Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I would like to know about the quality of a PSU in terms of safety. Ultimately I would like to know whether it is possible to know which brand is better, of course, in a objective point of view.

Usually, I would go to a forum and ask about the folks there about which brand to buy, but this method is not scentific enough. Do we know a method to determine the quality of PSU when we buy the PSU?

A website suggests to weight the PSU, but this is important to weight the PSU when we buy, because the shop will only provide a list of PSU in paper, show their specs to you. They will only take the PSU from the storage when you have decided to buy the PSU.

share|improve this question
    
What do you mean by "safety?" –  Zian Choy May 19 '11 at 4:28
    
The electricity safety, whether it is stable and will not leak current. –  lamwaiman1988 May 19 '11 at 4:31
add comment

3 Answers

I think the weight thing is a bit of a red herring and should not be used to gauge quality.

Things to look out for:

  • Is it a well known premium brand (like Akasa, Zalman, Corsair, Antec etc.) or a budget brand like Star Micro?
  • Is it a cheaper low end model or a more expensive high-end model that's likely to use superior components?
  • Are there good/bad reviews for that brand/model?
  • Is it fully ATX compliant (should say so in the description)?
  • Is the power output sufficient for your needs?
  • How does the power output on the 12V rail compared to other PSU's with the same wattage? This should be listed in the specification and higher is better.
  • Are you buying from a reputable site?
  • What is the warranty?

Of course any brand of PSU can fail/blow up but you can certainly reduce the chances. Basically I think if you buy a reasonable powerful model from one of the brands I mentioned you can't go too wrong. If you find those a bit too expensive then perhaps look for brands like CoolerMaster and Hiper that are sometimes a bit cheaper. You haven't mentioned your budget and I don't know what's available in Hong Kong so it makes it harder to recommend specific brands.

There is an interesting article here that gives more detail although it may not be entirely impartial.

share|improve this answer
    
I don't understand what do you mean by rail. Could you explain it please?? –  lamwaiman1988 May 19 '11 at 14:12
    
Because different computer components can operate at one of a number of voltages (3.3v, 5v and 12v) a power supply must have a number of circuits called 'rails'. These days many power hungry components draw power from the 12v rail including graphics cards which can have very high requirements. If you get a very cheap power supply it may not be able to cope with this as the quoted power output may be less than what you can actually get. Wikipedia has an article here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_supply_rail –  James May 19 '11 at 14:52
add comment

PSUs sold in the European Union area are "CE" marked which covers safety and conformity to European standards, the US equivalent is "UL" which is not so much a statement of conformity but a vouchsafe through underwriters. I wouldn't buy a PSU that was not marked with a standard that I could identify. It would be worth your while to find out what standards/markings are applicable to your area

I don't see how weighing a PSU will have any bearing on safety, it just means it has more metal in it.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Always good brands such as Mercury etc which follow industry standards such as ISO, so there's no need to worry about the quality.

share|improve this answer
    
Never heard this brand, maybe not available in my area (Hong Kong). –  lamwaiman1988 May 19 '11 at 5:18
    
    
Of all things, Mercury? That's one of the least reliable ones. –  Sathya May 19 '11 at 6:01
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.