Reviews - Death of a Gutless Wonder
  (By OklahomaWolf on Sun, Nov-30-2008)

Page 1 -

A while back, I did a little roundup featuring some of the cheapest, lightest power supplies one could find. And, while that roundup has gone on to be one of the most widely read articles on this site, there have been more than a few people who have expressed interest in me doing another one of those roundups. I get the impression that many of these people just like to see something blow up, the more violently the better.

Well, I have a confession - I'm one of those people. And while I've had units that just up and died, some very spectacularly, I must admit to having a certain yearning to take another look at the real cheap stuff. You know, the kinds of power supplies you get free with a twenty dollar case. And let's face it - you probably know people perfectly willing to take one look inside their new computer case, see one of these things, and then come complaining to you later when it took out their hard drive, CPU, and $300 video card.

If you, like me, are one of those people who likes to see these things just up and die, today is your lucky day. A friend of mine supplied me with today's review sample, a generic marvel of wasted space that goes by the four letter moniker "LPSW."

There aren't any box shots to bore you with this time, for this unit did indeed come with a computer case. My friend, a former computer store manager who knows a thing or two about these things himself, had immediately yanked this thing out of his brand new case in order to install something decent. We'll find out in the load testing phase how wise this decision was.

There's nothing that says "generic" like a plain gray case with really thin wires coming out of it. Although, I must admit I have seen units with worse wiring. Lifting up this power supply for the first time brought a question to my mind - would it float away once the air inside heated up? Seriously, this unit holds the new record for the lightest power supply to ever hit the test bench.

This is one of very few ATX units out there to feature a male AC receptacle on the back. You might think that this receptacle is switched, so that you could power on a monitor or water cooling pump or something. You'd be wrong - it's live all the time on this puppy. What's the point? Why did they bother? I don't know, honestly. At the price point this thing competes at, you'd think they'd save another buck and just have the main female receptacle only.

Hey, look! They splurged on a label! Although, their generosity stops there; for the label covers the specs on no less than seven different models. There is no useful certification number of note here - the number below the UL logo leads nowhere, and the one under the CSA logo traces back to a South African manufacturer of camping stoves, of all things.

But I found out who the OEM is, oh yes I did. More about that on page three.

LPSW 350W +3.3V +5V +12V -12V -5V +5VSB
22A 32A 16A 0.8A 0.3A 2A
Max Power 150W 192W 9.6W 1.5W 10W
350W

You can tell a power supply is an ancient design by the presence of a -5V rail, which has been gone from the ATX spec for years now. I must confess that I decided not to max out the auxiliary rails in load testing, particularly the 5VSB. I figured you all would lynch me if this thing croaked before I could even get test one going. Can't have fireworks if the standby burns out and doesn't let the thing turn on, after all.

Ah, the good old cable shot. And what a pathetic sight we're seeing, too. Not only are the wires thin gauge, there aren't many of them in the first place. And they're so short they're almost useless for anything but a micro ATX case.

No SATA connectors, no 24 pin ATX connector. We're lucky to get an ATX12V connector on this thing.

Type of connector: LPSW 350W
ATX connector (310mm) 20 pin
4-pin ATX12V connector (320mm) 1
5.25" Drive connectors (320mm+150mm) 4
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 2

Unit Dimensions(LxWxH)

125mm x 150mm x 86mm


 

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