Saturday 27 Mar 2010

Choose your power supply unit

HardwarePower supply unit (PSU) is often overlooked in the selection of components of a computer. Nevertheless it's an important part, even essential: without a good stability of the current supplied, you could have the better processor in the world, your computer will crash constantly. ;-)

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No-name or first price PSU must absolutely be avoided (Advance, Heden...). Not for the simple reason of having good quality, it's to avoid to set fire to your house.

«Not only a 200 watt power supply will be sold as a model of 480 Watts (or more!), but mostly of these products even do not comply with the security standards.» (source in French)

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You can buy eyes closed a good PSU brand, which are mainly: Antec, Enermax, Fortron, Seasonic, Corsair, Cooler Master, and less known but good: Hiper, OCZ, Thermaltake, BeQuiet, Lian Li, OCZ, Zalman ...

If your PSU brand is not listed, it means that I forgot it or this is a big crap. :-)


What power?

For the rather simple PC we are mounting, 250W will be sufficient. As now PSU power starts at 400W, we have no choice.

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Among the old timers, Antec sold its EarthWatts for several years. Antec EarthWatts 380W is a good choice around $45.

But for a few more bucks, Corsair are currently good value for money and a more recent design. Based on Seasonic PSU but cheaper, models HX is modular, meaning that the cables can be removed to save space.

Depending on your budget and your desire to show off, you can take a CX-400, HX or VX-450 or HX-550 between $50 and $85. (Unfortunately, the model HX-450 is difficult to find.)

Latest Enermax are also very effective, with a good performance ratio that means less heat and less electricity consumed. The Pro-82+ or modular version the Modu-82+ 425W, they are beautiful, even quieter than the Corsair, but more expensive ($70 or $85). (Conclusion of Hardware.fr comparative)

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The best choice seems the model Corsair CX-400, unless you arrive to find the modular version in 450 Watts: HX-450.


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