Sub-$75 Mainstream Power Supply Roundup

Conclusion And Recommendations

The more expensive PSUs in our last roundup were impressive in terms of performance, quality, and features. In comparison, these $75 PSUs seem pretty ordinary. Nevertheless, our tests here make it clear that you can indeed buy efficient PSUs at affordable prices, especially if you can live with some compromises in the cable quality and length departments. Compromising on electrical quality is obviously out of the question.

The units from Corsair, Xigmatek, and Huntkey emerge almost even in these tests, while the FSP Saga II 400 trails slightly (but gets outright disqualified in the US for its lack of 115 V support). Huntkey and Xigmatek share the win, with Huntkey scoring better in the efficiency tests and Xigmatek faring extremely well in the overload tests. Additionally, Xigmatek has more connectors and higher quality cables, but both units are recommended. The Corsair PSU doesn't stick out in any way, but there's nothing wrong with it. Unfortunately, Huntkey's offering isn't available in the US, so once again, we have to disqualify it from a recommendation.

The low number of connectors and rather short power cables make all of the PSUs in this roundup more suitable for compact, rather than full-sized computers. These models will neither accommodate air flow optimization nor overclocking of powerful components. For multimedia and office computers, though, they're a great option, especially the Xigmatek NRP-PC402.

All PSUs deliver between 380 and 450 W of power. Nevertheless, there are other important differences. The Chieftec BPS-450S makes the best impression when summing up all its different properties. Despite losing slightly to the Antec EA-380D Green in our efficiency tests, Chieftec's superior build quality, lower noise level, and richer features would make it an overall winner, were the device more available here in the States. As with the FSP and Huntkey units, it's simply nowhere to be found.

Antec and Enermax have some minor flaws that prevent victory, but they're both quite solid. The Antec PSU can be criticized for its small fan that blows through the PSU and into your PC instead of sucking air out, and some users will miss having a bundled power cord. Enermax's equipment and build quality impressed us, but our positive impression is clouded by the PSU's failure to meet its advertised 80 PLUS Bronze specifications at 115 V.

In the end we also have to look at availability: Chieftec's BPS-450S isn't available in North America, which is a pity because of its balanced results. Enermax’s PRO82+ II effectively comes at almost twice the cost as the Antec EA-380D Green, making a purchase questionable. If you don’t mind the lower 380 W output, the missing power cord, and the smaller fan, you’ll get marginally better efficiency starting at $45 from Antec. In the US market, this seems to be the clear winner at the sub-$75 price point.

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  • mi1ez
    1) Stop moaning about PSU.s that aren't available in the US.
    2) Where are the actual voltages for each rail? It feels like most of this test is missing!
  • swamprat
    I can't say I've read every page - but are there noise readings anywhere as well as the occasional comment like "it's quiet"?
  • Anonymous
    Small PSU means desktop/media.... and since the conclusion was "they're all pretty similar" then noise is going to be one of the main selection criteria. So... no real help in choosing :(
  • stone-69
    Uhm... just a newbie question :
    Are cheap PSUs really that bad ?
    I mean I've seen a lot of people basically saying that a cheap PSU will make your PC explode (or something along that note), but I've seen very few thorough reviews of cheap PSUs testing ripple, noise and voltage drops.
    Could this be an idea for a future article ?