Picking The Right Power Supply: What You Should Know

Example 3: The Enthusiast’s System

Test Case 3: The Enthusiast’s PC

And now for our high-end configuration

High-End PC
Intel Core i5-2500K @ 4.5 GHz

Gigabyte P67A-UD5
2 x 4 GB DDR3 Kingston HyperX
Gainward GeForce GTX 580
Hard Drive
1 x 1 TB Western Digital Caviar Blue
Optical Drive
DVD burner
External Devices
USB hard drives, mouse, keyboard
Power Draw, Idle
72 W
Power Draw, Normal Load148 W
Power Draw, Full Load
488 W

This time around, we choose from the following candidates:

Super Flower Golden Green 450 W80 PLUS Gold$83 (€59.00)
RaptoxxRT 600 SPLNone
$88 (€62.00)
Aerocool VT12XT 600 W80 PLUS Bronze$115 (€82.00)
EnermaxModu 82+ II ErP 525 W 80 PLUS Bronze$145 (€102.00)
Corsair AX 75080 PLUS Gold$198 (€140.00)

A Big System Draws Big Power

We fire up our watt meter one last time, and this time, all of our PSUs survived. We purposely chose a wide spread of models for this scenario, both where price and power are concerned. Here are the results of this mixed batch of power supplies:


Again, we purposely pushed some of our candidates to their limit, and even beyond. The Super Flower model, nominally rated at 450 W, remained surprisingly stable throughout. Indeed, it acted more like a solid 500 W model, albeit one close to its limit.

With the system idling, the brawny Corsair AX 750 is at a bit of a disadvantage compared to the other contenders. However, as the system’s power consumption rises, so does this model’s efficiency. The Enermax Modu 82+ II ErP 525 W has no real strengths or weaknesses and ends up in the middle of the pack. It is pleasantly quiet, though. The same holds true for Corsair, by the way, which combines low noise with the highest power reserves in this group. It’s definitely not cheap, but it’s a very good entry.

Raptoxx, on the other hand, is cheap and does decently enough, if you can stand its noise level. While the extra 15 to 20 W it tends to consume compared to its competitors add up over time, none of the more expensive models would amortize their higher price through power savings. Aerocool’s VT12XT 600 W is pricier than Raptoxx‘ entry, but also quieter and a little more frugal when it comes to power use. Once more, you are unlikely to be able to recoup the higher price compared to the Raptoxx due to its lower power consumption.