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  1. #1
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Power Supply Info

    Here is the start of what I would like to become a definitive guide to Power Supply information.
    Please feel free to suggest links or reviews that I do not already have....
    ---------------------
    P.S.U.---- Power Supply Unit
    ATX ---- being the most common... used for standard size, current generation, desktop configurations...
    There are now several versions of the standard ATX design that include dual and even quadruple +12V rails, as well as a new SLI certification...
    Only a few manufacturers have TRUE separate rails, most have 2-4 rails all coming from the same place...
    Basically the SLI certification means little, as they have really only certified the "paper" specs and not the units ACTUAL performance...
    What matters most is Quality and true performance under typical conditions instead of ideal...
    Micro-ATX ---- used in slim, micro, flex, and small form factor cases, commonly lower wattage due to the all-inclusive nature of smaller builds...
    And the proprietary style PSU's --- specifically built for pre-built commercial names like Dell, Gateway, Compaq, and H.P....
    B.T.X. ----- Intel has now introduced a new form factor to replace ATX's supposedly haphazard layout... LINK...( this form factor has not caught on due to temperatures going down and Intel not pursuing the design)

    An alternative to using an SLI certified PSU which can cost a great deal... if you have a decent PSU that just isn't up to an SLI setup, you can add an SLI certified "add-on" unit instead...
    Newegg.com - ePOWER EP-350 CD 350W EPS12V SLI Ready CrossFire Ready Modular Dedicated Graphic Card and CPU Power Supply - Power Supplies
    Newegg.com - FSP Group Booster X5 450W Independent/Supplementary SLI Certified CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC Dedicated Multi.GPU Power - Power Supplies
    Newegg.com - FSP Group BoosterX 3 FSP300-1E01 Max. 400W Independent/Supplementary SLI Dual GeForce 7900 GTX or Dual GeForce 7800GTX 512 MB CrossFire Ready Modular Active PFC supplementary Power Supply - Power Supplies
    ---------------------
    My first suggestion is to download Speccy or PCWizard... and install. These utilities not only give more info than you could possibly want to know about your system, but also gives you real-time measurements of power levels and CPU temps. This is more useful for seeing fluctuations under load than in actual measurement of voltage values.
    (One word of caution.... the temp and voltage values are only as good as your motherboards sensor readings... commonly a bios flash may be needed to correctly report temps...)
    The ONLY positive way to get accurate PSU readings is to use a multimeter as outlined in the following link...
    IMPORTANT - Testing Your PSU Rails - EXTREME Overclocking Forums
    Addendum...
    After further exhaustive research, Ive found that even going to this length is virtually useless...
    The precision and complexity of monitoring voltages is really far beyond that of the laymen...
    The equipment needed is costly and uncommon... Better to simply buy good brands and read trusted reviews of people having used it under more strenuous circumstances than you...
    ---------------------
    Most of us consider the power supply to be an option we simply check off when ordering a case, the higher the supposed Wattage the better.
    The truth of the matter is, that it is at the heart of our systems stability, and the one component that can literally destroy all other components in our systems....
    It can be at the root of problems ranging from random reboots, to poor performance in general...
    Most people are surprised at just how much a PSU can make or break a system...
    It is also an important aspect of OverClocking...
    Without clean stable power, those voltage bumps are going to cause instability that you will assume is due to other parts...
    ---------------------
    First thing to do is find out what power usage you will be working with....
    The best way is to use This website to calculate the maximum wattage your system could conceivably use at full load.
    Remember that this is ALL components, at peak, all at once... not something that will ever happen in real world conditions.
    Then add a little to allow for future power consumption needs, upgrades, mods, etc.
    Total Wattage is not the most important concern by any means, however... Reliable brands, clean power, and Amp amounts on the main rails is much more important...
    Your +12V rail is of the most concern for power users. It is what primarily powers most of the components...
    Lower end PSU's usually have high +5V and +3V rails and underpowered +12V rails... (This "fluffs" up the overall wattage, which is what the average consumer looks at)
    The issue of weight, when referring to quality, involves the manufacturer's use of heavier heatsinks, heavier gauge wires, more/better components to regulate power, etc.
    I have noticed a new trend in the more efficient designs. They tend to have larger fans and smaller heatsinks which can reduce weight and cost.

