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Thread: Power Supply Buying Guide

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Power Supply Buying Guide

    Performance of modern computers is doubling almost every year, the clock just going wild, growing by leaps and bounds, and the processor cores are breeding like roaches .. Processor come with stunning margin of safety than is already used not only overclock, and almost every reasonable person. Computer hardware is becoming faster and more and hungry. In 2005, scoring 400 watt power supply was a rarity, but now it at least. Now nobody will be surprised and 1500 watt PSU, and in the home companies put a minimum of 500-600W. In choosing the components that will form our configuration, usually the power supply (ATX 2.xx) is overshadowed, whereas the latter only in light of the maximum power output.

    A power supply converts the 230 volt AC outlet in the DC in order to deal as notebook and PC with just this. In addition, a power supply, the task of the computer through the Power-OK signal has to announce that all the tensions lie stable. A power supply has three power lines that are used by the different components: The current components such as CPU, DDR2/3-Speicher, PCI-Express graphics cards, SATA drives, but also fans use the 12-volt line. It is used most frequently and is divided into several strands. Older CPUs and memory modules and cards to use against the 5 - and 3.3-volt rail. In addition, the negative voltage power supplies provide -5 and -12 volts, which played only a role in older boards. For example, provide ISA slots -5 V and -12 V old-style serial controller is available. The latter now need less power and are therefore supplied by the 5-volt line. By the way: According Specification at all voltage lines only a deviation of + / - 5 percent is allowed.

    Hardware :

    A PC power supply is roughly speaking from a sheet metal housing with a Euro-IEC socket for connection to the outlet, a power switch and - depending on the model - one or more fans. The 230 volt alternating current from the electrical outlet is converted in the power supply of rectifiers and smoothing capacitors in DC. A transistor produces a rectangular voltage (AC) and chopped up the DC voltage into AC voltages of about 15 to 50 kHz. A transformer converts the single AC voltages in 3.3, 5 and 12 volts, which in turn by a rectifier and smoothing capacitors to voltages remodeled. These voltages are placed on the different voltage lines or power connector to the PCB and the components.

    The 20 - or 24-pin power connector provides the interfaces and slots with +3.3, + / -5 and + / -12 volts. In addition to the live wires of the harness has four wires: ground (black), power-OK (gray), PS-ON (green) for the On and Off, Sense Amp (Brown) that the 3.3 volts exactly adjusts to compensate for losses such as cable or connector, and the standby voltage 5VSB (purple). Hard disks and other drives have per 4-pin PATA connector or SATA connector with 15 contacts their electricity. Both have two ground lines and the one 12-volt and a 5-volt channel. SATA drives require an additional 3.3 volts. For PCI-Express graphics card power supplies have special 6-pin connectors, which are connected to three 12-volt and three ground lines.

    To turn now to absorb the power connections of the power supply to a circuit board needs two main terminals: the 20 - or 24-pin for ATX power connector and the 4 - or 8-pin for an additional 12-volt supply. The slots and interfaces, which are located on a motherboard to get, over the lines on the board the tension that they are entitled according to specification. Requires a component - such as a video card or CPU - more power than the slot can provide come, the extra voltage cables - in the case of video card or CPU of the 6 - and 8-pin 12-volt channel - is used.

    ATX PSU :

    The most common are ATX power supplies, as ATX (Advanced Technology extended) form factor, is for desktop PCs typically in use. A distinction between ATX Version 1.3, 2.0 and 2.2, with each version requires a different power connector to the motherboard. For ATX 1.3 of these so-called Molex connector is 20 poles in 24-pin ATX 2.0. Some CPUs like Intel's Pentium 4 need for ATX 1.3, furthermore, 4-pin 12-volt plug (AUX). ATX 2.2 also implies a 24-pin connector, here CPUs is also an 8-pin 12V connectors. That is missing the line that generates -5 volts. To the plug-maze to simplify somewhat, there are adapters that make, for example, from a 24-pin a 20-pin power connector. Or the 24-pin plug can separate, so that you can only use the 20-pin part. In the 8-pin 12-volt sockets, which provide some additional boards, but it is possible to equip it with a 4-pin connectors - if that's enough built-in components.

    Usually a power supply manufacturer advertises the maximum power rating (in watts). But much more important than this is the combined performance. For it is the maximum power, which is actually available for PC power supplies. In the manufacturer's instructions, see either the maximum combined output of the 3,3 - and 5-volt lines and / or the 3,3 -, 5 - and 12-volt lines. If this value is not specified, you can deduct 20 to 30 watts by the manufacturer to get the combined value. However, you should be at the purchasing power needed to calculate not just because it usually comes to crashes and premature aging, when the power supply operates continuously at full load. And you should be ready for an upgrade, as new graphics cards and CPUs consume more rather than less power.

