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OCZ Technology ModStream OCZ-520 12U (520W)

I already reviewed power supplies from OCZ Technology’s PowerStream series in my previous article (for details please see our article called Powerful Power Supply Units Roundup), but this model belongs to the ModStream series. Such units differ from PowerStream ones in having a different distribution of loads (the ModStream products offer higher currents on the +5V rail but lower on the +12V rail). They also lack the control over the output voltages but are equipped with a 12cm fan and – the most important feature – have removable cables, like the above-described Ryanpower2 has.

Unlike with the PSU from A.C. Ryan, the mainboard and ATX12V connectors are not detachable here for quite an obvious reason – the user is unlikely to build a computer without a mainboard, while any extra connector in a circuit increases the loss because of its non-zero resistance and, accordingly, worsens the stability of the output voltages. OCZ solves the problem of compatibility with 20- and 24-pin mainboard connectors in an elegant way:

You just detach the four extra pins when you connect the PSU to a mainboard with a 20-pin power connector. So, you don’t have to use any adapters or, like with the model from A.C. Ryan, to purchase a new cable.

They also solved the problem about the connectors for the graphics card and SATA drives that I mentioned above when talking about the Ryanpower2. The PSU from OCZ has two 6-pin connectors one of which connects to a power cable for SATA drives and another to the graphics card’s additional power connector. The disadvantage of this solution is that the connectors only differ in color, so you have to be cautious when connecting everything because a wrong connection may damage your drives. Of course, it would be better for the connectors to differ in shape or in the position of the keys (that is, the splayed angles) so that the user didn’t have a chance to confuse them.

The following is supplied with the PSU:

  • Two cables with two plugs for PATA drives on each (the length of the cables is 40cm to the first plug and 20cm more to the second one)
  • A cable with one PATA drive connector and one mini-plug for the floppy drive
  • A cable with one PATA drive connector (55cm long)
  • A cable with a 6-pin connector for the graphics card
  • One cable with two plugs for SATA drives (their length is 40+20cm, just like that of the PATA cables)

The cables are hidden into a flexible transparent pipe with a braided screen (but the effect of this screening is close to zero because the screen is not even connected to the ground wire) and plastic braiding that shines in ultraviolet inside. Modders are likely to appreciate such shining cables, but on the other hand, these multi-layer cables turn to be stiff and unhandy.

The power cable for the graphics card carries a simple LC filter made out of a ferrite bead and four capacitors. This filter is going to suppress high-frequency interference for a better operation of the graphics card.

Internally this power supply resembles the P4-450W from be quiet! that I also reviewed in my previous article (for details please see our article called Powerful Power Supply Units Roundup). To tell you the truth, it is one and the same company, ToPower, that manufactures PSUs for both OCZ and be quiet!, so there’s nothing miraculous in these two models from two different brands being so much like each other.

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