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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  • Phaedrus2129 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Except many of the highest-quality units are only of moderate weight due to requiring fewer components; and some of the crappiest units are now being sold with iron weights inside to make them heavier.

    Weight is a very poor test, actually opening the power supply up and looking with a critical eye is a thousand times better. I would disregard entirely any reviewer who uses weight as a factor in evaluating PSU quality.
  • sprockkets - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    If it is such a poor test, why not then compare the weight and find out?
    It isn't as poor as you want it to be for arguments sake.
  • Phaedrus2129 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Then all the PSUs with passive power factor correction would be hailed the best because of the weight added by the massive PFC coil. Vs. APFC units with lighter, but more effective components (couple switching transistors, a small coil, shares the primary capacitor, and a controller IC, still weighs less than a PPFC coil).
  • sprockkets - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Bud, it's just a simple metric. Like you know, how a standard InWin PowerMan 350w PS weighs 2 lbs 10 oz and a standard FSP 300w power supply weights 3 lbs 5 oz.

    Besides, I wouldn't compare a passive vs. active PFC power supply anyhow and make that mistake.
  • Phaedrus2129 - Saturday, October 30, 2010 - link

    I can see just recording the weight for posterity's sake, but one should *not* use weight as a metric of quality or performance. All more weight indicates is more components, heavier heatsinks, thicker wiring, heavier housing. For making a split-second field judgment, sure, but it is made completely redundant by opening the power supply up to appraise components and quality.

    I can tell far more about a PSU's quality from a quick glance at the secondary-side rectifiers than from measuring its weight.
  • Stuka87 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    I really liked seeing the comparison of the three. I would have liked to of seen a 4th super high end PSu thrown in, but it may have been a bit redundant.

    As for the low end, there are certainly better supplies out there for that price. You can even get lower end Antec's (like the 430 Basiq) for the same price as the one that blew up and while its not as good as the better Antec's, its better than the chinese no-name stuff.
  • benedict - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    The review is clearly biased towards the higher-end PSUs. I don't dare say the reviewer deliberately picked a very poor part just to prove his point. There are some very decent PSUs for 30-40 euro that don't blow up at 50% load. For example, the FSP Saga II achieves 80%+ efficiency, costs about 40 euro and is very silent. Please, show some real part in the value price section and not some handpicked garbage.
  • Phaedrus2129 - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    This unit is actually above average for "garbage" power supplies. If he were intentionally picking a terrible PSU he'd choose something from Leadman, or Sunpro, that will blow up at 250W and have ripple in the 300mV+ range on all rails.
  • marvdmartian - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    In almost 10 years now of building my own systems, I have only ever been 'stung' by 2 power supplies. Both of them were Antecs, which died long before they should have, and both of them took out a motherboard while they were at it.

    Needless to say, I'm somewhat reluctant to ever trust an Antec psu to power my systems. Fool me twice, shame on me......fool me 3 times? I don't think so!!

    OCZ would get my vote in this competition, hands down.
  • mmatis - Friday, October 29, 2010 - link

    Especially since NewEgg is offering it with a $15 MIR through 31 October. It has 433 reviews on their site and gets 5 eggs.

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