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Thread: High-Quality, Low-Wattage PSUs

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    Default High-Quality, Low-Wattage PSUs

    I'm looking to build a 24/7 plex server, and I was wondering if anyone had recommendations or feedback on the models I've been looking at.

    Efficiency is important to me since it'll always be on, although a decent amount of that time will be idle. So I'm kind of wavering between getting gold/platinum vs just getting a good unit that's bronze.

    I'm building in a mini-ITX case with a large number of HDDs, so I've eliminated the fanless PSUs. (This seems to unfortunately rule out a lot of the well-reviewed lower wattage PSUs on this site.)

    So far I'm looking at:
    - Seasonic SSR-360GP (gold)
    - FSP Group AURUM S 400W (gold)
    - Corsair CX430 (bronze)

    Any other models I should consider?

    Thanks!

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    Why not a higher wattage PSU that's not any larger than those listed? Sometimes, you can get those for a similar, or even lower, price because the volume is greater between 550W and 850W and the efficiency curve can make it quieter at lower loads so it doesn't require as much active cooling.

    Is it a budget concern?

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    My original thought was partly budget, thinking that lower wattage = lower costs. And partly I worried if I got a PSU with too high a wattage, then the consistently low load on it meant I'm not taking full advantage of its efficiency.

    On the other hand, Newegg's got a EVGA SuperNova P2 650 for $76 after rebate, which has been tempting me. Just didn't think I'd end up with a better PSU for my plex server than my gaming computer!

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    What do you mean by "a large number of HDDs" ?

    The quantity is important when you start a computer.

    You should be careful about peak currents when hard disks are powered on, which are higher than idle and average currents/power consumption.
    A typical hard drive will consume about 2A from 12v and about 1A from 5v for a few seconds when it turns on, then it will settle down to around <1A/12v and <0.5A/5v

    Low wattage power supplies have limited current on 5v, and with some power supplies it's even more important because the 5v and 3.3v are derived from 12v using dc-dc converters.

    For example, the Seasonic SSR-360GP can do only 5v @ 16A or about 80w (compared to higher wattage psus that do up to around 25A) and 12v @ 30A (360w) but the 5v is produced from 12v using a dc-dc converter.

    So for example, if you have 10 hard drives and all turn on at same time, you'll use about 13A (10hdd x 1A + ~3A for mb) on 5v so about 65w, which means out of 360w available for 12v, you're left with about 300w or 25A. The 10 drives alone will eat about 20A for a few seconds and you're left with only 5A for mb, cpu, fans which obviously is a bit on the low side.

    Granted, a quality psu like the Seasonic will be capable more than 360w for a few seconds and you may be able to enable staggered startup for hard drives at boot but still, it's something to keep in mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TaroTsujimoto View Post
    - FSP Group AURUM S 400W (gold)
    - Corsair CX430 (bronze)
    Those above mentioned units are not "high quality" ones, at all (so that personally I wouldn't ever use them 24/7).

    As already asked, how many and which specific drives?
    Best, Luca

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    Is the Super Flower HX 350 available in your country? These are definately one of the best psu in the 350 w range, but not 100% silent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philipus II View Post
    Is the Super Flower HX 350 available in your country?
    Given also the questionable caps choice in the HX revision, it shouldn't be clearly preferable over the Seasonic gold 350/360W, don't you agree?
    Best, Luca

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    Wouldn't worry too much about CapXon with 5 years warranty. CapXon is middle class for psu caps. There haven't been any large scale issues with this brand for years. I wouldn't mind these if used by a psu company which knows what they are doing in mid end psu. CapXon isn't for high end psu, for for the middle class I don't see any problem.

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    Also, there is issue of cooling they get. And how much ripple current they need to deal with. With sufficient airflow, in a low ripple design, even Jun Fus and alike can last a few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Philipus II View Post
    for the middle class I don't see any problem.
    Probably I wasn't enough clearly understandable, as CapXon wasn't the main concern, just a further detail to consider.

    If I give a look to your own reviews, Philip, the SF isn't clearly more efficient (but just 1,16%/4W more at 350W DC), it has a slightly worse PFC, its load regulation is comparable (but slightly worse than the SS' one), its noise/ripple suppression is clearly inferior, the hold up time is better (but the Seasonic was already more than twice the minimum requirement).

    So, given the CapXon (which SS doesn't use), given that it's not that silent, why should you consider the HX over the SS (providing the SF is locally available)?

    Off topic heads up: please tell Hendrik there's an "S" too many in the Golden Silent 430 review's title (in "FlowerS").
    Best, Luca

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