PSU Help Please

By larryiam ยท 30 replies
Jun 26, 2008
  1. Ok i still have my old system in my system specs. for now with a 250w hipro PSU. I am upgrading to a AMD X2 4200+ 1GB of ram(2GB in the future) 1 IDE or Sata HDD and 1 DVD/CD Burner and in the future a 9600GT(Future). I need a PSU between 30-45$ free shipping if its from and will last a while. IDC about rebates or anything just a good PSU for my budget computer. Any suggestions?
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    You aren't going to get a "good" PSU for $30-$45 unless you take advantage of a rebate. You'll either have to increase your budget by about $20 or sacrifice something like active PFC.

    The Antec EA500 can be had for $49.99 right now (with free shipping), that's probably your best bet.
  3. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 476

    I was looking a these PSU's
    Any of these any good? These are some i have picked out out of hours of searching.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

  5. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    I use Silverstone power supplies and it is usually considered a good brand. Their current offerings generally get good reviews. Sparkle is also a good brand. Apevia (formerly known as Aspire) is not and I don't think Winsis is considered a good brand. Rosewill seems to be Newegg's house brand. Beyond that, I don't know how good their power supplies are. You wouldn't think they would be too crappy though.
  6. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 476

    Well besides the sparkle what about the rosewill? i will rule the rest out
    So its either Sparkle or Silverstone, or Rosewill?
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    I'd still suggest the Antec EA380 as your best option. Get it cheap from here.
  8. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 476

    Ok here is the one that i am going to get as soon as i get that money back from the RMA from that coolmax junk! Good?
  9. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    My linked Sparkle beats the EA500 on 12V Amps :) I've owned 1 sparkle PSU and it worked fine for me. But I'm pretty sure you are making the right decision going with the Antec.
  10. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I second the motion on the Sparkle. We have rarely had one fail, and the price is quite right... and they offer a variety of sizes.
    I would put the Antecs right there with the.Apevia, Silverstone, Winsis, and Rosewill.
    There are huge numbers of Antecs out there, but we have seen more failures in Antec than any other model except Bestec.
    We seriously question what Antec is up to these days... high price, but not high reliability.
  11. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    Nope. The EA500 has 34A total output on the +12V rails, much more than the Sparkle PSU. Get it Jacob, I'm sure you won't be sorry.

    Maybe it has something to do with the particular Antec model? I've seen the Basiq ones fail quite often. And they're usually made by FSP (who also make all of Sparkle's PSUs), so it's probably them who need to be brought under the scope. The Earthwatts models are rebranded Seasonics, so their quality is top-notch.
  12. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 476

    EA500 it is!!! Thanks Everybody for all of your help!!! I am now going to try my best to get that PSU. I just have to wait for the RMA money from that Coolmax junk. OOHH i hope it hurries!!!
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Field Testing in Progress.........

    IMHO, and for what I've managed through reading reviews, Antec had a run of bad capacitors (as apparently everybody else in the industry) with their "Smartpower" series. They develop a high frequency whine, then begin too exhibit other symptoms, climaxing with a failure to start. Which does seem the logical progression, now that I read that last statement.

    On the upside, they don't take out the motherboard when they go. Further to the upside, their customer service is exemplary. They replaced a failed Smartpower 350 for me with a brand new EA-380, due to the fact that the Smartpower was discontinued. Can't complain about that.

    If Rage is correct about them being rebranded Seasonics, (and I'm guessing he is), the new "Earth Watts" series should be a good buy. I'm sure that you'll let me know about yours, and I promise to report back on my 3 EA-380s, good or bad.

    So far, the Antec PSUs have kept my precious Emachines motherboard safe from harm, for which I'm extremely grateful.:D :rolleyes:
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    The UL code on the Earthwatts supply is E104405, a simple search for which points to Seasonic, who also produce Antec's NeoHE and TruePower Trio PSUs. Be careful when buying these from eBay or the like though, since the EA430D and EA500D variations are made by Delta Electronics and so may lack the build quality of their Seasonic-produced variants.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    On the Sparkle you have the potential to pull 18A down either of those rails, on the EA500 you have the potential to pull 17A down either. Now if we are pulling from both at once, the total power available through the EA500 is more, but you are more likely to saturate 1 rail than 2.

    At least I think I'm correct...
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Outstanding...!:D :grinthumb
    Assuming we were to saturate 1 rail of the Antec with the video card, it would be supplying 204 Watts. That would qualify it for what series of cards? I appreciate that we don't want to run it full blast all the time, so be conservative with the answer.
  17. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I don't know since its difficult to find what a card pulls by itself. But I imagine it would power any of the 8800 nvidia series except for the GTX. I don't know the ATi cards so I can't make a guess there.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Trade Secrets.......

