Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Cables and Connectors

Turbo Series products with wattage ratings below 850W are equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (48cm)
  • CPU cable with a 4-pin connector (50cm)
  • Graphics card cable with a 6-pin connector (50cm; n/a in the 600W and 650W models)
  • Graphics card cable with a 6+2-pin connector (50cm; n/a in the 600W and 650W models)
  • Four connectors for peripheral power cables
  • Two 6-pin connectors for graphics card cables
  • One 8-pin connector for CPU power cable

Included with the PSUs are:

  • CPU cable with a 4+4-pin connector (50cm)
  • Graphics card cable with a 6-pin connector (50cm)
  • Graphics card cable with a 6+2-pin connector (50cm)
  • Two cables with three Molex connectors and one floppy-drive plug on each (50+15+15+15cm)
  • Two cables with two SATA power connectors on each (50+15cm)

Well, this selection of cables and connectors differs dramatically from those of the above-discussed bundled PSUs that come in Chieftec system cases. Still, I wonder why there are more PATA than SATA connectors here. What will you plug them into? You need but one or two connectors for coolers – and only if you’ve got three or four coolers and have run short of the mainboard’s connectors.

Hard disk drives and optical drives with Molex power plugs are obsolete now. There won’t be such devices in a new computer assembled today. Therefore two cables with SATA connectors is already the required minimum because one cable goes to the optical drive and the other to the HDD. Many manufacturers equip even 400W PSUs with half a dozen SATA connectors (e.g. take a look at the Corsair CMPSU-400CX), but here the 850W model has only four of them, making you use adapters if you’ve got three hard drives in your system.

Note also that this PSU has detachable cables and it would only take including one extra SATA cable into the kit to offer the user a wide choice of connectors. I don’t think this would make the product far more expensive, but it is such small trifles that can affect the customer’s shopping choice when there are a lot of similar products on the market, all manufactured by CWT but selling under different brands.

Well, that’s all my gripe about the cables and connectors. The two junior models allow to connect one graphics card with two power plugs without adapters. The senior models (700W and higher) are meant for two graphics cards. Every cable has a neat nylon sleeve.

Specifications

According to the specifications, the PSUs meet today’s requirements perfectly. They can deliver almost all of their output power via the +12V rail which is split into four “virtual” lines. The peak continuous output power is mentioned in the name of each PSU model. It is also the effective output power of each model, considering the typical distribution of load among the different power rails in a modern computer.

When the PSU’s wattage rating is higher by 50W, the allowable load on the +12V rail grows up by 50W, too.

This proportion is only broken at wattages higher than 750W. The total output power is higher by 100W whereas the maximum load on the +12V rail is higher by only 24W. Well, the 850W model has another interesting feature. The +12V rail is split into 18A lines in the lower-wattage models while the 850W model has 30A lines for graphics cards.

On one hand, it means you shouldn’t worry that a top-end graphics card may overload the individual line it is connected to. But on the other hand, this problem can only occur with a couple of dual-chip monsters like ATI Radeon HD 4870 X2 and such graphics subsystems don’t make much sense according to our tests.

In other words, the actual capabilities of the Turbo Series power supplies are up to their specifications, at least at first sight.

UPS Compatibility

The Turbo Series products did better in this test than the above-discussed bundled models, yet not without a hitch.

The four models all worked together with an APC SmartUPS SC 620 at loads up to 380W when powered by the mains. The UPS switched to the batteries normally at a load of 300W or lower but was not stable then: it would produce a characteristic gurgling sound and shut down in a minute, reporting overload. The UPS was only stable on its batteries when the load was no higher than 300W.

Thus, these PSUs have mediocre compatibility with UPSes. You should buy midrange or top-end UPSes for them with some reserve in terms of wattage.

 
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