    Efficiency :

    A power supply should have a maximum effect. This is the ratio between input and output, so how much of the recorded performance, the power supply is really passed on to the component. For some remains of electricity wasted as heat and leaves the PC case - which is reflected in the long run on the electricity bill. The ATX Power Supply Design Guide calls for an ATX power efficiencies of up to 65-75 percent at low load and 70 to 77 percent at full load. Power supplies, the efficiency of over 80 percent may have one, the " 80plus -wear label, "the July 2007, part of the specification for the Energy Star 4.0 is published.

    Strength and power :

    Another indicator of the quality of a power supply is the resilience of the individual tracks. For example, a 400-watt power supplies to the 3.3-volt line 23 to 30 amps. The 5-volt rail are available 28 to 30 amps on the 12 volt rail to 30 amps. At -12 V is the carrying capacity from 0.3 to 0.7 amps. Important: It may not all tracks can be operated simultaneously with the full power. Another point you should consider when buying a power supply is, the current consumption in standby mode. It should of course be as low as possible. Relevant information can be found in the technical data of a power supply.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Power Supply Buying Guide

    For fans and cables :

    In order for a power supply as quietly as possible, works should be temperature-controlled fan. This means that should adjust the fan speed of the heat in the PC case. Some manufacturers such as Be Quiet keep their power supplies also come in from the front softly. However, there are power supplies, do entirely without a fan - so-called passive power supplies, such as the Silverstone Fanless 300W ST30NF for about 120 . They have instead of a fan cooling fins made of aluminum and various slots and holes to escape the heat and air can circulate. However, these passive solutions usually offer less performance than their fellow fans. They are therefore limited to computers that have to master performance-intensive tasks such as graphics, video editing or 3D gaming.

    A good balance are power supplies, switches it to their fans only when needed. Silentmaxx has with the Semi-Fanless 450W such a solution range. A type power supply, but which is primarily used in servers, the redundant power supply. Two power supplies are combined in one housing, both of which work with only half load. In the event of a failure, the functioning power supply take over the work of colleagues broken. Example: the Etasis EFRP-2462 2 x 460 watt.

    GPU Support :

    Would you like to run two graphics cards in your PC in SLI or CrossFire composite, you should make sure that your power supply is certified accordingly. This is in fact ensured that the power supply provides the necessary power for the dual-card operation and has the necessary connection cables with a minimum of 18 amps per channel.

    To keep the cable mess in the PC to a minimum, you should choose a power supply with cable management, such as the Seasonic M12-600. Cable management means, the power supply has only one or two permanently mounted cable, all the others - for graphics, SATA and PATA drives can - be infected as needed. This has the advantage that the PC is cleaned up and the air can circulate better. Another tip: Secure cable with cable ties, which brings additional space in the PC case.

    A nice extra that offer some power supplies, the speed signal. It can be used; operation of the power supply and fan control via software control. Some power supplies are also equipped with connections for other fans. These can then be controlled via the power supply.

    Power consumption

    Output current is another important aspect, IMHO, is the quality of output current. The AC is unstable, or is subject to fluctuations due to the quality of the electrical, while the DC must be clean, and stable even under extreme load supply. This factor depends on the quality of assembly and wiring, components of it which is under conversion AC / DC should minimize the presence of traces of AC that, indeed, generates such oscillations, measured through an oscilloscope. The hardware in general (CPU, RAM, GPU, etc.etc.), Because of very high frequency of exercise, particularly those affected by voltage variations. Through the ripple is therefore possible to assess accurately a PSU.

    Makes sense, though of no influence on the performance of a power supply, the Power Factor Correction (PFC) to German power factor correction. The power factor is the ratio of the real power - that is what you have listed on your electricity bill - and the apparent power. This refers to a portion of the power that arises when the voltage from the power supply and the current drawn from the mains are not in phase. This performance part is not covered by the counter, as it is between the power connector and the power swings back and forth. Nevertheless, he charged the power line and the energy grid.

    Ideally, the power factor is 1 percent or 100 has. In reality it is significantly lower. The PFC increase such value, and there are two types the passive correction is a simple electronic components such as inductors and capacitors. They achieved a capacity factor of 65-75 percent. The active correction is difficult to implement but also effective. It provides around 95 percent, as it compensates with a kind of power supply the phase difference.

