Good day to you, my bloodthirsty readers, and welcome to another episode of mayhem and destruction.
If there's one thing people keep asking me for, it's a review of something that goes bang during my testing regimen. I must confess that I do not like to engage in such pursuits that often, due to the simple fact that testing bottom of the barrel units tends to put my testing equipment at considerable risk. But I will also confess that I too like to watch power supplies die once in a while.
Today, I thought it was high time that another cheap power supply met its end at my hands. Recently I bought myself a Sunbeam/Casegears 580W Black Steel unit. The purchase of this unit was made with one overwhelming fact in mind - you can go to Newegg right now, page through 38 reviews of this very device, and come away thinking that for the price it costs you, maybe it's worth the risk in buying it. That's right - this bad boy has over 370 Newegg reviews to go by, averaging four stars. Sure there are a few users complaining about problems, but when the majority of people are doing ok with these, it's easy to think that you have a better chance of getting a good one than a bad one.
Well, I'm going to find out what the real story is.
The usual plan of attack for the site is to show you some box pictures before getting into the good stuff. But, the box in this case happens to be a plain old white affair with no marketing at all to talk about. So, let's get right into the product pictures, shall we?
Power supply. Power cord. That's it. That's all you get aside from a box and some bubble wrap. The power cord does not inspire confidence - I have quite literally seen table lamps with thicker gauge wiring. I don't want to say it's wimpy looking, but it would rather pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.
But enough about the power cord, let's get on to the power supply itself. No, wait, let's don't. If we put our weight on this thing, it will collapse in on itself like an empty soda can. I don't want to say the housing is flimsy, but I've seen episodes of the TV show Merlin with stronger writing.
Ah, look. There's a green sticker on top that says this unit has passed quality control testing. Good to know. I'll remember that.
As always, I am a fan of matte black. Unfortunately, the paint job on this unit seems a little lacking. I don't want to say they saved money here, but... you know, I don't think I have a joke for that one. It's a cheap unit - you should expect a cheap finish.
This is the exhaust end of the unit, right here. Sharp eyes will have spotted the punched fan grille, another cost cutting item. Interesting - looks like the punched grill can be done away with in favor of a wire grille, if those indentations around the fan screw holes are any indication.
Less sharp eyes will have spotted that big red voltage select switch, indicating an old voltage doubler circuit is employed by this unit. This means either the unit has no power factor correction, or passive. Let me be clear about this - passive PFC power supplies are heavy. Passive PFC requires a big coil to be mounted somewhere inside the unit, which tends to add a lot of heft to the unit. This particular unit is light enough to be rejected for paperweight duty, making it almost impossible to have any kind of PFC stuck inside the case somewhere. I don't want to say it's a featherweight, but when I turn it on the fan will probably pull it across a table.
Then again, PFC circuitry adds cost. This wouldn't be a twenty dollar marvel if it had PFC.
Here's the front panel. See the heatsinks? Look real close. Still don't see them? Here's a hint - they're silver and really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really skinny. Really.
This is the top panel, with a good look at the second of two 80mm fans and that green QC Pass sticker. I don't know about you, but the more I look at that sticker the more reassured I feel that this unit won't somehow die at any point during this review. I mean, someone's clearly gone over this unit with a fine toothed comb and made sure the unit doesn't have any bugs of any kind. There's just no way at all this unit won't do the full 580W in load testing without any signs of issues. I'm almost sure of it.
But if there's anything about this unit that can make me less sure, it's this label right here. We have multiple certification logos, but no file numbers under the UL logo (backwards UR) to double check. We have current ratings as normal on all rails, but no combined ratings. And last but not least, it appears that you have to load all rails down to the max to even get to 580 watts. Most 580W units these days carry significantly more 12V capacity than this one does.
And now, here's a view of the cabling on this unit. No sleeving, for sleeving costs money. No 18 gauge wires - that costs money too, let's go with 20 gauge. Need more than one SATA connector? A PCI-E connector perhaps? You're outta luck, pal. Here's what the unit has for cabling:
Type of connector:
ATX connector (480mm)
4 pin ATX12V connector (490mm)
5.25" Drive (510mm+150mm)
3.5" Drive (+150mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
140mm x 150mm x 86mm
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