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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 3:05 pm 
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I like the wit/sarcasm especially in the features section!

Also, as mentioned above, I believe at CEBit or some other recent show, Corsair demoed their HX620 620W PSU running an AMD FX-74 Quadcore (2 sockets x dual core) with 4GB RAM and SLI 8800GTX, WD Raptor HDD etc. and it was running fine. Not sure what the point of a 1000/1500/2000W PSU for a desktop computer is.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:16 pm 
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Ignoring my "small penis jokes of the potential buyers", I believe that "e," was the nail in the coffin, and easily the winner for SPCR in terms of hits.

Hopefully "e" was not JUST hits, but "reads", the more "numbskill 0v3rcl0ck3rs" that visit this most holy of sites will grudgingly appreciate that there are NO better reviews on "sensible" PSU's out there (with the possible xception of X-Bit and .... I cant remember).

This is a marketing act, and I hope that it works. At the end of the day if SPCR gets more money they get more reviews of potentially quality kit, and they will ocasionally review a non-SPCR produvt for the marketing value and this all helps SPCR so I am not complaining.


Andy

PS: The review was enjoyable, and funny :P

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 4:26 pm 
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MikeC wrote:
Your comment surprised me a bit. I mean, the name of the site defines our specific angle on IT gear, even though our perspective forces us to look at almost every aspect of it. Most sample suppliers are well aware of our focus, and if they send products that don't meet our criteria, they know what to expect: We get disappointed, as do the readers. I know we get sarcastic sometimes, partly because of how often we see a huge gap between marketingspeak drivel and the reality... but I hope we're not strutting around with the "i'm smarter than you" vibe going all the time. That's not our intention.

i'm sure my opinion is in the minority

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 5:16 pm 
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Filias Cupio wrote:
Where are the ~300W PSUs? The fanless ones? The 150W SFF ones? I feel like I'm seeing a constant progression of "here's a monster PSU - it is really noisy" reviews. What is the point? I was never going to consider that PSU anyway.


I second that.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:02 pm 
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jojo4u wrote:
Filias Cupio wrote:
Where are the ~300W PSUs? The fanless ones? The 150W SFF ones? I feel like I'm seeing a constant progression of "here's a monster PSU - it is really noisy" reviews. What is the point? I was never going to consider that PSU anyway.


I second that.

I hear you. They're hard to find these days, and sample suppliers simply don't even want to talk about them. We have to go to specialists, probably, and buy such things ourselves, keeping our fingers crossed that some will be quiet & efficient.

We'll try to make a short list of 350W and lower PSUs to examine over the next little while. If you have any strong recommendations, perhaps someone can start a thread in this PSU section.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 6:34 pm 
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Filias Cupio wrote:
Looking back at the most recent PSU reviews, I see:
Enermax 1kW
Lian-Li 600W
Tagan 700W
Antec 550W
Ulltra X-pro 600W
Corsair 520W and 620W
Antec 430W (from a series which also included 380W, 500W supplies)
Dark Power Pro 430W
Seasonic M12 700W (from a series including 500W, 600W)
Seasonic S12 550W, 650W.

Where are the ~300W PSUs? The fanless ones? The 150W SFF ones? I feel like I'm seeing a constant progression of "here's a monster PSU - it is really noisy" reviews. What is the point? I was never going to consider that PSU anyway.

I suppose ~420W is OK if it is the only way to get the features you want (e.g. 120mm fan, modular cabling) and the efficiency is OK in the 50 to 150W range.

If you're going to make a big comparison table (as others have suggested in this thread) I suggest efficiency and noise at 50W and 150W would be the appropriate statistics to use. (maybe stretch to 250W for the quite-but-not-silent gamers.)


Do you realize that the Seasonic 430, 550, and 650 were three of the four power supplies to have ever hit 20 dBa or below in SPCR testing?

Do you realize that the Corsair 520 and 620 are the quietest PSUs at 300W load?

Sure half of that list were not star performers but 4 of those reviews were for contenders for the lead and a couple of those reviews were needed as a base comparative just by the sheer numbers of units sold.

