Budget Recommendations

Since our last PSU buyer's guide, little has changed on the lower end of the market. We still won't recommend products that carry far overrated ratings of 500W where the reality is that it's more like a 350W power supply. Our selections therefore focus on high-quality models with a reasonable cost - typically under $75. For the European market we focused on good power supplies under 50€.

Enermax Pro82+ 385W and 425W - $73-86

Enermax had an impressive launch this year with the Pro82+ and the Modu82+. We saw first samples in Las Vegas in January and tested four models later on. The delivered performance gave us no choice other than to award both series the AnandTech Gold Editors' Choice Award. Both series deliver very stable power and very good efficiency - up to 86% with 230VAC. With all of the tested models we were able to stay above 82% efficiency from 20% load onwards. The noise levels were equally impressive, since these units remained essentially silent up to a load of more than 50% of the maximum rated output. On top of the good performance, Enermax keeps the price within reach even for users with moderate budget.

Corsair VX450W - $70

The price of Corsair's power supply remains somewhat high, with little change since our recommendation in December last year. This doesn't change the fact that the CMPSU-450VX is still a very good power supply and worth every penny. With its price of around $70 it outperforms every other power supply with wattage in this field. We saw smaller voltage drops from this PSU but the overall efficiency and performance is very good, making it ideal for midrange systems running a single graphics card.

Seasonic S12II 330 & 380 - $54 & $64

Both of the Seasonic S12II models rated at 330W and 380W fall under the 50€ barrier. They have been popular throughout the world and they are actually the reason Seasonic increased their sales in Europe. Seasonic currently sits in the top three brands in Germany together with be quiet! and Enermax. Seasonics quality has always been good, and even the small incident with incompatibility with a few motherboards didn't really weakened their position in the market. There were small voltage drops during our tests last year, which is common with Seasonic power supplies, but everything was well within specs. The acoustics are also very nice, ranging from 22 to 25dB(A). The price made these PSUs hot sellers, starting at only $54 for the 330W version, which is enough for most PCs.

be quiet! Straight Power 350 & 400W - 40 & 47

be quiet! for many years has been the unchallenged number one in Germany. They achieved this with good prices, good quality, and customer service offers that to this day no other company can match. The Straight Power series is our last recommendation in this field with a good price for the 350W and 400W versions. These units are just starting to sell in the US and there are only a few models available right now. What makes be quiet! products special in Germany is the 48 hour exchange service, where a postal guy brings a new power supply to the customer and takes the broken one with him within 48 hours of your call. The company also offers a 3-year warranty, which is also unusual in Europe. Several US-based companies like Corsair and OCZ surpass the 3-year warranty with 5-year warranties, but they still don't offer a 48-hour exchange guarantee.

Index Midrange Recommendations


View All Comments

  • narcan - Thursday, August 7, 2008 - link

    Seasonic is missing here, the best psu manufacturer around imo. (they build the better Antec PSU's and others, next to it's own line of products) Reply
  • Milleman - Sunday, July 27, 2008 - link

    Just resently bought a 800W PSU made by Gigabyte, which works great! Great finnish and modulized power plugs as well. The pricetag is somewhere around 100 Euro. Why haven't Anand yet had a look at those? Reply
  • Christoph Katzer - Sunday, July 27, 2008 - link

    Because Anand doesn't have time to review PSUs ;)

    The Gigabyte Odin was reviewed quite some time ago:
  • Milleman - Sunday, August 3, 2008 - link

    Aww... Didn't know that! :x

    Thank you! :D Great review about the Gigabyte Odin power supply! Just the one I bought. Great Power Supply as well.
  • steveyballmer - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    Good equipment, it doesn't work with Macs though!

  • finbarqs - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    just bought one from JR, came DOA, but they're doing an Advanced Replacement for me. One thing I gotta, say, is this beast is huge! Hopefully I get a consistent power flow, because my last TT 700W PSU, (toughpower) I think sucked. Killed 3 MBs... but then again, i'm just speculating. Reply
  • Alexstarfire - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    Why are all these PSUs so expensive? I got my OCZ StealthXStream 600w PSU for $60, I believe. Not the highest build quality ever I'm sure, but it's got to be better than the $70 450w PSU in the "budget" section. It was on sale, but you can get it on Newegg for $79. Actually, it's $54 after MIR. Reply
  • Noya - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    OCZ have always seemed kind of cheap to me.

    And for the $70 Corsair 450, it can be had regularly at buy.com for $49-55 after a Corsair rebate. At $70-75, you can get their 550vx or 650tx models. Hell, I've seen their 750tx for $89 w/rebate and google checkout. And they're always shipped free...BUY.com for the Corsair WIN!
  • Christoph Katzer - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    Thanks, will keep this in mind for the next one. Reply
  • masouth - Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - link

    Why does it "got to be better"?

    ...because it's 600w?
    ...because it's OCZ?
    ...because it was cheap?

    I'm not saying that it is or it isn't better because I haven't looked at any reviews of that ps however the only information you've included to back up that it's got to be better is the brand, watts, and the price.

    All three of those can be very misleading without being tested.

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