Fractal Design Integra M 550W 80Plus Bronze Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Fractal Design has been making high-end PC components for years, having already made a respectable name for themselves in the chassis market, making good ground in the PSU market and in the last couple of years, they’ve also been doing interesting things with water cooling too. Today, we are of course more interested in their PSU business, as we have their new 550W Integra in for review, a 80Plus Bronze rated semi-modular unit that is targeted at mid-range systems within a reasonably affordable budget range.

“Fractal Design Integra M units are equipped with a large temperature-controlled 120mm fan for reduced noise levels and optimum cooling. The Integra M is a great choice for medium-performance gaming computers and workstations.” – Fractal Design

Equipped with a compact 140mm form factor, this ATX power supply is well suited to chassis that has a compact design, and that should allow you more room for cable routing, longer graphics cards, cooling and more, dependant on your chassis configuration. Modular and flat style cables are also a big win, as they’re much easier to route and you can remove any cables you do not require, helping you achieve a much cleaner looking system build.

The Integra M ticks all the usual boxes, as you would expect any modern power supply to; OPP, OVP, UVP and SCP. You’ll also find good quality Taiwanese capacitors, bronze efficiency, a good quality 120mm fan, and a trusty 3-year warranty.

The packaging is nicely designed, as is always the case with Fractal Design products. On the front, we can see prominently displayed, the three years warranty, 80 Plus Bronze rating and the 550W power output.

Around the back, a little technical information on the performance, although we’ll be testing this ourselves shortly, as well as information about the fixed and modular cables.

In the box, there’s a simple user guide, mounting screws, cable ties, a couple of velcro straps and the mains power cable.

AeroCool Announces XPredator GM Series 80 Plus Gold PSU Line-Up

Aerocool might not be the most recognizable name in the technology industry but they have a great selection of cases, fan controllers, air coolers, fans, and power supplies. The company was setup back in 2002, and continues to bring great products at affordable pricing. Although, I’ve personally not used any of the items in their line-up. The latest addition is a new range of power supplies rated to an 80 Plus Gold efficiency standard. While this isn’t the greatest rating available, it’s more than enough for the average user and should come at a much cheaper price point. The XPredator series comes in 550W, 650W, 750W, and 1000W models to suit a variety of usage scenarios.

Furthermore, all of the units in this range feature DC-DC switching, a single +12V rail design, active electrical protections, Core C6/C7 power-state support, and active PFC. As you can see from the picture above, each power supply adopts a semi-modular design to help with cable management. The 1000W model utilizes a 140mm fan while the lower wattage versions use a 120mm. Unfortunately, AeroCool didn’t provide any pricing information at this time, but I’m pretty sure these units are aimed at the mainstream gaming market. As a result, they should be pretty affordable.

Cooler Master G750M Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Cooler Master is one of the most recognisable brands in the PC component market. They’ve got a huge range of massively successful products, ranging from the CM Storm peripherals to their widely popular chassis and, of course, their power supplies. Cooler Master have created some stunning high-end PSU products over the years, but today we’ll be looking at something a little more modest. Their new G750M is a semi-modular design and comes with a pretty basic and what I would like to call beginner friendly configuration. This isn’t really going to be used for multi-GPU gaming systems, but should still offer plenty of grunt for single GPU gaming systems or desktop/office computers. It’s also modestly priced, offering a competitive and trusted brand name for those that need a good level of power and efficiency, without spending mega-bucks for it.

All the usual protection features are present, including the ever so important OVP and OPP. There’s a full-range input voltage, standard ATX form factor and it’ll output up to 750W, so it’s certainly got a broad appeal for a wide range of systems.

The box is pretty standard, with a nice image of the PSU on the front, as well as a quick run-down of the major features. The most important things there are 80 Plus Bronze efficiency, the single 12V rail and the 5-year warranty.

Around the back a little bit of technical information, but since we’re here to test this unit, we’ll be providing you with our own figures.

In the box, you’ll find a user’s manual, four mounting screws and the mains power cable.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 11 550W Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


It’s no secret that be quiet! make some of the best PSUs money can buy, we’ve seen time after time that they can deliver great looking and performing products. A few months ago, we took a look at one of their latest and greatest units, the Dark Power Pro 11 1200W PSU and it was certainly impressive, offering excellent power delivery, whisper quiet performance and gorgeous aesthetics, but what if you don’t need huge amounts of power for your system, but you still want a very high-quality unit? That’s where the new Dark Power Pro 11 low-wattage models come into play.

