PSU recommendations

By Dawn1113 ยท 13 replies
Aug 4, 2012
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  1. I am helping a friend of mine build a PC from scratch. My friend is a session musician. He is therefore flat broke. :D

    Obviously, the condition is that he would spend as little money as possible on the build. My brother and I have supplied him with just about every part he needs -- from the CPU, to the mobo, to the video card, keyboard and mouse. All of the said parts are in working condition. My friend has not had to spend a single cent thus far.

    Here are the hodgepodge components we've gathered:

    OS : Windows 7 Home Premium
    CPU : Intel Core i7 870 w CM Hyper 212+
    Mobo : Asus P7P55D Deluxe
    RAM : 4gb Corsair XMS3 1333 CL9
    GPU : Zotac Eco GTS 250
    Chassis : CM 690
    Hard Drive : 500gb WD Caviar Blue

    Can you recommend a reliable but not too expensive PSU for the above described build? I'm not sure how much my friend can spare, but do fire away with the suggestions. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.

    My friend is neither a gamer nor a technology enthusiast. He will be using the machine to surf the internet and send the occasional e-mail. I suspect he will be visiting a few porn sites, as well. :D

    Thanks in advance for your help.
  2. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

  3. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    Here are what I say that might be some possible options, I made sure when doing research, that all power supply's were very reasonably priced.

    Logisys 480 Watt Power Supply

    Blue Star 650W 20+4-pin Blue LED Fan ATX Power Supply w/SATA & PCIe

    Blue Star 550W 20+4-pin Dual-Fan ATX Power Supply w/SATA

    There we go, I think that may be enough options at least to help you! I think all these power supply's are bellow $30.00, including shipping, most start out at around $18.00.

    Hoped this helped out a little bit! :)
  4. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    I would classify most of those as Fire Hazards not Power Supplies. Ok, maybe that's a little extreme but those are some of the worst PSUs out there. They are poorly built and heavily overrated. At best they will cause instability when they cannot provide enough clean power to run the system at worst they will fail catastrophically (I.e. explode) and take some or all of the other hardware with them. You really don't want to risk your motherboard, CPU, GPU, etc. to save $20 or $30 on a PSU. And even if it works now the components in these units are so poor they will likely fail in a year or 2 at best than you have to spend another $20-30 or spend $50-60 once for a much better more reliable unit and not have to worry about it. If your budget is tight at least go for the Antec VP-450 for $35 it is hard to beat, being a budget unit it doesn't have the best capacitors (they are not the worst either just mediocre Taiwanese caps like Teapo, etc.) so don't expect more than 3-5 years out of it but it is a good solid FSP unit that can produce its rated power (likely more than a so-called 650w Blue-Star or the) and it has good protection circuitry so if/when it fails it should do so in a controlled manner and is not likely to take anything else with it.
  5. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    Well sorry!

    I was just giving some recommendations based upon the persons money issues right now. Yeah, no duh, I could have recommended something way more better, but I was just taking cost as my primary consideration here. If money wasn't an object, then I would have recommended something like what I use inside my "in home server"!

    Thermaltake Toughpower XT 775W Continuous-Delivery Modular Power Supply

    Got mine about a year and a half ago, it's never had any problems, ultra reliable, and delivers the amount of all time power flow that it advertises.

    Sorry for possibly recommending some possible fire bombs or explosive devices, but I was only taking price point into consideration, that's all.
  6. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    I wasn't trying to anger or offend anyone, but I could never recommend a low quality unit regardless of budget issues. If your budget is really tight you might want to consider a used unit, most PC shops sell them pretty cheap(I usually don't recommend used PSUs but a quality used unity is a better bet than a low quality new unit). Also when you consider that off brand PSUs don't deliver their rated wattage you can usually get a quality new unit that will deliver the same actual wattage for a similar price. The PSU is one of the most overlooked components out there, so many people try to cheap out here thinking that only watts matter (and believe wattage claims of low end units) and then wonder why their brand new $300 video card got fired by their $20 "500w" PSU. Since the PSU delivers power to every other component in the system it has the potential to destroy every other component in the system making it one of the most important components and never a place to "cheap-out", a few bucks saved today could cost you hundreds in the future.
  7. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,724   +3,699

    I think we may be pushing the extremes a bit. I've purchased several CHEAP power supplies that have never caused any issues. In fact the one power supply that has gone bad, should have lasted longer than 10 months. That power supply was a known good name brand (time of failure probably only using a third of the rated power), little did I know at the time of purchase it was also considered a cheap PSU.

