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I Finally Broke Down and got a Cheap (Really Cheap) PSU, just to try it out...


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#1 abishopincomputing

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Posted 25 April 2017 - 11:02 PM

This is what I found.

 

(Also, Hi there! First time poster, don't want to go too far into introductions, because I'm posting this on multiple forums - I see a lot of Newbies asking this question in reference to their first build, and want to provide tested answers to their most-asked questions.)

 

So I spend a lot of time daydreaming about how to best upgrade my PC. I run a basic gaming PC, the parts that matter:

 

Intel Core i5-7600K

AMD R9 390 (with the intention to get a second)

 

So I need a little bit of juice to run the computer. Since I moved to the R9 390 I've hit serious bottlenecks.

 

I decided to do some research, and see which 850w PSU to use...

 

I also found TONS of discussions about whether to buy expensive name-brand PSU's versus buying one from companies no one has ever heard of - there were many "PC Gurus" going against getting a cheap PSU, for all the best reasons: "Don't want to risk a couple-hundred to a couple-thousand dollars by plugging it all into something that could short or catch fire..." but I didn't see anyone who said "Look, I've tried this, it's a bad idea."

 

So, spoiler - I've tried this, and it's a bad idea.

 

I purchased an 875W PSU from a company that calls itself KDM Power. They're supposedly based out of Houston, TX (my current city). I bought the PSU for $49.00, and picked it up at their "location" (a dirty warehouse in a strip-mall).

 

The packaging was simple, same cardboard box that everyone uses and the same anti-static baggie that most components come in.

 

The PSU itself is a bit of a mystery. No FCC Tag (which isn't a huge thing, it just means the piece wasn't tested with a case and motherboard) - but also no UL... no 80+. These are obvious warning signs that you've just purchased a $40.00 Lighter imported from China, but I figured what the hell... why not?

 

It came with all the right cables - nothing modular, unfortunately, so there was a mess of cabling inside my mid-tower by the time I'd gotten it all replaced. I hit it with a few quick zip-ties and closed her back up.

 

Power on - Nothing

Power on again - Faint Blue Flickers in the PSU LED

 

(Now, we'll slow down for a second here, to discuss my qualifications...

 

I fixed my first computer [a 98' E-Machine] in 1999. Figured out how to fix the drives so two weren't trying to be the Master, and I felt like a techno-god. Since then, I've built all of my PC's from scratch, and I've never [knocks on wood] burned anything up. I've made a few disc readers get locked in and shatter the disc while spinning in the bay, but who's NOT done that... right?

 

So I know how to set up and repair a computer. I held an active A+ for almost ten years before they made it into a renewal scam.

 

Back to where it got interesting.)

 

I double-checked all my cabling, made sure I had good contact with the 12V cable, and pressed the Power on once more.

 

This time, I got about three seconds of power from the PSU, and started feeling faint. Was the PSU actually about to start working?

 

And then it shut off again.

 

So in my mind, if I continue pushing the button, I'll get more power every time until it's producing power on its own and I can unplug it and never pay for electricity again. I hit the button approximately five more times, and it appeared as though my logic would bear out...

 

Until I smelled smoke.

 

The first spark thrown by the PSU was scary, but only mildly damaging. After the second and third I unplugged and segregated.

 

So, If I hadn't opened the case to check the cabling, my computer would have worked like a charm... until it became a bonfire.

 

To get to other important things, after sending a tersely worded email to my contact at KDM, I pulled out the good-ol' multimeter to determine how many watts I was actually getting.

 

The piece of garbage, this "875W" paperweight was trying to feed my components with 350W!

 

Then 475...

 

Then 620...

 

Then 300...

 

You get the idea.

 

So, for all you new guys who think you're smarter than us dungeon trolls, I wanted to ensure you could find at least one reference to a guy who purchased the same parts you're thinking "might work out" because you're so lucky, don't do it.

 

Save another bit to your budget from a couple more weeks' pay and get the component with the name brand, that's been tested, and is tied to a company that will go out of business if it sets your house on fire.

 

My PC (and slightly less importantly, me) survived. Yours may not.

 

(This post may be seen as completely unnecessary, but I think that since there's a lot of disinformation and people still asking questions, that it would be much better to flood this into some different forums and possibly save a [computer's] life)



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#2 Havachat

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 06:32 AM

Cheap PSU ?

Intermitent Lights ?

Tap / Tap /Tap / Power ?

Sparks ?  Oh No !

Then Test Wattage ? 

 

Warning Signs were Everywhere before it got Installed.

Id of binned it at Intermitent Issue.

Maybe its still under Warranty......?

