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PSU Guide

panchoman

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Processor Amd Athlon X2 4600+ Windsor(90nm) EE(65W) @2.9-3.0 @1.45
Motherboard Biostar Tforce [Nvidia] 550
Cooling Thermaltake Blue Orb-- bunch of other fans here and there....
Memory 2 gigs (2x1gb) of patriot ddr2 800 @ 4-4-4-12-2t
Video Card(s) Sapphire X1950pro Pci-E x16 @stock@stock on stock
Storage Seagate 7200.11 250gb Drive, WD raptors (30/40) in Raid 0
Display(s) ANCIENT 15" sony lcd, bought it when it was like 500 bucks
Case Apevia X-plorer blue/black
Audio Device(s) Onboard- Why get an sound card when you can hum??
Power Supply Antec NeoHe 550-manufactured by seasonic -replacement to the discontinued smart power series
Software Windows XP pro SP2 -- vista is still crap
#1
In my opinion, the most vital component of a computer is the power suppply unit or PSU. Many times when a psu fails, it produces a voltage spike that can damage or even short out other parts of your system. thats why buying a quality Psu is very important. There are 2 parts to this guide, part I is a simplified version of part II, which is more technical and goes into the depths and explains why i suggested what i did in part I.

I. PSU's simplified (under construction)
Heres some stuff you want to look for in a psu:
  • first off, you want a psu from a good company, heres a list of good companies: (note that the number order doesn't matter)
    1. Antec(Neohe, Truepower trio, earthwatts, solution, basiq, & quattro series)
    2. Akaska
    3. Bfg
    4. Corsair
    5. Enermax*
    6. Enhance
    7. ePower
    8. Fsp/Forton/Sparkle
    9. Muskin
    10. Ocz
    11. Pc Power & Cooling
    12. Scythe
    13. Seasonic
    14. Silverstone
    15. [ABS] Tagan
    16. Zalman
  • Wattage: Use this calculator to determine how much wattage your psu should have: http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp. please note that the calculator will overexaggerate the wattage, but you should buy a psu with the wattage suggested because you want to have a few extra watts in the case that you upgrade, etc.
  • Amperage: For a single video card system, you want to have about ~20-35 amps depending on how many things you have in your system.(generally amd systems require more amperage, and you want more amps if you have all the dimm slots full,etc.) you want to have about ~40+ amps for a multi video card system(sli/crossfire).



II. The Nutshell Expanded.

Here are some important things to look into for psu's:

Wattage:
You want to make sure that the PSU you're getting had enough power to run your system. eXtreme has an excellent PSU calculator, you can find the lite version here:
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/psucalculatorlite.jsp This calculator will overexaggerate the wattage but this is a good thing, because . electronics are not ideal and you always want to have extra head room. capacitors(caps) will degrade over time and loose their holding capacity, and therefore, the capacity of the psu will diminish overtime.

Amps: heres some good amp amounts: for a standard system(mid tower case) you want a combined amperage of ~25 amps on the 12v rail. for a high end system (full tower case), you want a combined amerpage of ~30 amps on the 12v rail. for a sli/crossfire system, you want a combined amperage of ~40 amps on the 12v rail.

Sadly there is a major problem about the psu wattage and amperage. you cannot trust the psu label most of the time. first of all, there are 2 main types of wattage that you may find on the label. the first one, is the peak wattage. yohttp://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?p=583442#post583442
Upgrade for an old PC - techPowerUp! Forumsu can only run at this wattage for a very short time and possibly cause damage to the psu running at this wattage. the second one, is the maximum continous wattage. this is the higher wattage you can continously run at. Another thing is, at what temperature are these wattages determined at? Some brands determine the wattage at unrealistic temperatures such as 0C whereas other companies determine the wattage at realistic temperatures such as 40-50c, which would be around the actual operating temperature of a PSU. so which do you pick a psu with a peak wattage of 500w @ 0C or a psu with a max. continous wattage of 500w @50c? now the problem is, you wont be offered that question when going psu shopping. Another thing is that the labels can just be plain wrong. for example, the amps stated may added up to be way more then what the wattage is stated, and this can be determined using the simple formula, Wattage=Amperage*Voltage (W=AV),(voltage being 12v,3v,5v,etc.) for example, a label might say that it can supply 380W of power over 2 12v rails, each one carrying 20A. however by plugging the wattage and voltage into the formula we get V=~32amps. so while the rails may be able to carry 20A each, you cannot expect more then 32 Amps, and that is 32Amps assuming that your psu is running at the temperature that was used to determine the numbers on the label and assuming that the label is for the maximum continous wattage. some companies such as PC Power & Cooling are very confident in their products and clearly state "470W @ 40C (520W peak)" so that you know at 40C, you'll be able to get a full 470W out of the psu with a peak wattage of 520W. Here you can also see the big gap between the maximum continous wattage and the peak wattage.

