Our load tests utilize a couple of FAST ATE active load testers and a variety of other equipment such as an oscilloscope, power conditioner, temperature probe and a power consumption meter. You can read more about our standard testing approach here.
The tests performed are based around six conceivable setups that are out there and progressively load down the PSU up to the power supply's limits or 1000W, whichever comes first. Since our test equipment's limits are greater than that of the Mushkin Enhanced Joule 700W, we can test it to the maximum.
Mushkin's Joule 700W power supply performs rather well for a budget power supply. Taking a look at the voltage regulation, we find that it might not necessarily have the best voltage regulation that we've ever seen, but it does a good job at what it is meant to do. Being a budget power supply, it is meant to give you good quality power at an affordable cost and that is exactly what we have here. Voltage regulation is within almost 2% across the board, with only 12V1 barely dipping down into the 3% regulation range at a maximum of 12.27V. As the loads increase, the regulation tightens up a bit and eventually settles down at some excellent readings under full load.
Noise wasn't quite as spectacular with the Joule 700W compared to what we saw with the 800W version. It is quite a bit higher and starts out not too far from where the Joule 800W ended up. The Joule 700W power supply showed 14mV of ripple on the 12V rail during the first test and it crept upwards as the loads increased. During Test 2, we saw a maximum of 27mV peak to peak and that increased during Test 3 to 38mV of ripple. During the full load test of Test 4, we saw noise on the 12V rail at a maximum of 47mv peak to peak. This is still what we would consider a good amount of noise, but it is rapidly nearing the range where we feel a little uncomfortable.
The Mushkin Joule 700W power supply does a great job of proving it is worthy of the 80Plus Bronze logo that is displayed on the front of the box. In order to receive the 80Plus Bronze certification, the power supply must be capable of 82%, 85%, and 82% at 25%, 50% and 100% loads respectively. At no time does the Joule 700W PSU even come close to the limits of the Bronze rating.
Mushkin's Joule 700W power supply easily passed all of our tests with plenty of room to spare before performing outside of the ATX specifications. Passing and excelling are two totally different things and the Joule 700W just isn't quite as impressive of a budget power supply, especially when compared to other offerings such as the Joule 800W. If you're on a really tight budget then the Joule 700W is certainly worth your consideration. However, for an additional $20, you can get much more.
The Joule 800W offers better voltage regulation, lower noise and better efficiency than the Joule 700W. On top of that, you get much better cooling on the inside of the power supply and better efficiency which is likely to make those extra few bucks pay for themselves over the years. The Joule 700W does offer modular cabling for those that are concerned with being able to keep things tidy. Either way you go, you're still getting a power supply that is capable of performing decently under full load and is backed by a two year warranty.