    A basic list of Good/Bad brands...
    Good:
    Akasa PaxPower....... Antec
    Astec.......................... AOpen
    Channel Well.............. Coolermaster
    Corsair........................ Enermax
    Enlight......................... Fortron Source (Sparkle)
    Gigabyte..................... HEC Compucase (excluding the lower-end Orion line)
    Hi-Power.................... Hiper
    Jeantech..................... Lian-Li
    Mushkin...................... NSpire
    OCZ Technology.......... PC Power & Cooling (now owned by OCZ)
    PowerMan................... Seasonic
    SilenX.......................... SilverStone
    Tagan (ABS)................ Thermaltake
    TTGI/SuperFlower...... Vantec
    Xclio............................. Zippy / Emacs Verax
    Zion.............................. Zalman
    Xigmatek ....................


    Bad:
    A GBP Athena.............. Athena Power/Athenatech
    Aspire/Apevia............... Allied
    Apex.............................. A-Power
    Atop............................... Broadway Com
    CoolMax......................... Chieftec
    DEER.............................. Dynapower
    Eagle Tech...................... EYE-T
    Foxconn.......................... KingStar
    Inwin.............................. Linkworld
    L&C ............................... Logisys
    MGE................................ PowerMagic
    Powertek........................ PowerUp
    Powmax.......................... Q-Tec
    Raidmax.......................... Rosewill
    Skyhawk......................... Star
    Startech ......................... Sunbeam
    Turbolink......................... Ultra


    It is not ALL inclusive, but does give you some general direction in ruling out the worst options...
    ------------------------
    Before anyone gets up in arms about Rosewill being on the "bad" side, The reason I stand behind that, is this...
    Rosewill is NOT a manufacturer, they are a re-brander.
    And despite the fact they often re-brand very good units, you dont know what your actually getting.
    They have been known to switch suppliers for the same basic series due to price, and what could be good one month could be garbage the next...
    So unless you can find current reviews on the exact model your looking to buy, Buyer Beware.
    ------------------------
    The following links will allow you to do more research and help you to comprehend Power Supplies and the role they play in your system....
    Reviews...
    [H] Enthusiast - 450w-500w PSU Battle Royal
    EXTREME Overclocking - Powering Your PC: Truths and Misconceptions Article - Page: 1 - Tweaking PC Hardware To The Max
    Power Supplies 101: A comprehensive guide Motherboards.org
    RaidMax LP-6100D 400w Aluminum Blue

    General info...
    Why 99% of Power Supply Reviews Are Wrong | Hardware Secrets
    HEXUS.net - Review :: HEXUS PSU (Power Supply Unit) Roundup - Taoyuan 2005 : Page - 1/26
    EXTREME Overclocking - Powering Your PC: Truths and Misconceptions Article - Page: 2 - Tweaking PC Hardware To The Max
    Choosing The Right Power Supply
    HowStuffWorks "How PC Power Supplies Work"
    Learn How To Diagnose Power Supply Problems - Otis F Cooper
    Ohms Law Calculation
    pcwiz inc Special Report - Bad PC Power, Power Supply Problems
    french press coffee maker match at leesspace.com
    Speedy 3D
    GideonTech.com Case Modification - Power Up an ATX PSU without a Motherboard
    How to choose an ATX Power Supply - PC Power Supply - How to Select Computer Power Supplies-Best Computer Online Store Houston Buy Discount Prices Texas-Directron.com
    ATX Power Supply Group Test Review - Peripheral Reviews - TrustedReviews


    -------------
    Concerning Ultra PSU's....
    Now that some time has passed and more people have actually used and abused them, it's obvious that they are completely unreliable.
    They tend to look nice, and often work ok for awhile, then disintegrate under any strain. I used to say the higher end ones were ok for lowend builds not needing more than 300W, but have now decided thats poor advice. use at your own risk...!!