“The Dark Power Pro 11 is the most advanced high-end power supply from be quiet!. Massive power, Overclocking Key, which can switch between quad and single-rail operation, an almost inaudible performance due to a be quiet! SilentWings 3 fan and – for us – the highest efficiency certification in the form of 80PLUS Platinum are some of the features of the new Dark Power Pro-models.” – be quiet!

At our disposal today, we have the Dark Power Pro 11 550w, offering more than enough power for a single-GPU system, workstation, office system or HTPC. Don’t think lower wattage means less features though, as you’ll still find 80 Plus Platinum efficiency, semi-modular cables and premium grade build-quality throughout.

Packaging and accessories

The box is nicely designed and features the typical black design we see on all be quiet! products. What is interesting is seeing the “high-end” branded together with 550W, as lower wattage units are rarely high-end.

Around the back, a quick run-down of all the included cables and features, but we will, of course, take a much closer look at these in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find the AC power cable, user manual, OC key, fan cables and a collection of cable ties. The OC key is a nice touch, as it can be mounted in a space PCI-e expansion slot, giving you a physical switch for toggling between single and multiple rails on the PSU; not everyone will need such a thing, but it’s nice to have. The other welcome addition is the fan extension cables, as the PSU can have fans connected directly to it.

SilentiumPC Introduced Supremo M1 Gold 550W PSU

SilentiumPC has introduced a new 550watts 80Plus Gold rated PSU called the Supremo M1. The Supremo M1 is built with Japanese main capacitors and Taiwanese solid-state capacitors as well as DC-DC converters to provide a stable and great power supply.

The unit is capable of reaching up to 91% efficiency with its single +12V line that delivers up to 45.9A (550W), enough to power most systems. It has a heat oriented 135mm RPM fan that spins between 500 and 1200RPM.

Extremely high-efficiency allowed us to implement whisper-quiet cooling system. While operating at low to medium loads the built-in 135mm fan spins at 500rpm and even at maximum output the rotation speed is only 1200RPM. The Supremo M1 is also fully compatible with Intel Haswell C6/C7 modes, is ErP Lot 2013 compliant and can be used for building Energy Star 6 compliant PC systems.

Safety features on this pure black finished PSU include surge, over-power, over-voltage, temperature and short-circuit protection. The semi-modular design with flat cables should allow for a decent cable management where the only fixed cables are the 20+4-pin ATX and the 4+4-pin ATX/EPS12V. Modular cables have eight SATA, four 4-pin Molex and two 6+2-pin PCIe connectors as well as one Molex to floppy/Berg adapter.

The Supremo M1 Gold 550W is backed by a 3-year warranty, or 5-year warranty for end-users that register the unit within 30 days from purchase. Availability seems to be limited to Poland at the moment where it retails for around €77.00, but it is sure to make it to other markets soon where YoyoTech will be a good bet for UK.

Thanks to SilentiumPC for providing us with this information

Thermaltake London 550W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Naming power supplies after cities of the world is certainly a unique strategy to grab the attention of buyers in an otherwise saturated power supply market: Thermaltake have opted for “Berlin” and “London” name-tags on some of their power supply series. On paper, at least, the Thermaltake London 550W power supply that we are reviewing today does appear to be a new product even though it falls under the existing Toughpower series.

At first glance the similarities between the Thermaltake London 550W and Toughpower Gold 550W seem strong as they are both 80 Plus Gold rated 550W power supplies boasting 5 year warranties and active PFC. But comparing their specifications we see the London 550W PSU features a semi modular design, quieter fan and an increased MTBF over the Toughpower Gold 550W – all of which are improvements. On the negative side the London 550W features a shorter hold up time of 12ms which actually falls below the minimum 16ms allowed by the ATX specification: the Toughpower 550W Gold offered 17ms. The London unit is also slightly bigger featuring an extra 20mm of depth which is what allows it to run a bit cooler and quieter as a 140mm fan can be used instead of a 120mm on the older Toughpower Gold.

Packaging and Contents

The London naming also plays into the branding with a picture of London’s iconic Tower Bridge gracing the box and the power supply unit.

Around the rear, quite ironically, we see that the box’s writing is in German. Maybe they sell the Thermaltake Berlin power supply in English to balance it out?

The accessory package is nothing out of the ordinary with a user manual, warranty guide, power chord, some screws for securing the PSU into your case and a rather stingy 4 zip ties for cable management.

Enermax Revolution XT 530W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


It has been a while since we’ve taken a look at a new Enermax power supply here at eTeknix. Despite that Enermax have been busy releasing new products left, right and centre under their own brand name and under their other power supply brand LEPA. Enermax have always targeted a fairly high end user with their power supplies which is probably what has gained them a long-term reputation as being trend-setters in the power supply industry. In this review we are checking out one of their units from the Revolution XT series and we are looking at the popular 530W wattage model.

