Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Channel Well DSI250P Power Supply (250W)

Although Foxconn’s system case is a rather typical mini-ITX product that not only prevents you from installing a graphics card but even doesn’t allow using a DVD drive together with a large CPU cooler, its power supply is quite serious at 250W of output power.

The power supply is rather large for the mini-ITX form-factor and has a large-diameter fan.

The PSU has two +12V lines, which is quite a surprise for mini-ITX. The purpose of this separation is totally obscure, though. It had been introduced to limit the possible strength of short circuit on user-accessible contacts to 240VA, but as you can see, the two available lines of the DSI250P do not sum up to 240VA.

The interior design is standard enough for the power supplies discussed in this review. The component density is not high and the heatsinks are just thick aluminum bars with “fingers” at the top. The PSU is assembled neatly except for the look of the 5V wires: the assembler must have cut them with some reserve and then preferred to hide the excess into the compact bunch rather than to cut them more.

The PSU has the following cables and connectors:

  • Mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (21cm)
  • CPU cable with a 4-pin connector (27cm)
  • One cable with two SATA power plugs (23+29cm)

There are no Molex connectors for PATA drives here, but we don’t think they are necessary in a modern computer.

The PSU yields the specified output power easily, but its output voltages are not exactly stable. Particularly, the DSI250P is not good when there is a high load on the +12V line and a low load on the +5V and +3.3V lines simultaneously. On the other hand, the discussed system case does not allow installing a discrete graphics card and limits your choice of CPUs, so this problem is not going to show up in practice.

The high-frequency pulsation at the PSU’s output is very low even under full load.

The PSU is about 80% efficient at the peak and just over 70% efficient at low loads. This is an acceptable performance.

The PSU is cooled by an 80mm ADDA fan. The fan’s blades are oddly narrow and nearly square-shaped.

The fan speed depends directly on the PSU temperature. It is quiet under low loads, but becomes noisy at higher loads. The noisiness is acceptable overall, especially as the fan’s voice lacks distinct pure tones like what we heard with Cooler Master’s product.

The standby source is rated for a load up to 2 amperes and copes with it just fine.

Summary

Channel Well’s power supply has average characteristics. It does not differ from other such products for better or worse with its voltage stability, efficiency and noise. Its wattage is rather excessive for this class of system cases. A model with a 100W lower wattage would be just fine. On the other hand, there is nothing bad in having some reserve of output power.

 
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