PFC: its always a good thing to have active PFC, PFC or Power Factor Correction helps improve the efficency of a PSU, so that your PSU uses less electricity. With active PFC, there is also no need to set the voltage, it will automatically correct itself
Passive PFC is not very efficent, and it cannot use the full potential of the ac line. Passive PFc requires you to set the voltages as well. While PSu's with Active PFC are more expensive to build, they are definently a must for high performance systems that eat lots of energy, because you definently want to save on your electricity bill. oh and in europe, you're required to have some sort of PFC in your PSU.

Modular Cabling: Modular cabling is always something that PC enthusists want. with modular cabling, most cables other then the 20+4 pin, 4 pin cpu, etc. come seperate from the PSU. with modular cabling, you only need to use the cables which you want. the rest of the cables can stay outside of the case, which will help improve your airflow. While modular cabling does improve airflow, they limit power by increasing the electrical resisitance, in fact the voltage drop can be as much as that which would occur in 2 feet of standard wire. Worst of all though, modular plugs utilize delicate pins that can easily loosen, corrode, and burn, creating the potential for a major system failure.

Rails: While many psu's are multi rail, it is better to get a single rail system because with a single rail, the psu can transfer 100% of the 12v output of the psu to the computer, whereas in a multi rail system, you can face up to 30% distribution loss due to underutilized rails. lets say for example lets say rail 12vr2 is assigned to work for the cpu, and lets say the rail carries 17Amps of power, but the cpu only uses 7A of power, that 10amps in lost, whereas in a single rail system, the system draws from only one rail so the power loss is not there. also, lets say you have a grafix card that required 20A, but the rail its using is 17A, you have instability and problems like that, thats why for a sli/crossfire system, you definently want a single rail psu, because everything draws from the single rail, which has all the power of the psu. whereas if you're trying to sli/crossfire on a quad rail system, which has like power of the psu split up, that 1/4 of the power of the psu might not be able to power the sli/crossfire grafix cards.

The OEM:
The most important factor to look for in a Psu is the OEM or original equipment manufactures.Most Psu's are rebranded OEMs, and very few companies make their own PSUs. here are some OEM Gudelines:

OEMS that make very good PSU's:

  • Seasonic (usually the most expensive Psu's are seasonics, seasonic also sells their own PSu's, but many times its better to get a rebaged seasonic instead). common brands that use Seasonic: PC Power & Cooling, Corsair,etc.
  • Forton/Fsp/Sparkle(owned by fsp)(they have a controlling interest in 3Y) . they sell their own psu's as well. but here are some common rebadged fsp Psus: OCz, Sparkle, Zalman
  • Topower/epower(topower's retail brand) These Psu's are very good, and usually a lot cheaper then seasonics, and they are more common. some common rebadged topowers: BFG, Muskin, Ocz, scythe, Tagan
  • Enhance (many repuatble brands, but i dont know much about enhance)They sell their own psu's as well. Common rebaged enchance PSU's: akaska, high wattage cooler masters, silverstone zeus,strider,and element series, xclio stablepower,

[*]Seventeam They are a small oem that make excellent psu's, however they do not market their own psu's. Common rebadged seventeam PSU's: Silverstone Decathalon and Olympia series, some Cooler Master psu's, and they have a sprinkle of psu's in ultra, which why some ultra psu's are very good, while others are like...

[*] Etasis They are another small oem that make excellent psu's, they do market their own psu's but i've never seen them so your better off with the Silverstone Zeus and Nightjar series, which are rebadged Etasis psu's.

