Articles: Cases/PSU
 

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Although the power supply units I am going to review today have different wattage ratings, ranging from 600 to 850 watts, they are all designed for an above-average computer configuration. A typical office or mainstream home PC (with an entry-level CPU and graphics card, one or two HDDs and an optical drive) is going to be perfectly satisfied with just a high-quality 400-watt PSU.

So, I will be talking about products from four brands (two from Hiper and Scythe each, one Antec and one Enhance) which are meant for rather advanced configurations with high-performance CPUs and graphics cards. Those of them with the highest wattage ratings should even be able to cope with a gaming PC that has a multi-GPU graphics subsystem. But besides the wattage rating, there is the question of quality. That’s the issue I’m going to check out in this review.

Testing Methodology

Click the following link for a description of our testing methodology and equipment and a brief explanation of what the specified and tested parameters of power supplies mean: X-bit Labs Presents: Power Supply Units Testing Methodology. If you feel overwhelmed with the numbers and terms this review abounds in, refer to the Methodology.

You can also go to our Cases/PSU section to check out reviews of all other PSU models we have tested in our labs.

We will mark the actual power consumption of three system configurations (discussed in our article PC Power Consumption: How Many Watts Do We Need?) in the cross-load diagrams. This will help you see if the tested PSU can meet the requirements of a real-life PC.

Testing Participants

Hiper M600

Products of High Performance Group almost vanished from shop shelves some time ago, raising concerns about the future of this maker of rather good PSUs and system cases. Having changed its owner, the company is on the market again, and with a brand-new PSU line-up. It’s high time for us to test some of them.

First goes the M600, a medium model from Hiper’s mainstream series.

The M600 comes in a glossy cardboard box together with a power cord, two sets of fastening screws (ordinary and thumbscrews), a few reusable cable straps and a user manual. Quite sufficient accessories for a PSU.

Exterior Design

The Hiper M600 has a rather ordinary appearance except for the red color of its fan highlighting: a matte black case, a black grille above a translucent fan, a meshed back panel. The rest of the panels are blank. Every cable is hidden into a black nylon sleeve.

The PSU is rather compact, its case just matching the size of the cooling fan. There is quite a lot of free space inside as you will see shortly.

The PSU looks nice when working, but you may want to make sure its red highlighting matches the highlighting of your other fans.

Circuit Design

There is nothing extraordinary under the hood. The M600 represents a rather typical and inexpensive design without dedicated voltage regulation and with active PFC.

The PCB that all the components are mounted on is quite small, leaving some free space at the front and back of the case; the component density isn’t high.

The PSU uses rather high-quality Teapo capacitors at the output and less expensive Jun Fu capacitors elsewhere.

The Hiper M600 is based on the Andyson Performance F series platform.

Cables and Connectors

The M600 is equipped with the following cables and connectors:

  • One mainboard cable with a 20+4-pin connector (50 cm)
  • One mainboard cable with a 4+4-pin connector (50 cm)
  • One graphics card cable with two 6+2-pin connectors (40+15 cm)
  • One cable with two PATA power connectors and one floppy-drive plug (40+15+15 cm)
  • Two cables with two SATA and one PATA power connector on each (40+15+15 cm)
  • One cable with two SATA power connectors (40+15 cm)

The cables aren’t very long, making the M600 not the best choice for large system cases, especially those with a bottom PSU bay and a dedicated cable compartment. On the other hand, the selection of connectors is quite sufficient and it’s handy that most of the peripheral cables have connectors of different types.

Specifications

The Hiper M600 can hardly impress you with its specs. It can only give you 432 watts across the +12V power rail, which has the highest load in modern computers, out of the total of 581.5 watts it can deliver across the +3.3, +5 and +12V rails combined (the -12V line and +5V standby source provide the remaining 18.5 watts to meet the 600-watt specification).

On the other hand, we can note that the specifications allow for maximum load on all of the power rails simultaneously, which is an unrealistic situation. It seems that people at Hiper wanted to kill two birds with one stone: to write a high wattage rating into the product specs and to do so without saying any blatant lies. With such a modest max load on the +12V rail, this PSU would be marked as 500 or even 450 watts by a first-tier brand because it can hardly yield any more in a real-life computer, even if it fully complies with its own specs.

The maximum short-term load the PSU supports is specified to be 650 watts.

 
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