Today we have a unit from OCZ’s new value line of power supplies; the ZS Series. The particular model I will be reviewing is the 550W, but they’re also 650W and 750W units available.
SUPPLIED BY: OCZ
PRODUCT: ZS 550W
PROD LINK: N/A
Price is at the time of testing!
The box is fairly straight up so far. There’s a 3 year warranty and the unit is supposedly 80 Plus Bronze certified, which means it’s 82%, 85% and 82% efficient at 20%, 50% and 100% loads. Let’s zoom in on those bullet-points in the lower right-hand corner…
OCZ says this unit is “Simply Powerful” and defines this as meaning that it has a single +12V rail which is good for efficient power distribution. Ok… maybe not. I just love making fun of marketing 101 statements.
“Silent Operation” is handled by “PowerWhisper” technology, which essentially means the fan is thermostatically controlled.
“Multi-GPU Ready” probably means that there are multiple PCIe power connectors, which is something a 550W power supply should have.
Going back to the fan, we are told that the “Superior Cooling” is courtesy of an ultra-quiet yet vigorous 135mm fan. No word on whether or not this vigorous fan is sleeve or ball bearing though.
Now let’s move to the top of the box…
Ah! Cool.. useful information can be found here.
So we have the size of the unit as 150 x 160 x 86mm. Here we find that the vigorous Superior Cooling is a 135mm ball-bearing fan. There is OVP, OCP, and SCP. Also, this unit has active PFC.
The connector counts to the right states that we have two PCI-e power connectors, so if you were to power multiple GPU’s, you’re limited to graphics cards with only one PCI-e power connector on it. Here’s a table that shows all of the cables, connectors and their lengths:
|ZS 550W – Cabling|
|Type of Cable||Length from PSU|
|20+4 pin ATX connector||500 mm|
|4+4 pin CPU||700 mm|
|6 pin PCI-e, 6+2 pin PCI-e||500+150 mm|
|Unit Dimensions (L x W x H)|
|160 mm x 150 mm x 86 mm|
The two cables with the SATA connectors are two different lengths. One is much shorter than what we’d normally see come on a power supply, while the other is much longer than normal.
Another thing that’s unusual here is that the connectors on the SATA and peripheral power connectors are only 100mm apart. Normally, I like this because when you have drives stacked up that need to get power to them, you tend to stack them close enough to where the typical 150mm is too long. But on this power supply, we only have one cable with 5.25″ Peripheral power connectors (often called “Molex” connectors) on it. The problem with this is if you have an optical drive up front and then a fan that needs power somewhere else in your PC or maybe even two different fans in two different places, or a water pump or something else that needs a peripheral power connector, you’re going to need to be pretty clever to figure out how you’re going to get that all to power off of one cable and still look nice and tidy.
Also, there is no floppy power connector on this power supply. Not many of us are still using floppy drives or even LS120’s or Zip drives, but floppy power connectors are still used for some PCI cards and some 3.5″ bay card readers.
Here we have the back of the box. Let’s zoom in on these bullet-points…
We’re reminded once again that this unit is “Simply Powerful”. Also, “Silent Operation” is expanded on and the claim that this is one of the quietest power supplies on the market is made.
“Superior Cooling” is now referred to as “Extreme Cool”. “Active PFC” is defined and we’re told a little bit about OCZ’s 3 year warranty.
Now let’s look at the side of the box where the DC output table is located…
The DC output table is so clearly laid out on this box, I probably don’t need to reproduce it in our usual format…
|ZS 550W – DC Output|
But we should probably just be consistent.
Inside the box, we find a manual, power cord and a bag with four mounting screws in it.
Now let’s pull the PSU out of the box…
The label on the power supply looks much like the label that PC Power & Cooling had used for years, even before being acquired by OCZ.
On the intake side, we see an 11 blade, 135mm fan. The aesthetics here are very simple. The fan grill is basic and the fan hub doesn’t even have a sticker on it.
Each side of the power supply sports a large label, oriented in such a way so that the text is upright whether the power supply is mounted on the top or bottom of the chassis.
Now that we’ve had a good look at the box and what’s in the box, let’s throw the power supply up on the load tester and see how it performs.