This is an update of the tiered power supply list originally posted on xtremesystems.org a few years ago. We are continually adding to this list and correcting it when new information is found or comes available. If you think that something about this list is incorrect, or something is missing that should be there, feel free to post that information in this thread. When posting suggestions for changes, it would be very helpful if you could link information supporting what you say, or at least cite the site where you think the information can be found. Of course, personal experience with a power supply can be helpful as well, to some extent, so don't hesitate to post if you have something to add.
Original Phase III tiered PSU list from: http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=108088
As with any guide there may be psu's that aren't listed, or you may have your own opinions on various units. However you can visit SilentPCReview, PCPer, AnandTech, HardwareSecrets, HardOCP, and jonnyGURU for in-depth psu reviews. Here is a handy chart of power supply reviews available: http://www.overclock.net/power-supplies/738097-psu-review-database.html#post9426914
If you'd like to know who manufactures a certain power supply, here are some charts and instructions that you can use to look it up:http://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/PSU_Manufacturershttp://www.jonnyguru.com/modules.php?name=NDArticles&op=Story&ndar_id=24http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/psu-manufacturer-oem,2729-2.htmlhttp://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page541.htm
Also another note, anything listed by ECOS on the 80Plus charts is likely to be tier 4 or better.
-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----Tier 1 Brands - The Most Powerful And Stable Components On The Market.
Back to tier explanation.
Tier 2 Brands - Top Quality components With Top Notch Stability - For Those With Price/Availability Issues With Tier 1
Back to tier explanation.
Tier 2b - Tier 2 units which have either lower longevity or slightly lower quality output. Still well within spec, and are good units.
Tier 3 Brands - Power supplies fully able to meet ATX specs, although closer to the edges of the limits than higher tier units. Still solid units.
Tier 4 - Not Recommend for stressful situations. May not be able to put out full rated power above room temperature, and may slightly fail to meet ATX specs.
Tier 5 - Other than the units listed above for any of these brands, NOT RECOMMENDED. Replace ASAP if you have one.
Last Update of this list was on 12/21/2014 by GmsCool
* This thread is not endorsed by Newegg or its affiliates
I applaud you CompWiz, for taking the iniative in tackling this, sure to be, tedious endeavor. I know there was a parameter to the previous list towards simplicity. That said, I do think certain makes and models don't get their just do, or are over rated now. Do we expand the list to models and upgraded series though, at the risk of losing the genralized simplicity? I think we should myself, there certainly are some winners out there, that would be of a lesser today, from the old list. I know an updated expanded list will go along ways towards builders inquiries.
I'll start off by listing a few changes I think would be good.
Master certainly doesn't belong in tier 4. Their Enhance-built Real
Power Pro power supplies are top-notch, with some of the highest
efficiency around(over 85% for most of their range, from review at
JonnyGuru.com). I think that they should be put in tier 2. However,
some of the lower-wattage Real Power Pro power supplies aren't quite as
good, and are made by AcBel Polytech Inc. They're still good power
supplies(the Real Power Pro 750watt model got the silver editor's
choice award at hardocp.com), and sell for great prices(the Cooler
Master Real Power Pro 750watt was on sale for around $60 recently).
So, those may belong in tier 2, or tier 3.
Master has their eXtreme lineup. They are the budget power supplies,
and, unfortunately, Cooler Master has chosen to overrate them. They
are good quality seventeam-built power supplies, but Cooler Master has
labeled them for about 100watts more than they were made for(from
review of 600watt Cooler Master eXtreme PSU at JonnyGuru.com). They're
good power supplies, as long as you consider them for the wattages they
were actually made for. Should that push them to Tier 4? Or, would
Tier 3 be all right? I figure that we can note next to the Cooler
Master eXtreme listing to simply subtract 100watts from the labeled
wattage. One other thing to consider is that Cooler Master also has
the eXtreme Plus lineup, which has a different manufacturer, although
the power supplies are still overrated(as per review on Hardware
Another brand that needs to be moved up is
Rosewill. Their RPxxx-2 and RPxxx-V2 power supplies have excellent
output power quality, and are honestly rated(from review at
JonnyGuru.com). However, they use some fuhjyyu capacitors, which have
been known to fail at higher temperatures. So, tier 3 or tier 4? I'm
Another point that this brings up is that some power
supplies, while providing fine power output, are heat sensitive,
usually due to fuhjyyu capacitors. So, maybe we can put some sort of
symbol or letter next to these power supplies, indicating that they are
Also, Rosewill's Xtreme power
supply line is good. They use an older Group-regulated design for
voltage regulation, but it works just fine as long as you don't give it
a heavy 5v crossload(which very few modern computers would do). From
the review at JonnyGuru.com:
JonnyGuru.com: Overall these are quite satisfactory units that do everything they
claim and do it pretty well for the most part. I personally have the
least amount of hesitation in recommending them for anyone building a
high end gaming machine.
