A few PSUs stand out in Computex deluge

Computex — We saw a lot of PSUs at this year's Computex trade show. Every booth seemed to have a few—some of them were even new—and 80 Plus badges were everywhere. To be honest, though, it was hard to get excited. Power supplies are vitally important system components, but there just isn't a whole lot to talk about in terms of new features and capabilities. That said, a few units caught my eye, including a passively cooled model from Rosewill.

The Silent Night offers 500W of output power and nary a single fan. It's modular, too, but that's not the most impressive part. This puppy has 80 Plus Platinum certification, the rating body's highest standard for non-redundant PSUs. To top it off, Rosewill kicks in a five-year warranty. We don't have details on pricing or availability, though.

Like most of the PSUs we saw, the Silent Night is an ATX unit. Silverstone had something a little smaller on display at its booth: an SFX model meant for mini PCs.

The midget PSU has a 450W output rating, which isn't as impressive as its 80 Plus Gold certification. Silverstone already makes a 450W SFX PSU, but that model only won Bronze in the 80 Plus Olympics. The company claims this new unit is the first SFX model to meet the Gold standard's efficiency targets.

Unlike the old SFX unit, the new one is fully modular, a godsend for small-form-factor systems. Expect the PSU to be available in July for $80-90.

At the other end of the spectrum, we saw a bunch of high-wattage PSUs. The most interesting was Corsair's AX1200i, which delivers 1200W using all-digital power circuitry. This is Corsair's first digital PSU, and the company was keen to talk about the benefits: fewer components, better ripple control, and no resistance from the DSP. Using a DSP allows Corsair to plug the AX1200i into its Corsair Link software, which offers all kinds of monitoring and control options.The DSP also enables an integrated self-test feature that needs only a wall outlet—no system required.

Corsair says the AX1200i is certified 80 Plus Platinum, and not by a small margin. As one might expect, the PSU won't be cheap. Expect the AX1200i to cost around $350 when it goes on sale in late July or early August.

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