Reviews - Coolmax CUG-950B 950W
Sample Provided by: CoolMax USA (By OklahomaWolf on Mon, Aug-25-2008)

Page 1 -

We're going green again here at jonnyGURU.com with another offering from Coolmax: the CUG-950B. When last we saw a Coolmax unit, it was bringing in all kinds of awesome as the 1350W CUQ-1350B. You may remember that I looked at another member of the CUG series before, the CUG-700B, back when I was first getting started with the site. You may also remember I was less than thrilled with that unit when it exploded in the hot tests. Well, as the cliche goes, time heals all wounds and I'm hoping that this 950W offering will compare more to its 1350W big brother instead of that old 700W embarrassment to SMPS design.

I'm sure you all are as anxious as I am to get to the main course, or the load testing, as I am; but first we'll get these obligatory box shots out of the road.

One of the more interesting sides of the box is this here RoHS compliance table. Just like its older 700W brother, the 950W would like you to know what exactly isn't in it, it seems. I'll just make you squint at the above picture - I'm not feeling the urge to type my fingers down to nothing to reprint all this. In fact, I'm not feeling much urge to do anything but sleep. Caffeine will fix that, yes it will. But I don't have any. I'll just make do with a tablespoon and this bag of brown sugar here.

Wowthat'sgoodstuffIfeelsuperalertandreadytogonow. As was the case with the 700W, there are a number of features on the back of the box listed above a load table. We have:

  • Quad 12V output rails
  • Advanced double forward circuit and double-layer PCB
  • Active power factor correction
  • Super high efficiency maximum 84%
  • High power cable management enables safety select wiring
  • Ultimate balance between cooling and noise level
  • Honey Comb Structure with best ventilation
  • Dual PCI-Express power connectors fully support SLI & Cross-Fire system
  • ATX 12V V.2.2
  • All output cables with nylon sleeving
  • Gold plated terminal
  • Flexible connector & system design
  • Patented easy swap connector

Believe me, I'm really glad the connector terminals are gold plated. I'm going to hook this up to my stereo later and see how it sounds. And then, I'm going to sell it on eBay for $3999 as an "Acoustic Resonance Spectrum Enhancer," or A.R.S.E. for short. Why are you laughing?

For the most part, the rest of the bullet points are pretty standard fare. Every company out there it seems has multiple double forward designs, so that's hardly new. Neither is the 84% efficiency resulting from such a design. Quad 12V... also nothing new. You'll recall that the 700W model ended up being only a single 12V unit in practice, so I wonder what, if anything, has changed here for the 950W.

More RoHS info for you all. Gee, Coolmax sure is concerned about being RoHS compliant. Enough box talk, let's open this thing up...

...only to find another box. With an owner's manual on top. The manual turns out to be a large-ish affair in two languages, English and French, which tells you pretty much all you need to know about this unit. There are specifications, connector diagrams, cabling info, protection circuitry details, an installation guide, and some fancy graphics detailing all the cool features of the unit. All in all, it's one of the better user guides I've seen come with a power supply.

But there are some items of interest in the manual as well, like a claim in the spec area that the unit can be operated in temps up to 60 degrees Celsius. Rea-he-he-heally. Shall I do it folks? Shall I run the hot box to its utmost potential to see how far it'll go until it barfs its guts all over the place? I'll just turn off the intake fan, then. By test five, we should be hitting 50 degrees intake or so on a 950W.

What's downright comical about the specs in the manual is, this unit seems to be rated for ten degrees higher when operating than it is rated for storage.

Lifting out the box under the owner's manual, which turns out to be full of modular cables, we can finally see the power supply. I'll just finish unpacking here.

The full contents of the box includes a pile of modular cables, a manual, a bag of screws, a power cord, a power supply, and a bag of "eat this and you DIE" silica gel. I'll go in a little closer on the PSU itself for you now.

And... uh... I'm not sure I'm getting a good feeling about this. Remember the CUG-700B? It not only looks the same, it sort of feels the same. I'll just show you the modular connector panel.

Looks the same as the 700's panel to me. What say you?

Coolmax
CUG-950B

3.3V 5V 12V1 12V2 12V3 12V4 -12V +5VSB
30A 30A 20A 20A 25A 25A 0.8A 6A
Max Power 200W 800W 9.6W 30W
950W

A label and a table for your enjoyment. You know, I wonder if this unit isn't just an updated design based on the 700W. Just the thought of that makes me terribly nervous. If the 700W had to launch a capacitor into outer space to get to 700W, how much tweaking would need to be done to get the design to 950W? Enough speculation though, we'll see what happens there on page two.

Meantime, here are some fancy wires. Since all cabling disconnects, this will be an easy picture to take.

Type of connector: Coolmax
CUG-950B
ATX connector (550mm) 20+4 pin
SATA (560mm+150mm+150mm+150mm) 8
5.25" Drive connectors (550mm+150mm, 150mm) 8
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm) 2
4 x 2 12V EPS12V connector (550mm) 1
2 x 2 12V ATX12V connector (+150mm) 1
2 x 4 PCIe (550mm) 2
2 x 3 PCIe (+150mm) 2

Unit Dimensions(LxWxH)

160mm x 150mm x 86mm

You may be wondering why I haven't included 12V rail distribution in this cable table. Well, it's because in the end it doesn't matter. Like the 700W, the unit was summed down to one rail internally. So, why bother?

Well, at least on paper the unit looks like it could power two big hungry video cards. It has the connectors and promises enough power. But can it really make with enough power to do the job without 'sploding like the 700W? Let's turn the page and see.


 

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