I remember from reviewing past Enermax PSUs that although their products were stellar quality they often lacked a little something special in the cable design and also in pricing: let’s hope this unit can reverse this trend. Straight away we can see Enermax listened to feedback on the cabling as they now offer all-black ribbon cables on the modular and hard-wired cables. The rest of the key features of the Revolution XT series include 80 Plus Gold efficiency, a semi-modular design, a DC to DC converter design, a 5 year warranty and the promise of “ultra silent” operation thanks to the high quality Enermax fan used. The Revolution XT series is geared for single and dual GPU systems depending on the voltage chosen, the Revolution XT 530W that we are testing is mainly geared for high performance single GPU systems running demanding graphics cards like AMD R9 290(X)s or Nvidia GTX 780(Ti)s.

Users interested in running a pair of video cards will need to pick either the 630 or 730W versions of the Revolution XT as only these have the necessary cables for CrossFire or SLI. All PSUs in the Revolution XT series get the same number of SATA, molex and FDD using the same cable lengths.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging uses a gold colour scheme to reflect the unit’s efficiency certification. We also see the black modular cables paraded around as a flagship feature.

On the back we see a mention of Enermax’s HeatGuard feature which ensures the fan runs for 60 seconds after system shut-down to dissipate any excess heat.

The accessory pack is fairly generous as it includes a power chord, a “power guard” clip to prevent the power chord from being ripped out by accident, a user’s manual, some velcro cable ties, some screws and an Enermax case sticker.

be quiet! Straight Power 10 CM Semi-Modular PSUs Winner!

It’s competition winner time! This week we’ll be picking three lucky winners for our be quiet! Straight Power 10 competition. The new be quiet! PSUs offer incredible performance in terms of power delivery, and obviously they’re super quiet, making them an excellent addition to any system build.

This week I’ll be picking winners for the following three prizes.

First place

  • be quiet! Straight Power 10 800W CM Semi Modular PSU

Second place

  • be quiet! Straight Power 10 700W CM Semi Modular PSU

Third place

  • be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W CM Semi Modular PSU

Firstly, I want to say a massive thank you to be quiet! for helping us organise and give away this awesome prize, but most of all, congratulations to our lucky winners!

 John Alex Temple – 1st Place, 800W CM

Liam Mc M – 2nd Place – 700W CM

Marius Metternich – 3rd Place – 600W CM

Don’t feel too bad if you didn’t win this time around, we’ve got a LOT of great prizes coming to the site very soon and several other great competitions currently running which you can enter here. Keep those entries coming in and good luck to all!

Fractal Design Newton R3 1000W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Fractal Design kicked off its brand by making a single type of product: computer cases. However, like many other computer hardware brands Fractal Design made the decision to expand its product portfolio to encompass other things. One of Fractal Design’s new product areas is power supplies and just like with their cases Fractal Design were adamant about making sure they reach the same high level of quality their brand is renowned for. On the topic of high quality it is time for the Newton R3 1000W power supply to enter.

Fractal Design have pulled out all the stops with this new power supply model which features high quality 80 Plus Platinum capable internals, a modular design and a glossy white or black finish to match their computer cases. Fractal Design are also renowned for producing quiet cases; they were one of the first brands to mainstream the use of noise-dampening foam inside cases. Consequently it shouldn’t surprise you that the Newton R3 1000W power supply offers a hybrid fan mode that doesn’t spin up until the fan is needed. Even when the fan does spin up Fractal Design are claiming very low noise output as well as enhanced reliability for a ball-bearing based fan design. Other noteworthy selling points include the use of Japanese capacitors in this power supply’s construction and an impressive 5 year warranty.

Packaging and Contents

The Newton R3 comes in one of the largest retail packages I have ever seen. The packaging uses a sleeve over a plain white box with a carry handle.

The accessories are modest but are exactly what are required: a power cable, users manual, cable ties and some screws.

Deepcool DQ750 Quanta Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


Deepcool have been making their presence felt in the PC DIY market increasingly more over the last year. They have made a push towards gaming and enthusiast market segments with new cooling solutions, cases and power supplies. Today we have one of Deepcool’s newest power supplies on the test bench: the Deepcool DQ750. As its name suggests, this is a 750 watt power supply and it is very much targeted at PC enthusiasts with 80 Plus Gold certification, a Blue LED fan and a modular design with flat black ribbon cables. Deepcool have opted for a semi-modular design but unlike some power supply vendors they have also ensured that the hard-wired cables conform to an all-black aesthetic just like the modular cables. Deepcool’s expansion into the power supply market for consumer buyers is certainly an interesting one and given that Deepcool have teamed up with Corsair’s preferred OEM Channel Well Technology we could see Deepcool competing for similar buyers with similar features. Let’s see what the DQ750 has to offer.

