Date: July 5, 2007
Author(s): Greg King
It’s hard to find someone who can fully utilize a 1Kw power supply, while 800W seems to be a sweet spot for most high-end rigs. We are taking a look at two such power supplies from Ultra, the X-Finity and X-Pro.
Just last week, we took a look at a rather powerful power supply in the form of the Tagan Silver Power SP-1000W. In the review, we loaded up the rails with as many drives and peripherals as we could and all the while, we monitored the rails with our trusty multimeter.
As interesting that is was, we ultimately came to the conclusion that while a 1Kw power supply was incredible to have in your PC, virtually everyone but the most hard core gamer will not need something this powerful. Taking a slight step down the power ladder, we are now taking a look at a pair of power supplies from Ultra, the X-Pro and X-Finity 800W. While the Ultras lack the extra 200 Watts of the Tagan, they are still more than most will need in the immediate future.
Ultra isnâ€™t a stranger to anyone who has researched power supplies anytime in the past few years. Bursting onto the scene with their Ultra-X modular power supplies, the quickly made a name for themselves with the then new idea of allowing the user to pick and choose which cables the wanted to use and which ones they didnâ€™t. While the pair we are looking at today lack the modular design, they do offer plenty of connections and each come armed with a different approach to keeping the cables in order.
In our Silver Power review, we attempted, at the very least, to hook as many devices as we could to the power supply and run it all out. While I am sure we never approached 1000W, I am confident that we can get reasonably close to the 800W that the Ultras provide.
On paper, both of these power supplies appear to be identical in all but appearance. As we will get into further later on in the review, the only thing that separates the X-Pro from the X-Finity is the cabling. The color of the aluminum housing is clearly different, with the X-Pro being silver and the X-Finity being black, but the main feature of each one is the cables and their covering.
The X-Pro comes shipped with the standard net sleeving while the X-Finity is coated with a silver silicon material to not only cut down on the width of the cables, but also allow a smooth surface for air to flow around inside a cramped PC case.
Coming in a package that loudly screams Ultra, the pair of power supplies are easily identifiable. The most striking piece of the box is the golden star sticker that brings to our attention that the power supplies come with a factory limited lifetime warranty. This is something that Ultra has done for quite a while now and is very much appreciated. Along with the SLi endorsement, we intend to see what else the pair has to offer.
Once we have the power supplies out of their packaging, looking at the two side by side confirms our hunch that they are identical power supplies with only their cabling to separate themâ€¦ well, that and their blatantly different colors. Coloring aside, they both offer the same amount of connections, a pair of 80mm fans to move air across the warm components and identical power specs.
For purpose of not only time, but also space, from here on out all internal and external pictures of the units will be of the silver X-Pro power supply.
In the name of voiding warranties and owning noobs, we open up the unit and inspect what we can see. With a rather large heatsink running almost the entire length of the interior, the pair of fans that move air across this heatsink should prove adequate in keeping the power supply cool in any situation.
Moving to the rear of the unit, we see one of the two fans that are used to keep the power supply cool. Directly to the side of the fan, we have the power connector and a switch.
Around the other side of the Ultra, we find another fan and the point where the cables exit the unit itself. In the follow two pictures, we can see the same angle on both the X-Finity and the X-Pro. Notice the difference in the material used to coat the cables.
On the top, we see a sticker giving us all the information that one might need about the power regulation of the power supply. Also found here is a warning stating that should this unit malfunction, please don’t try to repair it yourself, and for godâ€™s sake, if you do, unplug it.
Regardless of the rated power, no power supply is worth its weight if you canâ€™t connect it to your PC. To help out in this regard, Ultra has given the X-Pro and X-Finity power supplies their fare share of connectors.
As we mentioned in the last power supply review, there really isnâ€™t anything to installing one into a case so we wonâ€™t go much into detail. We will however talk about our testing procedures and how we come to our conclusions.
To stress the Ultra power supplies, or at the very least, attempt to push them at load, we will simply hook up anything that we can to the power supplies and see how they handle it. While Techgage has access to a proper load tester, this editor does not and therefore this real world approach is what is being taken.
Once our initial results are recorded, we then place the power supply in a makeshift hotbox and heat up the enclosure to approximately 115 degrees Fahrenheit. Again the power supply was loaded and left for 2 hours. After this time, we went back and tested the rails.
To obtain our results we are using a generic Radio Shack multimeter that I have had, and rarely used, since college. To stress these power supplies as much as we can, we are using the following hardware.
From looking at the graphs, its apparent that the rails of the Ultra power supplies are quite solid. Never wondering outside of the 5% acceptable give, the power supplies were capable performers in all of our tests.
To bring things to a close, we are left impressed with all that the power supplies offered. While I am still not sold on the idea of the X-Finityâ€™s cabling, it is still quite bendable and it does allow air to flow across it easier.
One thing that I would like to see in future power supplies from Ultra is the incorporation of a 120mm fan. This allows the PSU to operate much more quietly but still move a decent amount of air. One thing to point out is that while these use a pair of smaller 80mm fans, they were not terribly loud when compared to the Silver Power SP-1000W.
The most notable feature of the both of these power supplies is the fact that once the system is powered down, the fans in the power supply continue to spin for a bit longer, to continue cooling the hardware before it shuts off itself. This is a nice idea but I am not sure how much it adds to the overall longevity of the power supply.
With everything taken into consideration, the Ultra 800W X-Pro and X-Finity both receive a 7 out of 10. They work well, are relatively quiet and provide more than enough power for most.
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