When it comes to testing a power supply, there are two courses to travel. One takes you down a path using a device to stress out the PSU and provide data regarding the power levels across all three rails. The second, and the one I make use of, utilizes an actual test system to give a more real-world account of what the power supply is capable of. While both methods have their merits, I prefer to use an actual computer to more closely resemble the manner of use that you, the potential customer, will put the product through.
That said, let's take a quick look at the test system. I have continued to beef up the system to put a more realistic strain on the power supply.
MSI X48C Platinum motherboard (Supplied by MSI)
Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 processor
2x 1024MB Corsair XMS2-8500-C5 memory (Supplied by Corsair)
Sapphire X2900XT graphics board (Supplied by Sapphire)
Western Digital 250GB SATA hard drive
2x Western Digital 160GB SATA hard drives
Western Digital 80GB hard drive
Sony 52x CD-ROM optical drive
Samsung 16x DVD-R optical drive
1x 200mm fan
2x 120mm fans
While this isn't a Quad-GPU setup, we are certainly in the realm of having a system that is going to put a significant power drain on any power supply. Our testing of this power supply will be done with only a single video board since it is not designed for dual high-end graphics. Testing will consist of checking the power levels across all three rails at idle and again while the system is under stress. This should give us a good look at the capabilities of the power supply being tested.
Given that the video card in the test system pulls upwards of 250 watts by itself, our end result is not to shabby at all. There was some lowering of the voltage at the 12v subsystem, but this was to be expected. Both idle and load results fall well within what we have come to expect for a quality power supply. All voltage rails handled the stress with no problems and I noted absolutely no issues with stability during testing.
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