So, it's two days after Christmas, and all the fun is over. You're sitting in the middle of your living room floor, cleaning up the remains of a wrapping paper explosion, while your kids are in the next room supercharged on chocolate hollering loud enough to shake the snow off the roof as they run around in circles just for the sake of running around in circles as they take five minute breaks to break... er, "play with" their new toys. What's to look forward to now, assuming that you aren't celebrating some other holiday around this time of year that hasn't arrived yet?
I'll tell you what's to look forward to. Spring. That's what you look forward to, if you're me. I mean, seriously... everybody likes a white Christmas until the white stuff actually shows up and you have to shovel ten foot snowbanks off the driveway because darnit, you were late for work an hour ago and now you have to go see the doctor because you slipped on the ice and twisted your ankle but good.
I hate winter. Give me warm weather for the holidays. Give me a Christmas cactus, not a tree. Turn off that Bing/Bowie duet and get Brian Adams singing about his reggae Christmas one more time. And while we're at it, let's review something that doesn't remind us of winter. Something like the above unit, a Xigmatek 700 watt 80 Plus Bronze modular extension to the No Rules Power line of units.
Ah... go green... build a forest... that's more like it. It's not winter, it's a lovely spring day outside... yeah, that's it.
As you can see by this picture, the new units in the NRP series come in three flavors, from 700 watts to 1,000 watts. The bright orange dot tells us that it will be the baby of the three we're looking at today.
Moving on to another part of the box, we are again encouraged to go green. With pleasure, Xigmatek. I'll buy anything you tell me to if it gets rid of the snow any faster.
There are three marketing points highlighted in this picture. First, this unit apparently has a "14cm black transparent cooling fan." Second, there are polymer capacitors on the secondary side of the design. And finally, there's a Japanese capacitor filtering the primary side.
This part of the box shows us fan speed curves and specifications for all three units this box is used for.
Here's where we find all the marketing fluff present on the box:
Over 88% efficiency at 230V and 80Plus Bronze certified at 115V. Higher efficiency, lower energy loss, cooler our Earth. -Tell me they didn't just utter the word "cooler." It's minus twenty degrees out there!!!
Solid state capacitors for DC12V output. For longer life and more stable performance on DC12V output. -Longer life is a distinct possibility, yes. But good voltage stability? That takes more than just capacitors, boyo.
Single 12V output rail. Better compatibility with higher CPU and VGA 12V output. -Uh, what? Aside from the fact that properly designed multi-rail units are no more or less compatible than good single rail designs are, there is no correlation between this facet of the design and voltage readings on the outputs. Multi-rail designs merely use current sensing shunts to shut the unit down if something overdraws a set of wires. These shunts have nothing to do with voltage regulation. In fact, they work by shutting the unit down when the unit's protection IC senses too low a voltage on them in relation to the voltage going in, meaning the wires they are monitoring have too much load on them.
Real power as the same as label. Label wattage is real continuously wattage, not peak output at 100% loading. -That's good to hear, I guess. I... think I get what they're saying here. This unit isn't overrated. Engrish FTW. But at what temperature? I sense a job for my hot box. It can supply real high continuously temperatures at 100% of peak wattage.
0.99 Active PFC rate. The highest AC utility rate and active switch for universal AC voltage. -Hear that, guys? We're about to have our AC utility rates go up! Oh boy! Honestly, I'd love to tell you what they're going for in this one, but I can't quite figure it out myself. I can tell you the unit has active PFC and by extension universal AC input, but what they're trying to say with the utility rate thing is open to hilarious interpretation.
DC quality with low ripple noise. Low ripple noise DC output for better devices performance.
140mm silent cooling fan. Fan bigger, RPM slower, and noise lower. -Blurb funny, real lazy, Wolf goes onward.
Smart thermal fan control. Fan RPM was controlled by temperature and keep silence in typical loading. -Was? How is it now controlled? Does it keep silence in typical loading by never turning on? I know, I know, I'm nitpicking on the Engrish too much. Keep silence... it's almost over.
