If you value the stability of your system and want to minimise your electricity costs, invest in a high-quality power supply.
If you value the stability of your system and want to minimise your electricity costs, invest in a high-quality power supply
It’s easy to imagine that all power supplies are the same, and when you can buy a ‘no-name’ unit for twenty bucks you might wonder why you’d pay anything more. But dirt-cheap models can’t always provide the advertised wattage, leading to intermittent crashes or even a complete burn-out at higher loads.
They can be woefully inefficient, too, wasting as much as a third of the power they draw. If you value the stability of your system – and want to keep electricity bills to a minimum – it makes sense to invest in a high-quality supply and let the savings on your electricity bill offset the extra cost.
This month, we’ve taken eight big-brand power supplies and subjected them to extensive electrical testing at 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of their claimed capacity. The good news is that all of them proved comfortably able to deliver the promised power levels, and all ran stably, with no rail deviating more than 3% from its proper voltage (the ATX standard allows for 5% deviation on the main rails).
We also tested for power efficiency and all achieved better than 80% – see the chart opposite for each supply’s average efficiency across our tests. But that isn’t to say they’re interchangeable: each has its own strengths, and there’s a huge range of capacities on offer.
Browse this article:
This Group Test appeared in the June, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine