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|29th July 2008, 10:32||#1|
Join Date: May 2002
Cooler Master UCP 900W Power Supply Torture Test
The 900W UCP that we received is quite long at 190mm (7.5 inches), with a 120mm fan toward the bottom-front of the casing (assuming a normal mounting position at the top of your computer chassis). Cooler master puts a large label on the top of the power supply, where it will be hidden in most computer cases. The 3.3V and 5V rails are rated at 25A, which is more than sufficient in our opinion. The 12V rails are the more important factor in modern systems, and here Cooler Master provides four 12V rails with different amperages. 12V1 is rated at 25A and is for the CPU, while 12V2 is only 20A and is also for the CPU socket.
There are a fair number of peripheral connections available on several harnesses, but the overall harness length may not be long enough for a larger chassis, as the longest harness is only 75cm. Again with the 900W rating, it seems a lot of users would be likely to have a larger case that provides for better cooling opportunities, so that's something potential buyers will want to consider. The ATX cables are 60cm and 65cm long, which should work well whether your power supply is in the traditional location or at the bottom of your chassis (like in Cooler Master's own Cosmos case). However, there are still cases where you may require longer cables, so pay attention to that area before purchasing this power supply for use in your favorite chassis.
The results meet the 80Plus Silver requirements, actually reaching a maximum of 89% efficiency, but it's important to note that this is only possible on 230VAC. The 80Plus standard doesn't specifically state whether the efficiency should be measured on 230VAC or 115VAC, so we will have to give Cooler Master the benefit of the doubt. 115VAC users "only" get 87% efficiency. [Ed: Boohoo.] Regardless of how you look at it, this is the highest efficiency we have measured in a retail power supply to date.
As the first retail power supply to bear the 80Plus Silver badge, the Cooler Master UCP 900W certainly deserves some recognition. Some users might be able to stop right there and determine that's all they need to see before they run out and purchase a power supply, but we prefer to be a bit more circumspect. Up to 89% efficiency (87% on 115VAC) is a great result, but in order to reach that level of efficiency you will need to have a system drawing between 400 and 700W of power -- and that's no mean feat. Furthermore, compared to a unit with "only" 86% efficiency (84% on 115VAC), you're looking at the difference of 20W at the outlet for a system that's using 500W of power. Running 24/7, that works out to somewhere around $13-$18 per year, and if you only use a system eight hours a day you're really only looking at about $5 per year in savings.
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