Recommended Power Supplies

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RETIRED RECOMMENDED PSUs

There are many reasons for these PSU models to be retired from the Recommended PSU List. The most common reasons are:

No longer available. If they are more than ~18 months old, chances are the manufacturer has revised, updated or replaced them.

Does not support latest ATX12V spec. Intel has made many changes in PSU design guidelines in the last two years, and the latest motherboards and components require a PSU that provides most of its power at 12V.

Too long since review. Even if a product is still available relatively unchanged, which is very unlikely, if we have not examined it for a couple of years, it's an automatic retirement.

The retired models may still be available in some markets, and they may still be quite suitable for many systems. If you have one that's working quietly for you in your system, be happy.

New entries are in darker yellow rows.

RETIRED Comments
Antec EarthWatts 430 It's basically an 80 Plus certified, non-detachable cable version of the NeoHE with a slightly louder fan. Still pretty quiet, even to a fairly high power load. Reviewed. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Antec Truepower Trio 550 120mm fan model, Good overall performance, quiet up to ~200W load. Surprisingly inexpensive. Reviewed. July 28, 2007 DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Antec TruePower 380 Quiet, 380W unit; 2 fans noisier than quietest 1 fan models. Unique outputs for case fans to keep them at same low voltage as PSU fans. Independent voltage lines. All TruePower models should exhibit the same noise level. Early samples exhibited unexplained coil buzz on reference P4 system; not heard in later samples. First-hand. Price: $70. TOO LONG SINCE LAST EXAMINED. retired April 2005.
Antec Phantom 350 >80% efficiency, strong dual-12V current capability of 34A combined, and seemingly effective cooling for all internal components by conduction to the heavy external casing. Slight buzzing inaudible in normal use, 3 year warranty. No PFC in 120VAC model; APFC in 230VAC EU model. Reviewed. Price: ~$150. Caution: First production run seems to have a high rate of failure, which Antec has dealt with responsibly. Q rating marked down 1 point until reliability looks improved. See this SPCR Forum thread. PHASED OUT. Dec 1/06.
Antec SmartPower 2-450
Dual 80mm push-pull cooling, with external fan that turns only at higher loads. Very quiet at low load, gets noisier more quickly with load than higher ranked models on this list. Good performance, good cooling, good efficiency. Reviewed. DISCONTINUED. July 28/07
Antec NeoHE 430
Middle model in series offering ~80% efficiency, detachable output cables, multiple 12V lines, APFC, auto-range AC input, quiet fan and intelligent fan controller. The 80mm fan is a very quiet ball-bearing Adda. Other models likely have similar acoustics and performance. Only a touch louder than the Seasonic S12-330, 380 & 430 models in actual use. Reviewed. High incompatibility issues appear to have been largely solved in the first quarter of 2006. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Antec TrueControl 550 Quiet at under 100W power delivery, modest up to >150W, incredibly full featured with manual fan speed bypass, fine line voltage adjust on front panel (of PC!), outputs for case fans to keep them at same low voltage as PSU fans, and a spare 4-pin DC output on back panel, this 2-fan model puts out very tightly regulated voltage on all lines all way to its max power of 550W. Same guts as TruePower and TrueEPS12V models. Reviewed Price: ~$160 TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 430 Good quality, fairly high efficiency, low noise power supply only for 220VAC, competitive pricing. Availability limited to the EU. Reviewed. Oct 12/06. DISCONTINUED. retired from active list Sept 2009.
Chill Innovation CP-700M Very quiet up 135mm fan up to ~500W, not quite the highest efficiency, available primarily in the EU. Worthwhile alternative for quiet-seeking gamer. Reviewed. Sept 09. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
CoolMax Taurus CF-300 The black anodized aluminum casing acts as a big heatsink and efficiency is very high. It not equipped with PFC at all. 12V current is 15A, a bit low by today's standards, it seems to run fairly hot, and the sample unit showed a malfunction in not turning off normally although otherwise OK. Recommended with caution. Reviewed. Price: ~$150. MANY BETTER MODELS NOW AVAILABLE retired Oct 2005.
Corsair VX450W 80 Plus level efficiency, even down to pretty low output load, very quiet to a very high output level (300W on our test bench), made by Seasonic, very well priced, hard to fault. Reviewed. Aug 16/07. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Corsair HX520/620 Combines the modular cabling of the Seasonic M12 with the quieter single 120mm fan cooling configuration of the S12. Highly efficient. About the best balanced of Seasonic's current offerings (under its own brand or other brands.) Reviewed. Nov 17/06. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Corsair TX650W 80 Plus efficiency, very quiet to a high output level (300W on our test bench), made by Seasonic, well priced, hard to fault. It's basically a higher power version of the VX450W. Reviewed. March 16/08. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW; CURRENT PRODUCTION MAY BE CHANGED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Enermax Eco80+ 500W Good all around performance and very low noise that just misses Editor's Choice class performance; the fan ramps up at a slightly lower load than most EC power supplies. Review Added Jan 12/10 DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Enermax NoiseTaker 475 High efficiency for this 470W non-PFC model. Though min. noise is bettered by other models (in med & high power categories) due to dual fans' bearing noise, for high power systems, it will stay at min spin speed to much higher power level and temp. Cables way too stiff -- but improved in later production) Reviewed Price: ~$99. April 4/04. DISCONTINUED; replaced by 495AX. Jan 3/06