    To help you find the right power supply for your PC, you should know how to absorb a lot of the individual components. For a power supply must provide enough power on the one hand, but on the other may be not too large. Because that's due to the low efficiency noticeable on your electricity bill and pollutes the environment. Make sure when you buy the fact that the performance of the power supply to the speaker components is tuned, which generates a load of 50 to 80 percent of power supply performance.

    Silent & Cooling

    Feeders are composed of one or more fans of various sizes. You must know that there are fans of all kinds. A fan will be considered of good quality if not produce excessive noise while moving large amounts of air. Not all PSU using controlled fan, or varying their speed in relation to the temperature of the component to be cooled, thus ensuring no large reduction in noise margins. A noisy fan will not be as broad as its diameter.

    One solution adopted in most today is to use a single fan, typically 120mm (But also 135mm and 140mm), at the bottom of the feeder. Be sure to have control speedometer if the noise is your main enemy.

    Low-Noise: Between 18 and 30db

    Zero Noise: Usually such products are fanless (fanless) at the expense of cooling and HW component that is installed close to the PSU itself. Power output is particularly susceptible to temperature changes. A good power supply will also be less prone to the phenomenon of Buzzing, i.e. the vibrations produced by the current loop that generates high-frequency.

    Another type of vibration, those produced by the operation of the PC, can be avoided by adopting elastic seals, usually interposed between the body and the support of the PSU Case: the so-called Anti-Vibration Pad. This will facilitate the process of extraction of hot air.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Power Supply Buying Guide

    Best Power Supply Units :

    I am listing some models of PSU which you can use in your system as per your use.

    • Corsair: HX Series: 520W, 620W & 1000W
    • Enermax REVOLUTION85+
    • SILENCER 370W
    • Seasonic
    • Zalman ZM600-H

    1. Corsair: HX Series: 520W, 620W & 1000W

    • Corsair HX650W Power Supply Modular specification meets ATX v2.2, v2.01 and EPS12V 2.91.
    • Fan Ultra quiet 120mm double ball-bearings
    • Performance 80% Protection against overvoltage, undervoltage and short circuit
    • Consume little electricity, emits a low heat
    • Compatible with Dual Core Technology

    The Corsair HX 620 watt is adorned with a black matte frame look a bit rough to the touch. It is cooled by a 120 mm chasing its air through the grill before taking a honeycomb structure. No other rack is present except the wide gate. This frame measures 15 inches long cons 14 for Seasonic S12 Energy + and 16 for the Seasonic M12, with which it shares a similar electronic. The modularity is not the ATX connectors 24, 8 and 4 pin. Other connectors can come and plug connectors on the chassis flush between five connectors for computer peripherals and two connectors for PCI-Express graphics cards. Apart from the presence of the Corsair logo anywhere on this block, the shell to the fan, there's nothing more to report about the appearance of this power.

    PCB modular connectors is also different because it is located horizontally in the HX 620 watts and vertical in the M12. This difference is attributed to the additional fan of the M12. As a reminder, it is used only in the 700 watt version at very high loads. He did not, for example started when testing the M12 500 watts. Given that Corsair offers only 620 and 520 watt versions, the presence of this fan was useless.

    Corsair has released an excellent supply tensions impeccable, showing high efficiency and generates very little noise. It was entitled, in addition to a complete modular system. While this is hardly surprising when you know who is behind this block . The Corsair also offers a Y cable to connect two fans without regulating their speed. It is also entitled to a storage pocket for the modular cables.

    2. Enermax REVOLUTION85+

    The race for power and performance never stops for manufacturers of power supplies. Of course it's all about marketing, because the one who will be treated as the best manufacturer in the upmarket segment sells many products to middle and entry level. In this little game, Enermax whose reputation is second to none, seems to have pulled off a master with its new range of aliments modularized. Called Revolution 85 +, it includes four models 850, 950, 1050 and 1250 watt power is delivered by 6 12v rails 30 amps each.

    Name this range of power was not chosen randomly, since all food is certified 80 PLUS Silver 1250W model except that it leaves all the same very honorably with a yield between 87% and 91% . To obtain such results, Enermax uses several technologies designed to optimize the performance of circuits such as power supplies and QUAD FORWARD PFC (Power Factor Correction) all combined to large capacitors that maintain a totally stable output current regardless load. The SUPPLY Enermax also incorporates all the innovations the most famous brand such as PowerGuard status monitor, the SafeGuard, UVP protection which is now separated into AC & DC UVP, the AirGuard reduces air turbulence and finally HeatGuard which provides the cooling configuration after shutdown.