OEMs that sometimes produce decent PSu's, but you should stay away from:
  • Channellwell while they produced the notorious smartpower series, they also produce the very good thermaltake toughpower series, and have recently been making corsair psu's. They're overall a good company with a bad past, good recommend their newer units such as corsair & Thermaltake.

    OEMs to stay away from:
  • Andyson(very notorious due to hiper psu's)
  • superflower (xion psus are decent..)
  • youngyear (the apevia psu's they make are crazy good)


Heres an incompletely list of Brands, and their Oems.

Color Coding Scheme:

Green= Very good
Red= stay away
purple= Good PSU, but made by a bad oem
Blue= Good company, but the products are mixed.
*= note
**= my comment.

Aerocool
Known Manufacturers - Andyson
Specific Units

All units - Andyson E239028

Andyson
Known Manufacturers - Andyson
Specific Units

All units - Andyson E239028

Antec
Known Manufacturers - Channelwell, Enhance, FSP, Seasonic
Specific Units:

SmartPower series - Channelwell E176105 - discontinued cause it was a crappy product. everyone is being issued neohe's from the antec rma department.
TruePower II series - Channelwell E176105
Phantom series - Channelwell E176105
NeoHE series - Seasonic E104405
TruePower Trio series - Seasonic E104405
Earthwatts series - Seasonic E104405
Solution (SU) series - Seasonic E104405
Basiq series - FSP
Quattro series - Enhance E166947

*E176105 is actually Antec's own UL number - some units appear to be registered under this number, others under the number of the OEM.

Akasa
Known Manufacturers - Enhance
Specific Units:

All units - Enhance E166947

Allied
Known Manufacturers - L&C
Specific Units:

All Units - L&C E214301

Apevia/Aspire
Known Manufacturers - Youngyear, Wintech, Real Power Pro. **while the reviews are very good for these products,and they look good, and are very well cooled with nice blue leds,etc.,not much is known about the oem's hence the purple.**
Specific Units

AS Prefix - Youngyear E126556
Iceberg series (IB Prefix) - Youngyear E126556
PFC Prefix - Youngyear E126556
MR Prefix - Youngyear E126556
WIN Prefix - Wintech
CW Prefix (Turbolink on label) - Real Power Enterprise

Apex
Known Manufacturers - L&C
Specific Units

AL Prefix - L&C E214301
SL Prefix - Soltech E223918

*Solytech are a division of Deer

Asus
Known Manufacuters - Acbel Polytech
Specific Units

All units - Acbel Polytech


Athena Power
Known Manufacturers - Sun Pro, Topower
Specific Units

AP-MP4ATX25 - Sun Pro E210743
AP-MPS3ATX30 Sun Pro E210743
AP-P4ATX42F Sun Pro E210743
AP-MPS3ATX40 Sun Pro E210743
AP-MP4ATX40 Sun Pro E210743
AP-P4ATX50F12 Topower E130843

BFG
Known Manufacturers - Topower
Specific Units

All units - Topower UL Not stated


Broadway Com Corp
Known Manufacturers - Broadway Com Corp
Specific Units

All units - Broadway Com Corp E194657

Coolermaster
Known Manufacturers - Acbel Polytec, Enhance, Hipro, Seventeam
Specific Units:

Real Power 550W - Acbel Polytec E131875
eXtremePower 430W - Hipro E143709
eXtremePower 600W - Seventeam UL Not stated
eXtremePower 650W - Seventeam UL Not stated
Real Power Pro 750W - Acbel Polytec
Real Power Pro 850/1000W - Enhance

Coolmax
Known Manufacturers - ATNG
Specific Units

All units - ATNG E186010

Corsair*another top brand that is very popular*
Known Manufacturers - Seasonic
Specific Units

