It has been a little while since we have had a Cougar power supply cross our bench. So long that many of our readers may not even be aware of the brand. Cougar is still relatively new to the power supply market; if you've not heard of them, don't feel like you've been living under a rock for fifteen years or so.
To date, we've only looked at two of their units, the Cougar GX800 and the PowerX 550W. Both of these units have performed well, and even though they may not quite be ready to compete with the likes of Enermax or SilverStone, Cougar has some fine units that deliver where it matters.
Cougar recently updated their CMX line of power supplies and that is just what we have today. The CMX V3 850W power supply is a natural progression of the line. The new CMX V3 units are smaller in dimensions and maintain their build quality and efficiency. On top of that, Cougar has added support for fourth-generation Haswell processors.
This is becoming increasingly important as the power requirements for processors are progressively getting lower, and idle states are now using a very minimal amount of power. Older units can often have problems supplying clean and stable power in very low power states, and that is why they have the certification.
The CMX units are also aimed at making sure you don't over spend on a power supply. We know out of the gate that the CMX V3 isn't designed to raise the bar when it comes to outputting power, but it is designed to give you bang for your buck. Just how well it delivers is yet to be seen, though, so keep reading as we go over the unit inside and out.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The Cougar CMX V3 850W power supply features a pair of 50A 12V rails with a maximum output of 69A or 828W. Both the 3.3V and 5V rails are rated for 25A each with a maximum combined output of 160W. The CMX V3 850W does have a very strong 4A 5VSB rail, which is rapidly becoming more important. I'm quite sure we haven't seen any units that have a higher 5VSB output, and we've seen only a handful of units that have the same output. The CMX V3 850W power supply is rated for a maximum of 850W of continuous power.
Overall, the CMX V3 does a good job when it comes to features. It scores a clean sweep when we talk about protections, covering SCP, OVP, OCP, OPP, and OTP. The unit features both native and modular cables, all of which are fully sleeved. All modular cables are sleeved to be flat ribbon-like cables, utilizing a rubberized sleeve instead of the more typical nylon mesh. The CMX V3 850W power supply is rated for 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency. Finally, the Cougar CMX V3 is not rated for 100 percent continuous output at 50C; however, it is rated to do so at a more modest 40C.
Cougar has an MSRP of $119 on the CMX V3 850W unit. This is a very middle of the road price for an 850W Bronze rated power supply, and we expect it to perform accordingly. The CMX V3 850W model wasn't available for purchase at any reputable sites at the time of review. However, there were several sites with the higher wattage 1000W model. We suspect that we couldn't find the unit due to limited supply at launch and that it will be available very soon. Cougar backs the CMX V3 unit with a three-year warranty.
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