Riotoro Builder 500W Power Supply

REVIEW INFORMATION
SUPPLIED BY: JonnyGURU.com
PRODUCT: Riotoro Builder 500W
PROD LINK: Builder 500W Product Page
PRICE: £49.99 @ Epsilon Computers
Price is at time of testing!

Performance (40% of the final score) – now, to wrap things up with the scoring. This unit, much like the last bargain unit I looked at, was a mixed bag. Most bargain units are. Voltage regulation was very good, coming in at 1.95% in the hot box. This will be a full point deduction, because we’re two spots away from mythic level. Ripple control just came in under the excellent line, so no deduction there. Also no deduction for efficiency… this unit set a low standard there, which was easily met. But a half point comes off for power on spike performance. We got decent performance, but not good enough to give it full marks. That means this area gets an 8.5.

Functionality (20% of the final score) – I was surprised to see this unit doing quite well, here. For a budget model, Riotoro didn’t skimp very much. But they did still do some skimping. The unit isn’t modular, so a full point comes off there. Half a point goes away for being too cheap for zip ties. But I’ll have to stop there, because we can’t really expect all the same high end features we find with high end models. 8.5.

Value (20% of the final score) – I’m not finding this around North America, so let’s go to Epsilon Computers in London. There, the unit is in stock for £49.99. It’s the same price as the EVGA 450BT, a model I haven’t had the chance to look at yet. There are really not a lot of options at this retailer, but one of them includes a CoolerMaster 500W for about five pounds less money. This being a discontinued unit makes things hard for me to score, but I think the unit does hold its value fairly well, given that you have no idea what you’re getting with many cheap CoolerMasters and we know the EVGA is already fifty watts lighter. 8.

Build Quality (20% of the final score) – the factory did a pretty good job with this unit, but there are some things I don’t quite find myself loving. The fan, certainly, could be much better. So, I’ll dock a full point there. Half a point more will come off for soldering, and another half for the low temp rating on the main filter cap. Oh, and before I forget, another half point for the second tier capacitors. It’s built well enough for a budget unit, but I don’t think I’d expect it to outlive the warranty by much. 7.5.

Riotoro Builder 500W – Scoring
Performance 8.5
Functionality 8.5
Value 8
Build Quality 7.5
Total Score 8.2

SUMMARY

As bargain units go, this one’s a little better of a proposition than the last unit we looked at. It regulates much better with modern systems, is still pretty efficient, and seems to compete price wise with lower powered units. There’s really not much else to say. It’s utterly unremarkable in almost every way. But when it comes to budget units, unremarkable is often precisely what you want. The good kind of remarkable costs you more money, while the bad kind of remarkable costs you hardware, data, and maybe your house.

The GOOD:

  • excellent ripple control
  • very good voltage regulation
  • almost did Bronze in cold tests
  • reasonable forty degree max temp rating

The BAD:

  • nothing too serious

The MEDIOCRE:

  • questionable fan
  • second tier capacitors
  • low temp rating on main filter cap
  • soldering could be better… hey, didn’t I just type out this same stuff two weeks ago?

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