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Cougar GX800 800-watt 80 PLUS Gold Power Supply Review - Test Results and Final Thoughts

We take our first look at a Cougar power supply and find out they've got what it takes to compete with the leaders in the power supply market.

| 80 PLUS Gold PSUs in Cases, Cooling & PSU | Posted: Sep 14, 2012 6:22 am
TweakTown Rating: 90%      Manufacturer: Cougar

Test Results

 

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 Cougar GX800 800W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.

 

TweakTown image content/4/9/4923_25_cougar_gx800_800_watt_80_plus_gold_power_supply_review.png

 

The above tests represent typical loads that we have measured from various systems and are meant to give a rough idea of where your computer might fall in line with our tests. Please keep in mind that each system is different and actual loads can vary greatly even with similar hardware.

 

TweakTown image content/4/9/4923_26_cougar_gx800_800_watt_80_plus_gold_power_supply_review.png

 

Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rails, we see 2% regulation from start to finish on all rails. 12V1 showed the largest drop of .27V from start to finish and 12V3 showed the smallest drop of .19V from start to finish. The 5V rail managed to stay within 2% of specification with a total drop of .12V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation crept up to 3% with a total voltage drop of .08V.

 

DC Output quality for the Cougar GX800 was just what we expected and well within specification. During Test 1, we saw 14mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 3, the ripple climbed to 29mV at a little over half load. Under full load, the GX800 showed us a maximum of 39mV of noise.

 

The Cougar GX800 800W is rated for 80 PLUS Gold efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 87%/90%/87% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the GX800 800W passed on our bench wasn't close to failing at any point.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Cougar comes out of the gate swinging hard with the GX800. They have more things going right with its power supplies in the first few years of their business than some have after being in the industry for over 20 years. This is no small task and something that takes clear vision and strong determination to make happen, especially considering how easy it is to bring a subpar unit to the market.

 

Specifications and build quality help get this unit going right from the start. The features alone give it a leg up on a majority of the competition. One of the hardest features to come by is being rated for 100% continuous output at 50C and Cougar knows it is important. We don't often see new manufacturers offer warranties of longer lengths either, but Cougar doesn't hesitate to back their product with a five year warranty. About the only thing that we can really complain about is the subpar capacitors on the secondary side of the power supply.

 

Even that doesn't hold this unit back very much as the ripple seen on the 12V rails is quite good. On top of that, the unit boasts great voltage regulation and efficiency numbers that others still struggle to reach. Let's not forget just how darn good the GX800 looks. If the price comes in where we think it will, it sweetens the deal even more as it makes the unit quite competitively priced.

 

Cougar is definitely a company that you are going to want to keep your eye on, whether you are in the market for a new power supply or not. If you are, the GX800 is definitely a unit that you want to consider if it has enough power to suit your computing needs. If only we could find the GX800 for sale with a price attached to it, we are sure that it would be worth a value award. Unfortunately, we can't find it so we can't give it the award, but keep in mind it goes mighty close to also getting a feature's award.

 

TweakTown image 4/9/4923_1234_cougar_gx800_800_watt_80_plus_gold_power_supply_review.png

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