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  • brian_riendeau - Tuesday, December 18, 2007 - link

    Depending on what site you check, I think you would find that very few 1000+ watt PSUs can sustain that output under load in real world conditions 100v to 120v. I am somewhat skeptical of that fact that 8 PSUs got tested here, and not a single one was labelled as a failure to provide on the rated specs. Reply
  • buzznut - Thursday, December 13, 2007 - link

    So we have a line-up of 430 watt supplies, a comparison of 750-850 watt models, one of 1000 watts, and the "extreme" Power supplies at 1200W+.

    Anyone else notice the little gap there?

    What about the 500-700 range, arguably the most popular with system builders right now? I can't even fathom why you would choose to ignore this segment.

    Do ya think you could cover the more relevant enthusiest segment since this site is viewed by many enthusiests every day? I mean the ones that don't have $300 to blow on a power supply when a 650 watt one will do the job. Or ones that don't receive their equipment for free because they review hardware...

    I buy a lot of equipment every year but I am not wealthy. I get tired of reviewers who tell me about the latest 700 dolla video card or other stuff I'll never be able to afford.
  • MadAd - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Nice touch adding in the Euro prices, a welcome change, infact a first in over 8 years of readership i think.

    Just a quick point, i think the import duty allowances on purchases abroad are very low, so flying to the US is fine for a holiday, but unless you are prepared to break the law and claim it as your pc you took out or something, then you would have to pay duty and vat as if youd had it shipped. Add to that any warranty claims may be null or awkward to service then it may not be the bargain it could be.
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Wasn't really meant you would need to book a flight to go the States to buy a PSU... Of course there are import taxes (19-19,4% for France and Germany). Reply
  • PolymerTim - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Is there a power supply roundup coming out any time soon for something like 400W-700W. I've been reading through the PS forums lately and it seems like a lot of the recommended PS fall somewhere around the 450W-650W range and this seems to be missing from the roundups. I realize there were a lot of individual reviews in this range not too long ago, but there are several new options in this range in the last few months that I think deserve a review a bit more than yet another "ultra high" or "extreme" roundup. Just for illustration, I posted the date and title of every anandtech PS roundup since the new PS test methods came out 5 months ago. See the gap? We have 3 roundups between 730W-1300W and 1 roundup at 400W-450W.

    12-11 Power Supply Roundup: Eight 1000W for the Extreme Users
    11-22 Power Supply Roundup: 730W to 900W
    11-06 400-450W PSU Roundup
    10-22 Ultra High-End PSU Roundup (1200W to 1300W)

    Of course, many PS in this range were reviewed, but never in a roundup compared to other similar PS.

    09-14 Seasonic S12II: 330W to 500W of Silence
    09-11 Enermax Infiniti 650W
    09-03 Zippy Serene (GP2-5600V)
    08-27 Silver Power Blue Lightning 600W
    08-08 Silverstone Decathlon DA650: A modular alternative
    07-30 The Enermax Liberty - Getting long in the tooth, but still worth a look
    07-24 Gigabyte's New Odin GT 800W Power Supply
    07-18 PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad CF-Edition
    07-13 The Single 12V Rail SilverStone Olympia OP650
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Yeah this year still 600-650 watts... Reply
  • halcyon - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    How about also another type of article:

    How to build a computer that does 90% of what people need (sans games) and runs on less than 30W?

    800-1000W is insane and people should come around to understanding that.
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    I'm pretty sure even most laptops don't draw that little power. Not sure on the newer C2D processors, but I know the older Dothan Pentium M processors had a TDP in the 20-25W range. Add the rest of a system and you likely won't spend much time below 30W.

    Or check out some carputer setups. Using VIA mini-ITX motherboards with integrated processors and graphics and they still typically use 90-160W power supplies.
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    At idle, most of the moderate notebooks (14-15" chassis) sit at around 25W. Load, they'll get up to around 60W with IGP and 100W with something like an 8700M GT. 8800M GTX will probably push that closer to 125W (give or take 10W). Reply
  • jonnyGURU - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    I'm game (no pun intended.)

    I built a machine with all on board components, a mobile AMD chip and solid state drives and it still required over 200W to run. Mind you it had a 7950 graphics card, but still.....
  • jonnyGURU - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    The X3 is not the "oldest" of the units tested. The X3 has only been out since the beginning of this year. The Galaxy, ProXstream and Strider have all been on the market longer.

    Also, to determine voltage regulation you're supposed to compare a voltage from zero to full load. Not gauge how close to a mean value the voltage at three different loads.

