We continue our exploration of some of the market’s lesser known power supplies today with the GP-PS550BP from GlacialTech, a budget unit featuring semi-fanless operation, passive PFC, and a promise by the company of being capable of full power to 45 degrees.
Let’s see how the cookie crumbles when we roast this budget unit alive on the load tester.
SUPPLIED BY: GlacialTech
PRODUCT: GlacialPower GP-PS550BP
PROD LINK: GlacialTech
PRICE: A$70.68 @ Ozdirect
Price is at time of testing!
Welcome, friends, to another episode of madness and mayhem. Today’s torture victim will be the GlacialTech GlacialPower GP-PS550BP. GlacialTech is a relatively new company, having been founded in the early part of the millennium, and their power supplies remain a relatively unknown quantity on the market right now. Our first sample from them, which features an intelligent fan controller, is looking to find a home with those of us needing a silent solution and yet still boasting enough power to run a good size rig.
As always, here’s a shot of the box our victim came in. And, from the looks of things, my trusty old camera is going to give me a fight for good pictures today. Watch out, Mr. Camera, or I’ll replace you. Don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.
The front of the box has a few interesting bullet points already. First, the unit is claimed to be passive PFC. It’s “intelligent & silent.” It complies with ATX 2.2 specs. It’s supposed to be 78% efficient at 50% loading, 230V AC input. It’s supposed to have an intelligent fan noise control system. Finally, it’s claimed to be able to deliver full rated power at 45 degrees. Well, we’ll just see about that. Power your idea… now there’s a catch phrase for you. I can’t decide if that’s Engrish or only semi-Engrish.
The top of the box adds a few more points of interest; namely claims of the unit being efficient on standby power, dual 12V topology, a full compliment of protection circuitry, single forward design, yet another claim about the output being rated to 45 degrees, and one other point that made me stop and look for a minute – 0dBA operation at low load. 0dBA implies fanless operation.
0dBA is almost never achievable in a computer SMPS, however. While stopping the fan is one thing, muting the noise of all that power running through all that circuitry is another matter. Will this unit really emit no noise when running? The SunMoon will tell us the truth on that claim.
I had to share a shot of the side panel with you folks. This here set of check boxes is intended to show which power cord you get with this puppy. I had two review samples, and neither had any of these boxes checked. What’s the point of putting something like this on the box and then not using it?
On the back of the box, we find a bunch of graphics, bullet points, charts, and pictures. Included are full specs on the input voltage range the unit can accept with the selector switch in either position, a full DC output load chart, a fancy shmancy graph claiming fanless operation up to 30% load and 36dBA fanned operation being called “normal,” and evidence that the single 80mm fan in here is a 4500 RPM dual ball bearing wind monster.
I hate to tell you this, GlacialTech, but a 4500 RPM 80mm fan doesn’t exactly give me much confidence on this unit being very silent for long.
Opening the box at long last, the first thing we see is an owner’s manual placed with care on top of thick foam padding that protects the PSU itself. The manual is a three in one affair that gives us specs and connector counts for three models in this series: the 550W we’re looking at today, a 450W, and a 350W. Reprinted are all the claims from the box, detailed info on how the intelligent fan controller works, some troubleshooting advice, and a warning about the shockitude and warranty voiding dangers from opening up the unit.
Here are my two review samples side by side. I shall call them “Old Boring” and “The Great White Hope,” I think. Or OB and GWH for short. It bears mentioning that the white one was the newer of the two I was sent, and is likely the way these puppies are coming from the retailer these days. My load testing was done with GWH, while the “take it apart” phase was done with OB.
This is something I like to see on an 80mm fanned model – lots of ventilation holes in the front panel for that 4500 RPM screamer to pull air through. Maybe, just maybe, that fan won’t deafen us after all if the unit is easy to cool.
Ok, Mr. Camera, last warning. No more bad pictures, or I’ll send you flying at the nearest wall. You know what? I’m replacing you for the next review. There, I said it.
This label shot is rather confusing, so I’ll round up all the necessary info and corral the numbers into a table.
|GlacialPower GP-PS550BP – DC Output|
|Max Combined Watts||130W||400W||7.2W||15W|
Hmm… interesting. To my eyes, the combined 12V rating is a wee bit low given the already low specs for the combined 3.3V/5V rating. Makes me think this unit may have some trouble getting up there to 550W. We’ll just have to see what the load tester tells us.
In the meantime… hey! Mr. Camera! Cables! Tables! Chop chop! Don’t make me hurt you!
|GlacialPower GP-PS550BP – Cabling|
|Type of connector:|
|ATX connector (480mm)||20+4 pin|
|2 x 2 12V connectors (520mm)||1|
|2 x 3 PCI-e (410mm)||2|
|8-pin Xeon/EPS connector||0|
|5.25″ Drive connectors (395mm + 145mm +145mm)||5|
|3.5″ Drive connectors (+145mm)||1|
|SATA Drive power connectors (400mm + 145mm)||2|
I must confess to being a little bit disappointed with the cabling on this unit. While the ATX cable itself is sleeved, nothing else is. The 5.25″ connectors are the handy squeezable quick release type, but they’re plain old boring white. Which, I guess, is OK as long as you’re working with the Great White Hope and not Old Boring because then the color scheme matches. Except for the SATA connectors which are black on both samples. Doh!
I also have to take issue with the ATX connector itself. While this is a 20+4 pin jobbie, it’s one of those unclip and bend out of the way deals that sometimes gets in the way of motherboard capacitors. Me no likey. My Asrock board hates those things, and I end up having to break the 4 pin part off to get it to fit well. Which cables are on which 12V rail you ask? Well, only the CPU ATX12V connector is on 12V2. That leaves everything else, including the two PCI-E connectors, to share 12V1. SLI is possible as long as the two video cards are weak ones, in other words. Doh!