Don't get me wrong, I love Enermax. They are quite expensive though. If there is something just as good as Enermax, but cheaper I would prefer that for a economy machine. I have seen Sparkle mentioned a few times and Antec, any other good brands come to mind?
Dont get me wrong its not bad as generic 500W PSU for 30$, bad
its just that its heavily overpriced and they are justifying it with being silent PSU, which it really isnt
Antec True power PSUs give you a lot more power and stability for the same price as Enermax PSUs
Antec TruePower are very good PSUs, stable voltages and not noisy... but aren't silent either. I had to RMA the first one I got with my Sonata case because the fan clicked badly... the second one is much better but still clicking a bit (not enough to be disturbing like the first one though). From what I've read on a few silent computing forums, it is a common syndrome that appears on some very-low RPM silent fans, appearing in some Papst fans as well.
However, you wouldn't notice much, if even at all, with two-fan models (i.e. all TruePower retail models), and the PSU itself is just plain excellent for the price. I've heard Zalman and PC Power and Cooling also makes very good PSUs, but for a heftier price than the Antec.
Antec is mighty. I have 2 of their power supplies. The 430w True power is a great power supply for $70 (at NewEgg). I also have the 480 True Blue (True Power with blue LED fans). I am RMAing the 480w as the 12v rail was a bit low since the day I got it (11.80v) and it dropped considerably about a month or so back (11.55v). They approved the RMA and I am going to ship it out Monday. I pulled the 430w from my second computer (I do not have an LAN parties coming up for a while so I do not really need it running for now) and will likely swap them out tonight. I will also add some Arctic Silver 5 on my CPU (the clip is hard to get to with the PS in the case, so it will be an easy job this way). I have been burning CDs all day (music, movies, docs, pictures...) and will likely format my hard drive and reinstall Windows. It has been a LONG time on this load and I have upgraded several componants and installed way too much junk and beta stuff. I have been having issues with a few programs after I got a virus about 3 months back. The removal procedure had me delete several Windows files but the computer scans clean now. I few things deteriorated since then. It still works fine... mostly and games did not slow down, but KaZaA got hosed, File Explorer takes forever to examine "My Computer", and IE has been getting page errors. I managed to reinstall IE SP1 and most run fine now, but not all. Device Manager shows nothing and Scan Disk does not run. It has been bugging me.
Back to Antec PS. They are very good. Even though I am only running at 11.55 volts I am 100% stable as long as I do not overclock too much. Most systems would crash at this level. Also the 430w I have is dead on. All the voltages are right on the mark (12.05v, 5.01, 3.37v...) and VERY stable. I might play around with some more overclocking with this one in my main machine. I'm running my AthlonXP 2500-M (1.83Ghz stock) at 2.08 right now because of the PS, but had it at 2.125Ghz before. Maybe I can get it higher.
Antec are an excellent brand, but they also have made some bad PSU's, as you have probably gathered from reading this thread.
I have an Enermax 350W PSU and with it running on it's own, it is indeed, very quiet. The rails are a little lower than I was expecting, but they have stayed consistent through the last year of my owning it.
Marv, that's the first time I've ever heard of OCZ making PSU's. Let's see what they come up with.
Todd, if my machine isn't running the way I like, it bugs the hell out of me. I used to format about 3 times a month just because my machine wasn't running how I would like... glad to say I've calmed down a bit since then, heh.
That is the odd thing. I guess hardware (and software a bit too) has gotten much better. My K6-2 450 would just kill Windows98 in just a few months. The system would not even run after about 4. I constantly formatted and reinstalled everything. When I went to my Duron/Athlon systems, the time was more like 6 months before I formatted and never really completely died before I would eventually format at about 12 months. This is my first time I have ever formatted and installed WindowsXP except when replacing a hard drive or when I changed between a VIA and nForce2 board (WindowsXP hates that and will not boot, even in safe mode).