Packaging and Contents

Packaging is fairly simple for such a high-end unit; a gold colour scheme is used to reflect the unit’s efficiency certification. I’m not so sure about the “Enjoy Your Cool Life” slogan; it seems it was thrown together in just a few moments.

Included with the DQ750 is a power chord, four black case screws and a warranty card. Note there is no manual provided, in physical form or online at the product page, which is a bit strange. Deepcool also do not provide any cable ties.

BitFenix Fury 750G Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


BitFenix are the latest in a long line of brands to make an entry into the power supply market. The story with BitFenix is very similar to that of Fractal Design as both brands started out selling PC cases and expanded to power supplies after experiencing great success. Power supplies and fans are probably the two closest linked components to cases which is why you’ll often find that brands who make cases also sell power supplies (Cooler Master, Corsair, Fractal Design, BitFenix…) and brands who made power supplies expanded to start making cases (be quiet!, XFX…). The BitFenix Fury series of power supplies is actually fairly unique though, they aren’t just “rebadging” a common OEM design and sticking their label on it. BitFenix haven’t produced the power supply themselves, FSP are the OEM provider, but they have worked with FSP above and beyond the normal level of cooperation to create a custom power supply design that they can call their own. The most notable unique feature is that the PSU features custom sleeved cables, even the ones that are hard-wired feature custom sleeving.

Packaging and Contents

The front of the box points out what BitFenix clearly think is the most important feature: custom sleeved cables. A 5 year warranty and 80 Plus Gold certification are the other headline features.

The accessory pack includes a power plug, quick install guide and four silver screws. I think black screws or thumbscrews would have been nice too: this unit isn’t exactly cheap!

Win One of Three be quiet! Straight Power 10 CM Semi-Modular PSUs!

The latest be quiet! power supply range is finally here! To celebrate, we’ve teamed up with the good people at be quiet! to give you the chance to win one of their brand new Straight Power 10 semi-modular power supplies. be quiet! are well-known in the industry for creating premium quality components, and if the name wasn’t a give-away, they’re also masters at creating ultra-quiet components.

We’ll be picking three lucky winners:

First place

  • be quiet! Straight Power 10 800W CM Semi Modular PSU

Second place

  • be quiet! Straight Power 10 700W CM Semi Modular PSU

Third place

  • be quiet! Straight Power 10 600W CM Semi Modular PSU

If you want to win one of these stylish and super quiet PSUs for your rig, all you have to do is follow the instructions below, it couldn’t be much simpler than that. Good luck!

For more information on the be quiet! Straight Power 10 CM range, check out our review of the 800W CM Semi-Modular Power Supply right here.

Rules and regulations:

  • The competition to global entries.
  • The competition ends at midnight GMT on Monday 14th October 2014 and winner(s) will be notified by Friday 17th October 2014
  • In the event of a dispute, eTeknix staff hold the final say and no discussions will be entered into
  • Delivery is not in the hands of eTeknix and can take some time to arrive
  • Full shipping address and phone number is required in your email entry to speed up dispatch of prizes to winners and to prevent multiple entries
  • If the auto-fill email link doesn’t work, email us the information and include the subject “Win a be quiet! Straight Power 10 CM 800W Semi-Modular Power Supply!”
  • In the event that the prize is unavailable, eTeknix reserve the right to offer an alternative of equal or greater value
  • Winner(s) will be announced on our competition winners page
  • By entering this competition, you adhere to the above rules and regulations

be quiet! Straight Power 10 CM 800W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging



Today be quiet! are expanding their Straight Power series of power supplies with a new range of models. The Straight Power series already has 400W to 700W models under the Straight Power E9 label but now they are adding 400-800W models to the mix under a new Straight Power 10 series. We are looking more specifically at their Straight Power 10 800W CM power supply which, like many existing products in the Straight Power series, features modular cables, a Silent Wings PWM fan and 80 Plus Gold certification. Given the wattage of this model, it also has multi-GPU support making it ideal for Crossfire or SLI based systems. With this new launch be quiet! are continuing their tradition of using FSP as the main OEM as they’ve had a long and successful partnership with FSP who make great power supply internals and be quiet know how to finish the product off with high quality fans, useful features and sharp presentation.

Packaging and Contents

The Straight Power 10 CM 800W PSU from be quiet is classified by them as a “Premium” product. That means it targets a higher end user with a bigger budget. Only the Dark Power Pro series offers a “better” PSU.

