A closer look
Let's have a look at the PSU itself now. First thing that comes to mind when you look at the ProXstream is "all that power in such a tiny unit". OCZ claim indeed that this is the smallest 1 kW unit available. This unit fits perfectly within the standard ATX envelope, and as such the unit is only 14cm long. As far as I know, all other 1000W+ PSU's need more room inside their casing and are a little longer. The Silverstone Zeus I had lying around, and which we'll include in our test bed later on, measures about 3cm longer than the OCZ unit. The older PowerStream versions also were a couple of cm longer, the GameXstream series is exactly the same size (but less powerful of course). Anyway, the standard ATX size means you can use this PSU in every case that follows the ATX specifications, and that would be about every case on the market.
Compared to the GameXstream series, OCZ decided to change the finish of the unit again. Instead of the matte black of the GameXstream, OCZ went for the shiny grey-brown look of the previous generation PowerStream. The finish allows for much more finger prints to be visible, and seems to be more scratch sensitive. On the other hand I guess it looks a little more "classy" now. I'll leave it up to you whether you like the looks of this one better than the GameXstream.
"outside" view of the ProXstream PSU
Another change is the cooling design of the unit. Instead of the 120mm fan of the GameXstream, or the double green or blue 80mm fans we found in the PowerStream series, we're now greeted by a single 80mm fan without any LED. This no nonsense, no fanfare look is exactly what I like in a computer product, but you might disagree of course. The single 80mm fan in such a powerful product makes you wonder why other PSU's need two or three 80mm fans for less power...
One additional feature, or should I say lack thereof, that is quite obvious from the above picture is the absence of an on/off switch on the unit. This means that from the minute you plug in the power cord, your motherboard will have power transferred to it. This actually gave me a bit of a scare the first time as the PC just started the minute I plugged the power in. However harmless this item is for your PC or PSU, it does mean your PC is constantly eating a little power. To be honest, it doesn't feel quite "right" to me, and this omission is actually the only thing about the exterior design of the PSU that I really regret.
Last but not least, the entire cable system is sleeved, and I have a feeling the sleeving is of slightly better quality than with the GameXstream. I especially like the different (red) color for the PCIe cables which make finding them a lot easier. I would even like to make a pledge to OCZ to extend the use of colors on the sleeving even further: that way you can immediately find the right cable for the right application. Overall, the entire finish of the PSU and its cabling is excellent.
side, back and top views, the bundle of cables, specification sticker - click to openA bunch of cables
A modern PSU needs an entire assembly of different cables and connectors, and the OCZ ProXstream delivers plenty. The only thing I do find a bit odd is the lack of news about the new PCIe connectors, the ones that reportedly will be present on the new ATI R600 graphics cards. Until now, I haven't seen any PSU that comes with the new connector(s). I guess ATI will have to provide the power adapters, but these would better be avoided where possible (if only for their looks). Then again, it's pretty possible that ATI will change the power connectors anyway upon launch of the R600 products.
Back to the unit at hand, OCZ provides the following cable system with their ProXstream:20+4 pin motherboard connector
4+4 pin "P4" and EPS connector
4 pin auxiliary connector
four 6-pin PCIe connectors
two cables with each 3 SATA connectors
two cables with each 3 Peripheral connectors and 1 Floppy connector.
The pictures of all these connectors you can find below (click the thumbs to open them).
4 pin peripherals and floppy connectors, Sata-connectors, Overview, Motherboard connectors, PCIe connectors
One can hardly wish more than this range of connectors; the bundle is as complete as it can possibly be. The 20+4 pin connector is from the type that was introduced on the PowerStream series, and can be clipped together. This is still my very favorite type of assembly, and is very practical in use. Therefore I do find it a little strange that the 4+4 pin connector (which had the same principle) has been replaced by a fixed 8 pin connector. Another thing that made it back into the ProXstream are the very good 4-pin peripheral connectors which are easily removed from their socket by the special unlock clips, which can put pressure on the edges of the socket. All in all, the cabling is the most effective of any PSU that passed into my hands up to now, and present the best of all ideas that OCZ themselves have implemented up to date.
Actually, the only negative thing about it all is the fact that the cable system isn't modular on the ProXstream power supplies, certainly because the cable system is the most extensive to date. OCZ has proven already that it is possible to build high end PSU's with modular cabling in their Evostream series, and I wonder what's holding them back. It is often suggested that the implementation of modular cabling is bad for the signal integrity of the power lines, but I still have to read the first real report on that. It could be three reasons in my opinion: the higher cost of a modular cable system, or the fact that the modular system would take up too much additional space which would prevent the unit from fitting the ATX envelope, or perhaps the fact that the modular cabling would mess up the entire cooling system (because the different connectors take too much space at the back of the unit). My money is on the last reason actually, but whatever: the proXstream is not a modular PSU so you'd better be a little inventive when it comes to hiding some cables in your windowed case.
Now that we've covered the visuals, and had a look at the number of cables you'll be able to use, let's see how much power this ProXstream device really wields...
In the manual we can find the following information:
|Max. DC Output ||1000W continuous|
|combined +3.3 , +5V||150W|
|combined +12V combined||70A / 840W|
Very nice to see the 18A per 12V channel (of the GameXstream) to be increased to 20A per channel in this case. We can put out up to 840W of 12V power now, which should be enough even for ATI/AMD to get some Crossfire R600 going. The 3.3V line did lose some power compared to the GameXstream series, but this is not used for that much nowadays anyway.
As a reminder, this is where the power goes to :
PCI bus - 5v line
AGP bus - 3.3v line
PCIe bus - 12v line
Southbridge - 3.3v line
Northbridge - 3.3v line
Memory - 3.3v line
CPU - 5v (now almost extinct) or 12v line
Peripherals - 5v or 12v line
To be complete, here are some more specs for the ProXstream PSU's :
|Input Voltage ||90V ~ 264V (Auto Range)|
|Input Frequency Range||47Hz ~ 63Hz|
|PFC||Active PFC (0.99)|
|Casing||Metal wth shiny brown-grey finish|
|Cooling||single 80mm fan|
|Protection||Over Current Protection, Over Voltage Protection, Short Circuit Protection|
I was very curious about the efficiency of the ProXstream as well, but couldn't find any data from the manufacturer. I guess we'll have to test and see...
A little look inside
Finally, as with all PSU's, we at Madshrimps like to have a look inside the units. As always, a little disclaimer first: if you want to claim the 3 year powerswap warranty, opening the unit is not a great idea. The sticker to the side of the PSU has perhaps the most friendly warning that I've ever seen on a warranty sticker : "if you want to keep warranty, please do not remove"... And I'm afraid the sticker does have to be removed or cut before you can open the unit...
The first thing one wants to find out is the real manufacturer of the units. As I put on the first page, not that many manufacturers of PSU's actually make their own units. I was quite puzzled with this PSU, as I couldn't find any branding at the inside, but this is where a friendly colleague named Jonny Guru walked into our forum thread and named 3Y-Power as the most probable manufacturer for these PSU's. If anyone knows, it must be him, and please have a look at his review of the OCZ Evostream, which indeed has a striking resemblance to the ProXstream PSU.
some inside views, click to open
As you can see, the inside of this PSU is very cramped with components. This makes it even more striking that this unit can be kept cool by a single 80mm fan. The design is a layered design with two PCB's that are stacked upon each other. Another noteworthy feature is the fact that this unit uses its metal enclosure for additional cooling as well. The heat is transferred upon the copper plate you see on the picture to the right, which is in his turn attached to the metal enclosure by a couple of screws, that have to be removed first if you want to open the unit.
Let's have a look at our test setup on the next page ->