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Is there really that much of a quality difference between a generic and a branded PSU ?

I've always used generic ones only because of the huge price gap (where I live, branded PSUs start at about 5 times the price of a generic one).

Generic PSUs generally work fine for about 8-12 months (they used to last longer a few years ago), then they start making noises and finally break. When they do, I just change them and keep going. In fact, I buy a new PSU when the one installed starts making too much noise, to minimize downtime.

I'm talking about regular PCs here, no special graphics card or any other special power needs.

Question is: are branded PSUs worth 5 times as much as a generic PSU?

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3 Answers

up vote 1 down vote accepted

When it comes to power supplies, generally, you get what you pay for. A very cheap power supply might not even meet their own specifications on the box/label.

5X more expensive leaves out the actual price of the power supply. A $250 PSU is likely better than a $50 PSU, but probably not worth it unless you have special needs. But comparing a $50 PSU vs. $10 PSU, the $10 PSU is likely junk.

Rather than price as a comparison, I would go with weight. Typically, power supplies with relatively equal specifications, the heavier one is the best.

Also, the answer to this question is subjective. If you're willing to accept down time and/or crashes, then by all means go cheap. I've read the Google used to use cheap computers for their server farm and programmed expecting systems to fail. When a system failed, they just replaced it rather than fixing it.

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Certainly not 5 times as much.

Personally, I go for the cheapest one that has a voltage output I require for the job, and comes with a good warranty.

Any problems, I take back to my supplier.

Obviously, when I build machines for people, I give the option of the higher priced ones, but apart from gamers with Thermaltake, I find very little uptake.

(Also, in some green machines, I do use Asus (Or Acer, Can't remember) 80%+ certified power units as I have not yet seen an unbranded PSU that is certified for 80%+

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Go with branded because it is simply safer and more reliable. Think about this: what if ur unbranded PSU suddenly fails on you and u weren't even expecting it? Ur motherboard is most probably bust and all other components are fried.

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I don't think that's very likely... I've seen lots of PSUs break and never once did the motherboard fry. If it fails unexpectedly and I didn't have a spare, I just go out, buy another one and change it, it's a 30min downtime max. –  Mauricio Scheffer Sep 25 '09 at 4:26
    
I have seen it happened and I hear it all over tech forums. –  Chris Tarazi Sep 25 '09 at 5:04
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