power supplies...

Enclosures, modding, blowholes, and the power needed to run it all.

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Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2002 5:24 pm

So my no-name 265 watt PS is causing me to develop the beginnings of an inferiority complex. Budget dictates that its usurper be in the fiftyish to sixtyish range for pricing. I'm therefore looking currently at the Antec PP352X and the Enermax EG365P-(confusion ensues with these designators). Anybody have horror stories or fairy tales regarding these, or another brand to recommend (preferably at least 350 watt while still in price range)? Also, any clarifications regarding the tail end of the Enermax designators would be nice (I gather that it's somewhat related to the mobo fan control features, but the different models seem to duplicate themselves).
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Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2002 7:05 pm

Go with the Antec. Like a lot of people here i say the Enermax Power supplies are overrated.
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Postposted on Thu Mar 07, 2002 7:23 pm

Not me. I would say either would be a good choice. Whatever wattage fits into your price range.
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Postposted on Fri Mar 08, 2002 1:17 pm

The Antec PP-352X (a 350 PSU, as you have no doubt determined) is an excellent performer. However, one of the ones I purchased had the upper (80mm) integrated exhaust fan refuse to spin up on install. So I just took it back for an exchange. The replacement works fine, as do the 1/2 dozen other Antec PSUs (of varying Wattage) I have.
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Postposted on Fri Mar 15, 2002 9:49 pm

Go with the Antec. They seem pretty solid and system builders I've spoken with swear by them.
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Postposted on Sun Mar 17, 2002 4:09 am

I'm thinking I'll go with the Antec 350 based the feedback here, and also because it's cheaper :D
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 10:38 am

K-Wulf wrote:Go with the Antec. Like a lot of people here i say the Enermax Power supplies are overrated.



They are definately overrated. But, their power supplies are good... just not great--relative to other manufacturers building superior products and charging less for them.

Antec makes excellent power supplies. However, HEC (Compucase/Heroichi/World Famous) also makes top-notch supplies. Get whichever is cheaper unless you want superior cooling, in which case, get one of the Antec or HEC models with dual fans. I have bought both Antec and HEC supplies and I'd give the nod to HEC for the higher quality fans and longer leads. I have yet to have an Antec or HEC power supply fail, be noisy or otherwise give me grief. But, if you want a snazzy gold-colored fan shield to match your tough-guy Mr. T gold chain look or your gold-plated 'prince albert', go with Enermax. :wink:

NewEgg carries 'em all I believe. 8)
http://www.newegg.com/app/manufactory.asp?catalog=58&DEPA=1
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 4:03 pm

Just a little bit of advice from an Electronics Technician's point of view: Power is Power, doesn't matter what company it is that is making the power.

If you need a 300 Watt P.S. go pick up a cheap brand 300Watt P.S. for 30 or 40 bux and save yourself a lil bit of money, that would have otherwise been wasted on the the same thing with a Name Brand label on it.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 5:35 pm

Toyotamr2_86NA wrote:Just a little bit of advice from an Electronics Technician's point of view: Power is Power, doesn't matter what company it is that is making the power.

If you need a 300 Watt P.S. go pick up a cheap brand 300Watt P.S. for 30 or 40 bux and save yourself a lil bit of money, that would have otherwise been wasted on the the same thing with a Name Brand label on it.


Yup, power is power. But there are several caveats. It's like saying a car is a car, both get you from point A to point B.

Is a brand new Mercedes Benz S500 the same as a brand new Hyundai Accent? Hell no! It doesn't matter if Albert Einstein tells you "Ach mein lieben! Der both Cars!" You'd say, "Shut up Einstein; go play with some warped space" as you 'Moe-slapped' him. :o

One switching power supplies power is not another switching power supplies power. Converting AC to DC involves several steps using numerous components.

AC power needs to be inverted, filtered, stepped down, monitored and split to several different DC voltages at a variety of amperages. This can be done with a number of circuits of varying design using a wide range of components from an even wider range of suppliers.

So, feel free to buy any old power supply. It'll probably work. But a crappy one won't work very long, won't supply enough amps for a high-end video card and high-end processor, won't have a good low-noise and high airflow fan and will come with fewer connectors that are shorter in length than a decent one.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure such things out with even a tiny amount of research.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:18 pm

That sounds like a very inaccurate analogy to me.

A Benz will have, better performance in all aspects ( engine and handling ), better handling therefore making the car safer to drive, better reliability, more extra features, etc etc....

These are not what one (at least myself) would consider 'SMALL' advantages for the Benz over the Hyundai, as are things like "LONGER WIRES, and MORE CONNECTIONS" on the power supply.

If a certain Mo.Bo. / CPU require a certain output power from the Power Supply (which they do nowdays), and that requirement is met, other problems such as Current Draw should be non-existent, since;
P = IV , or Power(P) equals Current(I) multiplied by Voltage(V). And the voltage is always constant for a particular output from the power supply, this implies that a certain component cannot pull too much current while operating at its given Power rating.

So I still say the same thing, power is power, if you need 300W, buy the cheapest 300W P.S. you can find, if you need more connectors, buy splitters, and as long as you dont go above 300W you are fine.

....just my 2 pennies....
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:30 pm

Just a little question.. Chieftec and Antec is the same company, right?

:wink:
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:49 pm

I'm with Gershwin on this point. "Power is Power" is way too simplistic, and ignores a lot of factors that are the difference between life and death for digital electronics. Real life isn't a static situation, and the optimum conditions don't always exist. An el cheapo PSU may work just fine, but it has a higher probability of failing, and it could take everything downstream right along with it when it does. Save a couple of bucks, and it can cost you hundreds.