Here is a pair of tables with the top contenders from SPCR reviews:

Code:
Model       Output (W)  40      65      90      150     200     250     300
        Efficiency
     S12-330            68.1%   75.5%   77.9%   80.3%   82.0%   80.9%   79.9%
Antec Neo HE 430        67.3%   75.5%   76.2%   79.0%   77.8%   77.2%   75.9%
Earth Watts 430         70.8%   75.6%   78.3%   81.0%   83.5%   83.2%   82.4%
     S12-430              .?%   78.3%   80.5%   81.6%   81.8%   80.5%   79.6%
     HX520W             67.7%   72.5%   77.1%   81.0%   84.5%   85.2%   85.1%
     TP Trio 550        71.0%   74.6%   78.9%   81.0%   83.3%   83.7%   83.5%
     S12-550E+          68.8%   74.7%   78.6%   81.9%   84.8%   84.3%   84.1%
     M12-700            65.1%   71.7%   76.7%   80.3%   83.5%   83.8%   83.6%


         Noise (dBA@1m)
S12-330                 21      21      21      21      22      30      35
Earth Watts 430         22      22      22      22      24      29      37
Antec Neo HE            20      20      20      21      26      31      37
S12-430                  ?      20      20      22      25      29      32
HX520W                  22      22      22      22      22      22      22
TP Trio 550             22      22      22      22      22      30      37
S12-550E+               20      20      20      20      20      21      25
M12-700                 21      24      21      21      21      21      25


If your only concern were a typical system idling around 70W and topping out around 130W:

The best choice by efficiency is the S12-430 and by extension the untested S12-380 is a slightly better deal due to price.

Your best choice by noise for the same system would be the S12-550E+ but the price is substantially higher.

Note that the 330 watt choice only beats the 430 watt equivalent when it gets up to 200W load.

If you are truly concerned about efficiency and noise below 200W you have to seriously look at the best of the field in the 380 to 550 watt range.

Maybe someday a manufacturer will make a lower wattage PSU with the flat dBa curve seen in the HX520W. But until then I'll just keep using my PSUs well below their rated capacity.

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Last edited by dhanson865 on Wed Mar 21, 2007 2:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 20, 2007 11:55 pm 
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Quote:
I hear you. They're hard to find these days, and sample suppliers simply don't even want to talk about them. We have to go to specialists, probably, and buy such things ourselves, keeping our fingers crossed that some will be quiet & efficient.


The trend towards higher power-rated PSUs in SPCR reviews simply reflects the trend in the industry towards more capacity; the "Race for Watts" (this week saw the advent of a 2000W PSU!). Apart from the new Nexus PSUs coming out next month (Nexus have promised to send samples) it's hard to think of an SPCR-appropriate PSU that is in the pipeline (the 400W Zen and the 500W Silverstone fanless are just beefed up versions of the models already reviewed).

I would be willing to donate a small amount to a fund that would be used to purchase PSUs for reviews where suppliers are unwilling or unable to provide samples; one PSU that I have always wanted to see reviewed is the Nesteq Semi-Fanless ASM 450W, they can be bought from http://www.quietpc.ca/


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:32 am 
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Nice review, not because this is a good PSU for quietness, but because your PSU-reviews are very good, regadless of PSU-type.

The PSU might be a good choiche for a 30-40 disk fileserver. I actually think its good they have that many HD-cables. But you might run into a problem if they all come from the same line...

AtW


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 12:30 pm 
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andyb wrote:
What a worthless product for anyone who doesnt have an abnormally small penis. :lol:

However for all of the underendowed its $300 dollars well spent 8)


Andy


It's cheaper than surgery, so I think I'll buy one. :twisted:

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 3:13 pm 
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dhanson865 wrote:
Do you realize that the Seasonic 430, 550, and 650 were three of the four power supplies to have ever hit 20 dBa or below in SPCR testing?


Yep I think this is probably the most important reasons why people here seem to like the S430 and HX520. Even if - after the fan swap, actual noise levels seem to be higher.

And another thing is that a fanless 300W costs... how much? something like two S430s?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 6:37 pm 
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I think the review is valuable in spite of the ultimately negative conclusion. This is an interesting PSU, with well implemented features and excellent performance in everything but noise and efficiency. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, these go hand in hand, and are thus the primary criteria by which SPCR judges PSU's. Fair enough.

I think the review was complementary enough about what this PSU did well. It gave me the right impression. Hopefully, Enermax may learn from the review, and tweak the design to get better efficiency.

IMO, the 135/80 push pull fan arrangement is fundamentally flawed. I've had two similar designs(Enermax and Antec 350) and both cooled better and were much quieter when I simply removed the rear fan. I would be curious how the Galaxy would perform with this mod.