The specifications of the unit can be seen below. be quiet!’s Straight Power 10 CM 800W uses four 12 volt rails which are clearly labelled.

The cable configuration can be seen below with the notable feature being support for dual GPUs. I would like to have seen three-way GPU support but they reserve this for their 1000W Dark Power Pro and Power Zone models, and the 1200W Dark Power Pro gets quad GPU support.

The accessory pack includes a user manual, some black cable ties, a power cord and five black screws (the extra one is a spare).

XFX PRO 650W XXX Edition Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


XFX’s PRO series of power supplies are well renowned among the enthusiast community for their great performance and fantastic value for money. Anyone who’s ever heard about XFX’s current PRO series power supplies will know they are made by Seasonic – one of the primary reasons for their high build quality and great performance. The PRO series is divided up into three main categories: the Core Edition, the XXX Edition and the Black Edition. The Core Edition is 80 Plus Bronze with a non-modular design and is the cheapest, the XXX Edition is internally identical to the Core Edition but has a semi-modular design and so is a little more expensive. Finally the Black Edition is typically 80 Plus Gold, is fully modular, comes with a better fan and a hybrid fan option and is the most expensive of them all. To date we have reviewed the XFX PRO 650W Core Edition, the XFX PRO 750W XXX Edition and the XFX PRO 750W Black Edition. All three power supplies excelled in their own way thanks to XFX’s competitive pricing and Seasonic’s fantastic power supply quality and design. Today we have with us another XXX Edition power supply from XFX, more specifically the XFX PRO 650W XXX Edition. This power supply is targeting the more affordable end of the market with its modest 80 Plus Bronze certification and semi-modular design.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging details the single 12 volt rail design of this product as well as the 80 Plus Bronze certification and use of Japanese capacitors.

The back reveals an exploded view of the product and a detailed feature analysis.

Included with the XFX PRO 650W XXX Edition is a users manual, UK power plug (connector will vary by region) and four silver screws for securing the power supply into your case.

Super Flower Golden Silent 500W Semi-Modular Passive Power Supply Review

Introduction & Packaging


If you want a truly silent system there are a lot of things to consider purchasing: a passive graphics card, a passive CPU cooler, SSD storage instead of mechanical hard drives and more importantly a passively cooled power supply. The advantages of a passively cooled power supply are numerous but the main advantage is that unlike most power supplies that will get noisy above 50% load a passive power supply never gets noisy. Other advantages include the fact that passive power supplies tend to require higher quality components in order to keep heat output down so when you buy a passive power supply you also know you’re buying quality and an efficient unit. Today I am taking a look at my second passively cooled power supply but this time from a brand not many people have heard of. Super Flower may not be well known as a consumer brand but Super Flower already feature inside many high-end power supplies sold by big brands, EVGA is the most notable one of those that springs to mind. In the UK market at least Super Flower are deciding to go at it as a standalone brand selling a wide range of their power supplies through Overclockers UK at very competitive prices. In this review I will be looking at Super Flower’s Golden Silent 500W passive power supply. This is an interesting power supply for a number of reasons: because it is 80 Plus Platinum rated, because it has a whopping big heatsink built into the PSU but also because the design has been built in its entirety from the ground up by Super Flower.

Packaging and Contents

The packaging has a rather strange butterfly theme to it, perhaps because butterflies are silent? The box also states this is an “OverClock Version”, I’m really not sure what that is supposed to mean in reference to a passive power supply….maybe something got lost in translation.

The back details the product features, specifications as well as the materials used in the product including the Japanese made Nippon Chemi-Con capacitors.

Included will be a user’s manual, power plug and four silver thumb-screws for securing into your case.

Win a BitFenix Fury 750W Gold Semi-Modular Power Supply Winner!

We love giving away prizes to our community, so recently we ran a competition on Facebook that was super simple. All you had to do was tell us why you think you should win this lovely BitFenix Fury 750W Gold Semi-Modular Power Supply. In a bid to give something back to our followers old and new, this awesome prize couldn’t be easier to win and after careful consideration we’ve picked one lucky winner. Don’t worry if you didn’t win this time, we’ve got loads more great competitions running right now and even more on the way very soon!

You can find out more information and buy the unit from Overclockers.co.uk

So without further delay, join hands and cheer to congratulate our lucky winner.

Matt Boorman of London

Well done Matt, there were loads of great comments that we could have picked, but your comment “As I am about to embark on my first ever build and this would give me more power than god!!” stood out for me and we wish you all the best with your new system build. Don’t forget to share a picture or two of it on our Facebook and Forums when you get your prize, and when you build your rig!

