Last month, we reviewed 20 power supplies ranging from 300W to 450W. These are great for entry-level or even midrange systems, with optimal efficiency typically falling in the 100W to 200W range. Today, we have 12 more power supplies on our test bench, this time targeting a slightly higher range of 500W to 550W. This particular sector is where we really start to see higher quality designs and better technologies, in part because these tend to be more expensive PSUs.

Honestly, this roundup is more of a two-way shootout, with a few extras thrown in for spice. We have four units manufactured by Enhance, four more from Seasonic, two by Sirtec, one Enermax, and one Topower. Last year we saw a lot of power supplies manufactured by Channel Well Technologies (CWT), but they don't tend to compete in the lower wattage market segments. These days, one manufacturer brings out a new top-notch design, and brands from all over the world jump on the bandwagon. Unfortunately, that makes it hard to find real innovations from the various PSU brands. Before, everyone at least tried to be different, but now the primary differences are in the fans, case color, and/or cable lengths. They try to make a "unique" design, but the goal is to do this with as little effort as possible.

All of the similarities do have some positives. Comparing units from different manufacturers can be a lot easier, as a basic component quality will be similar. If two units have similar voltage regulation and efficiency but one unit is quieter, cheaper, or has better thermals then you can safely choose that option. More likely is that you have to balance all five areas, but we will see which models rise to the top in this roundup.

Arctic Cooling Fusion 550R - Overview
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  • just4U - Monday, February 23, 2009 - link

    Excellent!! I am curious as to how those solutions compare to standalone "standouts". I think the days where we see some no name powersupply that isn't very good in systems (as a general rule) are gone. That's been replaced (in North America) now with seeing solutions by Antec, Fsp, ect as the standard. So the comparison's are of interest.
  • vailr - Saturday, February 21, 2009 - link

    Any idea when any "Gold certified" ~500W PSU's will be available (on Newegg, or another online vendor)?
    Such as:
    Thermaltake W0338 TP-500AH3NCG 500W
    Seasonic SS-550LT 550W
    Channel Well PUK500V-G 500W
    Discussed here:">
  • Christoph Katzer - Saturday, February 21, 2009 - link

    I think we will see first units in summer.
  • Mastakilla - Saturday, February 21, 2009 - link

    I'm looking for a cheap 450W - 550W Powersupply (cheap but still a bit decent, around 50 euro), so I was really interested in this article...

    Unfortunatly the only PSU in pricerange, the Artic Cooling, is unfindable in the Benelux (EU). Also the next in price (Tagan Superrock), which actually is too expensive already, is unfindable here...

    so I still don't know what to get
  • Kiijibari - Sunday, February 22, 2009 - link

    Buy an Enermax 525W, they were tested earlier here on anandtech and are very good PSU.

    They should be available easily in Europe :)


  • Mastakilla - Monday, February 23, 2009 - link

    Thanks for the tip, but those enermaxes are again waaaaaaaay above budget (89+ euro!!)

    The Corsair CX400 is 43 euro
    That Artic Cooling 550W is 68 euro (shipped from DE)

    I'm looking for something in between... (around 50-55 euro)
    like a decent 450-500W Powersupply...
  • MadMan007 - Wednesday, August 19, 2009 - link

    Corsair VX450 or HX450 (we unfortunately do not get the HX450 in the States :( Sad because it's 80+ Bronze)
  • Kiijibari - Monday, February 23, 2009 - link

    Sounds like you are looking for a (very) good *and* cheap PSU.

    That is imo impossible. You either get cheap China crackers or good, expensive ones.

    Do you *really* need ~500W ?

    If not then try the Enermax 425W. That is my last idea, otherwise I would suggest to raise your budget :)


  • Mastakilla - Tuesday, February 24, 2009 - link

    no, you're wrong...

    the Corsair CX400 apparently isn't that bad and is VERY cheap...

    I'm willing to pay a little more for a little better, but it seems like paying a little more will only get me worse :(

    Paying A LOT more does get better though, but then I'm over my budget for the pc i'm composing...
  • Christoph Katzer - Saturday, February 21, 2009 - link


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