Techsolo Black Mamba Internals

The internals consist of small heatsinks, a small transformer, and a big and noisy PFC-choke in the bottom right corner. The undersized bridge rectifier has no heatsink and the protective ground wire is connected to a mounting screw of the main PCB—bad idea! If an engineer or other employee disconnects the main PCB, there is no more ground contact.

There are four Y- and two X-caps as well as two current compensated coils in the EMI filtering stage, missing a MOV. Can you see the wire cross-section of phase and neutral conductor? It doesn't look like 550W. Things are looking black for our Black Mamba!

Techsolo Black Mamba STP-550 Techsolo Voltage Regulation and Quality
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  • jimhsu - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Silentpcreview also does high quality PSU reviews, though aimed at a slightly different market (hence the name). They do review performance PSUs though.
  • Mathieu Bourgie - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    There's also the EggXpert (NewEgg forums) Tiered Power Supply List that's a good reference ( as well as *cough* shameless plug *cough* my own article on the subject "Warning: 6 Surefire Ways of Blowing Up Your Computer Due to an Inadequate Power Supply" located here:
    Due for an update for the recommendations at the end, rest is still pretty much valid.
  • Phaedrus2129 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    The EggXpert list a terrible reference, out of date and full of mistakes.
  • tomoyo - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    There's an amazing amount of mediocre/crap psus that are in the Tier 2 section, and yet there's also some very good psus that are somehow Tier 4. I'd say a mostly useless list.
  • hybrid2d4x4 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    +1 for SilentPCReview's PSU reviews, though I'd say it's not necessarily a niche for audiophiles/noise-reducing obsessive-compulsives as the name may suggest: they only have one page (of 5-7) for acoustics. The rest is a knowledgeable analysis with some of the most detailed electrical testing and thermal torture testing.
  • erple2 - Wednesday, November 3, 2010 - link

    The folks at are also particularly good at doing proper PSU reviews. They're one of the only ones I know of that do an analysis of cross-loading - ie heavily load one rail and see how it affects the voltage at the other leads (3.3, 5, 12). They're also a group that I've come to rely on for solid PSU reviews. Now if only they'd do more testing ...
  • Phaedrus2129 - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    There should have been some comment on the immediately obvious signs that the TechSolo was going to be mediocre. First thing pointed out should have been the "P4PFC" on the label. This indicates that A.) This PSU is actually an ATX12V 1.x era unit, since it's advertising "P4" or "Pentium 4 compatibility", and second having "PFC" after the P4 indicates that this is a platform that doesn't come with PFC as stock, indicating that it's a lower-end unit.

    Did the TechSolo fail on the primary or secondary side (before or after the transformer)? If it failed on the primary (perhaps the rectifying bridge went nuclear?) then it would be unlikely, though still possible, for it to kill components. If it was a secondary side component that failed then this PSU is a potential time bomb waiting to wipe out your PC.
  • mmatis - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    on September 12th from Newegg ($64.99 with free shipping and $20 MIR), the OCZ Fatal1ty OCZ550FTY doesn't seem like a bad buy to me. But then it's just running an AMD X4, a couple of hard drives, optical drive, and low end video card.
  • slickr - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    Good job in this review, though I would like to see more PSU reviews and possibly include A-Power supplies.
  • Beenthere - Thursday, October 28, 2010 - link

    There are a lot of posers in the PSU market including some non PSU based companies adding questionable PSUs to the product mix. I'll continue to just buy PC Power and Cooling PSUs which are the gold standard of the PC industry. No guessing required with a PCPC PSU. They perform as advertised and are guaranteed for 5-7 yrs. depending on model.

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