Articles: Cases/PSU

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The controller of the PFC and the main regulator is based on a Champion CM6802BG chip. There are a couple of 180µF capacitors for a voltage of 400V in the PSU’s high-voltage section. This reminds me of power supplies without active PFC in which capacitors always stood in twos. Here, it is just an engineering solution concerning the component layout: the capacitors are connected in parallel and work as one 360µF/400V capacitor. KZE series capacitors from United Chemi-Con are installed at the PSU’s output.

The PSU is cooled with a nearly standard 120x120x25mm fan. The fan label points at Enermax as the maker, but it must be some third company, of course.

As I mentioned above, the fan is not absolutely standard. It has two peculiarities. First, the ends of its blades are folded in a special way. Well, I am not as versed in aerodynamics as to comment knowingly upon the value of this folding in terms of noise and cooling efficiency.

Second, the fan uses a 4-pin connection. Such fans have become a de-facto standard in CPU coolers but it is the first time I see one in a power supply. The first three pins provide power (ground and +12V) and a tachometer output that allows to measure the speed of the fan but not to regulate it. In a typical 2- or 3-pin fan the speed can be varied by lowering the supply voltage. It is generally accepted that the fan speed can be lowered to 40-50% from the rated one without the risk of stopping the fan. In a 4-pin fan the additional wire is needed for speed adjustment. The guaranteed range of this adjustment is broader than with the voltage-based regulation.

The potential problem is obvious: if you want to replace the fan for some reason, it won’t be easy to find a 4-pin model of the same form-factor. 4-pin fans (for example, from Scythe) already sell separately from coolers but the choice isn’t wide.

The PSU is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (55cm long)
  • CPU cable with 8-pin and 4-pin connectors (50cm)
  • Cable of the fan’s tachometer (45cm)
  • Five connectors for power cables of hard and optical drives
  • Two connectors for graphics card cables

Included with the PSU are:

  • Graphics card cable with two 6+2-pin connectors (50cm long); most of the cable is sleeved and then it splits in two in the last 9 centimeters
  • Two SATA power cables with three connectors on each (45+9+9cm)
  • Cable with three Molex connectors (45+9+9cm)
  • Cable with three Molex and one floppy-drive connector (45+9+9+9cm)

The selection of connectors is standard and the same as you get with any other PSU described in this review, but I’d like to make one comment concerning the type of the SATA connectors.

The photo above shows the two possible designs: a straight connector on the left and a T-shaped connector on the right. In a modern computer hard disk drives are often positioned crosswise in the system case, so the T-shaped connector is handier. It is shorter and doesn’t need you to bend the cable so that the latter wouldn’t press against the side panel of the case. Alas, every SATA connector of the MODU82+ is of the straight variety as in the left photo. On the other hand, the straight connector is somewhat handier if you need to connect a few HDDs in a system case where they are positioned in the classic, lengthwise, way.

The PSU can provide up to 480W (40A) across its +12V rail which is split into three “virtual” output lines each with a load capacity of 25A (300W). This allows you to connect any modern graphics card to only one power cable.

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