550W Roundup: Three PSUs at Different Pricesby Martin Kaffei on October 28, 2010 4:00 PM EST
Techsolo Black Mamba STP-550
Techsolo keeps things simple with their packaging and extras. You get a standard power cable (for Europe), four screws, some cable ties, and a short user manual. The best-case hope for the Techsolo Black Mamba is that we'll get an "ultra silent" snake that can deliver the full rated power. I wouldn't bet on it, but more than one user has been tempted into going the cheap route on a PSU. At worst, the Black Mamba is a noisy blindworm that dies at 50% load, but most likely it will land somewhere in between those extremes.
The red (already mentioned and super-duper) power switch stands in contrast to the black case design. The fan grill and the cable sleeving are black too and the housing of the ATX 2.2-PSU is 14cm long. Considering the cost, the PSU actually looks decent—even cheap cable sleeving is a bump up over unsleeved cables, after all.
|Cables and Connectors|
|Peripheral||3x PATA 40-70cm + Floppy 15cm|
|3x SATA 40-70cm / 3x SATA 40-70cm|
The main cables are very short at less than 50cm, and there are only six SATA and three Molex power connectors along with a single PEG connector for graphic cards—the latter seems particularly skimpy. We don't want to be too quick to judge, but this is not a good configuration for a 550W PSU; it looks more like a 400W PSU. We'll get into more details on the next page.
Shenzhen Xin Wang Electronics Co., LTD. makes the fan, one of those nameless (despite the length of their name) Chinese companies. The 140mm fan needs fewer amps than the other fans in this roundup and it has nine fan blades. Will it be silent, and can it keep the PSU cool? We'll find out in a minute.
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MrSpadge - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - linkI know your plan was not to privde full market coverage.. but still, if an PSU as expensive as the Antect is included, which still gets "only" 80+ Bronze, it would have been nice to see a 80+ Gold heavy hitter like the Enermax 87+ or Seasonic X series included. In my opinion they're as good as ~500W PSUs currently get.
EnzoFX - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - linkI really can't see a reason to turning to budget PSU's when there are often great ones on sale.
For example, the Corsair 400 W one, every now and then, goes for $20 AR. Antec has a similar offering, at similar price, the EarthWatts 430W I believe. In higher range, another great example: The Corsair 650 TX for around $65 AR. In regards to my personal preference, all of these are known to be very quiet.
Granted, you do have to wait for the good pricing, but I consider it to happen often enough to simply pick one up when they do and have a spare ready. I suppose if you really can't wait, then you'd have to consider the other brands.
adrien_n - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - linkI've bought a Corsair CX400 PSU and it's efficient, silent, stable and it around 40 EUR I think.
Bought it after reading about it on http://www.canardpc.com/dossier-36-450-Corsair_CX_... (french) (the whole article is a worthy read if you understand french). It's rated at 400W but if you sum up the powers, you get over 500W.
Stas - Friday, October 29, 2010 - linkI will always stand by Corsair PSUs. The PSU in my rig, CMPSU-520HX, has been reliable for 3 years. Outlived everything else in my machine (3 video cards, 2 CPUs, dozen of HDDs, 3 mobos, even 3 cases lol). Granted I buy quality parts or don't buy any at all, so none of those pieces actually died on me (except a 4 y.o. Hitachi HDD). I've also put in about 15 of Corsair PSUs in clients' rigs (from 400 to 850W versions, multi-12V-rails and single) in the past year and a half. Not a single one died or caused any instability. All are dead silent, too. Corsair's PSUs has become a standard in my eyes. Yes, there are more efficient offerings but they cost in the upper 100s and mid 200s. Between $50 and $150, I don't even think about what PSU to get, I just approximate the consumption and through the appropriate Corsair in the cart.
chrnochime - Friday, October 29, 2010 - linkWell they either use CWT or Seasonic, so they're reliable because of these companies. IIRC they don't have any PSU that's specifically made *by* their own factory, all of their PSU are rebranded ones.
strikeback03 - Monday, November 1, 2010 - linkWell, that is the case with most PSUs though. Corsair does pick good ODM designs and specify good components for the builds.
HollyDOL - Tuesday, November 2, 2010 - linkI am very happy with Corsair PSUs as well and can only recommend... high efficiency, silent, very good current stability...
gusc3669 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - linkOn page 1 under the Techsolo Black Mamba STP-550 I know that this PSU didn't perform but...
"It just keeps getting better! This PSU is not available in the US, but it's still a nice representative of the crap-section."
Mr Perfect - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - linkEvery once in a while it's good to call out the low end products like that Mamba, especially when it comes to PSUs. There are so many people who buy horribly cheap PSUs, or get one bundled with a case, and then see their whole machine go up in smoke. Which might actually make this more important the testing good supplies...
It would also be helpful to explain some of the features and components of the supplies though. I imagine there are quite a few people who don't know what things like PFC are, or even that it existed.
Calin - Friday, October 29, 2010 - linkReading only reviews from decent and high quality power supplies will suggest to the reader that all power supplies are decent or high quality. Good to know (at least every once in a while) that a certain power supply did blew up at not more than half the supposed load