    For example: According to your tests, a PSU that went from 3.5V to 3.4V going from no to full load isn't as good as one that goes from 3.4V to 3.2V. 3.2V and 3.4V are both only one volt from 3.3V, but there's a 0.2V fluctuation in voltage going from zero to full load. The unit that wouldn't be considered as good actually only has a 0.1V fluctuation.
  • jonnyGURU - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    To elaborate using your own numbers....

    Look at the +5V. The Quattro is "top" during all three load test results with 5.12V, 5.01V and 4.91V because it was "closer to +5V."

    Now look at the Ultra X3. It scored second lowest in two tests and lowest in another with 4.96V, 4.83V and 4.78V because they weren't "as close."

    But do the math...

    Antec: 5.12V - 4.91V = 0.21V

    Ultra: 4.96V - 4.78V = 0.18V

    It's a close race, but the Ultra actually exhibits BETTER regulation that the Antec.

    We can do the same with the +12V results.

    The Strider scored #1 twice and then #2. The Antec scored second from last twice and then third from last. But now do the math.

    Strider: 12.27V - 11.84V = 0.43V

    Antec: 12.08V - 11.78V = 0.30V

    Again, your analysis fails to agree with reality.

  • jonnyGURU - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Next time I'll try to get all my thoughts together in one post. ;)

    Where did you get your pricing from?

    Specifically, the US pricing?

    Some companies provide an MSRP, while others do not. MSRP is typically "worst case scenario" so a retailer isn't embarassed by having an unusually high price. So did you use some MSRP numbers and some numbers based on what you could Google the product for?

    For example: $280 for the X3? I'm seeing it for a price TYPICALLY below $250. $250 for the Antec? Let's do an apples to apples price comparison. At Provantage an X3 is $239. An Antec is only $197! And the OCZ that you price at $250? It's actually a little more at Provantage at $254.

    What are you doing man????
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    ...and I thought you just like to see your own writing. The biggest problem is that all articles need to be interesting for enthusiasts and of course still be accessible for everybody else as well. I tried many ways until now and I am now at a point where the information in the article seems to be easiest to understand.

    Voltage Regulation: I disagree here. If a PSU starts with 11.70 and goes down to 11.50V is has only 0.20 fluctuation, nice. Would you say it's a good PSU? I dont think so. 99.9% of the users don't really care about fluctuation and just want to know which one is closest to the ideal. This little over-voltage isn't as bad as much under-voltage. And here again, we need to keep the info accessible. Otherwise I couldn't write roundups anymore since I would need 10 pages per PSU.

    US-pricing is difficult, I agree. Not as transparent as I know from Europe.
  • jonnyGURU - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Well Chris... that's where a little jounalism has to come into play. If a PSU has tight regulation, but still falls within spec, then OF COURSE it's not acceptable, but if it's only 1 or 2% off where the ATX12V allows for as much as 5%, then you can't shank a PSU for having good regulation.

    Pretty much all of the units stayed within spec on all rails. And I'm sure we can contribute most of the drop in voltage to resistance, yet units with better regulation are getting put towards the bottom of the list simply because they're not "closest" to the mean voltage. It just doesn't make sense.

    As for pricing, the best thing I can suggest is Froogle (aka Google Products.) Sort by relevance and find the average price or sort low to high and see what price has the most instances.
  • beoba - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    It'd be useful if you demonstrated a system which was actually capable of using that capacity, even moreso if you showed what a mainstream user would need for a modern system. Just throw together some example configurations and show what wattage they actually use. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Check the test for the HP Blackbird ("> - OCed quad-core, Crossfire HD X2900 XT cards, 2 hard drives, water cooling, etc. Drew 370W at idle and 740 at load. Reply
  • JarredWalton - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Of course, technically that's at the outlet, so the PSU is only putting out (assuming 80% efficiency, which is probably close) 300-600W. The thing is, I don't believe you *want* to run your PSU at anything near capacity; 60-80% at full load from a system seems "safe" to me, so if that's what you're looking at then 1000W PSUs are a good idea.

    We also have triple GPU (probably quad as well) setups coming from AMD and NVIDIA. That's another ~100-200W or so. For people that go into killer overclocking (i.e. LN2 or phase), you really need a massive PSU. That's not a huge market, though.
  • Carnildo - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    I've been looking into building a new system, and I've been amazed at the PSU wattage I'd need:

    * Single quad-core CPU, 4GB RAM, Intel graphics: 300W.
    * Single quad-core CPU, 8GB RAM, single high-end graphics card: 400W.
    * Dual quad-core CPU, 8GB RAM, single high-end graphics card: 550W.