I'd say that those would fit nicely into tier 3.
manufacturer that might need to be moved up is Ultra. Their X3 power
supplies(1600watt in particular) were compared to the PC P&C
Turbocool power supplies, and found to output better power. So, maybe
some or all of the X3 power supplies should be moved up to tier 1.
hardocp.com: The X3 1600w simply had phenomenal DC output at all loads tested never
breaking more than 20-25mV of ripple/noise at any output level. It is
one thing for a unit to have this kind of quality DC output over a
narrow 300w to 400w capacity but Ultra has a unit here that not only
can outperform similar high capacity units, but has one that can catch
or outperform even the amazing DC output quality of the Win-Tact built
PC Power and Cooling Turbo-Cool 1KW-SR while putting out a full 600w
total capacity and 47A 12v capacity more than that unit.
massive single 12v rail design of the Ultra X3 power supplies is very
nice, as is their extremely competitive prices. The Ultra X3 1600watt
costs less than the PC P&C 1000watt, by a good margin. Also, the
fan noise on Ultra X3's is far, far lower than the loud PC P&C
On this list is the OCZ GameXStream power
supply, in tier 2. One thing that needs to be done is to add in the
OCZ StealthXStream, also in tier 2, as those power supplies are almost
completely identical to the GameXStream models(as per review in
Also, for all the FSP-made OCZ power
supplies, including the GameXStream and StealthXStream, we need to add
in that only the models manufactured since December of last year should
be considered to be tier 2. The ones manufactured before that had
excessive ripple, exceeding ATX specs on multiple rails(as per reviews
on hardocp.com and jonnyguru.com). FSP and OCZ released a press
release saying that they had realized that this was a problem, and that
they were correcting it in late 2007.
Also, maybe the higher
wattage ones are falsely rated. In the review of the GameXStream
1010watt power supply on hardocp.com, they found that it would shut
down with any load higher than around 860watts. So, perhaps we should
put an upper limit on which GameXStream power supplies are considered
to be good. The 700watt ones were honestly rated and had good power
regulation(as per jonnyguru.com review).
I think that the OCZ
ProXStream should also be added in, probably tier 2. It was reviewed
at Hardocp.com, with very good results. It was certainly better than
the GameXStream they reviewed alongside it.
One other company
that should have power supplies listed in higher tiers is BFG. Their
BFGTech ES-800watt power supply features some new technology called
"frequency conversion" that allows it to have higher efficiency at all
wattages, not just in a small range, as other power supplies do. It
won the Gold editor's choice award at hardocp.com, which is very good.
It should be in Tier 2, at least. Maybe even tier 1.
older Topower-made BFG 800watt power supply is a good power
supply(reviewed by Hardware Secrets). It should be moved into Tier T,
with the rest of the good Topower power supplies. However, their
higher and lower models(the 650watt with the blue button on the back,
reviewed by jonnyguru.com and the 1000watt model reviewed at
hardocp.com) are not good, and should be either tier 4 or 5.
Ultra X2 units are decent power supplies for the most part, but their
750watt model is not good at all(as per hardocp.com review). So, all
models less than 750watts can remain where they are, but that one needs
to be moved to tier 5.