    3. SILENCER 370W

    Entry Level for Small Rigs . It is powerful, economical and ultra-quiet, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 370 ATX compliant ATX 12V v2.2, has a power connector for motherboard 20/24 pin and a connector for PCI-Express graphics card. A subsidiary of OCZ Technology PC Power & Cooling offers high quality products at competitive prices.

    • Nominal power: 370 Watts
    • Peak power: 410 Watts
    • 80PLUS Certification: 82% efficiency
    • ATX12V v2.2 Compatible
    • Automatic control of fan speed
    • Quiet operation (20 dB)

    4. Seasonic

    Seasonic power supplies, the S12 Energy + and M12 Modular. These supplies are divided into version 500, 600 and 700 W for M12 and 550 and 650 W for S12. These two lines are supposed to have four 12V rails We use "supposed" because the testers have encountered a few surprises during the test. The manufacturer also announced a 3% variability around 12 V and a better performance. For more than a year, Seasonic dominates the market power as its S12 include all the qualities required of a block. Today the brand is back with two new ranges: the M12 power supplies are modular and S12 Energy + which will take over from the excellent S12 500 and 600 watts.

    The S12 Series conforms to the ATX12V v2. It supports all configurations of the time, including SLI and Crossfire.
    • This power supply complies with European RoHS and WEEE standards.
    • High-quality components for reliability and increased life
    • Efficiency above 85%: low energy consumption, quiet operation, low heat
    • Active PFC: for better stability of the current issued
    • Universal AC input, for use anywhere in the world.
    • Intelligent Temperature Control
    • Fan 12 cm ball bearing
    • Media gum to reduce noise associated with vibration
    • Supports PC, IPC, workstations, servers and dual-processor configurations
    • +3.3 V: 30A, +5 V: 30A, +12 V1: 17A, +12 V2: 16A,-12V: 0.8A, +5 Vsb: 2A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Re: Power Supply Buying Guide

    5. Zalman ZM600-H

    ZM600-HP is compatible with the ATX12V version 2.2 has been designed to supply energy efficiently the latest generation of dual core processors and systems Multi GPU with multiple display adapters. The cooling system is both efficient and very quiet, which is highly significant for a supply capable of such performance. Power cables are sheathed, this does not only order but also you gain a better air circulation within the enclosure.
    Power: 600 Watts

    Power range: From 450 to 600 Watts
    • Antec True Power Quattro 1000W
    • Antec True Power Quattro 850W
    • Antec 850W Modular CP-850
    • ENERMAR MODU 87 + 600W
    • Enermax Liberty 720w ECO 80 +

    6. Antec True Power Quattro 1000W

    It's a real rat race that is started by the suppliers of blocks to conquer the market and finish on the podium sales. Antec has a reputation and a global knowledge undeniable but it is true that the mark had not hitherto seen fit to enter the race in Watts. Indeed, the most powerful bloc in the catalog was other than True Power Trio 650W now the range is enriched with two models. I recall that a breakdown based on a 80mm is not necessarily worse than those produced by fans for larger diameter space saving design allows better internal radiators and the detail is somewhat obvious in the Within this block. In terms of performance of this fan, mention that this is a given ADDA 44cfm 3400 rpm.

    • Power 1000W
    • High efficiency (up to 85%)
    • 12v: 4 rails 18A (840W max power on the combined 12V)
    • Four PCI-E (2x6-pin and 2x6 pin 2) 19 devices
    • 80mm fan thermo-regulated
    • Warranty 5 years

    7. Antec True Power Quattro 850W

    Every 2 modular, they are primarily based on brand, "green", with a yield of 85% announced. They are therefore points to the next generation of PCI-E 2.0, and provided for SLi / Crossfire. It's a bet for Antec, the tester is in love, quiet, stable, with a very good performance. Finally everything you expect from a PSU of this line. With this range True Power Quattro, Antec offers 850W and four 12V rails for maximum power and stability. It features an impressive connectivity, including 4 outlets PCI-Express, but so far not clutter inside your PC thanks to its modularity. Its active PFC and high efficiency will help reduce your electricity bills.

