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Power Supply Roundup - Six PSU's fight to the death - Testing

Today Cameron Johnson has posted a power supply roundup comparing some of the latest units from OCZ, Thermaltake, Vantec and Coolermaster. We'll check out the appearance and features of each PSU and then put them up against each other and measure the type of minimum and maximum voltages each is able to deliver with a standard system and then an overclocked system based around an Intel Pentium 4 Prescott processor.

By: | Other PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 9, 2004 4:00 am

In order to simulate a more common test system, we used the following components.


Test System Setup


Processor: Intel Pentium 4 3.2GHz E (800MHz FSB) (Supplied by Spectrum Communications)


Memory: 2x 512MB OCZ DDR-533 (Supplied by OCZ)


Hard Disk: 2x Maxtor Maxline III 250GB 7,200 RPM SATA


Graphics Card: ATI Radeon 9800XT


Optical Drive: 1x LG GSA-4040B DVD-RW and 1x MSI DR8A DVD-RW


Sound Card: Sound Blaster Audigy


Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP1


The Intel Pentium 4 Prescott processor was chosen as it is the most power hungry CPU currently available. While we could have put this onto a DDR-2 platform with the Pentium 4 560, DDR is still more common and draws more power than DDR-2. As most of these PSU's are designed for the 478 series Pentium 4 and AMD Athlon 64, this is what we are going with for testing.


Voltage Readout


For this test we connected separate Multimeters with recording capabilities to each of the voltage rails. This gave us the ability to record the highest and lowest fluxuations in the voltage lines.


We tested the system at both standard clock speeds and then overclocking the CPU from 3.2GHz up to 3.6GHz (1.55v on the CPU core, 3.2v on the memory, 1.65v on the AGP bus) we also overclocked the video card as well to increase the amount of energy drawn.


As a final note, most manufacturers claim a leeway of +/- 5% of any given output level. Using this as a common ground, we should end up with rail voltage levels of 3.135-3.465v on the 3.3v rail, 4.75-5.25v on the 5v rail and 11.4-12.6v on the 12v rail. Keep this in mind when we go through the numbers below. Higher values can be beneficial, lower values bear watching.


Maximum Recorded - Standard Clock Speeds



Here we see the OCZ Power Stream come out on top.


Maximum Recorded - Overclocked Speeds



Here we see that OCZ has allowed a stable voltage system as it didn't go under specified voltages at all. In fact, it was the cleanest we have seen and we didn't even need to adjust the power through the three turn dials.


Minimum Recorded - Standard Clock Speeds



Again OCZ stays on top. This was the minimum recorded voltages, this happened at start-up of the operating system.


Minimum Recorded - Overclocked Speeds



Again the OCZ Power Stream stays stable no matter what you throw at it.




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Further Reading: Read and find more Cases, Cooling & PSU content at our Cases, Cooling & PSU reviews, guides and articles index page.

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