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Windows 7: THE Best Power Supply?

01 Sep 2009   #1

THE Best Power Supply?

The Power Supply is the heart of any computer system, after all, no matter how much you have invested in all those expensive cutting edge parts, they are dead if there is no power! But finding a good power supply is a daunting issue. This forum cannot scientifically test power supplies so I am seeking your opinions, based on your experience with reliable power supplies.

Testing a power supply is not easy or inexpensive. Just plugging a bunch of stuff into it, drawing lots of power, and reading the BIOS results is just inadequate. So do you rely on Internet reviews of power supplies and stress tests? To see what is necessary to actually measure the performance of a power supply, compared to an on-computer stress test, here are a couple of links. I couldn't find much of what I felt was reliable, accurate, and worth reading so if you know of some better I would like to know:

AnandTech: AnandTech Power Supply Test Methodology

PSU Roundup: Performance, Price, Efficiency : Mainstream PSUs Up To 700W - Review Tom's Hardware

Power Supply Roundup: Part II : Our Second Round Of Mainstream PSUs - Review Tom's Hardware

Buying an OVER-POWERED power supply is not smart either. It is a waste of money in the purchase price and an inefficient use of electricity, also a possible waste of money in your utility bill. So I would like to separate power supply categories by retail price. I know I can buy power supplies for under $50 and I might get lucky with a good one, but I think computers capable of running Windows 7 deserve better. So I would suggest the under $100 USD power supply, the over $100 USD power supply, and if that isn't enough, the over $200 USD power supply.

So what power supplies have you had good success with and would recommend?

For myself, Thermaltake is a well known name brand so I bought a couple Thermaltake TR2 W0070RUC 430W for under $50, (plus a rebate, I hate rebates!) but one went up in smoke. The other one hasn't burst into flames yet.

So again I went looking and settled on Anetc. Found a couple of bargains on Amazon, Earthwatts 430W EA-430 @ $50. Very happy so far. Seems stable, not over worked. I don't have demanding sli video cards and don't overclock so 430W seems to be a balanced solution for my PC.

Under $100 USD Power Supplies

Over $100 USD Power Supplies

Extreme Power Supplies $200 USD and beyond


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #2
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1

antec ftw!

i had a special combination deal on my case and power supply. i'm very happy with my antec 550 basiq plus.

550 watts is enough for me, i'm never going to have two graphics cards, and 550 means i can run a powerful one without worrying.

it may be 'basiq', but it's a perfect match for my case and has modular cables, is very quiet, and sits at the bottom of the case for bottom-heavy stability, as per design.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #3


Corsair ftw..
My System SpecsSystem Spec

01 Sep 2009   #4


Eveyone's a winner? Okay, ThermalTake ToughPower FTW.

Windows 7 will kill a high margin that I make on power supplies.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #5
mickey megabyte

ultimate 64 sp1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #6


Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by iseeuu View Post
Buying an OVER-POWERED power supply is not smart either.
I disagree.

It is a waste of money in the purchase price
Yes, the initial price is high, but you must also factor in your current and future needs. If you are absolutely certain that you will not need any more power in the future, then an over-powered PSU is wasteful.

However, if you upgrade and discover you need more power in the future, then you have the added cost of buying another PSU to meet those needs. This results in more expenditure in the long run.

and an inefficient use of electricity, also a possible waste of money in your utility bill.
No. Just because a power supply is rated at XXX watts does not mean it runs at XXX watts at all times. Your components will only draw what is needed.

The other bonuses of an over-powered PSU is less stress which results in better longevity. It will also run somewhat cooler and therefore have less noise ie Fan speed ramping.

Running a PSU near or at maximum capacity will also shorten it's life much quicker than running an over-powered PSU far from maximum capacity.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm a fan of Antec power supplies and the Corsair HX series modular power supplies. After having used a Corsair modular in my latest build and cutting back on my wiring, I cannot imagine ever wanting to use a non-modular power supply again. Getting rid of all of that extra wiring mess is so worth it.

With regards to over buying on too powerful of a power supply....I agree with that. I certainly wouldn't cut back to the point where you barely meet your power draw...but I've also seen situations where people would have actually been just fine on a 400W PSU, but they are running a 1,000 or 1,200 PSU because it seems ecool.

On my latest build, I went with a Corsair HX620. I used this site to estimate my needs: eXtreme Power Supply Calculator Lite v2.5. This site estimated my power needs to be 288 watts. I almost went with the HX520...but I got a larger rebate on the 620 and a free it was technically cheaper. But I had people recommending that I go with a minimum of a 750W power supply based on what I was buying....which was nearly 3 times my actual needs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #8

Win7 x64 Ultimate SP1

Iagree with smartey!!
Using a thermaltale 700w on my main system. It was overkill when I first started but as i added drives and video boards it was nice to know i had the power :).

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #9

Ubuntu Lunix and Windows 7

PC Power and Cooling.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Sep 2009   #10

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Unfortuantely "watts" doesn't really work as a rating for PSUs.

The /actual/ ampherage per rail varies WIDELY.

You need to look at the power requirements of your components if you want to match well. Or.. be safe and overbuy.

I had a 650 watt PSU and upgraded to a G285 card. THat card requires I think it was 42 amps on the 12v rail. My "old" 650 watt PSU only supplied 36 amps total. Had to upgrade to a 750 watt that output 50 amps total on 12v.

SO if the machine is for gaming, probably match PSU to the graphics card + a little. But pay more attention to the amps per rail for your need rather than "600 watts should be plenty" or you may find yourself with radom reboot or crash issues when using your machine to it's fullest.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 THE Best Power Supply?

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