Also, the Ultra XVS modular power
supplies should be put in tier 4, at least some of the higher wattage
models. According to JonnyGuru(not sure where exactly, but I do
remember reading it there somewhere, I'll try to find it when I get a
chance), the higher wattage XVS power supplies are essentially X-Finity
power supplies with a modular interface strapped on. So, they should
be listed in tier 4, like the X-Finity is.
Some power supply
brands to be added to tier 5 are Dynex and Rocketfish. They are the
Best Buy house brands, and are terrible, as reviewed by hardocp.com.
has put out some Tagan power supplies recently(Topower high end
units). While the 800watt model is good(got silver editor's choice at
hardocp.com), the 1300watt model is not good, and just can't put out
the power it claims(from hardocp.com review). So, the 800watt ABS can
be added into Tier T, but higher wattages should be either tier 4 or
5. They're just rated for more than they can handle.
think that's enough to start with. What does everyone else think? Any
other suggestions are welcome as well, just try to cite the sources.
Penewab2007:I applaud you CompWiz, for taking the iniative in tackling this, sure to be, tedious endeavor. I know there was a parameter to the previous list towards simplicity. That said, I do think certain makes and models don't get their just do, or are over rated now. Do we expand the list to models and upgraded series though, at the risk of losing the genralized simplicity?
I applaud you CompWiz, for taking the iniative in tackling this, sure to be, tedious endeavor. I know there was a parameter to the previous list towards simplicity. That said, I do think certain makes and models don't get their just do, or are over rated now. Do we expand the list to models and upgraded series though, at the risk of losing the genralized simplicity?
well, I think that we can try to just update the old list as much as possible. I don't want to redo the whole thing, but with some good updates, this list could become much more accurate and relevant again.
There is one change that might be worth making to the structure. Perhaps a sixth tier should be added, for really bad power supplies. For example, CoolMax is in tier 5. This is deserved, as they have yet to make a good, honestly rated power supply. However, some of their higher-end models are fairly decent, and they're just overrated by a couple hundred watts. They certainly don't deserve to be listed among the likes of PowMax and Deer, but they probably don't deserve to be listed as tier 4 either. The sixth tier could be a "if you have one of these power supplies, replace it immediately, or it may destroy your computer" tier. Right now, the really bad power supplies are just listed along with the somewhat bad, or just overrated ones. Using an good quality power supply that's been overrated won't damage your computer, as long as you don't exceed the wattage the manufacturer made it for.
Also, I think that it would really help to more closely define what each tier means. If someone could work on that, that would be really helpful. It's hard to classify power supplies without having this more well defined.
Penewab2007: I think we should myself, there certainly are some winners out there, that would be of a lesser today, from the old list. I know an updated expanded list will go along ways towards builders inquiries.
definitely. Having an updated and correct power supply listing would be really helpful.
HOGHAULER:Well done CW I would have to agree with you but having had experience with RaidMax, Sun, Corsair and Ultra Iwould change a few of these. RaidMax leave them at the bottom period,
I definitely agree with you there.
HOGHAULER:Sun seems to have improved some maybe teir 4 or bottom of teir 3,
hmm, I don't think I've ever seen a review of a Sun power supply. Do you know of any?
HOGHAULER:Corsair if they had some higher amperage PSUs I'd move them up to teir 1
Well, It's really hard to differentiate between tier 1 and tier 2. We do need to add their TX series in, but does Corsair deserve to be in tier 1? I'll have to do some research.
HOGHAULER: as for Ultra I'm still using a 500 watt V series and its 6 years old and going strong so put some of their better units upto teir 3.
yeah, I've also got an Ultra V-series in one of my older computers, and it's been working fine for years. They aren't all that great, and some of them are slightly overrated(wattage), but I think it would be fine to put them in tier 4. However, that raises the issue of the Ultra X-finity and X-2 power supplies. They are certainly much higher quality than the V-series units, and they're already in tier 4. Perhaps those ones should be moved to teir 3.
