It's dead, Jim. A tricorder for PSUs

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 28, 2011 - 04:58 PM |
Tagged: thermaltake, psu tester, PSU, Dr. Power II

Thermaltake have updated their lineup of PSU testers with the Dr. Power II PSU Tester, giving digital readouts on the health of any PSU up to ATX v2.3.  With it you can measure your +12V, +5V, +3.3V, 5VSB and the -12V rails to within 1/10th of a volt.   Every connector is present for you to test barring the 4-pin floppy connector, which is so infrequently used that it is no great loss.  ProClockers have seen it in sale for $30 and highly recommend it to anyone who spends a fair amount of time testing and fixing PCs.

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"I am sure many of you that frequent friends and family members PC station, the first thing you hear when the PC fails to boot is “I think the power supply is dead”. This may or may not be the case but in order to confirm this is to give the PSU a quick test to see if all the rails are working properly. Several companies have sent their version of this particular type of product to our lab. Today, we will be taking a look at the latest Dr Power II from Thermaltake. The Dr Power II has an over-sized display and able to measure idle rails voltage with pretty good accuracy."

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Source: ProClockers

OCZ Technology Unveils the Modular ZT Power Supply Series

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 19, 2011 - 01:45 PM |
Tagged: PSU, modular psu, 80 Bronze, ocz, OCZ ZT Series

SAN JOSE, CA – October 19, 2011 - OCZ Technology Group, Inc., (Nasdaq:OCZ) a leading provider of high-performance solid-state drives (SSDs) and power management solutions for computing devices and systems, today unveiled the ZT Power Supply Series which offers consumers performance and stability for gaming systems and desktops. Providing high efficiency, cool operation, and a fully modular cable design, the ZT Series comes in a range of wattage options for users looking for a quality upgrade.

“The new ZT power supply is designed with quality components and rich features including a fully modular design for easy configuration and superior airflow within desktops,” said Steve Lee, Senior VP and General Manager of Power Management at OCZ Technology Group. “This ZT PSU Series delivers clean and efficient power with the flexibility of modular cabling all at a competitive price point making it an ideal choice for mainstream consumers.”

Together with the PC Power & Cooling design team, OCZ developed the all-new ZT Series to remain rock-solid and stable even under intensive multitasking and gaming environments. With a 100% modular cable management system, the ZT Series improves airflow and eliminates unnecessary wire clutter inside computer desktop chassis. Kept supremely cool with a variable load and temperature controlled 140mm fan, ZT power supplies are engineered to limit distracting noise from your PC when working or gaming. Furthermore, the 80-Plus Bronze certified ZT Series features up to 85% efficiency under typical load environments and complies with the ErP (Energy-related Products) Directive to ensure less than one watt of power is used in passive standby and off modes.

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The OCZ ZT Series will be available in 550W, 650W, and 750W models, and comes backed with a leading 5-year OCZ PowerSwap Warranty for unparalleled peace of mind. The ZT PSU Series will be available worldwide with an MSRP of $99.99, $109.99, and $119.99 respectively.

Manufacturer: Corsair

Introduction and Features

It's always an exciting day when a new Corsair power supply shows up at the PCPerspective test lab and today we have a brand new HX1050 PSU to test out. Corsair continues to bring a full line of high quality power supplies, memory components, cases, cooling components, SSDs and accessories to market for the PC enthusiast and professional alike. Corsair's Professional Series power supplies now include four models; the HX650, HX750, HX850 and HX1050. All of the power supplies in the Professional Series feature premium quality components, an energy-efficient design (80 Plus Silver certified) and quiet operation; and they are backed by a 7-year warranty and lifetime access to Corsair's comprehensive technical support and customer service.

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Here is what Corsair has to say about their Professional Series PSUs:
"Corsair Professional Series power supplies are designed for enthusiasts and gamers who demand high performance, high efficiency, the flexibility of modular cables, and unflinching reliability. Designed and engineered using cutting-edge technology, each Corsair Professional Series power supply is built to the highest quality standards and delivers the features and performance that technology enthusiasts demand.