Enermax Noisetaker 701

A 600W model with high efficiency optimized for the new generation of very high power dual-VGA SLI systems. Not as quiet as the 475, but quiet considering power capability. Cables now much more flexible. Reviewed ~$170. April 5, 2005. NOTE: This unit has been replaced by an SLI-certified 701AX with PCIe connectors; it's not identical to the sample tested, but acoustics are said to be the same. DISCONTINUED. July 28/07
Enermax Noisetaker 325 Identical technology as Enermax Noisetaker 475 below, but with Active PFC: Very high efficiency, very low noise, smart fan controller. Based on Firsthand experience. June 2004. DISCONTINUED. Jan 3/06
FSP Green PS FSP400-60GLN Environmentally friendly power supply manufactured from recyclable and nontoxic materials offer high efficiency, stable power, good cooling and low noise with lower component density, all at a decent price. Availability seems spotty. Reviewed Price: ~$70. Jan 03/6. SURPASSED BY MANY OTHERS. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Fortron FSP350-60PN Aurora 120mm blue-LED fan, manual speed control, small heatsinks, linear thermal fan control. Default noise level is higher than with most 80mm fan quiet PSUs, humming more than most. High cooling power when fan speeds up. Reviewed Price: $75. 6/02. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Fortron Zen FSP300-60GNF
The highest efficiency of any fanless model (>84%) and second only to Seasonic's SS400HT "80 Plus" model, modest dual-12V current capability of 22A combined. Uses large internal heasinks and wide open mesh cover for convection cooling, which may be a bit suspect. Lower than usual price for fanless design. APFC, auto-range AC input. Reviewed. Price: <$100. Sept 2005 SEEMS DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Sept 2009.
Nexus NX-3000
Very quiet, with tight line voltage regulation and good cooling despite quiet fan. Looks similar to Zalman. Passive PFC. Stamped grill vent only downside. Reviewed Price: $75. 11/29/02. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Nexus NX-4090
120mm fan PSU based on Fortron design, with good performance and good cooling is very quiet to ~150W load. In actual use, slightly quieter than earlier NX-3500 model. Fan ramps up too quickly. For low noise operation, care must be taken to ensure good case airflow. Reviewed June 17/03. Price: ~$100. April 5/05. Old outmoded design, long surpassed. Aug 14/06
Nexus NX-8060
120mm fan 600W PSU with modular cabling from one of silent computing's oldest names. Good performance, cooling, and efficiency, but flawed by linear controller that speeds up the fan a bit too soon. It's quiet at lower loads, but needs a separate thermal chamber to stay quiet at higher loads. Reviewed. July 28, 200. Also see NX-8060 PSU improved DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Nexus NX3500 120mm fan 350W PSU w/smooth sounding fan that's very quiet at default level. Fan ramps up too quickly. Overall performance similar to 120mm Fortron. Reviewed Price: $80. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired Sept 2005.
Nexus NX-4000
Quiet high power PSU based on Fortron design, with tight voltage regulation, high over-current capability and very good cooling. Simple linear themperature / voltage curve in fan control circuit seems same as in SilenX 400; this plus ball bearing noise in fan inhibits noise performance. For low noise operation, care must be taken to ensure good case airflow. Active PFC. Rugged looking construction. Reviewed Price: ~$105. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.

