Power Supplies 
   - Christoph Katzer

Entry – Less than $50
Seasonic OEM - 300W and 350W 

The low end hasn't changed much since last year since most manufacturers don't cater to this market, preferring to aim their introductions to the more profitable high-end of the PS market. Last year we recommended Seasonic's OEM line and they remain excellent entry recommendations this year. The SS-300ET or SS-350ET models are both under the $50 mark. We have tested these units and their performance are up there with the best power supplies in this section, and both models represent tremendous value for the money.

As last year we don't recommend buying power supplies under $30. When you drop below $30 units often are victims of faulty topologies and inferior components built to a low price point. The less than $30 power supplies rarely meet their promised performance levels.

Midrange - $60 to $150
Corsair CMPSU-400CX - 400W

Good overall quality, efficiency up to 85% (230VAC) and 83% (120VAC), nice appearance with quality cable sleeving, many connectors for a 400W (4/8-pin, 6pin PEG), tight voltage regulation with 12V always above 12.00V, silent at low loads (17dB(A)) and up to 26dB(A) with full load. The normal price is around $60, which is a good value, but Mail-In Rebates of $20 have recently appeared.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad
Our long time favorite, the Silencer 750 Quad from PC Power & Cooling is still a top seller. The price is very similar to a year ago at $125 to $130, but MIRs this year reduces the final cost to around $100. It still delivers top-notch performance coupled with very good quality, and the after-rebate price is a great value.
Highend - $160+
When it becomes available it will be one of the best performing high-end power supplies in the market. It looks like Enermax is not yet able to ship final units, but be sure to read our exclusive review of the Revolution85+ to see why we are excited by this PSU. It will be very expensive but we expect that prices will settle down once larger numbers arrive in markets around the world.
Index Case


View All Comments

  • gwolfman - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    What did you mean by "When we changed the direction of the fan we immediately saw higher cooling results."? So the positive air pressures made it worse? And when you moved the fan for negative air pressure the temps were lower? OR do you mean that in the not-so-standard positive air pressure configuration temps were lower than when switched? Reply
  • Wesley Fink - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Test results are available in the FT01 review at http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.a...">http://www.anandtech.com/casecoolingpsus/showdoc.a.... Best results were with the STOCK (Positive Pressure) Silverstone setup. We will revise the wording in the guide to make that cleare. Thanks for pointing it out. Reply
  • gwolfman - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Thanks! Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I love my P180, but the one downside I recall was that the power supply cables coming from the bottom interfered with the bottom part of the motherboard, including the USB connections, the lower expansion slots, and those little jumpers that hook up the case power/reset switches and LEDs.

    I'd strongly recommend either:
    - using a smaller motherboard
    - using a modular power supply
    - leaving the bottom one or two expansion slots empty
  • The0ne - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    Don't forgot the most important factor for the PS...cables long enough to reach your devices, including the 24V! Had to set aside 2 perfectly good PS because their cables weren't long enough. Reply
  • crimson117 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    But perhaps this has been improved in the P182 and in newer versions of the P180?

  • spidey81 - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    I have been loving my build with the P182 that I did in Feb. I found that a modular PSU would definitely be a beneficial choice with the limited clearance between the PSU mounting area and the fan in the bottom chamber.
    Fortunately I was able to take advantage of space on the backside to route cables for a clean build (and was able to tuck extra cables back there since my Corsair 550VX isn't modular). My cables were plenty long to do this as well as some people have found some PSU's cable to be too short for this case.
    It's not as quiet as I was hoping, but it's definitely not as loud as my last case.
    As a bonus, I was able to find it on sale at zipzoomfly.com back in Feb. for $120 with $40 rebate for a total of $80!
  • Vidmar - Tuesday, December 16, 2008 - link

    All three of these cases have major cons IMHO.

    First: Power supply at the bottom. I may be old-school, but just wait till your power supply fan bearings begin to give out since it was installed upside down from what the manufacturer intended.

    - The Antec 300 has no removable drive cage.
    - The Antec P182 does have a removable dive cage, but then it has a door on the front of the case. Plus the external connectors are too low.
    - The Silverstone Fortress FT01 drive cage is a problem for airflow.

    For my $$$ this Rosewill R6AR6-BK case has all of the features of any of these cases, cooler performance and a fraction of the cost!
  • MamiyaOtaru - Thursday, December 18, 2008 - link

    Don't weant your PSU upside down? Mount it right side up. Mine's at the bottom of my Coolermaster Stacker, but it sure as heck isn't upside down. It's in the normal orientation, and quietly drawing cool air from under the case Reply
  • Ksyder - Wednesday, December 17, 2008 - link

    You can mount the PSU any way you like in the P182... there are screw holes in the case that let you mount the PSU upside down or right side up depending on how you want the fans and/or wires to be.

    As an aside, as an owner of a P182, I actually wish the chassis didn't have the middle divider because it causes the hard drives to not get any benefit from the 2 top 120mm fans. Granted you can put a 120mm fan in the bottom but the space down there is tight and the PSU by itself doesn't do much to cool the hard drives in terms of moving air through the bottom chamber.


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