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Is this PSU okay?

Posted on 2006-07-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
This is one I'm looking at.  Several experts have suggested that I need a new PSU because the one I'm running now is barely adequate to for my system (basics AMD Dual Core CPU, dual Geforce 7900 gt cards in SLI, 3GB ram and do a lot of video editing.  I was concerned at first becuase system was already running hot.  However, I have installed 3 fans (one in front brings air in over my boot HD, attached fans to second HD and then rear fan between GPU cards out the back.  System now runs in the mid 40s C when playing games, video editing mutlitasking etc.  The other concern is that I have to keep it in a cabinet because I have 5 kids 7 and younger two of which are busy 1 year old twins.  So airflow from the front is not great but the fans blowing out the side are okay and the back is open so temp seems to be okay for now.  I still don't think I need much more power or I'm going be back in the same boat again with high temps.  Anyway, this one has more power, SLI certified and comments say quiet (which I'll get into in a second).

http://www.newegg.com/product/product.asp?item=N82E16817163111

So that is the one I'm looking at but considering changing the fan on it.  I'm also considering changing the other fans.  I bought cheap ones to see if they would help.  They did but my system sounds like a freight train when it's running.  I may just have to live with that considering my placement limitations.  But if anybody is interested I'll post another thread to discuss the best (most quiet and efficient) fans for HDs, CPUs and PSU.
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Question by:abpowell
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Expert Comment

by:Zuhir Elgmati
ID: 17100071
do u want my opinion .... the PSU is very cheap .. and Repair it is more Expensive than buy New one so ... i suggest to buy new one if it's Fan makes noise and that's mean your USP is going to be bad one ... for example look at this try ebay.com   http://cgi.ebay.com/300-watt-PSU-6500525-6500526-6500563-6500583-Gateway_W0QQitemZ270005352328QQihZ017QQcategoryZ42019QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
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by:Callandor
ID: 17100158
It's a nice high-end PSU (I have a SilverStone case), but I don't like single +12v rails with 30+ amps.  I got this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817151024, based on recommendations from Gary and really like it.  Not only is it efficient and have connectors for everything, but it has a 120mm fan and is very quiet.
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garycase earned 250 total points
ID: 17100198
Short answer:  Yes

Longer answer:  The power supply you linked to has reasonable specs and good reviews, so I'm sure it's fine.   However, I'd buy this instead:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817151025

Seasonic supplies are exceptionally efficient (waste less energy & run cooler);  very quiet (they use a 120mm fan);  and are rock solid.   Since I "discovered" them a couple years ago I've used nothing else.
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by:garycase
ID: 17100227
... As you can see from the post Callandor made while I was typing, folks who have listened to my recommendations on Seasonic like them :-)
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by:willcomp
ID: 17100677
But not everyone has such deep pockets Gary ;>)

You seem convinced that a larger power supply means greater heat.  It does not.  Heat generation is a function of wattage actually used, not what's available.  In actuality; a larger, more efficient power supply will generate less heat.  PC Power & Cooling and Seasonic are very efficient power supplies, meaning they actually use less input power to generate the same amount of output power.  See this link:

http://www.pcpowercooling.com/technology/myths/

There is no need to replace power supply fan. In fact, I recommend against it.  Good quality PSUs come with good quality fans matched to PSU.  Only replace fan if it fails.  12 cm fans are quiet (generally lower rotational speed) and move much more air than an 8 cm fan.
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by:garycase
ID: 17100774
"... not everyone has such deep pockets ..." => the only thing deep about my pockets is the holes in them 'cause I can't afford new pants :-)

Of course Callandor had no problem buying one when I suggested it 'cause he's a New Yorker -- and we all know that everyone who lives in Manhattan is a multi-zillionaire :-)

... and abpowell has spent so much on this system already that a good 600w Seasonic will hardly make a dent :-)    (not to mention the minor detail that the Seasonic, with the current rebate, is $2.00 cheaper than the one he asked about !!)

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by:willcomp
ID: 17100976
With rebate and free shipping that's a good buy.  Gary, any idea why so many recent reviewers have had DOA problems with this unit?  Surely Seasonic tests PSUs prior to sending them out the door.
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Author Comment

by:abpowell
ID: 17101031
I looked at that one gary but got concerned with 2 of the 3 ratings shown on there gave it 1 egg.  Also, I didn't look close enough at the picture.  I thought that the grill shown on top in the picture was the top of the unit.  However, after a closer look it appears to be the bottom and that is just the air intake.  I'll probably go with that one based on your's and callandors recommendations.  But please look at this one too before I decide for sure because it looks like a good deal after rebate within $10 of the others.  When all is said and done the SeaSonic, this coolmax and the silverstone are all comparable in price.  I'd take the silverstone out of the equation at this point though.  Just between the seasonic and this coomax.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16817159018

Also, I don't know some of the terms and don't know how important they are:
PFC
Modular Cabling

I'm also about to post a thread on my other fans I'll put a link on here.
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by:willcomp
ID: 17101135
Stolen from PC Power & Cooling:

"PFC:
Power factor is the ratio of true power (watts) divided by apparent power (volts x amps or VA). A standard power supply has a power factor of 0.70-0.75, while a power supply with active power factor correction (PFC) has a power factor of 0.95-0.99. A power supply with power factor correction is better able to convert the current into power. This results in lower peak current and lower harmonic current, putting less stress on wiring, circuit breakers, and transformers."