All units - Seasonic UL Not Stated

Delta
Known Manufacturers - Delta
Specific Units

All units - Delta E131881/E217431/E313881

Diablotek
Known Manufacturers - Leadman
Specific Units

All units - Leadman UL Not Stated

Enermax
Known Manufacturers - Enermax
Specific Units

All units - Enermax E134014

Enhance
Known Manufacturers - Enhance
Specific Units

All units - Enhance E166947

ePower
Known Manufacturers - Topower
Specific Units

All Units - Topower E130843

*ePower is Topower's retail brand

Etasis
Known Manufacturers - Etasis
Specific Units

All units - Etasis E176239

FSP

Known Manufacturers - FSP
Specific Units

All units - FSP E190414

Gigabyte
Known Manufacturers - Channelwell
Specific Units

All units - Channelwell E161451

Hiper
Known Manufacturers - Andyson
Specific Units

All units - Andyson E239028

Hipro** not to be confused with hiper, hipro is very popular in europe, they are a small oem, and their brand is a mix of their own products and topower products.**
Known Manufacturers - Hipro, Topower
Specific Units

Units with HP Prefix - Hipro E143709
Units with TOP Prefix - Topower

In Win

Known Manufacturers - In Win, FSP
Specific Units

Models with FSP prefix - FSP
Models with IW/IP prefix - In Win E193791

Kingwin
Known Manufacturers - Super Flower
Specific Units

All units - Super Flower E197467

Koolance

Known Manufacturers - Channelwell
Specific Units

Liquid Cooled 1200W - Channelwell UL Not stated

Leadman
Known Manufacturers - Leadman
Specific Units

All units - Leadman UL Not stated

Linkworld

Known Manufacturers - Linkworld
Specific Units

All units - Linkworld E131039

Logisys

Known Manufacturers - Youngyear

All Units - Youngyear

Masscool
Known Manufacturers - Seventeam
Specific Units

All Units - Seventeam E141400

Mushkin

Known Manufacturers - Topower
Specific Units

All Units - Topower E130643

*Topower's actual UL is E130843. This seems to be a typo made by Muskin


MSI
Known Manufacturers - Solytech
Specific Units

All units - Solytech E223918

*Solytech are a division of Deer

OCZ
*Wile E has alerted me that OCZ psu's, while they are very good psu's, they can ripple once you reach full capacity(500/500, etc.) and ripples in the voltage are very dangerous, so if you plan on really using up all the wattage of a psu, try another brand, but for the regular user, ocz psu's are still an excellent choice*
Known Manufacturers - 3Y, FSP, Topower
Specific Units

Powerstream series - Topower
GameXStream series - FSP
E190414
EvoStream series - 3Y E190414
ProXStream series - 3Y E190414
StealthXStream series - FSP E190414
ModXStream - FSP E190414

*FSP have a controlling interest in 3Y

Powmax
**terrible cases followed by terrible psu's, this company is doomed**
Known Manufacturers - Leadman
Specific Units

All Units- Leadman UL Not Stated

PC Power and Cooling
Known Manufacturers - Seasonic, WinTact **excellent psu's, one of the best brands out there, they now offer a 5/7 year warranty on all of their psu's, and they also test your psu before sending it out to you and some of the more expensive psu's come with their own testing reports whereas for the other psu's its optional.. just goes to show you how confident PC Power and Cooling are in their products. **
Specific Units

Silencer series - Seasonic
Turbo-Cool series - WinTact UL Not Stated

*PC Power and Cooling are know owned by OCZ, although the product lines remain separate and probably will remain that way.

Raidmax
Known Manufacturers - Sun Pro, Topower
Specific Units

RX-380K Sun Pro E210734
RX-420K Sun Pro E210734
RX-500S Andyson E239028
RX-630A Topowe

Rosewill
Known Manufacturers - ATNG, Deer, Leadman, Solytech, Wintech, Youngyear
Specific Units

RV200 - Deer E203196
RV300 - Leadman UL Not Stated
RV350 - ATNG E186010
RV450 - ATNG E186010
RD series - Solytech E223918
RE series - Youngyear E126556
RP series - ATNG E186010
RT series - Wintech UL Not Stated
RX series - ATNG E186010

Scythe
Known Manufacturers - Topower
Specific Units

All units - Topower E130843

Seasonic **probably some of the most expensive psu's on the market, i wonder why the rebadged ones are cheaper, most if not all seasonic psu's are 80+ energy efficent certified, but the certification is just a new concept and most psu's haven't even been tested, but seasonic is certified so its worth the extra money.**
Known Manufacturers - Seasonic
Specific Units

