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The Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550 power supply is unique in the marketplace today: It is not only the most energy efficient computer power supply, but also among the very quietest in any practical application. Its acoustic competitors are mostly a pair of fanless Seasonic X series 80 Plus Gold models, higher power X-series hybrid passive fan models, and X-series based Corsairs. The LZP-550 is in very refined company. Its electrical performance and build quality also appear very good, and the detachable, modular cables are a nice benefit, but the biggest selling factor is its superior efficiency: At 500W, its AC power consumption is about 15W lower than any 80 Plus Gold model at the same load. The efficiency improvement starts much lower, with a couple watts saved even down at the 50W level.
The high efficiency is what makes the virtually passive fan control scheme workable... even with the small heatsinks. There is so little heat to dissipate. If installed in a system with long term average power draw of 250W or higher, one might have thoughts about the risk to longevity with the constant heat load. This would be especially true in a tower case where the PSU is mounted conventionally at the top back corner. Such cases are increasingly out of favor with DIY builders, however, and the majority of high performance cases now place the PSU at the bottom back corner. Those who live in 220~240 VAC service areas get the benefit of efficiency that is even higher, over 95% at the peak.
The LZP-550 appears to be the lone 80 Plus Platinum model in the market, despite the 25 PSUs passed to Platinum level by 80 Plus. We could speculate as to why:
- Technical difficulties in achieving Platinum level efficiency in mass production (as opposed to small numbers of test samples for 80 Plus and hardware reviewers)
- Low perceived demand (on the part of manufacturers) considering likely selling price.
- Low perceived value by consumers considering the already high efficiency of 80 Plus Gold PSUs (and their relatively wide availability).
- Limited supply of parts for Platinum efficiency PSUs.
The good news for who seek a PSU of this type of efficiency is that Newegg's selling price has dropped from the initial $170 a few months ago to $150 today. That is still a pretty steep price for a 550W PSU, as most 500~600W 80 Plus Gold models go for $110~$125. But it is not so bad compared to the current $160 for the fanless Seasonic X-460.
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550 Balance Sheet
* Silent at almost any load
* The highest efficiency
* High quality parts & build
* Modular cables
* Very good electrical performance
* 5-year warranty
* Too many attached cables
* Over-large for 550W unit
* Might risk longevity with so little airflow even at high loads?
Much thanks to Kingwin Technology for the review sample.
Kingwin Lazer Platinum LZP-550 receives the SPCR Editor's Choice Award
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SPCR Articles of Related Interest:
Power Supply Fundamentals
Recommended Power Supplies
SPCR PSU Test Rig V.4
Corsair Gold: AX850 Power Supply
Seasonic X-400 Fanless
Seasonic X-650: Seasonic Hits
Enermax Modu/Pro87+ 500W
Antec TruePower TP-750
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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