2014 Range Of Lepa Products At CeBIT 2014

Lepa are a component manufacturer that fly under the Enermax banner, and while their products are often similar to Enermax, it is because they share many of the same design team and researchers between the two brands. Lepa has generally been targeted at different markets than Enermax, but now that the brand has built up a solid reputation of their own, we are starting to see more and more of them in western markets.

Below we have their new range of budget friendly coolers, based around the Enermax ETS-T40 (our review) design they offer great cooling performance and funky colour choices that would suit almost any kind of system build.

The new Lepa 120mm and 240mm coolers are again based around Enermax products, but feature high performance fans and a unique exterior pump design.

A wide range of new chassis products will be hitting the market this year, ranging from midi to full towers and we’ll be getting these in for review in the coming weeks and months, so stay tuned for more information on these.

The PSU market get’s their new MX range, offering up the MX Bronze, Gold and Platinum series with the none modular (white), semi-modular (red and black) and semi-modular G800M (black).

Their latest prototype was secured under a cover, but was their demonstration of their future PSU products and features a fully passive design for completely silent performance, perhaps we will see more details about this at Computex later this year.

Boom! Saving the best for last. The P1700M is full modular and features a staggering 1700W of power at Platinum efficiency rating, if you’re interested in building a monster of a BitCoin mining rig, then this GPU should be on your shopping list. Build quality is incredible and all the finest components money can by have been poured into it, we can’t wait to get our hands on one and put it through its paces.

That’s everything from the Lepa booth for today, but we’ll be back later with even more coverage from this years CeBIT 2014 in Hanover.

Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 850W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Thortech are a division of the DRAM brand “GeIL” or Golden Emperor International Limited best known for making enthusiast orientated DDR3 modules. GeIL have been in the business of making consumer power supplies for only a short while, just over 3 years now and in that time they haven’t really managed to gain much traction in the consumer market place despite having 15 years of experience making industrial power supplies. As I’ve seen with previous Thortech products the main problems are not with the product itself but the main problems derive from poor or non-existent availability which in turn leads to highly uncompetitive pricing. If you combine that with the relatively non-existent presence of Thortech as a company, and a brand, and what you end up with is an uncompetitive product in terms of pricing from an obscure brand consumers are unsure about, or just unaware of. I have no doubt today we will see a similar thing.

Today we are reviewing the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 850W power supply which is semi-modular in design, has 80 Plus Gold certification and comes with Thortech’s iPower Meter. Below you can see Thortech’s rather primitive specifications table but there is a more detailed set of specifications available on the next page, so let’s proceed!

Thermaltake Smart M550W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


When it comes to the budget & low wattage PSU market every major vendor has something to offer to cater for the growing demand, and declining TDPs as well as increasing power efficiency on most system components (CPUs, Graphics cards, Storage [SSDs over HDDs], etc) mean having a conservative wattage power supply has never been more appropriate. That said Thermaltake have sent us one of their budget power supply offerings for entry level and mid-range systems. Weighing in with 550W of continuous power with up to 605W of peak power the Thermaltake Smart M550W is an ideal companion for any budget system builder. It offers a quiet 140mm fan, active PFC, a semi-modular design, 3 year warranty and a competitive price point. However, what we really want to know is just how good does it perform? With stiff competition from the likes of Corsair’s CX/TX series, Cooler Master’s GX series, Cougar’s Power-X series, Be Quiet’s Pure Power series, Enermax’s Triathlor series….zzzzzz, you get the idea! There’s a lot of competition for this PSU to fight it out with. Below you can see the key specifications.

Now let’s proceed with the rest of the review.

Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Thortech, GeIL’s (Golden Emperor International Limited) power supply manufacturing division, have quite an extensive range of high-end power supplies. They mainly cater for the high end market focusing on those high end wattages like 800W, 850W 1000W and 1200W. Their Thunderbolt series includes the 1200W and 1000W models both of which we reviewed before here and here respectively. Thortech generally designate two models for each wattage: a Thunderbolt version and a Thunderbolt Plus Version. Today we have with us the Thunderbolt Plus 1000W. The difference between the Thunderbolt and Thunderbolt Plus versions are minimal, only the iPower Meter is a notable difference.

