by Greg King on June 12, 2006 in Cases & PSUs
Spire makes power supplies? We didn’t realize this until recently, so we were more than happy to give one a run on our test bench. This is obviously a product with gamers in mind thanks to its SLi support. But wait… why only one PCI-E connector?
The power supply itself comes housed in a dark gray titanium casing that really stands out. There is the company logo stamped on the side, adding to the overall look of the unit.
On the back is an 80mm LED fan, the on/off switch and a special ‘turbo fan switch.’ Now, it might just be me but the name ‘turbo fan switch’ seems a bit silly but as long as it works, who cares.
On the bottom of the unit is also a 120mm LED fan. This fan turns on when the turbo fan switch is pressed to give added cooling when the power supply is working hard.
Now we see the power supplies bread and butter. The fact that this is a modular power supply is a nice selling point to many. I personally am a cable management freak, so having the ability to pick and choose what cables I need is appealing. Speaking of cables, the fact that every single one of them is wrapped makes me happy. Loose cables get the job done but look terrible at the same time. This is my personal opinion but I would venture to guess that many share this view. Here we see the modular connectors of the PSU. There are places for up to 8 cables, which should be enough for most anyone.
Before we get into testing of the SP-500W, let’s take a look at some factory provided information.
- Application: Intel BTX 1.0a, ATX 2.01
ATX 12V Power Supply Design Guide Ver. 1.3
- Voltage: 200~240 Vac / 100~120 Vac
(Europe=Active PFC / USA=Select Switch)
- Frequency: 47Hz ~ 63Hz
- Current: 10.0A for 100VAC / 6.0A for 240VAC
- Output: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
- Hold-up Time: 16 ms
- Nom. Power: 500W
- Max. Power: 550W
- P.G. Signal: 100 ~ 500 ms
- Voltage Protection: Two (2) +12V trip point 13.4V – 15.6V | +5V trip point 5.74V – 7.0V | +3.3V trip point 3.76V – 4.3V
- Protection Features: Short Circuit, Over Voltage, Over Temperature & Over Power Protection
- Cooling: One Blue LED 80x80x25mm Ball Bearing Fan
One Blue LED 120x120x25mm Ball Bearing Fan
- Noise Level: 10.0 ~ 19.0 dBA Max.
- Dimensions: 160mm (L) x 150mm (W) x 85mm (H)
- Case: Aluminum, Titanium mirror finish
- Connectors: 20+4-pin BTX (Motherboard) x1 | 4-pin 12V (Motherboard) x1 | 6Pin PCI express VGA x2 |Multi-use x6 | SATA x4
- Additional Connectors: 3-pin Fan Connector, Two PCI Express 6-pin Graphics Card Connector
- Cables: BTX to ATX adapter x1 | 6Pin PCI express VGA x2| 4-pin (3IDE) / (1 Floppy) x2 | 6-pin (HDD/VGA) x2 |4-pin (3 IDE Multi-use) x6 | 15-pin (2 SATA) x4
- Wiring: Copper shielded & UV Nylon Sleeved
- MTBF: 400.000 hours
- Warranty: 3 Year Limited Warranty
- Safety Approvals: UL, FCC, CE, CSA, TUV
- Intel BTX 1.0a & ATX 1.3 / 2.01 Specification Compliant
- Supports Intel Pentium 4, AMD Sempron and Athlon 64
- EMI Shielded VGA/HDD Power Connector
- Modular EZ-Cable Power Connectors
- Two Blue LED Dual Ball Bearing fans
- 3 Speed Variable Fan Speed Auto-Control
- Completely Silent 10.0 dBA up to 45C / 113F
- I/O Short Circuit & Overload Protection
- Two SATA Power Connectors
- Thermo Reactive Cooling System
- Green power energy star
- 3 Year Warranty
There you have it, straight from the horses mouth. Now that you know about it on paper, let’s get into the review and see what this has to offer.
The PC that I am using to test this power supply with is the same one that I have used in all of my past reviews. It’s nothing too powerful, but certainly in need of power. Let’s see how the Spire SP-500W holds up.
- Processor – AMD 3700+ San Diego 1MB L2
- Motherboard – DFI LAN Party Ultra – D (SLi mod)
- Video Card – eVga 7800 GT x 2
- Power Supply – Silverstone ST56F Strider
- Memory – OCZ Platinum EB 2x1GB PC4000
- Hard Disk – 2 WD Raptor 74 GB (Raid 0) / 2 Seagate 160 GB (Raid 1)
- Sound Card – Creative Audigy ZS2
- Case ‘ Antec P180 (Silver)
- OS – Windows XP Pro / SP2
Now, as you can see, I have a pair of 7800 GTs. The SP-500W only comes with one PCI-E connector so I am going to have to take SLI out of the equation. The newer version of this power supply is SLI approved and does come with 2 PCI-E connectors. The same applies for the SATA connectors. This unit only came with one cable with 2 SATA connectors on it but units now shipping come with 2. This is clearly stated in the manual that was shipped with this power supply so I can’t really hold this against Spire as they have changed their packaging to include these extra cables. This is also reflected on their web site.
Once everything was installed, the power supply and PC booted up as expected. Once in Windows, I began to record the rails of the SP-500W. I will record the rails using ITE SmartGuardian. There will be numbers from idle and load as we will see how the rails fluctuate and if so, how much they do.