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Thread: Recommend me a decent power supply please

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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Hi all,

    Looks like I've managed to fry my PSU. I bought a 22" Iiyama CRT off ebay a few months ago but when it arrived the colour purity was way out. I was due to be going down to the tip today, so I thought before I dumped it I'd whip the back off and have a quick play with the magnets on the back of the tube- I recently more or less fixed up an old telly that hed been dropped the same way, so I thought it was worth a go. Anyway, I downloaded a test pattern on my main comp, resized it to 1600x1200, then shut down and pulled all the wires out of the back so that I could carry it to the next room. I didn't bother hitting the power off switch on the PSU- that's never caused me any problems in the past. But, in the next room, the computer was completely dead; the green LED on my Asus mobo was just blinking rapidly. I unplugged all the components one by one- no joy at all. Eventually I managed to find the PSU tester that scan sent me as a freeby a while ago (quite possibly with the PSU, ironically) and plugged it in. It buzzed loudly and the 5V and Gnd lights didn't come on. After about 10 seconds they flickered into life and the PSU fan spun up, very reluctantly. The -5V light didn't light up but IIRC that's not part of the ATX spec any more? Plugged it back into the mobo- still nothing. I think it's dead.

    It's an FSP 700-80GLN, bought from Scan's Today Only about 14 months ago. I'm not impressed with it, even if I should have switched it off before unplugging. So- can anyone recommend me a decent but affordable PSU? Currently I'm running a 45nm Core2Duo at 3.8GHz and a 4830, one HD, one optical drive, so really not a power user. I'm not bothered about modular or any of that, don't care about tucking away excess cables. However, on the off chance that I snap up a bargain 5850 or whatever in a year's time when the next generation is out, I wouldn't mind having enouugh juice and enough 8-pin and 6-pin PCIE power sockets for that (and maybe an upgrade to quad core at some point). I'm thinking a true 550-700W should be plenty for a couple of years?

    I see there's a good selection of PSUs on again today:

    http://www.scan.co.uk/TodayOnly/Index.aspx

    ....and I'm not going to hold it against Scan, though equally I'll buy from any reasonably reputable company. Can anyone recommend me a decent PSU? Budget's as little as possible really, under £50 ideally though I'll go to £60-70 if it's worth it. Quick replies appreciated, I wouldn't mind getting it ordered before COP today, as it's annoying not having my good computer working (posting from my old Athlon XP that's plugged into the telly downstairs).

    TIA.

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    I would go for the EZcool or more likely, the Seasonic (out of the Today only selection) Otherwise BeQuiet or Corsair. I'm surprised about the FSP - they have quite a good reputation, and FSP are the OEM for a number of branded PSUs.

    I have no direct experience of the two I have mentioned from Today Only. Others might, or have a different opinion.
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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    I quite like the look of the 850W Silvesrtone Zeus? No 8-pin PCI sockets but 4 6-pin, and a quick google shows that you can get adaptors?

    I'm suspicious of Ez-Cool, they seem very cheap. And yes, I'm annoyed with the FSP. There's no good reason for it to have cooked itself. It's clearly not a fuse or anything, as the gnd and +5V lines come on eventually, just very weakly. I suppose I could open it up and see it's it's popped a cap somewhere or something.

    Edit: Seasonic 620W is roughly the same price as the Silverstone 850W? However it does come with a 3 year warranty. Hmm....

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    definatly a seasonic or corsair (rebranded seasonic). careful as not all corsair are seasonics

    also 500w should really be more than enough

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    I'm assuming EZ-Cool was a typo because they're complete rubbish, I wouldn't run my PC on one for a minute. Try RMAing your FSP if it's still under warranty, I'd be surprised if warranty was only a year. 500w should be plenty but there's no reason to stick to Seasonic or Seasonic-made Corsair especially considering most of the newer Corsairs are CWT and outperform existing models. Before buying a PSU it would be a good idea to look at a proper review of it, two good places to look are HardwareSecrets and JonnyGuru. Silverpower are good if you're on a tight budget, other good brands include Antec (but not all their PSUs are good, the good ones are about the best in the market though), Corsair, Seasonic, Be Quiet, Enermax, XFX, OCZ, PC P+C, some Xigmatek, etc - I've missed loads out but there's some names to work with.
    Last edited by watercooled; 14-05-2010 at 07:18 PM.

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave View Post
    <--snip

    I'm suspicious of Ez-Cool, they seem very cheap. snip--->
    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    I would go for the EZcool or more likely, snip--->
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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Thanks all- went for the Seasonic 620W in the end, since the Hardware Secrets review was so complimentary about the 520W model. Was tempted to go for the gold rated 650W one at £110 I must admit, but that really would be a bit of a foolhardy waste of money seeing as I'm skint anyway.

