In The Box
Once you break through the shrink wrap you are faced with everything necessary to get the ball rolling. As the title of this article implies, this particular model is of the modular variety, so several cables are present that give you added flexibility in your build. There is a nylon pouch to hold the cabling but this is not used when the power supply is sent to you. The cables come in a plastic bag and you can simply put the extras in the nylon pouch for easy storage.
A small installation guide is included, but let's be honest; if you are looking at a 1200 watt PSU, odds are very good that you won't even take a second look at this item.
The unit itself is not one of the biggest I have seen, but is larger than some measuring in at roughly 200mm x 150mm x 85mm. While length and width dimensions are pretty standard, you will want to make sure that your enclosure will be able to handle the 200mm depth of this unit. For those who are not familiar with the metric standard of measurement, this works out to about 7.8 inches in depth.
The appearance of the Vulcan is pretty solid with a matte black finish that won't look out of place in pretty much any application. Power is rated at 1200 watts of continuous draw and the rails consist of four 12v rails, one 5v rail and one 3.3v rail. Two of the 12v rails are rated at 22A draw and two are rated at 38A each. Total power for the 12v subsystem is 99A, which is a huge amount of available power. This not only handles the needs of a hardcore graphics setup, it also allows you to delve into the world of Peltier cooling straight from the power supply without having to rely on some sort of external juice to handle the heavy load. The 5v rail is set to handle 30A and the 3.3v rail is rated at 28A.
As with most modular units, this one has a few native cables hard wired within the enclosure. Native cabling includes a 20+4 pin primary, an 8-pin for EPS boards, a 4+4 pin for ATX auxiliary power needs, and a pair of PCI-E6+2 cables.
Moving to the external panel shows a pretty sparse layout. The only thing you will find here is the main power port and a toggle switch that allows you to power off the unit. The remaining space is dedicated to a mesh material that allows for a lot of airflow. High end power supplies can produce a good deal of heat, so a hefty airflow is mandatory.
To accommodate that necessary airflow, the Vulcan 1200 uses a large 140mm fan. This feature is becoming commonplace in the larger power supplies and it is a welcome addition to be sure. This large fan pushes a lot of air through the unit without a lot of noise. This fan is also set up with a blue LED lighting scheme, but in a moment we will show you how you can bypass this lighting if you do not want it inside your rig.
On the back facing are the modular connections for the cables not native to the system. The small 6-pin ports will handle your Molex and SATA needs while the blue and red 8-pin ports are your heftier 12v rails for the PCI-E connections. The cables that are native exit the housing at the side edge and have a proper grommet in place to keep them from becoming damaged by friction against the metal. Once they exit the housing they are covered with a mesh material to help you in your cable management duties.
Also of note is a small toggle switch located just to the right of the modular ports. This switch is what I was talking about a bit ago; it allows you to turn of the LED light in the 140mm fan. For those who want the lights, just leave it on. Those who may have a different color scheme in place can simply turn it off and you will get no color clashing from the power supply. This is a feature that is not generally seen but is a nice touch.
Modular cables give you the ability to use only the cables needed for your system. If you are heavy with optical drives and fans, you can add extra Molex cables to handle your needs. If you have a large RAID in place, you can add as many SATA connections as needed for your own personal rig. The modular setup simply allows you to customize the PSU to handle your specific needs without leaving you with a bunch of extra cables that will need to be tucked out of the way somewhere. Just leave the extra cables in the nylon pouch and store it away for possible future needs. For those who have not tried a modular design, I highly recommend it.
Modular cables included with the Vulcan 1200 include four PCI-E6+2 cables, eight Molex on three strings, one of which has a single FDD connector on the end, and twelve SATA ports on three strings. This allows for a huge number of devices to be attached and never having a need to use a splitter.
Cable lengths are an important concern for many, so we went ahead and measured the cable strands to help you determine if they will be long enough for your enclosure. The PCI-E cables measured in at 26.5" in length with each cable having only a single connection. The Molex cables each had a minimum cable length of 27" and a maximum of 38.5". The FDD port had a measurement of 37.5" as it was located at the end of one of the Molex strands. The SATA cables had a minimum measurement of 27" and a maximum cable length of 39". Unless you have a monstrous enclosure, these cables should have no problems at all reaching your peripherals.
All right, here is my plug on the fancy Molex adapters used on this model. I have said it before and I don't mind saying it again, these little plastic shrouds are a wonderful invention and should be used on all power supplies. They aren't, but they are included on the Vulcan 1200. For those who have never seen this type of Molex before, those two little plastic sleeves sit unhindered when you attach the connector to the device needing power. It becomes a great feature when it comes time to remove that Molex since you simply squeeze the two tabs and the Molex slides easily out of the device. For those, like me, who are always changing out components or making changes to the system configuration, this means that you no longer have to fight with the Molex to get it to come loose. I always like to see this since it makes component changes a breeze.
Well, now that we have taken a look at what you get, let's get into the meat of the matter; performance. After all, features are great but they don't mean a thing if the power supply cannot handle the load.