450W Power Supply:
The included 450w power supply is not exciting at all. It reminds me of the old power supplies before they were spruced up by windows, mirror finishes, additional fans, and cable wraps. That does not necessarily mean it's a bad power supply though, the most important aspect is how well it performs.
I won't go into much detail on the power supply, since there really isn't much to see. Here is a shot of the plain gray casing, with the usual official voltage ratings sticker. Nothing fancy at all, there is only one place for air intake, which has an external 80mm fan attached to it. The exhaust is performed by one 80mm fan, which is quiet enough to not recognize it over the other fans in the case.
The cables are pretty standard as well. There are the standard 20pin and 4pin power connector to allow you to use this on the newer 24pin motherboards. Usually with these kind of implementations I've found that they are two separate connectors, however Raidmax has made these so they combine into one connector, which helps ensure you plug them in the right way. There is also a separate 4pin power connector. For the other power connectors, there are three cables. Two of the cables include three (3) 4 pin Molex power plugs, and one floppy power. The other power cable includes one (1) SATA power plug. There are plenty of Molex plugs for most installations. The issue I have with the plugs is there is only one SATA plug. As SATA becomes more standard, a second or more would be extremely helpful. As it is, I will need to use a converter to use the 4pin Molex as a SATA power. Next, if you look at the plugs you'll see that they are not the normal white plugs, but a nice blue, which will look nice with the blue LED from the side panel fan. Finally, you'll notice the cables are not wrapped. This is definitely a negative, as any case that is meant to be shown off will not look as nice if the cables are not wrapped.
Cracking the case of the power supply (which will void the warranty), you will find two large heat sinks, which have the added benefit of the 80mm fan blowing across them to help in cooling. After the air goes across the heat sinks, it immediately gets pulled out the back by the exhaust fan. I found that this does a good job at cooling the unit. The air coming out of the power supply was certainly warmer than power supplies that don't have the push-pull fan configuration.
Enough about the appearance, the most important thing is the performance.
The following system components were installed for the tests:
• AMD Athlon 64 3500+ processor
• 2GB Generic 3200 DDR CAS 2.5
• Gigabyte motherboard (default settings)
• 2 - Seagate 80gb SATA
• CoolerMaster CoolDrive 4 (used to take temperatures and fan speed)
• Sony DVD-R 500A
• Memorex Combo CD-RW/DVD Rom
• Logitech MX1000 Laser Optical Mouse
• Logitech Cordless Keyboard
• CoolerMaster CoolDrive 4
• USB 2.0 non-powered hub, with 2 USB Flash memory sticks(Connected only for evaluation)
• 4 - 18" CCFL (Connected only for evaluation)
• 6 - Generic LED 80mm Fans (Connected only for evaluation)
Power Supply Performance:
Using a Craftsman Auto-Ranging Multimeter (Model 82139), I recorded the idle and load voltages while running the following programs: Sisoft Sandra Burn-In Wizard, Folding@Home, and Everquest 2 for several hours. Below you will see the load voltages for the three major rails, 12V, 5V and 3.3V.
The following chart shows the performance of the Raidmax 450W at load conditions, compared to several other power supplies.
As you can see, the rails were putting out anywhere from 0.2% to 0.4% additional power over the rail specifications during Idle. During load conditions the voltages are pretty stable, barely fluctuating from the Idle ratings. Even with 34A rating of the 5V rail, the voltage readings were stable under a good load.
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