    When purchasing a PSU, you shouldn't have to post on ten forums asking questions and do research for three months before you decide to buy. I should not have been caught off guard by a known good name brand selling a re-branded cheaper name brand PSU. Do we not have standards to prevent sales of lower quality PSU? Is there not some logo we can look for, so we know that the PSU we are purchasing is from quality parts?
  8. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 475

    It would definitely be nice if there was some easy logo to look for, unfortunately this is not the case. Even the UL logo which is about safety not quality is not 100% reliable since many Chinese manufactures fake the logo. The best bet is to look for online reviews of the unit(s) you are considering purchasing where the unit was opened and internal components are examined. Such in-depth reviews often list the real manufacture and show what internal components are used. Some sites that do this include: , , . If you stick to units OEMed by SeaSonic, Delta, or Ecomaster (aka Enermax, note the lower end Enermax NAXAN series is not actually made by Enermax/Ecomaster) you are pretty safe since all the units these companies make are of top quality. FSP is a good bet as an OEM but some of their lower end units use mediocre Taiwanese capacitors which shortens their life to aprox. 3-5 years but this is often fine since many upgrade or replace their systems in this time period. CWT (Channel Well Technology) is hit and miss some of their units are good some are not.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  9. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I agree, and I'll also add the following:

    1. Enermax NAXN ENP450AST 450W -- $44.99 -- Sirfa internals.
    2. Antec VP450 -- $34.99 -- Note no 80+ cert or PFC, but is a true dual-12v rail design built by OEM Fortron.
    3. Antec NEO ECO 520C -- $59.99 -- Seasonic OEM internals.

    My choices would 1. Seasonic S12II 430W > 2. Enermax NAXN >3. Antec NEO.

    Hope this helps.
  10. Zoltan Head

    Zoltan Head TS Booster Posts: 247   +27

    I've never had any trouble with the Blue Star units (as recommended by Zen above), they aren't the best, more of a VW Polo diesel than a Bugatti Veyron, but good value. (y)
    Zen likes this.
  11. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    Thank you, guys, for taking the time to post your recommendations.

    I'll certainly take a look at the links you've provided.

    Please keep the recommendations coming. My kid brother is still seeing about a monitor, which --unbelievably -- we overlooked. So I still have time to consider PSU options.

    Zen, I don't see why you should apologize for trying to help. If anything, the fault is mine. Price is a key factor when one makes a recommendation. I should apologize to you for being unable to supply at least a ballpark figure. Come to think of it now, the least I could have done was venture a guess. So sorry about that, my dear friend.

    Anyways, keep it coming.

    PS: It's settled. If my friend can't raise enough cash, then he'll have to pay my brother and me the difference when he can. Let's try to keep it under $80 $70, though. Doesn't sound too bad when split three ways. (Price edited in view of my brother's howling in protest.)

    Again, so very sorry about being unable to supply a price earlier, guys. My mistake.
  12. Zen

    Zen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +50

    Thank you very kindly for your thoughtful words here, in regards to the fact that I was only trying to help! By your words, I'm starting to feel an air of redemption floating around me! So again thanks, and sometime today I'll hop back on-line and try to do some more research for you, namely due to the fact that I now have a budget to work with! :)
  13. Dawn1113

    Dawn1113 TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 322   +65

    Just an update.

    After much discussion, we ended up getting the Antec NEO ECO.

    The machine is up and running. I've asked my friend to email me some pics since I forgot to take a photo of the rig.

    I'd forgotten how good a plaform the LGA 1156 (P55) was -- and still is.

    Thanks, guys, for your help.
  14. umar

    umar TS Member Posts: 56

    Go for Cooler Master GX450 its around $55 . Suitable enough to handle if you are not overclocking

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