Articles: Cases/PSU

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MGE Vortec PSVO-500 (500W) and Vortec PSVO-600 (600W)

Some people confuse MGE with the well-known manufacturer of uninterruptible power supplies MGE UPS Systems but the two companies have nothing in common save for the abbreviation in their names. Here, MGE is expanded into the not-quite-modest “Manufacturer of Great Electronics”. MGE is mostly known as a maker of various modder-friendly kits: system cases, transparent windows, highlight lamps and so on. We’ve got two PSUs selling under the MGE brand for our today’s tests.

The declared wattage of the first unit is 500 watts; it has a blue aluminum case with the connectors and even the braiding of the cables to match. Of course, both fans – an 80mm fan on the rear panel and a 120mm fan on the bottom panel – are highlighted with blue LEDs at work. Aluminum is a popular material among some manufacturers and many purchasers of expensive system cases and power supplies, but its functionality is questionable. Here, aluminum doesn’t help to cool the PSU (none of the heating components touch the aluminum cover, so it is not used as a heat-spreader), but it does worsen the electromagnetic compatibility of the PSU because aluminum is worse than steel in terms of screening low-frequency fields.

The fine black grids on the fans with the large chrome-plated letters “Vortec” look superb, and the transparent window on the side panel of the case allows you to watch the highlighting of the fans at work.

The second PSU, with a declared wattage of 600W, uses a black-and-red color scheme (if you don’t look at the power-on switch and the connector to the power grid). This case is made of aluminum, like the junior model. The fans are highlighted with red, and this PSU is a spectacular sight when working – the traditional blue highlighting has already become somewhat hackneyed.

The two PSUs from MGE are designed identically inside, so I only offer you a snapshot of the 600W model below.

The design is quite ordinary, without PFC (although the dimensions of the PSU and its PCB seem to provide for an installation of a passive PFC device at the rear part of the PSU) and without independent voltage regulation or any other remarkable features. The heatsinks are small, with moderate ribbing, and colored green – not quite typical for heatsinks. Two 820µF capacitors are placed on the PSU’s input; two more 3300µF capacitors are placed on its output +3.3V rail and one such capacitor is placed on each +12V and +5V rails. The capacitances are the same in the 500W and 600W models.

Despite its very high declared current on the +12V rail, the PSU is only equipped with a 20-pin mainboard connector and comes enclosed with an adapter for the 24-pin one. I can’t really explain this decision of the manufacturer. As I said above, this adapter is not just useless, but contradicts the very idea of transitioning to 24-pin connectors. So, it is very strange for me to see such cheap economy on connectors in a power supply the manufacturer positions as a top-end solution. The length of the ATX cables is 45cm.

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