Cables and Connectors
The 400W and 450W models are equipped with the same set of cables and connectors:
- Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (50cm long)
- CPU cable with a 4-pin connector (50cm)
- Graphics card cable with a 6-pin connector (50cm)
- Two cables with two Molex connectors and one floppy-drive plug on each (50+14+14cm)
- One cable with three Molex connectors (50+15+15cm)
- One cable with two SATA power connectors (50+15cm)
That’s all rather disappointing, actually. Chieftec is known to produce big system cases intended for a large number of hard disk drives, something like a small-office server or a file server on a home LAN. However, the bundled power supply does not allow connecting many drives unless you use adapters. Moreover, you will be barely able to connect one HDD and one optical drive with SATA interface because both SATA connectors are on the same cable and at a distance of only 15 centimeters from each other.
Such PSUs would be appropriate in a microATX system case for an office computer, but not in a tower with detachable cages for HDDs. The 450W model can even be found in huge Big Tower cases with eight HDD bays, its two SATA connectors looking just like a bad joke then. And on the other hand, 450 watts of power should indeed be quite enough for a file server with half a dozen HDDs.
It is better with the GPS-500AB-A which has:
- Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (53cm long)
- CPU cable with 8-pin and 4-pin connectors (55+19cm)
- Graphics card cable with two 6-pin connectors (54+20cm)
- One cable with three Molex and one floppy-drive plug (54+14+14+14cm)
- One cable with three Molex connectors (53+15+15cm)
- Two cables with two SATA power connectors on each (55+15cm)
Well, this power supplies comes with Big Tower cases that have eight HDD bays and six 5.25-inch bays for optical drives. Does Chieftec mean that a huge system case (67 centimeters tall) is only good for installing one graphics card with two power connectors, one optical drive, and a couple of hard disks? I guess people who buy such a system case will have to replace the power supply.
I want to add a few words about the design of the cables.
As you can see, the mainboard cable is the only one in a nylon sleeve. The other cables are just a tangle of wires, the different wires even varying slightly in length within the same cable.
The junior model has typical specifications of a modern ATX12V 2.0 power supply: a total continuous output power of 400W, out of which the PSU can provide 348W via the +12V power rail split into two “virtual” lines.
Interestingly, the 450W model has the same allowable load on the +12V rail, i.e. 348 watts. A modern computer consumes mostly from the +12V source, so there doesn’t seem to be much sense in purchasing the 450W unit. It just won’t have any practical advantage over the 400W model.
The 500W model differs but slightly. The load capacity of its +12V rail is only 12 watts higher, which makes almost no practical difference.
So, if you are choosing a Chieftec power supply basing on the wattage rating, there is no point in preferring the 450W and 500W models to the 400W unit because they have almost the same effective load capacity.