All units - Seasonic E104405

Silverstone
Known Manufacturers - Enhance, Etasis, Seventeam
Specific Units:

Olympia OP1000 - Seventeam E141400
Decathlon DA1000 - Seventeam E141400
All other Olympia units - Designed by Impervio
All other Decathlon units - Designed by Impervio
Element series (EF suffix) - Enhance E166947
Strider series (F suffix) - Enhance E166947
Zeus ST56ZF - Enhance E166947
All other Zeus models - Etasis E176239
Nightjar series - Etasis E176239


Sparkle
Known Manufacturers - FSP
Specific Units

All units - FSP


*Sparkle is owned by FSP

StarTech
Known Manufacturers - ATNG
Specific Units

All Units - ATNG E186010

Super Flower
Known Manufacturers - Super Flower
Specific Units

All units - Super Flower E242429

Tagan
Known Manufacturers - Enhance, Topower
Specific Units

Silver Power - Enhance
All Other Units - Topower
E223995

Thermaltake

Known Manufacturers - Channelwell, HEC, Sirtec
Specific Units

Purepower series - Channelwell E161451
TR2 430W - HEC E199442
All Other TR2s - Channelwell E161451/E193705
Toughpower series - Channelwell UL Not stated

Ultra **ultra has a huge black mark next to their name because of their psu's, while the older psu's were good, and they fixed the psu problem by switching to andyson**
Known Manufacturers - Andyson, Seventeam, Wintech
Specific Units

V-Series - Wintech E178768
XVS - Wintech E178768
X-Finity 600W - Wintech E178768
X2 - Wintech E178768
X3 - Andyson E239028
X-Pro 600W EE - Andyson E239028
X-Pro 750W - Seventeam E141400
X-Pro 800W - Andyson E239028
X-Finity 800W - Andyson E239028

XClio[/B]
Known Manufacturers - Channelwell, Enhance
Specific Units:

Stablepower series - Enhance UL Not stated **stable? of course**
Greatpower series - Channelwell UL Not stated **not great**
Goodpower series - Channelwell UL Not stated **not good**
BL series - Channelwell UL Not stated **is the bl suppossed to stand for blah?**

Xion

Known Manufacturers - Super Flower

All units- Super Flower **while these psu's have a great reputation and have very good looks, they are built by super flower so i do not recommend them. purple flag**​


Zalman
**people say that cooling solution maker zalman makes their own thermal compound, though they dont have any experience in the field, but they dont make their own psu's, i know that much**
Known Manufacturers - FSP
Specific units:

All units - FSP E198072

Zippy
Known Manufacturers - Zippy
Specific Units:

All units - Zippy E143756



III. Auxiliary PSU's

While auxiliary psu's aren't very common, they are still around and can be quite useful. there 2 reasons you might want to want to get an auxiliary psu:


A. the most common reason that people need auxiliary psu's are for powering a thermoelectric coldplate (TEC) or peltier cooling. TEC's use electricity to seperate temperates. with a tec, one side of the block will get burning hot and the other side will get freezing cold. the hot side is the side that you need to water cool and the cold side is the part you need to put on the chip. but this isn't a water cooling guide so basically in order to seperate the temperature to extreme ends of the block, the tec's require lots of power. some tec blocks even even require up to 437W of power :eek:. tecs require 12-15v of very stable power with lots of amps (like 20A+ or so). the typical atx/eps psu cannot provide the power and stability that a tec requires because the amount things like video card draw on the psu depends on how much they are being used at times so the load on the psu is ever changing, which is not very good for a tec. for a tec, i highly recommend getting a mean well aux. psu, they are built by mean well themselves and are intended for industrial purposes. heres a very good aux. psu for running something like a 437W tec. the only problem i have with mean well psu's are that they are targeted toward industrial use so they are not made to be mounted in the 5.25" drive bay,so you'll need to look into anothet means of mounting it in your case. though i believe the swiftech aux. psu's can be mounted in the drive bays.

