Tuniq Potency 550W PSU - Testing the 550W Tuniq PSU

Article Index
Tuniq Potency 550W PSU
Info, Features and Specs
Inside the PSU and Test Setup
Testing the 550W Tuniq PSU

Testing - 185W & 478W: 

We initially plugged the PSU into an EZ PSU Tester 3 in order to power it on for our "idle" measurements.  As noticed below, the voltage rails were fairly stable with no load, but these aren't necessarily indicative of overall load performance.  According to our Kill-a-Watt, the power draw was 7W.  We thought these results would be interesting to include and compare with other power supplies to see how they manage a non-load situation, and how much power the PSU itself will draw.  

Just before we jump into testing it would be helpful to know what each of the +12v rails do.  As near as we can tell, one +12v rail handles the 24-pin, Molex and SATA connections while the other +12v rail works with the 4-pin/8-pin power connector and the PCIe rails.  While we don't have any documentation to back this up, we noticed that these two groups followed the same ripple, noise and average voltage readings.

The test system consisted of a QX6850CPU coupled with 4GB of DDR3 Crucial Ballistix Tracer memory, a single 8800GT, tons of fans and the powerful Coolit Freezone Elite CPU Cooler running at maximum power for the loaded test.  While there are two PCIe connectors on this PSU, they are daisy chained on the same line and we weren't able to power an 8800GTX and the Freezone Elite off this line.

 12v Line
12v Line
3v Line
3v Line

 

All of the rails managed to stay above their rated level and the lowest +12v rail dipped to a mere 12.3 even with a 478W load. The 3.3v line dropped to 3.38v, while the 5v line stayed rock solid and never fluctuated more than 0.01v.  Click the chart below for full details.

Ave Voltage

While the +12v rails looks high at 12.5v, keep in mind that they are only about 4% high and are well within specifications.  From top to bottom the voltage on any of the 12v rails never moves more than 0.2v or about 1.5%.  It's a very solid showing at our tested loads.  The 5v and 3.3v lines are equally solid and never fluctuate more than 1%.  The voltages on all of the rails are a little high, but remains rock solid.

Tuniq doesn't provide any additional information as to the ripple and noise specifications on this PSU so we assume they plan to follow standard ATX specs.  Standard ATX specifications state that the 12v lines must not exceed 120mv while the 3.3v and 5v lines must not exceed 50mv.  With that in mind let's take a look at the noise and ripple measurement.

Ave Ripple

 

The 12v rails stay within ATX spec according to our strict testing methods, although the +12v2 line hits 100mV average noise at a 478W load.  The 3.3v and -12v lines also stay with specification even though the 3.3v line scrapes under the line by 0.5mV at the 478W load.  The 5v line however runs high at all tests and never actually makes it under the 50mV requirement.  The system remained stable throughout testing however.  I realize that our test equipment is very precise and when we measure a 60mV ripple other sites may only measure 30mV or less, but we are keeping our setup consistent with previous reviews as this method has proven accurate.

 

Conclusion:

The Tuniq Potency 550W PSU is an adequate PSU for many systems today, but it's certainly not for extreme gaming rigs.  It is meant to be an upgrade to the crappy little "400W" PSU that shipped with your cheap imported case.  It seems to be pretty solid though and it had no trouble powering a fast Intel Quad Core CPU, a single graphics card and a high-end cooler.  Because both PCIe connectors are on the same line, it may be limited as to what cards it can power.  I'm grateful for the 6-pin/8-pin configuration of the connector, and if you have pretty much any single card in your system, this PSU should be able to deliver.

That being said, the lack of modular connectors make this PSU somewhat difficult to manage in smaller cases - like the NZXT Rogue for instance.  Also the 5v line runs a bit high in terms of noise and ripple and prolonged usage - or higher usage for that matter could cause long-term instability.  Overall, it's a nice choice for entry-mid level systems, but should be avoided by enthusiasts.  My final beef with this unit is that Tuniq states that it is SLI Certified, but nowhere can I confirm this at the SLI Zone.  Either it isn't certified or NVIDIA has dropped the ball on posting this on their site.  Either way, this discrepancy should be fixed.

Pros:

  • Looks good
  • Quiet PSU
  • 6-pin and 6-pin/8-pin PCIe connectors
  • Provides ample power for older gaming systems

 

Cons:

  • 5v rail runs a little wild on the noise/ripple test
  • Not sure if it's SLI Certified or if Tuniq has just added a sticker to the box for fun.

 

BCCRating

 

Tuniq has delivered a pretty solid PSU that can be had for under $70 if you shop around.  For that price, it's a decent value and provides enough power for many systems.  At 550W, it's not going to break the bank, your ears, or any records, but it's a nice unit regardless.

I'd like to thank Tuniq for sending this PSU our way.  If you have any questions, comments or general feedback, please feel free to post it in the forum at the "Comments" link below.