    Oh, and just to say- I opened up the FSP, and did spy a bulgy cap by the smaller of the two transformer thingies in there which I assume is responsible for the 5V output. However, that's now irrelevant, because I decided to try and put the casing back on with it still powered up. Result- big, loud spark, circuit breaker downstairs tripped. How was I to know that the big heatsink things inside the PSU weren't supposed to be connected to ground? I'll leave it for a day for the caps to discharge and see if I've properly mullered it, or whether it might live again with a replacement cap and a new fuse. What a prat.

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    You might want to have a look at this

    http://www.ebuyer.com/product/206053

    £54.99

    Be Quiet Special Edition White 600W E7 Modular PSU

    Its a fiver cheaper than before. It sounds like a bargain but I wanted to know if anyone could reccommend it?

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    The bulging cap suggests it was on its way out anyway, a jolt from moving it or spike from turning it on must have just tipped it over the edge. I wouldn't advise connecting any hardware to it as bulging caps and loud bangs usually mean out-of-spec output. Can you see what went bang/is anything charred? The heatsinks should not be live, if they are it could be a rectifier has fried and is shorting to it or something.

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Some of the FSP PSUs have been quite good IIRC. However some of their recent PSUs based around the Epsilon platform are not that great it seems. A number of the OCZ PSUs are based on the same platform as it the FSP 700-80GLN.


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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    The bulging cap suggests it was on its way out anyway, a jolt from moving it or spike from turning it on must have just tipped it over the edge. I wouldn't advise connecting any hardware to it as bulging caps and loud bangs usually mean out-of-spec output. Can you see what went bang/is anything charred? The heatsinks should not be live, if they are it could be a rectifier has fried and is shorting to it or something.
    The bang was clearly my fault. Upon closer examination the inside of the casing is insulated at that point to prevent any contact. It's completely dead now, tho with any luck I've just blown the internal fuse.

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Can I say you're very lucky not to have got the current going through you.

    I made that mistake, trying to poke around inside a live psu, ZAP!

    Nothing to major, just hurt like heck, left my hand numb and a tiny hole burnt into my fingure.


    Although it does sound like you got the tail end of the dodgy caps fiasco that FSP went through. bad luck there.

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    Question Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    I don't understand the point of going for an overly high watt PSU when you don't need it. Surely more energy is wasted in terms of heat etc. The future of technology is lower and lower power requirements not more. Why not go with one of the Earthwatts PSUs/80% efficiency etc?

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    A higher wattage PSu doesn't mean more heat is wasted, just because a PSU is labelled at 700w doesn't mean it will always draw 700w, just that that is the maximum amount of DC power it can supply. In fact PC PSUs are generally most efficient at about 50% load so it's best to go a bit over but buying a 1000w PSU for a system that is going to draw about 150-300w max (like most single-GPU systems) is just a waste of money. Also when idle modern PSUs draw far less power than when loaded and SMPS's tend to start dropping efficiency below about 10% load and considering most desktop PCs spend most of their time idle it's worth taking that into account. Earthwatts are Antec's budget PSUs and there are better performers out there if efficiency is what you're after, 85% plus efficiency is common for newer PSUs.

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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Quote Originally Posted by jadamso View Post
    I don't understand the point of going for an overly high watt PSU when you don't need it. Surely more energy is wasted in terms of heat etc. The future of technology is lower and lower power requirements not more. Why not go with one of the Earthwatts PSUs/80% efficiency etc?
    There are bag fulls of 80plus rated PSUs now of various flavours there's even some gold ones hitting 90% efficiency.

    But as said, a 700w doesn't draw 700w 100% of the time, that is merely what the unit is capable of providing, some manufacturers (the ****ty ones) use peak power that the psus can only sustain in bursts, the better brands advertise their ratings as stable continuous, for example there was a case of a corsair 450w psu happily providing 700w stably for one reviewer, some companies knowingly under rate their products, some knowingly over rate, eg ezcool...

    But if your components are using 200w the psu will draw 200w (+inefficiency) from the wall...

    And the future is lower power? That is always touted about, what the hell are nvidia on then?
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    Re: Recommend me a decent power supply please

    Quote Originally Posted by watercooled View Post
    The bulging cap suggests it was on its way out anyway, a jolt from moving it or spike from turning it on must have just tipped it over the edge. I wouldn't advise connecting any hardware to it as bulging caps and loud bangs usually mean out-of-spec output. Can you see what went bang/is anything charred? The heatsinks should not be live, if they are it could be a rectifier has fried and is shorting to it or something.
    Actually it isn't unusual for heatsinks to be live (although ideally they should have a mica washer to insulate them from the device if the device has its heatsink live). It's one of the reasons why there are big "Do not remove this case" signs on the case. Quite often a device is built (internally) on the heatsink to minimize thermal resistance.

    As for the bulging capacitor, that is a relatively trivial thing to replace if you have a bit of skill with a soldering - AND you know what you are doing. But as always, if you have any doubts about your skill and your awareness, and understanding of the risks involved (and how to mitigate them) in dealing with the hazards of high energy circuits - then DON'T!
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