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Thread: Power supplies in cheap, pre-built "gaming" computers

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    Question Power supplies in cheap, pre-built "gaming" computers

    Hey Johnnyguru community!

    I'm currently analyzing a pre-built computer I just purchased for...uh...science reasons Similar to the Overpowered Walmart Gaming Computers, I'd like to tear this down a bit and see just how bad (or good??) it is. So far, things aren't looking so good.

    Anyway, I see that the power supply is a VS450. I initially thought it was the Corsair VS450, which is a low tier psu but doable for a very basic office computer with a simple dGPU and efficient CPU. After looking a bit further, it's an APEVIA VS450!

    I talked to a community member in my discord server who's knowledgeable in power supplies and states that it's bottom of the barrel trash. I'd just like to ask why/what you guys think. I know basic power supply, capacitor, transformer knowledge, but because I don't have the proper equipment or background, I can't make an educated decision on why it's bad. I know it is, but some more information would be great!

    Here's what I know:
    • 384w at best
      possibly voltage regulation and ripple is out of spec beyond ~300w


    TLDR
    -Found an ebay gaming PC with the Apevia VS450
    -Sucky PSU, but why is it so bad?
    -Why even bother making such a bad psu in the first place?

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    No no no no no no..... They threw that PSU in there because it was the cheapest thing they could find and don't have to call out what PSU is being used in order to make a sale.

    No power factor correction. Very loud fan. Sleeve bearing fan. Double forward front end. No DC to DC. Cheapest capacitors available. Non-sleeved cables looks like ass even if you're good at cable routing... the list of bad things goes on and on.

    Also, that PC is overpriced for what it is. An i5 with a Radeon 7470? Really? Everything in it is the cheapest possible. It's more about the RGB than the actual performance. Cheap mobo. Stock CPU cooler. Lame GPU. Generic garbage RAM.

    They don't even pretend it's a decent PC: "Runs Fortnite average 27 FPS on low graphic settings without any lag." Only 27 FPS.... WITH THE LOWEST GRAPHICS SETTINGS?!?!?! That would give me a freaking headache!!!!

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    Outdated topology with very poor efficiency ... let's say around 70-75% efficiency at 50-100w where most computers idle in desktop
    You can tell it's old design by presence of voltage switch (110v/220v) in the back on the psu
    Lack of mains filtering or minimal filtering - you can have power supply without these, but the psu may affect other electronics around your house without these components

    Values on label may be inflated ... says 16A on 3.3v and 5v, but the psu may actually use 10A diodes for those two voltages, or something like that. And even if the components are rated for the values listed, the transformer used may be slightly undersized for the advertised maximum output.
    Fans are often very cheap, and with too little lubrication, so they may seize after some time and cause psu to overheat.

    The use cheaper components like "3rd tier" capacitors which can degrade over time due to heat and other reasons - they can degrade much faster in combination with cheap, poor quality fans and due to too much heat produced because of poor efficiency.

    Often they use cheap connectors and try to save money even on the wires, by using AWG20 instead of AWG18 wires for example, or by using wires that are mix of copper and steel, or mix or copper and aluminum strands, because copper is expensive.

    -Why even bother making such a bad psu in the first place?

    Because there is some demand for such power supplies, especially in some countries that are poorer (let's say mexico, russia, brazil, pakistan, africa ) countries where electricity standards and certifications are less enforced
    because these old designs often use components that were mass produced for a long time or these components can be produced by smaller Chinese manufacturers for cheap
    They're mostly through hole only, which means a factory can hire a bunch of people to place components on the boards manually instead of buying pick and place machines and spools of components and so on - keeps some people employed
    They're cheap ... if they're sold on Amazon or Newegg for 20$, you can probably buy a shipping container of such power supplies for around 8-10$ each

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    It's i5 650 from 2010 with 2 cores and HT.

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    Take out the GPU and the computer may last longer.
    CPU: Core i7 8700k, HT enabled, all 6 cores OC'd to 4.8GHz, Vcore = 1.24v
    Heatsink: Noctua NH-D15 with one NF-A15 1500 RPM PWM fan
    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z370X Aorus Gaming 7
    RAM: 4x16GB (64GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 RAM 16-18-18-36@3200MHz, Vdimm = 1.35v
    GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 1080 DirectX 12 with 8GB 256-Bit GDDR5X
    SSD1: Samsung 840 EVO 500GB TLC; SSD2: SAMSUNG 860 EVO 1TB 3-bit MLC
    HD: WD 500GB (old); Case: LIAN LI PC-7H Aluminum ATX Mid Tower
    PSU: Seasonic Platinum 660W

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