Fan and Electronics

Xin Yu Electronics is a Chinese brand we never heard of before but "SL" tells you this fan has a sleeve bearing. Everything else with higher MTBF ratings would be too expensive. The 120mm fan needs less amps than most fans we know (0.13A) and it has seven sharp-edged fan blades. Will it be silent, and can it keep the PSU cool? We'll find out on the next page.

Basically this PSU is not far away from other solutions. We've seen many forward converters with an asynchronous half bridge but this time the components are quite cheap. The internals consist of two very small heatsinks, a small transformer, and no PFC-choke which is an important requirement for European countries. You need CE to sell power supplies in Europe and PFC is essential for any PSU with more than 75W. Instead of a bridge rectifier this PSU has four RL205 diodes which can rectify 2A RMS current. That's fine by me but bridge rectifiers in a case have the advantage that heatsinks can be used.

There are no Y- and X-caps in the EMI filtering stage, missing a MOV as well. A thermistor reduces input current--nothing special. Of course PSUs without active PFC have less EMI because of the missing MOSFET but this is kind of disappointing. Can you see the wire cross-section of the conductors? It doesn't look like anybody should try to pull more than 250W from this unit.

An IC called SD6109 delivers some safety functions such as overvoltage protection. Instead of optical coupler the manufacturer is using an isolating transformer for the feedback. On the secondary side we found one choke for all larger outputs. It gone into saturation during our test. +5 V got a large diode in a TO-247 case and is definitely the most powerful output.

Codegen P-Case 460W Cables, Connectors and Test Results
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  • kmmatney - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    I still have it - and it really just a second spare now, as I have since picked up an Antec 400W Neo ECO for cheap to have as a backup. What I can say about the Inland is that it feels decently heavy, and has a 3 year warranty. I wouldn't mind sending it in...
  • Siana - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - link

    I think it's an accident that it works. It's a Leadman PSU in all likelihood, which is very similar to Codegen. Within value differences of parts, you could have happened to have a stronger unit, however it probably doesn't have sufficient protection and isn't safe.

    Almost none of the older PSU architectures have over 350W of power, except for some server units e.g. by Delta which weigh around 10 pounds and are way longer than ATX allows, no kidding. And none of the newer, powerful ones have a need for a voltage switch at the back, like yours does.

    Also what if someone buys this PSU based on your suggestion, and it burns the rest of his hardware by accident - would you like to carry the responsibility for that? Good review sites only recommend PSUs where they have made absolutely sure that the unit is reasonably safe, based on analysis of engineering and not on a single case of PSU not burning up their computer, because it is a huge responsibility.
  • gustavg - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    I dont find it suprising that it misses such basics as a CE mark and that it died@80% load.
    Codegen actually had a psu banned from sale
    by the swedish "elsäkerhetsverket"(government agency)
    here in sweden back in 2002 due to safety problems :)
    i did not find the orginal article since it was 10yrs ago but here is a link to the webarchives version :)
  • zlandar - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Always good for a laugh.

    I've seen so many PSU sales on slickdeals there is little reason to go cheap. You can score a nice bronze-rated PSU for as low as $25 depending on brand/wattage.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    I'm totally with you; I only wish Martin would get a nice video showing him stress-testing the PSU and let us see what happens at 100% of the rated output. For all the people that think PSUs don't matter much, I can pretty much guarantee that every "500W" or higher PSU costing less than $50 (not on sale - MSRP) is going to be questionable at best.
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    Indeed; just seeing pictures of the thing brings back memories of replacing the first PSU I ever did in the only computer I bought pre-built, and PSUs in cheap computers my family bought over the years.

    If you can't be bothered to do a little research and find a PSU with a decent review behind it, at least buy a well-respected brand on sale.

  • plopke - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    Each time when somebody ask me to put some parts together they always curious why I would go for in their eyes a ridiculs more expensive powersupply/case and ignore me until summer hits and their powersupply dies or overheats.People seams not understand that a 600watt powersupply can be rubbish and a 380watt one would have been enough for their needs. Anyway I am actuallly looking around again for a nice stable powersupply as cheap as possible for 2 builds. One that wants to play diablo3(UK build) and a other person(belgian-build) and i quote "it has to be able to play solitaire " :).

    Anyway looking atm at some cheaper antec case models with 380 watts or corsair 430 V2. Have also some nice be quie!t(not avaible in america , i think) options to buy. If you know some other cheap but high quality build powersupplies , feel free to leave them behind :)

    PS : I kinda love this from anandtech , article that warns you what defently not to buy. But then again most of your readers would already be very scepticle about these kind of cases.
  • Siana - Saturday, June 16, 2012 - link

    I think it makes sense to buy the case and power supply separately, because you really don't need an expensive metal box for a low power system, but you do need a good power supply. Though you do need to wear gloves with some of those metal boxes -.-

    XFX brought out an inexpensive, gamer oriented series based on well respected Seasonic S12-II Bronze, with moderate and powerful units. Rasurbo has its "Real&Power" series made by HEC, though other series by Rasurbo are probably garbage. Cougar (a brand of HEC-Compucase) offers an inexpensive "300W" unit which is specced to 220W on 12V - you could say it's effectively a 250W unit by today's measure, though it does deliver what it says on the tin, safely.

    If computer is to be used infrequently, refurbished PSUs from brand name computers can be an option. A 10 year old 350W OEM by FSP of course has heavy 5V rail and is a bit light on 12V, but it still can power a computer with 65W CPU and 50W GPU. And yet, Bronze efficiency of newer PSUs is likely to make sense, since once people get Internet, they tend to use their computer quite a bit, also they do contain components which deteriorate with time, so i wouldn't say it's a GOOD option, but at least they contain some safety which Codegen and Leadman don't.
  • Ethaniel - Friday, April 27, 2012 - link

    And more of these "technological horror stories". I have had my share of cheap PSUs and bulged caps, but there´s always room for more. :)
  • juampavalverde - Saturday, April 28, 2012 - link

    I have to deal with this kind of PSU daily because average Joe in South America doesnt need much more than this. Since eons this kind of PSUs anounced wattages are a joke, no Codegen PSU can pull more than 250W at usable values, but at that price (here 15 USD, in USA probably no more than 10 USD) those 250W are just fine. I can say also that Codegen is among the "best" (haha) PSUs from this price point, everything else is worse! Fans failing, voltages failing, ridiculously low eficiency, burned mobos and ram...

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