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 equal to that of the Cooler Master i700 700W power supply, we can test it to the maximum.
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.
Let's start by taking a look at the voltages to see how well this unit did during testing. Starting with the 12V rail, we see 3% regulation from start to finish with a total drop of .29V. The 5V rail managed to stay within 4% of specification with a total drop of .18V from start to finish. Moving towards the 3.3V rail, we see that regulation was within 3% of specification with a total voltage drop of .11V.
DC Output quality for the Cooler Master i700 was okay and well within specifications. During Test 1, we saw 24mV of noise on our scope. When we increased the loads in Test 2, the ripple climbed to 36mV at around half load. During Test 4 under a load of 700W, the oscilloscope showed a maximum of 60mV on noise on the 12V rail.
The Cooler Master i700 700W is rated for 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. This means that the power supply must perform at 82%/85%/82% efficiency at 20%/50%/100% loads respectively. As you can see, the Cooler Master V1000 passed on our bench, and wasn't close to failing at any point.
It is important to remember that the i700 power supply is a budget unit. If you have any expectations beyond that, you should be looking towards the V1000 instead. With that in mind, the i700 does a good job at just what it is intended to do and that is provide decent power at a low-cost and nothing more.
This is the first unit that we have looked at in a long time that doesn't even feature sleeved cables, but that is the inherent design of a budget unit. It also doesn't feature OTP, a large fan, modular cables or Japanese capacitors. None of this stops the i700 power supply from performing decently, though.
The voltage regulation was almost identical to what we had hoped for out of this unit. At 3%-4% across the board, it isn't super close to falling out of specifications anywhere, but it is far from the super tight tolerances we see in more expensive units. The same can be said with the DC output quality and we were very reserved here when we saw that all of the capacitors in the i700 were Taiwanese Teapo caps. Usually we see more noise on the scope, but this unit did okay for a budget unit, maxing out at 60mV. Finally, our efficiency figures were right on par with what the unit is rated for, so there isn't much to complain about.
Simply put, you just can't ask for anything else out of an $80 unit ($60 at the time of writing with rebate, and free shipping) that is capable of powering a system with a relatively high CPU and a pair of top end video cards. For those on a super tight budget, the i700 is well worth your consideration.