    Just at a guess, there are three classes of system that need a 1000W+ power supply:
    * Top-end workstations: 16 CPU cores, 4-way SLI, and 16-32 GB of RAM.
    * Systems with a lot of hard drives. 20 hard disks starting up could easily draw that much power for a second or two.
    * Systems with Peltier-effect cooling.
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Exactly. There aren't actually many systems with the need for such a power but still every second user thinks he would need one. But no worries... be have articles to clear things up. Reply
  • kuraegomon - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Except that you don't want to run your power supply at 80-100% of its capacity. You probably want to run at 50-70% of capacity when you do your build for several reasons:

    - expandabiliity (though hopefully future components will be MORE efficient, not less - can't count on it though, especially with graphics cards)
    - component life. Any power supply will last longer if it's being run at a lower percentage of its rated capacity. It'll also run cooler, which means:
    - less degradation. Over time power supplies lose capacity. A five year-old power supply can't meet the same current/wattage specs that it could when it was new. This process is accelerated by thermal conditions. The hotter the PS runs, the more quickly its peak capacity will degrade.

    So, in my case, I have 2 x 8800 GTX's (overclocked), a Q6600 G0 (overclocked), 4 x 10K Raptors (RAID 0), 2 x 7200 Seagate 7200.10 (RAID 1), plus 4 GB of DDR2, and a 3Ware 9650SE 8-port hardware RAID card. My system draws over 500 Watts at IDLE, Over 650 Watts at heavy load, and I'm only running a 25% overclock on my CPU, and no overclock on my memory. How much expansion room would even a quality 650-750 W power supply give me, and how reliable will it be under similar loads in 5 years?

    That's why I have a Thermaltake Toughpower 1200. Efficiency runs 80-87%, and I'm running it at no more than 60 % capacity. Good recipe for maximizing the life of the expensive power supply, and even more so the even more expensive components it powers. My advice? Figure out the total load draw of the following components, then make sure that number is less than 70% of the max capacity of whatever quality power supply you purchase:

    - Graphics card
    - Hard drives - DON'T forget about access draw and spin-up. HD's draw significantly more power on spinup. Multiplied when you're running RAID arrays, even if you configure staggered spinup, you still will have multiple drives accessing at once. Relatively small but it adds up
    - CPU, especially quad-cores
    - Memory, especially more than 2 GB. Many people overlook this factor when calculating potential power draw, but 4 GB of fast DDR2 will pull significant wattage (more than 1 or 2 hard drives, in most cases). Luckily DDR3 consumes less power. Hopefully graphics cards stick to this trend as well!

    The short version: there absolutely are people who need and should buy 1000+ Watt PS's, who don't run 16 drives, 4 video cards, etc. Most people don't, but equally, many people underestimate the amount (and quality!) of PS they need.
  • kuraegomon - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Correction: over 400 W at idle. Though closer to 500 than 400 Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Coming from next year on. Reply
  • regster - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    These test results for Product Comparison: Voltage Ripple/Noise are flawed in as the setting for the different pictures are set to different voltages from different manufactures. This implies that one is nosier than another when in fact they are not.
    People are going to be making purchasing decisions on these results and we can only think you are totally incompetent or that you are being paid off by some manufactures to make there product look better.
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    That's why I write the results below in the text. There aren't any misunderstandings since a user who can't read these graphs will not make assumptions and a buying decision with it. Reply
  • madgonad - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    I still would like to know what kind of results inexpensive power supplies turn in. I know everyone likes to dream about dual-quadcores and 4x Crossfire, but that is a market measured in the low thousands. Choosing a power supply for home builders is often a place where some corners are cut. It would be nice to know which choices don't really cut those corners. Reply
  • sprockkets - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    So much for hoping you would test any FSP units this time around. Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, December 12, 2007 - link

    Send me one I test it. I know FSP for quite some time already but unfortunately they haven't been able to send me some pieces in until now... Reply
  • AMDJunkie - Tuesday, December 11, 2007 - link

    While testing and posting a review of 8 seperate 1KW power supply units is an admirable job, reading it felt of the first draft quality. There is nothing glaringly wrong, but it seems that some points are mentioned to never be addressed later on (you say the Ultra X3 is the older power supply of the lineup [and you might want to qualify that statement with dates], adding it in to see whether newer power supplies perform better, or are just new. Where is your conclusion on this point?) or simply having too many charts and not enough analyses - there are only two paragraphs that sum up 8 units in the ripple test?

    Even if they are very similar performing and that no one could go wrong with either unit, do take the time to go out of your way to point out what minor differences there are and give your opinion as well as your facts. The conclusion is conspicuously lacking in this regard. Otherwise, a very informative review. If only I hadn't already purchased an 800W unit!

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