Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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The NeoPower NeoHE 550 offers the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (55cm)
  • CPU cable with 4-pin connector (57cm)
  • CPU cable with an 8-pin connector (47cm)
  • Five connectors for other cables

Included with the PSU are:

  • Two graphics card cables with 6-pin connectors (59cm; be careful when plugging it in – the graphics card end is marked as PCI-E while the PSU end is not marked at all)
  • Two cables with three Molex connectors on each (46+15+15cm)
  • Two cables with two SATA power connectors on each (63+14cm)
  • Adapter from one Molex into two floppy-drive plugs

Together with an APC SmartUPS SC 620 the power supply worked at loads up to 340W (from the mains) and 325W (from the battery).

The PSU easily passed the full-load test (at 550W).

The output voltage ripple is within the permissible limits at full load.

The cross-load diagram looks good just as you can expect from a PSU with dedicated voltage regulation. The +5V and +3.3V voltages sag under high loads on the respective power rails but never leave the permissible limits. As for our “reference” PC, the voltages deflect no more than 2% on it.

You may wonder what is the purpose of the dedicated voltage regulation if the voltages do not deflect by more than 2% with other PSUs in a real PC. Well, such regulation is indeed not vital for most applications. However, it guarantees that the PSU’s output voltages are within the permissible limits across all the range of loads. This helps you avoid potential problems with certain configurations that consume too much power or have a non-standard distribution of power load.

The fan doesn’t even reach a speed of 1000rpm at loads below 200W. The PSU is simply silent then. From that point on, the fan speed is increasing proportionally to load but the fan only becomes noisy at loads above 350W.

Compared with the above-described EarthWatts, the NeoPower is better as its fan speed and noise level are lower at every load.

The efficiency is 85-86%, lowering towards the maximum load. It is never lower than 82%, though.

Thus, the NeoPower 550 is a high-quality power supply with stable voltages and a very quiet fan (although PSUs with small 80mm fans are not usually regarded as quiet). The EarthWatts is inferior to the NeoPower in both voltage stability and quietness. My NeoPower was taken out of an Antec Sonata Plus system case, so this is a lucky combination of a superb system case with an excellent power supply.

 
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