I need a new budget PSU. Any recommendations?

vbimport

#1

I am looking for a new power supply for my computer. My current power supply, a 250W FSP supplied with my computer, is approaching it’s 8th birthday and has become rather loud. I suspect that it has lost efficiency over the years and the higher load means that the fan has to run at a higher speed under normal use. It is almost silent when I first boot up, but after a few minutes of idle the fan speeds up and becomes quite loud. This is the case even if I reduce the load on the power load to a minimum by connecting only a single hard drive and swapping the graphics card for the original ATI Radeon 32MB SDR.

I do not need a PSU with a high rating; I think that a power rating of 300W or greater should be sufficient for my current requirements (my computer is an Athlon 900MHz (Socket A), 512MB PC133 RAM, nVidia FX5200 128MB, 2x HDDs & 2x DVD Writers). A more powerful PSU that could be used if I ever do a major upgrade would be an advantage, but I have no plans to do any upgrading in the immediate future.

The problem is that I want my new power supply to be -

a) Quiet
b) Cheap - under £30 would be nice (but there is no set budget and I might be prepared to pay more for the right PSU).
c) Reliable - I don’t want to risk damaging my computer, especially my Benq DW1655 (so no dodgy £10 specials).
d) Efficient - an inefficient PSU would be a false economy in the long run.
e) Available in the UK

So can anybody recommend a good quality ATX PSU with a power rating of around 300-400W that meets my requirements?

P.S.
I have tried searching online reviews, but they are mostly interested in 700W+ monsters for overclocking multiple graphics cards. Not really what I am looking for.


#2

Since you don’t want to pay the prices that something like Seasonic, Corsair or Antec would be, how about another FSP?

I paid a bit more than £30 for mine though (500W). Only PSU’s I’ve had that cost £30-ish were dodgy Q-Tec things :Z


#3

You will probably have to set your budget for £75 to £100 approx. This would be for a 500watt PSU. Antec, Seasonic , Corsair , CoolerMaster would be some of the one’s to look at. If you are set on 300 then you might have to visit some computer store that builds systems and they could probably set you up.

:cool::cool:


#4

To meet your power requirements and price point this Antec is worth a look.
http://www.misco.co.uk/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=262110&CatId=39
The Earthwatts series has been getting good reviews.


#5

Ibex,
Have a look at the Corsair VX450.


#6

Applying the word “cheap” to “power supply” is usually a recipe for disaster. I would recommend whatever Antec PS you can afford. jflan gave you an excellent recommendation. I have this PS driving a 2.8 ghz X2 CPU, three hard drives, a DVD burner, four sticks of RAM, add-on cards, PCIe video card and two USB 2.5" hard drives. It hasn’t even hiccuped. Also, it’s 80%+ efficient.


#7

http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=792422
//Danne


#8

http://www.cclonline.com/product-categories.asp?category_id=646 or http://www.cclonline.com/product-categories.asp?category_id=263 i would recommend a coolermaster extreme power for budget there pretty damn good


#9

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2083730]http://scan.co.uk/Product.aspx?WebProductId=792422
//Danne[/QUOTE]

I’d definitely go with that, given the OP’s requirements laid out in the first post :iagree:


#10

Many thanks for the suggestions. I found a few PSUs that might be suitable yesterday but I didn’t have time to post them last night. I found them all on ebuyer.co.uk or scan.co.uk (I have a free delivery voucher from Ebuyer due to their lousy service last year). Here they are in alphabetical order.

Antec Earthwatts 380W (£33)
Corsair VX 450W (£45)
FSP ATX-350PNF or ATX-400PNF (£23/£32)
Gigabyte Superb 460W (£26)
Hiper HPU-4S425 425W (£23)
OCZ Stealth Xtream 500W (£35)

The Corsair looks very good based on reviews at hexus.net & silentpcreview.com (very quiet & efficient), but I would prefer to pay a bit less than £45. Also has long cables and quite a lot of connectors which could be a bit of a squeeze in my medium-small case.

I can’t find these FSP PSU models on their web site and Scan don’t give any details. They look interesting but I don’t know enough about them.

I don’t really know much about Gigabyte, Hiper or OCZ. The Hiper looks very tempting at £23, and I have seen the Series M 530W recommended. OCZ’s high end PSUs are supposed to be very good but a review that I found of one of their mid-range PSUs thought that they had used inferior quality capacitors (but this was on an overclocking web site!).

Antec’s PSUs have been criticised for running very hot, but it has the (possible) advantage of being the only PSU on the list with an 80mm fan. My case has a small ledge for the end of the PSU to sit on. But it is only an inch deep so it shouldn’t affect the airflow through a 120mm fan PSU significantly. The Corsair PSU has almost a quarter of the 120mm fan intake covered over to control the airflow.


#11

I would go for the Corsair or the Seasonic listed in the link from scan (DiiZzY’s post)

I have the Seasonic in my HTPC system and it is silent at low power usage. I also have the 750W Corsair and the build quality is very good.

