Good day, folks. I'm blasting at the speed of sound through my laboratory today. Part of it is the excessive caffeine I just consumed, but the larger part of it is due to my test subject for today, the Kingwin Mach 1 one kilowatt power supply. It's been quite a while since the last time I had a look at anything Kingwin, and this reviewer sure hopes the Mach 1 impresses better than that football helmet looking thing I reviewed way back when.
Before I go about showing you the list of features on this unit, here's a shot of the top of the box with its carrying handle. Yes indeed, the unit is rated 80 Plus Bronze. We'll have to see if that translates to good performance on page two and three.
And here are those features now. Most of this is pretty run of the mill power supply stuff bragging about compliance to all the latest standards, but this unit seems determined to confuse the consumer with a bunch of bibble-babble about past ATX standards I'm not sure has any bearing on the world here in the latter days of June, 2009. Seriously, version 2.2 support? 2.91 support? Who cares!
That aside, the fan blurbs are a bit interesting. Apparently, if you get the 600W version, you get a 120mm fan and an 80mm fan. The rest of the models get a 140mm air mover.
Apparently, the box isn't yet done being flashy, as there are a number of connector pictures and fancy graphics on this side. Low noise. LED fan. SATA support. Steady +12V current. Green power. Say, what is green power, anyway? Is that like when you load a generator on a boat in high seas, feed it a bowl of clam chowder, and stand next to it making rolfing noises? I suppose that might turn it green, if it doesn't turn you green first.
Ah, good - there appears to be an owner's manual in the box. Let's see if there's anything else in there.
Inside the box, there turned out to be a power supply, manual, power cord, case screws, and that lovely plastic tray full of modular cables.
The manual holds a good amount of information, but stops short of telling you which cables get which 12V rail. I'll get into that more later on.
If nothing else, the power supply itself looks like it means business with a depth of 180mm. Even if that fan graph sticker on the side tries hard to make us wonder. "The new design! Auto thermostatic fan," it proclaims, as if thermal fan controllers are some kind of recent innovation, and not something I first saw on my own power supply purchases way back in 2002.
In this angle we see the modular connector panel and the label. The finish is in a metallic dark gray that would work for me better were there a few less stickers on it to clutter things up.
The modular connectors themselves are a curious throwback to times gone by, as Kingwin has opted to go with these here screw on DIN style connectors. Now, some of you may be thinking, "Hooray! No more Molex Mini-Fit Juniors!" Personally, I'm not sure this is an improvement on those connectors. Sure, the screw-down collars hold these in place more securely, but look at those pins. Those pins have to go into a sleeve on the other side of the connector. Now, take a look at the nearest female Molex connector you can find. You know, the ones for your 5.25" devices. See how the sleeve part is constructed? Well, the sleeves for the above connectors are built the same way, only smaller. These types of connectors can see these little sleeves expand with repeated cycling until they no longer make good contact.
What I'm saying is, this type of connector may look cool. It's certainly easier to plug together than a Mini-Fit Junior. But in terms of electrical reliability, I'm not sure there's any advantage here. In fact, if you plan on cycling these often, I'd argue these connectors may be more prone to developing connection problems than the Mini-Fit Jr. Even worse, these connectors stick out a country mile when plugged in... case depth may be an issue as well with the unit coming in at 180mm without the connectors. Still, see those blue rings around the connectors? Those light up when you have something plugged into the corresponding connector. That's cool... I guess.
From the looks of the label, Kingwin has decided to run a six way setup here with 960W in total available to the 12V rails. That's 80A, a respectable number for a 1kW unit. The UL file number traces back to Kingwin, which doesn't tell us who made this unit, but I did find out later on in the disassembly phase - it's Superflower.
As you can see here, the three hardwired cables are sleeved up into the case. That's good. But, see that brown wire on the ATX connector there? On my sample, it was too short. This meant not being able to stretch out the main ATX cable to its full length for fear of tearing that one wire out. Sloppy.
In a nonsensical turn of events, there is both an 8 pin EPS12V cable and an ATX12V cable. So, unless you have a board that uses both connectors, you'll have to hide at least one hardwired cable on this unit.
There are enough modular cables to plug every connector on the modular panel. The PCI-E cables all have four pin connectors, and the peripheral cables have five pin connectors. There'll be no mixing up connectors on this unit.
Type of connector:
8 pin EPS12V (560mm)
4 pin ATX12V (560mm)
ATX connector (520mm)
6+2 PCIe (500mm)
6 pin PCIe (500mm)
5.25" Drive (500mm+150mm+150mm+150mm)
3.5" Drive connectors (+150mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
180mm x 150mm x 86mm
As promised, the above table shows the 12V rail distribution. What it doesn't show you is that several 12V rails were bridged by solder. 12V1 and 12V2 were combined to one big rail, as were 12V4 and 12V5. Yes, the PCI-E connectors get one big 70A monster rail, almost the whole 12V capacity of the unit.
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