I was also thinking that there are some other power supply guides that would be helpful. Like, we could use a guide to 5v-heavy power supplies. Recently someone was asking about a good low-cost power supply to get for their old 5v-heavy computer(P3 or Athlon XP I think). Most of the good budget power supplies on newegg are either group-regulated(can't handle 5v-heavy crossloading) or just don't have much 5v power(like the Antec Earthwatts). Most of the old ATX ones listed are just junk power supplies that are still hanging around. Having a list of a few good power supplies that can handle a 5v-heavy loading at a few different price levels would be good to have around.
Another guide could be an article "demystifying power supplies". Basic topics like amps, volts, watts, voltage regulation, ripple, ATX specs, efficiency, power factor correction, and stuff like that would be helpful. Otherwise the people who know about these things will just end up explaining them over and over again.
Also, a guide to calculating your computer's power requirements would be good. Many people really don't know how to do this with much accuracy, and end up spending a lot more than they need to. While getting a higher wattage power supply than you need isn't a bad thing, it would be good for people to know what they actually need, and it's pretty easy to calculate. For example, there could be a list compiled of a lot of common components and the amount of watts they use, plus what rail the load will be on. I end up doing estimates of power calculation pretty often, and having a guide to it would save a lot of time.
HOGHAULER:Ok CW it all looks good except for 1 thing, now this is a personnel opinion I hate multi-rail PSU's and it does not matter who makes them. Yes they do have their place with low budget, low power consumption systems but you have heard the old saying "if you can't dazzle them with your brillance baffle them with your BS" and thats exactly what they try to do IE your PSU is plugged into an American outlet at 120volts 120/12=10amps UK/Europe 240volts 240/12=20amps most multi-rail PSU's are rated from 15-22amps some are rated as low as 13amps per rail others are rated as high as 30amps per rail. This smells awfull fishy to me.
I'm not sure what you're saying there. How does the voltage coming in change the power coming out? You seem to be using the wrong equation there. Watts/volts = amps. You seem to be doing some volts/volts, which does not equal amps. Or, maybe I'm just misunderstanding what you're trying to say.
Also, while I agree that single-rail power supplies are better(Ultra X3 with single 117amp 12v rail FTW!), as long as you hook a multi-rail PSU up correctly, there will be no problems because of the multiple rails. A lot of power supplies use multiple rails, including some very high quality ones, so pushing multi-rail power supplies to lower tiers wouldn't really make much sense.
HOGHAULER:Now the guide to calculating your own wattage requirements would be nice but you would need to remind people that a little extra wattage and amperage could extend the life of their PSU.
well, yes, of course. Putting in some extra watts to give your PSU headroom and account for anything you missed is always a good idea.
HOGHAULER:As for which rail supplies which connectors that would take a lot of research there but it would be helpful.
well, that differs for every power supply, it even differs on power supplies from the same manufacturer, brand, and series sometimes. In the article it could state that rails are commonly either indicated by a colored stripe on the wires, labels on the modular interface, or the manual.
Does anyone have any comments on the changes to the tiered power supply list that I suggested above?
Hey CW no I know the correct formula but some of these advertizers don't, I have seen several reviewers state this formula 240/12=20 amps while disccusing 750watt PSU's thats what the little quote was about and if they stated that then 120/12=10amps would apply since you could not increase 120 to 240 with out a stepup transformer and how big a PSU would that be.
Yes I realize that it differs for every PSU thats what I meant by it would take a lot of research.
No changes needed you got it covered pretty well there and I was not saying to put multi-rails to the bottom it was just a point I was trying to make about beware of what you read in reviews cause the reviewers are sometimes bought and paid for.
That list is way out dated and is a take off from David Hammocks list as well.I know this because I helped contribute to the list when I was a Mod at DFI_Street. Good luck on the list but will be a nightmare as there are way to many that think they know about PSUs from reading JG or Hocp or the Net. I have been giving advice on OCing and PSUs for over 10years and I am an EE in the field so do have the back ground but I personally would never do another list as it is a real PITA with everyone b***hing about what is or isn't on the list and how much power do you really need. I wish you well on the list but many many PSUs on that list went out of production years ago. The list has been updated with many good newer PSUs but has not had the old ones edited out. As the bar on quality and voltage regulation has been raised in the past few years so the older reviews were not holding the PSUs to the standards we expect today. With the sale prices on PSUs changing so much what is a great buy today would not be my suggestion next week because of pricing changes.