    8. Antec 850W Modular CP-850

    With this power supply non-standard proprietary format larger than the ATX, the manufacturer Antec has an exception block only to holders of the following boxes compatible:
    • Antec Twelve Hundred
    • Antec P183
    • Antec P193

    Absolutely everything in the CP-850 has been designed to facilitate ventilation. The higher, wider and deeper than a basic block ATX (hence its compatibility with only 3 boxes), CP-850 allows a less compressed its various components and thus a much better air circulation. The three PCBs, from the Signature line, are placed in the center stack of the airflow generated by the outdoor fan 120 mm. It inherits the flexibility of PWM technology, history of responding well to the demands of your system.

    Listed connectors, CP-850 offers a semi-modularity: connectors "mandatory" are fixed, while S-ATA connectors, Molex and PCI-Express can be added separately to suit your needs. There are a total of nine S-ATA connectors, nine Molex connectors and four PCI Express (6 and 8 pin) for multi-GPU configuration.

    9. ENERMAR MODU 87 + 600W

    This new line of power Modu 87 + is available in several power with 500 watts, 600 watts and 700 watts. It features a modular cable management, a silent cooling, a sleek design and rich connectivity. The most important thing to us is the presence of a labeling 80Plus Gold. This term is hiding electronic architecture can reduce energy waste. To understand this we must remember that the role of diet is to provide current to each component of a PC from the 230 volt wall outlet alternative. Tensions are delivered 3.3 volts, 5 volts and 12 volts.

    • Label 80Plus is there to ensure a certain amount of performance in a range of load block, between 20% and 100%.
    • The 80 Plus standard requires 80% efficiency at 20, 50 and 100% load, it meets the requirements of the Energy Star version 4.0
    • The 80 Plus Bronze is more demanding with 82 to 20% and 100% load and especially the imperative to offer 85% to 50% load,
    • The 80 Plus Silver requires 85 to 20% and 100% load and 88% to 50% load,
    • The 80 Plus Gold is the most restrictive with a minimum of 87% in 20 and 100% load and 90% to 50% load.

    10. Enermax Liberty 720w ECO 80 +

    Faced with the ever increasing energy needs of graphics cards, many manufacturers now offer power above 600 Watts. Enermax Infiniti inspired by the great features of the philosophy of Liberty style with a range successful and promising finish Modular cable management’s offensive is in the 80Plus for the label, stating a guaranteed return of 80% between 20 and 100%.
    A new modular block of the mark must be reviewed and we are going to do this exercise in style in its 720W.

    11. Silencer 750 - 750W

    It is powerful, economical and silent, the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad Edition is 80PLUS certified and has 4 PCI-Express Video connectors. It is as such an ideal solution for configurations of the latest generation ultra-efficient.
    A subsidiary of OCZ Technology PC Power & Cooling offers high quality products at competitive prices.
    • Nominal power: 750 Watts
    • Peak power: 825 Watts
    • 80PLUS Certification: 83% efficiency
    • Certifications NVIDIA SLI Ready and ATI CrossFire
    • ATX12V v2.2 Compatible
    • Automatic control of fan speed

    Conclusion :

    In the selection of PSU's direction to take is never obvious, and it is often necessary to make comparisons. Here I shall consider the products issued by the best-known brand, so that might be considered as a reference when choosing. It's never said Lesser known brands are of lower quality index It 'also true that this kind of producers can save some valuable resource (while maintaining quality levels noteworthy) that you can invest in components as a basic hardware configuration.

    Among these characteristics, the efficiency, measured in percentage and subject to load variations of the PSU must play a significant role. The higher and less dispersed the power and heat generation. The maximum power of a power supply is the sum of the maximum output power from these lines (+12 V \ + 5Volt \ +3.3 V). Must specify, however, that this value is detected on the DC or the output current from the PSU itself (DC - DC \ Live), which at this point will have an "absorption" (In reference to the AC - AC , input) always greater than the power output. Needless to say, Workstation or PCs geared for use not extreme, just a PSU that has the 80 Plus certification "simple", unless you have special needs. Another important factor to consider is the PFC = Power Factor Correction. Regards the supply line of PSUs. Its presence is a must in all those electronic devices with power greater than 75W:

    I hope no need to explain why you need a good, quality and reliable power supply. For the computer to work reliably to expensive parts are not out of order due to or overvalued stress well, and that no one was struck by an electric current, because of unreliable, low quality insulation of high parts of the power supply. When you come across the problem of choosing a power supply, recommend that the well-known manufacturers such as FSP, Zalman, Chieftec, Thermaltake, PowerMan, CoolerMaster, AcBel, Hiper, Delta, Zippy, that, alas, you did not insure against fraud and excessive settings but at least some guarantee of quality.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Re: Power Supply Buying Guide

    Your tips is really yummy.

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