    ------------------

    Deals...
    The current "Best Bang Buck" option in my opinion is...

    CoolerMaster's 460W PSU
    Newegg.com - COOLER MASTER Elite 460 RS-460-PSAR-J3 460W ATX12V V2.31 Power Supply

    This has more than enough power for most rigs, excluding higher end gaming rigs with high-end cards and overclocking.
    I suggest spending a little more if using cards that require more than one 6Pin power connector.
    Otherwise these are the perfect fit both for quality and value.
    I have personally purchased over 50 of the CM460's and used them in midrange to midrange Gaming machines




    ----------------------------------

    Some Power Supply Tools and Utilities


    (Added by ShyguyXPC)

    Since JP hasn't been active for the last 2 years on here, I figured I'd add in a few links I have come across doing my own PSU research before buying units.

    Two of these Links JP has provided me over the years, one of which is embedded in his info up top, but the Link Address is hidden with a Text Hotlink.


    For Calculating an Estimate of What your systems Wattage needs would be.

    http://www.extreme.outervision.com/p...ulatorlite.jsp

    For the typical user, you do not need to mess with overclock options, or any of the system load or capacitor aging settings. Additionally when selecting Additional USB devices connected, the default settings are already factoring in a Keyboard and Mouse, so if that is all that you have connected via USB, you don't need to select any addition USB Devices, if you have say a USB Headset, and maybe a Phone/Tablet Charger, or Game controller, then adding 2 or 3 additional USB Devices is what you would put.

    Need to know who the OEM (Maker) of a given PSU brand is? http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/psu_manufacturers


    A more comprehensive and updated PSU OEM database I recently came across... http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_a...s/Page5471.htm

    Just select the brand of the PSU you have or are looking for, and then scroll down the list for that brand and find the model of unit you're looking for.

    It will tell you the OEM of who makes your PSU's internals, as well as give basic info on +12V Rail Amp/Wattage, number of PCIe connectors, and even links to reviews on said units.




    As a side note, I have recently found out from others over at Overclock.net, one of their PSU experts, to Avoid the Corsair CX series of PSU's, for the every day average user, they are fine, but for gaming systems, overclock systems, high end usage systems, they are not recommended, something to do with unable to manage/maintain sustained load of power for extended period of times. Would be nice to see JP come back and edit this, update this, but since I haven't seen him around in 2 years, no idea where he is, what happened, etc, and trying to add some additional info I've picked up since.

    Currently one of the better PSU deals in last couple years, is the Antec VP-450 450W unit on Newegg, and elsewhere, if you're looking for a good all around Sub $50 unit with decent amount of power, and reliability, the VP-450 is one of the better deals, however, FSP/Fortron, and EVGA, have several 400-450W range units that aren't too bad either.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817371045
    Last edited by ShyguyXPC; May 8th, 2015 at 10:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Bump for day people... would love some feedback, so as to add to this and improve it.

  3. #3
    maybe a little info on different form factors especially the micro atx sized supplies as found in gateways, HP's etc

    maybe also a link about the Dell non-standard "atx" stuff....I have read they started the non-standard stuff in sept 98...but that now they are back to standard.....I have found a link before that told which machines where which but I cant find it now....though it could be somewhere on the same site I link below

    for example

    http://www.endpcnoise.com/cgi-bin/e/dellconverter.html
    "Even a fool is thought to be wise if he is silent"

  4. #4
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Thanks JP, that is a good suggestion....
    I will start doing some research on the other form factors now and add it in later...
    I was concentrating on the ATX F.F. because that is what is most commonly asked about.
    There seem to be alot of PSU questions as of late and I felt it was easier to write one comprehensive post to link to, than having to re-state the same thing more than once...

  5. #5
    Ultimate Member tgxiii's Avatar
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    Don't forget to talk about EPS, as that's what the industry is heading towards.

  6. #6
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    well what little I found on EPS suggest it is mainly or only for server boards...
    Do you have any links to more info?
    why is it you think this form is what the industry is headed towards?
    Am I wrong, or is an adaptor all thats needed to turn a standard ATX into EPS ready?...