 

The Heart of a System is Vital - Cheap and Nasty means Trouble.

 

To be Fair in my Response , i did by a cheap PSU 8yrs ago from a trusted supplier here where i live.

Same As This -  http://www.techbuy.com.au/p/136319/POWERSUPPLIES_800W_-_899W/A-Power/P4-A860.asp

And its still running strong and no issues to date.

Needed it on a weekend for my Main PC to finish editing some video files for a customer , $50:00.

Swapped out / Turned On / .....No Sparks...lol.


Edited by Havachat, 26 April 2017 - 09:08 AM.


#3 Just_One_Question

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 07:01 AM

I bought the PSU for $49.00, and picked it up at their "location" (a dirty warehouse in a strip-mall).


You life sounds like an episode of the TV show Silicon Valley on HBO.:lmao:

#4 jonuk76

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:12 AM

 

I decided to do some research, and see which 850w PSU to use...

 

I also found TONS of discussions about whether to buy expensive name-brand PSU's versus buying one from companies no one has ever heard of - there were many "PC Gurus" going against getting a cheap PSU, for all the best reasons: "Don't want to risk a couple-hundred to a couple-thousand dollars by plugging it all into something that could short or catch fire..." but I didn't see anyone who said "Look, I've tried this, it's a bad idea."

 

So, spoiler - I've tried this, and it's a bad idea.

 

 

Over the years I've seen a fair share of horror stories around PSU's.  From PSU's that had concrete blocks inserted into the case to disguise their lack of real components by making them heavier, to ones that violently explode and catch fire on a PSU tester, at half the "rating" they have on the label.  Some are downright dangerous.  No it's not worth it.

 

$49 is a lot for a junk PSU.  Anything is too much, but you know what I mean, you can get good ones for that.  Add another $23 and you can get an 850w 80+ Bronze EVGA.  It might not get PSU geeks excited (if you can spend more, then there are better choices), but it'll deliver what they claim, with the claimed efficiency, and will be safe.


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#5 abishopincomputing

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:28 AM

Thanks for the responses, guys.

 

Remember, I've been doing this a while, and so did know what could happen if I pushed it.

 

Also, in no way did I expect the darn thing to be half decent.

 

I, frankly, wanted to assist in ending the (mostly one-sided debate) as to whether or not these are complete garbage for newbies.



#6 britechguy

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 08:38 AM

Well, as much as I value the warnings about what to look for, a sample size of one from one outfit really cannot be generalized with any reliability or validity.  There are, undoubtedly, rip-off artists about so one is better off buying from known brands or sellers.

 

There are inexpensive power supplies, many of them used OEM, that can and do work just fine for periods of years.  There is an awful lot of hype surrounding power supplies (and a lot of other stuff, too) that has no real noticeable effect in practice.

 

I've purchased a number of budget power supplies that have worked just fine.  I also haven't seen one in recent years, budget or not, that wasn't of Chinese origin no matter the brand name that's on the box.


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#7 ranchhand_

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Posted 26 April 2017 - 03:07 PM

HEY man, you got moxie! Not afraid to post fails, you da' man!Attached File  aalaughingsmiley.gif   8.88KB   0 downloads

You also swing a good pen, excellent choice of adjectives!

 

That's why I always use a power supply tester on every PS I purchase before I plug anything in to it!  About 2 years ago I bought a power supply (el cheeepo, named "Diablo" [very appropriate name, BTW]), and it tested bad. Newegg swapped it for me, and THAT one tested bad! Newegg lost their shirt on that deal, and I noticed the following month that brand was no longer listed on Newegg.

Good post, man. It's fun to experiment sometimes. After all, we are in this for the fun of it, right?


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#8 nickos

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 10:51 AM

hi to all,

 

even a very cheap psu can do the job on a desktop that is not too hungry on wattage...

 

certainly you cannot install on your 700+ euros desktop with two nvidia gtx cards in sli a 35 euros 650 watts psu

 

you will have problems

 

for my case a cheap psu like the deer 500 watts is ok on my little cleron g530 pc with integrated graphics

 

i have this psu for over four years without any problem and my pc is working more than six hours a day...

 

the problem with low cost psu is with the electronic parts since these are in the best case grade c quality.. and furthermore a cheap psu have too low efficiency 

 

my deer psu is 500 watts but it's efficiency is only 65% and this mean something like 350 watts which is more than enough for my celeron...

 

personally i am not afraid to buy again a cheap psu for a desktop that require low wattage...


Edited by nickos, 27 April 2017 - 10:53 AM.


#9 dna9

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Posted 28 April 2017 - 08:58 AM

ya, cheap power supply.  you get what you pay for.  take it back?






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