Death of a Gutless Wonder IV: Aces Low

Gutless wonders may come from all points of the globe but can usually be traced back to a handful of Chinese factories willing to do whatever it takes to sell units at the highest profit margin. Today, my review sample is one that can only be purchased overseas, an Ace Power AP-550A. This unit has no 80 Plus certification, and can only be powered at 230 volts AC. With a selling price of around the $50 USD mark after currency conversion, it actually wants to be one of the better units in my series of gutless wonder articles. But how much better can it be? Read on, and find out.

PROD LINK: Not Available
PRICE: $48 USD @ BengkelPC
Price is at the time of testing!

I’ve got something special to review for you folks today. Not too long ago, a forum member by the name of Testakraze asked me if I would consider doing a review of a unit or two not normally available in these parts of the world. There’s a lot of cheap bargain oriented units that we here in North America never even hear about, let alone see with our eyes.

I was glad to take on the challenge, and soon the above pictured Ace Power unit showed up in my mailbox. This particular unit features no 80 Plus certification whatsoever and is restricted to 230V AC input only.

Let’s have a look at the box and see what we’re supposed to be getting.

From this picture, it seems that we’re getting the unit in the middle of a line of units ranging from 350W all the way up to 750W. A single 120mm fan cools the unit, which happens to be lit by blue LEDs, and the housing is black.

Four “special power plug” also come with this unit… a 20+4 pin modular ATX cable, a PCI-e cable, a modular 4+4 CPU cable, and SATA cables. Not sure what makes these special, as every modern unit worth using, is required to have these cables, but maybe Ace Power knows something I don’t. Oh my, the room’s spinning. Wait… that’s just my eyes rolling already.

The box doesn’t have a lot of useful info on it, but there are some. High reliability? You let me be the judge of that, Ace. Power factor correction is optional? Not in the market you intend to sell this, Ace, where people are billed for apparent power.

Hey, look! The Phenom X4 is now the latest technology!

Also, present on this side of the box is a number of certification logos. UL approval? CSA approval? Not bloody likely, Ace, if you’re only supporting 230V input with this thing. So, we’re already seeing red flags that all is not as it seems with this unit. Lovely. And that’s not even mentioning all those protections listed under “High Reliability,” many of which are only found on more expensive units than this thing costs.

Let’s get the box open.

There’s… not a lot in there. Let me unpack.

No user guide present, but we do get some screws, a couple of zip ties, a power supply, and a line cord.

Feast your eyes on the bag of accessories! Marvel in wonder at the lengths and expenses this company goes to in order to make customers happy!

Dear me, my eyes are rolling again. Well, the left one is. The right ones looking at the clock wondering if it’s lunchtime yet.

The line cord, as befitting a 230V only unit, has a Shuko type connector at the wall end and the usual C13 on the power supply side.