Anyone who knows about GeIL will know that their brand has been involved in the making of industrial power supplies for over 15 years. This experience shines through with the Thortech Thunderbolt Plus 1000W PSU which boasts an impressive 83.33 amps on a single 12 volt rail, a semi-modular design, 80 Plus Gold efficiency and extensive use of Japanese capacitors throughout the design.

be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W CM Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


I spend a lot of time reviewing, not surprising given that I’m a reviewer, and it can often get very tedious at times. But one thing that always cheers me up is high quality products that are a bit special and different to what I’m normally used to looking at. be quiet! are one of those brands that always deliver high quality products that are a little bit special and the “German Engineering” they offer shines through. Their power supplies are certainly no exception to that and even though they employ other OEMs to produce the internals of their PSUs they are never just simple “rebrands” like we’d see with Antec power supplies for example. be quiet!’s Dark Power Pro 10 series offers up a whole series of unique modifications including an OCK switch that swaps between multi-rail and a single rail design, fan headers for fan control on the power supply, integrated anti-vibration pads and of course be quiet!’s own Silent Wings fan. Even that last addition, a be quiet! Silent Wings fan, may sound small but look at how many companies produce power supplies but do not use their own fans – Corsair and Antec are two reputable examples of that.

With all that said today we are taking a look at the rather special be quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 850W CM power supply. This is one of the be quiet! upper mid range wattage Dark Power Pro 10 series power supplies sitting above the 550, 650 and 750W units but below the 1000 and 1200W units. In terms of be quiet!’s product stack the Dark Power Pro 10 series sits at the top being their most premium product. You can certainly tell and even from just opening the box the attention to detail is exceptional. Before we proceed onto the rest of the review be sure to check out the product specifications below so you know what we are working with today:

Antec High Current Gamer 750W Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Antec’s High Current Gamer series has proven to be quite popular with gamers in the market for a functional power supply thanks to its wide variety of wattages, modular offerings and simple strong 12 volt rail designs capable of powering high performance GPUs/CPUs. While they aren’t the cheapest PSUs on the market, that can be put down to the fact they use a high quality Seasonic OEM design compared to rival products which use cheaper CWT and HEC/Compucase OEM designs.

Recently we’ve taken a look at Antec’s High Current Gamer 620W and 850W power supplies, both of which impressed with their performance and functionality though not so much with their price in relation to the competition. That said Antec’s HCG series certainly make good buys if you can get a good deal and value the extra performance, even if you have to pay a bit more for it. Today we have another Antec PSU which sits in the middle of those previous two PSUs, the Antec High Current Gamer M 750W. Being part of the HCG series it has a pair of hefty 12 volt rails, has 80 Plus Bronze efficiency, uses a Seasonic OEM design and the “M” denotes a modular design.

With 750 watts of grunt this PSU will be capable of single and dual graphics card systems with a high performance overclocking-orientated CPU like an AMD FX 8350 or Intel Core i7 4770K, so let’s take a look at what Antec’s High Current Gamer M 750W PSU can offer.

Be Quiet! Dark Power Pro 10 550W CM Semi-Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


Be Quiet are one of the most respected power supply vendors currently on the market. Combining performance, sleek aesthetics, silent operation, innovative functionality and reasonable pricing it is hardly a surprise they have managed to snatch the title of Germany’s number one selling PSU vendor. In the past we have taken a look at two power supplies from Be Quiet: the Pure Power L8 CM 730W and the Straight Power E9 680W and both walked away with eTeknix awards due to a combination of the aforementioned features.

Be Quiet have an extensive portfolio of power supply segments starting from the “most premium” to the “most budget” they are the Dark Power Pro, then Straight Power, then Pure Power, then SFX Power, then TFX Power and then System Power. Today we have with us one of the most premium models, and more specifically the Dark Power Pro 10 550W CM power supply, with the CM denoting cable management or a modular design. Some of the features of the specific model we have today include 80 Plus Gold certification, a 135mm Silent Wings fan, a rubber anti-vibration brace, a almost fully modular design (only the 24 pin comes pre-attached) and an innovative “overclocking key” which allows you to toggle between quad 12 volt rails or a single 12 volt rail.

Thortech Thunderbolt 1200W Semi Modular Power Supply Review

Introduction


In my relatively short-lived career as a hardware reviewer I have come across a lot of brand names making (or sometimes rebadging) a lot of different products at numerous price points and market segments. Yet Thortech are a brand that I personally haven’t come across before, except briefly in one video which I saw on YouTube that absolutely tore into one of their PSUs – rightly or wrongly is not something I am prepared to comment on as I don’t know all the ins and outs. Thortech are actually a division of the brand “GeIL” or Golden Emperor International Limited best known for making RAM modules. They have been in the business of making consumer power supplies for only a short while, just over 2 years as far as I know, and in that time they haven’t really managed to gain much traction in the consumer market place. Despite that GeIL has been making industrial power supplies for around 15 years so is certainly no stranger to the world of power supplies – which gives us great hope for the quality of their products. Today we are looking at one of Thortech’s largest wattage power supplies – the Thunderbolt 1200W.

