Reviews - Ultra X4 1200W
Sample Provided by: Ultra Products (By OklahomaWolf on Sat, Nov-21-2009)

Page 1 -

As you can tell by the above box picture, today's review sample will be the brand new Ultra X4 1200 watt unit. It's been quite some time since we last looked at an Ultra product here at the site, and I for one am excited to see what the company is up to lately.

Well, if we go by this shot, we can see that ultra is still up to making sure we know they have the patent on the modular interface, for the sticker with the patent number is right there in the corner. But that's only part of the information on this side of the box. The rest of it pretty much goes into standard power supply selling mode, proclaiming all the wondrous features of this here X4.

Apparently, one of said features is thermal overload protection. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? Yes, Warwick Davis does need to be in more movies. Oh, you weren't thinking that? You were thinking I should lock the unit in my hot box and see how well that overtemp protection works? Why, that's a great idea.

Over on this side of what is a very large box, we get to see a list of what comes within it, along with a chart of connector counts. And in case you live in Quebec, you can read it all in French, too.

CERTIFIED. ACTIVE PFC. LOW NOISE. Fully Modular. Now that Ultra's done shouting at us pictorially, that first little blast of letters refers to this unit being certified as 80 Plus Bronze. This is perhaps the biggest thing that sets the X4 line apart from the X3's - the 80 Plus certification. We'll find out on the next couple of pages how well this unit does with efficiency in real life.

This is also one of several panels on the box that brags about Ultra's limited lifetime warranty. But there's a catch to said warranty - you have to register the product with Ultra if you want to make use of it.

Finally, we arrive at the back of the box, on which we get to see a bit more marketing and some pictures of what comes inside the box. There's also a load table with a modest set of specs. You know, I don't think I've seen an operating temp spec yet. Hmm...

From the looks of things, the X4 1200W is well packed in there. Some of the extras come inside a little recess in that piece of foam on the left, while there is a big black box on the right that contains the bag of modular cables.

And here you go - the contents of the box. A user guide with a warranty registration card, some zip ties, a bag of thumb screws, a bag of normal screws, a vibration isolation gasket, a power supply, and a bag full of cables.

Register online and win! Just for fun, I went to the URL they have printed on the registration card. "The system cannot find the file specified." Cool! I won an error message! Methinks Ultra needs to update this little piece of paper.

Meantime, a word about the user guide: not bad. Ok, so that was two words. There's a brief set of instructions on how to install a power supply and a few more specs than the box gave us in there. One of those specs detailed a forty degree operating temp. Uhh... sorry, Ultra, but my hot box is never cooler than forty on a unit this powerful, even with the intake and exhaust fans both running. You might want to start bracing yourselves already.

I have to admit that this is my kind of power supply here. It just looks awesome to me, all done up in that matte black I like so much with that wonderful embossed X4 graphic on the side. Even the medallion on the fan grille looks good.

From this picture, we can see that the unit is completely modular - not one cable is hardwired. I like to see this too - when it comes time to take them apart, this makes it easy. But, I have to wonder what the point is to making the main ATX cable modular. You're going to need it anyway, won't you? Still, I suppose there are some cases when you want to run that cable out of sight too and still want to leave yourself the option of removing the power supply once in a while without fussing with hardwired cables of any sort.

The modular connectors themselves on this thing look to have been chosen by a paint shaker. Few connectors match other connectors. But, that can be called a good thing, because you wouldn't want to run the wrong voltages to the wrong cables. So what do they all do? Well, the ATX connector is obvious. The top row is for peripherals only - there are four Molex connectors for the 5.25" and 3.5" device chains. The five pin connectors next to them, including that one down by the bottom two rows, are Mini-Fit Jr. style connectors that supply the SATA cables.

The middle row is configured thus from left to right: ATX12V cable, PCI-E, PCI-E, PCI-E. The bottom row, again from left to right, holds the EPS12V cable connector and three more PCI-E cables. Of the PCI-E connectors, the bigger 8 pin connectors are for the 6+2 pin PCI-E cables, but you can plug the 6 pin only cables in there too if you want. Confused yet, would we?

Actually, it's not as bad as it sounds. Most of these connectors don't interchange with each other, so there will be no plugging of, say, the EPS12V cable into the PCI-E connectors by accident.

Here's the exhaust grille. While it looks restrictive down beneath the power switch and AC receptacle, that's usually where manufacturers end up putting transient filter components. There'd be little airflow through those parts.

It's an Ultra X4 we're looking at today. It says so right there.

Here's the label for this unit, and... sigh. A 1200 watt unit really needs to have more 12V capacity than this, guys. Don't get me wrong - 85 amperes is nothing to sneeze at. But, what it tells me is that this unit is not following in the tradition of newer units that use voltage regulator modules to supply the lesser rails. It tells me that this unit is using an older topology, and in this case it looks like I'm going to need to max out the combined 3.3V/5V rating to get this puppy up to the full 1200 watts. In other words, this unit needs to be run flat out to get 1200 watts from it.

Folks, that makes me nervous. Often, this is a sign that a unit is being, shall we say, somewhat optimistically rated. As always, the load testing gear will tell us the true story there.

Ultra X4 1200W

+3.3V +5V +12V -12V +5VSB
24A 32A 85A 0.5A 3A
Max Power 170W 1020W 6W 15W

But for now, the story is the modular cables. This unit comes with a bushel and a peck of them. Sixteen in total, plus a power cord. How long are they? Let's find out.

Type of connector: Ultra X4 1200W
Modular Cables
ATX connector (580mm) 20+4 pin
8 pin EPS12V (600mm) 1
4 pin ATX12V connector (600mm) 1
SATA (445mm+150mm+150mm) 11
5.25" Drive (450mm+150mm+150mm) 9
3.5" Drive (+150mm) 2
6 pin PCIe ( 600mm, 655mm, 695mm) 3
6+2 pin PCIe (545mm, 645mm, 695mm) 3
5.25" Drive to 3 pin Fan (300mm) 2
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
158mm* x 150mm x 86mm

*165mm with modular connectors


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