Articles: Cases/PSU

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CoolerMaster RS-450-ACLY (450W)

The power supply from CoolerMaster is made in a black case with a single 12cm fan (unlike the Ryanpower2, this device is not lacquered but actually painted black). The fan is highlighted with blue LEDs at work.

High build quality is evident inside. Somewhat unusual is the use of an ML4800CP chip from Fairchild in the regulator. This chip combines both an active PFC controller and a PWM controller of the PSU’s main regulator, but many manufacturers prefer to use two different chips instead.

The design of this PSU is quite traditional otherwise, save for a special tool, an indicator of the consumed power, you receive as an accessory. This tool is in fact an ordinary micro-ammeter and can work only with the given PSU that has an appropriate connector (the PSU has a special independent circuit with a current transformer). The tool measures the power consumed by the whole system from the power grid. It is the sum of the power consumed by the system components from the PSU and of the loss in the PSU itself (in other words, this tool would measure more than 500 watts when this 450W unit was under full load).

Well, this power-meter is more like a mere decoration. I checked its showings to find them contradicting the reality: the higher the consumed power, the bigger the discrepancy is. The tool shows 50-70 watts less than it should when the PSU is under full load. So, even though it is going to look most strikingly on the system case, you shouldn’t rely on its showings too much.

Unlike the Ryanpower2, the unit from CoolerMaster is equipped with ordinary, non-detachable cables, but its Molex power plugs (for hard disk drives) are shaped in such a way as to make it easier to extract them from the devices (it’s sometimes difficult to take an ordinary smooth plug out of a drive because you have to apply some force). Unfortunately, these plugs are not compatible with graphics cards that receive additional power through a Molex connector unless this connector is located at the very edge of the card – the “ears” of the connector will hinder its plugging in, so you’ll have to use either an adapter or a sharp knife.

This power supply offers you seven Molex connectors for PATA hard drives and CD drives (these cables are 55cm long to the first plug and then 15cm more to each next plug), two mini-plugs for floppy drives, two power connectors for SATA drives (these cables are 57cm long to the first plug and 20cm to the second one; unlike with the Ryanpower2, the connectors have all the necessary voltages, including +3.3V), a 24-pin mainboard connector (almost 60cm long), an ATX12V connector (on a 75cm cable), and a connector for the above-mentioned power indicator (on a 75cm cable). Thus, these cables should suffice even for a very serious computer assembled in a full-size system case (for example, in a CoolerMaster Stacker). The wires of the mainboard’s power cable are packed into a mesh pipe; the other cables are tied up with nylon straps.

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