Q-Technology QT-02300

Quiet thermister controlled fan remains that way under substantial load. Excellent quality fan, low airflow, runs hot, and case airflow suffers somewhat. Good sized heatsinks. Q marked down for some coil whine in test system. Needs good case airflow. Active PFC. Reviewed Price: $79. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Seasonic M12D 850W The first superpower model from Seasonic is a 80 Plus Silver model, highly efficient, modular, and equipped with a new top quality Sanyo Denki fan. With the Enermax Modu82+, it's become the one to beat. Dec 20/08. HARD TO FIND, PROBABLY DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Seasonic S12 Energy+ 550/650 Most efficient of Seasonic's current lineup, 80 Plus certified. The fan controller appears to be tweaked for lower noise even to very high power loads. Very quiet! Efficiency at very low loads (<65W) is no better than other models of similar rating. Reviewed. Oct 5/06. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Sept 2009.
Seasonic S12-430
Higher efficiency and very low noise (18~22 dBA@1m) up beyond fairly high power loads (~200W). ATX12V 2.0 compliance, high 12V current capability, excellent fan controller and quiet 12cm fan. Reviewed. Price: ~$100. April 5/05. REPLACED BY S12II SERIES. retired March 2008.
Seasonic S12-500 / 600
These 500W and 600W models have different circuitry than the lower powered S12s, slightly higher noise, and even higher efficiency. ATX12V 2.0 compliance, high 12V current capability, PCIe VGA connectors. Excellent fan controller. Reviewed. April 5/05. REPLACED BY S12II SERIES. retired March 2008.
Seasonic M12-600/700
Seasonic's first modular cable PSU line, the M12 also sports a secondary 60mm fan meant to address the problem of a hot spot which probably afflicts all 120mm fan designs. Very quiet at lower loads, even up to mid-200W, but once the 60mm fan starts, it never shuts off, which makes it a bit noisier than other Seasonics. The high power ratings make it clear it's aimed at gamers and performance nuts. Reviewed. Oct 11/06.
Seasonic S12-330 & 380
The 330 is similar to S12-430 but the fan tends to get faster at slightly lower power than high power models. Newer sleeved version reviewed. The 380 was not officially tested but is used around the lab. It has the same size heatsinks as the 430, so the noise curve is pretty much identical to the 430. Aug 14/06. REPLACED BY S12II SERIES. retired March 2008.
Seasonic SS-400HT 80+
Same circuitry as in S12-500/600, this is a specially modified 80+ approved model that has higher efficiency especially at low loads. Same characteristics as the S12-500/600, otherwise. >85% max. efficiency is highest measured with newly calibrated test rig (v3). Probably very hard to find, as it is a non-retail product. Reviewed. Sept 2005. No longer available, retired March 2008.
Seasonic Super Silencer 300, 350
Identical technology as Seasonic Super Silencer 400. Very high efficiency, very low noise, smart fan controller works very well in Rev. A3 released ~end of May '04. Based on Firsthand experience. BEING PHASED OUT. retired April 2005.
Seasonic Super Tornado 300
With Super Silencer series, among the highest efficiency PSUs available, up to 78%, and >75% efficiency at any power level. 120mm fan. Active PFC, cable management kit, ATX12V v1.3 compliance, very high 12V current capacity. 3 yr warranty. When in a good airflow case, review samples are the quietest tested thus far and would be at the top of this list; however, a portion of the first batch have had significant fan noise & non-start issues, and buyers are cautioned to read through the PSU forms. Reviewed. Rev. A3 released late May '04 corrects previous fan controller inconstencies and improves efficiency to over 80%. Rev.A3 review. Price: $65. REPLACED BY S12 SERIES. retired April 2005.
Seasonic SS-300FS Active-PFC Quiet 300W, neck & neck with Zalman. High efficiency. A bit of fan ball bearing noise keeps unit from the top of this list. All Seasonic PSU utilize their smart S2FC fan control for minimum noise. Active PFC for excellent energy conservation. Note: All Seasonic PSUs feature the S2FC fan control 6/02. Reviewed Price: $59. Comments revised June 9/03. PHASED OUT. retired April 2005.
Seasonic SS-300FS non-PFC Modestly priced Seasonic has 2 main differences from APFC model below - no PFC and a sleeve-bearing fan that is at least 2 dBA quieter and much smoother sounding. High >75% average efficiency. Reviewed Price: $45. June 19/03. PHASED OUT. retired April 2005.
Seasonic SS-400FS APFC Higher power version of SS300-APFC with S2FC fan control is quietest 400W unit encountered. Noise performance is actually better than 300W-APFC model because fan speed is kept low to a higher temperature/load. Active PFC. Firsthand. Price: ~$99. Comments revised June 19/03. PHASED OUT. retired April 2005.
Seasonic SS-200SFD Very quiet 200W with sleeve-bearing fan in smaller case (SFX form factor) for Flex-ATX case, smart S2FC fan control for minimum noise. P4 12V connector. Good for custom small form factor systems (used in Breadbox PC) and as replacement for eMachine, HP, and other OEM PCs. 9/02. Price: ~$32 SEEMS DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Sept 2009.
Shuttle SilentX 250 Quieter 250W PSU in long & narrow form factor replacement model for most Shuttle SFF systems. Uses two 40mm fans in push/pull config; they do ramp up under load. MSRP of $70 seems steep. Feb / 05 SEEMS DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Sept 2009.
SilenX 14dB 400W Good quality Fortron-based model with massive HS and quietest 80mm fan ever encountered. Starts inaudibly but ramps up to much higher volume under load due to simple linear themperature / voltage curve in fan control circuit. Airflow is very low, so great care must be taken to ensure very good case airflow to ensure quiet performance. Reviewed Comments revised June 19/03. Price: ~$119. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Silverstone Nightjar ST45NF (fanless) Higher power version of ST30NF, with 80 Plus Bronze efficiency. Very good build quality, excellent performance all around. Pricey (typically $200) Reviewed. Mar 14/09 DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Silverstone ST30NF Heatpipes transfer the heat from internal heatsinks to the heavy external casing, which is essentially a 6-sized heatsink. Near 80% efficiency comparable to Seasonic Super and Enermax Noistake series, along with Active PFC. 12V current capability is adequate at 17~18A. LEDs indicate thermal condition. It also looks sleek and high tech in natural aluminum extrusion casing. Reviewed. Oct 18/04. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Silverstone Element ST50EF-Plus 80 Plus certification and high efficiency competitive with the best, along with good acoustics to >250W load, and a nice fan controller, with a tendency to coil whine at very low loads (not unusual). Reviewed. Nov 17/06. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
TKPower 300 Fanless PSU only suitable for lower power systems. Runs hot. Not recommended for P4 systems. Non-standard form factor requires custom fitting into case. Maximum recommended load without fan is ~80W. Requires fan for full 300W power output. Q marked down because of preliminary coil noise in sample that mysteriously faded to very low levels after some weeks. Article 7/02. Price: ~$195. BETTER OPTIONS NOW. retired April 2005.

