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!

Performance (40% of the final score) – and so we come to yet another scoring. The performance of this unit was actually pretty darn good. Ripple suppression couldn’t get much better, and I will remove no points from a perfect score for that. A half a point will have to come off for the voltage regulation, though. While it’s true that this unit had connector fitment issues affecting the readings, fixing those issues were not enough to bring this unit to excellent status. Finally, the efficiency did a pretty solid job of clearing Bronze on both sets of tests, so no points will come off there. 9.5.

Functionality (20% of the final score) – let’s get the obvious stuff out of the way first. This unit is not modular in any sense of the word, so the full point allowance for modularity comes off straight away. To this, a half-point will come off for the manual. It’s just lacking in a few ways… not enough to take the whole point off. Cabling is about the same as the GX-S except for some of the lengths, so I won’t complain there. 8.5.

Value (20% of the final score) – MSRP on this unit is $69.99. Given the performance of this unit, it’s a solid but not exceptional value, I feel. I mean, you have the Corsair CX600 for the same price at NewEgg. Granted, that one’s on sale right now but you also have many other options from the likes of Antec, Enermax, Silverstone, FSP, and Thermaltake to name a few that also compete. Especially when one considers the build quality issues I saw in this unit. I’m going to do 7 here.

Build Quality (20% of the final score) – where do I start? Ok, we were promised Japanese capacitors. With an “s.” What did we get? One. That’s all. The rest was a mix of Teapo for the output filtering and Su’ckcon… er, I mean Su’scon for the general-purpose stuff. Had the unit stuck with Teapo fully, I’d only remove half a point for merely using the B grade capacitors. But, because of the Su’scons, I’ll have to remove the whole point. Sorry, Cougar, but these capacitors don’t cut it for me. What also doesn’t cut it is the solder job in this unit. Overall, I initially thought it was pretty average, but then I started finding joints with way too little solder on them. So, the full point for soldering comes off too. I’m going to do a half-point for the sleeve bearing fan as well. 7.5.

PowerX 550W – Scoring
Performance 9.5
Functionality 8.5
Value 7
Build Quality 7.5
Total Score 8.4

SUMMARY

Though marred by some pretty obvious build quality issues, this here Cougar somehow manages to rise above and deliver some pretty impressive performance numbers. Ripple suppression was outstanding, the regulation was well above average for any unit let alone a lower-cost group design, and it had no trouble with its 80 Plus certification. Now, if only we could get those build quality issues addressed, we’ll have an excellent unit indeed.

The GOOD:

  • excellent ripple suppression
  • very good voltage regulation
  • doesn’t mind heavy crossloading in either direction
  • very good looking
  • shallow depth

The BAD:

  • sleeve bearing fan makes me wonder about its potential lifetime
  • only one Japanese capacitor

The MEDIOCRE:

  • soldering needs improvement
  • Su’scon capacitors? No thanks

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