Review: Quality and low priced 600W
Supplying power has always been a major point of a system and its quality and power directly affect stability, and endurance of internal components of a CPU. Everything has been said about never ending power hunger, the newest graphics cards require over 200W just for themselves.
If we add a motherboard, hard disks, CD/DVD/HD DVD/Blu Ray, etc. it is easy to see that we need at least 500W of proper electric power. Of course, we’re talking about high-end systems. Let’s say our system consists of only one graphics card, Geforce 8800 Ultra.
For one such system a quality 500W PSU will suffice, however quality is not easy to find. It is true that many manufacturers offer them but they’re often quite pricey. Endless search for a quality but cheap PSUs, good enough for a high-end system encouraged OCZ to make StealthXStream 600W PSU. Judging by what we’ve seen, it is a cheap version of popular gamer line GameXStream. The price being lower doesn’t mean less power and/or quality. It is still aimed at gamers and those who crave stability.
Those who know OCZ will immediately notice the similarities with well known GameXStream 600W. Similar, it is – same, we don’t think so. One of the down-sides of StealthXStream is a lack of SLI certificate.
Do not let that worry you, there will be enough power for all mid-range SLI systems, except for two GeForce 8800 cards, but we’ll talk about that later. Anyway, the lucky ones who can afford to buy two 8800s should have enough money to buy a more powerful OCZ PSU.
The visual difference between GameXStream and StealthXStream are the blue LEDs that are not featured in StealthXStream. Dimensions are standard ATX and you’ll have no trouble fitting them in any case, and RoHS sticker tells us that now health hazardous materials have been used in the production process.
Noise is a significant factor and the 120mm fan on the lower side of the PSU is a bit louder than GameXStreams fans. However, it is still quiet enough and StealthXStream is classified as a low-noise PSU.
The specs are identical to its more expensive colleagues GameXStream 600W and 700W. StealthXStram also has four separate power lines with 18A per each, and those can share up to 580W of power. Powering the graphics cards is done by two PCIe 2x3 pin power connectors which, as we have said before, will be sufficient for mid-range SLI or one Geforce 8800GTX/Ultra card.
Powering the motherboard is done by standard 1 x 20 +4 pin power ATX connector and 4 +4pin (8pin) CPU connector. Three S-ATA cables will be enough for a regular user as well as 6 large and one small molex connectors.
Cables are wrapped in protective netting all the way to the pins, which is typical for OCZ PSUs. This model comes with the active PFC, already a standard, and OCZ guarantees high efficiency of 80% for 115V (of typical workload) or 83% for 230V (of typical workload). We haven’t seen 80+ certificate but while testing we confirmed the 80% efficiency. The guarantee lasts for three years.
We tested the working efficiency using:
Nforce 680i EVGA board (Supplied by EVGA)
Intel Core 2 Duo 6800 Extreme edition (Supplied by Intel)
Akasa EVO AK 922 Blue Athlon 64/X2/FX cooler and Intel CPU's (Akasa)
OCZ Reaper PC2-8500 1066MHz 5-5-5-15 (Supplied by OCZ)
CL5-5-5-15-CR2T at 2.3V
Graphics Card: Gainward Geforce 8800 Ultra (Supplied by Gainward)
EVGA Geforce 8800 Ultra (Supplied by EVGA)
BFG Geforce 8600GTS OC2 (Supplied by BFG)
EVGA Geforce 8600GTS
OCZ GameXStream 700 W (Supplied by OCZ)
OCZ StealthXStream 600 W (Supplied by OCZ)
Seagate Barracuda 7200.9 500GB SATA (Supplied by Seagate)
Artic Fan 8 PWM (Supplied by ArticCooling)
From the picture you can see that we’ve also tried using two Geforce 8800 Ultra cards in SLI mode. Efficiency of this PSU was compared with our favorite test PSU OCZ GameXStream 700W. We measured the power usage under a workload using one Geforce 8800 Ultra coupled with above mentioned components and these are the results.
The difference in power usage is neglectable and it is 0.28%. The next test we’ve done was mid-range SLI, where we used two 8600GTS cards. Both cards require one PCI-E power plug. This test also proved to be a piece of cake for StealthXStream.
In the end we opted for the worst case scenario, two Geforce 8800 Ultra cards running in SLI. It is improbable that anyone will use such a combination of hardware with StealthXStream but we had some time on our hands and made a quick test. The PSU has only two PCI-E connectors so we used additional molex ones with PCI-E bridges.
Although the maximum combined power on four lines is 580W, during 3DMark 06 testing in Shader 3.0, PSU didn’t make it and the system crashed. However we didn’t find it to be such a tragedy because after all StealthXStream showed it has raw power and that it is stable.
StealthXStream is a strong, reliable and cheap PSU, and all OCZ brand lovers will instantly fall in love with it. With a price of €75 +shipping, it is one of the cheapest quality PSUs we’ve seen up until now. We have no complaints for this OCZ product, low price is a strong argument for recommendations.
It is quiet enough and it will suffice for all high-end systems unless they’re running two 8800GTX/Ultra cards. If you want two 8800 Ultras we advise you to get a better, high-end model.
Getting 558W from this PSU is a great result. You can always count on quality 500W, but real 500W, not the cheap generic Chinese 500W PSUs which can’t even get close. We recommend this PSU to anyone who needs quality but not pricey power. The price of €75 is not really that cheap, but it is a bare minimum for quality 600W power.