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Buying a new PSU

Power Supply Unit – Buying a new PSU

Choosing the right PSUBekijk in het NederlandsWhen you are buying a new computer, or building your own from scratch you want it to be as good as possible for as little money as possible. Depending on your needs and budget, a new computer can range anywhere from €150,- to €1500,-. Most of that money is spent on the core components like the CPU, GPU and memory. This is fine as they are very important parts of your computer, but one important component is usually overlooked. The PSU, or power supply unit, is of vital importance to your computer and can greatly harm or even destroy your new computer rig when the wrong choices are made. Which PSU should you buy and which PSU should you avoid? I will try to answer those questions below.

Why Power Supply Units are important

PSU’s, or power supply units come in various shapes and sizes, but also in very different price ranges. Picking a good power supply unit can be a though one, since the speficications of a PSU are so different from any other specifications related to computers. If you know your way around Ghz, cores, clockspeed, gDDR5 and so it is very well possible that you still do not know a lot about Watt, volts, lanes and other power supply slang. You may also not be aware of how much power your computer actually needs. Most people, and manufacturers go for the lowest amount of power needed in the cheapest case. Although the first can’t really do any harm, the cheapest brand can destroy your computer in the long run.

The dangers of a bad PSU

Avoid Bad PSUPower supplies for computers advertise a certain range of power they are able to supply to your computer system. This amount should be more or equal to the amount of power your computer consumes at maximum workload. In general, all PSU’s provide the amount of power they advertise with in the beginning, but this is where it gets interesting. Cheap brands power supplies tend to lose power over time. This may not be noticed straigt away because your computer does not use all the power your PSU provides, or is not working at its maximum workload often, but as your PSU slips underneath the power threshold your computer needs, or your computer suddenly demands more power because of a heavy workload – playing games or crunching lots of numbers for example – you may experience a sudden loss of power resulting in an unexpected reboot of your computer. If this happens once, it is annoying. You usually have no idea why it happened and no error or bluescreen of death is presented. Your computer just powers down ands starts booting up again as if nothing had happened. As your PSU degrades further this tends to happen more often.

This happened to very often a few years back. Especially when I was playing a game, which requires my graphical unit to really crunch to the limit, thus requiring a lot power, my computer tended to lose power or shut down. At first I thought it was the graphics unit itself and replaced it. Luckilly for me it was time for a replacement anyway, but the problem stayed the same. After examining my computer for days, running all kinds of tests and looking at various error logs I was unable to find what was wrong with it. After a while i replaced my power unit after finding some leads to how crappy my PSU was supposed to be and voila, no more problems – ever!

Burn power supply unitIn addition to losing power over time, bad PSU’s can simply destroy your computer because of malfunctions. A power spike, short circuiting or random malfunctions can literally fry your valuable equipment by overloading them with power – something most high-tech components cannot handle very well. You can guard yourself from this by buying a PSU which has the proper protection in place for this. This will not guarantee that nothing can ever go wrong, but will greatly reduce the chance of this ever happening to your computer.

My power supply turned out to be from a very cheap brand and was known for loosing power over time. I did some research and found out there was much difference between different power supplies. Not only did I find several things to keep in mind when buying a new computer power supply, but I also find several brands to absolutely avoid and several PSU brands which tend to be way better than others.

Find out which PSU to buy and which brand of power supply to avoid…

Bad and good brands for your PSU

Power Supply Unit – Which brand to avoid when buying a PSU

Antec great PSU brandBekijk in het NederlandsWhen buying a new PSU you must consider several things, including the brand. Simply put, there are good PSU’s and bad power supplies. It just so happens that most of the good ones fall in the same group of brands, where most of the bad computer power supplies fall in a different group of brands. This results in a list of bad and good brands when it comes to your computer power supply. If you want to avoid destroying your computer due to a bad PSU, or want to buy something that will last longer than a year, you may want to spend the few extra bucks and get a AAA brand PSU instead of the cheapest one available.

PSU brands – which to avoid and which are great!

When you look at problems people tend to have with their power supply you see certain brands pop up a lot more than others. In addition, these brands tend to come up as well when you look at PSU’s failing after a year or something comparable.

Brands to avoid when buying your PSU:

Brands to avoid when buying a PSU  
A-TOP Technology Apevia
APEX Aspire
ATADC Athena Power
ATRIX Broadway Com Corp
Deer Diablotek
Dynapower USA Dynex
EagleTech FOXCONN
FSP Everest HEC Orion
Hiper Type-R Huntkey
I-Star Computer Co. Ltd In Win
JPAC COMPUTER Just PC
Kingwin Inc. Linkworld Electronics
Logisys Computer MGE
MSI NMEDIAPC
Norwood Micro/ CompUSA NorthQ
NZXT Okia
Powmax Q-Tec
Raidmax Rocketfish
Rosewill SFC
Shuttle Skyhawk
Spire Coolers Star Micro
STARTECH TOPOWER TOP
XION YoungYear
Zebronics

 

The same goes for positive reactions and long lasting power supplies. Several brands tend to be really reliable and their PSU’s seem to last much longer than cheaper brands.

Brands to look at when buying your computer power supply unit:

Top Notch Power Supply Unit brands  
Antec Corsair
Enermax Kingwin
PCP&C Sapphire
Seasonic Silverstone
Seventeam XFX
Zippy

 

Great PSU brands  
Akasa CoolMax
Cooler Master Cooltek
Cougar Enhance
EVGA Fortron
iStarUSA LEPA
OCZ PC P&C Silencer
Rosewill Sentey
SevenTeam Supermicro/AbleCom
Thermaltake Thortech
Topower Xclio StablePower
Xigmatek Zalman

Besides avoiding certain brands of PSU’s or looking at quality brands for computer power supply units there is more to it than that. Power supplies can get certificates which show you just how well they perform consumption wise. A power supply tens to lose some of its power to heat, thus resulting in more power consumed than put to good use. This is where the certificates come in.

Read more on picking a good computer power supply and PSU certificates

PSU certifications and efficiency

Power Supply Unit – Efficiency and certification

PSU 80 PLUS certificationBekijk in het NederlandsAs said before, power supply units tend to lose some of its power to heat production. This results in less power put to good use compared to the power that is drawn from your socket. PSU certifications show you just how well your PSU should perform.

Power Supply Unit efficiency

There are several different kinds of certificatio