    I'd actually like to see a schematic of one of these "dual rail" PSUs. I swear they just connect both wires to the same tap on the transformer, and then rate the output by the gauge of wire they're using in the loom. But then, I'm slightly paranoid and have ongoing issues with attitude.:suspiciou :evil:
  19. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    I was researching this a bit. In a perfect world, there would be 2 transformers for the dual rail setups. In reality, it is almost always just 1. Now you can get away with 1 and still be fairly true to 'seperate' rails if you have a "controlled gateway". But I think that many of them don't even do that (although I'm not entirely sure what goes on in that gateway) and instead just have an overcurrent protection thing in place so you don't pull more than its rated for.

    So assuming that is true you would have an 18A limiter on both 12V rails on that Sparkle. On the Antec you have a 17A limiter. Where the Antec wins is of that 1 transformer they have, the Antec's is better, so if you pulled 15A on each the Antec should be able to do it, where the Sparkle couldn't.

    Seems like I had another paragraph I wanted to put in here, but it has slipped my mind. I may edit this if I remember.
    Edit: I remembered.

    One interesting thing is according to spec, the dual rails are supposed to be 1 for the CPU and the other for everything else. This explains what I see in my Enermax Noisetaker 475W. It has the translucent molex connectors everyone knows, and then it has the 12V line for the CPU and 1 other molex connector that is opaque white and I believe says "other" on it. This spec isn't 100% followed anymore, at least thats the impression I got from the article linked below. If it was, pulling a measley 65W-130W on one rail, and then running our high end SLI setups and drives off the remaining would probably trip the overcurrent protection in many otherwise high wattage PSUs.

    Here is a page of a multi page article about PSUs (originally wrote in 2002, and segments have been updated, but last update was April 2007):
  20. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

    Admission Absolves Guilt.....Uh Huh.....

    "Specifications subject to change without notice".

    My daddy was a TV repair tech, and he told me this story. When a manufacturer wished to determine the power output specs of an audio amplifier, they would hook the amp up to a power supply so powerful that the amp was unable to drop the B+ voltage (we're talking vacuum tubes here) so that when the amp "clipped" it couldn't possibly be due to insufficient high voltage at the output tubes. Now, the amp would never be shipped with the test PSU, so consequently I would never actually be able to develop the same power it had under test conditions. Ugh...

    I guess my point here is that for every spec you choose to examine, there's a hook or a loophole propping it up. Phono preamp noise, would you like it "A" weighted or "B" weighted? The weighting is that if you can't hear it at a given frequency it isn't there. See how well that works out.

    This tirade is a tad off topic, but it should yield some insight into the minds of the people who do the marketing of our electronic toys.

    SNGX1275: Scouts honor, I wrote this post BEFORE I clicked on your link.....after I did, it almost sounds like a prophesy.

    The interesting thing about the "Power Supply Fundamentals" article is, it makes a pretty good case for not overdoing the wattage of a PSU and going for quality instead. Plus, our new low power 65 Watt CPUs should allow a bit of wiggle room in capacity, versus something like a Pent D950 space heater.
  21. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 5,443   +38

    There are MOSFET switches at every rail in most good-quality single-transformer, multi-rail PSUs which regulate power across each of the +12V rails. So depending on how much power you suck from the PSU, some MOSFETs stay closed while others stay open. This allows a multi-rail PSU to be more power-efficient than a single-rail one, especially if the MOSFETs used are of high-quality (>95% efficient). As for overloads, it is only possible on PSUs with two or three rails, since the video cards will be forced to share power with other peripherals. Four rails and beyond, the video cards usually have their own dedicated rail, and no single video card draws 17A on its own, except maybe dual-GPU cards.
  22. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 476

    well i finally got that rebate back and the good power supplies went up majorly. So ive been looking and found three i think could be ok. i don't game at all i might have a small graphics card to render itunes visualization or something nothing much.
    Rosewill Stallion Series500w-

    COOLER MASTER eXtreme Power Plus 460w-

    ePOWER EP-550XPF-

    Any of them any good?
  23. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    All three of those you mentioned are AWFUL...
    A power supply is the core of your system, and the most important over time. Get something good. Zalman, Corsair, OCZ, PCPower and Cooling (incredibly good), FSP Group, Sparkle, Thermaltake, Antec Earthwatts, Xigmatek NRP, CoolMax, Apevia, NZXT, and for sure, Seasonic.
  24. larryiam

    larryiam TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 476

  25. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Sorry. Stoopid error. I meant to type ToolMax... I would never recommend a CoolMax or CoolerMaster... botht made by the same company, I believe.
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