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Surprised When Your Cheap PSU Blows Up?

The PC power supply market is one of the most difficult for enthusiasts and the tech press to address. There are products for every requirement, every performance category, and even for most tastes in design, not to mention the huge price span! In our past power supply roundups, we tested products ranging from a little more than $40 to more than $200. With very few exceptions, most of the units we've evaluated have done what they've claimed; sometimes by a long-shot and other times just barely.

Beyond the solutions from well-known vendors, there is a very large number of cheap, no-name products out there, many of which are really easy to find on auction sites at really attractive prices. To get an idea of what lies behind these purported bargains, we bought three of them using Buy It Now. Obviously, we did not give away our real identities to the seller, ensuring we'd receive the same hardware as everyone else.

Without giving away too much about performance, it's safe to say that the value of what you get when you spend this little on a power is pretty darned minimal. The two Sutai models came without any accessories at all, and were simply wrapped in film. The 420 W PSU at least came in a box with a descriptive label with Power Supply written on it.

Make sure you're purchasing a quality PSU so that you can rest easy knowing your other components (and ultimately, your data) are safe. This test demonstrates one thing: if you buy too cheap, you will probably end up buying twice.



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