Chieftec A-135 APS-600SB Series 600W Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Chieftec may not be the best-known name in the business, but they’re certainly going strong and have done a lot of work in the B2B market, with a growing presence in the consumer market over the last few years. They’re back on eTeknix again today with one of their latest power supplies, the APS-600SB, a 600W unit with an 80 Plus Bronze efficiency rating. It may not be anything fancy, but its core focus is to get the job done without spending any more than you have to for the level of performance and reliability you need.

In terms of spec, the APS-600SB features a 14cm fan, as well as multiple +12v rails with more than enough power for some dual GPU configurations. The non-modular design isn’t going to win over many perfectionists, but you’ll certainly find all the connectors you’re likely to need.

The packaging is pretty straight forward, with a stylish picture of the product on the front. If I’m honest, I know this isn’t the best-looking unit in the world and looking at the darkened image on the box, Chieftec know it; not knocking that, this is a practical unit first and foremost.

In the box, you’ll find the owner’s manual, an AC power cable and the fitting screws.

Chieftec SFX 500GD-C 500w Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Compact systems are becoming increasingly popular, with many chassis now being so small, that they no longer support the common ATX PSU standard. This is where smaller form factor power supplies, such as the Chieftec SFX 500GD-C we have on the test bench today, come into play. The smaller form factor makes them perfect for compact system builds and with 500W of power on offer, this tiny PSU still has more than enough juice to power a decent gaming system, making it a prime choice for those building a small LAN gaming system, HTPC style gaming system, or even just those who have limited room for a desktop rig/workstation.

In terms of hardware, the GD-C ticks all the right boxes, with a powerful 40A +12V rail, modular cables for easy installation and cable management, 80 Plus Gold efficiency and all the safety features we have come to expect from a modern unit. Of course, the real big, or should I say little, feature is that it’s all housed in a tiny little unit.

Packaging & Accessories

The box is nothing too fancy, but it does have a nice image of the PSU on the front, which shows off the modular cable design.

There’s very little in the box, so little that you’ll only find a user manual beside the PSU and modular cables. Annoyingly, there wasn’t even an AC mains cable. Fortunately, we have a few of those lying around, so that’s no going to cause issues with our testing.

Chieftec A-80 Series 650W Non-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


A little while ago we ran a story about how the brand “Chieftec” were making a return to the UK market: Chieftec had previously been a sizeable player in the UK market selling a variety of cases and power supplies. Since their departure around 8 years ago they’ve been doing well in Asia and North America and now they are looking to get a foothold back in the UK and EU markets. As part of that they have launched a brand new range of power supplies and cases to get things moving. Peter Donnell, one of our senior reviewers, recently took a look at Chieftec’s newest full-tower case offering: the DX-02B. Now I will be taking a look at one of Chieftec’s newest power supply offerings; the CTG-650-80P. The more catchy name for it is the Chieftec A-80 650W power supply and as the “80P” model name suggests it comes with 80 Plus certification, the Bronze one to be exact. Aside from that it isn’t exactly the most exciting power supply in the world: you’ve got 650W of 80 Plus Bronze power with a decent chunk of cables and a fairly plain-Jane OEM style design. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing: Chieftec’s slogan for this product is “Why pay more than necessary?”. I couldn’t agree more, why waste money on painting the power supply, prettying up the cables and adding in loads of accessories when that just adds extra cost. Of course, without all those little extras the price to performance is going to be key here so let’s see exactly how it performs.

Packaging and Contents

Chieftec’s packaging is fairly simple and to the point, there isn’t really anything notable on the box.

The box uses a uniform design and to denote between the model inside a red marker is used, this helps keep the costs down. For more specifications and features the product page is useful.

The accessory pack is also fairly basic, there’s an EU power plug (hopefully UK units will ship with UK power cables or at least adapters), some silver screws and a generic user guide.

Target Open Day 2014 – Chieftec Booth

I stopped by the Chieftec booth at the Target Open Day 2014 and they’ve certainly got a few things on their booth that grabbed my attention. First of all are their chassis products, while they’re not the latest and greatest from the company, they’re the first products to mark the return of Chieftec to the UK market after several years absence.

Most notable is their DX-02B, which we reviewed recently.

Then we have their mini-ITX form factor HTPC style chassis. I failed to catch the model number, but Chieftec have agreed to ship us a review sample, so keep your eyes peeled for an in-depth look at this in the very near future.

One of the best products that Chieftec have (if not the best), is their 500w SFX PSU. There are a few other companies touting similar models, but so far Chieftec are the only ones available to buy at retail. With all that power in such a small form factor, as well as an 80PLUS Gold rating, this could be a huge product for the company.

Chassis, PSUs and more are obviously of keen interest to the crowd, but when you’ve got a barrel of beer that pumps through a custom pump made from two power supplies, then you’re easily going to be host to a popular booth.

Thank you Roger from Chieftec for allowing me to review the performance of this unique beer pump. I may have sampled a couple of the beers too!

That’s all from the Chieftec booth for now, but I’ll be back shortly with even more coverage from the event.

