that luxury. I have one main computer. If it fails, I'm SOL until I get replacement parts. If a bad PSU takes out other components, I'm more screwed. So I have to go through reliability of the components themselves, get better components so they fail less often.

    • Same here, although I tend to stick to the $30-40 range, as the super cheapos tend to crap out on me after about a year. As for the other posters and the PSU taking out the whole board, it really depends on what you are going to be doing with the machine. For the gamers I spend the extra because of the strain the GPU and CPU put on the PSU during heavy play, but if a box is just going to be a basic netbox it doesn't hurt IMO to go with the cheapo.

      The box I am typing this on now is going on 8 years old runni

    • I heard Google uses the same stuff too.

      With the risk of sounding cliche, I'd like a citation for that.

      To such statements, I say "Ohh puhleeze!" I use generic power supplies for all my PCs, which I never switch off by the way. Apart from increased noise after about 3 years of constant humming, I have no complaints for a product that costs me about 18 dollars.

      Generic PSU's do not undergo the same rigorous testing that "brand" name ones do. You might get a good batch. You might not. PSU's that a company is willing to put their brand name against perform consistantly. The voltage stays within a given spec. The load and wattage stays within a spec. A "spec". Yes, the better PSU's have specs that they adhere to. Not to mention the often better cable management which can lead to overall cooler systems.

  • No surprise at all (Score:3, Informative)

    by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:41AM (#26169969)

    There aren't very many factories that actually make PSUs. You'll find that a great many PSUs share designs. So you can have cheapies that look like brand name PSUs. Ok so what's the money difference? Parts quality. The company making generics says "Ya give me the cheapest caps, fan controls, etc. I need lowest cost no matter what." The good brands say "Give us higher temperature parts, better quality, etc." Just because they look the same, doesn't mean they are built ot the same standard.

    The difference between good and crap in electronics can often be as simple as the parts used. However, good parts cost more money so you are going to pay more for the finished product.

    Personally, I'm a Corsair fanboy. They seem to spec really high grade electronics in to their powersupplies and those things do a great job.

    • by Detritus ( 11846 )
      Then there are the adherents of the "Mad Man" Muntz school of engineering. As it was described to me, he would randomly remove components from a prototype television set. Anything that could be removed without causing an immediate and obvious problem stayed removed. This allowed him to cut the component count and cost by a substantial margin. It also resulted in a television that was a POS.
    • For my RAM, PSUs, etc I usually go for Corsair, Crucial, or Mushkin. Never had a problem with any of them. Been on a Mushkin run lately...

      But all, for me, have never had issues. I've had some crappy PSUs in pre-built machines just die on me and when I'm spending $2000+ on a high-end system, I'm not going to save $40 on a cheap PSU. I'll spend the $100-$150 on a good PSU. I know it's worth it.
  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @02:44AM (#26169985) Homepage

    They should have checked each power supply for a UL marking, and an entry in the UL Certification Database. [ul.com] Things seem to be getting better, though; the power supplies tested did not blow up or catch fire at full load. That's a big improvement from a few years ago.

    The basic UL requirements are 1) no overload problems at full load, 2) no explosion or fire under output overload/short conditions, and 3) no single component failure can cause a fire (i.e. there should be a fuse of some kind in there.) It's permitted for an overloaded unit to fail and never work again; that's not a safety issue. Some no-name power supplies had real problems meeting those basic conditions.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      I can't tell, is that one in with all the other fancy logos on the side of This [jonnyguru.com] Allied branded Deer PSU that exploded when jonnyguru tested it?

      • If you look, that supply is only "UR" component recognition, i.e. it is not UL approved as a standalone item. UR just means that, if a UL tester finds it inside a computer being tested as a whole, he does not test the PSU individually but treats it as a single component. Replying to my own post, below, I should clarify that this seems to be a loophole that I have encountered before. Nobody should sell a UR assembly to an end user, it should only be sold to an OEM to replace an identical item in a UL piece o
        • Well, all things considered I'm pretty sure that it being prone to failure by means of exploding makes it undesirable regardless of it's status elsewise.

