Power Supplies of the Year

We've tested about 60 power supplies this year (not all of which were included in published reviews), giving us insight on the manufacturers behind the products. Along the way, we saw some good and not-so-good power supplies. Thankfully, although we saw some quality issues at times, we did not encounter any of the flashes or explosions we have seen in prior years, and we hope that trend will continue! AnandTech's Power Supplies of the Year awards recognize our top picks from today's market for well-built, high-performance power supplies.

Seasonic S12II

The AnandTech Bronze Editor's Choice award goes to the Seasonic S12II. After testing the Seasonic S12II, the Energy Plus and the X900, we came away impressed with Seasonic in general; they stand out as one of the last manufacturers to build a top-quality power supply at modest wattage ratings. The latest version of the S12II is available from 330 watts on up, and remains one of the only units we can wholeheartedly endorse at these output levels. Besides excellent connectivity and a solid warranty, you can expect Seasonic's trademark near-silent operation, typically below 25 db(A) even under higher loads, or possibly a little more for the 500 watts unit at full load, making the S12II particularly attractive for office / general-purpose computers and HTPCs. Overall, Seasonic produces a very good product, even at the lower end of the output scale.

 

Antec TruePower Quattro 850 and OCZ ProXStream 1000

We award the AnandTech Silver Editor's Choice jointly to two power supplies, the Antec TruePower Quattro 850 and the OCZ ProXStream 1000.

 

AnandTech recently reviewed the Antec TruePower Quattro in both 850-watt and 1000-watt variants. The Quattro delivered very good performance in our testing, with efficiency exceeding 80% under normal loads all the way to full output, and peaking at 87%. We primarily recommend the 850-watt model, since the 1000-watt unit has the same specs except for an additional 72 watts on the combined-12V rating. At a savings of about $30 over the 1000-watt version, the 850-watt unit is still ample for almost any high-end system.

The OCZ ProXStream also earns AnandTech's Silver Editor's Choice award, based on its very clean, stable DC outputs and its 80%+ efficiency at all normal loads up to its full output, peaking at 86%. Silence isn't the ProXStream's strong suit, with noise levels starting at 35dB(A), but at only 150mm deep, it's the shortest-depth 1000-watt unit on the market, allowing it to fit where no other high-end unit can be used.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 QUAD

The AnandTech Gold Editor's Choice award goes to the PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 QUAD. It was one of the first units we reviewed in 2007, and remains the best overall power supply we've tested. In addition to top-notch performance, the Silencer 750 QUAD is equipped with a full range of connectivity options (including four PEG connectors, two of which convert to the 8-pin standard), and ample wattage for nearly any high-end system, including SLI or Crossfire configurations. As a nitpick, we found that the Silencer 750 QUAD's fan speeds may ramp up more aggressively than necessary; under worst-case conditions (50°C intake temperature), the fan did hit 4200rpm, resulting in noise levels of 45dB(A). At normal room temperatures, however, the Silencer 750 QUAD did not exceed 30dB(A) at normal loads.

 

In the final analysis, if you want the best power supply available for your new SLI or Crossfire rig, AnandTech's top recommendation goes to the Silencer 750 QUAD. Incidentally, the retail packaging for the Silencer series is getting a facelift, replacing the traditional no-nonsense white PC Power & Cooling box with a more attractive one. The Silencer 750 QUAD is available in black and bright red, the latter of which is the Crossfire-certified model we reviewed.



Conclusion

Looking back on our 2007 power-supply tests, we think it's unfortunate that more companies aren't following Seasonic's lead in developing top-notch aftermarket power supplies in the 300-400W range. Our 1000-watt power-supply roundup illustrated that there are many decent high-end power supplies, but we have not seen the same widespread quality or performance among lower-output aftermarket units. We feel that the users of 750W+ units aren't the only ones who can benefit from a high-quality power supply. Perhaps next year's Power Supplies of the Year article will tell a different tale.

