Page 1:PSU Manufacturers, Designers, And Labels
Page 2:Firecracker Or Power Plant?
Page 3:How Do You Recognize The Manufacturer?
Page 4:PSU Makers: 0-9 And A-B
Page 5:PSU Makers: C-D
Page 6:PSU Makers: E-H
Page 7:PSU Makers: I-M
Page 8:PSU Makers: N-R
Page 9:PSU Makers: S-T
Page 10:PSU Makers: U-Z
Page 11:Photo Gallery: Who’s Who?
Page 12:Obligatory Conclusion
Do you think that all power supplies are manufactured by the brand on the label? Think again. We show what makes a good PSU and reveal who builds them. You can actually find lots of quality (instead of just scrap metal) behind some of the budget labels.
With 472 entries associating power supply brands and manufacturers, our 2011 list is three times larger than it was last year. We owe a debt of thanks to all of the readers who sent us email and provided valuable feedback in the comments section of Who’s Who in Power Supplies: Brands, Labels, And OEMs. As of today, our list still doesn't cover all of the products on the market, an almost-impossible task due to the constantly fluctuating environment. But our database can at least help guide you away from costly bombs and toward true PSU bargains.
For those companies that don't manufacture their own products, such as HEC and Seasonic, we list the most notable product series and, wherever possible, the associated base designs. This helps to classify unlabelled or rebadged power supplies based on a certain description or the use of a standard PCB.
Several new labels have started selling supplies from a handful of dubious manufacturers, and most of these products belong in the junk category. Low-cost PSUs are not suitable at all for serious systems. Widely-unknown labels are preceded by a questionable reputation, to say the least, and are often followed by smoke and an unpleasant aroma. Almost every time we try to give lesser-known units a chance, they invariably blow up in our faces. Soon, we'll publish another piece that helps identify some of the warning signs of a poorly-built power supply, hopefully preventing you from turning your next build into a ticking time bomb.
This article first appeared on November 12, 2010, and has since been added to and updated.
Let’s start by dividing the manufacturers into three large groups so we can better understand the database and how these companies are connected:
1. The OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers)
OEMs manage all of their production internally. They either exclusively design and manufacture their own PSUs (like Enermax) or design and manufacture their own brands, as well as manufacture PSUs designed by other companies (such as FSP, HEC, and SeaSonic). Some of them focus heavily on worldwide exports and provide a range of models, which are then sold under different labels. It's common to find otherwise-identical models marketed under many different names and labels. The industrial areas around Shenzhen, China, are the cradle of the lowest-priced PSUs sold all over the globe.
2. Designers: Without Their Own Production
The second group of companies also develops and designs their own products. However, they have to outsource either some or all of the manufacturing to other companies. One example of this is Be Quiet. Those familiar with the brand noted how Be Quiet P7 models were suddenly much better than the disappointing P6. The answer was simply a manufacturer change, from Topower to FSP. Other examples of designers include SilverStone, Corsair, PC Power & Cooling, and Tagan.
3. The Labels: With or Without Any Technical Involvement
Arguably, this group could be subdivided. Some importers of foreign PSUs that resell models under their own labels have a certain influence over the quality and choice of components, while others simply bring in some very cheap products, change the label, and resell them.
This third group is the most interesting one for price-oriented customers, though also the most uncertain for quality. You're as likely to score a bargain by getting a relabelled high-quality product at a lower price as you are to be disappointed by being too tight-fisted. Some good examples of products to watch are new models from Aerocool, which are essentially the Cougar units from Compucase/HEC with a discounted price and completely restyled exterior.
After many tests and inspections of budget models (by us, our readers, and friendly computer stores), we would advise you to steer your piggy banks clear of the labels Rasurbo, Inter-Tech (Sinan Power, Coba), Tech Solo, LC Power, RaptoxX, Tronje, Xilence, Ultron, World Link, Q-Tec, etc. We were able to identify some of these models without looking at the UL number simply by checking out the installed components. These were almost exclusively the simplest work of such manufacturers as Enhance, World Link, Andyson, Topower, Casing Macron, and Channel Well.
Lack of protection circuits, low efficiency, and bad build quality were major points of criticism. The lowest of the low was a European label called Hardwaremania24, targeted at OEM PCs. While still in standby mode, the PSU heated to about 176 degrees Fahrenheit, spent the next six hours billowing smoke, and finally made what might be described as a trumpeting sound before dying. The host computer was never even turned on. After analysing the PSU, we found no protection at all save for a single slow fuse.