Articles: Cases/PSU

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Hiper Type M HPU-4M670-SU (670W) and HPU-4M730-SK (730W)

Power supplies from Hiper stand out among the PSUs included into this review with their wattage as well as price, but I didn’t want to wait with the publication of their test results until there is a proper company. The 4M670 and 4M730 models are based on the same platform and will be discussed both together.

The PSUs have one 80mm fan – this form-factor isn’t very popular nowadays. The exterior is imposing overall: a robust heavy case made from thick steel and painted a black matte color. If the developer wanted to make this model look serious and solid, he succeeded indeed. Although weight is not an indicator of quality when it comes to PSUs (for example, a cheap no-name PSU with a heavy choke of passive PFC can weigh more than a high-quality expensive unit with active PFC), yet the heaviness of the Hiper Type M is kind of reassuring.

There are two PCBs inside, with the components facing each other. The circuit design is up to today’s requirements including active PFC and dedicated voltage regulation.

Most of the PSU’s high-voltage section is located on the top PCB, namely the input rectifier, active PFC, PWM-controller, and standby source. The bottom PCB carries the main switching transistors, power transformer, and the low-voltage section with rectifiers, chokes and capacitors.

Most of the junctions use connectors, yet you cannot detach the top PCB without a soldering iron: the wire from the 220V mains connector is dead soldered into it for some reason.

Speaking generally, this dual-PCB design has both pros and cons. On one hand, the larger the total area of the PCBs, the easier it is to wire them using less expensive, larger, components. On the other hand, such PSUs often have a higher component density than their single-PCB counterparts which is not good for cooling and calls for a high-performance fan. Moreover, a 120mm fan cannot be installed in such a PSU at all. As a result, two PCBs is not a widespread solution although I have seen it in FSP Group’s PSUs (FSP460-60PFN and OCZ ProXStream OCZ1000PXS).

On closer inspection of the interior of the Hiper Type M I was shocked at the quality of manufacturing. The PSU is overall neat, but there are some things I just don’t know what to think of, considering that our labs received off-the-shelf products from a shop, not some engineering samples.

Photo One: the HPU-4M730-SK unit. Two surface-mounted resistors are obviously soldered in manually and awry (the top one is skewed by some 30 degrees while the bottom one doesn’t lie on the PCB but hangs on the solder). There are traces of flux and burnt spots all around.

Photo Two: the HPU-4M730-SK unit. Two resistors are soldered one above the other. First, this solution must not be used in a serially produced product at all. Second, the soldering is very untidy: skewed, with traces of rosin and burnt spots.

It’s hard to explain such things. Perhaps the manufacturer didn’t have the equipment necessary to solder surface-mounted elements automatically and the workers that replaced such equipment were not qualified enough. Perhaps it was necessary to quickly change something in the PSU that had already been produced in mass quantities. Perhaps they had to assemble the PSU out of the components available at the storehouse but not of what was really appropriate. Anyway, I think that this manufacturing quality is not permissible for a retail product (and for a not-very-cheap product, by the way). I won’t tell you anything about the reliability of such PSUs – the photos above are quite self-explanatory. One thing is certain, though. The manufacturer has no quality assurance at all or it is limited to a formal check like “if it has started up, then it’s fault-free”.

Moreover, I can’t be 100% sure without a chemical analysis but the characteristic shimmer of the manual soldering in the second photo may indicate the use of ordinary lead solder while the PSU overall uses modern lead-less, RoHS-compliant, solder (the solder of the neighboring elements is matte, indicating the lack of lead). If this supposition is true, I’d like to remind the manufacturer that mixing two types of solder provokes the risk of rapid corrosion in the spot of contact between them.

By the way, that’s not the first time I express my complaints about the soldering quality in Hiper PSUs. In one of the previous articles I pointed out the untidy soldering of the active PFC device in the Hiper Type R HPU-4M480.

And now let’s read the specs of the PSUs.

The label of the junior model doesn’t make it clear how the wattage of 670W is arrived at. The total of the specified numbers (635W + 9.6W +15W) is about 660W. 10W is not a great difference, but anyway.

The PSU can yield up to 465W or a little less than 39A over its +12V power rail divided into four “virtual” output lines.

Note that the overall output power is higher by only 60W in this model, but the load capacity of the +12V rail is higher by over 200W. The combined current on the four “virtual” output lines is as high as 56A now. Since a modern PC puts a stress on the +12V rail, this is a hefty addition that greatly increases the real load capacity of the PSU.

The total of the specified peak loads proves to be lower than the overall wattage of the PSU again – this time it is lower by 20W.

The PSUs are equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 24-pin connector (50cm long)
  • CPU cable with 8-pin and 4-pin connectors (50+15cm)
  • Two graphics card cables with 6-pin connectors (50cm)
  • Five cables with one Molex connector on each (50cm)

Included with the PSUs are:

  • Two splitters from one to two Molex connectors (15cm)
  • Two splitters from one Molex to one Molex and two SATA power connectors (15+15cm)
  • Splitter from one Molex into two Molex and one floppy drive plug (15+15cm)

The cables are all sleeved.

Alas, Molex connectors for PATA drives are domineering in these PSUs, too. Although I’m now discussing products of a much higher price category than above, they do not have native SATA power connectors at all, only a set of adapters in the box. It seems absurd to me because a truly modern PC doesn’t have a single device powered by a Molex connector! I prefer Tagan’s approach with a lot of SATA plugs on the cables and a few small adapters for Molex connectors in the kit.

The Type M 4M670 and 4M730 proved to be among the few PSUs that still have problems with UPSes. Working together with an APC SmartUPS SC 620, these PSUs behaved normally at loads up to 350W and 260W when powered by the mains and the batteries, respectively. The UPS would keep the PSU running for 10-20 seconds at a load of 260-320W but then would report overload. At a load of over 320W the UPS would shut down instantly when switching to the batteries.

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