In The Box
Once we've gotten through the shrink wrap and opened the box, we are greeted with what we would expect to see. Besides the power supply itself, we have a small manual and the new power cord. Since this unit isn't one of those new-fangled modular types, there really isn't much else we are going to need to get started.
The power supply has a very shiny chrome-like finish and should go far in making a statement inside a windowed enclosure. With more folks moving to this type of casing, overall looks of the power supply plays an important role in our buying decision. After all, we wouldn't want to spend good money on a big window only to have an ugly black blob sitting there would we?
For those interested in the base numbers of this unit, we have a total load limit of 600 watts. The unit is rated at a constant 585 watts draw and can handle peak loads of the rated 600 watt level. It has a dual 12v rail system with a maximum limit of 44 amps, 22 amps from each rail. It can handle a load of 30 amps on the 5v rail and has a limit of 24 amps on the 3.3v rail. These load limits will make this power supply a good choice for those using both newer systems needing a lot of 12v juice, or those with older Athlon XP systems that have a need for a lot of power from the 5v rail.
This model also uses an active PFC, so for those who feel this is important you will have the capability built into the unit. It is also compatible with both ATX v2.2 and EPS systems.
Taking a look at the cabling shows a good deal of versatility. We have a 20+4 pin primary coupling, both 4-pin and 8-pin supplemental couplings, two PCI-E connectors, two SATA connectors, six 4-pin Molex connectors and two FDD connectors. While I could stand for a couple more Molex connections, the overall layout is very acceptable. There are a few items of note, however, with regards to the wiring harness.
To begin with, the wiring harness as a whole is very well thought out. The entire setup is covered with a flexible mesh and the area where the cabling leaves the housing is protected by the plastic grommet that keeps the wires from having any contact with the metal unit. This is something that all power supply manufacturers should take note of.
The above photo also gives you a good look at the mirror finish of the housing. You'll see that the wood grain of the desk shows prominently on the side panel of the power supply.
While this model claims to have a "20+4" main power coupler, which it does, it isn't of a type that many have probably seen before. There is no latching mechanism on the module, just what appears to be a piece of tape that holds the 20-pin and 4-pin modules together. If you have plans on interchanging this unit between a older and newer motherboard, take note that you will probably want to get some sort of taping material beforehand to modify the coupling back to a 24-pin variety.
Another strange design is the supplemental power adapters. Both the 4-pin and 8-pin couplings are on the same wiring harness. While I haven't tested any motherboards yet that require both of these connections, if you happen to have a board that needs both, make sure that they are positioned in close proximity to each other or you'll run into problems.
This shows something that has been getting more popular lately, and I still enjoy it. The two plastic tabs you see surrounding the Molex connector make removing the power to your peripherals a breeze. Simply squeeze the two tabs together and it will gently pull the Molex out of the device. I have found that this tab setup is compatible with almost all devices, the only exception found to date being video boards that require a Molex connector. In these few cases, the tab on one side either needs to be removed or folded back.
Moving to the housing of the power supply, we see that the layout of the back of the unit is very simplistic. With only a power toggle switch and a power connector, you won't have to worry about little things like changing the voltage for different parts of the world. While not a huge thing, I have made a costly mistake once before, so there is obviously a need for this type of forethought.
As far as cooling is concerned, you will find a large 120mm LED fan installed in the bottom of this unit. It is controlled internally and will pick up speed when the unit shows higher than average temperatures within the housing.