350-450W Roundup: 11 Cheap PSUs

Some of you have suggested to review a few PSUs with 350W to 450W. Therefore we picked a collection of such units from well known and unknown manufacturers and tortured them with our overload tests. Read on to find out who delivers the best performance.

~400W is still plenty even for a midrange system, and with optimal efficiency generally coming at 50% load these power supplies should run closer to their "sweet spot" when idle as well as under load. There's still enough power on top to run a Core i7 or Phenom X6 processor and a discrete GPU.

Corsair CX430 V2 430W -1
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  • jasonnovak - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    This power supply has been on sale for under $20 after rebates a few times over the last months - it's on sale right now for another day, at newegg 15% off code and rebate.

    It's a re-badged Seasonic S12II - high quality unit. I got a few as spares, use a HCG-620 myself.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    I've got a Shuttle SZ77R5 with a 500W PSU, running an i7-3770k and a GeForce GTX 670... It doesn't get all that much faster than this without your cost/performance ratio going to crap, and the 500W PSU is way more than enough.

    Why this is the case should be obvious: the processor has a 77W TDP, the graphics chip has a tdp of 170W, which is 247W at full load, and those are the two biggest power draws in the case. Yes, the other parts use power, like the hard disks (I've got SSDs), fans, memory, chipset, etc. but not enough to max out even a 500W PSU.
    Reply
  • QChronoD - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    For your system a 500W supply sounds great, but for other people they might have more stuff in their box that needs more power. For example, my main system has an i7-920, GTX 560, and 14hdds. It was giving me random fits occasionally when rebooting on my old 650W supply (can't remember the name but I believe it was one of the recommended ones either on here or tom's or someplace) I ended up replacing it with an 850W and now I don't get restart cycles anymore. Theoretically, the 650W supply had enough power to run everything (and still 100+W of spare capacity), but something wasn't happy and a large supply seems to have fixed everything. Reply
  • Finally - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Bullshit.
    What you are describing is the American mentality towards the environment, not much else.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    I think he's almost certainly correct in that the PSU was a problem -- HDDs tend to draw power differently than GPUs and CPUs (same voltage, different rails). The real question is what he's doing with 14 HDDs in a single system. Sounds more like something for a file server, and if you're running a file server you should probably also have a higher quality PSU to begin with.

    As for your contention that he has an "American mentality towards the environment", kindly take your stereotyping elsewhere. Very likely this has nothing at all to do with his nationality and is simply a reflection of his enthusiasm for computers and technology.
    Reply
  • KAlmquist - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Hard drives are commonly designed to draw up to 2 amps on the 12 volt line when spinning up, so if you spin up 14 hard drives at ones the power draw could be 2A * 12V * 14 = 672 watts. Normally, systems with large numbers of hard drives are configured to spin up a few drives at a time to avoid overloading the power supply. The alternative is to do what you did: buy a very large power supply. Reply
  • JimmiG - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Still running a Corsair 450W VX PSU since 2007 here. Currently with an overclocked Phenom II X4 system and GTX460. Rock solid. I always laugh when people ask whether their new 750W PSU's will be enough for a Sandy Bridge and Radeon 6850 plus one SSD... Reply
  • bwave - Tuesday, July 03, 2012 - link

    Why would you consider any of these when you can get a Cooler Master Elite 460W for $29.99 or a Cooler Master 500w for $37.99 ?

    I've used hundreds of the Cooler Masters with zero failures, very high quality and it's a name brand!
    Reply
  • 'nar - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    That's what I want to know. I use the same two all the time, but I am almost scared to find out how they actually test.

    Most users do not notice, and do not care. They only want the cheapest PSU. I may get them to allow me to installed a better one, but only so far. Most of the PSU's reviewed here are marginal in that regard.

    We're talking about systems with a core i3 and integrated graphics, and a single hard drive. Maybe it can push 100-120 watts, when the grand kids try to play WOW on their grandparents' computer. Sometimes they want the $25 model even.

    Shoot, for office workstations I use these Cooler Masters even. I haven't had a problem yet. Nowadays that means Core-i5, 8GB DDR3, and 60GB SSD. I built a server recently that only used 18watts at idle! It is just hard to find good PSU's at less then 400 watts.
    Reply
  • pvdw - Wednesday, July 04, 2012 - link

    Here's some good ones to look at in 350W-450W range:

    Seasonic X-400 Fanless
    Seasonic S12II-380
    Silentmaxx Fanless 400W MX460-PFL01
    Nexus Value 430
    Seasonic M12II-430

    And just above the 450W range, but unlikely to use any more power in most systems are these good ones:

    Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500W
    Kingwin STR-500
    Reply

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