Ok, so since no one seems to disagree with my initial list of suggestions, I went through and made the changes to the list. To narrow down which tier each power supply belonged in, I read through reviews when it was a bit shaky. I think that I put them in the appropriate places, but if anyone disagrees, please post and say so. Also, I eliminated Tier Z. If the units in Tier Z really are better than the units in tier 2, then they deserve to be in tier 1. There's no need to be creating unnecessary and confusing divisions for such super-high-quality power supplies, at least in my opinion. Once again, if you disagree, please say so. Perhaps I can balance this removal by adding a tier 6, into which I can place power supplies that are known to be dangerous, and not just decent overrated units. However, since good reviews of such low quality power supplies are rather sparse, it may be impossible to judge whether many of the power supplies that are already in tier 5 deserve to be moved to tier 6.
There are a few things that I wanted to bring up. First off, in tier 2, Coolmax CTG power supplies are listed. These power supplies are part of the green power series, which Jonnyguru.com reviewed, and found to be lacking. However, it's a different series(jonnyguru.com reviewed CUG and CP lines, this is CTG). Big Bruin reviewed a CoolMax CTG 1000watt power supply, but that review was a simple "plug it into a computer, measure the voltages at load and idle" affair, that probably only tested the power supply up to a few hundred watts. So, I wonder how the CTG series got to be listed in tier 2. Does anyone here know of a more thorough review of it? I mean, judging by every other power supply they sell, the CTG power supplies are at best overrated units from a mediocre manufacturer. Does anyone know of any information that says otherwise?
Also, when adding in some of the unlisted OCZ power supplies, I came across the OCZ EliteXStream. This power supply has won the gold editor's choice award at hardocp.com, which is quite prestigious indeed. They also noted that it is certainly of higher quality than the other OCZ lines. So, does it deserve to be a tier 1 power supply? If you'd like to read the review, here's the link. I'd appreciate your thoughts. I put it in tier 2 for now, but I think that that power supply may deserve to be moved up.
Another power supply that may deserve to be moved up is the BFG ES-800. It uses something called "frequency conversion" so that it keeps efficiency high throughout it's entire load range. It's really an interesting new technology, and the power supply won a gold editor's choice award at hardocp.com. Does it deserve to be in tier 1? The reason I put it in tier 2 for now is because at its maximum load, the 3v ripple is at 50mV, which is the ATX spec limit. It never exceeds it, but being right at the limit isn't all that great. I think that that one does well deserve it's spot in tier 2, since it has that interesting new technology, and great build quality. Also, the lifetime warranty, only offered by a couple PSU brands, is a nice plus.
I decided to put the Rosewill RP 2 power supplies in tier 3, becuase, while they may use lower quality capacitors, they do have really excellent output quality. To cover the capacitor problem, I put (temperature sensitive) next to it, to indicate that you shouldn't run that power supply in a hot computer case. Testing(at jonnyguru.com) does indicate that those capacitors will last just fine for many years, as long as the temperature doesn't get too high.
Also, I split up the Cooler Master Real Power Pro power supplies. While all of them are pretty good, the lower wattage ones just aren't constructed to the same quality as the higher wattage enhance-made ones. They're still good power supplies, but with lower efficiency and a couple of mystery capacitors, I think that they fit into tier 3 nicely. It's not like tier 3 is bad, it's just not as good as tier 2.
Does anyone know of a good Sun power supply review? Someone mentioned them above, and I'd be happy to add them in where they belong, as soon as I can see some information about them.
So, any comments, questions, or additional suggestions are more than welcome.
No issues with anything posited. I don't see any listing for Xigmateks and XClio Good and Diamond Powers. I will gladly poke around for reviews to help out. .
Understand your points LowBoy, but the man, and I, as well, acknowledged that this would be a daunting challenge, so guess we'll all have to play it by ear. These forums have been the best so far for civility.
Little typo there for OCZ StealthStream in the list.