If we just sit back and consider this product’s credentials then it actually has a lot going for it. Firstly, it provides a large amount of power (1200W) at a very high efficiency level (80 Plus Gold). Secondly, it does this in a relatively compact form factor for a PSU of its wattage, looking more like the size we’d expect to see a 650-850W PSU in. Thirdly it offers up a semi modular design and is reasonably attractive – especially if you like hints of yellow. It is worth noting that this power supplies, while still current and sold, is actually kind-of dated. In fact we received this review sample well over 18 months ago, sadly right before our PSU load tester blew up. Now we are up and running again with PSU reviews we are finally able to test it so without any further ado let us proceed with this review to see if the Thortech Thunderbolt 1200W PSU is any good or not.

Cooler Master Announce VS Series Power Supplies

Cooler Master have just released their latest series of high performance power supplies with the new VS series. The VS series will be made available in three different wattage options of 550W, 650W and 750W. All three models have 80 Plus Gold Certification thanks to a custom DC to DC converter desigh.

Internally the PSUs have a unique 3D circuit design, Japanese capacitors and a single 12 volt rail. Cooler Master claim improved hold-up times, lower cross talk and less signal noise.

All three VS series CM power supplies come with a semi modular design with the provided modular cables being the black ribbon style cables.

The OEM vendor for the new VS series of CM power supplies appears to be the same as their Silent Pro Hybrid series – Enhance technologies but speculation also suggests it could be Seasonic.

Pricing and availability has not yet been announced yet but will be competitive with the power supply series this succeeds which as far as I know is the Silent Pro Hybrid line.

Images courtesy of Cooler Master

Enermax Launch Triathlor ECO PSU Series

Enermax have just unveiled their latest series of affordable power supply units. The Triathlor ECO series. This series of power supplies offers up four different wattages (350/450/550/650W) and offers 80 Plus Bronze certification. Additionally their is full support for Haswell C6/C7 sleep states that a lot of current power supplies of a lower-end variety have struggled with.

The new Triathlor ECO series also meet the ErP Lot 6 2013 requirements (<0.5W at standby mode) thanks to a revised and up-to-date 5Vsb design. Enermax have implemented a new “HeatGuard” function that allows the PSU fan to spin for 30 to 60 seconds after shut-down to ensure all components cool down sufficiently. This cooling is done by a 12cm double ball bearing fan.

The Triathlor ECO has a semi modular design and all the cables used are flat black including those few hard-wired into the PSU. This comes as Enermax have responded to consumer feedback about cable management issues. The Triathlor ECO series has automated voltage input regulation to allow between 100 and 240 VAC. The Triathlor ECO PSUs have active PFC, a single 12 volt rail and a battery of safety features & protections such as OVP (Over Voltage), DC UVP (Under Voltage), OPP (Over Power), SCP (Short-Circuit) and SIP (Surge and Inrush current).

Enermax’s Triathlor ECO series is available from next month for  $79.99 (350W); $89.99 (450W); $99.99 (550W) and $109.99 (650W).

Images courtesy of Enermax

Lepa Announces A Trio Of New Power Supply Series

Lepa, a sub-division of Enermax, have just unveiled three new series of power supplies. The GM-MaxGold, BM-MaxBron and MX F1. First up is the BM-MaxBron range (pictured above) and these are a range of 80 Plus Bronze power supplies in 450/700/800/1000W capacities with semi-modular designs. Lepa claim up to 88% efficiency is possible on these power supplies. They appear to use a 120mm fan for cooling. The units use a single 12 volt rail design and have ErP Lot6 certification. Lepa include changeable power supply sleeves which they are calling “Q-Bricks” and these can be swapped out for different colours. Included is a red one and a complimentary black one. These are designed to prevent slipping, scratching and virbration.

Next is the GM-MaxGold series of power supplies in 500/600/700W capacities and with 80 Plus Gold certification. These also use a semi modular design, have a 120mm cooling fan and Lepa claim up to 92% peak efficiency on these units. They are using a DC to DC converter topology and have full Haswell C6/C7 compatibility. These units also feature Lepa’s changeable “Q-Brick” power supply sleeve.

Lastly the MX F1 series pictured above comes in 350/400/600W capacities and has no efficiency certification. These power supplies have a non-modular design and an extended 60cm CPU 8pin cable. There is a quiet 120mm fan and these MX F1 units will be priced very aggressively for the entry level user.

More details can be found at the Lepa website.

Images courtesy of Lepa/Enermax