by Rob Williams on March 8, 2006 in Cases & PSUs
All too often we read reviews of power supplies that are not cheap. Some good power supplies can run between $100 and $150, if not higher! Not everyone has enough money for a top end PSU, so we are taking a look at Ultras Value line-up to see if they would be a good choice when you are low on cash.
When it comes to building a new system, many people tend to overlook the power supply. “Oh, this one is only $50 and looks fine, let’s stick with that.”, “Wow, $100 for a PSU, screw that!” Needless to say, overlooking your PSU purchase is not a wise move, because it can result in have an unstable system or one that could potentially be wrecked if a cheap PSU happens to blow.
In the past year, we have taken a look at four different Ultra power supplies, and they all proved to be a great product worthy of a purchase. I thought it would be fun to see how well their Value power supplies held up to my tests though, so they sent me all three models, the 350W, 400W and 500W.
The PSU’s arrived in great condition, and each box is colored differently to denote what wattage the PSU inside is rated for. The red box is the 350W, the green for 400W and blue for 500W. Some value PSU’s just come in a plain box, but Ultra goes the extra mile to make them look appealing. The boxes detail what’s inside, and what the output voltages are. Since we are dealing with three different PSU sizes today, I will include images of the voltage tables for each one:
|AC Input Voltage |
|AC Input Frequency |
|AC Input Currents |
7A (RMS) for 115VAC
4A (RMS) for 230VAC
7.5A (RMS) for 115VAC
4.5A (RMS) for 230VAC
8.5A (RMS) for 115VAC
5.5A (RMS) for 230VAC
All three power supplies have identical contents which include the power supply, a registration card, manual, power cord and some screws. Considering this is a value supply, it actually looks pretty good. Whereas other value supplies may be an ugly gray color, these are pure black and sport a huge 120mm exhaust fan.
Here is a quick feature set, which I grabbed from Ultras website, in addition to the connectors that each power supply includes.
- Supports AMD and Intel Motherboards
- Low Acoustic Noise
- Meets ATX Version 2.03 and
- ATX 12V Version 1.2 Specifications
- Short Circuit Protection
- In-Rush Current Protection
- Thermal Overload Cutoff Protection
- MTBF > 100,000 Hours at Full Load,
- 110VAC and 25Â°C Ambient Condition
- FCC and UL Recognized
- 1 – 20/24 Pin Motherboard Connector
- 1 – 4 Pin +12V Motherboard Connectors
- 8 – 4 Pin Molex Connectors
- 2 – 4 Pin Floppy Power Connectors
- 1 – PCI Express Connector
- 2 – SATA Connectors
One thing that stands out in my mind is the fact that these ‘value’ power supplies include a PCI-E power cable. In addition, there is 8 available 4-Pin Molex connectors which should prove to be plenty for anyone. Personally, I only had to use three. It also includes two S-ATA power cables and a 24-Pin motherboard connector that can be snapped apart to become a 20-Pin. One thing to note is that it includes a 4-Pin motherboard cable, so if you use an Intel board that requires an 8-Pin, you could just plug the 4-Pin into it skipping the first four holes. The four pins it should be connecting with are 5, 6, 7 and 8. This is what I had to do, and had no issues.
The inside of each PSU is obviously quite similar, but each size seems to weigh a little differently. The 500W PSU is heavier than the 350W. The inside of the PSU is kept quite tidy, and the cables running out the back are not tangled up in any way. Overall, these are good looking PSU’s, and more than what I expect to see from any value model.