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)
2x Sapphire X2900XT graphics boards in CrossfireX configuration (Supplied by Sapphire)
2x Western Digital 250GB SATA hard drive
Western Digital 160GB SATA hard drives
Sony 52x CD-ROM optical drive
Samsung 16x DVD-R optical drive
1x 200mm fan
4x 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. Each of the X2900XT boards is capable of pulling close to 250 watts of power. 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.
While I realize that I am not maximizing the available power of the Commander unit, the components in our test rig are enough to put a hefty strain on even high-end power supplies. That said, I noted very little drop in the voltage rails under load. This bodes very well for the unit's ability to handle the rigors of enthusiast level systems. During our tests I made note of a slight fluctuation in the 5v rail of 0.01v. All other rails were rock solid and produced no fluctuations during our testing phase. I would have no reservations recommending this unit to someone who is in need of a powerful PSU.
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