          • A good example is zinc oxide surge absorbers. A big enough surge causes them to explode, but provided the equipment is designed to absorb the explosion, there is no problem. So the suppressor could be UL recognised, used in a UL approved enclosure where it is surrounded by metal, no problem. Used in a homebrew piece of equipment in a plastic box, it could be a serious fire hazard.

            This PSU could be perfectly safe mounted in the top of a steel PC chassis, but dangerous in a plastic chassis. That's why it shou

    • by Kupfernigk ( 1190345 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @04:37AM (#26170439)
      There are numerous EU certification bodies, but basically any supply has to be CE marked. From experience with both kinds of approvals, and work on IEC electrical safety committees, I would say that there is nothing to choose between them. But can you actually buy a psu nowadays that is not UL and CE marked?

      I think most problems would be with older equipment made in the days when both the US and the EU countries were trying to make inroads in the Chinese suppliers. For a time the certification bodies seemed to go a little crazy and let the Chinese get away with murder because they all wanted to be the primary Chinese certification body. One of the best incidents I remember was an auditor going around a Chinese plant with ISO 9002 certification. All the documentation was there, all the procedures written up. In English. And no-one in the entire factory spoke English. I doubt this is the case with electricals any more.

  • Overlooked (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pauloncall ( 1087179 )
    Why does every article on power supplies feel the need to remind us that power supplies are probably the most overlooked component? Judging by the number of online reviews and by the 560 (!) power supplies available at Newegg, I think it's safe to finally retire the "overlooked" cliche.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by feepness ( 543479 )

      Judging by the number of online reviews and by the 560 (!) power supplies available at Newegg,

      They just overlooked those.

  • my generic cheap PSU I bought 5 or 6 years ago (rated 300W) still works fine. It sometimes gets noisy for a 10-15 seconds but then goes back to 'normal'. It powered my Duron 650, then XP 2000+ / 2600+ and now X2 4400+. I must be very lucky.
  • by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @03:45AM (#26170235) Homepage Journal
    Taking an old 300 watt atx power supply apart to make a variable 0-5v and 0-12v bench power supply for electronics projects will teach you what you will need to know about quality of components if you have a decent DMM, or better a USB scope to see the difference when you switch out caps and other components. An often overlooked problem with cheap power supplies is that bad soldering and cheap PCBs [wikipedia.org] cause the capacitors to work harder to move the same amount of charge. This effects voltage as it relates to capacitance's formula C = Q/V and its integral (dammit give me MathML) sigh read Wikipedia's definition [wikipedia.org]. Doesn't matter how good your caps are if the circuit was soldered by someone being paid slave wages working 14 hour shifts. The real cost of the plenitude of cheap electronics is going to be an interesting story. Besides the obvious horrors of the places of manufacture in Asia and the dumping grounds in Africa where similar autoimmune disorders, cancers and genetic abnormalities are rampant is the story of what happens between those two places. It is not just the disposable aspect that technology plays in our culture that fascinates me but how little knowledge of the design and manufacture of technology is present in the people that purchase it, sell it or even repair it. PC techs without any electronics understanding are the worse, "Who needs an anti-static work area when I can use any flat surface including a pizza box?" and than wonder why they have half a dozen motherboards laying around the house that won't work. /rant If I have the time before Xmas I will post my pics and schematics on my blog. Did it for an EE project. Working on LCDs and circuitry to display voltage and amperage (currently have 4 lobotomized dmm pcb w/ attached backlit lcd doing a reading each.
    • The pizza box works sometimes. I've got a dump here of mainboards, graphics cards and other stuff; they didn't die on the pizzabox but before.

      My three holy rules:

      • I'm aware of statics and will always touch ANY ground before I'll open a case
      • When working in my workplace, I'll be touching a ground continuesly.
      • I'll be always using an antistatic sheet under the mainboard.
      • Not a holy rule but just an advice to anyone who reads: testers can be holy too! They save time sometimes with hours.

        Had a few times a bad PG e

  • Spotting a winner. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ostracus ( 1354233 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @04:49AM (#26170479) Journal

    "We've narrowed our focus on PSUs in the 350-500W range, which should be enough power for most budget and mid-range systems."

    This isn't quite true. The more important question is the amps on the +12V Rails? Even better if yours has a monorail design were all the power-hungry parts can get what they need. Also sustained rating is important. Not peak. And last even the better brands can be/go bad. My PC Power & Cooling 750 silencer was recieved DOA. It happens even to the best...much like hard drives.