  7. #7
    Senior Member TechKnickle's Avatar
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    Have to add too for reference to people that + or - 5% on any of the positive rails on the PSU is within tolerance.. I know you can get this from the guides... but in case the links die or someone is just reading this over, now they know :P.
    People are like coins, there's always two sides.

  8. #8
    just currious....does the program you recommended, that tells you the voltage for u'r psu...does it always work, cus it dosen't tell me anything...it just dosen't give me info. gives me info on my hd, but nothing on my psu....oh well..... that's what i get for buying hp (lol)

  9. #9
    Ultimate Member tgxiii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPMiller
    well what little I found on EPS suggest it is mainly or only for server boards...
    Do you have any links to more info?
    why is it you think this form is what the industry is headed towards?
    Am I wrong, or is an adaptor all thats needed to turn a standard ATX into EPS ready?...
    I got my info mainly from posts over at [H]ardforum and OC Forums. A quick look through my Outlook Express mailbox:
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....6&page=1&pp=20
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1026564210
    http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....6&page=1&pp=20
    And one from here:
    AMD 64 vs PCI Express

    I also got this information from various articles, but I can't find them except for these:
    http://www.techimo.com/articles/i147.html
    http://www.bytesector.com/data/bs-ar...?ID=301&page=1

    And yes, all you need is an adaptor. But EPS power supplies tend to be beefier, so the ATX power supply you're adapting into a 24-pin connector might not be strong enough for whatever you're trying to power.

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member tgxiii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sr71000
    just currious....does the program you recommended, that tells you the voltage for u'r psu...does it always work, cus it dosen't tell me anything...it just dosen't give me info. gives me info on my hd, but nothing on my psu....oh well..... that's what i get for buying hp (lol)
    EVEREST will only report what it can, so if your motherboard doesn't come with voltage sensors it can't report it. Same is true for temperature sensors, fan speed, etc.

  11. #11
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Until I can find more relevant info and they become more standard, I don't feel comfortable relaying information without more experience, or good documentation... However,feel free to add any info you have regarding EPS.

  12. #12
    hey..what's wierd is that i can see my fan speeds and stuff in the bios...but not in everest not in mbm5 either.... so sad...like i said..stupid hp, lol

  13. #13
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Has anyone here bought an Ultra-X Connects PSU?

  14. #14
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    bump, for added info...
    Last edited by JPMiller; October 23rd, 2004 at 09:38 PM.

  15. #15
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    Seems everyone concurs these Ultra-X Connects are well made and quality units right down to solid well made sturdy cables, realistically these are "Bling" units for power users so the price is not exorbitant by any means...
    I have since retracted this statement
    Last edited by JPMiller; March 13th, 2008 at 11:54 AM.

  16. #16
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    bump for added info on Silverstone info...

  17. #17
    Ultimate Member mazdarx7-64's Avatar
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    Talking

    I put an ultra x connects in a PC that I bulit for a friend of mine. It does have great "bling", it is very heavy and well made. His pc runs 24/7 and he has had no complaints at all. The removable molex cables are a very nice touch too. IMO it is a great PSU for the price. Another one of my favorites is the enermax coolergiant, it is the best PSU i've ever owned, IMO. It has a fan that stays on untill the temp has gone below like 104 F or so, a great idea for systems that have big hot video cards, this way the internal parts of the PC have a fan still blowing after the pc turns off, to cool them. I really really really like the coolergiants!
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  18. #18
    Training for Bankai JPMiller's Avatar
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    bump for added Amamax deal...

  19. #19
    Ultimate Member Xeroid's Avatar
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    JPMiller, to answer one of the questions in your first post, Inwin makes some very good power supplys. I use Inwin cases a lot and have found the power supplys bullet proof. They are heavy and well made.

    I noticed you had a link to a power supply calculator . . . I'd just like to add another link:

    http://www.adecy.com/psu/

  20. #20
    Onii-san Bizkitkid2001's Avatar
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    I saw an Ultra X Connect at my local computer store the other day and I agree, it is a top quality PSU. It was very heavy and shiny
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