PSUs: What We Learned At Computex 2015

Another Computex has ended, and although we're very tired from the glut of stories we've covered over the last week or so, we still feel fortunate for having had the chance to attend again. We strongly believe that Computex is the most significant tech show, and on top of that, Taipei is a wonderful city and also happens to be capital of the tech world as so many related companies have their headquarters located there. 

There were quite a few new PSU releases during this year’s Computex and several exciting product announcements. Among them, a company that didn’t have any presence into this market so far managed to rock the boat. We are talking about Cryorig, which earned a Tom’s Hardware award for its upcoming Pi PSU series that adopts the Internet of Things concept. The idea of remote controlling the on/off functionality of a PSU is very interesting, and it makes you wonder why, so far, none of the experienced manufacturers into this area have thought to offer this feature.

Some may argue that remote controlling the PSU might make PCs more vulnerable to hacking attempts, because a hacker might find his/her way through the most important part of a PC system, the PSU, and cause damage or data loss. However, I personally believe that if you take the proper measurements you won’t have to worry about someone remotely shutting off your PC.

Cooler Master is working hard on its first digitally controlled PSU, which the company first showed earlier this year at CES. Besides offering PC control, like other digital platforms, this PSU supports wireless communication, and through CM’s corresponding application, users will be able to control it through smartphones and tablets.

This is indeed an attractive nice feature, and on top of that, CM equipped this unit with custom designed PCI and EPS sockets, which feature larger pins that are able to handle more Amperes compared to the standard sockets found on most PSUs nowadays. In addition, the modular PCIe and EPS cables attach much more easily at the corresponding sockets, and at higher loads efficiency losses, on the connections, have been significantly decreased. We know the OEM of the new digital CM unit, which according to the company will be released in two versions with 1.2 kW and 1.5 kW capacities, but we aren’t allowed to reveal it. One thing we can tell you for sure is that it isn’t High Power.

High Power, though, had a strong presence in this Computex, because its digital and analog platforms were used by a significant number of companies for their upcoming products. Silverstone uses its digital platform for the new Zeus units, and the same goes for Rosewill for the fresh AIM PSU series. In addition, Corsair’s first SFX unit, the SF600, is made by High Power, which entered strongly into the SFX category as well, where all these years Enhance Electronics was the major player.

We also had several more digital PSU announcements from Seasonic, Super Flower, Antec and Enermax. Seasonic and Super Flower use their own platforms, but for Antec we don’t have solid information on the OEM. The Enermax DIGITYTAN Titanium unit is made by Channel Well Electronics, a company with significant experience in digital platforms (it was among the first to use digital circuits in its designs). Finally, the new Corsair RMi series features analog controlled PSUs with a digital circuit that provides information about the most important aspects (power in/out, efficiency, fan RPM etc.), thus also allowing control of the fan profile. The RMi units are made by CWT, which is a major partner for Corsair.

As you will have noticed by the relevant news posts we've written during Computex 2015, many companies included Titanium efficiency units into their portfolios, and this is good news, because the wider adoption of this efficiency level will increase competition and lower the prices of the relevant products.

Some companies such as Super Flower revealed Titanium lines with wide wattage coverage, as it seems the time has finally come for the release of low-mid wattage PSUs with Titanium efficiency. However, so far the only manufacturer that revealed a sub-500 W and affordable PSU with 80 PLUS Titanium efficiency is FSP, with the FSP400-60AGTAA unit, which according to its statements is mostly for system integrators. Nonetheless, we believe that if the company releases it in the retail market it will be a huge success, given that it should achieve a strong price/performance ratio.

As we see it, in the near future digitally controlled and Titanium efficiency units will have a significant presence in the market, offering buyers a wide range of options. So far, most Titanium units have over 1 kW capacity, but this will quickly change, satisfying a large portion of users that want a low-mid capacity Titanium PSU at a price that won’t break the bank. The truth is that many users don’t need high wattage PSUs, but on the other hand crave very high efficiency levels, so Titanium units with less than 500 W capacity will attract plenty of attention.

Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.