  • I just checked and my box (2.4Ghz Athlon 64, 1GB 533Mhz ram, one pata hard drive, nvidia 7300gt video card) uses a 400W Duro supply. I've had this thing for about 5 years or so with no problems. It looks more like the $20 models than the expensive ones.

    So, uh, go Duro...
  • The review isn't even worth reading because they don't compare a PC Power and Cooling PSU. I don't trust anything else because even the other big name brands use a bunch of gimmicky crap in their PSUs.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Sadly, PC Power & Cooling is no longer an independent company, but was bought by OCZ last year. I'm not sure how this might affect quality in the future, but I still buy PC P&C PSUs for now.

  • After several bad experiences, even with UPSs, I have adopted the superstition of avoiding power supplies made by companies with "spark" in their names. Since this decision several years ago, the worst failure I've suffered is a drive that spewed SMART warnings for months -- but kept working -- until I finally RMAd it.

  • by GomezAdams ( 679726 ) on Friday December 19, 2008 @07:23AM (#26171123)
    Among other things granted to the Chinese during the Clinton administration was the relaxation of having to meet FCC part 15 subpart B for electronics. Some Chinese power supplies put out tremendous amounts of RF all across the spectrum. Might check that too if you are having problems with radio reception. When I can get them I always buy Taiwan made power supplies because #1 they are better engineered and built, and #2 they do not radiate RF. They have to meet the RF emissions requirements. So far I've had a large failure rate of Chinese power supplies because of being under engineered and the poorly made components. Electronics are like everything else being made in China today. They cut corners and mismanage and put out crap clothes, electronics, baby food, pet food, toys, medicines, and every body just keeps letting them get by with it. Most of my Chinese made shirts don't come with pockets anymore, the thread count of the cloth is lower, the sewing thread is smaller diameter and of poorer quality. The seams are sewn right up against the edges so they rip out in the washing machine and buttons disappear after a few washings too. And if you take medicines ask your pharmacist what the country of origin is. It might surprise the hell out of you. Almost everything I take now (blood pressure and kidney meds) are made in India. That scares the bejesus out of me too but not nearly as much as Chinese made meds.
    • Indian pharmaceuticals are up to 1st world standards. The major manufacturer recruited a British CEO years ago to make sure of it. India has a long tradition of civil law and administration (in fact the legal system was overhauled by Lord Macaulay, of all people, at the start of the 19th century.) China (excluding Taiwan and Hong Kong) is only just starting to develop a civil law system. That's the key difference. The Bhopal scandal is not about a failure of Indian civil law, it's about the (disgraceful?) f
  • After ~20 years in the industry, through thousands (probably tens of thousands) of PCs - everything from no-name dsektops to high-end IBM blade servers, I think I've witnessed (or received direct reports of) 3 or 4 PSU failures ever.

    Heck, if someone asked me to rank the components most likely to fail in a computer, the PSU would probably be sitting just above screw holes and mounting posts.

    WTF are you people doing to your computers ? Is the power supply in Australia really that much better than the rest of the world ?

    • by CompMD ( 522020 )

      I've also been working on computers for about 20 years, and I agree with you. For PCs, I've only ever seen one or two PSU failures, and in the enterprise world, I had 3 of 12 PSUs fail in a big Sun rack. None of my personal machines have ever had a PSU failure.

    • It probably depends on the quality of your powergrid, too.
      I've heard the american grid, on average, delivers much more fragile and "dirty" electrons than, for example, the european grid.

      I guess it makes a difference whether your PSU has to deal with spikes and brownouts on a daily/weekly basis or whether it's just humming along on nominal line voltage.

  • by hb253 ( 764272 )
    I've always used Nexus power supplies mainly for their silence, but they look to be decent quality as well.
  • Is there a recommended brand/model of PSU that emits no/little/minimal RF interference for clean audio? I'd love a power supply I can't hear(fan), but also can't hear in my system's audio output or recording. Surely there's some better PSU that has the modular power cables(oh that is nice).

  • kudos to the site for actually going to the trouble of building a test rig that can actaully load down PSUs in controlled increments.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.