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Thread: Foxconn Power Supply?

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    Does a Foxconn power supply have a good quality to it? I'm looking at a Chieftec case that comes with a 450w Foxconn power supply. I'm planning on running: a Athlon XP 2500+ (overclocked to 2800+ w/ 200 FSB), Radeon 9500 Pro, 7200rpm hard drive, about seven fans in total (I think?), CD-RW, DVD-ROM, floppy, and Sound Blaster Audigy 2. I think I listed everything that would be running on the power supply? Not exactly sure. If it isn't suffecient I'm looking at Antec True 480w or an Enermax 460w. Any opinions are appreciated. Thanks.
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    CornerPocket's Avatar Retired
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    Bad choice for psu, if you've heard the horror stories about Deer PSU's, then I am sad to report you've also heard them about Allied - same company (Foxconn) makes them both, along with Austin, L&C, and US-Can units. Wouldn't really choose those particular models.

    Some of the better quality PSU's:

    Antec
    Thermaltake
    Channel Wells 400+
    Enermax
    Sparkle/Fortron 350+
    HEC


    Sparkle 350 is a reasonable PSU for the buck. XPdirect.com has them for $45 US (regular price $60 US)
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  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
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    Thanks for the advice! From what you've suggested I'm now looking at a Fortron 530W power supply. Is this going overboard for my system? Would a Fortron 400W power supply be just as adequate? I was talking with someone and they said that 350W was a little bit too low. Thanks again.
    "If you can't win, buzz off!" - K' from The King of Fighters 2000

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    CornerPocket's Avatar Retired
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    Originally posted by SOLDIER Cloud@16 June 2003 - 13:27
    Thanks for the advice! From what you've suggested I'm now looking at a Fortron 530W power supply. Is this going overboard for my system? Would a Fortron 400W power supply be just as adequate? I was talking with someone and they said that 350W was a little bit too low. Thanks again.
    It involves looking at the specification sheet that came with it, is printed on the side, or is at the manufacturers Web Site. The specification that tells the most about your PSU is the Combined +3.3V & +5V maximum output power. First off, if your unit does not have that specification, it is instantly suspect. This is the equivalent to buying a car that does not have a specification of the Brake Horsepower for the engine.

    So here's the magic numbers to compare to.

    If your unit claims to be:

    300W, the Combined 3.3 & 5V output should be 150-160W
    350W, the Combined 3.3 & 5V output should be 180-185W
    400W, the Combined 3.3 & 5V output should be 220-245W
    500W, the Combined 3.3 & 5V output should be 270W

    If your PSU falls short on this specification, you need to question what other specifications does it falls short on.

    Recommendations in order:
    1) Antec Solution Series
    2) Antec True Power series
    3) Enlight
    4) Fortron Source Power (FSP)/Sparkle (SPI)
    5) Herolchi (HEC)
    6) PC Power and Cooling
    7) TTGI
    8) Vantec


    Knowing a PC power supply is 300W or 400W means absolutely nothing. The are no standards the manufacturers have to meet to call their supply a given wattage. The nominal wattage rating is just that, a rating. It is not a measurement of output. Just like audio amplifiers, it is a "maximum output", not the actual output. I'm sure you've seen some of those $25 dollar amplifiers on Ebay that claim to produce 800 watts. In reality they probably make 12.5 watts when actual output is measured by any reasonable standard. In the same manner less reputable power supply manufacturers exaggerate their wattage rating in an attempt to make their product look like it is more powerful than it really is. I have a hair dryer that produces 1200W... 1200W of heat. It is about as useful for powering a PC as a 550W supply that costs 35 dollars.

    Once we understand that we have to look deeper into our prospective supply to know anything at all about it, there is a more meaningful spec. That is the 3.3+5V output which is on the side of any quality power supply. While not completely free of exaggeration this number usually has a much stronger correlation to actual output than the nominal total maximum output. Let's look at 300W supplies as an example. I have seen 300W supplies with 3.3+5V ratings as low as 125W. This is way too low for a quality supply. A 300W supply should have at least 175W of 3.3+5V output before it is of use for high performance PC's of modern porportions. Let's examine the 3.3+5V output of some popular choices- FSP/Sparkle (Fortron), and Enermax.

    The FSP/Sparkle 300W supply has a 3.3+5V output of 200W. This is good, and in fact this supply will power all but the most powerful and expansive of PC's. Its actual total output has been measured at 390W, far in excess of its rating. FSP/Sparkle supplies are rated very conservatively, and as such compete with supplies from other makers that have larger numbers pasted on the side. For example the FSP/Sparkle 350W units have the same 220W 3.3+5V output as the Enermax 431W, and when tested produce more total output (454W).

    The Enermax power supplies have a somewhat undeserved reputation. While not bad quality, they are lightweights when the output is compared to the best Antec and Fortron produce. The 300W Enermax has a 3.3+5V output of only 170W, and as such is only suitable for the lightest of loads. Even the 350W Enermax has only 185W of 3.3+ 5V output, making it far less capable than the SL350 Antec or FSP/Sparkle 350W supplies. While better than no-name or el-cheapo supplies, these units are outperformed by FSP/Sparkle's 10 times out of 10, and for less money. I see many more user reports of trouble with Enermax units than Antec or Sparkle, and as such can't recommend you spend the money that could have bought one of these on an Enermax.

    Once we deviate from quality supplies like these, the ratings are basically useless. Just like that 25 dollar 800W audio amplifier, the ratings are just not truthful. Considering how affordable the Antec Solution series and the FSP/Sparkle supplies are, there is no reason to use questionable supplies or ones known to be junk like Deer/Allied/LC power units. You can't save but a few dollars by using what comes to hand easiest or cheapest, but you can compromise the stability of your machine and/or damage the expensive components you hook to the supply.

    As long as the supply in question is one of the types listed above, and has adequate 3.3+5V output, it will likely do fine for your rig. By adequate I mean 200W for P4 systems and 220W for AMD rigs. Increase these recommendations to 220W for P4's and 230W for AMD's if hard core overclocking is the goal. Bear in mind that nearly everyone here has multiple optical and hard drives, this does not make your machine a special case. If you wish to use a larger supply feel free, but notice the 3.3+5V output doesn't increase much beyond the 220-230W of a good quality 350W model, regardless of the total wattage. And feel free to use the search function on this fine forum, as the actual experiences of users like yourself is the most reliable indicator of power supply quality and suitablility for your application.



    EDIT: Amendment added B)
    "8-ball Corner Pocket"

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