In about 18 months I replaced the motherboard twice, the CPU once, the CD R/W twice, the graphics card twice, had about 6 differant sticks of memory, and replaced the CDROM with a DVD drive, new heatsink twice, and a new power supply (soon to be twice). I also replaced a few fans and the lighting. I am a beta tester for DirectX 9.0 and I run demos and betas all the time. I constantly install new drivers. I also rip DVDs and that requires a lot of very unstable and flaky software (but getting better). My system runs 24/7 under pretty heavy loads and I play lots of FPS games. Add the virus into the mix and it is supprizing I still get 14,000 in 3DMark 2001se and 4500 in 3DMark 2003. All my games play good. I think I lost a few video codecs as some do not play anymore. The stability of my system just amazes me. I have been so impressed sinse I got my Duron. I was used to all the other crappy systems I had.. 286 SX-25, 386 DX-33, 486 DX-4 100, Cyrix MII PR200, K6-2 350, and K6-2 450, that I was floored when I got my Duron 600 (and overclocked the snott out of it).
I'm kind of happy to be doing this after all this time. I've only defragged my drive 2 times in 18 months. I think things will be a bit zippier. I got one more DVD to finish converting and about 10 more converted ones that I need to edit down to fit on CDs. Then I will burn all those. Then it is time to swap the power supply, add the AS5 and format the hard drive. I'm hoping to get it started tonight, but I need to stop and play a few games of Call of Duty for a bit.
That is a pretty good link. The Antec True Control 550w power supply also lets you control the voltages from a front panel model that installs in a CD bay. It has a fan speed controller, but lets the thermal controll set the minimum speed. The fan controller raises it from there. The is also a small tool in a socket on this panel that is used to adjust three pots in the front panel for the +12v, +5v, and +3.3v rails. The rest of the panel is just a vent. A voltage read-out would have been nice. Seperate fan controlles for other case fans would have been cool.
Man I staid up until 5am formating and reinstalling everything. A few interesting things turned up. When I swapped out the 480w True Blue, which ran at only 11.55v on the 12v rail , with my 430 True Power, which ran at 12.05 on my Abit NF7 board, I now get 11.61 on my main system. Is my third board dieing? I've already RMAed the thing twice and I think the warrenty is up now. I think another Abit NF7 is in order. Maybe they will make a 250Gb version of their AthlonXP nForce2 board.
The rest went fine (except I screwed up on the installation order of the software for the TV tuner and it took me a while to get it all working correctly). I will likely run some quick benchmards tommarrow.
Yah I think the PS is OK and the motherboard sucks. I put the 480w True Blue in one of my Abit NF7 systems and it reports 11.92 volts. That is a bit better I think. I'm very tempted to dump this board (and never touch MSI again. Maybe I'll get an Abit NF7-S as they have dropped down to about $10 from the regular NF7 prices. It used to be around a $20 premium. I've just been very happy with my Abit boards over the years and now do not like Epox or MSI.
My B-Day is coming up, but I just bought a DVD player from Philips that plays DivX too. Best Buy online had it for only $80. I expected it to be pretty cheap, but I am actually pretty happy. It plays pretty much all my (many) movies on DVD or DivX (or Xvid). I'm not really to keen on dumping another $80 on a new motherboard.
Butr this is more. I get 11.55v on my MSI and 11.92v on my Abit NF7. That .37v... OK so its only a little worse than yours, but that is rediculous... and pisses me off. I'm just not sure what to do about it though as the board is out of warrenty and I don't really want to RMA the PS anymore as it will likely take 6 weeks to get it back. I think I will just leave the 430TP in my main system as it does run .06v higher (but .13v higher in the Abit system). I think I will stick with Abit or maybe ASUS for a while.
On a side note I just got a Philips DVP642 DVD player at Best Buy for $80. The cool thing is this will play all my DivX (and Xvid and MPEG 4...) movies too. It works just great and has optical audio outputs to hook to my 600w suround sound system. I got it yesterday and it works even better than I expected. It plays everything perfect. It is my first DVD player (not in a computer). My VCR died, so I am borrowing one to copy the tapes I do not already have a DivX copy of through my Radeon 9700Pro AIW (boy that video soap is cool looking). It was my fathers day pressent!