ack in the day any PSU maker whom either inhibited, prevented, or outright eschewed rail adjustment (absence of pots) would be committing a technical faux pas
. Today there is very little need for rail adjustment and the ability to raise the 12VDC rail to 13VDC will probably have a negligible effect on performance. In other words; If the well is dry, adding length to the rope used to lower the bucket won't help
. My philosophy on power has been one where excess isn't necessarily a bad thing. Insofar as Rail adjustment I've never had the need and the only time I have adjusted rails was on the original OCZ Power Stream 420W I reviewed here
. The PSU included three external pots with LED indicators for each Rail. OCZ had their marketing finger on the pulse of the PC-Enthusiast community and produced what was a very popular line of power supplies until they went multi-rail/modular. PC Power & Cooling on the other hand has offered such features since they began building PSU's as part of their custom builder image. In the final analysis if your PSU is designed and built correctly, rail adjustment shouldn't be an issue.
Which leads us to our PC Power & Cooling 1KW-SR which, like her 850W predecessors and above have each been designed to operate from three proprietary power stages. This is perhaps, the
best way to ensure voltages remain stable under any/all circumstances (loads). PCP&P products are more expensive then others; however, in an industry where design is almost always dictated by cost, this would be the road less traveled
but not cost prohibitive. Removing the cover we see essentially three power sages are running the entire length of the PSU.
Above we find the DC-output devices from one of three power stages which feed into the main PCB. In the photo below I've stood the unit on its side to exemplify how each daughter board would resemble a main PCB in a typical PSU.
At this stage (no pun intended) there are some rather large Inductors and three banks of secondary Teapo capacitors. Any PSU makers use smaller capacitors jut prior to DC-output, however; on such a large unit one might expect a bigger capacitor. I would hypothesize multiple rows of smaller capacitors have to do with discharge speed. Smaller capacitors can discharge much faster keeping in pace with system needs. Further back a fairly robust transformer, again this is just one of three.
In the photo below, we are closest to the AC input and the primary AC capacitor which is quite large once again there are three of these. Considering thereare three. I've changed angles to get a better look at the AC-input circuits, note the large inductors thyristor and heatsinks for FETs.
Moving to the opposite side of the PSU we see one of three PCB daughterboard’s for each power stage. In a typical PSU these daughterboard’s would be the main PCB for the entire unit.
From another view we see the collection of DC-out which eventually feed all connectors. These originate off a main PCB at the front of the PSU. Normally we find these originate from the side of most PCBs in other PSU designs. Since PCPower has elected to use proprietary stages, an additional mainboard is required to integrate all three stages to a main PCB for the initial input and final output stages.
From the view above it's easier to see how each stage is laid out in parallel yet independent of one another. At the end of this particular stage we see an identical bank of Teapo Caps as the first two stages are almost identical in their parts specification including transformers, FETs, capacitors and other devices. The third stage spec's a slightly smaller transformer it looks like the transformers used on the TurboCool 850W.
From the opposite side of the unit we have the stage supporting 3.3V and 5V taps (Rails) although the daughter board prevents access to view the components. The fist two stages running the length of the PSU are independent 12V, supplying the 2x2 "P4" or 8x8 connectors and then the 24-pin ATX supplying PCIe 6-pin of which there are two along with 6-pin to 8-pin adapters for Ultra cards.
Before we get into testing we must discuss the elephant in the room, or in this case the "mob scene" of electronics within the PCP&P enclosure. While there does not seem to be adequate space between electronics nor fan type and placement conducive to effective air circulation, there is more then meets the eye. Choosing a single 80m fan as an exhuast creates a vacuum which is quite effective at drawing air from in-between and among crowded parts. Empirically a single 80mm fan would seem up to the task despite its vacuum affect, until we consider the single-rail design itself. Compared to a multi-rail design where (for example) rails 12V3, or 12V4 may rated at 20A but are only supplying 7A, the remainder of that current is dissipated as heat. In theory PCPower's single 12V-rail which supply's current where and when it's needed, dissipates less current as heat and this equates to a cooler running power supply.
Testing next ->