Corsair Professional Series power supplies are built using Industrial Grade electrical components, ensuring the stable, clean and reliable voltages that are essential for high-end gaming PCs and workstations. Professional Series PSUs are rigorously tested at 100% load and an ambient temperature of 50°C, guaranteeing stability and reliability even in the most demanding multi-core, multi-graphics card systems.

The Corsair Professional Series HX1050 PSU utilizes advanced DC-to-DC circuitry, and exceeds the requirements for 80 Plus Silver certification standards, for up to 88% energy-efficiency. This reduces wasted energy, reducing energy bills, and lowers the amount of excess heat generated, allowing the cooling fan to spin more slowly and quietly.

Corsair Professional Series power supplies boast an innovative semi-modular cabling configuration that uses low-profile, flat modular cables, which reduce air friction to help maximize airflow through the computer chassis. The modular design also simplifies installation as it allows unprecedented flexibility in utilizing only those cables which are needed. Corsair Professional Series is backed by and industry-leading 7-year warranty and comprehensive customer support. "

Continue reading our review of the Corsair HX1050 power supply!!

Is it worth investing in an 80+ rated PSU to save yourself money?

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 11, 2011 - 01:19 PM |
Tagged: PSU, 80 gold, 80+ silver, 80+ platinum, energy efficiency

For most there are two main reasons for paying the premium price to purchase an 80+ rated PSU; the eventual money savings from lowered power costs and to reduce your carbon footprint by using a more efficient PSU.  [H]ard|OCP put the first reason to the test, examining several cases of usage for PSUs of differing wattage and usage.  As well, they point out the issues with some ratings, as PSUs that are labeled as 80+ Platinum only deserve a Gold rating in most usage scenarios.  Their findings are based on theoretical usage patterns, it is hard to imaging a PSU operating at 50% load day after day, but this will give you an idea how many days or years it will take for you to start seeing a return on your investment.

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"A HardOCP editorial about the 80 Plus program and how it is changing the computer power supplies you are buying. Is this good, bad, or ugly, and should you care? Did you know that you paid for that 80Plus rating on your shiny new PSU? Certainly PSU efficiency is a great thing, but what about the rating system?"

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Kingwin aims to deliver silent power with their new 500W Stryker

Subject: Cases and Cooling | October 3, 2011 - 12:42 PM |
Tagged: PSU, Kingwin, Kingwin Stryker 500W, silent, fanless

Not too long ago Lee gave the PC Perspective Gold Seal to the Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless PSU thanks to the superior power quality and five year warranty.  Just in case you weren't swayed by his testing, you can double check the results over at Think Computers.   They tried the same PSU with a different test machine set up and came up with the same results, a 80PLUS Platinum rated silent PSU that delivers everything you would expect.  Their only negative point was the same as Lee's, the price is more than double the cost of an equivalent PSU with active cooling.  You have to pay a premium for this type of PSU but it is worth it if you need it.

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"Almost everyone wants the quietest yet most powerful computer possible. Most components generate noise because of the fans cooling them, or because of moving parts. Obviously, solid state drives have eliminated the necessity for moving parts for storage and liquid cooling can replace fans for most components. However, there’s still one pesky component which still generates noise: the high wattage power supply unit. Fanless PSUs have been around for a while, but they’re generally lower wattage and meant for business machines or ultra-efficient HTPCs."

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This lower end OCZ PSU features some high end insides

Subject: Cases and Cooling | September 15, 2011 - 02:22 PM |
Tagged: PSU, ocz, OCZ ZS series

If you are looking for a really good deal for a power supply, consider the OCZ ZS Series 650W PSU, currently $65 thanks to a MIR at NewEgg.  The price will fool you as to the quality of the PSU, though don't expect perfection at this price point.  The ZS series seems to be a mix of both good and bad, with good efficiency and stable power in all but one condition.  TechPowerUp did not like the low maximum operating temperature and would also like to see longer cabling.   Take a peek at it in their review, but you should probably only consider the PSU at the discount price, there are better alternatives at the full $90 price tag

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"OCZ is very busy lately releasing new PSU models. Today we have the chance to test the OCZ ZS 650W. The main difference compared to the bigger ZS 750W, besides capacity, is the reduced number of available PCIe connectors, only two. Like all ZS units it has 80 PLUS Bronze efficiency, its OEM is Sirfa and it uses a non-modular cabling design."

