Combo-hit Modular Power Supply Roundup

Cases & PSU/Power Supplies by DUR0N @ 2005-07-28

And now we do the trick with the disappearing cables. *Poof* apparently, the PSU?s need to be shiny these days. You can hardly spot them in a case, but they need to be shiny!

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Ultra X-Connect 500W


Madshrimps (c)

As you can see nothing really shocking here. Everything is 'max' wattage, which status the maximum load this power supply can sustain, however the specifications have always need to be taken with a grain of salt. To me that means hooking 300w of TEC's onto it and see if it blows.

External/Internal Design

Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)

Madshrimps (c) Madshrimps (c)

Contents of the box:
  • one carton box
  • one 20-pin ATX connector
  • one AUX cable
  • two Y molex cables
  • one double Y molex cable
  • one 12VP4 cable
  • one extension molex cable
  • one SATA splitter cable
  • one power cable
  • manual & screws

    The Ultra X-connect sure looks shiny, in fact it looks so shiny you can't handle it without putting a few fingerprints on it. Definitely not the PSU criminals want to lay their hands on.

    Equipped with two 80mm fans to pass the air trough it, you'll have to make a real mess in your case for this PSU to fail. Both fans are rated 0,17A which is only a bit higher then the common 'Colored' fans, but they sure move a lot more air. If you look at the insides, you'll see that the fans can be changed without soldering, which is a big pro for some people. Replacing them with some silent running Papst/Panaflo fans is very easy.

    The cables are of very high quality, Ultra claims that they are completely EMI shielded. Not that EMI really has any effect on such high currents and voltages. EMI shielding is more something for ATA-cables, but it's always an added feature. The bad side of this is that the cables don't bend very well, so it's more difficult to tuck them away nicely. If you have something in your case that gives UV-light, you'll see the cables lit up. Not a functional feature but it adds more *bling* to the whole and some might like it.

    Madshrimps (c)
    from Left to right: < Hiper Type-R >< AC Ryan RyanPower > < Ultra X-Connect >

    Another strange thing is the presence of the famous AUX-connector, with the +5v and +3.3v lines. I’ve never seen a recent motherboard which uses this, so it's quite redundant.

    When I was testing, I was actually glad it was there, made it much easier to measure the 3.3v line with my multi-meter. On the Hiper PSU, I had to poke my nodes in the back of the ATX connector, when the system was running. Not something for people with shaky hands.

    Performance, deviation from standard rails

    Lets see what this 500w beast can take before it slips.

    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c)

    Madshrimps (c)

    Some impressive figures there, don't you think? The 5v no load rail is indeed quite high, but that's normal because it's the most stressed line. It needs to be trimmed down the most for the kind of load it has to handle. The 3.3v line is even more difficult to generate because it lies further from the 220v input voltage, but it doesn't take the load the 5v line does. In order to keep the 5v line good at load values, they usually trim it off a bit to high, to compensate for any load. Usually, the higher it's trimmed off, the more they try to make up for a sloppy 5v line. Something that can be seen here quite clearly.

    Not the number one choice for die-hard overclockers. They usually go for PCpower&cooling, and nothing else. The 12v and 3.3v lines keep quite stable, even when stressed with some extra peltiers the 12v rail keeps its head high.

    Another interesting set of data is the usage on the 220v side. The higher the usage, the worse the power conversion factor is. You see, PSU's spill a lot of juice when they make their precious voltage lines. And when I say a lot, I mean over 15%!. There are ways to decrease this number; one of them is placing some capacitors on the line, to even out the phase shift caused by the magnetic coils. This immediately makes the voltage more stable, and so your lines will be more stable too. So the higher the usage, the better your PSU needs to be to take up the load. And the more you pay. This is easily measured with a small tool that you plug in your wall socket. It provides one connection for an electric device, and it measures everything that goes trough it.

    According to this tool, the Ultra X-Connect needed 229w to generate the DC volt lines.
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