What is the truth behind psu tier list?

so i have a 550w fps raider silver for 3 years now, which is according to the list a tier 4 (not suitable for overclocking or gaming rigs)
and i upgraded my system to i7 6700k, and gtx 1070,
But whenever i see some psu regarded things on the internet, the first thing anyone says that its ranked low on the psu tier list.
Both my gpu and cpu is overclocked and i had no problems, so what truth is behind that list?
Also there were power outages with overclocked components, and nothing received any damage, so i really dont get it.
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about truth psu tier list
  1. There are exceptions. On the other hand...
    And this is just the most recent one.
  2. the truth is simple - it's an opinion. partially based on facts, partially a geek thing.
    For example my PSU is ranked as tier 3 due to missing 2 5v wires and few not the top components on the secondary.
    All this is really not important and the unit is excellent.
    BUT - generally the list is correct about ranking the PSUs by their quality.
    A thing about cheap or bad PSUs that they have bad design and lower grade components. this is reflected in the lifespan and reliability.
    Also some very crappy units can not do what they claim to be able.
    Back to quality. Bad/cheap PSUs can not provide stable voltages under load. that may be corrected by MB or GPU power circles. But generally will have negative impact on the components connected to that PSU. You can be lucky and nothing bad will happen. but the chance is much higher that it will happen.
    Same thing as with cars. they can perform very differently despite having similar numbers. and their safety can vary a lot. as well as handling in turns ion high speed. Same with PSUs or any other components.
  3. Truthfully it is a guide and nothing more.(that is somewhat old btw) you may have just gotten lucky and had one that has not broken yet or that raider silver of your has changed who supplies their power supplies since that part of the guide has been made.

    Regardless there truly is a huge gap between true tier 4s and the rest. i had an old ultramax(i think it was called i know it was tier 4 psu a long time ago) that on the box was rated for 500 w. On the power supply itself the 12v rail stated it was rated over 650 watts, and their website said it was rated for 430 watts. it was extremely light and really was not trustworthy. i mean i had 3 different sets of specs for the same Psu in my hands who was i to trust?

    At any rate it is your business if you want to trust this PSU its really not much more expensive to go up a few tiers. You have to keep in mind while you may have overclocked have you actually done anything to put your system under stress? you computer is not going to use alot of power idle (especially with 2 fairly energy efficient parts) . But under extreme load is a different story and that is where the good psu are seperated from the bad. I mean under idle conditions your computer could be sipping on 100 or so watts. under load 400? 500? depends on what you got in your computer.
  4. Sometimes you get lucky. I ran a Xion Supernova 600w for 7 years, overclocking the snot out of components and everything. No sparks, no smoke, no boom, no worries. I still have it in a closet somewhere, for a rainy day. But I wouldn't recommend buying it to someone else.
  5. The list is based on the rated quality of the parts inside each model of PSU. There will be exceptions just as there are with every other product on the market. Some people will buy a $2000 Samsung TV only to see it break in 6 months, while someone else might spend $500 on a similar off-brand model and have it last 10 years. PSU's are no different. It is just a guide (similar to Consumer Reports) to help people decide which model of PSU to buy based on the level of quality they are willing to pay for.
  6. Before the 1070 i had a r9 290 oc, which in theory draws even more power, and i ran tests like furmark for 10 minutes, gaming sessions for hours where usage was maxed out and nothing ever happened,
    did the same with the rig now and still no psu effect, gpu maxed out 100%, i even did video editing with the 6700k at 4.4ghz and it stayed at 95+ usage (rendered a video for 2 hours)
  7. Best answer
    it doesn't say "if you use a Tier4 PSU you and your family will die a horrible painful death"
    but it's looking at the quality of a build

    - is the technical design cutting edge
    - does the PSU bring the power that it claims
    - does it bring the power, where it counts -- it won't help you if your 12V rail doesn't bring you the power you need
    - is it's output stable
    - are the components durable -- some parts are just not as good as others
    - what will happen if something suddenly fails, what kind of safety measures are there

    it's a bit like buying a bike.
    you can buy a bike for 200$, for 800$ or for 2000$
    most people won't really need a 2000$ bike
    many people drive a 200$ bike and it works fine
    but noone who understands a thing or two about bikes will tell you to get the 200$ bike

    of course you can get lucky and parts that should degrade after 5 years keep performing for 10 years without a problem.
    of course you can get lucky, use some unknown chinese PSU by a company that existed only for 3 months and labled 8 different builds the same and because they obtained a truck of Seagate PSUs once along with their garbage you end up with a quailty PSU
    yes, that can happen
    but it's not recommandable.

    and no, most tier3 PSUs won't burn your house down.
    but it's nice, especially when overclocking for example, to know that even if the PSU has seen younger days in it's life, there's nothing that can happen to your highend build even if your PSU suddenly fails
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