EVGA 430W Power Supply Review

EVGA has been hit and miss when it comes to PSUs. While it has produced some stinkers in the past, we have recently seen at least one excellent quality product from EVGA. So when we saw its 430W unit billed as having "UNBEATABLE VALUE" and is rated at 40C for full power operation, we knew we had to buy it.

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Ripple Testing

Since voltage output is not the only concern when it comes to quality DC output we next examined the ripple and regulation characteristics of the EVGA 430W. We examine these points since unnecessary ripple can cause premature failure of sensitive components in a number of different PC subsystems.

The DC output quality was logged via our digital oscilloscope and the EasyScope II software package. Each divider horizontally represents 2ms while each divider vertically represents 0.05v or 50mv. The ATX specification states that a unit should remain at or below 120mV of ripple and noise on the 12v rail while under 50mV on the 3.3v/5v rails.

Control Test Graphing

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This image is the blank background control test on an unused connector from our SM-8800 during the EVGA 430W testing. This lets us determine what the background noise looks like during testing. If at any time a trace deviates from this reading that is the noise/ripple being logged by the oscilloscope for that rail. As you can see the trace is flat and shows as a blue line obscuring the axis. If during a test the axis becomes visible but a waveform is hard to discern it is most likely due to the amplitude of the trace being small in relation to our voltage divider.

120v and 100v Input

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Test #1 is equal to approximately 25% of the rated capacity of the 430W at 45c. This makes Test #1 equal to 112W by loading the 12v rail to 7a, the 5v rail to 2a, the 3.3v rail to 1a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.3a. In Test #1, we see the 430W starting off with somewhat mixed results as the peak trace amplitudes are ~25mV for the 12v rail, ~10mV for the 5v rail, and ~10mV for the 3.3v rail.

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Test #2 is equal to approximately 50% of the rated capacity of the 430W at 45c. This makes Test #2 equal to 215W by loading the 12v rail to 15a, the 5v rail to 3a, the 3.3v rail to 2a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.3a. Test #2 sees slight changes as the 12v rail ends at ~30mV of ripple/noise while the minor rails increase to ~15mV.

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Test #3 is equal to approximately 75% of the rated capacity of 430W at 45c. This makes Test #3 equal to 322W by loading the 12v rail to 23a, the 5v rail to 5a, the 3.3v rail to 3a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.3a. Test #3 sees increases in ripple/noise values across the board. The 12v rail has increased to ~45mV while the 5v and 3.3v rail have increased to ~20mV.

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Test #4 is equal to approximately 100% of the rated capacity of the 430W at 45c. This makes Test #4 equal to 417W by loading the 12v rail to 32a, the 5v rail to 4a, the 3.3v rail to 2a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.3a. In the final regular test at 120v, since this unit was only able to complete the 120v testing, we see the 12v rail peak at ~55mV while the 5v and 3.3v rail move up to ~30mV of ripple/noise.

Torture Test

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The Torture Test is equal to approximately 80% of the rated capacity of the EVGA 430W at 45C. This makes the Torture Test equal to 364W by loading the 12v rail to 25a, the 5v rail to 8a, the 3.3v rail to 4a, the +5vsb to 2a, and the -12v to 0.3a. At the end of the 8 hour Torture Test run, we see that the 12v rail peaking at ~35mV which is followed up by the 3.3v rail at ~25mV of ripple/noise and then, lastly, the 5v rail at ~20mV.

DC Output Quality Summary

We see here that, for the tests it could complete, the EVGA 430W did an "OK" job in that it was in specification but it certainly did not post excellent results. At the beginning of testing, the 12v rail was peaking at ~25mV of ripple/noise while the 5v and 3.3v rails were peaking at ~10mV. As testing progressed, these values all increased until these peaked at ~55mV of ripple/noise on the 12v rail and ~30mV on the minor rails. Now, when we look at the Zalman ZM450-US, we see that the EVGA 430W falls behind the Zalman ZM450-US, which is a first in testing, and that certainly is bad since the ZM450-US was not a good unit then and the EVGA 430W has not been a "good" unit today so far either. So, while passing by the numbers for the tests it could complete, the EVGA 430W is struggling against poor overall competition in this aspect of our review today in addition to its other shortcomings like not being able to complete testing at 100v AC input. This is not a good note to end the day on but it is what it is, so let's move to the conclusion and see how this all wraps up.