These days, calling a PSU a "300 watt" unit is almost meaningless. PSUs have to supply current at a variety of different voltage potentials, and some current ratings are more important than others. The generic "300 watt" unit might not be able to deliver where it's needed most. Then the el cheapo PSU will be operated at or beyond its limits, and it will fail. And that doesn't even take into account that a no-name PSU marked "300 watts" may or may not live up to that rating. I personally would not take the word of some anonymous Red Chinese manufacturer!

We could also get into ripple and noise, and how the PSU handles abmormal input voltages, etc. etc. etc. The differences are very real. I suppose that if you use computers as nothing more than video games, it matters less to you. But if you use them to do something of value, spending an extra ten bucks for a trusted brand seems like cheap insurance to me.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:50 pm

Toyotamr2_86NA wrote:If a certain Mo.Bo. / CPU require a certain output power from the Power Supply (which they do nowdays), and that requirement is met, other problems such as Current Draw should be non-existent, since;
P = IV , or Power(P) equals Current(I) multiplied by Voltage(V). And the voltage is always constant for a particular output from the power supply, this implies that a certain component cannot pull too much current while operating at its given Power rating.

So I still say the same thing, power is power, if you need 300W, buy the cheapest 300W P.S. you can find, if you need more connectors, buy splitters, and as long as you dont go above 300W you are fine.


If you've ever looked at DC power on an oscilloscope with the Y axis set to voltage and the power source from a battery, you'll notice the waveform is perfectly straight. There are no ripples, quarter-wave or half-wave (etc.) artifacts.

Take a one of the simplest inverter circuits made up of 4 diodes and connect an AC source to the 2 input leads and connect the oscilloscope to the other two leads. You'll notice DC made up of half-waves, all on the same side.

Now take a switching power supply used in a PC and do the same thing. You'll notice that various brands of power supply provide varying levels of "pure DC" current. You'll notice variations in noise patterns, different amounts of bumpiness to that ideal straight line battery-provided DC current.
Under load, you'll notice even more variations. When one power supply is supplying 1/2 of its rated power, you'll notice some don't keep the voltages steady (V is not constant in the real world). One will provide nearly 3.3 volts on it's 3.3 volt leads, but when under 1/2 load (typical of many PC's), it dips down to 3.1 volts while another stays damn near 3.3 volts even at 1/2 or 3/4 load.

There are numerous other examples where power supplies designed to minimize component cost and those with a bias towards sound engineering principles differ.

But DC current definately comes in many flavors. I like mine smooth vanilla. Maybe rocky road is more your style, but hey, to each their own.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:51 pm

FubbHead wrote:Just a little question.. Chieftec and Antec is the same company, right?

:wink:


No, Antec is a US distributor of cases and power supplies and other computer components. Chieftec is too. They just happen to distribute some of the same cases that a Chinese or Tiawanese company called Chenming (if I remember correctly) manufactures.
Last edited by Gershwin on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 7:52 pm

Yup, power is power. But there are several caveats. It's like saying a car is a car, both get you from point A to point B.

Is a brand new Mercedes Benz S500 the same as a brand new Hyundai Accent? Hell no! It doesn't matter if Albert Einstein tells you "Ach mein lieben! Der both Cars!" You'd say, "Shut up Einstein; go play with some warped space" as you 'Moe-slapped' him.


Gershwin...that made my day :)

Toyotamr2_86na: The thing is, the analogy is more appropriate than you think it is because the "higher quality" power supplies do provide a greater degree of reliability and safety.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 9:20 pm

Toyotamr2_86NA wrote:So I still say the same thing, power is power, if you need 300W, buy the cheapest 300W P.S. you can find, if you need more connectors, buy splitters, and as long as you dont go above 300W you are fine.


Not all PSU are built the same. I say go for the one that has the highest 3.3v/5.0v combined power rating.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 21, 2002 11:39 pm

Gershwin wrote:If you've ever looked at DC power on an oscilloscope with the Y axis set to voltage and the power source from a battery, you'll notice the waveform is perfectly straight. There are no ripples, quarter-wave or half-wave (etc.) artifacts.

Now take a switching power supply used in a PC and do the same thing. You'll notice that various brands of power supply provide varying levels of "pure DC" current. You'll notice variations in noise patterns, different amounts of bumpiness to that ideal straight line battery-provided DC current. Under load, you'll notice even more variations.

There are numerous other examples where power supplies designed to minimize component cost and those with a bias towards sound engineering principles differ.


EXACTLY! This is why I buy name-brand power supplies.

Why don't website power supply reviews ever do this simple test?
(A: Because most of them don't have oscilloscopes. Many hardware review sites couldn't even spell "silly scope"...)
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Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2002 3:51 am

JustAnEngineer wrote:Why don't website power supply reviews ever do this simple test?
(A: Because most of them don't have oscilloscopes. Many hardware review sites couldn't even spell "silly scope"...)

But they have sound cards, don't they? I've seen programs that can take the input from a sound card, and make a primitive DSO from that. Of course I have a real DSO, so I have never tried those programs...
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Postposted on Mon Apr 22, 2002 2:39 pm

my dad is an engineer. there's a crazy engineer mindset that seems to infect some of them; my dad included. They'll say "a phone is a phone" and they buy the cheapest they can get and replace them every 9 months, rather than spend 2-3x as much for a phone that would last a decade. Or "a bolt is a bolt"; and they rummage for the cheapest bin of bolts that meet their specs.

Even IF all things are made by only three companies (my dad used to tell me this all the time about japanese electronics) and just rebranded, you have different quality assurance checks, warrantees, and minor tweaking/packaging that DOES make a difference.

Beware of the "engineer's mindset" of <blah> is <blah>; they're all the same and you get ripped off for cosmetic appeal. It is true in spots. But I find it the exception rather than the rule.
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