The 2 things that dont go well together in PSU’s are the words Cheap and Reliable. Generally you do end up paying for the better saftey features that will not kill other components if and when the PSU dies. Corsair and Seasonic are very good (Seasonic make their own PSU’s and other peoples PSU’s, Corsair have their PSU’s built for them but to their specification).


#12

I can vouch for the Corsair VX450 as it has been very solid in the 2ndary PC. Primary is the HX620. :slight_smile:


#13

I wouldnt go Antec, Gigabyte or Hiper at least…
FSP do make good “budget” PSUs but they’re quite a bit louder than Seasonic/Corsair (not all Corsair PSUs are made by Seasonic btw) and not as stable. 300W is more than enough for your computer.
//Danne


#14

Something else that I may have to check before purchasing is how the 12V rails are connected (if the PSU has more than 1). Why? Some of the PSUs that I have seen indicate that their P4 (4 pin 12V) processor power connector is on a separate 12V rail, but my motherboard does not use the P4 connector which could leave one of the 12V rails without any load on it (Antec for example specifies a minimum load of 1 amp on both 12V rails). I don’t know if this will be a big problem when choosing a PSU but it is yet another thing that I will have to check.

This is a big point in favour of the Corsair VX450 which (according to the hexus.net review) has a single 12V rail design. But how am I going to fit all of these cables into my 410x430x190mm case? :eek: (Especially as I won’t be using most of them)

Thank you to all of my fellow CDFreaks who have given me guidance on this matter, I think I am going to need it!



#15

[QUOTE=Ibex;2083576]
a) Quiet
b) Cheap - under £30 would be nice (but there is no set budget and I might be prepared to pay more for the right PSU).
c) Reliable - I don’t want to risk damaging my computer, especially my Benq DW1655 (so no dodgy £10 specials).
d) Efficient - an inefficient PSU would be a false economy in the long run.
e) Available in the UK

So can anybody recommend a good quality ATX PSU with a power rating of around 300-400W that meets my requirements?
[/QUOTE]

I’ve had one of these for more than two years. Totally silent and
so far, 100% reliable.
http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?ModuleNo=35345&doy=26m6


#16

[QUOTE=DiiZzY;2083991]I wouldnt go Antec, Gigabyte or Hiper at least…
FSP do make good “budget” PSUs but they’re quite a bit louder than Seasonic/Corsair (not all Corsair PSUs are made by Seasonic btw) and not as stable. 300W is more than enough for your computer.
//Danne[/QUOTE]
Some Antecs are by Seasonic and some are by CWT (Channel Well Technology).
Some Corsairs are by Seasonic and some are by CWT.

Find a power supply that you like and research it…look for positive reviews from reputable sources.
It’s always interesting to see who the ODM (original design manufacturer) is and what other private labels are actually the same unit.
Jonny Guru
Tech Support Forum
PC Perspective
Hardware Secrets
Silent PC Review
PCStats
legitreviews
etc


#17

[quote=Ibex;2084030]Something else that I may have to check before purchasing is how the 12V rails are connected (if the PSU has more than 1). Why? Some of the PSUs that I have seen indicate that their P4 (4 pin 12V) processor power connector is on a separate 12V rail, but my motherboard does not use the P4 connector which could leave one of the 12V rails without any load on it (Antec for example specifies a minimum load of 1 amp on both 12V rails). I don’t know if this will be a big problem when choosing a PSU but it is yet another thing that I will have to check.

This is a big point in favour of the Corsair VX450 which (according to the hexus.net review) has a single 12V rail design. But how am I going to fit all of these cables into my 410x430x190mm case? :eek: (Especially as I won’t be using most of them)

Thank you to all of my fellow CDFreaks who have given me guidance on this matter, I think I am going to need it![/quote]

As mentioned, look for a modular PSU or one that does not have as many cables but will do the job for ya.

Example of a modular PSU. Plug in only what you need.

Example


#18

I would love a modular psu but the cheapest branded ones I have seen were about £60.

Are the Channel Well Technology made PSUs any good? Also does anyone know which Antec & Corsair models are made by CWT?

I have seen a few Trust PSUs listed but I just assumed that they were in the same catagory as “EZ Cool” & “Colors IT”, that is too cheap. Should I reconsider?

Thank you for your input Platinumsword, jflan & skelton.


#19

[QUOTE=Ibex;2084311]
Are the Channel Well Technology made PSUs any good? Also does anyone know which Antec & Corsair models are made by CWT?
[/QUOTE]
The CWT Corsairs are getting excellent reviews.
Here are a few Corsairs with their ODM’s identified by various reviewers:
VX550 > CWT
TX750 > CWT
VX450 > SEA
TX650 > SEA

For the Antecs, start searching the Earthwatts series.


#20

This article may be of interest to anyone who wants to find out the actual manufacturer of their power supply -

How to Discover Your Power Supply Real Manufacturer http://www.hardwaresecrets.com/article/370