What about Hec(s), are they under another name? Gladly do a review search on them too (I've installed them, but never tested them.)
I think that Hec has some decent units, and some low quality ones as well. I was once looking up information about the HEC orion model, and I found that someone had posted pictures of the inside of one. It looked like your usual junk power supply, with components missing and undersized parts. I guess I'll add HEC orion to tier 5.
I couldn't find any good reviews of HEC units, and I looked for a while. If you want to give it a shot, go ahead, but I don't think there's anything out there. You could take a look to see if there are any reviews of the Sun power supplies that Hoghauler mentioned, I can't seem to find any information on them. Even finding out who manufactures them would be good.
I think I also remember reading(probably on the jonnyguru.com forums) that HEC makes some power supplies for computer companies, and those are fine. But, without a review, I wouldn't know where to classify any of their higher-end units.
Also, thanks for catching the typo.
I just read an article about Cooler Master's new UCP 900watt power supply, which is the first power supply, rated for more than 300watts, to get the 80 PLUS Silver certificate. This means that that power supply has an efficiency of over 85% at 20% load, over 88% at 50% load, and over 85% at 100% load. This is quite an accomplishment, but Cooler Master does have some experience in efficient power supplies, their Real Power Pro line boasts higher-wattage models with a typical efficiency of >85%(as in, it's >85% efficient for most of its load range). This has been tested and confirmed in reviews(JonnyGuru.com has a review).
I guess Cooler master's PSU beats out BFG's freqency conversion technology.
I can't wait to read more about how they designed that power supply. Does anyone know of any reviews of Cooler Master's UCP power supplies? I'd certainly like to add this to the tier list, probably tier 1 or 2, ASAP.
It seems that there is a thread about this power supply over at the JonnyGuru.com forums, but they don't know much about it either.
Also, it seems like we've made some good corrections to this list. No one else has mentioned any other changes that should be made, so perhaps we can get an admin to sticky this thread rather than the old tiered power supply list thread.
While I agree the HEC line is risky at best, their Zephyr series is their higher-end model, one that they have put more thought and effort into. Below are some reviews that show the 650W to be efficient, has all the connectors a 650W should, and a fine look with sleek casing and dual fans (which stay almost silent.)
I'm gonna make a suggestion, having installed one, and checked up on it today, it's been cruising without fail for over 14 months. I think it's a "good" 650W, not the best, but not the worst. And while tier 5 is apt for their rather OEMish models, I would suggest maybe putting the Zephyr to Tier 4, a good buy unless a similar one from 3 can be had for same money. Checking the Egg reviews, there does appear to be a number of DOAs for the limited number of reviews, so I wouldn't be insulted if others don't agree with the suggestion, by any means. At it's current price, it's not a logical choice, but I recall seeing it at times, for much less. If I remember right, it was around $35 with a rebate when I installed one. Not sure what the deal is with the current price, (excuse the pun) who the HEC would buy one!!!!
So anyways, here's the reviews I did find, certainly not comprehensive, but I did go through many Google pages! LOL. And I think you'll agree, all the reviews suggest the Zephyr is a better HEC model. (You know what would be a great help in doing this, if we knew how many units have been sold, in comparison to other 650Ws, overall, or by the Egg, because we know not everyone writes reviews, especially people happy with their product. If they've sold hundreds or thousands of these things, that would tell us allot more inc. returns).)
http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=2081 (Zephyr series test more efficient than other HECs)
http://www.thinkcomputers.org/index.php?x=reviews&id=621 (put up against CM Real Power Pro, authors rates it over RPP for most part, sorta dubious)
http://www.bigbruin.com/2007/heczephyr_1 ("Through out the hours of testing under load, the multi-meter display remained rock solid and showed no fluctuation at all." Even with two fans, the HEC remains quite.)
Video Review: http://www.technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DnjNMQdSVOvo (Really good spec review, meets all standards, quality, clean, efficient.)
Believe me, I'm not no major Zephyr fan, I just thought it fair, after reading the reviews, and having the opportunity to install and follow up on one of these, that it doesn't seem fair in T5 itself.