Articles: Cases/PSU

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As opposed to the other PSUs in this review, the Cougar CMX 1200 can deliver only 90% of its total output power across the +12V rail: 1080 out of 1200 watts. Considering the typical power consumption of modern computers on the +3.3V and +5V rails, it will hardly need to output more than 1150 watts even if the +12V rail is fully loaded.

The load capacity of the +5V and +3.3V rails combined is 30 amperes or 175 watts. That’s quite enough for today’s computers.

As opposed to its opponents in this review, the Cougar CMX 1200 complies with the 80+Bronze rather than Gold standard.

UPS Compatibility

Connected to my APC SmartUPS SC 620, this PSU was stable at loads up to 390 watts when powered by the mains but could only switch to the UPS’s batteries at a load of 300 watts.

Output Voltage Stability

The manufacturer claims the output voltages to be always within 3% of their default levels, but this promise is only fulfilled for the +12V rail.

The +3.3V voltage deflects by 4% when the load on both the +3.3V and +12V rails is either very high or very low.

The +5V voltage deflects even more: it is due to this voltage violating the permissible limits that the cross-load diagram has a jagged top right corner.

On the other hand, if we take a real-life computer system, the voltages are not going to deflect by more than 3% in it.

Output Voltage Ripple

The high-frequency voltage ripple is within the norm on each power rail.

The low-frequency ripple at the double mains frequency is noticeable on the +12V rail but meets the requirements of the industry standard, too.

Temperature and Noise

The PSU is cooled by a Cougar PLA14025S12H fan which runs on a fluid dynamic bearing. This is supposed to ensure a longer service life than other types of bearing. The impeller blades are shaped originally. They are almost straight and have slanted ends.

The fan starts out at a speed of 1000 RPM and doesn’t accelerate much until a load of 450 watts. The PSU is close to silent then. After the mentioned threshold the speed begins to increase in a linear manner until 2000 RPM at full load, making the PSU average in terms of noisiness among same-class products.

So, the acoustic properties of the Cougar CMX 1200 are quite acceptable. It is very quiet at low loads and is not going to stand out among the rest of system components at high loads.

Efficiency and Power Factor

The power factor is quite typical for active PFC.

The efficiency is notably, by up to 5%, lower than that of the other tested PSUs at near-maximum loads. However, the Cougar CMX 1200 is but slightly inferior to its opponents at loads up to 50%. It is indeed 80+Bronze compliant.

+5V Standby Source

I can see no problems with the PSU’s standby source.


The Cougar CMX 1200 doesn’t look as impressive as its opponents. Its efficiency is lower, its fan gets audible sooner, and its cable system is not as flexible as that of the other modular PSUs. However, this product comes at a much more affordable price, which may make up for its slightly inferior characteristics.

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