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25 de June de 2011

PSU Quality Good or Bad?

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Written by: Pedro
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Tuturial PSU Quality Good or Bad?

The first thing you need to know when choosing a PSU is that, in our home PCs most of the Power consumption comes from the Processor + graphics + HDD’s and some FAN’s.90% of that power cames from the processor and graphics card(s).
In a  power supply that energy mentioned above comes from the  12v rail(s). That is you have to look at it, for starters. You go to label and look at the 12v and see what is the maximum of each line and what is the maximum of two (or more) lines combined.

For example your LC Power “600w II” has two 12v 19A rails, but the combination of these two rails is less then Antec HCG-400 30A (360W@12v).
Then to aggravate your LC Power is rated at 25ºC and doesn’t have 80Plus which is create problems for it to debitate the power thatannounces in the 12v. While the Antec HCG-400 is rated at 50º C and has 80 Plus Bronze.(see explanation below)

The 80 Plus certification has to do with efficiency, for example your PC uses up 250W, if the PSU had 100% efficiency it only pulled from the AC wall plug those 250w. Since it has  ~85%(80 Plus Bronze HCG400w), it  pulls  ~287,5w!!! it it is 80 Plus (81%) it pulls about ~297,5w, both for a 250w power consumtion system.
Your LC is not even has 80 Plus, so it will pull the plug more than ~ 300w. The more efficient you PSU is,less energy you waste and therefore more money you save,and you help the environment too!
The efficiency rates are has follow: the 80 Plus, 80 Plus Bronze, 80Plus Silver,80 Plus Glod , 80 Plus Platinum, depending on the efficiency of a particular Power Supply.

About the PSU internal components temperatures, PSU’s rated@25ºC in hot environments,when certain components inside the power pass beyond this value the PSU starts to loose  power and efficiency.
PSU’s rated @40 °C is the same thing but they can handle higher temperatures, therefor higher loads, 50 ° C the same thing,even Higher temperatures.
Consequently of this  Power Suplies rated @40/50ºC shows that they are made with quality components.When those rated@ 25C, have “weaker” components. Hence there may be PSU’s rated@25C with 80 Plus or 80 Plus Bronze. Why? Because if they get tested in a environemental around ~25C and they reach the 80 Plus Bronze efficiency they gain that seal, but with higher charges and temperatures you lose efficiency in those PSU’s … One exemple of this are the LC Power 560/650 2.3v 80 Plus Bronze.

I forgot to mention the protections, good quality PSU’s have a lot of “failure” protections, I will not explain(too complicated not my objective), examples Active PFC, Over current protection (OCP), Over voltage protection (OVP, short circuit protection (SCP), Over Power Protection (OPP). (You can read about each One online, Google is your friend.)

You should also note that there are some  PSU’s that are Modular which means they has cable management.Those facilitate hardware installation and improve case visuals and Airflow.Why?Because you can select and connect only the cables you need!!

Non-Modular PSU’s are reasemble  an “octopus” cables are pre-Attached!

Just a sugestion but if you are looking for a Good PSU’s with alll this quality and Features, and with a Good Value/Price. Go for Antec, they have great units, it’s just a question of how much do you want to spend. I would recommend the EA 650 Platinum, the Antec TP 650/750 for average systems. And possible the EA 550 Platinum ,HCG 520/620 for single cards system’s.

PSU Problems that may Happen from having a bad PSU in your system

1-Having system shutting down when you are putting your system in a load state, for example gaming.

2-BSOD-Blue Screen of Death, pretty much  in the same conditions has before, idle not much trouble because of the low power consumtion of nowadays hardware.

3- Hardware failure, i have seen it happen many times. Having malfuction VGA’s due to bad PSU, wich deliver energy with peaks and not stable.

4-Bad efficiency, wich if you have your system runnig 24/7, you want to make sure you have a PSU rated@40/50C with at least 80 Plus or better.

5-Total system failure, i know of some cases of power peaks in PSU’s without PFC which ended in a pretty much a total system failure.(Motherboard+VGA+Processor+PSU)

Any questions about power sources should be referred to reviews[at]


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