Modular cables allow you to connect only those cables needed cutting down on cable clutter.  Most useful for windowed cases where neatness is important.  Each internal power cable plugs into a power plug on front of PSU.

Since cooling is an issue for your system, one other inexpensive mod may help.  Round cables (IDE and floppy) do greatly reduce flow obstruction.  Also route power cables on bottom (with case lying on side and panel removed) of case to improve air flow.  Neatness does count where air flow is concerned.

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by:Callandor
ID: 17101241
As a point of interest, the first Seasonic unit I got died spectacularly with a bang and a puff of smoke after a few days of use.  Fortunately, nothing else was damaged and the replacement unit has been working fine for months.  Perhaps there was a bad batch that got in there?

Gary, I only work in NYC, I live in the suburbs ;-)
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by:garycase
ID: 17101283
... Hadn't noted the DOA problem -- I'll have to read some of the recent reviews.   I recall that Callandor's first unit was also DOA (or at least died very soon after he got it);  fortunately they quickly replaced it and he's obviously got a good one now.    If they're having that problem at a more-than-typical rate, that's unfortunate -- as they are superb units.   I've been lucky enough to never get a bad one;  and I'll keep buying them :-)

Modular cables are both good and bad => they make it easier to have "neat" cable runs;  but remember than every connector is a potential source of failure -- so that's one more thing that can go wrong (and one more thing to check if/when there are problems).

Absolutely agree with both round cables and with paying attention to how you route them, so airflow is not impeded by the cables.
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by:garycase
ID: 17101308
... Callandor posted while I was writing -- his unit wasn't DOA, but did fail.
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Author Comment

by:abpowell
ID: 17101332
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by:willcomp
ID: 17101379
Good sources of round cables.  Newegg's shipping is ridiculous on such items.

http://www.coolerguys.com/idecables.html
http://www.coolerguys.com/floppycables.html

http://www.directron.com/roidea.html
http://www.directron.com/floppycables.html

Directron also carries Seasonic PSUs.
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Author Comment

by:abpowell
ID: 17101431
Okay I know gary's vote.  Callandor and Willcomp, coolmax or seasonic?
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Assisted Solution

by:willcomp
willcomp earned 125 total points
ID: 17101718
Although I's a bit concerned with the recent spate of DOAs at Newegg, still prefer Seasonic.   Historically, they have been rock solid power supplies (Seasonic has been around quite a while).  I'm wondering if they got a bad batch of capacitors.

PC Power & Cooling is the absolute best in my opinion, but they are very pricey.  Would rate Seasonic next followed by Antec.  Seems that everybody and their brother are either making or re-labeling power supplies.  I have considerable experience over the years with all 3 of those along with Sparkle and Power Man (Inwin).
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by:garycase
ID: 17101819
I agree with willcomp that PC Power & Cooling is top-end, but they are not as quiet as Seasonic.   You can, however buy supplies up to 1KW (!!) from them !!

The Coolmax supply you're also considering is not a bad unit -- but since your goal here is QUIET I'd definitely go with the Seasonic (surprise).   The Coolmax is a dual-fan unit; and not only are both fans the typical 80mm (noisier than 120mm units like the Seasonic uses), but the "primary" fan (the one that always runs) is the outer one -- which will generate more noise than a fan mounted inside.

... the Seasonic DOA issue most likely was just a bad batch => but is not really a concern.   First, if you're unlucky enough to get one, it's no problem to get it replaced.   Second, Seasonic's have a 3-year warranty, and excellent customer service.

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by:Callandor
Callandor earned 125 total points
ID: 17101829
Despite my initial failure with a Seasonic, I think it's worth buying.  I would get it again.
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by:Silly_Burrito
ID: 17101830
PC Power and Cooling...it's the best choice that I've found so far. Why skimp on an important part for such a powerful system?

You may also want to look into water cooling to help solve your problem. Maximum PC just had an article detailing the best ones to choose from.
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by:ShadowBlade72
ID: 17102479
My recommendation is this Ultra 600W SLI Ready PSU.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1273341&CatId=106

It is a nice addition to any build and it also has the option to remove any cables that are not used to help optimise room.
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Author Comment

by:abpowell
ID: 17102498
Seasonic it is.  Gary if my mobo catches on fire I coming after you.
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Author Comment

by:abpowell
ID: 17102614
Shadowblade your post came in as I giving points.  Looks like a good PSU.  I haven't closed my cooling thread yet.  Maybe you can help me there.

Do you know "noise wise" how the Ultra compares to the Seasonic?
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by:garycase
ID: 17102686
... the Ultra has an external 80mm fan, and will be notably noisier than a Seasonic.

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by:willcomp
ID: 17103389
I'm not a big fan of modular cables (Ultra) in normal cases.  Prefer the certainty of hard wired cables.  They do have their advocates though and, as I said earlier, really shine in a windowed case.

Any PSU with a 12 (or 14) cm internal fan should be quieter than one with an external (outside mounted) fan.  Seasonic doesn't have the only really quiet power supplies, just some of the best.
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Author Comment

by:abpowell
ID: 17104008
Went with the Seasonic
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