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  • kilkennycat - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    The unrestricted ~60 amps available to each +12V output of the PC Power & Cooling supply should create a very pretty conflagration if the PC develops an internal low-impedance or short-circuit on a +12V line.... or if, say, an output capacitor in the power-supply begins to current-leak. There is a very good reason why Intel recommends a current limit of not more than 22amps PER OUTPUT on the +12V lines. Costs a bit more in components and space to implement the extra circuitry to provide safe current limits on EACH +12V output. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    Your post is so silly, it requires no reply.

    However, if you DO wish to start a fire (while functioning perfectly), I would suggest using a Miller 4500W PSU with 375A of clean power. You could also get the 10,500 Watt model, but it's a bit expensive. Think how nice that thing would look sitting next to your case.

    My fav PSU review review, bar none:
    http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=384">http://www.pcper.com/article.php?aid=384

    and for all you starving students repeatedly whining about $100+, 750W Anandtech powersupply reviews - hey at least I can run TWO PC with any of my current units - lol
    http://reviews.pcapex.com/power_supply/ultra_x3_10...">http://reviews.pcapex.com/power_supply/ultra_x3_10...
    Reply
  • HOOfan 1 - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    Or you could use your Miller PSU to weld yourself a custom Case. Reply
  • HOOfan 1 - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    Or you could use your Miller PSU to weld yourself a custom Case. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    ya, I read the PSU "myths" on the PCP&P site.
    anyone can deduce that stright in soldered leads are better than those that have a male and female connector involved.
    SO what.
    The simple fact is that the marketplace is moving to modular, Buck the trend and lose share.
    Modular PSU dont seem to be failing or blowing up mobo, or starting fires. They do seem to function well despite the added resistance.
    People are fed up with PSU with 20 cables 48" long that you are stuck with.
    I will never buy a non modular supply ever again.

    And heres an example of the conflicting reviews that litter the internet......

    greatest thing you could buy - 5 stars
    http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canu...">http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/ha...-tx750-7...

    so - so
    http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=136...">http://www.jonnyguru.com/review_details.php?id=136...
    Reply
  • rADo2 - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    Zalman uses a combination of fixed and modular cables. The important connectors like ATX power and +12V for the CPU as well as two VGA power connectors and a HDD cable are fixed. This makes sense, because those cables will almost certainly be used, giving you an optimum power delivery. Should you need more than those you can attach them to the PSU. Reply
  • Etern205 - Thursday, December 20, 2007 - link

    Just wondering from the picture on the first page with the PSU's back facing us. Can anyone actually tell what PSU that is without having to look at the name? :)

    e.g. I know that the black with yellow stripes is by Antec Quattro.
    The orange PC&C Silener and the above I think it's a PC&C Turbo Cool.
    Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    referring to any one PSU or all of them in general? The ones with USB ports are Hipers, I'd guess the ones with half-blocked rears are also Hipers, the one with the orange coil covers is a Thermaltake, etc. If you cared enough I'm sure you could identify most of them by looking back at the reviews and comparing shots. Reply
  • Bozo Galora - Thursday, December 20, 2007 - link

    well, PCP&C (OCZ) just announced a new super duper 860 Watt PSU with a SEVEN year warranty and 1.5% regulation/1% ripple and adjustable pots.
    http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/turbo-cool-860...">http://www.pcpower.com/power-supply/turbo-cool-860...
    So you might wanna keep an eye on this one.
    But its NOT modular, so that lets me out.

    Zalman has a new vers of their 1KW unit which seems to be decent
    http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zalman/ZM1000-H...">http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zalman/ZM1000-H...
    And it IS (semi) modular

    I am still looking for the perfect PSU. I have read reviews until I'm buggy eyed, and theres always some one thing that ruins the deal......
    Too hot at high wattage, bad efficiency, one rail poor regulation or high ripple, stiff cables, too noisy, not modular

    Then there are the conflicting reviews - one guy says its the greatest, another says its deeply flawed.
    Reply
  • rADo2 - Friday, December 21, 2007 - link

    Zalman has also ZM850-HP, which seems like the best 850W unit to me, it is stable and *incredibly quiet*:

    http://bios.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zalman/ZM850-H...">http://bios.techpowerup.com/reviews/Zalman/ZM850-H...

    Too bad Anandtech did not test it as well.
    Reply

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