This disaster of a PSU is a good reminder why you never skimp on your PC’s power supply

If you ask any seasoned PC builder for advice they’ll likely tell you to buy a power supply from a reputable manufacturer. It’s the done thing, and if you’ve ever wondered why you need only look to this absolute disaster of a PSU posted to r/pcmasterrace by user RedditCringe990 to understand.

Just a quick warning before we get into this: Don’t open PSUs for fun. It’s possible for a PSU to store a significant charge even once disconnected from the outlet, and the risks are absolutely higher with a cheaper PSU with no protections or shoddy workmanship. Don’t then go and rip open individual components from inside your PSU, either.

Onwards with this cautionary tale. RedditCringe peeled off the metal casing from the Equites T500 “500W” PSU and found something mysterious inside: a large, weighty component not properly connected to any of the power supply’s circuitry.

Upon removable of the mysterious box, they discovered it to be held together by tape. After peeling that back, inside they discovered a box of what appears to be dust/filings, or some other sort of carbon mystery matter, and not the kind that looks in any way important to the function of the power supply.

Taking to Reddit to find out why this mystery matter might be stuffed inside their PSU, and suspecting it may be to add weight to the PSU to make it seem of a higher quality than it is, they received various replies not only confirming that this does appear to be simply for added weight, but that it’s one of the least concerning parts of the PSU’s innards.

“They are trying to make it feel heavy,” reads the top post by user Hattix.

“That has to be the most scetchy ‘PSU’ I’ve seen this year,” says user ValorantDanishblunt.

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(Image credit: u/RedditCringe990 on Reddit)

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(Image credit: u/RedditCringe990 on Reddit)

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“That is not a 500W PSU. In fact, I’d barely call it a PSU,” continues Hattix.” It has no input protection, no output protection, doesn’t seem to have an OCP controller (you’d see the shunts) or anything a PSU needs. Heck, there’s no class-Y capacitor, no inrush limiting, and I’m fairly sure those two resistors aren’t discharge resistors.

“If you add up its current output, it can do 168 watts on 12 V, 70 watts on 5V, and 43 watts on 3.3V, which gets you to 281 watts. This is a common total for a 250 wat PSU: Even its label says it is not 500 watts!”

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Not only is this PSU potentially filled with sub-par components, it appears it’s not even offering the wattage it promises. That, in turn, could cause issues for other components in a PC using this PSU. Without your knowledge, you could be overloading this PSU, which already appears to lack necessary overpower protections, and end up with the PSU unaliving itself. Or, as can be the case, taking other electrically-sensitive components out with it.

“Best used with salt, a stake, and a lawyer. Do not use that PSU,” Hattix concludes.

Luckily, RedditCringe tells me they never had any intention of using the PSU inside a PC build. Rather they say it came included inside the Equites H2 chassis, which costs just $59 AUD in total. That’s near-enough $39 USD. A small price to pay for both a chassis and a PSU.

If a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. And in this instance, saving some cash on the PSU may have only ended up costing a lot more in the long run. I think you get the idea by now, but it does pay to invest in a quality PSU. Not only will a good one last many years and outlast most other PC components, but you can rest easy when proper protections are in place such as OCP, OTP, and OPP. 

If you need some advice on choosing the best power supply, we have a best power supply for PC gaming roundup which includes only units tested by our trusted PSU reviewer, Aris from Cybenetics. More generally, just make sure to buy from a reputable manufacturer, such as Corsair, Seasonic, Super Flower, or BeQuiet!

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