For most of the 20-some years that home PCs have been around, any improvements to computer hardware meant more power consumption. Every new generation of CPUs, GPUs, and motherboard chipsets required more power. Until this decade, the increases were small enough that a particular sized power supply might last two or three generations of hardware. From the turn of the millennium to early this year, power supply needs for an upper end system increased about 100 watts per year, more so with multiple video cards. But over the past year, the buzz word in the PC hardware industry has been “green”. CPUs and GPUs are now designed to sip power rather than gulp it. Most motherboards are now designed with power saving hardware and software.
And though many enthusiasts may not have noticed, great strides have taken place in the power supply department. If you've seen those “80Plus” icons on power supplies and really haven't paid attention, they really do mean something significant. The more efficient a power supply is, the less overall wattage output is required compared to older PSUs, and less energy is consumed to do the same job as a less efficient power supply.
For example, I thought that a 550 watt power supply had become a thing of the past with the passing of the single-core processor. At that time the better power supplies might be as high as 72% efficient, but that was about it. But today you could power a fairly decent rig with an 80%+ efficient 550 watt PSU.
I generally have preferred overkill in the power supply department, and usually don't get much below 700 watts. That's just me, I could probably get by with an 80Plus 500-600 watt PSU in most cases, but I like the headroom of a 700-800 watter.
Today I will be looking at the smallest of the latest line of power supplies by Sunbeamtech, the Tuniq Potency 550 watt. With 80Plus and SLI certification, and a pair of +12V rails at 25A each, this little guy should be able to power my energy sipping Phenom rig. Will it make the trip? Read on to see!
Input Voltage: 100-240v
Input Frequency: 50-60Hz
Input Current: 9A/4A
PF: Typical 0.99
Total Output: 550W
+12v Rails: 2 @ 25A
Full Circuit Protection (OCP/UVP/OVP/SCP/OLP)
Warranty: 3 Years
Dimensions: 140mm x 150mm x 86mm