The push/pull design has been nearly replaced in the desktop in favour of the 120mm bottom feeder. Of course the dual fan provides redundancy. In a desktop, I'd rather have reliability and silence. Servers of course often have dual fans, but most of those are inline push/pull using dual 80mm fans. IMO, both the tunnel geometry and the matching fan speeds make more sense.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 9:49 pm 
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Hey guys,

Thanks for all the feedback, good and bad. I'll be spending the next few articles getting my legs, so please don't take it easy on me.
I'll be trying to adapt my style to what you're after, and in the end there should be something worth shaking a fist at.

Until then, happy hunting, heh.

Arthur


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2007 11:16 pm 
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mrzed wrote:
I think the review is valuable in spite of the ultimately negative conclusion. This is an interesting PSU, with well implemented features and excellent performance in everything but noise and efficiency. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, these go hand in hand, and are thus the primary criteria by which SPCR judges PSU's. Fair enough.

I think the review was complementary enough about what this PSU did well. It gave me the right impression. Hopefully, Enermax may learn from the review, and tweak the design to get better efficiency.


I'm with you there. It may have been the third transformer that lowered variances so nicely. I only hope that isn't what's also driving up the price. Any way you look at it though, they can likely take some design practices from other models to improve on efficiency. The noise issue is pretty much a lost cause after 500W.
Mostly I'd like to see a better heat sink. They decided to take up all this room. Why not use it in some more in removing that heat?


mrzed wrote:
IMO, the 135/80 push pull fan arrangement is fundamentally flawed. I've had two similar designs(Enermax and Antec 350) and both cooled better and were much quieter when I simply removed the rear fan. I would be curious how the Galaxy would perform with this mod.


Hm, that's interesting to hear. I'd take you up on that test if I weren't a little overloaded.
I've learned from Mike this setup causes a lot of turbulance and therefore noise so we'd just as well do away with the second fan if it isn't helping. How about I give it a run next time I encounter the dual fans? (I'll do my best to remember)
Out of curiosity, were you running your systems as normal or did you try running hot after the second fan was shut off? Also, were you checking heat using related equipment or touch test?

Thanks for the input

Arthur


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:01 pm 
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Mrzed your experience is very interesting, I would like to know more, too. There a couple of things that set apart "traditional" enermax dual-fan units from the more recent single-fan designs: the first being they only use a 92-mm on the bottom intake, and the second, there is much less open area on the back.

And now that you make me think of it, with some dremeling, maybe we could also change the older design into a new one ;) (given there's enough space...)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:26 pm 
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In both cases I first simply removed the rear fan and left the bottom on its own. In the second case, where I kept the PSU for longer, I then ran the bottom fan on fixed voltage using a fan controller, as it was the only way I could get it decently quiet. Noise went down noticeably with the first mod too though.

The system was not high-powered, (XP1700+, radeon 8500le, single HD, CD), so I just felt the air temperature with the back of my hand as a gauge, sorry I can't offer any real evidence there. The load temps (as defined above) didn't change by removing the rear fan, only when I slowed the bottom fan manually did it make a difference. If pressed, I would say temps went down with the rear fan removed. Ariflow certainly went up, that much was apparent even from the hand test.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:15 pm 
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spiffy. More air flow most definately means something, but there's the concern that the extra vent will dump heat back into the case. I think I remember hearing that it was the second fans job to prevent this...
The extra airflow could be recycled air alone.
So I guess we would have to give it a go under typical conditions and again under heavy load. Then as an extra test try covering the equalizer (seems to be what it's for) vent.

Hope this is what you're looking for. Maybe we can clear up some of the mystery or myth of the second fan!


Arthur


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 1:31 am 
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Arthur wrote:
spiffy. More air flow most definately means something, but there's the concern that the extra vent will dump heat back into the case. I think I remember hearing that it was the second fans job to prevent this...


I think I read somewhere that the 80 mm exhaust fan can actually make the air return to the case? With the extra fan, the air cannot escape the PSU in magnitude greater than what the extra fan allows and if the 120 mm fan pushes in more air than the 80 mm is pulling out, the formed pressure might push the air back into the case through the back vent (unless I'm missing something).


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2007 5:33 am 
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That's exactly right. The fan'll make sure a certain majority of the air flow will come through this vent and let the extra air get recycled into the case. It's an attempt to free up certain still spots and equalize the pressure between the two fans with the outside. If the extra vent were covered then you'd get a situation where the larger 120mm would begin forcing the secondary fan to spin faster than it's voltage pushed it, causing more noise and getting nothing for it.


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