by Matthew Harris on April 25, 2006 in Cases & PSUs
If the motherboard is the brain of any PC then the power supply is the heart. Today we’re taking a look at a power supply that has all the heart you should need for any modern enthusiast system and the cost won’t put your wallet on life support.
I’ll be comparing the Duro to a PC Power & Cooling 850SSI on the following system
- CPU: AMD X2 4800+
- Motherboard: ASUS A8N32SLI-Deluxe
- Graphics: 2 * BFG Tech 7800GTX 256MB
- RAM: 2 * 1GB Patriot PC3200 XLL
- Storage: 2 * WD Raptor 74GB, WD SE 400GB, LG DVD+RW
- Cooling: Liang D5 Water Pump, 3 * 120MM Fans, 2 * 92MM Fans
- Etcetera: Windows XP Professional SP2
To load the system as hard as I could I started a file transfer on the LG to the 400 gig drive, fired up Super Pi mod 1.04 and ran 3D Mark 06. The rails were all tested using a digital multimeter during load runs and with the PC at full idle.
Onward to the numbers. Bear in mind that due to the non-standard rail setup on the Duro the 12V rails are by my best estimate as to which is 12V3 and 12V4.
Overall the voltages are a tad high but easily in spec. the droop under load wasn’t bad but more pronounced than the PC Power & Cooling unit. Is this a bad thing? Not when you consider that the 850SSI costs nearly 3 times what the Duro 900 does. The Duro is very stable though, after the droop the voltages had barely any fluctuation during the load tests. I can live with rails that drop .04V under load compared to .01V when it’s saving me literally hundreds of dollars.
As an added bonus the Duro is drastically quieter than the 850SSI, the SSI has a very noisy tri-bladed fan that really defeats the purpose of building a quiet PC by using water cooling to ditch noisy fans. The fan on the Duro while not silent was hard to distinguish from the cooling fans and radiator fans until the PC was loaded. Upon loading the system to 100% the PSU started getting warmer and the fan speeded up but unlike the other the fan noise went up in air sound not in a high pitched whine. The soft susurrant of moving air is preferable versus the hard whine of fan blades in my book.
When it’s all said and done I’m giving the Duro 9/10 for its ability to do the job and do it well. The confusing manual and lack of 24 to 20 pin adaptor prevents it from getting a perfect score. If you’re into bling you might knock it for that but to me bling is secondary to ability and that’s where the Duro shines, it has the ability to run damn near anything you could throw at it. I’d like to thank the good folks at MGE/XG for sending the Duro 900 to me to rip apart for you.
April 25 Addendum: After contacting the rep for MGE about the issues I encontered with the Duro I was informed that MGE will send current Duro owners a 20 to 24 pin adaptor if they will contact the RMA department and the manual will be updated in the next revision to be a little less confusing as to the wattages.
April 27 Addendum: Today (04/27/2006) I spoke with MGE’s rep about the issues surrounding the true wattage of the Duro. Yesterday I had received an email from the project manager telling me that the Duro does 820W cold, 900W peak and 750W at 50°C. After speaking to MGE’s rep about this issue since he hadn’t seen this as I found out after he was out of the office he assures me that the Duro will be re branded as a 750W PSU and the current stock will have the packaging changed to reflect this fact and new stock will have new packaging that shows 750W rather than 900. Was this a conscious effort to defraud hardware buyers? I honestly don’t know but I do know that it’s not acceptable to label a product with specifications that aren’t true.
After consideration of these facts I’m changing my final score to a 7/10 and docking a full 2 points for the over-rated wattage on the unit I got. Due to MGE promising to make it right in regards to the labeling I’m not dropping the score further. As a $150 750W @ 50°C it is still a good deal but the wattage rating might be a stain on the reputation of the Duro that haunts it for some time to come.
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