Articles: Cases/PSU

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Ikonik Gaia 450W and 500W

The Gaia series includes two models: IP-G450A-CBAA and IP-G500A-CBAA. They are identical externally and do not have fundamental differences inside, so I will be discussing them both together. The photographs below will mostly show the 500W model.

Package and Accessories, Exterior Design

The Gaia series comes in small black-and-yellow boxes. The wattage rating of the PSU is written on the large sticker in the bottom right corner.

Besides the PSU, the box contains a brief user manual, power cord, and four screws.

Externally, Gaia PSUs are standard products cooled with a single 120mm fan. The housing measures 140 millimeters, which is exactly the length of a standard ATX power supply. Thus, the Gaia will suit even for such super-compact system cases as, for example, the Aerocool M40. The PSU is painted a matte black paint which is durable and highly resistant to scratches.

Circuit Design

Ikonik’s Gaia power supplies are typical modern PSUs of modest wattage and low price. They have active PFC, like top-end PSUs, but do not have dedicated voltage regulation. This should be expected because the latest versions of such standards as Energy Star and 80 Plus require an 80% or higher efficiency as well as a high power factor. Although such certification is not obligatory, every maker wants to put an extra badge on the label. Besides, PSUs without PFC cannot be sold in Europe, so the manufacturer can only choose between passive and active power factor correction.

There are quite a lot of similar PSUs available, e.g. the Corsair CMPSU-400CX or Thermaltake Litepower.

The PSU is neat and tidy. I can find no fault with its quality of manufacture. The power elements are divided among three heatsinks. One heatsink is for the PFC transistors and diodes, the other for the power switch transistors, and the third for the output diode packs.

Ikonik is rather secretive about the true maker of this PSU. The main PCB is marked as Ikonik’s. The UL certificate is issued for Ikonik, too. However, you can find the marking “DSA” on the additional card the Champion Micro CM6802 PWM-controller resides on.

This marking is by Channel Well and it is Channel Well that produces these PSUs for Ikonik. The DSA series is new but, considering the widespread popularity of Channel Well’s PSUs, we will surely meet it under other brands.

Samxon’s electrolytic capacitors are installed at the PSU’s output. This is not a leading brand, but its reputation is good.

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