Articles: Cases/PSU

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The PSU offers two connectors for SATA drives (the cable is 45cm long to the first connector and 12cm more to the second one) and as many as eight Molex connectors but they are all put on two cables (45cm to the first connector and 15cm more to the next one). The connectors of the Vortec units are the same as the above-described CoolerMaster’s.

The 18AWG-section wires are hidden in braided pipes (including the cables for hard drives) of red and blue color, depending on the model.

The cross-load characteristics of the PSUs look identically, save for the higher wattage of the PSVO-600 (but its protection would come into play somewhat below the load power of 600W). The stability of the output voltages of these PSUs is rather average. It is high enough for the computer to work normally, but it is worse than the above-described competing models ensure. Well, if these PSUs had a slightly lower voltage on their +5V rail, then it would be better with high loads on the +12V rail (when the +5V voltage goes out of its acceptable range). But it’s a fact that the +5V voltage is set rather high on both of the tested PSUs.

The high-frequency ripple of the output voltages lies within the acceptable range. Its amplitude at full load isn’t higher than 30 millivolts for the +5V rail and 80 millivolts for the +12V rail. There’s also low-frequency pulsation at a frequency of 100Hz and with an amplitude of about 15mV on the +5V rail and about 40mV on the +12V rail. So, the PSU comes close to the allowable limit as concerns the sum of the pulsations at full load, but never exceeds it.

Besides automatic adjustment of the fan speed, the PSU also offers you a complementary manual control. The auto-adjustment sets the maximum speed, while you can only set the minimal one (that is, if you set this control to its lowest position, the fans will anyway work at their full speed at full load; but if you set the control to its maximum, the fans will be working at their full all the time). The two curves in the diagram below show the speed-load relation for the min and max positions of the manual control (I measured the speed of the bottom, 12cm fan, only).

Despite the low speeds of the fans at loads below 300W and the lowest position of the regulator, the power supply is not silent. The problem is with the nice-looking protective grids. Even a weak stream of air produces a distinct hissing sound when passing through them. Then, about 40% of the area of the 12cm fan is covered with celluloid film at the bottom, probably to optimize airflows inside the PSU. Besides increasing the resistance to the air stream and thus worsening the efficiency of ventilation, this film was not firmly fixed in our sample of the PSU and would sometimes rattle a little. My removing the protective grids and fastening the film rendered the PSU much quieter.

Generally speaking, I don’t quite understand the purpose of two fans. PSUs from other manufacturers suggest that one big fan is quite enough for cooling.

The efficiency factor of this PSU is average. It is close to 80% but never reaches it. The power factor is quite typical for a PFC-free device.

Overall, the power supplies from MGE proved to be quite good, but they have a number of small and easily correctable defects (that’s why I don’t understand why the manufacturer didn’t correct them). First of all, they lack a 24-pin mainboard connector, while the grids on the fans make the PSU much noisier. Without these annoying trifles I wouldn’t have any complaints about the Vortec series units whatsoever.

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