The relay switch: Well, the aux psu requires it's own power source. If you plug it straight in, it's always on. So what the relay kit is for, is to make the psu turn on, only when the main psu is on. The very basic explanation is: You hook the aux psu to the relay kit, hook the relay kit to a molex connector, then plug the relay kit into your electrical outlet. What it does is use the molex to sense when the main psu is on. When the main psu turns on, it opens an electronic switch to allow power to get to the aux psu.​

*****IF YOU ARE BUYING AN AUXILIARY PSU FOR A TEC/PELTIER, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A RELAY SWITCH. OTHERWISE, THIS COULD HAPPEN

B. While this reason is not very common, some people do buy aux. psu's so that they do not to keep updating their current psu's. and instead they can get an aux. psu to power say the second card in a multi video card system because the current atx psu cannot do it. heres a good example of a psu for that job. note that the mean well psu can be used to power your system components but you would need to make your own leads

IV. Final Remarks
I want this guide to be "open source" sort of like a wikipedia article. And here's how you can contribute to this list:
  1. find the Ul number on the label of the psu(see the examples below)
  2. Go to the ul directory at http://database.ul.com/cgi-bin/XYV/template/LISEXT/1FRAME/index.htm
  3. type in the ul number, and see which company is listed. (note that some companies pay the oems to have the ul number in their name, such as Antec)
  4. post your psu info and its ul number on here, (a pic of the ul number on the psu would be greatly appreciated, as i can verify the authecitiy of the info) and i'll put it up.
heres some examples:
on the first attached pic: This is the label from the antec smartpower series, here the ul is E161451. which comes up as channellwell from the ul directory.

on the second attached pic: This is from the antec neohe, and the ul number is E104405, built by seasonic.


Mods & admins can feel free to update this as they wish.

The following people have helped to contribute to this guide: Cdawall, Keaker, W1zzard, kennyt772, Wile E
 

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Last edited:

KennyT772

New Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2005
Messages
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System Name Raptor
Processor Intel E8400 Wolfdale @3600
Motherboard Asus P5Q-Pro LGA775
Cooling Zalman CNPS9700
Memory 1024mbx2 Crucial Ballistix DDR800
Video Card(s) XFX 9600GT
Storage Seagate 7200.11 500GB
Display(s) Acer AL2216Wbd and Acer AL1717
Case Gigabyte 3DAurora Black
Audio Device(s) Creative X-Fi Extreme Gamer Faitality
Power Supply OCZ GameXStream 500w
#2
Rails - Normal sized units are always single rail as far as transformer layout goes. They use a single 12v transformer providing a single base voltage and current. So called multi-rail psus place a amperage cap on each "rail" limiting the output of any single rail to between 16a and 20a.
A true multi rail or multi transformer psu is not possible in the atx spec. This is why we have the 1200w thermal take's for example that weigh 3 lbs and are twice the length of smaller output units.

The easy way to check if your unit is truly multi rail is to compare output voltages from various leads. Under load and while idle a single transformer will output only one voltage. If you compare two seperate leads and one is 11.92 while the other is say 12.60 you have two seperate transformers.

This multi rail business started by the atx2.0 spec that intel pushed. This limited the current of any one wire to 240va, to prevent overloading the power supply wires. This is the reason for the "P4" plug and the 24pin power plug as the single 12v wire on the original 20pin plug could not supply enough amperage for intels new p4 chips.

With seperate rails, there are very very few that are seperate. It is mostly a marketing ploy to trick you into thinking their unit is superior to say PCP&C. It is just a amperage limiter preventing more than 16-20 amps from passing over that wire.
 

