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Ultra X4 1600 Watt Full Modular Power Supply - Specifications, Availability and Pricing

As we welcome our new power supply guru, Ken Graff to the team, first on the list to be reviewed is a 1600 Watt monster from Ultra Products.

| Other PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Feb 8, 2010 8:44 am
TweakTown Rating: 87%Manufacturer: Ultra Products

Specifications, Availability and pricing

 

TweakTown image content/3/1/3125_02.png

 

To speak about the power rating of this unit, we must first refer to the Manual included. There are two power cords provided in the box. The reasoning is simple. A standard 15amp outlet can only handle 1200 watts, so you get a 15 amp cord with special built in breaker. In order to fully utilize all 1600 watts, you must use the 20 amp cord included and obviously you'll need a 20 amp breaker.

 

TweakTown image content/3/1/3125_03.png

 

As seen in the above feature summary, this PSU has everything covered, including a Bronze 80% efficiency rating and 50 degrees Celsius power rating, amongst the standard features such as Active PFC, Short circuit protection and over temperature protection. Take a look at the above graphic for the entire summary.

 

The $399.99 MSRP seems pricey, but for a 1600-watt unit, it is really on par with similar models.

 

This PSU features a modular design. Ultra pioneered modular power supplies in the middle of this past decade, and their patented technology reduces case clutter, increases airflow, and makes service and upgrades easier all while leaving a polished and professional appearance.

 

The package claims that the "X4 line received the coveted 80 Plus Bronze certification meeting a stringent energy efficiency performance specification." Well, there is no reason to think this isn't true (until we get to the test results), but they might be pushing the envelope when they choose to use the word "coveted". The "80 Plus" cert is designed to promote energy efficiency, and being 80 Plus certified is surely a good thing. However, there are five levels of certification and Bronze is actually the fourth level from the top (which is Platinum).

 

To boil it down, a PSU rated Bronze running at a 100% load capacity is running 82% efficient. At 50% load, it runs 85% efficient. That's actually not too bad, I suppose, but it isn't really cause for celebration.

 

The 1600-Watt Ultra X4 features short circuit protection, in-rush current protection, and thermal overload cutoff protection. Those things all sound pretty important. In fact, they are. They work together to prevent damage to your computer's expensive internal components that can be caused by under voltage, surges, and brown outs. Frankly, everyone who operates a desktop PC should have a battery backup system featuring voltage regulation (especially when you can buy them so cheaply) because the power grid in the US is dirty, and because everything from lightning storms to a faulty compressor connected to a circuit can cause a surge that could damage an unprotected PC. That the Ultra X4 has built in extra protection measures is laudable and appreciated.

 

The box boasts "simple installation." Well, it is a power supply. Seemingly all PSUs can be installed in minutes with a Philips screwdriver. However, as I said before, Ultra pioneered modular design, and that makes a world of difference in building PCs. Plus, they toss in thumb screws, zip ties, and Velcro straps to help the build. So in this case, I think the words "simple installation" are actually meaningful.

 

The X4 is designed to reduce noise. It features a 135mm dual bearing-cooling fan providing increased airflow for longer life. It also includes a silicone chassis bracket intended to reduce vibration noise. The X4 series features a lifetime warranty.

 

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