600-650W power supplies review: 46 models compared

Taking a look at the 'sweet spot'

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Introduction

Power supplies with a capacity between 600 and 650 watt form an interesting segment, because this is the ‘sweet spot’ of this computer part at the moment. For this article we tested no less than 46 models. This test is based on an earlier round-up for our Dutch site, which is why several recent model lines are not yet included. Expect us to update with those in the near future.


Power supplies with a capacity between 600 and 650 watt are an interesting segment if you want to build a system. With it, you are able to power a state-of-the-art graphics card (meaning a Titan X or GTX 1080 Ti) and overclock both it and the processor. It is also possible to have two less demanding, mid-range graphics cards – such as the GTX 1070 and GTX 1080 – running in SLI. If you want to overclock these with two graphics cards, we recommend looking at a 750 or 850 watt power supply. Using a 650 watt power supply to power two GTX 1080 Tis is pushing it as well.

Corsair RM650x
Once again, the Corsair RM650x is one of the more interesting models in the test: it offers remarkably low noise levels, very low ripple and good voltage stability at an attractive price.

The segment of 600-650 watt is also where the price/performance ratio is relatively good. If you significantly raise the capacity, the additional price you pay for it is disproportionate. The same goes for power supplies with a much lower capacity. They have a bad price/performance ratio, because the manufacturers find it difficult to manage a cost-effective production. The price of a good power supply of 300-400 watt will come close to a power supply with a much higher capacity, which makes this segment less interesting.

Developments

Where we’ve seen big steps in efficiency and quality in the last decennium, we’ve now been seeing some stabilization in the market for a time now. Manufacturers no longer launch new models constantly. The efficiency is also, slowly but surely, reaching the achievable (and cost-effective) limit there is. The logical next step is that there will be a small rise in 80Plus Titanium-power supplies on the market, years after the 80Plus organization announced the certification. A power supply with this certificate must minimally have 96% efficiency at 50% load, two percentage points more than the minimum of Platinum.

Seasonic Prime Titanium 650W
The best power supply in the test is the new Seasonic Prime 650W Titanium. It has the highest efficiency, even at lower load It’s ever-so efficient.

Up until recently, there were only Titanium-power supplies with a capacity over a kilowatt, however we also see more models with a rather modest capacity. In this test we see two of these power supplies, the Seasonic Prime 650W and the SilverStone Strider Titanium 600W. Naturally, they’re not cheap: The Seasonic is the most expensive power supply in the test and the Silverstone is the third most expensive one. What’s interesting is that some manufacturers aim to win the ‘halo-effect’ of the efficiency, while others go for the sharply priced middle class power supplies that are affordable for a larger target audience.

It is certainly enjoyable that manufacturers are able to make power supplies this efficient, the question however is if these are actually an option for run-of-the-mill consumers. It was already a challenge to earn back the purchase price through higher efficiency for the Platinum-power supplies. This will be even more difficult for the more expensive Titanium ones. Only when you have your PC running tasks that are demanding for your CPU or GPU, will a power supply with just a Platinum-certificate be accountable for nothing but its costs.


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46 products discussed in this review

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