panchoman

Sold my stars!
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
9,595 (2.52/day)
Likes
1,148
Processor Amd Athlon X2 4600+ Windsor(90nm) EE(65W) @2.9-3.0 @1.45
Motherboard Biostar Tforce [Nvidia] 550
Cooling Thermaltake Blue Orb-- bunch of other fans here and there....
Memory 2 gigs (2x1gb) of patriot ddr2 800 @ 4-4-4-12-2t
Video Card(s) Sapphire X1950pro Pci-E x16 @stock@stock on stock
Storage Seagate 7200.11 250gb Drive, WD raptors (30/40) in Raid 0
Display(s) ANCIENT 15" sony lcd, bought it when it was like 500 bucks
Case Apevia X-plorer blue/black
Audio Device(s) Onboard- Why get an sound card when you can hum??
Power Supply Antec NeoHe 550-manufactured by seasonic -replacement to the discontinued smart power series
Software Windows XP pro SP2 -- vista is still crap
#3
Rails - Normal sized units are always single rail as far as transformer layout goes. They use a single 12v transformer providing a single base voltage and current. So called multi-rail psus place a amperage cap on each "rail" limiting the output of any single rail to between 16a and 20a.
A true multi rail or multi transformer psu is not possible in the atx spec. This is why we have the 1200w thermal take's for example that weigh 3 lbs and are twice the length of smaller output units.

The easy way to check if your unit is truly multi rail is to compare output voltages from various leads. Under load and while idle a single transformer will output only one voltage. If you compare two seperate leads and one is 11.92 while the other is say 12.60 you have two seperate transformers.

This multi rail business started by the atx2.0 spec that intel pushed. This limited the current of any one wire to 240va, to prevent overloading the power supply wires. This is the reason for the "P4" plug and the 24pin power plug as the single 12v wire on the original 20pin plug could not supply enough amperage for intels new p4 chips.

With seperate rails, there are very very few that are seperate. It is mostly a marketing ploy to trick you into thinking their unit is superior to say PCP&C. It is just a amperage limiter preventing more than 16-20 amps from passing over that wire.
about the marketing ploy, lets use the pc power and cooling that you mentioned, built by seasonic of course, they have the quad silencer, which is suppossed to be quad rails, would say that it acutally has quad rails? and for the thermaltake psu, you're saying that its a true dual rail system, and thats why its like double the size? and so multi rail is like just multiple connections, so that you dont have too much power in one wire?

and so you're trying to say that the rails dont matter?
 

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#4
Great guide man. Looks really nice and eleminates some of the theories about different PS's.
 

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#5
woot! its stickied now! and thanks JC316. would anyone like to help me clarify the rails more, and would anyone want to add something about amps in here? i dont know anything about amps..
 

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#6
woot! its stickied now! and thanks JC316. would anyone like to help me clarify the rails more, and would anyone want to add something about amps in here? i dont know anything about amps..
Im glad its stickied, its a very good read. Thanks for all your time and effort. I will be reading it throughly before I get my new PSU :)
 

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#7
woot! its stickied now! and thanks JC316. would anyone like to help me clarify the rails more, and would anyone want to add something about amps in here? i dont know anything about amps..
Thank Zek, he is the one that did it, I just recommended a good read.
 

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#8
Thank Zek, he is the one that did it, I just recommended a good read.
thanks a lot both of you, i hope to make this guide better and better as we go along :)
 

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#9
about the marketing ploy, lets use the pc power and cooling that you mentioned, built by seasonic of course, they have the quad silencer, which is suppossed to be quad rails, would say that it acutally has quad rails? and for the thermaltake psu, you're saying that its a true dual rail system, and thats why its like double the size? and so multi rail is like just multiple connections, so that you dont have too much power in one wire?

and so you're trying to say that the rails dont matter?
total combined amperage is what matters, the cumulative amperage not the rails added together. the so called loss is just the psu having a cap on the wires and a cap on the combined output of all wires.

multi rail is just the total output capped into various sections.
 

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#10
total combined amperage is what matters, the cumulative amperage not the rails added together. the so called loss is just the psu having a cap on the wires and a cap on the combined output of all wires.

multi rail is just the total output capped into various sections.
i'll add this info to the guide shortly, thanks,

coming soon: wattage, amps, color coding, and im going to clean it up and try and make it more user friendly.
 
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#11
thanks a lot both of you, i hope to make this guide better and better as we go along :)
No problem, anyone that spends the time to type that much deserves at least a sticky :D.
 
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#12

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#13
okay, i'll finish the color coding and add some amp stuff tommorow, good night everybody
 
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#15
about the marketing ploy, lets use the pc power and cooling that you mentioned, built by seasonic of course, they have the quad silencer, which is suppossed to be quad rails, would say that it acutally has quad rails?
They say "Our new Silencer 750 Quad power supply gives you legendary PC Power and Cooling performance and Quad PCI Express connectors" and then "+12VDC @ 60A (Powerful Single Rail)". Quad rail is not what that "Quad" meens. PC Power & Cooling are all (now) single +12v rail psu's.
 

