Cougar PowerX 550W Power Supply

REVIEW INFORMATION
SUPPLIED BY: Cougar
MANUFACTURER: Cougar
PRODUCT: PowerX 550W
PROD LINK: Cougar’s Current Offerings
PRICE: $69.99 MSRP
Price is at the time of testing!

Before we get to the hot testing, let’s see what the power on spike transients look like on the 12V and 5VSB rails.

PowerX 550W – Overshoot Transient Tests
VSB On VSB to 100%, 12V Off to 100%, 12V
O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot

Oh, nice looking 5VSB shot, there. That’s almost perfect… well done, Cougar. The 12V1 rail isn’t quite as nice looking with a pretty obvious spike showing up in the shots before it rises to normal operating voltage, but it’s in spec. Speaking of rising, rise time is barely in spec on this unit. I’d like to see it do better than this in that regard, but in spec is in spec, so let’s move on.

Now, this unit is rated to full power at forty degrees, so I’ll turn on the exhaust fan in the hot box, but I’ll leave the intake fan off for now. I don’t think it’ll be necessary.

PowerX 550W – Hot Load Tests
Test # +3.3V +5V +12V +12V2 DC Watts/
AC Watts
AC
Input
Eff. P.F. Intake/
Exhaust
Progressive Load Tests
1 1A 1A 4A 4A 109.5W/
130.8W
118.5V 83.7% 0.982 25°C/
29°C
3.30V 5.06V 12.04V 12.04V
2 2A 2A 8A 8A 215.6W/
251.0W
119.0V 85.9% 0.989 28°C/
36°C
3.28V 5.05V 11.98V 11.98V
3 2.5A 2.5A 10A 10A 269.4W/
313.3W
120.0V 86.0% 0.990 31°C/
39°C
3.26V 5.04V 11.95V 11.95V
4 4A 4A 16.5A 16.5A 436.1W/
514.3W
118.6V 84.8% 0.996 35°C/
46°C
3.23V 5.03V 11.86V 11.85V
5 5A 5A 20.5A 20.5A 541.2W/
648.3W
118.8V 83.5% 0.996 38°C/
52°C
3.21V 5.02V 11.80V 11.80V
Crossload Tests
CL1 14A 14A 1A 1A 141.7W/
178.7W
119.9V 79.3% 0.988 29°C/
36°C
3.24V 4.79V 12.20V 12.20V
CL2 1A 1A 21.5A 21.5A 517.6W/
614.4W
120.5V 84.2% 0.995 36°C/
48°C
3.24V 5.12V 11.73V 11.73V

Ah, there we go. We almost hit forty, and we didn’t go over, so I must have gotten the right combination of hotbox fannage going.

Nice to see that my little connector doctoring on the 12V2 rail has managed to bring that rail in line, too. Cougar should look into that, all the same. Running the numbers again, I now get 2.7% on the 3.3V rail. I am pleased to see improvement there, too. Moving on, the 5V rail is at 0.8% which is very good for a group design and again improved from the cold tests. The two 12V rails are now sitting at 2% on the dot, giving us a hot box average of 1.9%. Still above average, but on the high side instead of the low side. Nice.

But that’s not all… efficiency is up across the board, too. Bronze is easy for this design, it seems.

Before we get all excited about this unit, though, we have one of the most important aspects of performance to address: ripple. Let’s get the Tektronix to show us some scope shots now, shall we?

PowerX 550W – Oscilloscope Tests
Test # +3.3V +5V +12V1 +12V2
LLT O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
1 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
2 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
3 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
4 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
5 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
CL1 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot
CL2 O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot O-Scope Shot

I’ll be honest… I wasn’t very optimistic about this unit’s ripple suppression capabilities when I got started testing, especially with those random spikes showing up at low loads in the 5V and 12V1 rails. You can imagine my astonishment when those random spikes up and left once I got into the higher load tests.

In fact, this unit is quite the little ripple killer, isn’t it? I mean, the most I saw in any test was about 30mV. On any rail. That’s enough to get Cougar just barely into the excellent range when it comes to the scoring… something I’m sure they’ll be happy with.

Let’s take it apart now.