All DC cables with mesh sleeve. Reduce airflow resistance for better thermal release in PC case. -I can think of several jokes for this one, most of them dirty, some of them incredibly lame. Just... use your imagination.
PCIe graphic card connector support. MC702 supports four PCIe connectors and MC802/1002 supports six.
There's more to this panel of the box than the amusing Engrish, however. Beside the bullet points, there's a whole great big set of blurbs and graphics that tells you just how you will be saving our planet by buying one of these units versus that 75% efficient unit from Brand X you almost bought instead. Why, you could save "3.05 forty-years-old trees," even. Up here, that many trees would keep my house warm for about thirty seconds. You... do want me to be warm... don't you?
Ah, time for some unpacking. The unit itself comes well protected in foam. It's good to see that Xigmatek isn't so green yet that the unit inside is barely protected against shipping damage. Why, some units come wrapped in cardboard.
A warranty card, user guide, some screws, power cord, modular cables, plastic zip ties, velcro cable ties, and a power supply in a cloth bag were all found inside the box.
The user guide is pretty typical. Most of the basic information is there, but it's not as complete as it could be. Whatever... if you're like me, you've never seen the manual that came with your current unit. I mean, what's to know? You bolt it in and plug cables into things.
Here's the power supply itself, done up in a semi reflective easy to scratch black finish. It does look good, I have to admit.
Hey, look, another Toonie! Where is all this money coming from? Can I have some more?
As you can see, all the modular connectors are 8 pin Mini-Fit Jr. style. One section for PCI-E cables, one section for peripherals. These do not interchange. Xigmatek would have done well to have the peripherals use 6 pin connectors, just to be sure there's no confusion between the two.
Here's the exhaust grille, nice and open except for the part around the power switch and receptacle, which is likely hiding AC transient filter components that would block airflow, anyway.
Uh, Xigmatek? That's not a transparent fan. That's a translucent fan. Not the same thing. But, it does look pretty cool. "No rule power supply by enthusiast force." Yeah... I'm not sure what that means, either. I'm guessing it means that while you might have been the king of your castle in the past, this unit will not accept your rule and is planning a bloody coup d'état.
This unit boasts a single 12V rail of 56 amperes, which translates to 672 watts at 12 volts. That's 28 watts away from the total output power of the unit. This usually means a unit that employs voltage regulator modules for the minor rails that get their power from the one big 12V rail. We'll get inside the unit and make sure on page four.
There are three hardwired cables on our modular would-be overlord of Enthusiast Force. The ATX connector, naturally, is one of them. The other two include a PCI-E 6 pin cable and a modular 4+4 pin EPS/ATX12V CPU cable.
I can only assume that we will be whipped with these cables if we do not submit to the will of this, the power supply that will not be ruled.
Here's a better look at the modular cable connectors, or as I like to call them, sockets for the dictator's tentacles of subversion.
And here are those tentacles now. They're certainly an intimidating bunch, aren't they? Wait a second... the marketing said there were only four PCI-E cables, but I count four of them among the modular cables alone. That makes five, counting the hardwired one. Watch out, guys... it's trying to sneak one past us. You might want to hire some extra mercenaries, just in case that one extra cable turns out to be the John Rambo in this unit's attempt at gaining control of the house.
Sigh... being the evil warlord of a suburban household is so hard these days, what with even computer power supplies trying to overthrow your benevolent regime. See you on the next page for the load testing... I better go call my arms dealer.
Type of connector:
ATX connector (615mm)
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (615mm)
6 pin PCIe (625mm)
6 pin PCIe (495mm)
6+2 pin PCIe (495mm)
5.25" Drive (495mm+145mm+145mm)
3.5" Drive (+145mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
180mm x 150mm x 86mm
Add our RSS feeds to your favorite RSS Reader or homepage.