As you can see by the above picture, I'm taking a little bit of a break from the ultra high power units today. Coolermaster sent me this here 450 watt power supply, part of their GX series of units, and I aim to review it.
You will recall that things haven't always been so rosy for Coolermaster here in my lab. Some of their units did good, others did not as good. We will see where this one stands by and by. Meantime, we have a whole lot of box and product pictures to look at first.
It is interesting to note that, while the box claims the unit is good for 80 Plus standard certification, the 80 Plus site itself claims it will do Bronze. So, which is it? Which company should we trust? We'll find out later on in this review.
Here is the back of the box, where all the marketing goodness can be found:
Compliant with latest Intel standard ATX12V V2.31
Single +12V rail up to 35A
High efficiency meets 80 Plus requirements (85% typical)
120mm fan with speed control
Multiple protection design (OVP/UVP/OPP/OTP/SCP)
High reliability (MTBF>100,000 hours)
This is all pretty standard marketing hype, and refreshingly sparse compared to some units I've looked at recently.
Ah, good, I got the US type of packaging, if this side of the box can be trusted. This likely refers to the type of power cord present in the box.
Like all power supplies, this one apparently has connectors to plug into your computer parts. And this side of the box is happy to tell you how many of each are present.
On this side of the box, we discover just how many languages Coolermaster is willing to use to tell us to go visit their website for more information on the unit. Nineteen, to be exact. Someone at Coolermaster must be a Paul Hardcastle fan, like me. Even if yours truly somehow got mixed up to the point he thought it was Paul McCartney performing that song, and requested "Paul McCartney's Nineteen" over and over on the local FM station until he wore out his welcome there.
"Bob, it's that kid again. Yeah, he wants to hear that song again. You know, the sample crazy one McCartney had nothing to do with and would never do in a million years. No, I don't remember who originally did it. He keeps asking for Vanilla Ice too... can we block his number now, please? Put him on the radio instead? Great idea!"
Like most power supply boxes, this one contains a few things. Let me scatter this stuff across the table and show you what's in there.
A power supply, a user guide, a power cord, some screws, and a business card.
Here's the user guide now. It's a relatively simple multi-lingual affair that is enough to convey the basics, but won't take any awards for best user guide anytime soon. It's not bad, it's not good, it's just sort of there.
Here's the power supply itself done up in a matte black and purple color scheme. Not bad looking.
And at this angle, it's still not bad looking.
Here's a better view of that purpley side sticker for you.
A good look at a nice and open exhaust grille is our next stop on our tour of the GX450.
The fan grille on this unit is a plain old stamped affair, likely done to save cash. It's nicely unrestrictive, so I have no major complaints here.
Here's the sticker with all the specs on it. It is not that likely that a 450W unit would use the VRM approach to provide the minor rails. Indeed, this unit may not even be independently regulated. Such fancy features add cost, and you will remember that we already saw a stamped fan grille. That said, a 35A 12V rail isn't bad for a unit this size. Assuming it can really meet that rating, that is.
While this unit is not modular, it is refreshingly devoid of excessive cabling. That said, I'm a little put off by the lack of a 6+2 pin PCI-E cable. 35A should be enough to power at least a moderately powerful video card. Does Coolermaster know something about the unit's performance I don't? Do they not want this unit powering anything better than a low end video card for some reason? We'll find out what's going on in the load testing portion of the review.
Type of connector:
ATX connector (500mm)
4+4 pin EPS12V/ATX12V connector (610mm)
6 pin PCIe (490mm)
5.25" Drive (460mm+150mm+150mm)
3.5" Drive (+150mm)
Unit Dimensions(L x W x H)
140mm x 150mm x 86mm
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