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3 500 Watt PSUs tested: Antec VP550F, Cooler Master B500 and Nexus NX-5000 V1

Three manufacturers sent us their new power supplies for the 500/500 Watt segment. From Antec we received the VP550F, Cooler Master sent us the 500 Watt B series model and Nexus provided their new NX-5000 V1. We will compare them to 22 other recently tested 500/550 Watt PSUs.

500 Watts is a popular segment these days. It's more than enough for powering an Ivy Bridge or Haswell CPU and a single mid-range or high-end graphics card. If you plan on using multiple GPUs and overclocking, you will need a more powerful PSU.

There's a lot of competition in terms of pricing in this segment. Spending money on a decent PSU is large part of the total price of building a capable PC system. For this reason, manufacturers try to keep prices for their 500 Watt PSUs as low as possible. The Antec VP550F is pretty affordable with an average price of £54, the Nexus NX-5000V1 is even cheaper at £50 and the Cooler Master B series 500 Watts costs a mere £37. We'll soon find out whether the manufacturers cut too many corners.

The VP550F is part of new value series. The VPxxxF series consists of three models with a maximum capacity of 430, 550 and 630 Watts. The 550 Watt model, and likely the entire series, is an OEM product from Delta developed together with Antec.

In order to keep costs down, the VP550F carries a standard 80 Plus certification, so no Bronze or Silver. Antec does indicate that the power supply should be up to 87 per cent efficient, which implies it should be able to keep up with 80Plus Bronze models. The PSU has two rails that can each supply 30A, but together they're limited to 37A. That means it can supply up to 444 Watts on the 12V rails, the most important one for most modern PCs. The 5V and 3.3V rails are both limited to 20A. You can read the rest of Three 500 watt PSUs tested: Antec VP550F, Cooler Master B500 and Nexus NX-5000 V1 on (opens in new tab).