PC Power & Cooling Silencer 275ATX

Quiet performance by single fan 275W unit from one of the earliest quiet PSU makers. A little bearing chatter may be specific to test sample, as samples of 80mm fan used in unit don't exhibit same. Decent HS, build quality. Combined 3.3V + 5.5V rating lower than 300W units. First-hand. Price: $79. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Verax F300PPFC-80KP
As quiet or quieter than Nexus NX3000, with identical characteristics except the fan. Unusual "static" noise signature to Verax fan, which has very little low-frequency noise. Reviewed Price: $EUD119. 11/29/02. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.
Zalman ZM300A-APF Quiet 300W, cool operation, big heatsinks, intelligent fan control. Handy 5V/12V multiconnector for fans. Active PFC. Sample exhibited a negligible amount of coil buzzing. Reviewed Price: $75. 6/02. TOO LONG SINCE REVIEW. retired April 2005.

Zalman ZM460-APS

Based on the Fortron Green but with a better quality fan, this is the quietest PSU from Zalman yet. Pretty high efficiency, good cooling, and low noise to >200W load on our test bench make it a reasonable alternative to other top quiet recommendations. Reviewed $90~100. April 5, 2005. DISCONTINUED. Retired from active list Feb 2012.
Zalman ZM400B Similar to Nexus and SilenX 400W models, this rugged PSU is based on the ATX12X V1.3 compliant Fortron, with higher 75% efficiency. Noise is similar to 80mm Nexus PSU. Nice package and handy multiconnector for fans. Reviewed ~$110. Old outmoded design, long surpassed. Aug 14/06
Zalman ZM1000-HP It's a 1000W PSU, and it's quiet enough to take on all comers. It starts at ~20 dBA@1m and stays under 30 dBA till around 600W load. We never thought we'd say it, but it's a kilowatter that even silencers would like. Electrical performance is not tops, however, and efficiency could be better. Reviewed. Dec 20/08. TREPLACED BY NEW MODEL. Retired from active list Feb 2012.

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Articles of Related Interest
Power Supply Fundamentals
Power Distribution within Six PCs
Desktop CPU Power Survey, April 2006

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