Chieftec DX-02B Full-Tower Chassis Review

Introduction


Chieftec used to be one of the biggest names in the UK chassis market, but a snag in their distribution efforts meant the company had to pull out of the market for a few years. This isn’t to say they failed, as the company has being going strong ever since in global markets, but this year marks their return to the UK and to celebrate we’ve decided to grab hold of one of their current popular chassis to see what all the fuss is about. Now some of you may know already that the DX-02B full-tower that we have here today isn’t a new product, it has been on the market for a year or two now, albeit not in the UK until now. So while this may not be their latest and greatest, it should get the ball rolling and you can expect even more great Chieftec reviews from us in the coming weeks and months.

“DX-02B –An unpredicted story of success continues with Chieftec´s new model DX-02B. A whole generation of gamers and modders will remember the legendary CS-601, better known as the Dragon DX. Hundreds of thousands of people have grown up with this case in the last decade. With the DX-02B you are receiving a case, which convinces with its design, and its high-end quality finishing. Besides the integrated fan controller, the case also has an elegantly conceived Hot-Swap solution for hard drives.” reads the Chieftec website

Targeted at the enthusiast system builder market the DX-02B packs in plenty of features that tailor it towards high-end systems. There are style points that will no doubt appeal to the gaming and modding scene, but from what I know so far, it also looks heavily tailored towards those who require high-performance systems for professional use, so think rendering rigs, work stations and networking. Ticking so many boxes is no bad thing and I’m eager to see what this chassis has to offer, so lets jump right to it and take a closer look at what Chieftec have to offer.

Features:

  • Ergonomically positioned front interfaces
  • Rubber inlets pre-installed, allowing for water cooling system
  • Patented locking mechanism for drives
  • Two low-noise 200mm cooler fans in the case ceiling for optimised air flow
  • Support up to 340mm VGA Card

As you can see from the specifications below the DX-02B will hold anything from mATX right up to EATX motherboards, loads of storage bys, hot swap bays and plenty of fan mounts; well take a close look at them all in just a moment.

The packaging is nicely designed, a few logos at the top and bottom with a huge and clear image of the chassis on the front.

Around the back we have a technical break down of the major features as well as the full specifications (see above) on the side.

In the box you’ll find a user manual, molex Y-splitter adaptor, SATA cable, screws, cable ties, pull ties, front panel 5.25″ to FDD adaptor and 5.25″ to FDD drive bay adaptor.

Exclusive: First Look at Latest Chieftec Chassis That Will Be Launching in UK Market

eTeknix exclusive: Earlier today we brought you the exclusive news that legendary chassis and PSU manufacturer Chieftec will be return to UK shores. After an eight year long departure of what used to be one of the biggest brands in the UK market, it’s great to see them making a return. Of course it’s not like the company went bust, they’ve been going strong ever since and were unfortunate to run into distribution troubles all those years ago. Now that they have the great team at Target Components on their side as their distributor for the UK market, the chassis and PSU products from Chieftec are now being prepared to start shipping to resellers and system integrators in the UK once again.

Earlier today I stopped by Target Components to meet with the team at Target and Chieftec representative Roger Oka, where I got an exclusive first look at the products they’ll be bringing to the UK market. There isn’t anything really new here from the brand right now, most of these products have been reviewed internationally and are already available in the US and Asian markets, but this is the first time they’ve landed in the UK.

First up we have this gorgeous white mini-ITX chassis, ideal for those with limited space, but the sleek front panel design will also lend well to HTPC solutions.

FI-01W-U3 Flyer Series ITX Tower

FI-01W-U3 – Vertically or horizontally? It is up to your convenience to decide how to place CHIEFTEC’s new ITX case. The FI-01W-U3 comes with a preinstalled 250W TFX power supply and can comfortably accommodate lowprofile cards. With its “glossy” finishing, it spreads an aura of Life style in your home and/or office.”

FI-01W-U3 Flyer Series ITX Tower

One of the smaller cases offers plenty of ventilation and extra fan mounts, with dual USB 3.0, dual 5.25″ drive bays, plenty of room for drive expansion and more. It’s not the most exciting looking case ever, but it does offer a lot of practical design that will no doubt appeal to the business market.

Uni Series BD-02B-B-U3 Mini Tower

BD-02B-B-U3 – Maximising functionality in a small space is what CHIEFTEC’s Mini Tower offers. It has several front panels for choices and its interior space has more than you would expect. With its additional depth of 21mm, the installation of standard ATX power supplies is no problem at all.”

A budget friendly model here will be tailored to those building gaming rigs or rendering rigs; it comes with dual USB 3.0 and plenty of connectivity options. It’s real benefit is in fan mountings at it features dual 120mm fan mounts on the side, a filtered fan mount on the front and two 80mm fan mounts on the back. It may not look terribly exciting, but you can get a powerful rig in here without too much concern over airflow.

UNI Series BM-02B-U3 Midi Tower MS

BM-02B-U3 – The M-Chassis was developed for price-conscious users, who look for top-of-the-art quality and easy-to-use functions. Besides it offers 5 different front panels with USB/HD Audio connectors to meet individual demand. It proves that functionality and design can be affordable with reasonable price.”

