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Tuesday, 23 September 2008 19:11

OCZ ModXStream 600W / 500W tested

Written by Sanjin Rados

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Review: Silent and cheap

 

OCZ recently introduced its new modular PSU series called ModXStream-Pro aimed at enthusiasts, gamers and such. These PSUs come in 400, 500, 600 and 700W flavors.

With its new models, OCZ made some really nice additions to their modular PSU offer. The end-users will surely appreciate this, since efficiency alone doesn’t seem to do the trick anymore and aesthetics is almost equally important. Standard PSUs come with a forest of cables, of which some end up unused which results in an unnecessary clutter. The option to add only the cables that we need enables a clutter-free case and an appropriate airflow.

ModXStream Pro series is 80 PLUS certified and it comes with a three-year guarantee. 80 PLUS certificate has become a standard and if a PSU you’re planning to buy doesn’t have it, we recommend that you keep looking elsewhere. For a PSU to be 80 PLUS certified, it must be 80% efficient in 20%, 50% and 100% workload scenarios. OCZ says that new models will result in 82% efficiency under typical workload.

Another thing we really liked about ModXStream Pro PSU is the “golden silence.” This PSU is inaudible thanks to a large 140mm fan located on the bottom.

The difference between these models, apart from the power, is almost nonexistent. The only exception is the 400W model that comes with only one PCI Express connectors and a different number-ratio of SATA and peripheral connectors.

ModXStream series comes with Universal Input and Active PFC (Power Factor Correction) for different input-voltage regulation, ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V certificate, Overvoltage/OverPower/Short-Circuit protection and MTBF (mean time before failure) of 100,000 hours @25C. ModXStream Pro features a simple but stylish design and its dimensions are 150 x 160 x 86mm (W x L x H).

Modular series is SLI and CrossFire compatible, but you should check up on total consumption of your rig before you buy it. If you have two high-end graphics cards, 600W or even 700W might not be enough, but mainstream systems should have no trouble with this.

OCZ sent two ModXStreamPro PSUs for our testing and we were simply blown away by the pricing of these, and we’re sure you will be, too. 500W and 600W models are priced at €66 and €74, respectively.

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The packaging looks nice, and it reminded us of the old, but popular, GameXStream series. These new boxes are a bit larger and painted in red and black, but there’s enough info and pictures depicting the hardware inside.

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We’ll first show you the 600W model. Apart from the power, the 500W model is identical. They both feature two +12V rails – 2x18 on the 500Wand 2x25A on the 600W model.

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The box is small but sturdy and it will protect its contents well during transport.

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There’s also a carrying handle, but we found it only after we opened it. The box is wrapped in plastic, which is probably in order to shield it from the elements until it finds an owner.

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Standard stuff; inside you’ll find a manual, underneath is the PSU and the cables are on the right.

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One side of the PSU is taken up by the fan that’s load controlled – meaning it’ll run faster or slower depending on the workload.

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The air leaves the case through a large grill, where you’ll also find the ON/OFF button and a standard power connector. The following photo shows how OCZ handled cable-management, and not all the cables are modular. Of course, CPU and motherboard power cables are a must, so they’re already firmly fixed in place.

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Two red ports are for PCI Express cables, whereas the rest is intended for SATA and peripheral cables.

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We mentioned that the only exception is 400W model, so other models in these series feature:

Connectors at 500W - 700W
    1 x 20/24-pin ATX      
    1 x 8-pin CPU      
    1 x 4-pin CPU

Modular connectors:
    1 x 6-pin PCI-E      
    1 x 6+2-pin PCI-E      
    4 x Peripheral
    2 x Floppy      
    6 x SATA 

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The cables are neatly packed in a little stylish bag and you could probably find another use for it as a cosmetics or hygiene pack on your travels.

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Six SATA connectors are evenly spread out on two cables and each one packs three connectors. Modular cable length is standard – 80cm to the third SATA connector, 62cm to the second 4pin Molex connector, but 24-pin ATX and CPU could have been a bit longer than 46cm. 

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You can see how the ModXStream-Pro 600W looks on our testing with all the needed cables. We’ll be using two high-end cards that require two PCI Express connectors each. There’s no unnecessary cable clutter, and they’re easy to remove and insert if they’re needed. 

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Motherboard powering cable is 20+4 pin, and the correct placement is indicated by an arrow. OCZ provides 1x 4-pin and 1x 8-pin for different types of processors.

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Two PCI Express cables take care of graphics cards; one of them is 6-pin while the other is 6+2-pin.

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Specs say that all three PSUs come with two relays - 600W and 700W models have two 25A, whereas the 500W model has two 18A ones. Maximum efficiency, of course, never really reaches its max, so you should make sure that your PSU has least 100W more than your average power consumption.

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Looks-wise, the PSUs are identical and only the names are different.

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All the components within the PSU are neatly packed with efficient cooling for stable operation provided by the 140mm fan.

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Last modified on Wednesday, 24 September 2008 03:43
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