Hardware Secrets Power Supply Test Methodology


We were one of the first hardware review websites to alert users that the vast majority of power supply reviews posted around the web and even on so-called “specialized” magazines were completely wrong. If you want to understand why, please read our article Why 99% of Power Supply Reviews are Wrong. This is recommended reading to understand why we are adopting the methodology described in the present article.

Our power supply reviews cover the following:

  • Completely disassembling the power supply for an in-depth analysis from its internal architecture;
  • Load tests to see if the power supply is able to deliver its rated power and if it can deliver even more power than labeled;
  • Protection tests to see if protections like over current, over power and short-circuit are working correctly;
  • Electrical noise tests to see how clean is each power supply voltage output;
  • Efficiency tests to see how much power is wasted by the power supply;
  • Stability tests to see if there is any voltage fluctuation on the power supply;
  • Power factor readings to test the efficiency of the PFC (Power Factor Correction) circuit (valid for tests published after 06/23/2009 only);
  • Temperature readings.

We will explain in details each one of these tests, the methodology we are going to use with each one of them, our criteria to label a power supply as “good” or “bad” and the equipment we are going to use.

The idea of this article is to be a reference for all our power supply reviews, so we won’t need to explain our methodology all over again in each review.

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Author: Gabriel Torres

Gabriel Torres is a Brazilian best-selling ICT expert, with 24 books published. He started his online career in 1996, when he launched Clube do Hardware, which is one of the oldest and largest websites about technology in Brazil. He created Hardware Secrets in 1999 to expand his knowledge outside his home country.

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