The next model up features a similar design to the one above, but its design is a little more consumer friendly thanks to a better designed from panel.

CM-01B-U3 Mesh Series Midi Tower MS

CM-01B-U3 Mesh Series Midi Tower MS

Next up we have their midi tower GIGA series, this features four full 5.25″ drive bays, plenty of storage and slide out drive trays on the interior, flip-off front panel cover with dust filter for front fans and plenty of extra fan mounts / ventilation on the back and left side panel.

DF-02B-U3 Giga Series Midi Tower EL

DF-02B-U3 – The exterior and the interior of the DF-02B-B are fully designed in elegant black. The mesh front contributes to an optimized air flow through the chassis leading to a noticeable cool down. The users will appreciate the typical tool-free installation of ODDs and HDDs, as well as the intelligent positioning of the PSU at the bottom of the chassis.”

DF-02B-U3 Giga Series Midi Tower EL

This is one of my favourites of the bunch. A very heavy-duty looking design that is mostly targeted to the professional market. It features locking front and side panels for extra security.

LBX-02B-U3 Uni Series Medium Tower

LBX-02B-U3 –The medium tower with 540mm depth perfectly suits the installation of EATX server mainboard. It has enough space for up to 12x ODDs and HDDs. An optimal cooling design effectively prevents a possible overheating. The interior of the chassis has been split into two separate cooling zones, enabling the HDDs to be cooled in an area separate from the
CPU/GPU.”

LBX-02B-U3 Uni Series Medium Tower

The interior features quick release bay covers and tool free drive installation.

Support for everything from mini-ITX to eATX motherboards.

Clip-on rails for 3.5″ drives and adaptors for 2.5″ drive installation.

Metal quick release clips and extra mounting screws secured on the interior for easy access.

Large top rail mount for PSU means you can get a huge PSU installed in here, or even a second redundant PSU.

It also features extra ventilation on the sides for the storage bays and expansion card area, making this an interesting choice for small to mid size network / NAS solutions or rendering rigs.

Their gaming range is also exciting, offering a pretty aggressive design that is focused on high-end airflow and water cooling.

DX-02B Dragon Series Midi Tower HE

DX-02B –An unpredicted story of success continues with Chieftec’s new model DX-02B. A whole generation of gamers and modders will remember the legendary CS-601, better known as the Dragon DX. Hundreds of thousands of people have grown up with this case in the last decade. With the DX-02B you are receiving a case, which convinces with its design, and its highend quality finishing. Besides the integrated fan controller, the case also has an elegantly conceived Hot-Swap solution for hard drives.”

DX-02B Dragon Series Midi Tower HE

Full EATX motherboard support and room for a multi-GPU setup.

Extra wide CPU cooler cut-out and dual vertical cable routing.

Front access drive trays with hot swap capability.

Dual front panel fans with snap-on filters.

Extra clearance for water cooling setups.

Funky right side panel design, a welcome break from all the blank panels we normally see here and it’s got a large recess to allow extra cable routing space.

Fixed position fin-style top ventilation.

Dual 200mm fans pre-installed in the top and a single 120mm pre-installed in the back.

Dual slide out dust filters on the base and four large and very durable feet.

Built in three speed fan controller switchs.

There are even more products, as well as their range of PSUs coming to market, so stay tuned for more news and upcoming review on these in the very near future.

Thank you Chieftec and Target for inviting us to come down and check out these products.

Exclusive: Chieftec Returning to UK Market after 8 Year Absence

eTeknix exclusive: Chieftec backed out of the UK market 8 years ago now and back then they were one of the biggest brands around. Unfortunately they ran into a few issues with distribution and the decision was made to focus on other markets. Of course that is all changed and 8 years has given them enough time to see a change in the UK market to make their triumphant return.

I met today with Chieftec representative Roger Oka to discuss their new products and what they hope to achieve by returning to the UK. Chieftec may have been gone from the UK market for a while, but their brand has been far from trouble and they’ve been selling cases, power-supplies and enterprise solutions in the US and Asian markets with great success. They’ve already got a strong range of products for these markets and while they’re always making new products, they’ll be launching their existing product lines into the UK first, any new products in the future will also be made available when the time comes.

First up are their power supply and chassis products, they’ve got loads of great consumer level products in these categories to cater to a wide range of budgets, from high-end gaming chassis right down to budget friendly models that are suitable for office and retail deployment. The company also has a strong range of SMB products and enterprise level chassis solutions that will no doubt be making their return here too. What we do know is that Target Components will be handling the brand for now and helping them break back into the market. Target is one of the fastest growing distributors in the UK right now and they’ll be working closely with resellers around the UK to make the new products available.

Did you ever own a Chieftec product when they were previously available in the UK? If so, then let us know in the comments section below as we would also love to hear your feedback on what you think of the brand coming back to this region.

We’ll be back very shortly with an exclusive look at the first chassis products that Chieftec are bringing to the UK as well as some great product reviews from their range in the coming weeks.