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#16
"Power Factor Correction helps improve the efficency of a PSU, so that your PSU uses less electricity.

wrong

"PFc requires you to set the voltages as well."

huh?

"Modular Cabling"

talk about losses on the connector

"because with multi rails, when the PSU fails, it wont take down you're whole system"

who says that? evidence?

"The OEM"

very good list

----

and just making sure before someone sues us: this is your content? you wrote it?
 

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#17
errr, isn't pfc supposed to improve the efficency of a psu????

with passive pfc(or no pfc) you have to set the voltages for where you are (the little red switch that says 110/220) with active pfc, you dont have to.

i'll try and clean up the rails section, and try and find some evidence.
 

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#18
You say
Enermax
Known Manufacturers - Enermax
Specific Units

Which units are bad all of them ?. Even there $300 models ?
 

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#19
all the units are built by enermax as far as i know, and enermax is not a good oem company, so i would say even the 300 buck models are bad. i finished color coding btw. i have about 15 links of psu info sitting in my inbox, i'll compile all the info and add it in eventually..
 

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#20
They say "Our new Silencer 750 Quad power supply gives you legendary PC Power and Cooling performance and Quad PCI Express connectors" and then "+12VDC @ 60A (Powerful Single Rail)". Quad rail is not what that "Quad" meens. PC Power & Cooling are all (now) single +12v rail psu's.
oh, sorry about that, i thought i meant quad rails, like the antec quattro.
 
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#21
Enermax is a top notch pSU not sure why its in RED:confused:
 

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#22
Enermax is a top notch pSU not sure why its in RED:confused:
ill check it out, the reason i put it in red is because its manufactured by enermax, if it was manufactured by lets say seasonic, then its a definite green, however, if enermax is doing a very good job at manufacturing the psus, ill make it green. its yellow for now.
 
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#23
PFC doesn't exactly have to do with efficiency of the PSU. I'm not sure exactly how to put it but I believe it has something to do with the amount of power that is taken from the wall outlet (that is why it is a bigger deal in Europe when we're talking 240V instead of 120V). Look on wikipedia, because my explanation is way oversimplified.

Also, what's wrong with Enermax? This Enermax Liberty is the best PSU I've ever owned, and the reviews say it is probably the best in it's price class. It is even better with my DXX edition that is PCIe 2.0 ready (6+2 pin PCIe power is their definition of PCIe 2.0 ready).

And about modular cables, if you actually plug the connectors correctly into the psu, the resistance caused by the modular cable is extremely minimal. However, you must make sure that you get it in there all the way, otherwise the resistance will be large. Also is the fact that if you are constantly plugging and unplugging cables from the psu, you are definitely going to increase the resistance of the connection over time. That is why hiper psus (and those who do it like them) have such a novel idea, in that we should have screw in modular cables (and they look really nice).

Anyways, for a person who alters the configuration of the psu (like updating the pc quite often), modular cables probably aren't for you. However, if you don't plan on constantly plugging and unplugging cables from the psu, a modular psu is probably a nicer choice both cosmetically, and for improving airflow.

Edit: you also might want to add in the wattage section about how the lower end psu makers tend to talk up their psus by giving out peak wattage as their wattage number. The better psu makers usually give a more realistic description of the wattage their psus pump out. For example, my liberty is rated for ~400W, but the documentation says it can peak at ~450W.
 
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#24
okay, some enermax psus are rated very well, and othere arent, so im going to leave enermax as yellow
 
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#25
ill check it out, the reason i put it in red is because its manufactured by enermax, if it was manufactured by lets say seasonic, then its a definite green, however, if enermax is doing a very good job at manufacturing the psus, ill make it green. its yellow for now.
I am sure with a little more research on the EnerMax you will find that it is indeed GREEN and in the top 5 of all the manufactures;) Thank you for taking the time to do this project:toast:
I will slap ya an official thank you once your documentation has become near completion