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Recommended Book
Power Supply Cookbook (EDN Series for Design Engineers) (EDN Series for Design Engineers)
By Marty Brown
Newnes
Price: $31.37

Home » Power

How to Discover Your Power Supply Real Manufacturer
Author: Gabriel Torres
Type: Tutorials Last Updated: August 31, 2006
Page: 1 of 1
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More and more traditional companies from other segments are entering the PC power supply market. However, the majority of them actually don’t manufacture their products. In this short tutorial we will teach you how to find out who is the real manufacturer of a given power supply.

We can separate power supply companies into three groups: the ones that design and manufacture their own products (the minority), the ones that design their own products but hire another company to manufacture the products for them, and the ones that use OEM products, i.e. another company designs and manufactures their products, but adding the label, box and manual from the contracting company. Almost all well-known manufacturers that aren’t originally from the power supply business fall in this last category.

Is this bad? Maybe. As the quality of the power supply will not depend on the labeled brand but on the real manufacturer, a given brand can provide a terrific product line on their original business (memory, cooling or whatever) but a different quality level for their power supply line. But we strongly believe that manufacturers will choose other manufacturers with the same quality level or they would get burned pretty quickly.

We can also have the funny situation of two different brands providing exactly the same power supply, as many original manufacturers are providing products to more than one brand. In some situations you can also find the same power supply on the market under the real manufacturer brand.

Everything will depend on the agreement between the two companies, as this agreement will say if the original manufacturer can or cannot sell their products to other companies. Sometimes they will agree that products picked to be manufactured under “X” brand will be exclusive, but the other products can be sold to other companies. When this happens even if you won’t find two companies with the exact same product on the market, you may find very similar products being sold by two different companies. And this is happening a lot lately.

Keep in mind that a manufacturer can buy power supplies from more than one source. If you find out that model ABC from brand MNO was manufactured by company XYZ, this does not necessary mean that all other models from MNO will also be from XYZ.

So how can we find out who is the real manufacturer of a given power supply? On the label of almost all power supplies there is an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) record number, usually very small under a logo that looks like an “UR” seen in the mirror (we will show this logo on the pictures below, so you will know exactly how this logo looks like). With this number, you can go to UL’s website and check who is the owner of that record.

Click on the link above and enter it on “UL File Number” and then hit “Search”. Then you should see the real manufacturer name. After you found the real manufacturer name, you can see on our Power Supply Manufacturer List the manufacturer’s website address. Our friend JonnyGuru has a complete list of all known UL numbers, with the real manufacturers, link to their websites and which companies sell relabeled power supplies from them.

JonnyGURU pointed out to us that sometimes the manufacturer will pay for getting an UL record under their name, even thought they don't really manufacture the product. So sometimes the UL record will list the brand under which the power supply is being sold, not the real manufacturer.

Let’s show you some examples.

On Figure 1 you see UL File Number for Enermax Galaxy 1000W, E134014. Checking on UL’s website we found out that this power supply was really manufactured by Enermax.

Real Power Supply Manufacturer
click to enlarge
Figure 1: UL file number for Enermax Galaxy 1000 W.

On Figure 2 you see UL File Number for Antec Neo HE 550, E104405. Checking on UL’s website we found out that this power supply was in fact manufactured by Seasonic.

Power Supply Real Manufacturer
click to enlarge
Figure 2: Antec Neo HE 550.

We give some other examples below.

Power Supply Real Manufacturer
click to enlarge
Figure: 3: Corsair HX620W is also manufactured by Seasonic.

Power Supply Real Manufacturer
click to enlarge
Figure 4: Thermaltake Toughpower 750 W is manufactured by CWT.

Power Supply Real Manufacturer
click to enlarge
Figure 5: Cooler Master RS-500-ASAA is manufactured by AcBel Polytech.

Power Supply Real Manufacturer
click to enlarge
Figure 6: OCZ ModStream 520 W is manufactured by Topower.

Unfortunately power supplies that aren’t targeted to be sold in the USA may not have an UL number.

 
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