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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Conclusions

The EVGA 430W is the fifth power supply we have seen from EVGA and it is the smallest capacity unit we have seen from EVGA to date. While the previous smallest unit from EVGA we saw was the EVGA 500B, today's EVGA 430W is even smaller. That previous EVGA 500B was a passing unit but it was not a stellar unit so we don't have the highest of expectations for this unit today. However, if this unit is passing at the right price, as the 500B was, then this unit could indeed be a real bargain. So, the question becomes; can the EVGA 430W pass all of our tests and provide us with a really good value? Let's see.


HardOCP’s testing methodology is intended to very much push power supplies to their advertised wattage rating in temperatures that will represent some of the hottest computer enthusiast cases. So if a unit passes all our testing it is definitely not something to take lightly. In fact we expect more power supplies to fail our testing than make it through unscathed.

Build Quality

The EVGA 430W sets off on a good foot and a bad foot at the same time which is impressive. This unit sets off on a good foot because this unit is slightly down market from the previous 500B yet still has essentially the same build quality. Now, it starts off on a bad foot because the 500B was not a well built power supply by any stretch of the imagination and only rose to, "It's a very entry level product." So that makes the whole good foot possible by having a lower wattage rating to begin with. When we move to the interior of the EVGA 430W, we again find a dreadfully ancient topology that is coupled with components that make no one jump for joy because EVGA includes things like CapXon and Teapo capacitors as well as an odd fan. The one upshot with this unit, as before with the 500B, is this unit’s overall integration actually looks serviceable. Moving on to the documentation though, it isn't good, although it also isn't as bad as EVGA has done before. Lastly, we see that the EVGA 430W comes with a 3 year warranty which is "OK" for an entry level.

Load Testing

The load testing results for the EVGA 430W are different from what we saw from the 500B in that this unit failed to pass our load testing and the EVGA 500B did pass all of our tests. While that is, obviously, a bad result this unit was able to complete our testing at 120v. So, when we look at those numbers, we see that the voltage regulation was not stellar either. Indeed, during our load tests the 12v rail dropped by 0.34v! This was followed up by the 3.3v rail dropping by 0.06v and the 5v rail increasing by 0.1v. As we don't have many units to compare this one to, the only thing we can say is that this unit actually ends mixed compared to the Zalman ZM450-US save for the "450W" test where that unit failed. However, when we look at the 100v load tests we see that the EVGA 430W did not pass that portion of testing which, of course, is what makes this unit a failure by our testing standards. When we move on to the efficiency side of things, we see that efficiency values ranged from 79.62% to 83.44% at 120v and 79.17% to 82.48% at 100v for the tests it would complete. Now, when we move over to the 80 Plus tests, we found that the EVGA 430W was 77.91%-81.22%-78.22% efficient at 20%-50%-100% loads using 80 Plus’ load testing parameters. This means that this unit missed the 80 Plus mark by up to 2.09% at 20% and 100% load. This is very similar to what we saw with the EVGA 500B which also missed large swathes of it's claimed 80 Plus efficiency levels as well.

Moving on to the Transient Load Test results, we see that the results posted by the EVGA 430W are a pass and that makes sense given this units market position and previous units based on this platform. During testing, the EVGA 430W had a peak loaded 12v change of ~440mV, which is a bit more than what we saw from the EVGA 500B, and a peak 5v change of ~140mV when directly loaded. So, while not a great result, the EVGA 430W does pass this portion of testing and does so with results that are mixed compared to the Zalman ZM450-US. Passing is good but that is not great company to be keeping for this unit.

DC Output Quality

In the DC Output Quality portion of testing, we see the EVGA 430W finishing inside the ATX12v specification limits for the tests it could complete. At the beginning of testing, the EVGA 430W started off a bit active on the 12v rail with a peak value of ~25mV while the minor rails were clean at less than ~10mV of ripple/noise. During testing, however, these values would all increase with the final peak values being ~55mV of ripple/noise on the 12v rail and ~30mV on the minor rails. These results put this unit behind the Zalman ZM450-US and these are mixed compared to the EVGA 500B which it shares a platform with. So, while passing by the numbers for the tests it could complete, the EVGA 430W is struggling against the competition in this aspect of our review today which is not going to help it make up for the fact that it could not complete our testing.

Noise

When it comes to the noise profile of the EVGA 430W, we did not have real high expectations for this unit since we have previously seen the EVGA 500B which this unit is related to. Interestingly, the 500B was not awful (which also means not great) in this regard and, while the EVGA 430W was not perhaps awful either, the EVGA 430W was worse than the 500B by a good margin. Indeed, the reason is, this unit was making noise in our load testing environment even at 25% load at 100v AC input! Once we moved on from that, we found that if we stuck to the 120v input this unit was not truly contributing to our load testing environment noise profile until Test #3. After that, the noise produced by this unit increased in each test. This resulted in a unit that was not exactly what one would call quiet overall in our load tests. As such, if someone is considering the EVGA 430W then they really shouldn't be considering it for an application where the noise profile will be of utmost or even much of a concern. Then again, this is a cheap low end unit so if a user thinks they are going to get a high quality fan, fan controller, and a low noise output then there is something wrong with their expectations.

Paul's Thoughts:

To start with, the EVGA 430W is just not a good power supply by HardOCP testing metrics. That is not a surprise as when we saw the EVGA 500B, which however did pass our testing. That said, I actually kind of think this unit is better than the failing result and numbers make it out to be even with all of those things above being true. That is probably in large part because we picked this unit up for $19.99. Today it is selling for $34.99 after a $10 MIR. At $19.99 you can't expect greatness and honestly you should be fearing for the life of the system you connect the power supply to and if it doesn't kill the system then you call that a win.

Today though, strangely, that was not what happened. Literally, for the vast majority of testing it looked as if we had discovered the absolute best hidden diamond in the rough of all time in our reviews. The unit was running, it was running in specification, and it was dirt cheap! Unfortunately, the unit just could not quite finish the 100% load in Test #4 at 100v AC input. While that makes it like a number of other units we have seen, none of those units were under $20. So while not a hidden diamond in the rough because it did fail, this unit is maybe a hidden semi-precious stone in the rough. If only it had passed that last test though, if only. And it was just $20.

The Bottom Line

The EVGA 430W is the power supply we thought the EVGA 500B was going to be way back when we saw that unit, or maybe a bit better. Both of these power supplies are very much inexpensive entry level products and while this unit did not perform amazingly it did perform better than could be expected but without the surprise we got from the EVGA 500B. The problem is, the surprise that we got from the 500B was that it passed our testing and, since this unit did not, this is very much just an inexpensive entry level product but not a passing one. And do keep in mind that while our tests are based on ATX12V specifications, we do test at much higher ambient temperatures.

Since the EVGA 430W makes a lot of compromises in its low end build quality, unimpressive voltage regulation, and mediocre DC output quality this unit unfortunately has nothing by the numbers going for it that we can point to and say "yeah, but it does XXXXX" well enough to justify buying other than its "OK" Transient Load Test results, which still aren't good enough to make up for its failure in our regular load test.

Now, all of that said this unit was $19.99 at the time of purchase (and has gone on sale at that price a number of times since) and is currently coming in at $34.99 after $10 MIR. At that price, sure this unit is failing but it was almost passing and lots of much more expensive power supplies can't get as close to passing as this unit did. That has to count for something! This may actually be the best ~$30 power supply sold currently.

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