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Source: TechPowerUp
Manufacturer: Kingwin

Introduction and Features

Kingwin just released their first fanless power supply, the Stryker Fanless 500W, which is rated for 500W and can be easily overclocked to 600W output with only a slight drop in efficiency. That makes the Stryker STR-500 one of the highest output fanless power supplies on the market today. And the Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless power supply is certified 80 Plus Platinum with up to 92% efficiency. High efficiency is always good but it is critical for a fanless power supply to help minimize waste heat. Combine that with a good combination of fixed and modular cables and a 5-year warranty and we have a very interesting new product to review!

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Kingwin has impressed us recently with several of their new power supplies, most notably the LZP-550W that we reviewed earlier this year, which won an Editor's Choice award. In addition to the new Stryker fanless PSU, Kingwin offers a complete lineup of PC power supplies ranging across seven categories along with PC chassis, external enclosures, docking stations, cooling systems, and accessories.

Continue reading the Kingwin Stryker 500W Fanless Power Supply Review!!

Two PSUs are better than one

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 26, 2011 - 10:57 AM |
Tagged: PSU, enthusiast, dual PSU, DIY

[H]ard|OCP visits the weird world of dual PSU products, which allow the usage of two PSUs in a single system and which are transparent to the end user as they are both controlled as if there was only one.  There are four methods covered; Add2Psu, the Lian Li Secondary Power Supply Starter Kit and both auxiliary and redundant PSUs.  They range in style from the impressive abilities of Add2Psu to string together unlimited amounts of PSU using Molex connectors and Lian Li's PSU crossover cable to FSP's 5.25" Booster X5 450W auxiliary PSU and the Athena Atlas 800 redundant PSU which seems more at home in the server room. If you want more power but don't have a PSU big enough this will show you how to give your existing PSU a helping hand.

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"Putting two powers supplies in your computer has been a recurring subject in our forums for years. While the physical process of making that happen is not exactly rocket science, it still can be daunting for some users. Today we show you a few products that make it easy for anyone to double up on the power should your wattage needs increase."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

Power up with 1350W of Silver ToughPower

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 16, 2011 - 03:33 PM |
Tagged: PSU, thermaltake, Toughpower 1350W, modular psu

The 80+ Silver rating on the Thermaltake Toughpower 1350W is well deserved according to the tests that [H]ard|OCP ran, something which can add up over a year of load.  The six 8 pin PCI-Express connectors are on one 12v rail, capable of up to 750W @ 60A, while the other 12v rail handles the other connectors.  Those other connectors include twelve SATA and eight Molex connectors, which should handle most configurations with cordage to spare.  It does very well on the most important function of providing decent quality power even in harsh conditions, but does cost a bit more than some competing PSUs which you should bear in mind before picking up this PSU.

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"Thermaltake is back on our test benches and back with some very big iron. Thermaltake made some of the "biggest and baddest" computer power supplies years ago and we are about to find out if the company does once again. However this Toughpower is well above a kilowatt and surely will have a limited appeal, but also surely attract a lot of attention."

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Source: [H]ard|OCP

In Win's entrance to the Kilowatt Club

Subject: Cases and Cooling | August 8, 2011 - 02:34 PM |
Tagged: PSU, kilowatt, in win, Commander II 1200W

Just a few short years ago on the PC Perspective Podcast you could have heard us crack jokes about people need a kilowatt PSU plugged into 240V mains in order to run their high end PCs.  It seems that the joke was on us as most major PSU vendors have at least one model that provides 1kW+ of power, thankfully most also do it more efficiently than older generation PSUs and do not need a 240V plug.  In Win has joined the ranks of the high powered PSU makers with their new Commander II 1200W Modular PSU.  The 80+ Bronze rating is a good sign and the silent 135mm fan is also a good touch, but the two most important features are the solidity of the power it provides and the price it is available at.  Find out about those in ThinkComputers' latest PSU review.

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"In Win, the company that brought you many different types of cases in the past is now upgrading one of its power supply series into the 80PLUS age. The Commander II series of power supplies, the successor to the original Commander, are available in three different models: 750W, 850W and the 1200W, which we have to review today. All three models are 80PLUS Bronze certified, have an army green color scheme and a silent 135mm fan in them."

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